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I haven't had the timeout problems you've experienced with CafePress, although I know that they sometimes have server maintenance that they post in their forums in advance (some maintenance is unscheduled).

For years, all cafepress had were white and ash gray t-shirts, and they sold just fine. Even though it may not seem cool to you, white is actually one of the top sold t-shirt colors (next to black).

I wouldn't count on a timeline for them adding a full color range. I love cafepress and have used them since they opened years ago, but they do a LOT of research and testing before putting a new product to market. They just recently added black after years, and they will be adding red soon.

Their printing process is a bit different than spreadshirt (direct to garment printing at cafepress versus vinyl flex heat pressed printing at spreadshirt), which is probably why they still don't have the full range of colors.

If your designs fit with spreadshirt's printing method, it may be a better option for you. I wouldn't pick any service based on the marketing it does for you, since the marketing of your shop should primarily be *your* concern. Any sales you get from a fulfillment company should be a bonus, but it's really up to you to drive sales to your shop.

I wouldn't worry about customers just circumventing you and printing it themselves. First they'd have to know how to create a graphic and then have the desire to do it all themselves (this would be a very small portion of customers).

I use almost all of the major fulfillment companies (cafepress, spreadshirt, zazzle, printmojo, I do my own order fulfillment for some of my t-shirts, etc), and they all have different benefits and drawbacks. Different ones work for different business needs.

Hope this helps some :)
 
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