Thursday, February 20, 2014

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).

4 comments:

  1. Thank you and I have a question. I am not clear as to the % markup. For instance, I want to sell a T-shirt for $40. I want 50% on that product for retail single buy, for wholesale I want $20 each for $500 or more ordered and I understand from your post they will charge me an additional 5% fee, is that right? Thank you, Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hi. I'll try to reword that. You can't choose a "price" but you can choose a mark-up. For instance, you can set it to 50% mark up, but they choose the final price and you make 50% of it. There is no "wholesale" price though they do offer bulk discounts. When someone orders enough for a bulk discount, or takes advantage of another sale, you get whatever percentage of the price they paid (unless it was a referral...if YOU referred the sale you get your percentage +15% extra. If another affiliate referred the sale, they get 15% and you get your artist percentage AFTER that 15% is taken out.

      The 5% fee if you have a mark-up at or over 15% is only on the profit, not on the whole sale. So, for instance, if you sold a $40 shirt at a 50% commission rate, you would get $20 and pay a $1 fee on that.

      However, you mention wanting to sell something for $40. You really can't do that. As far as I can tell Zazzle does not like selling products for round number prices. No matter what commission you choose they will round it up a few cents so it ends at $40.95 or $40.20, etc. (On the cool side, this means that occassionally you can up your commission percentage 1% or .5% or whatever and it will up your commission without changing the price. Just discovered that little trick.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete