Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Share Your 2014 Bestsellers

What was your best selling product in 2014?  We want to see it! 

Please share ONLY your best selling POD item.
You may share one item from each of your shops,
and no more than five items total.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

POD Giveaways

Specific Product/Shop Giveaways
Giveaways for specific items or only from items from specific POD shops.  

(12/8)  Card and Small Item of Choice from Scribbleprints (Zazzle Artist)


POD Marketplace  Giveaways
Giveaways for a gift certificate or item with your choice of design  from a POD marketplace.  You can use you're winnings to buy  your own stuff sold through these PODS.   The "at" places listed on the giveaways below are the blogs hosting the giveaway (just keeps them separate so you can tell where you've entered already)

(12/13) $100 Zazzle GC at Decor8

(12/15)  $25 Zazzle GC at Alphabet Salad

(12/15) $50 Zazzle GC at This Talk Ain't Cheap

(12/16)  $100 Zazzle GC at Baby & Life

(12/17) $50 Zazzle GC at Taking Time for Mommy

(12/24) $40 Zazzle OR Redbubble Giveaway

(12/28) $50 Zazzle GC at Mommy Moment


Other Custom Printing and Business Related Giveaways
Things that might be useful in growing your business, or if you were printing things to sell offline or through your own non-POD shop (Etsy, Ebay, etc).

(11/28) Silhouette Portrait Electric Cutting Machine at Deals of Sweetness




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Possible Price Tweaking Trick

I was playing around with some of the prices on my posters at Zazzle, and I noticed that you can sometimes UP your earnings without changing your price.  Like I had one poster selling for $14.75 at 10%--and I was making $1.48 off of it.  When I changed it to 11% it still showed it at $14.75 but it showed my profit as $1.62.  I don't think this has to do with having to wait until the 20th of the month to see the changes, because this was the preview of what the price would be.   I will check back after the 20th and see if the $14.75 price holds though.  (I checked...they did).

Not going to make a big difference or be worth your time if you sell small amounts, but if you sell a lot of a certain item this could add up.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Link to Your International Zazzle Shops on Squidoo

this lens' photo
In addition to it's US shop, Zazzle has many different international storefronts where people can browse Zazzle in their language and make orders using their native currency.

If you have a blog or website and would like to link to these shops from it, Zazzle has an easy way to make banners which link to all your international storefronts there. You can click here to try it out.

Unfortunately, this code does not work well on Squidoo. Below I talk about how to change the code to make a nice line of country flags which link to your shop...like this:



The code below is what you will want to use on your page, but first you will need to swop out my shop ID and affiliate ID for your shop name and affiliate ID. You can do this manually, but I suggest doing the following:

  1. Copy paste the code below into a notepad.

  2. Use the search/replace tool in notepad to replace my shop ID, scribbleprints, with your shop ID. Your shop ID is the last part of your store URL. For instance, in http://www.zazzle.com/scribbleprints the part in bold, scribbleprints, is my store ID.

  3. Copy paste the code into the Squidoo module where you want it. There are some modules on Squidoo which will not accept this code, but you’re always safe putting it in a text module.

THE CODE:

<a href="http://www.zazzle.ca/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/ca.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.co.uk/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/gb.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.de/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/de.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.es/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/es.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.fr/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/fr.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.pt/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/pt.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.se/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/se.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.nl/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/nl.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.at/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/at.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.ch/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/ch.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.be/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/be.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.com.au/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/au.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.co.nz/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/nz.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.co.jp/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/jp.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.co.kr/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/kr.png" width="27" /></a><a href="http://www.zazzle.com.br/scribbleprints*" style="border: 0pt none; margin: 0 10px 3px 0;"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/_zletter/2009/banners/2011_international/flags/br.png" width="27" /></a>


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Create Fan Art - And Sell It LEGALLY!

this lens' photo
Imagine you thought of a great Star Trek design and wanted to sell it on T-shirts. In most cases you'ld be out of luck since you would either be breaking copyright law or stepping in very hazy legal territory regarding how that law applies to parody. But, by working through a print on demand service that has special permission to publish fan-designed products, you CAN design and sell products related to TV shows (like Star Trek), movies, video games, and more!
Print on demand services (PODS) allow artists to put their own designs on items like shirts, mugs, and posters and then sell them through their own shop and/or the PODS' marketplace. The print on demand services set up digital mock-ups so customers can see how the product will look with the artwork. Then they print and ship products when customers order them, and the artist earns a commission.

Some Print on Demand services have made deals with TV Stations, movie producers, and other groups to let their artist contributors provide fan-created art to sell through the PODS. Usually there are specific rules on what types of designs will be accepted and how their copyrighted content can be used.

Read on to find out about various PODS participating in these types of partnerships.




CafePress Fan Portals


Star Trek MugCafePress has over 100 fan portals where you can share your designs for movies, T.V. shows, and more such asStar Trek, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Goodfellas, Mighty Mouse, and so many others








Zazzle Fan Portals


Right now Zazzle just two fan portals (that I know of)…click the links below to see their design guidelines and learn more about the program.

Outlander

Saturday Night Live

US ARMY

Sony Music
Below is a list of the songs from Sony Music that they are accepting designs for.

* Ain’t Gonna Bump No More With No Big Fat Woman
* Alone
* Burnin’ For You
* Burning Love
* Come Together
* Crazy
* Girls Just Want To Have Fun
* Heartbreak Hotel
* Hit Me With Your Best Shot
* Hush
* I Can’t Stop Loving You
* I Fought The Law
* I Love The Nightlife
* King Of The Road
* Like A Virgin
* Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
* Spooky
* Stand By Me
* Suspicious Minds
* True Colors
* Tutti Frutti

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Squidoo Is Moving to Hubpages: And How to Move Your Pages to Blogger (As an Alternative)

Did you hear?  Squidoo has been aquired by HubPages and Squidoo will be going away!   I know, due to their past partnerships with Zazzle and CafePress that a lot of PODsters also have pages on Squidoo, though I thought this would be important to share here. 

Squidoo says only the best lenses will transfer over. and I couldn't find info on exactly what that means, though this forum post by a Hub Page user sheds some light on what type of lenses might not be accepted.  There's also some good info about transferring here.

Here's some dates you should know:

  • AUGUST 22:  Last day to make updates to your lenses  (If you're moving them somewhere other than HubPages, might want to add a note about that on your lenses before then, so visitors can tell where you moved), SOME lenses will be able to be transferred to HubPages.  You can begin transferring lenses now.
  • AUGUST 29:  Last chance to prevent your any of your lenses from being moved to HubPages by deleting your account.  
  • EARLY SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER:  Lenses will start to disappear.  

Squidoo has a way to save all your lens content (which I suggest using)...but from what I can see the code it gives you is very wonky--very messy and a lot to clean up, and it doesn't include things like your links and your photos (if you copy paste it now your photos will show up...but that's temporary as they are still housed on Squidoo).  Copying your lenses to blogger is another option, which I'll talk more about below.


MOVING YOUR PAGE TO BLOGSPOT
When you copy-paste to Blogger copies like links and such much of the formatting of your content will be retained.  It even copies pictures BUT be warned...it's not really a copy.  Its still linked from Squidoo so you will need to go through and save those picks and then replace them.  

  • NOTE:  Copy pasting to blogger will save text, pictures and links.  Modules like video modules, plexos (other than text), etc. are not able to be copied over   NOTE ON PICTURES:  Pictures may still show Squidoo URL so I don't know what will happen to them once Squidoo is gone.  SAVE ALL PICTURES ON YOUR OWN SERVER BY RIGHT CLICKING AND SAVING.

1.  First, go to blogger and start a new post or page--make sure you are in the "compose" editor, not the HTML editor.   

2.  Go to the page you want to copy.  Highlight the content from each module from your Squidoo workshop you want to move and press CTR+C (or whatever you use to copy text on your browser/operating system). Paste into your blogger post.   

3.  VERY IMPORTANT.  Since I'm  having Squidoo affiliate links on your blog will be pretty pointless soon, and could get you into trouble, you will need to switch into the HTML tab in your editor and remove all the affiliate info from CafePress, Amazon, and other Squidoo money making module links (you can then replace with your own affiliate codes).  If you don't have time to fix the affiliate code right away, though, you can always save the post as a draft in stead of publishing it right away, and work on it later. 

4.  VERY IMPORTANT.  It does not seem like blogger is actually copying pictures, so these may be lost once Squidoo ends.  You can save the pictures, and then upload them to the blogger post and replace them where you want (one way to do this is to put all the pictures up at the top or bottom initially, then go in and grab the new URL for the picture and just insert it where the current squidurl is.  


If you are part of the CafePress or Amazon affiliate program, it shouldn't be a problem using their product images since they are remote linked on Squidoo from CafePress/Amazon. Be careful not to grab any Squidoo graphics.   There may be copyright issues with the layout also...but I'm honestly not sure.  

DO THIS BEFORE DELETING YOUR LENSES!
  • You can still edit your Squidoo page until Aug 22nd, so it might be a good idea to make a post or webpage off Squidoo where you will put links to all the places you're pages have moved, and put a BIG LINK to this page on top off all your Squidoo lenses (something like "THIS PAGE MOVING SOON. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHERE).  
  • Make sure to check your stats for the last 90 days to see who's linking to you, so you can notify them of where your new page will be.  




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Zazzle Special Days Categories

There are all sorts of crazy days and celebrations out there. You could celebrate anything from "Answer Your Cat's Question Day" or "Shallow Person's Week." If you are an shopkeeper on Zazzle, these give you one more place to categorize your products. In the Zazzle category tree you can find these special days under Events and Occassions >Other >Special Days. While they might not be as well visited as some higher levels of the tree, you're products will be one of the few listed there. For your convenience I've listed all of the days you can find under Zazzle's Special Days below.


January
01 Solemnity of Mary
05 Guru Gobind Singh
06 Epiphany
08 Bubble Bath Day
08 Letter Writing Week
09 Baptism of Jesus
11 Thank You Days
14 Coming of Age Day & Seijin-no…
14 Makar Sankranti
15 Quarteryly Tax Day
16 Pongal Mattu
16 Psychiatric Tech Day
17 Golf Day
18 Christian Unity Week
20 Penguin Awareness Day
20 World Religion Day
21 Send a Hug Today
22 Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
23 Compliment Day
23 Pie Day
25 Fun at Work Day & Nat.
25 Healthy Weight Day
25 Robert Burns Day
26 Spouse’s Day
26 Super Sunday
28 Full Moon Day


Hot Tea Month
Oatmeal Month


February
01 Brighid’s Day
02 Candlemas
02 Groundhog Day
02 Impolc
04 Sopporo Snow Festival
05 School Counselor Week
07 Ballet Day
07 Girls and Women in Sports Day
07 Greet Your Neighbor Day
08 Boy Scouts Day
08 Tu B’shvat
09 Carnival
11 Chinese New Year
12 Flirting Week
12 Freedom to Marry Day
12 Mardi Gras
12 Pancake Tuesday
12 Shrove Tuesday
13 Ash Wednesday
14 Ferris Wheel Day
14 Read to Your Kids Week
15 Canada Flag Day
17 First Sunday of Lent
17 Friendship Week & Int’l
18 Engineer Week
20 Hoodie-Hoo Day (Northern)
20 Love Your Pet Day
22 Girl Scouts Thinking Day
22 Robert Baden-Powell
23 Eid-Al-Adha
23 Tennis Day
25 Aguste Renoir
25 Lantern Festival
26 Purim

Black History Month
Wedding Month


March
01 National Pig Day
01 St. David’s Day
02 Texas Independence Day
03 Girl’s Day & Hina Matsuri
03 If Pets Had Thumbs Day
03 Pet Sitters Week
05 Procrastination Week
06 Dentist’s Day
08 Employee Appreciation Day
08 International Women’s Day
08 No Smoking Day
09 Panic Day
10 Girl Scount’s Week
10 Money Day
12 B-Day of Girl Scouting
14 Pi Day
15 Ides of March
16 St. Urho’s Day
17 Camp Fire Founder’s Day
17 Crochet Week
17 Quilting Week
17 St. Patrick’s Day
18 Bubble Week
20 Great American Meat-Out
20 Spring Begins
20 Vernal Equinox
21 Bahai New Year
21 Flower Day
21 Incredible Kid Day
21 Persian New Year
22 Day of the Seal
24 Palm Sunday
25 Annunciation
25 Family Day & Nat
28 Holi
28 Passover

Colorectal Caner Awareness Month
March Madness
Mirth Month
National Nutrition Month
Red Cross Month
Social Worker’s Month
Umbrella Month
Women’s History Month


April
01 April Fool’s Day
01 Fun at Work Day
02 Children’s Book Day
06 Tartan Day
07 Garden Week
07 No Housework Day
12 Big Wind Day
14 Boys and Girls Club Week
14 Medical Laboratory week
14 National Library Week
15 Tax Day
17 School Librarian Day
18 Pet Owner’s Day
20 Astronomy Day
20 California Poppy Day
21 Karaoke Week
21 Volunteer Week
22 Earth Day
22 Girl Scout Leader Day
23 Shakespeare’s Birthday
25 Bring Your Kid Work Day
26 Arbor Day
26 Hug and Austrailian Day
27 National Day of Puppetry
28 Kiss Your Mate Day
30 Hairstylist Day

Autism Awareness Month
Guitar Month
Humor Month
National Poetry Month
Occupational Therapy Month


May
01 Lei Day
01 May Day
01 Mother Goose Day
01 Save the Rhino Day
02 Sibling Appreciation Day
03 Tuba Day
04 Lobster Race and Oyster Parade
04 Scrapbook Day
05 Children’s Day & Kodomono-hi (Japan)
05 Cinco de Mayo (2,496)
05 Family Week
05 Midwives Day
05 National Pet Week
05 Postcard Week
05 Teacher Appreciation Week
05 Tourism Week
05 Un-Mother’s Day
05 Wildflower Week
06 No Diet Day
06 Nurses’ Day & Week
07 Teacher Day & Nat.
09 Ascension Day
09 Receptionist Day
10 Childcare Providers Day
11 Birth Mothers Day
11 Eat What You Want Day
12 Chronic Fatigue Day
12 Migratory Bird Day
12 National Police Week
15 Hug Your Cat Day
18 Armed Forces Day
18 Int’l. Museum Day
18 Pickle Week
19 Emergency Medical Services Week
19 Good Neighbor Day
19 Pentecost
20 Victoria Day
21 Waitstaff Day
23 Declaration of the Bab
23 Mesmerism Day
23 World Turtle Day
25 Jazz Day
26 Trinity
27 Memorial Day
31 No Tobacco Day & World

Barbecue Month
Bike Month
Month of Mary
Older American’s Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

June
01 Stepparents’ Week
03 Fishing Week
05 World Environment Day
08 Best Friends Day
08 World Oceans Day
10 Email Week
10 Little League Week
14 U.S. Flag Day
15 Quarterly Tax Day
16 Forgiveness Week
19 World Sauntering Day
21 Midsummer’s Eve
21 Summer Solstice
24 St. Jean – Baptiste Day
26 Beautician’s Day

Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
Candy Month
Rose Month

July
01 Canada Day
01 International Joke Day
02 I Forgot Day (715)
13 Cow Appreciation Day
14 Bastille Day
15 Respect Canada Day
17 Wrong Way Corrigan Day
20 Ugly Truck Contest Day
21 Ice Cream Cone Day & Nat.
26 Aunt and Uncle Day
27 Take Plants for a Walk
28 National Parent’s Day
28 Sys. Admins. Day
30 Father-In-Law Day

August
02 Friendship Day
04 National Smile Week
04 Sisters’ Day
04 U.S. Coast Guard Day
06 Intl. Forgiveness Day
07 National Lighthouse Day
08 Senior Citizens Day
08 Sneak Zucchini Night
10 “The King” Week
11 Son’s & Daughter’s Day
12 Truck Drivers Week
13 Left-hander’s Day
15 Relaxation Day
18 Bad Poetry Day
18 Friendship Week
19 Aviation Day
21 Hawaii Day
22 Be An Angel Day
22 Save Your Smile Week
22 Tooth Fairy Day
23 Ride the Wind Day
23 Hug Day
24 Chinese Valentine
24 Sam Spade Day
25 Kiss and Make up Day
26 Women’s Equality Day
27 Just Because Day

September
04 Teacher’s Day
05 Be Late for Something Day
07 Rosh Hashana
08 Grandparents Day
09 Brainstorming Week
09 Five-a-Day Week
09 Substitute Teacher’s Week
11 Remembrance Day
12 Video Game Day
13 Blame Someone Else Day
14 Triumph of the Holy Cross
15 Hispanic Heritage Mo. Begins
15 Our Lady of Sorrows
15 POW / MIA Recognition Day
15 Quarterly Tax Day
15 Women’s Friendship Day
16 Single’s Week
16 Stay Away from Seattle Day
16 Yom Kippur
17 Citizenship Day
17 Constitution Day
17 Day of Peace
18 Thank You Day
21 Full Moon Day
22 Business Women’s Day
22 Elephant Appreciation Day
22 Hoodie Hoo Day (Southern)
23 Angel Week
23 Autumnal Equinox
23 Good Neighbor Day
24 Dog Week
25 One Hit Wonder Day
29 Rabbit Day
29 Simchat Torah

Kids Good Manners Month
Piano Month

October
01 Bank Teller Appreciation Week
01 Customer Service Week
01 World Vegetarian Day
03 Techies Day
06 Clergy Appreciation Weekend
06 Intergenerational Day
07 National 4-H Week
07 World Habitat Day
08 Children’s Day & Nat.
08 Global Learn Day
08 Sports Day & Taiku-no-hi
10 Tuxedo Day
10 Wildlife Week
11 Pulaski Memorial Day
12 Oktoberfest
13 Train Your Brain Day
14 Be Bald and Be Free Day
14 Columbus Day
14 Pet Peeve Week
14 Teen Read Week
14 Thanksgiving (Canada)
14 Wolf Awareness Week
16 Boss Day & National
18 Boost Your Brain Day
19 Sweetest Day
21 Business Women’s Week
21 Full Moon Day
21 Pastoral Care Week
21 World Rainforest Week
23 National Mole Day
24 Black Thursday
24 Forgiveness Day
24 United Nations Day
25 Frankenstein Friday
25 Peace & Friendship and Good Will Week
26 Make a Difference Day
27 Day Light Savings Ends
27 Mother-in-Law Day
31 Samhain

AIDS Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Dinosaur Month
National Pizza Month
Stamp Collecting Month


November
01 All Saints’ Day
01 Communication Week
01 Day of the Dead (419)
02 All Souls’ Day
03 Sandwich Day
04 Chemistry Week
04 King Tut Day
04 Shallow Persons Week
05 Guy Fawkes Day
06 Saxophone Day
06 Young Readers Day
08 Cook Bold and Pungent Day
08 Punster Day
08 Pursuit of Happiness Week
11 Remembrance Day (Canada)
11 Veteran’s Day
12 O.R. Nurse Week
13 Children’s Book Week
13 World Kindness Day
15 America Recycles Day
15 Fast for World Harvest Day
15 Shichi-Go-San
17 World Peace Day
20 Children’s Day & Universal
21 Great American Smokeout
21 World Hello Day
22 Stop the Violence Day
24 Bible Week
24 Game & Puzzle Week
28 Red Planet Day
28 Thanksgiving Day
29 Electronic Greetings Day
29 Sinkie Day
29 Your Welcome Day
30 Call in Well Day
30 Full Moon Day
30 Guru Nanak Day Ji

AIDS Awareness Month
Aviation History Month
Diabetes Awareness Month
Georgia Peach Month
Native American Heritage Month


December
01 World Aids Day
04 Santa’s List Day
05 Bathtub Party Day
06 St. Nick’s Day
07 Letter Writing Day
07 Pearl Harbor Day
07 Teacher Appreciation Day
08 Night of the Lizard King
09 Weary Willie Day
10 Children’s Memorial Day
10 Human Rights Day
10 Sister Friend Day
12 Poinsettia Day
13 Santa Lucia Day
21 Humbug Day
21 Winter Solstice
26 Boxing Day – Canada
26 Boxing Day – UK
26 Kwanzaa
28 Holiday Breather Day
28 Holy Innocents
29 Japanese New Year
29 Texas Day
31 Make Up Your Mind Day

Friday, May 30, 2014

2 New PODS!

There are two new PODS who have just started up operation.  They are both established sites selling niche customized items already, and recently added storefronts.  I'll have reviews of both these sites up shortly.

Offering a wide selection of apparel and smaller selection of gift items for girls AND guys.

Stickers and skins in various shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

POD Giveaways

Here are the latest giveaways I've stumbled on  that might be of interest to shopkeepers!


POD Marketplace Giveaways
Giveaways for a gift certificate or item with your choice of design  from a POD marketplace.  You can usually use you're winnings to sell your own stuff sold through these PODS.

(5/13) 3 Yards Custom Printed Silk Faille at Spoonflower
(5/14) $50 Zazzle GC
(6/4) 3 Yards Custom Printed Pique Fabric at Spoonflower



POD Shop & Item Specific Giveaways
These giveaways are from individual shops and usually funded by the artist/shopkeeper.  Check out what some of your fellow POD artists are giving away!

(5/17) Bilingual Style - Item of Choice (Zazzle)
(5/15) How to Make Your Cat and Internet Celebrity Book and Zazzle Cards
(6/3)   Scribbleprint Stickers (Zazzle)



Other Custom Printing and Business Related Giveaways
Things that might be useful in growing your business, or if you were printing things to sell offline.

(5/18) $50 Vivo Print* GC at the Lily Field
(5/24) Canvas Print on Wood Frame at Joei and Me
(5/31) Piczzle Custom Puzzle at Tara Sayers


*Vivo print looks like it carries the same type of metal key chains and desk organizers that Zazzle just added recently, only for less (with bulk discounts that go lower).

Note, I got free entries for posting some of these.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CP Says April Fools!

The web has made April Fools so fun.  And this "foolsday" I got this in my e-mail from CafePress....



NICE!  Good one CafePress!  Love the political satire there.
Didn't notice anything on the other PODS I visited today.  Did you?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

FREE PrintKEG T-shirt

Want to try out a free custom t-shirt at PrintKEG?  OK, free is relative...this does require some of your time and influence.  You can get the free t-shirt by sharing about it on your blog, on your facebook page, on Pinterest page, or several other venues (but they do have some minimum follower requirements...read the fine print).  Click here to learn more.


Friday, March 28, 2014

POD Giveaways

Here are the latest giveaways I've stumbled on  that might be of interest to shopkeepers (some carry-overs from last week, and some new ones).

POD Marketplace Giveaways
Giveaways for a gift certificate or item with your choice of design  from a POD marketplace.  You can usually use you're winnings to sell your own stuff sold through these PODS.

(3/28) CafePress - Item of Choice
(4/15) Zazzle $50 Gift Card


Shop Specific or Design Specific Giveaways
Giveaways from a specific POD shop or set of designs...ie, you can't use this to buy your own stuff, but can sport some items by your fellow designers.

(4/10)  T-shirt From Joy's Fit Girl Wear CafePress Shop
(4/10)  Spreadshirt Mother's Day T-Shirt
(4/10)  Spreadshirt Father's Day T-Shirt



Other Custom Printing and Business Related Giveaways
Things that might be useful in growing your business, or if you were printing things to sell offline.

(3/31) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/31) $25 Gift Card to Build a Sign
(3/31) $50 to VivoPrint Blogging Mammas
(4/1)   $50 to VivoPrint Love, Life, Logistics
(4/1)   $50 to VivoPrint Housewife on a Mission
(4/6)   1000 Custom Postcards (Says to promote your book, but you might be able to use them for other things...not sure)


Note, I got free entries for posting some of these.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Zazzle Improvements, Including Aquaclock Picture

Scribbleprint Waves Aquavista Clock
Scribbleprint Waves Aquavista Clock by scribbleprints

Zazzle just announced a lot of small changes they've been making, including new product views, and new fonts (check under the new "Wedding" section).   Some of them are items that I've specifically mentioned here before, like the lack of water or a fish in the Aquavista Clock (I made up a graphic for adding a waterline, which is still useful since it's from the straight front view, which is easier to work with if you are adding alternative contents.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

POD Giveaways


Giveaways that might be of interest to shopkeepers--my latest finds below:

POD Marketplace Giveaways
Giveaways for a gift certificate or item with your choice of design  from a POD marketplace.  You can usually use you're winnings to sell your own stuff sold through these PODS.

(3/28) CafePress - Item of Choice
(3/31) $25 CafePress Gift Certificate (must submit story)



Shop Specific or Design Specific Giveaways
Giveaways from a specific POD shop or set of designs...ie, you can't use this to buy your own stuff, but can sport some items by your fellow designers.

(3/26)  CafePress Divergent Giveaway - Ends at 5 pm 3/26
(3/26)  Book and Silk Fat Quarters from Spoonflower
(4/10)  Spreadshirt Mother's Day T-Shirt
(4/10)  Spreadshirt Father's Day T-Shirt



Other Custom Printing and Business Related Giveaways
Things that might be useful in growing your business, or if you were printing things to sell offline.

(3/31) $25 Gift Card to Build a Sign
(3/24) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/24) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/25) Silhouette Portrait
(3/25) Silhouette Portrait and Online Classes
(3/25) Silhouette Portrait
(3/25) Silhouette Portrait
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo
(3/25) Silhouette Cameo - Daily Free Entries
(3/26) Silhouette Portrait
(3/31) Piczzle Custom Puzzle

Note, I got free entries for posting some of these.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

FREE GRAPHIC: Add "Water" To Your AquaVista Clock, Front View


Zazzle has recently added the Aquavisa Clock, a clock that is designed to double as a fish-bowl for bettas.  They do not, however, have any pictures of these clocks with an actual fish in it.  (UPDATE:  They have added a view with water and a beta fish!  Yeah!  It's an angled view, so you still might want to use this one,  especially if you are adding alternative contents, like I mention below, since those are easier to add from a straight on view).  When I made a comment on the Zazzle forum about that, I started a firestorm of backlash against this clock/bowl, which many said was too small to keep a fish in (I researched...Bettas can be kept in a bowl this small, though a good environment is harder to maintain and a larger bowl is better for them).   That aside, you COULD use this for a number of other things, such as a indoor water garden or terrarium, displaying flowers, showing off your marble collection, etc..  Personally, I'd like to try this out with a ROBOTIC fish (yes, there is such a thing, and they're not that expensive even)....




I also posted about this  on Zazzlers on Facebook, mentioning the lack of a "with fish" example.  And in response promptly had someone add a fish for me (thanks Maria) and that prompted me to get busy and see if I could figure out how to add some water.

The following graphic should fit the 499 pixel wide graphic of a fishtank.  If you want to know how to save a Zazzle image at this size, click here for my tutorial.   This should be added as a layer on top of the fish tank graphic, with an opacity of around 33% (play around with it to see what works for your design).  Then just merge the layers and you should have a tank that looks like it has water in it.  



TERMS OF USE
I got the waterline from this Creative Commons picture from by Dean McCoy.  While it is free for alteration and commercial use, attribution is required (not to me, but to Dean McCoy...though if you want to mention PODNews I'd be pleased).  I'm going to ask if it's ok to use this without attribution if we are using this on a banner ad or advertisement where attribution would be difficult.  But I haven't heard back yet, so for now, please attribute.  Otherwise, this is free for you to use.

You will have to find your own fish or plants or whatever you want to add to your "water" as I don't know where Maria got her fish and if I have permission to distribute it.   I looked on the Aquavista website and they also show their "example fish" smaller, so this fish is not to scale.
 

How to Link, Resize, and Save Zazzle Images

Zazzle makes it very easy to link to images.  Here's how...


First, go to the product you want to link to.  To the right (or sometimes underneath) the product, you will see a "Share" button.  Click it.  Then click the "Link To This" button or tab.  That should bring up the following screen...



You can see, there is HTML code you can add to your blog or website, and BBC code you can add to many forums, including the Zazzle forum.   You can select a large or small image.  The large will be 325 pixels and the small 125 pixels.  You can simply highlight the code and paste it in the HTML editor of your blog.  If you want to save a picture of the product, you can right click on it from this screen and save it.

But what if you need it in another size?  All Zazzle image URLS can be tweaked to create a different size.
I'll show you how, but first, lets look at the different parts of the code so you can tell which part does what.


<div style="text-align:center;line-height:150%"> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-175357796143474991?rf=238984407003792011"> <img src="http://rlv.zcache.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-rfaa50f5381ee4a78b3df1aa6421ed9c1_x7s21_8byvr_325.jpg" alt="Heart of Flowers Ornaments" style="border:0;" /> </a> <br /> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-175357796143474991?rf=238984407003792011">Heart of Flowers Ornaments</a> by <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/scribbleprints*">scribbleprints</a> <br /> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/custom/ornaments?rf=238984407003792011">Make your own Christmas ornaments</a> online. </div>

Here is what all the sections do:

  • The orange section sets the style...it makes it centered, etc.
  • The pink and purple section is what makes the image and links it to the page.  The pink is the part that creates the link.  The purple is what makes the picture show up.
  • The green is what makes all the links and text at the bottom show up.
  • The black <br/> tags mark a new line...without them this would all be on the same line.
OK, now that that's covered, lets just look at the image URL....

 <div style="text-align:center;line-height:150%"> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-175357796143474991?rf=238984407003792011"> <img src="http://rlv.zcache.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-rfaa50f5381ee4a78b3df1aa6421ed9c1_x7s21_8byvr_325.jpg" alt="Heart of Flowers Ornaments" style="border:0;" /> </a> <br /> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-175357796143474991?rf=238984407003792011">Heart of Flowers Ornaments</a> by <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/scribbleprints*">scribbleprints</a> <br /> <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/custom/ornaments?rf=238984407003792011">Make your own Christmas ornaments</a> online. </div>

There is a number in it.  Changing that number will make the image a different size.  For example....


If I change the image URL to http://rlv.zcache.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-rfaa50f5381ee4a78b3df1aa6421ed9c1_x7s21_8byvr_200.jpg  (changes in bold purple), it will look like this....


Heart of Flowers Ornaments
Heart of Flowers Ornaments by scribbleprints
Make your own Christmas ornaments online.


And if I change the image URL to http://rlv.zcache.com/heart_of_flowers_ornaments-rfaa50f5381ee4a78b3df1aa6421ed9c1_x7s21_8byvr_500.jpg  it will look like this...

Heart of Flowers Ornaments
Heart of Flowers Ornaments by scribbleprints
Make your own Christmas ornaments online.


Images 500 pixels or over will sometimes show a Zazzle watermark.  

If you want to save an image at any size, just copy the image URL to your browser window, right click on the image, and save it.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Embed Feature On CafePress Products

One thing I love about Zazzle is how easy they make it to add product images to blogs or wherever...on any product (unless it's been disabled by the artist) you can click the share link and get code to embed it.

Looks like CafePress has finally jumped on the bandwagon.  I just saw a new embed button on one of my products in the marketplace, as well as a button to share it on facebook and favorite it on CP. NICE.  (Note, no affiliate link if you're part of that program, though...you'll have to add that manually).



But, would they have the same thing in my shop, I wondered.  The answer is sometimes and kind of. I haven't found this on any in my upgraded shops...they are on some products in my BASIC shops, so it may be that this is being added to all of them there (and may show up in upgraded shops eventually...I don't know).  You will notice a difference though...


Notice the difference?  (Yes, this is like one of those spotting games they have in magazines).  Clue...there's one less button.


Shamrock Organic Men's Fitted T-Shirt (dark)
Shamrock T-Shirt by Scribbleprints
Find more mens & unique gifts at CafePress


And you can also choose a smaller size....
Shamrock Organic Men's Fitted T-Shirt (dark)
Shamrock T-Shirt by Scribbleprints
Find more mens & unique gifts at CafePress



CafePress does not seem to be sneaking in links straight to the marketplace if you embed from a marketplace shop, which is good.  But I do notice that if I try to get back to my basic shop (unlike my Updated non-basic shop, which so far doesn't have this embedding feature) from the product page, the only way is to use the back button on my browser.  There is a link to my CP profile, but not a link to my basic shop anywhere on the page.  While means, if someone embeds a product from my shop and someone follows it, even though it looks like I will get shop credit if they buy THIS product,  they will never find their way to the other products in my own shop.  This is a change that took place a while ago...I'm just noticing the implications now.

So, even in this CP makes certain that all roads go to the marketplace.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Squidoo is Retiring the CafePress Module

Yep, first went the Zazzle module, and now the CP module is saying farewell.  More info here.

POD Giveaways

Giveaways that might be of interest to shopkeepers--my latest finds below:

Shop Specific Giveaways
Giveaways from a specific POD shop or set of designs...ie, you can't use this to buy your own stuff, but can sport some items by your fellow designers.

(3/3) $25 to Designer Cat Zazzle Shop


POD Marketplace Giveaways
Giveaways for a gift certificate or item with your choice of design  from a POD marketplace.  You can usually use you're winnings to sell your own stuff sold through these PODS.

(3/5) 3 Rolls of Spoonflower Wallpaper


Other Printing and POD Business Related Giveaways

(3/3) PrintKEG $50 GC
(3/7) PrintKEG Custom T-Shirt
(3/8) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/9) PrintKEG $50 GC
(3/11) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/11) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/14) Piczzle Custom Puzzle
(3/15) PrintKEG Custom T-Shirt
(3/16) 1 2 3 Print Business Cards

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Selling Your Art Through Print on Demand: Getting Started


What Is Print on Demand?

By working through a print on demand company (or POD) allows you to sell  products like shirts, posters, mugs, mousepads, cards and more printed with your designs without having to pay any printing costs. The idea is simple. You supply the company with the designs, and the POD company provides you with a shop that shows your designs on various items--but nothing is actually printed until a customer orders it.  POD collects their "base price" on orders and you make an artist commission or mark-up on the sale. They handle the production and shipping, collect sales taxes, etc., so you can focus on making great art.  

There are various print on demand services out there. Below is a guide on what to look for when choosing a POD for your art. At the bottom you can find links to detailed reviews of the services I've used and  links to the other print on demand services I'm aware of.

What To Look For in a POD

There are several different considerations in choosing a print-on-demand company. Some may be more important to you depending on what you want to sell, who you want to sell it to, and how much time you want to put into your shop.

  • Product Selection 
    What can you sell?
  • Product and Printing Quality
    Do they meet your quality standards?
  • Storefront 
    How is the store front laid out, what features are offered, how much flexibility do you have to make it your own, and how difficult is it to set up, add products, and maintain your shop?
  • Product Price
    What is the base price of the products (before adding your commission or mark-up)?
  • Production & Shipping Time/Cost 
    How fast do your customers get their orders, and how much will they pay for shipping?
  • Customer Base 
    Does the company have a market for your niche already in place, or will you have to rely mainly on your own promotional efforts?

POD Shops List and Reviews




POD REVIEWS: Zazzle

Product Selection
Zazzle offers an excellent selection of apparel, stationary, home and office items, custom tech items and a fairly large selection of other gift items. They offer more shirt styles than any of the other POD mentioned here, and have a good selection of shirt colors as well (although not as many as Printfection). They offer custom embroidery (not limited to a particular size like CafePress) on select styles of apparel and bags, but you have to pay a one-time fee to convert your original artwork for use on embroidery unless you have the ability to save your work in the format they require (you can do text designs using their fonts and dingbats without having to pay this fee, though).

Quality
I have been very satisfied with quality of everything I've ordered from Zazzle. I was especially impressed by the quality of their stationery (stickers, cards, business cards). Their printing on most items is sharp and clear, though I have had some small issues with their printing on ceramics.

Price
Zazzle product price is a little bit higher that other PODS on most items, though you can lower your cost per item by buying multiples of the same type of item. Zazzle also frequently offers coupons and discounts, which can save you a lot.

Storefront
Zazzle's storefront has some nice built in features. Customers can customize any of your products (unless you opt out of this feature) by adding their own text or photos, moving or resizing your design, or changing the style or color. You can even create templates where they are asked to fill in text or photos at specific areas of your design.

Zazzle shops have some nice features for building customer loyalty and communication. Customers make comments on your products, rate them, and save them as favorites. They can join your fan club and receive updates every time you add something new. Zazzle makes it easy for people to share things they like by social media as well.

In your shops you can categorize and sub-categorize, add your own header images, choose what features to include (comments/etc), and add as many items and designs as you want. There are only certain places where you can add html and it's harder to brand this as "your own shop" than Printfection, ArtsNow, and CafePress VIP shops. They do, however, allow some HTML in the product description, which is a nice feature when you want to send customers to see matching items or visit other parts of your store.

Their product creation tools allows you to resize, rotate, and move your design anywhere on the product, change the background color (sometimes), add text, and add multiple designs on one item. It does take a considerable amount of time to add items individually and do all this tweaking though. You can add things faster through Quick Create, which can speed up the process, though it can be a bit hard to work with sometimes.

Once you ad an item, you can change everything about it (style, model, description, etc.) EXCEPT the design itself. You can delete your item and add it again with the changes you want, but unfortunately when you do that you loose all the comments, awards, and ratings associated with it.

Mark-Up/Commission Method
At Zazzle you earn a percentage of the product sale price. You get to set the percentage, and the price increases accordingly. However, according to recent changes (June 2013) a transaction fee (5%) will now be subtracted from royalty rates set greater than or equal to 15%. You can earn more on order that come through your affiliate links (as well as volume bonus).

Customer Base
Zazzle has a good customer base. You can expect sales through their marketplace.

Misc.
CafePress has a deal with Sony Records allowing Zazzle shopkeepers to do fan designs for some of their songs (including Heartbreak Hotel, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, I Fought the Law and the Law Won, and more). You can find out more about tha there. They also allow for customer customization.

Summary
An easy shop for beginners to set up, with a good customer base and quality products. Their storefront and marketplace has many tools to build customer loyalty, and they offer various ways that customers can personalize items. However, the storefront is less customization than with some other services.


This review last updated Feb 2014.  

(DISCLOSURE: I am part of the Zazzle affiliate program and receive a commission on purchases by customers who visit through the links above).

POD REVIEWS: CafePress

Product Selection
CafePress has a nicely rounded out selection of apparel (including baby and maternity) and gift items. They have ceramics, stationary, and gifts for home and office. They offer embroidery, but it is limited to a pre-set shaped patch on certain apparel items. They also offer books and audio and video CDs.

Of the PODS reviewed here CafePress is the one which offers the most items for cars (like vanity licence plates, flags, etc.), the most travel accessories, and the most large home accessories (blankets, sheets, shower curtains), the most pet items (dog collars, bowls, etc.), and the largest amount of baby gear (diaper bags, blankets, bibs, etc.) .

Quality
Overall, CafePress has a relatively good product and printing quality. I have had a few things mis-printed, but they've always been good about replacing the item when there was a problem. So, if anything isn't like you expected, contact them. Every thing else I've ordered from them  from them (mugs, cards, ornaments) was excellent quality, though in my personal opinion the journals would more appropriately be called notebooks, as the cover is card-stock and the size is somewhat thin for a true journal.

Price
CafePress has average prices.

Production & Shipping Time/Cost
CafePress has a reasonable shipping rate and processing time.

Storefront
If you use their Basic Shops (their free shop version), you are VERY limited in how you can customize your shop. You have one logo you can add at the top, and an area you can add text to underneath, but NO custom HTML (URLS typed into the text area will be turned into links for you). You can have only one of each product in a basic shop (although you can open as many basic shops as you need). But it seems CafePress is moving away from basic shops and may do away with them eventually.)

You can now choose to pay a set price for a premium shop or pay a percentage of your earnings. With a Premium Shop you can organize your shop into categories and subcategories, and have as many products and designs as you want. You also have more flexibility to customize your shop. They have templates you can choose from or you can design your own. Unfortunately the templates contain some discontinued features, which are difficult to remove. I don't know why they haven't updated them.

Both premium and basic shops are fairly easy to set up (depending, of course, on how much you want to customize a premium shop). You can add multiple items at once, and also change things like prices and description in bulk.

Mark-Up/Commission Method
CafePress has two different pricing methods, one for shops, and one for it's marketplace, and a third for certain name brand items, and items it sells through third party venues like Amazon and Ebay. They set the base price in your shop, and you set whatever price over that you wanted to. On order through the marketplace you will get a percentage varying from 5% to 10% of the sale price, depending on different factors including participation on the site (I've written more about that here). Some very high participators will be hand chosen for a program where you have more responsibilities, and can earn up to 15% in the marketplace. You also receive volume bonus if you sell over a certain amount from your shops. Orders originating in the marketplace do not count towards this bonus.

Customer Base
CafePress has one of the best, most established, customer bases. It's possible to get quite a bit of sales solely from their marketplace. However, starting in June 2009 they removed all links to shops from the things you sold in the marketplace (so you still get sales from the marketplace, but will have less of a chance to gain repeat customers that way), and they changed their rules so that they could exclude designs from the marketplace they thought were redundant or otherwise unwanted (this doesn't remove them from your own shops, only the marketplace). Also, you don't have a choice on which color gets featured in the marketplace anymore (again, this doesn't apply to shops). So, while they have a large customer base, it is not quite as accessible as it used to be.

Misc.
PARTNERSHIPS: CafePress has deals with various TV shows, movies, video games and groups to allow their designers to make designs associated with their brand. These include Star Trek, Lost, Twilight, and more. You can find more detail and the complete list of fan portals CafePress offers here. It also recently added customization, which is a little tricky to figure out, and somewhat frustrating because you can't use images in your image basket when making custom items, and have to upload images again, which is time consuming.

OTHER FEATURES: In July 2013 CafePress added some features that might help customer loyalty...allowing customers to like items, follow an artist, ect. Unfortunately, they are also requiring artists to be somewhat active in this new "community" or their commission is downgraded lower than 10%.

ISSUES WITH TERMS: I have read some criticism about their terms which may leave artists more open then they like to having their work used without their permission. Here's an article about it. I'm not sure how much of a risk this is, and I've never heard of CafePress selling anything with a design without paying anyone, but thought I would mention it so you could read and decide for yourself.

Summary
Their well established customer base and marketplace makes this a good shop to start with if you don't want to do much promotion (and if you don't mind only taking 10% of marketplace sales). If you are successful at promoting your shop yourself and don't need to rely on CafePress's marketplace promotion, you can take a higher mark-up, though.

Visit CafePress

Review last updated Feb 2014.  Moved from Squidoo.

(DISCLOSURE: I am part of the CafePress affiliate program and receive a commission on purchases by customers who visit through the links above).

POD REVIEWS: Printfection

NOTE: I stopped actively using Printfection in 2010. Though I still receive their newsletter and try to keep up on changes, my experience as a day to day user is based on activity prior to 9/2010.

Product Selection
Printfection offers various styles of t-shirts, as well as a small number of gift items (aprons, cutting boards, tote bags, laptop sleeves,  mouspads, and coasters, and mugs).

They also have some colors of clothing not found at the other PODS reviewed here.

Quality
This POD is known for it's excellent printing quality. I've only bought a few things myself there, so I will defer to what I've heard.

Price
The prices are reasonable, and they offer volume discounts if you buy more than one item.  You can pass these discounts on to your customer, or not.

Production & Shipping Time/Cost
Shipping is based on weight, so you have to view your shopping cart to determine the shipping cost. I've found the prices to be reasonable on the orders I've made. Shipping time is normal for most PODs.

Storefront
The storefront offers A LOT of flexibility. You can have as many sections, items for sale, and designs that you want. The layout is completely customizable if you know how to code for it. Unfortunately, the templates available if you DON'T know how to do your own coding are somewhat lacking.

The space available on T-shirts is a little larger than most at most other PODS, and you can move your design around on your items (in stead of being stuck with it centered--though there is a limited printing space you can work with). I found it fairly easy to add new items.

Mark-Up/Commission Method
They have a base price and you set whatever mark-up you want above that. You can also set a mark-up for each bulk pricing level (for instance, if they buy 2 or 10 items, you can change your mark-up on each of these bulk pricing levels).

Customer Base
I am not even sure if they have a public marketplace now.  If they do, I can't find it on their main page.  Even when they did have a marketplace and were promoting it from their main page, I never made a sale through it...in spite of my designs being fairly high up in their marketplace under some key search words, and the same designs doing comparatively well in CafePress and Zazzle.

Summary
A great store if you want to sell mainly t-shirts, do a lot of customization to your site (and don't mind coding it yourself or hiring someone to do it), and are willing to do your own promotion (not rely on their marketplace). However, they have been doing better and more frequent sales and coupons, so are easier to promote then they used to be...which might help change that for the better.

Visit Printfection