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Anyone Making Money with Cafepress?

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by m8tr, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. #1
    We jsut started a site and have put up a few designs on a cafepress site and linked to it from our main site. Before we put to much time and effort into more designs for any t-shirts est, I wanted to find out if anyone is making any money on cafepress that would justify or even pay for the amount of time required?
    SEMrush
     
    m8tr, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  2. my3cents

    my3cents Peon

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    #2
    I found their products are bit over-priced. And due to that fact, I have never sold much product. Might be better buying in bulk from a wholesaler and doing the sales/shipping yourself if you are planning on making a business out of it. If it is just for promotion/fun, then cafepress works and is easy.

    Good luck!
     
    my3cents, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  3. yfs1

    yfs1 User Title Not Found

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    #3
    The success stories I have heard have always been successful sites that met a demand for personalized products and not by selling them as their main business.
     
    yfs1, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  4. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #4
    I'm still looking for a company that offers other colors of T-shirts, especially black. I sold a few, got 1 check, and then nothing for the last 5 months.
     
    dvduval, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  5. 5starAffiliates

    5starAffiliates Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I know of one affililiate that's into photography that I think does pretty well selling her designs.
     
    5starAffiliates, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  6. BigEasy

    BigEasy Peon

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    #6
    I've sold a few items, but nothing really noteworthy, and not enough to justify upgrading to the pro shop. Of course, my shop is more of a gag than anything - not too many people out there want to buy items that promote the "Vegetable Rights Militant Movement" and it's cause :)
     
    BigEasy, Jul 15, 2005 IP
  7. mobo

    mobo Guest

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    #7
    mobo, Jul 17, 2005 IP
  8. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #8
    Thank You, Mobo!
     
    dvduval, Jul 17, 2005 IP
  9. mobo

    mobo Guest

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    #9
    Your welcome, hope it works out for you..
     
    mobo, Jul 17, 2005 IP
  10. UndiesHosting

    UndiesHosting Active Member

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    #10
    my experience with them has been negative for two reasons.

    First of all the quality of the product is VERY sub-standard. These shirts are not screen printed but rather heat transferred. The designs fade very quickly. When I changed the name of a business that I ran, I used them initially because I didn't want to incur the start up fees of printing my own inventory.

    I simply couldn't accept my company name and logo "printed" at such low quality.

    In addition to this, their prices are very high, which means if you want to make profit on items, you need to charge what I feel is above fair market price for these items. Combined with the low quality of the product and you can virtually eliminate any chance at all of a return customer.
     
    UndiesHosting, Jul 19, 2005 IP
  11. largeheartedboy

    largeheartedboy Peon

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    #11
    I agree, the quality in the past has been very low and the price point is high. I'd rather get my items produced local by a quality shop and either handle the shipping myself or farm it out to a company like Sharing Machine
     
    largeheartedboy, Jul 19, 2005 IP
  12. kc3

    kc3 Peon

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    #12
    kc3, Jul 19, 2005 IP
  13. Webturtle

    Webturtle Guest

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    #13
    I have two stores on Cafe Press and yes, I've made money - not a lot but enough for a nice extra income. IF I wanted to make more money and either of these were my core business then I'd certainly go with the other options. But I really like not having to maintain it all the time, store merchandise, outlay huge amounts of money to buy product and set up my own fulfillment. I simply wanted 1) extra revenue and 2) a way to sell products with my designs. I agree the prices are high and thus, i can't make more than $2-4 per item sold - but I have not experienced bad quality. I have a number of shirts here that have undergone normal washing that are still fine, the tile pieces and mugs are very nice, and the printing is excellent for posters and notecards. I get VERY good feedback from customers.

    Anyway - making money does not happen over night and certainly not without extensive promotion.

    One of my stores, HomeBizWear.com has gotten a tremendous amount of press, blog and radio coverage and that has been very good for sales. However, until they allow me to set up an affiliate program with it, I'll be losing a lot of that. That store sells merchandise aimed at home based business - and there doesnt' appear to be anything else like it - but the owners of forums for home business owners want in and I can't do it til the rumored affiliate program this fall. So, at this stage - when I do a lot of promotion, sales go up, when I concentrate on other projects, they dip.

    The DigitalPhotoCollages.com store is custom and a way for me to sell fantasy art I do in Photoshop. I get a steady stream of sales - enough to pay for itself and certainly make some profit - but again, if I neglect it, it falls to the way side. I tried at one point to push traffic to it with Adwords and then backed off because I didn't have the time to put into learning it.

    Anyway - I'm a fan of Cafe Press, after 2+ years of using it - and certainly admire their business model.
     
    Webturtle, Jul 22, 2005 IP
    wkw likes this.
  14. davert

    davert Banned

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    #14
    Selling at cost - I've had very few sales - despite six-figure monthly unique-visitor counts. So if it's not part of your core business, it may not work. Selling art via CafePress makes sense... though I also find their prices very high!
     
    davert, Jul 22, 2005 IP
  15. JeremyCade

    JeremyCade Peon

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    #15
    I use cafe press for concept shirts, or one off customized things. It's great for that.. I would never use it for my core business.. Shipping times from America to the rest of the world are rediculas.. I can print, pack and ship a shirt from here in Australia to America in 4 days. It takes 15+ days to get anything the other way.
     
    JeremyCade, Jul 28, 2005 IP
  16. m8tr

    m8tr Peon

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    #16
    We just started using them and so far only had 2 sales and both of them turned around and canceled because it was taking to long for Cafepress to ship. We ordered a ton of our own stuff to give away on our site and it took forever to get to us. I think if you have a unique item like custom photography and you drive traffic to it from your site you could do pretty good. But just selling t-shirt designs is tough. One thing you can't beat is your start up costs with Cafepress!
     
    m8tr, Aug 10, 2005 IP
  17. Lynn Terry

    Lynn Terry Peon

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    #17
    What a great thread. I really appreciate everyone sharing their experience in so much detail, as I was actually considering adding a cafepress store to one of my newer sites.

    It's a dart supply site, and we play locally - so a lot of the promotion will be word of mouth in addition to search engines. I had considered taking the league images and creating a variety of items (different styles of shirts, boxers, etc) for the players, which would be fun.

    One of the players actually owns a local screen printing shop, so perhaps I should chat with him about partnering on this and going that route instead. Definitely an option.

    Outside of that, anyone know of a similar set-up to CafePress - any competition out there to check out?
     
    Lynn Terry, Aug 11, 2005 IP
  18. Webturtle

    Webturtle Guest

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    #18
    I've placed a half dozen or so orders in the last 2 years and although its not the instant gratification of some online stores, it is still quite fast. So, I'm not sure why some people have slow turnaound and others don't... although I've heard it takes forever to deliver overseas. Considering they are printing on demand, I never questioned the week or so it took getting a product.

    Lynn, there is one competitor that I know of - http://www.zazzle.com - I haven't tried them though! But I think your dart league is a good idea - I wanted to do the same for my choir but while the members loved the idea, the board didn't, because i would have profited (heaven forbid :mad: )

    Your local screen printing guy might take offense so I'd ask him what he'd charge comparatively so you don't tick him off - but with Cafe press you give people the chance of putting the design on so many more options
     
    Webturtle, Aug 11, 2005 IP
  19. Lynn Terry

    Lynn Terry Peon

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    #19
    Yes, I'm thinking he'll pass on the offer because he stays swamped and wouldnt want the "print on demand" (and on a variety of items) job.

    League sign-ups are Wednesday, so I'll see what people think of the idea. That will be the time they come up with "team names" too, so people may be into the idea of getting cool shirts etc.

    I'll check out the link you gave - thanks!!
     
    Lynn Terry, Aug 11, 2005 IP
  20. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #20
    I've made like $26 in the last 6 months with them. It is only one store, and a very niche market. I think I could do better if I invested more time in it. Right now, I don't have the time. I have to concentrate on the things that do actually make money.
     
    Mia, Aug 12, 2005 IP