October 3, 2023

Battle of the Merch Shops: Artist Shops vs. Spreadshops.

If you’re looking to print some quality on-demand merchandise then you’ll be glad to know that there are quite a few options available to you. Sadly, most of them are very similar and it’s often difficult to tell which would be more suited to your exact needs. Perhaps you’re an artist looking to make a bit of profit from a new design of yours, or maybe you’re distributing shirts for an upcoming non-profit event.

Each service offers a variety of different features and you’d be surprised at the options available, so in this article, we’re going to compare two of the most popular options; Threadless Artist Shops and Spreadshop.


Both Artist Shops and Spreadshop follow a simple idea; you sign up, you design something, you upload it and then you can print the design on a range of different pieces of merchandise. Sometimes it’s shirts, sometimes it’s hoodies and you may even have the option of duvet covers. There’s a wide range of different things available to print your design on and you often only pay for the base cost of the merchandise item plus a small fee for printing your design.

It’s a great way to get started with your very own business but it’s also a simple way to set up a merchandise store for a specific event or even for an educational institute. Whatever your reason for setting up print-on-demand merch options, both Artist Shops and Spreadshop can be viable options. However, they do have a couple of important differences that are important to understand before you decide to register and invest your time and resources into one or the other.

Threadless Artist Shops


For starters, both companies claim to have no initial setup costs and this is true. Regardless if you pick Artist Shops or Spreadshop, the service is free to use and you technically don’t have to even register a credit card or pay for a subscription charge. Artist Shops even advertises that they won’t even ask for your credit card. However, while they might not charge a fee, they do mark up the base cost to account for the additional services they provide you such as easy payment processing.

Artist Shops takes a set amount of money depending on what you’re selling. For instance, their base price for custom shirts is $15 and anything you make above that is profit for you. On the other hand, Spreadshop keeps 40% of the base cost. This means that at lower merchandise costs, Artist Shops takes a higher cut. However, once the price of an item starts to increase, the 40% take from Spreadshop can start to add up. However, Spreadshop does advertise an additional 20% commission and potentially up to an additional 40% per sale.

The winner here goes to Spreadshop for lower-priced items thanks to the 40%, but if you’re attaching a mid to high price tag on your items, then Artist Shops can make you a little more money.

Selection of Merchandise

In terms of selection for merchandise, both services offer typical things such as custom merchandise and custom shirts, but they also offer a rather unique range of merchandise that helps to separate themselves from each other.

For example, Artist Shops offers device cases, a range of different clothing items, throw pillows, art prints and even rugs. Their overall website focus seems to be geared towards artists which can often limit the practical usage of the service. On the other hand, Spreadshop offers a wider range of custom merchandise such as more clothing options, drawstring bags, cases for specific phone models, camper mugs and even drinkware.

When it comes product availability, the win goes to Spreadshop for simply having more choice available.


Artist Shops has a very clear focus on art and artists, but they do also advertise their services for nonprofits, schools, creators and sports. However, when it comes down to the range of merchandise available, we feel that Spreadshop takes the cake here due to the much wider range of merchandise available. It also doesn’t have such a clear focus on artists. It’s not in the name and the range of products they support can help you fill your merchandise store with more unique offerings, something that Artist Shop cannot provide.

Spreadshop has the advantage

So to conclude, if you’re going to set up a versatile merchandise store then Spreadshop is the ideal option. However, if you’re focusing on art, plan to add a mid-range price tag to your items and aren’t bothered by a limited selection of merchandise, then Artist Shops can be a viable choice as well.

One thought on “Battle of the Merch Shops: Artist Shops vs. Spreadshops.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: