Best Ways To Sell Anime Drawings – Personal Tips Included

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What if you could take your passion and put it to work for you to make it generate passive income?

Making money online from your anime art is no longer a pipe dream. You can sell anime drawings, manga, illustrations, and even high-quality products featuring your designs, all from the comfort of your couch!

Let’s take a look at some of the platforms that hundreds of artists are already using to sell anime drawings and how you can do it, too. Today, thousands of creators make massive profits simply by using online marketplaces to sell anime drawings.


Key Takeaways

  • The easiest marketplace to start with is Gumroad (they do, however, take a 10% cut from each sale).
  • If you are starting out, consider selling your art on marketplaces with organic traffic, such as Artstation, Gumroad, Etsy, and Patreon.
  • The easiest way to sell artwork on merchandise is using print-on-demand businesses such as Redbubble or Printful.

PayHip

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PayHip is a rising star in the art world. For one, it caters to both instant sales and recurring memberships. It also covers any EU or VAT fees, which is great for building an international audience.

But one of the coolest features PayHip offers is a monthly membership that reduces the commission fees they’ll take out of your sales.

For instance, if you pay $99 USD a month, you’ll reduce your commission fee to 0% for all sales. If you’re making a lot of monthly sales, you’ll appreciate the options to eliminate any transaction fees (and you’ll be hard-pressed to find them anywhere else).

But for smaller-scale artists, you’ll pay 5%, like on many other platforms. Overall, PayHip is a great platform for small artists to start out on and grow into a large-scale business.

Fanbox

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Fanbox is by far the more popular platform choice among 2D anime and manga artists. With over 5.5 million users and 90,000 creators, you’re guaranteed to have easy access to your target audience.

Fanbox has options for both one-time payments and recurring subscriptions in a service that’s similar to Patreon.

Here’s a major drawback: all transactions are in Japanese yen. This will lead to some hangups in actually getting paid, such as long wait times or fluctuating conversion rates.

Otherwise, the fees that Fanbox takes are about on par with others on this list.

Cubebrush

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Cubebrush is a great place for customers (or you!) to pick up some new brushes or sign up for an online course.

If you’re looking to sell your drawings, however, you’ll have to pay a 30% fee (yes, you read that right) for any sales that Cubebrush “makes on your behalf.” In other words, you’ll pay 5% on sales you make through a direct link you send to your customers.

Any other sales, such as one by customers browsing the online market, are subject to almost a third of your earnings.

PayLoadz

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PayLoadz ranks high in terms of convenience. It offers its customers instant digital downloads for art, media, and books.

It costs $29 monthly for artists to sell on their platform. However, you’ll only pay 2.9% plus a flat $0.29 fee for each order, which is comparatively low.

For orders under $2, however, you’ll pay a small increase of around 5% plus a $0.05 fee.

They also have an app that offers convenient access for both customers and creators.

Artstation Marketplace

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Artstation is a prolific online marketplace for digital art and assets. You’ll find that Artstation is a sort of artist-to-artist marketplace where you can find brushes, models, tutorials, courses, and more for sale.

2D art does have its place in Artstation, however. You’ll find that there are plenty of built-in resources to promote your work and gain a following, leading to passive income sales.

It’s free to sign up and join, and there are even no listing fees. But like a lot of companies on this list, you’ll pay a 5% commission fee on any sales you make.

I personally sell my anime art products on Artstation and have been extremely happy with the platform. I use their marketing efforts (global discounts) to my advantage and have seen an increase in sales ever since I started using their platform.

Patreon

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Patreon is a site that prides itself as a way for fans to support the artists they love. Fans pay a monthly membership fee to gain access to your exclusive content and sales.

This site is popular among 2D artists, especially since it enables you to push limited-time offers for physical prints or items. Artists like Loish, Ross Tran, and Ilya Kuvshinov, among others, are making a lot of money through Patreon.

Patreon is free to sign up for artists, and basic creators pay a reasonable 5% commission on sales or memberships they receive. But do note that the recommended level is Pro, which sets you back 8% on sales.

I’ve tried Patreon (and might try again), but I found that it did create a bit of pressure and stress to create something new for my fans every month. Selling individual products is easier as there’s no added pressure to deliver exclusive content every month.

Gumroad

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Gumroad is a site that’s on its way to becoming a big Ecommerce site. Its landing page boasts that its artists have generated more than $350 million in income since 2011. The current stats on Gumroad’s homepage shows that creators are earning roughly $4M/week combined.

Gumroad uses more of a marketplace-type template, where users can search for content and browse suggested products. This especially benefits you if you don’t have an audience yet.

However, it also enables artists to create their own landing page and utilize built-in resources such as offer codes, license keys, and more to drive more sales.

If you’re interested in selling resources or reference models in addition to your artwork, Gumroad is a great pick for you.

For those looking to sell anime drawings, you’ll find that Gumroad can also be a great home for digital downloads and commission requests.

As for the fees, Gumroad takes a flat 10% fee for each sale, but then again, it’s totally free to sell on Gumroad (compared to Etsy and its listing fees), and you can set up a store in a day.

I have used Gumroad for years and consider the platform to be one of the best to sell anime-related artwork and tools.

Sketchmob

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Sketchmob is the ultimate place for commission-based sales. It aims to give its customers the convenience of uploading a photo, picking out an artist they like, and getting a custom art piece with a quick turnaround.

There’s a huge demand for manga and anime-style artists. If you don’t mind drawing for other people, you can upload your portfolio and start advertising your services today.

While you’re likelier to make bigger sales on this platform, you’ll also be subject to a 15% fee. But look at it this way: you get to hone your drawing skills, and you get paid!

Etsy

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Within the span of a decade, Etsy has grown from a simple idea to a large-scale corporation. Just like its predecessor, eBay, you can open your own basic storefront and list items for sale.

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Etsy statistics of 2021

You’ll pay a listing fee of $0.20 regardless of whether your item sells (which can add up quickly). When you do make a sale, you’ll only pay a flat 5% fee per sale. Overall, Etsy is a great place to sell prints, digital downloads, or take commissions. 

They’ll also act as an intermediary when it comes to refunds or customer service requests, which is nice. So paying a little for that is more than acceptable.

DeviantArt

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DeviantArt was the site to go to in the early and mid-2000s. They’ve upgraded the site quite a bit since the old days, and they now offer a “shop” section that sells both digital and print art.

One of the best things about using DeviantArt to sell anime drawings is the massive social community grounded within the platform. It’s incredibly easy to interact with and advertise to your target audience.

Ready for the kicker? Your art has to be approved before it can be listed for sale. Apparently, DeviantArt aims to provide only the best, high-quality art to its customers, so it’s highly selective of who gets in and who doesn’t (and it’s not entirely too fond of anime artists, for some reason).

The transaction fees are quite high as well, at 20%. However, they do offer various monthly memberships that can lower these rates.

Overall, the transaction fee scheme is quite complicated, so this site is probably not the best for starting-out artists.

Redbubble

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Redbubble has to be one of the coolest sites to sell your work on in the modern age. You upload your custom design, and customers can pick any number of Redbubble’s high-quality products to put on.

You can feature your art on phone cases, hoodies, and even duvets! But the most popular choice among customers is stickers and t-shirts.

Some artists generate full-time income exclusively from their sticker sales. Your finished products also serve as a form of free advertisement if you include your handle in your artwork.

Set your custom price and let Redbubble take care of everything from manufacturing to shipping.

Regarding fees, Redbubble will take a percentage out to cover the cost of the item made and shipping fees. Everything else (the markup) is the artist’s profit.

The base prices, especially for items such as stickers or postcards, aren’t terribly high, and you’ll still walk away with a pretty large profit. You can use their pricing tool to get an estimate of how much you’ll make after the markup.

Society6

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Society6 is one of Redubble’s leading competitors. Their site shops more like an online home and accessory marketplace, and here you’ll likely see fewer manga, anime, or pop culture-centered designs.

There are a few other red flags. Not all items allow the artist to set a custom price or increase their profit margin. All other items run a flat 10% commission fee, and that’s for the artist, not the company!

While there’s a lot to be said about the quality of Society6’s items, having a 10% profit margin is enough to turn many artists away.

Inprnt

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Inprnt is a premium art gallery gone virtual. To gain access to this site as an artist, you’ll need to either receive an exclusive invitation or be voted in by community members.

Inprnt is highly selective of what artists (and art styles) they accept into their gallery. Once you’re in, however, they’ll handle all of the customer fulfillment and shipping. Loish, for example, is using Inprnt to sell her prints.

Inprnt allows users to choose among framed or gallery-wrapped canvases, prints, phone cases, and more. But one of the biggest things about getting accepted into Inprnt is that you’ll gain access to their cult-like following and some big sales.

Their prices tend to run higher than the other platforms on this list, and that’s in addition to the fact that they also only offer around 50% commission. You can decide whether or not it’s worth your time to get in.

Artfinder

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Artfinder is another upscale gallery platform that caters to both digital and physical works.

The typical customer browsing Artfinder is looking for an authentic piece to accentuate their home, which may or may not align with your work as an anime artist.

But Artfinder does make a great option for artists looking to sell their original drawings if that’s the path you’d rather take.

Like some other sites, they have a membership option for artists that will get you anywhere from 40% commission to 33% commission.

Zazzle

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Zazzle is like a camouflaged version of Redbubble or Society6. Like those stores, they will print your designs on a variety of different products (and a greater variety at that).

In addition to supporting independent artists, they also produce products using licensed designs such as Marvel, Peanuts, and Disney characters. 

Having your designs appear among recognizable brands or icons will help you gain some legitimacy.

Royalties on physical goods are actually really great, in comparison to sites like Inprnt or Artfinder. You’ll only pay 5% for most items, although certain, more expensive items can run upwards of 10-20%.

Bigcartel

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This online shopping platform has exploded among influencers, YouTubers, and celebrities. At its core, it’s the same kind of you-design-it, we-print-it platform.

What makes Bigcartel unique is the shopping experience. It’s similar to Shopify in that you can fully customize your own website and storefront, creating a more tailored and professional appearance.

You also have the option to list your own products that aren’t fulfilled by Bigcartel.

Rather than pay transaction fees, you’ll have to pay monthly in order to make listings on your site. Your first five listings are free, and plans after that range from $9.99 to $29.99.

These membership plans also come with added features, such as MailChimp, themes, and a custom domain, so it pays for itself.

Storenvy

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Storenvy is a diverse online marketplace that features indie creators of fashion, jewelry, beauty, cosplay, and art.

It’s another great place to set up your own storefront and merch lines. Although they’re somewhat of a newer company on the market, they have a neat little community (including a Facebook group for creators).

There’s a huge support system in place for both customers and artists, and they charge a flat 15% commission on everything.

While that may be a little steep, you’ll appreciate the straightforwardness in favor of convoluted membership plans.

Printful

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Art meets dropshipping with the company Printful. With Printful, you can upload your designs and have them printed on over 250 different, high-quality items.

There’s not exactly an online marketplace for users to shop through, however. With Printful, it’s up to you as an artist to sell your designs on any of the platforms mentioned here today.

When you make the sale, you can use Printful to create and ship the product to your customer. Voila!

Dropshipping reimagined.

List your drawings on sites like Amazon or eBay, and have Printful take care of the fulfillment. There’s no order minimum, and the only cut Printful will take out of your profit is the cost of making the goods.

Feature image credits.

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