Pick of the Week: Society6
Society6 is a store front where you can buy high quality giclée prints and other items like tote bags, mugs, t-shirts, and phone case from artists around the world. I have ordered from Society6 twice before and since I often link to Society6 artists pages in my featured artist posts on Saturdays and will be recommending prints from there on my Christmas picks starting next week I thought I’d share my experience with them. First off though I’d like to mention that this will only be a review of their prints as I’ve never bought any of the other items and will likely not do so in the upcoming future.
The giclée prints are definitely high quality and look amazing whether it’s a smaller print or a larger print. The price does depend on the artist however I find the prints across the board are very reasonably priced and since the store often runs a free shipping deal usually once a month it helps with the cost (they actually just finished one this weekend). They also take care when shipping to make sure the prints arrive without any damage, that means smaller prints are shipped with a cardboard square on both sides of the print and for large prints they ship them in a cardboard tube. I’ve never received any damaged prints although you will have to take the time to flatten out the prints if you received them in the tube. My experience with their customer service department was very good as well. The first order I ever got from them I actually noticed imperfections that looked like printing errors in my two large prints and notified customer service. Without any hesitation they notify me that they were sending 2 replacements for the prints in questions at no charge and didn’t requiring me to return the default prints. Although I will mention their contact form is not the easiest to fill out.
It’s very hard to find good artists through their community as the same artists are always featured and even after relooking months later you end up seeing pretty much the same artwork as before. Another minor disappointment is they ship with DHL which is terrible for Canadians because the brokerage price for shipping is very high ($10 consistently regardless of how much you purchased). The second and probably the one that bothers me the most is the 1 inch board…it’s awful. Now I understand the store is aimed at international customers as well as North Americans so the ability to trim down the print to fit a frame is great but…I don’t want to have to do this. It should be a choice. None of the prints will fit any standard frame, in fact some of them are just plain bizarrely sized even if you remove the 1 inch board and when buying you have to remember that they never tell the true size of the actual print as all prints sizes are calculated with the board in mind meaning the print is 2 inches shorter in height and width.
The marketplace is not catered but rather generic to satisfy the broadest range of artist’s work as possible. There is no moderation it seems to artists that created their mini stores on the marketplace. Meaning there is no standard sizes it seems between artist and the work itself is not inspected for quality control. As I mention earlier about receiving 2 prints that had printing flaws in them, well after I received the 2nd set of prints with the same errors I look at the original image on the artist’s page and realized that these error were in fact in the image the artist uploaded to Society6 and happened prior to Society6 even printing it off. It was very disheartening to me that now I have to inspect images very carefully before ordering to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again. This seems like something Society6 should have hired employees to do so their customers can enjoy a carefree buying experience of knowing the quality is the same across the marketplace. All in all though these negatives would not persuaded me to stop using Society6 as my main way of buying prints but merely make me more willing to purchase prints in alternative ways if available by that specific artist.