Print-On-Demand Stores Review: ImageKind

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ImageKind is a type of online store known as a print-on-demand store.  What this means is that artists and photographers can upload their images to ImageKind, and sell products with their designs.  Print-on-demand stores typically sell prints, home decor products, and other gifts.  These stores allow designers to sell products with their images without having to worry about maintaining inventory, handling orders, and shipping, while still being able to make money off of their designs.

This article will discuss ImageKind and give information about the store for sellers (as opposed to customers).  The topics covered are products offered, uploading interface, the dashboard, royalty rates, membership fees, promotional tools and more.

About

ImageKind was founded in 2006. They were bought by CafePress in 2008. They are based in the United States.

Products

ImageKind only sells art and photographic prints, and they have a wide variety of paper types and framing options.

Seller Interface

Fairly easy to use. Images are uploaded and you add tags, title and description and select categories. Since they only sell prints, you only have to do this once for each image. The image file is able to be changed even after a product is published.

However, it is very buggy and oftentimes things will disappear without warning.  I have had multiple issues with uploading images, with the uploader freezing or images disappearing.

Product Statistics

Through the dashboard, by clicking on each image you can see how many times it has been viewed and sold.

Royalty

You set your own royalty.  You have to remember to do this each time, as you cannot set a blanket royalty for all of your products.

Affiliate/Referral Program

There is an affiliate program, but it uses a third party website through ShareASale.

Membership Fees

They have four different membership levels with different perks: a free membership and three different paid levels. In all levels, you can have unlimited images and storage. The free membership is fully functional.   The various levels have different numbers of galleries you can create, etc., but the main benefits of the paid membership are priority placement in the search results and a customizable storefront.  I have only had the free version, but from my understanding, unless you are in the top 1% of artists on the site, even a paid version will not help your sales.

Promotional Tools

None for the free version, many for the paid version.

Storefront Layout

Not customizable in the free membership, fully customizable with a paid membership.

Community

You can follow other sellers, and add their images into your favorites. You can comment on other’s artwork. There are groups, but they are not well managed.  There are contests (called Challenges) that are hosted by various groups.  However, this section of the website is now well hidden and very difficult to find.   The message boards are not very active, groups are neglected and abandoned, and messages are often ignored.

File Size Limits and Types

They accept JPG, PNG and TIFF.  The upload file size limit is 500 MB per file.

Conclusion

I originally signed up for a free membership with ImageKind in 2011.  Over the course of 3 years, I think I made a total of 4 sales.  I quit the site, but came back to it in 2015.  In the past two years I made only one sale.  As stated before, with a free membership you can only go so far.  But for $100 a year, the supposed perks you get are not realized by many, only a select few.  They also have not made any site updates since 2015.  Due to my poor sales and the fact that the owners of the site do not seem very invested in it, I decided to quit.  I had been considering upgrading my membership to see if that could possibly help boost sales, but decided against it, as that is a lot of money for no sure outcome.


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