Apr 25 2009

Cafepress Heads for Self Inflicted Ruins

Published by under Cafepress,POD News,T-shirt News

April 22, 2009 started out to be a normal day for many artists who sell their merchandise at Cafepress, Once the leader in Print on Demand companies. Then the Bombshell hit. Shopkeepers being forced to accept 10% over a newly bloated base sticker price for all merchandise sold in the marketplace. Either that or opt out of the marketplace and lose those sales all together. Since most shopkeepers add at least $7 to say a $20 base price shirt, they will be forced to accept a $2 profit instead.
Needless to say Cafepress is digging it’s own grave as many of what is known as the Top Shopkeepers are now taking their designs elsewhere so as not to lose what for many of them is the sole income.

As one blogger puts it:
Lavender Newswire

In short, CafePress.com has screwed the shopkeepers — the artists, the designers, us, me. They’ve pulled massively boneheaded crap (designed to increase their profit margin while decreasing ours)

CafePress will undercut designers who sell on the marketplace and on their own shop. says Irregular Times read the entire article with this powerful headline: CafePress Announces Big Price Hikes for Buyers, Big Commission Cuts for Sellers

In more detail and obvious upset is the blog Wolfstad.com – who touches on not only this latest faxpaux by Cafepress but the earlier stabs in the back shopkeepers have recently been forced to withstand.
The article entitled:
CafePress Virtually Lays Off Thousands of Shopkeepers reads:

What CafePress announced yesterday that is making everyone very mad is that they will fix all prices in their marketplace and give shopkeepers only 10% of the final retail price. 10% is very low, as some shopkeepers have markups of as high as 30% to 40% to make a living. If in the past a t-shirt had a base price of $15 and the shopkeeper decided to have a $5 markup the t-shirt will sell for $20 and the shopkeeper will get $5. In the new scheme CafePress will be able to determine the retail price of all products in their marketplace and give the shopkeeper only 10%. So if they decide to sell the t-shirt for $18, the shopkeeper will get only $1.80. That is a huge cut in earnings.

read more…

Yet another blogger (The Kamranistan Blog) writes:Cafepress Slashes Royalties For Contributors by 75% While Increasing Its Own Profits by 40%.

There is a new uproar at the infamous Print On Demand company known as Cafepress. It was announced yesterday that they will make some changes that will benefit the customers and make their shopping experience better. This includes cleaning up the Cafepress marketplace by sorting and throwing out redundant designs to make browsing easier. This is something that fellow shopkeepers have been asking for for so long, so that’s the great part of the changes to be made in June. But what isn’t cool, is how we shopkeepers will benefit by making a measly 10% from marketplace purchases. As of right now, the agreement is that shopkeepers set their own prices whether the products are sold from the marketplace or directly from our shops. If a t-shirt’s base price is $14.99 and we set our markup to $8 that means that the final selling price to the customer would be $22.99. Now according to the new changes coming soon, shopkeepers will only receive 10% of $14.99 if the item is sold through the marketplace. Why is that bad? Well how would you feel if you were used to having your freedom as agreed in the TOS to sell your products at a reasonable price set by you and only you….only to have the agreement change and told that you will earn a whopping $1.49 for your design. A design that many shopkeepers have spend countless hours on on many days just to make a living.

So what is the answer? What do the shopkeepers do now? In the words of yet another blogger: Zazzle ‘em, Baby! words bolded by blogger Marianne Dow, a member of AVCOSA – Antiques, Vintage & Collectibles Online Sellers Assoc says:

So, what’s a seller to do? Well, you can run over to Zazzle, where they will welcome you with open arms. Zazzle will even give you a FREE SHOP.

Yes, it will be a lot of work – set up a shop, learn a new system, re-upload your images, and edit them to fit the Zazzle merchandise. Not to mention, change all the info and links on your own websites and blogs — and business cards, and… well, it’s a big ole hassle. But that is Cafepress’s fault.

At least Zazzle is there. Along with their larger selection of items to put your images on. And the freedom to sell at the price you set!

I was coming here to post the same thing!
This is absurd!!!!! So many shopkeepers ar PO’d and leaving.
I am leaving also! My work is worth a LOT more than 10%

says a post from a member of T-shirt Forums
Not to mention the huge fallout caused by Cafepress for all but removing the incentive volume bonus structure as reported in this blog: T-shirt Chat

I saw this coming a long time ago when marketplace sales were showing in my sales when I knew for a fact they were not marketplace as I see in my statcounter that they went directly to my shop because of my ads- and I worried about something fishy going on then- Oh well.. beef up your other PODs guys..

Over at Cafe Press Shopkeepers Unite the point is made quite clear:

Imagine if you have a store in a mall with two doors into your store… one from the mall and a private one for the store that only your customers know about. The stuff in your store costs one price for people that come in the private door and a different price for the people coming in from the mall – set by the mall owners. Same store, different prices. And then the mall claims that they are “not affecting” your store’s bottom line. Sure.

As I write this, the 6 million plus CP shopkeepers are mobilizing on the very CP community chat forums used to announce the policy changes, and in addition on facebook, yahoo and other blogs and boards on the web. We are alerting the national media and producing our own “counter” press releases because, quite simply, we outnumber them.

Apparently unbeknown to most shopkeepers this has been in the plans for quite sometime as I find in an old post from Direct Aug 2007:

Basically, CafePress member merchants upload their designs to CafePress. The company gives them an online store to sell from, produces the item on demand, handles payments, ships the order, and sends off a check to the merchant.

All of which brings us back to tagging. When the merchants send their designs to CafePress, they tag them with keywords that describe the categories to which they’re relevant, much the way users uploading photos or bookmarks to community sites tag their output to describe and organize it properly.

Gradually it dawned on the CafePress operators that they could use those tags to build more relevance into the product ads that the company ran on its network of Web site affiliates. Most of these are blogs, which tend to match the merchandise offered by CafePress in the strength and contrariety of their opinions.

“The tagging infrastructure is the foundation of how we allow people to search our marketplace,” says Maheesh Jain, CafePress co-founder and vice president of business development. “With the rise of contextual advertising and of blogging in general, tagging is becoming a big element in how people are identifying the content of their posts. So it just made sense for us to connect blogs and Web publishers to the content on our site through tagging.”

I will end with my very favorite blog on the topic – TSHIRT ENTREPRENEUR ONLINE

What Is Next For Cafepress?
Posted by: jjackson72

I’ve been chatting with some fellow disgruntled Cafepress shopkeepers about what the next shoe to drop over at that site will be.We’ve already had premium shops limited in size, price increases on basic items (strange because other companies are not following suit), and now the retooling of the volume bonus among other things that hurt shopkeepers while bolstering their bottom line.

Again, I don’t disparage Cafepress for wanting to make more money. What I disparage them for is doing it on the backs of those of us that make them successful and giving no significant notice of these changes for the most part. Call us “employees”, call us “business partners”, call us “independent contractors”, I don’t care which. The fact is that whatever you call us, we are Cafepress.

Make sure you go to the blog and read the entire article it is very well written and quite satirical albeit possibly more truism than not.
Read the article here:What’s Next for Cafepress
Well done jjackson72 !

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Feb 19 2009

Irish O’Bama Shirts for St Patrick’s Day

Published by under Zazzle

Our 3 favorite O’Bama (Obama) Irish T-shirt designs from Zazzle.com The name just asks to be Irish so grab an Irish O’bama  shirt for St Patrick’sDay 2009.

Obama Shamrock shirt
Obama Shamrock by PresidentObama08
Design a personalized tshirt Using zazzle.com
View other United States T-Shirts
Irish On The Inside shirt
Irish On The Inside by pattaya
Make Custom TShirts At zazzle
See more 03 March T-Shirts
Obama's Irish Pub Customizable T-Shirt shirt
Obama’s Irish Pub Customizable T-Shirt by OfficeGangsta
Tees made by zazzle
See other Major Holidays T-Shirts

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Sep 11 2008

NOBama at Zazzle- Anti Barack Obama T-shirts

Published by under Political,Zazzle

Buy Political Anti Barack Obama T-shirts

Buy Political Anti Barack Obama T-shirts

Looking for just the right political T-shirt to oppose Barack Obama? Anti Obama T-shirts including the infamous Pigs wear Lipstick T-shirts and Read my Lipstick Tees

Are YOU another Fine Democrat forced to go Republican because of this Obamanation? If you don’t like Obama, wear ANTI- Barack Obama T-Shirts to support your feelings of this Obamanation of the upcoming Presidential Election 2008. NO to Obama, NOBama, NOWay NOHow NObama! In America we have freedom of speech and we choose to speak our views of this Obama take over. Vote NO to Barack Obama. Great politics on a t-shirt, Support your cause.

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Aug 05 2008

Keds Studio – New Custom Shoe Program Launched by Keds Shoes and Zazzle POD

Published by under POD News,Zazzle

Just when you think you can have it all- a new opportunity comes along- Custom sneakers By Keds and created in Zazzle’s own Keds Studio! Customers and gallery owners can create custom Keds sneakers in women’s adult and children’s sizes – both lace up shoes and slip on Keds. Gallery owners are buzzing and customers delighted.

Choose Bright Rainbow Custom Keds Shoes

Choose Bright Rainbow Custom Keds Shoes

According to Business Wire:

The Keds Studio program, built and powered by Zazzle, offers consumers the unique ability to create original Keds designs by uploading their own artwork, graphics and text, onto the shoes instantly — a first for the footwear industry. In addition consumers are able to choose from a wide selection of colors and even unique, pre-made designs, many of which are designed by such artists as Sarah Singh and Gen Art artists, among others. The customized shoes are produced within 24 to 48 hours, and will be received by consumers within one to two weeks, depending upon the shipping method selected.

In addition, Zazzles platform will enable Keds Studio consumers now turned designers, as well as professional and amateur designers to sell their unique designs in the Zazzle marketplace. Zazzles Name Your Royalty system enables these consumers to set the price of their shoe designs above the original price and earn the entire mark-up in profit.

Or a Custom Keds Tomato Shoe

Or a Custom Keds Tomato Shoe

At launch, Keds Studio will offer five styles of Keds Champions for women and kids that are fully customizable. Styles include lace-ups, slip-ons and mini slip-ons ranging from $50 to $60.

Or Create your Own Keds Shoe Masterpiece.

Read the Business Wire story including the story on how Sneakers got their name.

Many Galleries will allow their customers to make changes of background colors for literally every part of the shoe right down to the laces, grommets and stitching!

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Jul 30 2008

Zazzle Announces New Customizable Shoes for Galleries to Offer Customers!

Published by under POD News,Zazzle

New Zazzle Custom Created Shoes

New Zazzle Custom Created Shoes

Now is this COOL or WHAT?

Zazzle custom shoes are retail quality Keds shoes constructed and printed with the greatest care and precision. We hand-craft each shoe with industry best standards and feature a unique printing technology to ensure you get a shoe with unparalleled printing brilliance that will withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.

Zazzle, the world’s best website for print-on-demand products, is the first and only to offer a new technology that allows you to create shoes from your own artwork and photos instantly. Start designing a Zazzle custom shoe today to see the true power of self-expression!

While they may be a bit pricey- coming in at a $50.00 to $60.00 base price tag, they are Keds and extremely cool. A choice of Womens’ Slip on, Women’s Mini Slip on and Women’s Lace up Keds, and Children’s Slip On and Children;s Lace up Keds, these are very cool and VERY NOW!

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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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Jul 23 2008

Zazzle Falls to GOP Logo Threats from the RNC

Published by under Zazzle

Here we go again folks- the RNC got nowhere with threatening Cafepress with a cease and desist order on the GOP Logo and Red White and Blue stylized elephant, so now it’s onto the competitor, Zazzle. Sadly it appears that Zazzle has crunched under pressure as Zazzler’s are getting this email from the company on the current GOP Tees in the Zazzle galleries.

“Dear Zazzler,

It has come to our attention that the elephant logo of the Republican
National Committee is a registered trademark, registration number
1908397. The Republican National Committee has been actively
policing their mark and therefore we will be unable to create any
products bearing the logo of the Republican National Committee.

Thanks for using Zazzle!

We will be removing this product from the Zazzle galleries shortly”

The best comment I have heard on this matter comes from fellow blogger: Irregular Times

Thanks for standing up to the Republican censors, CafePress. And Zazzle, how very very asskissy you look in comparison. Say it with me: “Zazzle, asskissy. Zazzle, asskissy.” It kind of rolls off the tongue, I think.

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May 14 2008

Zazzle Top Dogs recruit Cafepress Top Dogs!

Published by under POD News

Word has it that the Zazzle Top Dogs (Top shopkeepers are those who make over 1k/mo on a consistent basis) are busy recruiting the Cafepress Top Dogs in the latest quest to fill the Zgalleries with money making shopkeepers. The competition between two of the most popular online POD t-shirt companies turns it’s ugly head when reportedly in January of 2008 Zazzle was Bedazzling some of the top shopkeepers from Cafepress in efforts to get them to Zazzle exclusively.

The last year at Cafepress has brought many changes that have seriously effected shopkeepers and in response to the changes, many of them have opened doors to other PODs for selling their designs. Not to say all of these changes have been bad, but they have been something of serious rethinking for some shopkeepers on the strategy of the company. The latest being section ceilings for premium shops and the largest of shops being the most seriously hit hardest.

My guess is that since Zazzle is seeing much of the overflow of serious shopkeepers who make PODing their business, opening free galleries at Zazzle – no wonder the thought may have occurred to the Zfolks to swoon these top dogs over to their side.

Each POD has it’s benefits and serious money making shopkeepers/gallery owners are not going to stay in one locale anyway, but this may have gone over the edge for most folks.
The Blog, T-shirt Chat Says:

I can’t help but shake my head at anybody who signed. Why would a Top Shopkeeper close down their CafePress Shop, cut all earnings and then attempt to ramp up Zazzle to the same level. I can’t see it happening myself. And what was stopping you diversifying before hand and running the two in parallel? Nothing – rhetorical question, don’t answer.

As One Blogger writes: One thing CafePress should be watching out for, forget about Zazzle, is Spreadshirt. They are doing things right without the evil aggressive tactics, and are putting together a premium package that will attract people like myself.

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