Jul 30 2008

Cafepress forum posts censored- Topic: New VB Announcment

Published by under Cafepress,POD News

As Outraged Shopkeepers were in the middle of a HOT forum topic, The recent Volume Bonus (VB) restrictions for Cafepress, The forum went down and was unavailable to all. “The Official “Volume Bonus Program Change” Thread” Was buzzing with 65 pages of posts. When the forum thread came back on, it was minus 10 pages of posts. Hmmmmm Somebody obviously said something that hit home.

One post reveals the crux of the matter well:

And no matter what, it’s a hit for Christmas. An astronomical hit. And CP astronomically increases it’s own income for Christmas at the SK’s expense. That’s what’s so cold about all this.

And My Favorite:

CP is no longer just a fulfillment provider, CP is THE competitor. 500 section limited shops hitting saturation levels with SEO and keywords: search engine rankings of shops with 500 section limits flattening out the rankings; opening new shops just feeds the MP with designs and SEO to CP’s favor and sells more shop contracts but gets you nowhere as you are playing in a limited ballpark: meanwhile CP puts a shine on the MP: takes VB from SK’ers: CP attacks SEO with a vengeance even for misspellings to draw more traffic to MP: CP investing in advertising to the MP …. need I go on????

Thinking it over, I guess some of you are right. They are NOT our customers, at least NOT anymore!

Oddly enough, the chat scheduled for that night and summing up the entire thread is this post:

The way the chat was handled was very disrespectful on the SK’s. OK, if you wish to believe the chat room went down, OK, things happen and servers go down. That was what 5 days ago? This is one of the biggest changes to affect SK’s that has been rolled out so far and the decision makers are still not in contact with SK’s or even scheduled? chat should have been set-up on Friday or an impromptu on any of the other dozens of chat servers or even IRC (gee, a free chat server?!?!?)

The chat room was down Thursday — no conspiracies there.

We received feedback from SKs that they prefer the “plan b” chat format… and since all the questions that came in were answered by Fred we felt another chat was not needed. If you have any additional questions that were not answered in chat, please let me know. We are definitely open to the idea for another chat…

Call me pessimistic maybe but this is probably the most controversial change CP has made in over a year and it just ends with the comment that “We are definitely open to the idea for another chat…”?

What a JOKE!

Please read this Open Letter to Cafepress very well thought out and Extremely well written by a fellow blogger and shopkeeper -

I give this advice because I care about Cafepress and because they have been good to me. This advice is as follows … consider it sort of an open letter to Cafepress.

Cafepress:

You have begun doing some things that are upsetting a lot of people that helped make you what you are today and getting in the way of them continuing to help you grow. Previously you limited premium shop sizes to 500 sections, increased base prices on some items and now are rearranging the way commissions are being pay with one obvious goal – to increase revenues on the backs of those that are your lifeblood.

Read the entire letter at TSHIRT ENTREPRENEUR ONLINE

Another of our favorite POD Blogs also has a good  conversation going on- Visit POD for YOU!

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Jul 09 2008

CafePress wins bid war for Imagekind

Published by under Cafepress,Imagekind,POD News

ImageKind Store Front

Quite possibly the biggest move of the year for Cafepress- According to sources; Imagekind, an online art and poster site that also offers customized framing services, has agreed to be sold to CafePress for $15 million to $20 million in cash and stock. Zazzle, a CafePress competitor backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also was aggressively bidding for Imagekind. According to sources, Imagekind decided to sell because both CafePress and Zazzle were moving into the online framing business.

In an interview Tuesday, Imagekind Chief Executive Kevin Saliba said the company decided to sell now because CafePress is the leader in print-on-demand services, best known for its customized T-shirts. Imagekind employs 26 people in Seattle and Portland, with plans to add a few new employees in the coming months. Saliba declined to say whether the company was profitable, but he said the business has grown in revenue, traffic and artists every month since it was founded in 2006. He declined to offer revenue or traffic figures.

This brings up many questions ..

Will Cafepress continue to run Imagekind as a sperate entity or will it be absorbed into the Cafepress maze of product activity?

What about the current Imagekind gallery owners? Will they now need to purchase a Cafepress shop and what happens to their branding of someone at Cafepress already has their shopname ?

The MOST prominent question among the Imagekind gallery owners is What happens to the IK Share a Sale affiliates? Will they be forced to use Cafepress Commission Junction affiliate network? This poses a huge problem for many IK Gallery owners and is one of the main reasons some of the most successful left Cafepress over a year ago when Cafepress changed their affiliate program to CJ.
One concerned Cafepress shopkeeper states:

“… I think mixing the two product lines together in one website – t-shirts and “real” fine art prints (vs what they sell as fine art prints
right now) – would be a huge mistake. The shopper base is looking for very
different things on each website. IK and CP were not “competitors” … CP’s
current framed fine art prints do not compare in any way shape or form with
what is offered at IK and the difference between the greeting cards …
well … I have one each of the IK greeting cards and the paper is very
suitable for framing as fine art … exquisite quality …. they are not
standard printed greeting cards.”

Expect more surprises.

Read more on this controversial issue of the Imagekind take over by Cafepress:

Seattlepi.com ;Venturebeat.com ;TechCrunch.com ;SeattleTimes ;POD for You ;WebproNews ;Imagekind Blog ;Cafepress News ;Cafepress Press Release ;T-shirt Talk

Man and Goat PaintingImagekind is a fine print, fine artwork gallery opportunity whereas Cafepress is driven by specific current events and topic designs:
Example of fine artwork by an Imagekind artist: Man and a Goat by Sylvia Kula

Artwork is presented using frame and mat and can be purchased by customer with a large variety of mats and frames, making a painting either a very expensive wall presentation or an inexpensive fine print artwork display with the decision made by the buying customer.

Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirt Cafepress offers shopkeepers a medium for sending specific messages concerning hot topics such as Breast Cancer Awareness or Political Views on affordable merchandise:

Another statement by a seasoned concerned Shopkeeper, Affiliate, Gallery Owner:

Quote:”I never considered IK direct competition to CP. As I wrote in the CP
forums this morning, the only thing they *really* have in common is
that they’re both classified as Print on Demand. CP’s posters were
never a serious competitor to IK’s $500+ framed fine art prints. It
was the difference between buying framed art at an upscale gallery and
buying framed art at Walmart or Target. The prints and frames at
Walmart are nice, but they’re not gallery-material. CP could make a
run at keeping the brand and keeping the product lines and everything,
and that would be great… but my purely speculative opinion right now
is that they’re unlikely to do it.”

This is certainly a Very Hot topic and it will be interesting to say the least on how it all evolves, Expect the Unexpected.

Time to check out the new Loxly Gallery Deborah Carney’s Loxly Gallery for fine prints and gallery submissions by artists with quality artwork. Read more about Loxly Gallery at ABestWeb Forum

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