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Anyone making real money with Cafepress, Zazzle, ShirtCity, etc?

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Pixelrage, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. ShpTeez

    ShpTeez Greenhorn

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    #41
    I use Social Networking sites to advertise, FB Twitter, Pinterest, Wanelo etc.. all free, I just do not have the expertise to use paid advertising - I do have thousands of designs in my shops all together. I also see that folks who affiliate designs from both Zazzle and Cafepress do affiliate my products which are sales I would not get on my own..
    SEMrush
     
    ShpTeez, Aug 14, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ShpTeez

    ShpTeez Greenhorn

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    #42
    Let me re-position myself on some aforementioned comments - Bottom line with POD's (Print on Demand Companies) is money.. they want to make money.. SO in order for YOU to have a piece of the pie, you must accept what they offer and go for it.. OR open your own t-shirt shop :) - Here's the deal : Zazzle has recently changed their TOS - no more Volume Bonus on sales unless they are sales generated by you in the way of using your affiliate number - whereas before it was based on sales OTHER than those driven by other affiliates - the pay schedule is so low it is almost impossible to generate a volume bonus UNLESS you are a full time affiliate - Read about it here : http://www.zazzle.com/sell/affiliates/volumebonus for me personally I am losing a ton of money -
    Old VB.JPG
    Nothing I can do about it but grin and bare it and try to make up the difference in just sales.. NOT easy to do with the new algorithms either. IN addition royalty changes have been lowered to 5% while the base price of products (before OUR royalty has been added) has increased by 5% - while they do not (YET) insist you only add 5% or 10% to your prices they DO say that when special sales are offered anything above this will most likely not be included in the sales. IN Addition they have removed ALL Ability to customize our shops and anyone who had links to their other shops with in the main shop is gone,, VERY VERY small at the bottom of each page is the designer profile where your shops can be listed IF a shopper goes to that page.. basically I see it taking away from the individual shopkeepers -

    NOW THAT being said - Cafepress on the other hand has recently (Very Timely I might add) has reached out to shopkeepers via the "newish" CEO Bob Martino with intentions of reorganizing Cafepress and making it a more shopkeeper/artist friendly place to work - and I MUST SAY.. I was impressed.. Cafepress is also going through major reorganization and I Did take the offer of giving CP another change when Bob Marino extended himself out to folks.. (he was NOT at CP when the big snafu happened but he is trying to make the proper changes for everyone). There are glitches of course with anything new - BUT what is being offered at CP is the ability to quickly put up designs and not have to bother with shop and shop sections - New Cafepress Design and List - (D&L) read about it here - http://www.cafepress.com/cp/shopkeepers/index.aspx?page=design-list-faq You upload the design, CP places it on products it fits on, and they are in the MP quicker- It is not perfect yet but they are working on it AS well as a better profile for each shopkeepers with quick ways to plug into social media sites. While they are focusing on MP sales they are ALSO putting the shopkeeper in better focus.
    Read about it here: http://announcements.cafepress.com/?p=1686

    SO.. What I am seeing is this.. While Cafepress made HUGE errors in the way they handled things in the past - I honestly believe it is a new beginning for them and I feel positive about being a part of CP once again - Luckily for serious designers, who like me, depend on their design sales as their only form of income, the positive changes at Cafepress seem to have come just as Zazzle seems to be offering designers less and less as a way to earn a living.

    Bottom line is this- Make GOOD designs - make sure they fit on each product you offer - even if they are only text - promote them as much as you can in any way you can - keep your shops fresh adding a design at least once every couple days if not daily - do not expect to make a living on 100 designs you never push - if one topic does not sell find a new topic - maybe even a new topic each week - expect to spend hours each day designing, adding to products, promoting - you will probably spend as much time daily if not more than you would at a day job.. if you want to actually have an income from selling on any POD.

    I will say - my earnings at Cafepress are for the first time in years higher than what I have earned at Zazzle so far this month.
     
    ShpTeez, Aug 14, 2013 IP
  3. Bobbymack

    Bobbymack Peon

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    #43
    I am thinking about joining one of sites such as zazzle or cafepress to sell my t-shirts or any or merchandise. If I set up a shop in their site do I have to also set up my own individual site and buy a separate domain name or is this just an option? Is is better to have a separate website and then incorporate that into the zazzle or cafepress site?
    All answers appreciated.
     
    Bobbymack, Aug 15, 2013 IP
  4. BRITTANEY86

    BRITTANEY86 Banned

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    #44
    Wow,this is impressive,I am really inspired by this.
    Thank you for the share and God bless too.
     
    BRITTANEY86, Aug 15, 2013 IP
  5. ShpTeez

    ShpTeez Greenhorn

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    #45
    No you do not have to have your own domain.. and I Will say.. go to wordpress.com and grab a free WP blog with your shop name (or any name you want) and use it as a personal advertising venue, WP gets great exposure from google.. even the free one..
     
    ShpTeez, Aug 16, 2013 IP
  6. webcliks

    webcliks Peon

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    #46
    seems like facebooks new ad system would serve you well. you can target some pretty exact stuff. for example if you like a group of people that in some college group. you can make a tshirt and then advertise specifically to every person in that group. it's pretty crazy.
     
    webcliks, Oct 11, 2013 IP
  7. MilMerchant

    MilMerchant Peon

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    #47
    I have been following this since I started my own shops in both zazzle and CP(Milmerchant in both), but I have not heard anyone mention a new company(Australian, but also with a store in the States) called "Redbubble"(http://www.redbubble.com). Now they only produce T-shirts, stickers and ipad/iphone cases, but they are only 2 years old. So far, my meager earnings between the three shops amount to around $50, but it is early days. I do 1-3 designs a day, but at this rate it will take me years to get enough designs up to make any real income. Also, I find it frustrating when I upload to zazzle and I get the design knocked back because of some copyright issue(I had one with a roundel of the RAF aircraft of WW1 and I was told thats a copyright issue and knocked back. Zazzle seem very anally retentive where as CP has the occasional heart attack and knocks back something of mine. I also dont like how Zazzle and the US Military are in bed together with their USFANMERCH(Products that are loosely affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps but do not bear official marks are restricted from assigning the following key words: USMARINESFANMERCH, United States Marines, USMC, US, as well as USARMY). Its a pain as I have uploaded images to be knocked back because of this, so I reupload and use different tags which are similar and they get passed.
    One other annoying this is that there are so many lame people on both CP and Zazzle who have endless pages of stuff pilfered from the web claiming it as their own work. Also, designers who have put stuff up but havent bothered to resize their products, cluttering the site. Dont get me started on tags. Seriously, how can a picture of a camel come up when you as for a F-14 Tomcat? Its 4am here and I cannot sleep, thats why I am ranting, but I wanted to say something.

    I will follow this post.

    MilMerchant
     
    MilMerchant, Jan 7, 2014 IP
  8. MilMerchant

    MilMerchant Peon

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    #48
    One major problem I have found with Zazzle, is that they are very anal regarding anything military as they have some deal with the US Military. If you put anything up, watch your keywords and tags. Just dont use words like "US Army", US Marines, Sikorsky Helicopter as these with generate your images being knocked back.
     
    MilMerchant, Jan 15, 2014 IP
  9. MilMerchant

    MilMerchant Peon

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    #49
    I just got a lot of my images knocked back because it had a picture of a HH-60 Jayhawk on a USCG logo. The logo wasnt the problem, it was knocked back because of this:-
    Unfortunately, it appears that your products, did not meet Zazzle’s Acceptable Content Guidelines. Specifically, your products infringed upon the intellectual property rights of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, manufacturer of the HH-60 Jayhawk.
    I love the next part:-
    We have been contacted by representatives from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and at their request, have removed the products from the Zazzle Marketplace.

    Does that mean that the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is plugged into Zazzle and checks before it allows Zazzle to operate? The images never even got to being posted for the public, so its a bullshit statement.

    The most common thing with Zazzle, Cafepress and Redbubble is they are not interested in your stores, your products or you. They prefer one off sales with someone uploading and printing their G rated picture once only. Once you get big enough to advertise on the net, your level of customer support drops proportionally.
     
    MilMerchant, Jan 15, 2014 IP
  10. tbtoyl

    tbtoyl Active Member

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    #50
    Guys and girls pay attention to build your primary business with other companies (Cafepress, Zazzle, ShirtCity, etc). Very dangerous.

    If they change just 1 point of their "Terms of service" you can be OUT of business! Try to create something by yourself (for example a good list of subscribers)
     
    tbtoyl, Jan 16, 2014 IP
  11. alfa1

    alfa1 Member

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    #51
    I have invested in XenReviews which will have affiliate network function functionality. This will allow me to add pages for any item from cafepress, zazzle, etc.
    Its still in development, as Alpha2 has been released this week. Alpha3 is expected next week.
    Feel free to suggest any functionality here: http://xenreviews.com/forums/features-functionality.4/
     
    alfa1, Feb 5, 2014 IP
  12. John Eulizer Nimo

    John Eulizer Nimo Active Member

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    #52
    I've used shirtcity once, made a few bucks but I never really continued because it wasn't worth it at that time.
     
    John Eulizer Nimo, Feb 5, 2014 IP
  13. tbtoyl

    tbtoyl Active Member

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    #53
    In my opinion you need to focus/invest on your business only. If you depend by others, it is dangerous
     
    tbtoyl, Feb 12, 2014 IP
  14. chinaberry

    chinaberry Greenhorn

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    #54
    I want to share my experience with Zazzle. I was a new artist on the site and I had made 3 sales. In the report it said that 2 of my sales were referred by a 3rd party. People can do that and get a little cut of the sale and you, as an artist get a little less profit. That's fine. 100% of zero is zero, right?

    BUT WAIT......One of these two sales that were supposedly referred by third parties was to my mother and I typed in my store URL myself.

    The other one was a quantity of postcards. I had made postcards from some of my vacation shots of a small town in northern California called Yreka. I got the genius idea of looking at the Yreka BBB and seeing if I could find local shops that might be interested in my postcards. I found a Mailboxes type store and emailed them with the link to my store. They bought about 25 postcards if I remember.

    Of course, I contacted Zazzle immediately to call them out on the lies. I knew there was no 3rd party involved. They said the sale to my mother was too old to look at (about 2 months). The wouldn't discuss the other sale. I closed my account and was owed $11 according to my account records. They paid me $9.

    It seems to me that if a 3rd party can refer your product and get a piece of the sale - their name should be listed on that sale. But at Zazzle they don't say who it is (at least they didn't at the time I had a store) and that's why they can lie about it. Zazzlers - watch your sales carefully
     
    chinaberry, Sep 18, 2015 IP
  15. degreubiwa

    degreubiwa Banned

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    #55
    My question here will be, how you drive traffic to the products for making sales?
     
    degreubiwa, Jan 16, 2017 IP
  16. DasCoin

    DasCoin Peon

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    #56
    Social networks, personal blogs, refferals...
     
    DasCoin, Feb 20, 2017 IP