If you have an interest in unique art and graphic design, then you may have heard of Redbubble.
The online store boasts unique t-shirts and other product designs that range from original artwork to fandom merchandise.
Redbubble is a place where artists can show off their graphic design artworks.
Consumers can then buy that art on t-shirts, mugs, and other products.
Users will also find that while the prices on products may be low, the cost of shipping them is high.
For some, the cost of shipping may prohibit them from buying the product at all.
Here are 10 reasons Redbubble shipping is so expensive.
Why Is Redbubble Shipping So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Third-Party Artists
Redbubble doesn’t necessarily print or produce the items that you buy in its store.
It’s more like a marketplace that gives artists a place to show off their products and artwork.
It’s similar to Etsy in that way.
Since Redbubble doesn’t print or produce anything, it has no control over how fast or expensive shipping is.
It’s up to the artist from whom you’re buying.
Some artists may do all the shipping themselves.
That might mean they need to charge a certain amount to cover their own expenses.
Others might use a program or service to handle their shipping.
In so doing, the price of using that program or service may add to the shipping cost.
Since shipping is dependent on the seller, many variables can cause that third-party seller to charge a high shipping price.
2. Printer Location
Not all artists or sellers have printers either.
Depending on the product, they might use another company’s services to print the product, then send it to you.
The location of the printer also impacts the price of the shipping.
If they ship directly from the store, for example, then the store may be a long distance from your home.
If that’s the case, then it’s going to cost more to get there.
That means the shipping cost is higher.
If the artist can use a printer closer to your home, then it might be cheaper, but it’s ultimately up to them.
Redbubble shipping is expensive because the printers used to print products and artwork could be anywhere in the world.
3. Packaging Materials
Another major factor that plays into how expensive your Redbubble shipping is is the packaging.
Some products are delicate and require a lot of packaging to keep them safe.
Other artists choose to use high-quality materials to make their packaging.
Those who focus on premium services, for example, may choose to make the packaging as much a part of the order as the product itself.
Because packaging prices vary based on the materials used and the size of the product, shipping costs also vary.
Larger products that need more packaging materials, for example, will be more expensive than smaller products.
Artists who use premium-quality packaging materials will also have a higher shipping cost.
Redbubble shipping is expensive because of the price and size of the packaging materials that the seller uses to ship out their products.
4. Multiple Orders
If you buy several orders, then it also impacts your shipping price on Redbubble.
Having multiple orders can increase the price of shipping because it requires more packaging materials and more space on the truck.
You can sometimes save money on shipping by buying multiple orders, however, if they run a special promo.
The primary reason that having multiple orders increases shipping costs is the fact that those products may use different printers.
If the orders are all different types (for example, one is a shirt and another is a mug), then the store or printer that the artist uses may not support it.
They may need to use one printer for one type of product and another printer for another type of product.
That means a higher cost of shipping since the artist has to pay for two different services.
Those printers could also be far from each other.
One may be in one state while the other might be in a different state.
As a result, it takes two different delivery trucks to ship your order.
That’s two separate shipping costs.
If one is further than the other, then it’s going to be more expensive.
Ordering multiple products from Redbubble can greatly increase the cost of shipping.
Redbubble shipping is expensive because multiple orders can sometimes make the shipping process complex.
6. International Shipping
Redbubble is a unique marketplace in that it doesn’t restrict artists to only being from one region.
There are several artists and sellers on Redbubble who come from across the world rather than only the United States.
However, if you’re buying from an international seller, then you can expect expensive shipping.
That’s because the product is traveling a long distance.
The seller has to use packaging materials that will ensure its safe arrival over an ocean.
That makes it more expensive from the start.
There’s also the cost of exporting the product.
Whether the transport happens via the ground or by air, it takes money to bring it to a port.
Then the product has to travel across the ocean.
That’s even more expenses added to it.
Once it arrives in the United States, it will likely need to go through customs if a carrier isn’t handling the shipping.
That adds to the cost of shipping the item.
Finally, it ends up in the hands of a local carrier.
They may deliver by ground or by air depending on your preferences.
Both will add to the cost of shipping.
Once it finally arrives at your door, the package has racked up a considerable expense in terms of its shipping.
The seller won’t want to pay for it since they’re trying to maximize profit.
The cost of shipping falls to you.
Redbubble shipping is expensive because it’s costly to ship products to the United States from other countries.
7. Weight Of The Product
The type of product that you buy can also impact Redbubble’s shipping costs.
Heavier items cost more to ship.
That’s because it adds weight to the truck which has to remain at a certain weight level to avoid having to pay fines.
Since some states have weight restrictions on various roads and highways, any truck that exceeds that weight has to pay a fine.
That’s because heavy trucks cause damage to the road.
To repair it, states use the fines collected from drivers to pay for the repairs.
Since delivery workers receive payment based on how many packages they can carry and deliver, having a heavy item onboard can impact their profits.
They’re not able to carry as much on the truck because they don’t want to go over the weight limit.
Since that cuts into their profits, they have to charge extra on the product to make up for the loss.
Heavier products are also more costly to ship.
Since they’re heavy, they contribute to the amount of drag the truck experiences while driving on a surface.
To overcome the drag, the engine uses more fuel.
That means the truck needs more fuel more often.
That increases the expense of shipping the product.
To make their money back on fuel, carriers increase the price of shipping for a heavy item.
Redbubble shipping is expensive if you’re buying a heavy object or product from them.
8. Size Of The Product
The size of the item also contributes to how expensive the shipping is going to be.
Larger items take up more space in the truck.
Since there’s less space in the truck, they can’t carry as many deliveries.
That impacts how much profit they’re going to see on that specific truckload.
To ensure that they cover their operational costs, the carrier charges more on larger products.
If you’re buying something large from Redbubble, then you can expect a higher price on shipping than if you had bought something small.
Redbubble shipping is expensive because large products take up more space in the truck and cause carriers to make less profit.
9. Express Shipping
Redbubble offers a few different ways to ship your product.
Since it’s reliant on third parties to do the shipping, not every product qualifies for every type of shipping method.
It’s also restricted to certain countries.
One of the fastest ways to ship your product is with Express Shipping.
Through Express Shipping, your product only takes a few days to arrive instead of a few weeks.
However, it’s also the most expensive way to ship.
Express Shipping is more expensive because it forces the seller to focus solely on that order.
It may interrupt their process or make them less efficient when handling the other orders.
Because of that, it impacts their overall profitability.
To make up for that loss, they take a small portion of the shipping fee for themselves.
It also means they need to use the fastest shipping methods available to them.
That usually means air travel.
Air travel is far more expensive than ground travel because it costs more to fuel a plane up.
It also costs more to pay pilots and related staff than drivers.
Express Shipping makes everyone in the shipping process prioritize that particular order.
It costs them some money to do so which is why the shipping price is higher.
It offsets the expense.
Redbubble shipping is expensive when you choose Express Shipping because it uses a costlier method of travel.
10. Special Handling
Some items that you buy from Redbubble require special handling.
They sell everything from clocks to tapestries when it comes to delicate items.
To ensure their products arrive safely at the buyer’s home, sellers have to include special handling instructions to carriers.
Whenever a product needs special handling, the shipping cost automatically becomes higher.
That’s because it requires the carrier to pay special attention to that one specific item.
It might also mean that the carrier needs to make a few changes or install a few things in their truck or plane to ensure the product’s safe arrival.
Tapestries, for example, are very delicate.
They have to stay out of the sunlight and can’t be exposed to moist environments.
Clocks need to use dense packaging materials and need to stack on top of other items for their safety.
Because it slows down the process, the carrier is less efficient and less profitable.
To make up for the lost time and profit, the shipping price on special products is higher.
Redbubble shipping is expensive when you buy a product that requires special handling.
How To Save Money On Redbubble Shipping
Although Redbubble doesn’t offer free shipping, there are a few ways that you can make it a little cheaper.
Here are a few tips you can use to save money on Redbubble shipping.
1. Use Coupon Codes
Since Redbubble is an online retailer, you won’t find physical coupons for this particular store.
Instead, you’ll want to try and find coupon codes.
Redbubble rarely, if ever, offers free shipping.
However, their coupon codes can offer a discount on shipping fees.
Make it a regular habit of looking through various coupon sites to find shipping discounts before making your purchase on Redbubble.
Several of these coupon sites also offer browser extensions that will search through all available codes and apply the best one to your purchase.
2. Bundle Purchases
One way that Redbubble will help decrease shipping costs is if you bundle your products.
That usually means that you buy more than one or you buy a similar product.
They may be running a special promotion, or the seller might be trying to get rid of some stock.
To do so, they’ll run a bundle discount.
You can get two or more products for a cheaper shipping price.
If you know that you want to buy a few items on Redbubble, then bundling your purchases can be a great way to save money on shipping.
3. Limit To Domestic Purchases
You can also make shipping costs less expensive by buying from sellers who are in the same country as you.
You can make it even cheaper by choosing sellers who are in the same state or region as you.
By buying from sellers who are in the same country you are in, you cut out the expensive portion of international travel.
The cost of shipping is also greatly reduced.
If you can buy from someone in the same state as you, then that’s even fewer miles for them to ship across.
It’s easy to find out where a seller comes from.
You’ll see it on their Redbubble store page.
You can also filter your product searches based on location.
By limiting yourself to sellers in the same country, you can cut down on how expensive your shipping costs will be.
4. Standard Shipping
Redbubble sometimes gives you a few different ways to ship your product.
Express Shipping is the most expensive type.
While you’ll get your item faster, it can also be expensive.
To save money, you should choose the standard shipping method instead.
It could take several weeks for your item to arrive, but you’ll have saved a lot of money in the process.
If you don’t need the item immediately, then you should choose standard shipping to save money.
Is Buying From Redbubble Worth It?
Considering the high price of shipping, you may wonder if buying products from Redbubble is worth it.
Here are a few reasons why it is worth buying from Redbubble.
1. Original Artwork
One of the best aspects of Redbubble is that it’s a place where artists can post original artwork.
This is artwork that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
You can get it on t-shirts, blankets, mugs, notebooks, and an assortment of other things.
You can also find artwork featuring your favorite characters from a specific fandom.
Whether that’s Harry Potter, Marvel, Star Wars, or Star Trek, you’re sure to find an artist who has something for you.
Since it’s usually original, you have a chance of sporting some apparel that few others have in your area.
That type of exclusivity alone is worth the extra shipping price.
2. Larger Products
Buying smaller products like stickers on Redbubble likely isn’t worth it.
Something that costs a few dollars on its own may jump to double digits after the shipping costs apply to it.
That isn’t worth the money.
However, Redbubble is worth it if you’re buying a larger product.
Whether it’s apparel, notebooks, tech accessories, or other similar products, it makes more sense to buy these on Redbubble rather than smaller products.
Larger products cost more which makes paying for higher shipping costs easier to swallow.
If you want to buy products off of Redbubble, then to make it worth your while, stick with larger products and stay away from smaller products like stickers.
3. Unique Items
If you’re someone who likes to buy unique gifts for friends and family, then Redbubble has what you need.
Whether it’s tasteful, sentimental, or nerdy, there’s something for everyone in the store.
The best thing about those items is that they’re unique.
These aren’t items that you’ll find in your general store.
You may not even find them on Amazon.
That makes them a little more special since you put in a little more effort to get the item.
If you’re looking for unique items either for yourself or to give away as a gift, then Redbubble is worth it.
You’ll have access to an abundance of unique gifts in this store.
Shipping at Redbubble can sometimes be laughable at how expensive it is.
Due to having different printers around the world that print different products, it can be costly to ship them.
Redbubble also relies on third-party sellers to ship their items, and they might have special circumstances that increase the price of their shipping.
While it’s difficult to bring down the price of shipping costs, there are coupons and other methods you can use to save some money.
Finally, depending on the type of product that you’re buying, Redbubble is still worth it despite the expensive shipping costs.