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 24 2008

Cafepress punishes Shopkeepers While forcing Marketplace Sales

Published by under Cafepress,POD News

Just when we were thinking how wonderful Cafepress was being that they fought the GOP battle for the skopkeepers they lowered the boom on them! In time for the Huge election sales and Holiday sales, shopkeepers are given less than 8 days notice that their volume bonus awards for making sales will decrease – for some as much as 85%, making paychecks dive. Happy Holidays Shopkeepers!

Cafepress continues to promote to the shopkeepers to bring in traffic and the affiliate program stresses the use of banner ads driving the customer base to the marketplace.

In addition, recent changes to the marketplace have added huge “Add to Cart” buttons under each item listed when the customer clicks on a particular design when it used to be links to the shop that carried the design. Why you may ask? All in preparation for the latest development in “How to Screw the Cafepress Shopkeeper” by limiting the volume bonus money to ONLY sales that were added to the cart within the shop. I ask you.. With the use of these new “Add to Cart” buttons – where else do you figure the sale with originate but the marketplace? Do you Honestly think the customer will see the very tiny link under the design that says: From Whatevershop ? I think not.

You may wonder how this is affecting the shopkeeper ? Take a Close look! See the Cafepress Announcement here

At first glance this doesn’t look at all too bad UNTIL you take into consideration that the sales reports are so far skewed toward MP sales and not showing the TRUE Shop Sales- then it begins to make sense that all the complaining to the CP officials about the sales reports being off for the last year or so, have not been fixed. NOW you can see how this will benefit Cafepress and Screw the Shopkeeper.

When is this change effective?

This change will be effective August 1, 2008. Starting August 1, sales will be calculated with the new Shop Performance Bonus program, with the change reflected on the October’s commission check.

What is Cafepress Saying about this?

The Sales Source has been redefined so credit for a sale is given at the point an item is added to the cart. How is that different from before?

Before, credit for a sale was given at the point of entry, or where they first arrived at CafePress during a visit – from the Marketplace, Affiliate, or shop.

I am worried this change will affect my CafePress income. What is CafePress doing to help Shopkeepers most affected?

We understand this change will take some time to adjust and want to do what we can to minimize the impact. While Shopkeepers are learning how they can drive traffic to their shop, we will be offering a transition plan through the end of the year to ensure the small percentage of Shopkeepers who could be significantly impacted to offset a portion of the lost income.

Our analysis shows this does not apply to most Shopkeepers – those that will need assistance via the “transition plan” will be notified with each affected commission check, starting with the October 1, 2008 check (for the August pay period).

(Keep in mind NO ONE has mentioned what this supposed “transition plan” is)

For anyone wanting answers directly form Cafepress.. (I Highly doubt you will really get them though) Cafepress is hosting a chat on this very topic tonight.

“We will be hosting a Community Chat to address any questions you may have. Please join us Thursday, July 24 at 4:00 pm PT in the chat room.”

Hey Zazzle- Prepare for a huge influx of new galleries opening up!

UPDATE on CP Volume Bonus Chat:

Chat Room Unavailable

Hi Everyone,

If you are currently trying to log into the CafePress Chat Room and cannot, we are aware of the issue.  We are currently contacting our vendor for more information/ assistance.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Now why doesn’t this surprise me?

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