Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CafePress Finds One More Way to Pay Us Less. Thanks CP.

CafePress is changing it's Content Owner Agreement once again, and once again, it ain't pretty.  If in the last three months you have not done the following, your commission could be reduced to as much as little as 5%:

  • Logged  in to CafePress
  • Uploaded at least one design
  • Gained a follower on
  • Followed another designer on
  • Have a designer profile that is at least 80 percent complete

When they first introduced this, they sort of glossed over the fact that many people could see their marketplace commission lessen, emphasizing that some would see an increase.  Well, turns out that only some hand-picked by CafePress would be able to participate in a bonus program and possibly see their commission increase to 15%, and only on specific products/designs.

So, in stead of rewarding good participation they're choosing to take a punitive role (hey, why not when it means they get to keep more of their money).  It's sad, really sad.  When I first started selling through them CafePress they encouraged promotion through the affiliate program, and maybe because of that or maybe just because of the great community they had going, people really supported and promoted each other.  Participation levels were high.  That all came to a crashing halt around 2008 when they made changes that took away our ability to set our own prices in the marketplace, and reduced people's commissions to 10%.

You know, I was really encouraged when they set up the dashboard to encourage participation and interactions among artists here...I thought it was a good move towards rebuilding that community.

But now this had put a sour note on all of it.  They COULD have just made this a benificial thing, rewarding those with high participation.  But they basically said "Participate or else" and now this whole thing is feeling much less fun.

Meanwhile ALL SALES MADE THROUGH 3rd PARTY SITES will receive a 5% commission.

CP  also made some changes to their permission to use our designs--this isn't that much of a difference from what came before so I'm not too concerned about that. Though they are wrong that they "The Content Owner Agreement has always granted CafePress the right to automatically add your content to any of our assortment of base goods." No, I specifically remember when they added that, and the concern that our designs would suddenly appear on products we didn't want them on. Saying they can reposition items doesn't really change much though, so I'm not as concerned about this.

NOTE:  Click here for a great post on how to find out your current CP ranking/commission.


  1. I have a store at cafepress that once I make the minimum for my next payment I will be closing. Basically, this 5% commission thing is a joke, cafepress use my products to drive traffic (my products are in their google advert if you type "zombie christmas cards") and for this I can't even retain my 10% commission?!? Really? I like my designs being visible on the internet and I'm not really in it for the money but there needs to be some kind of recompense or else they are just basically getting something for effectively nothing.

    1. I understand. I've thought about closing shop here many times. I haven't because, frankly, it's a lot of work...and they are still the only ones with belly printing on maternity, and I have some designs that I love on that. I've pretty much stopped promoting them and put most of my efforts into Zazzle now though. I still add designs to products sometimes, but not to everything anymore.

  2. We must punish them in some way, they are really pigs.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.