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CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

 
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Old November 16th, 2008 Nov 16, 2008 7:29:08 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I have a choice to make. I have decided to get semi-serious in using my designs to generate some much needed extra cash.

I am a teacher by profession, and am not interested in owning my own brick and mortar shop.

I have had shops on both CafePress and Zazzle for a couple of years now, and the results have been spotty. I sell two to five designs per month between them. I have decided to concentrate on one or the other for a bit, and ramp up the marketing and SEO, and try to actually produce some decent side income.

Now I need to pick which one I want to use. There are pros and cons with both. I am leaning toward Zazzle, but a bit reluctantly.


Zazzle

The Pros: 1) it has a far superior merchandise selection to CafePress, 2) and reports are that the overall quality is slightly higher on average, 3) you can have a lot of niche galleries and they are free, 4) customers can personalize your design for themselves, 5) the designs can be resized.

The Cons: 1) The galleries are are difficult to customize, 2) removing products is FAR TOO HARD in comparison to what it should be, 3) It is astonishingly and unnecessarily difficult and time consuming to add a design to more than one product, 3) the forum where you seek help is much smaller and less responsive and helpful than CafePress, 5) You cannot set a specific dollar markup on each item, or at least not easily without a calculator, 6) The search application for the marketplace is less efficient and more confusing than CafePress, 7) Zazzle is more expensive on each item than CafePress.

CafePress


The Pros: 1) It is very easy to upload and tag images, 2) stores are customizable, 3) it is a simple matter to add images, tags and description, edit these, or remove them, 4) the markeing plan at CafePress is very slick and polished, including affiliate memberships, and the CafeWish ads.


The Cons
: 1) Quality problems seem to be more common than at other POD publishers, 2) CafePress has ferocious competition in the marketplace, 3) there is a growing identification of CafePress and less than high quality artwork, 4) the size of the designs is limited.



Opinions? Comments? Relate your own experience?

Last edited by T-Wizard; November 16th, 2008 at 09:38 AM..
 
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Old November 18th, 2008 Nov 18, 2008 8:34:14 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

You can read lots of experiences with both services by just reading through this forum or searching for cafepress/zazzle using the search box at the top of the page.

If you have a specific question, I can try to help, but for general experiences, you don't want to miss out on the great info that has already been posted.

I think you would need to figure out which issues are most important to your business and that will help you decide which to choose.
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Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 12:27:46 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Smile Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

After using CafePress since 2003, I switched to Zazzle after they told me my Trademarked Logo was a violation of Trademark Use because they say it looked too much like the Jurassic Park logo.

After many calls I was told my the Content Use manager, "If you don't like our decision there are plenty of other POD companies to choose from."

I was floored by the arrogant attitude that somehow cafepress was superior to any other and I was an idiot to question their decision.

Just to clarify, my logo is Green and black. It has a dinosaur skull, DNA and eggs. and it is shaped like an egg. It has the name of the game it was for on the logo.

I called all of my clients (150+) and told them about zazzle. We have not had any issue or dispute with zazzle.
 
 
Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 3:20:46 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

Quote:
I was floored by the arrogant attitude that somehow cafepress was superior to any other and I was an idiot to question their decision.
I doubt we're hearing the whole story here, but I don't take their comment as an arrogant attitude.

Every company has their own policies, and there's not much else they could say if they felt that your image didn't fit with the policies of their business. In fact, it sounded like they were making you aware that you DID have choices and that CafePress wasn't your only option to get your t-shirts printed.

Other companies may be more laxed with their policies or may interpret the laws in a different way (or may not have yet received the same lawsuits and cease and desist orders that CafePress has received)

It's great that you found a place to get your stuff done, but I don't think it reflects as arrogance by one company or another if they decide that they can't print your image for whatever reason.

There are certain images that each print on demand company won't print. Those images may or may not overlap with the different companies that are out there, and the polices may change over time as they are sued, threatened with lawsuits or served with cease and desist orders.
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Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 4:24:41 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Wink Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
I doubt we're hearing the whole story here, but I don't take their comment as an arrogant attitude.
Actually the entire story is much worse. Not only was the person arrogant and rude, she actually got hostile when I informed her that I held the Trademark and I could send her a copy of my trademark.

The image in question did not violate any of their policies. It was the opinion of one person and the company chose to ignore actual trademark law.

My reason for not using cafepress has more to do with the attitude and lack of customer care that is presented.

I would have had no problem if they could show me the policy or explain the reason for their rejection of the logo. There was no explanation other than Ryan E. looked at the logo and "felt" it looked like another logo to him.

Would it help if I added that I am a customer service expert and I spoke in a very respectful manner. I also sent a letter to the legal department with a transcript of the call, an audio recording of the call, a copy of my trademark and a happy face sticker.

Bottom line. If a company gets so big that they have no regard for the customer, they are too big. If a company would rather tell you to take your business elsewhere before they would simply say they were sorry for the misunderstanding, they are too big.

As for the issue of other POD services rejecting images. I have had two images on zazzle that have been rejected. One was approved with an apology for the mistake of rejecting it. The other image is still rejected and I was given a clear and polite reason why the image was rejected. The latter situation also included a phone call with a kind person at zazzle walking me through what could be modified in order to be accepted.

It is the way the representative of cafepress handled the situation that lead to my exodus.

Now I can say zazzle has a better TOS, EULA, Return Policy, Product Selection, Product Quality and the ability to create multiple productsof the same type with a free account.

After six years of work with cafepress I can not say the same for them.

Have a blessed day.
 
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Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 4:43:12 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I hope you didn't read my post as saying that you didn't have a legitimate gripe with CafePress.

Like I said, I don't know the whole story, I wasn't there.

My comments about the policies of companies about which images they print were more general than saying that you were violating some trademark. Again, I don't know your company at all.

Quote:
The image in question did not violate any of their policies. It was the opinion of one person and the company chose to ignore actual trademark law.
Their guidelines don't follow trademark law to the letter (not all POD companies do).

They actually have to be more strict, because the trademark laws are not as simple as black and white.

Even though your image may have held a legitimate trademark, they may have already have several lawsuits or threats of lawsuits from the Jurrasic park folks. So their decision may have had less to do with your particular image and more to do with avoiding any future time/money spent defending themselves from another suit.

This is all speculation of course, but my main point is that we don't really know all the details or why a company might make a decision. From my own experiences, I just don't know I'd say CafePress is arrogant and has no regard for their customers. Quite the opposite in fact.

Quote:
Would it help if I added that I am a customer service expert and I spoke in a very respectful manner. I also sent a letter to the legal department with a transcript of the call, an audio recording of the call, a copy of my trademark and a happy face sticker.
It's definitely possible that you received poor customer service in this instance. If you did, that's unacceptable.

I'm not questioning the service (or lack of service) you received, I'm just putting out more information in general about policies and how something may not be as simple as it seems.

Quote:
The other image is still rejected and I was given a clear and polite reason why the image was rejected. The latter situation also included a phone call with a kind person at zazzle walking me through what could be modified in order to be accepted.
That definitely sounds like a much better response to rejecting an image. Like I said earlier, I'm glad you found a place that fit your needs.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with both companies here
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Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 4:46:28 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

You make me feel all fuzzy and warm inside.
 
Old January 26th, 2009 Jan 26, 2009 7:29:39 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I apologize for not having updated this recently.

In the end I went with CafePress. They have recently added several new garments, including black hoodies, that appear to be superior in quality to similar garments offered by Zazzle.

Even though Zazzle has added a new feature (about damn time) that allows for the creation of several items at once with the same design, I find that theirs is still inferior to the applet at CafePress.

The forums at Zazzle are still lagging behind CafePress significantly in helpful participants.

Additionally, Zazzle badly restricts your ability to customize the appearance of your shop in comparison to CafePress.

Finally, Zazzle is more about individuals printing up individual designs still, while CafePress is much more oriented toward the shopkeepers.

I still publish most of my designs in both places, but my website links back to my CafePress store.

I do have to agree with Worship, however, in that legally speaking, if he presented a recognize, and registered trademark of the design in question that should have ended any reluctance on the part of CafePress all together. A trademark is a legally binding acknowledgement of the ownership of a piece of artwork or design period. If he could present legal ownership of the trademark CafePress should have allowed the design, no further questions asked. Worship had fulfilled his legal obligation, and what CP did was out of line, and inexcusable.
 
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Old January 27th, 2009 Jan 27, 2009 7:50:46 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

Quote:
if he presented a recognize, and registered trademark of the design in question that should have ended any reluctance on the part of CafePress all together. A trademark is a legally binding acknowledgement of the ownership of a piece of artwork or design period. If he could present legal ownership of the trademark CafePress should have allowed the design, no further questions asked.
Actually, that's not true. Trademarks can and have been challenged after the fact. If his trademark is similar to another trademark, then CafePress (or any company) may feel that it's not worth the risk of future lawsuits. If they have more visibility (and deeper pockets), it's likely the lawyers will come after them than the individual shopkeeper.

Also, if the trademark is for one "class", but it's being used on a different "class" in a t-shirt store, then that could also cause some conflict if another trademark holder owns a similar trademark for the t-shirt class.

I wish it were more black and white, but there are many ways courts rule on these things. It can be costly (both time and money wise) to go up against big corporate lawyers. Every company has to decide where they want to pick their battles.
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Old February 10th, 2009 Feb 10, 2009 3:28:20 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I like Zazzle more. I've used them and only them and find their system to be easy to use.
I'm sure they both have their individual perks though.
 
Old June 15th, 2009 Jun 15, 2009 7:44:30 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

Thank you for the good info here. I am trying to figure which is the best site tto use for some shirts.

-Tom
 
Old June 19th, 2009 Jun 19, 2009 12:51:45 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I can't comment on CafePress as I have never purchased a T-shirt from them, but with regards to Zazzle I can say I am extremely happy with their product. I'm a PHP developer so the site integration and custom store stuff is not a problem for me. I actually feel the sky is the limit with regards to customization but again I understand how to get that accomplished. My main concern was the quality of print, service, and T-shirt. All three are fantastic for me and have exceeded my expectations. I can confidently recommend Zazzle most definitely.
 
Old December 15th, 2009 Dec 15, 2009 2:08:23 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

Cafepress can legally steal your designs and sell them to other companies. Read their TOS.

Go with zazzle or spreadshirt
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Old December 17th, 2009 Dec 17, 2009 1:09:38 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

And dont ever use vistaprint!
 
Old May 8th, 2010 May 8, 2010 6:30:34 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: CafePress or Zazzle...hmmmmm

I prefer zazzle. The advanced store customization and the quick product create tool are just amazing. It is very easy to publish a product and then promote it.
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