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Discussion Starter #1
Quick question from a newbie...

Is anyone out there who has a cafepress store (or two) making any reasonably good money? If so how much on average?

Im just wondering if there are any out there who are starting to make a killing or if were all just hobbyists at heart with cafepress....

:confused:
 

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There are some major corporations who offer their merchandising through CP, so it can potentially be a vehicle to make money. Other than that, some smaller businesses (i.e. not people with a pre-existing market) have also built up very successful CP stores.

So there's no doubt that CP stores can make real money.

Personally I think their are better ways to invest your money (and better ways to run a t-shirt site), and that those stores would be doing even better elsewhere. That's subjective however, and the only particularly objective answer to your query is that yes, money can be had with CP.
 

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dont hav a cp store my self by read lots of stuff bout their store keeprs.

Cafe Press is an opportunity money making machine that has proven it self many times over.

The real question is, do peeps wanna buy the t-shirt designs ?

also, CP goes beyond to support and promote their menber stores.

All this is from what i've learn so far bout CP.
 

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Lots of people are making 10K+ a month with CP, even more at Christmas. Average is probably scewed by the people who don't put much effort into it, them aside I would say 1.5K - 4K a month is more like it.

The big stores at CP are the political ones and I'm sure they pull in over 100K a year. Specualation though.. I know regular shop keepers have earned that, as CP have told us, but the average is unknown to the community. Obviously, you get out of it what you put it like any business.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adam said:
but the average is unknown to the community. Obviously, you get out of it what you put it like any business.
:rolleyes:

Hmmm good point Adam.

Ive just been checking out CP and I am currently more bent on building and selling from my own website and the thought occured to me, whats to stop someone from opening multiple stores, hundreads of them in the hopes of getting a sale, but that to me seems a bit like dilluting the quality with meaningless quantity.

Im actually a fairly adept painter (acrylic on canvas) so im going to be taking the time to paint large portraits of some of my tshirt designs, take decent well lit squarely framed snap shots of them and print them out myself on heat transfers...

But still, the concept of CP's ease to sell does seem tempting.
Im reluctant to place my hard-worked painting designs on CP for fear of something silly like them "claiming the interlectual property as their own" and me not being able to resell the same design in my own indepedant ecommerce website.

But wow.... 10K ? How is this possible? Are these serious business people? Or are they run of the mill joe averages who have worked their butts of to make it big with CP?

Surely theres something amiss here...

Either way, very cool!
 

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Hi,

I just recently opened a CP store, and in my first week I sold 15 t shirts... not bad. Probably the best money making situation will be designing and printing by yourself, but thats probably more complicated and expensive.

I think that CP is a good option to begin your online business. Firts low cost operation, 0 inventory, it's simple you design they print.

There are some disadventages... I think that the base prices are high... so its no as cheap as might want to.
 

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Does anyone really know how much others are making from cafepress? Unless you have first-hand evidence, I don't know how much credibility can be placed on the figures that have been suggested in this thread. I'd like to believe the claims being made, but I'd find it a whole lot easier if those who have posted actual estimates could back their figures with some explanation of where they got them from.

My experience is that people in business are, by default, engaged in a PR exercise regarding the state of their business. I've never heard a negative response to the question "so, how is your business going?" any time I've asked it, and have found it quite common some time down the track to bump into the same person, to be told that they'd sold or given up their business because they weren't making any money. It's human nature and good business sense to project a positive image, regardless of the facts. Hence the reason for my scepticism in regard to the claims being made by some about the incomes being reaped from CP. Not closed to the possibility, but I'd find it easier to entertain if someone could disclose the source of their income estimates. None of those mentioned in this thread appear to have come from people referring to their own CP store.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ross B said:
I've never heard a negative response to the question "so, how is your business going?" any time I've asked it, and have found it quite common some time down the track to bump into the same person, to be told that they'd sold or given up their business because they weren't making any money..
Interesting perspective and true in some cases, Ive often heard though many a time about how business men and women have been referred to as stubborn, never say no, never give up, keep falling down and getting back up, etc and the list goes on.

But its something ive mentioned in previous threads before. In fact my recent entry into this forum with the "welcome new members" thread I talked about how I actually started a toy business, which failed miserably... I spent $7000 in stock and another $2000-$3000 on a professional website design by a ecommerce company, complete with search engine submissions, adwords, forums, you name it and it didnt bring me a single penny back.

I then tried my hand at a certain auction store site to sell things there and well.... ouch.... auctioning wasnt a smart idea...

So I definatley know personally what failure is like, how bad you can fail and how tragically horrible and awful the feeling is, makes you sick to the stomach and you cant wake up and face the day knowing how bad you did.

But, here I am again, a year later. The most important thing is that I hope to learn from my previous experiences, and CP I think is a good platform to start.

Ive heard some people talk about how they have been making a killing on CP stores, but its hard to measure the success because the community is filled with both sucessful and unsucessful stores.

Interesting point though.... very interesting... food for thought! :rolleyes:
 

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Yes, Jon - my thoughts exactly.

Well, interesting to see if anyone who has posted figures here divulges their sources, or comes back with some sort of evidence that adds a bit of cred to the claims being made.

Shadowdragon

Don't beat yourself up for failing. Every failure is just a lesson on the road to success! Must admit, I'm a little sick of all these lessons, though, so can identify with your sentiments.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ross B said:
Shadowdragon

Don't beat yourself up for failing. Every failure is just a lesson on the road to success! Must admit, I'm a little sick of all these lessons, though, so can identify with your sentiments.
Thansk Ross B

In some crazy way, im glad it happened. Im one of those people who have a very hard time learning something until I get my own hands dirty and dive right in. The consequences suck, but I feel I get some quality experience from it, even if its bad experience to be had.

Ive got about a dozen books on success stories including richard branson, and theyre all very inspiring and dandy, but these guys never talk about the horrible terrifying failures if any.

Still, somehow, somewhere i'll make it.

I estimate I am months and months away realistically speaking of setting up shop, but I just went down to my local k-mart store and picked up a nice white tee for $5.00 and 5 heat transfers (celcast brand) for $15. Im gonna experiment because ive never done heat transfers before and see how I go.

I know if done right and correctly, they can turn out to be really excellent tshirts, but I wont beleive its possible or realistic until I actually do one myself. So here goes. At some time tonight i'll print something nice out and do one up.

But im still going to stick with the "only print and make up what is ordered" rather than print up a whole batch of stuff all at once, that way I can hopefully minimize the loss of money.

My only concern at this stage about production of product, is getting an unexpected swarm of orders and having not enough tees or transfer sheets, so I think I have to find an equilibrium of blank-ready-to-heat-press tees and a reasonble stash of heat transfers AND at the same time not ordering more than i'll end up needing.

I've heard some guys start up these stores at next to nothing costs, I just need to make sure I have damn good designs, but im in luck because im an artsy gifted kinda guy so that's one strength on my side.

What I DO know is that if somehow... god knows how...somehow... low and behold I manage to get a sudden rush of orders and the pace picks up, that I DONT fall into a trap of suddenly splurging out a load of money and loosing it.

The way I see it at this stage, its pretty much `steady as she goes'

*fingers crossed*
 

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I think it's not relevand if others make money on CP. It's free to join, and you don't have to invest any money if you have good designs.

So, the answer is open a CP store and you'll see, simple as that.
 

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With the amount that you have to shell out to them it just may not be. especially if your not selling anything you may want to just start with a starter sit like the one offered through startlogic. This is the one that I used for my site. Check it out and see if this is something that is like what you're looking for.
 

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Im reluctant to place my hard-worked painting designs on CP for fear of something silly like them "claiming the interlectual property as their own" and me not being able to resell the same design in my own indepedant ecommerce website.
I can tell you first hand that this never comes into play. CafePress doesn't have any "exclusivity" clauses and many people use their designs that sell on cafepress in other places.

I've been using CafePress since they started, been to their offices, had lunch with the founders. I can tell you that they run a good business.

Like Adam said, there are people that don't put much into it that probably make $0 and there are people that treat it like a business, do the right advertising, have the right product, and make thousands. You can see some of the stories posted first hand in the cafepress forums. Like Ross said though, it would be impossible to KNOW an average unless you worked at CP, and most likely they aren't sharing that info :)

I can also tell you first hand that you CAN make thousands per month with the right designs and the right marketing :)

I've said this many times though. CafePress is just the "tool". You could make $0 or make thousands of dollars printing your own t-shirts. Same could be said using spreadshirt. Same could be said of getting t-shirts preprinted.

Those are just tools. They don't make/break/or define your sales potential.

What defines your sales potential is YOUR designs and YOUR marketing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rodney said:
You could make $0 or make thousands of dollars printing your own t-shirts. Same could be said using spreadshirt. Same could be said of getting t-shirts preprinted.

Those are just tools. They don't make/break/or define your sales potential.

What defines your sales potential is YOUR designs and YOUR marketing.

How very very true.
And I guess the same is said for all business people from all walks of life doing all kinds of business ventures, online or offline, from apple growers to zebra breeders (okay so the zebra breeder thing is proberly a little far fetched but hey you never know :) )

The thought DID cross my mind to perhaps try my hand at both a cafepress store AND my own ecommerce site... good to know they don't claim your designs and from what I've seen it certainly seems pretty cool how they have things set up.. so very easy to use. The thing that suprises me is how damn fast the stores can be knocked up.

Interesting... :D
 

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Adam said:
Lots of people are making 10K+ a month with CP, even more at Christmas. Average is probably scewed by the people who don't put much effort into it, them aside I would say 1.5K - 4K a month is more like it.

The big stores at CP are the political ones and I'm sure they pull in over 100K a year. Specualation though.. I know regular shop keepers have earned that, as CP have told us, but the average is unknown to the community. Obviously, you get out of it what you put it like any business.
are you talking about commission? or base sales? if you're talking about commission, i think you're numbers are a little inflated
 

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"Those are just tools. They don't make/break/or define your sales potential.

What defines your sales potential is YOUR designs and YOUR marketing."

Thanks Rodney, That I needed to hear! :) It's a tool...It's a tool...lol I'll try to remember that the next time I think I'm going to chuck my comp out the window.

Marie ;)
 

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The thought DID cross my mind to perhaps try my hand at both a cafepress store AND my own ecommerce site
That's what I do. Actually, I had my ecommerce site first (before cafepress existed ;)), and then I started with cafepress just to do mugs. Then I expanded as they did :)
 

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Rodney

Thanks for sharing your first-hand experiences of CafePress. Hearing from a credible source such as you that CP runs a good business and that it is possible for the individual designer to make significant income from a CP store is very encouraging.

I love the idea that success comes back to basics for which the individual is fully accountable - quality of produce and marketing - but there are many instances out there, particularly in the arts, that dash this romantic notion to pieces on the jagged and unforgiving rocks of reality (check out the music charts, where dross dressed well can - and does - make millions). Your personal confirmation that quality T designs properly marketed by an individual via CP and your own site can be financially rewarding without the backing of marketing millions is welcome news.
 
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