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Author Topic: Print-On-Demand Sites Worthwhile?  (Read 16825 times)

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Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2012, 05:26 »
0
I'll offer my assessment of the situation and ask whether or not anyone agrees.  It seems to me that the POD sites offer a service and some products to be comined with our "products" (photos or illustrations).  It is then our responsibility to generate sales by our own marketing and promotions because simply putting our products on the POD sites is likely to do nothing at all.  It's not a situation wherein we can upload our material to the sites and then watch the sales roll in, as most of us have discovered.  So I suppose the question then becomes one of how best to market these products and generate sales, which means more time away from photography (or creating vectors if you're an illustrator) to devote to sales & marketing.  I'm not sure I wanna go there.  Any thoughts?


« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2012, 06:00 »
+1
I do Zazzle stuff on the side when I feel like taking a break from working and editing photos. For me it is a creative break to think what kind of products I can create from my images. And since there is no approval process on most POD sites, you can burn free and just make what you like or feel inspired to. It is part fun, part work, and it adds some extra income, not a whole lot, but helps to diversify income sources. I don't get into the promotional side very much, except for a few links on my photo blog, web site or twitter.
My store is here http://www.zazzle.com/asiastockimages

« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2012, 07:11 »
0
I'll offer my assessment of the situation and ask whether or not anyone agrees.  It seems to me that the POD sites offer a service and some products to be comined with our "products" (photos or illustrations).  It is then our responsibility to generate sales by our own marketing and promotions because simply putting our products on the POD sites is likely to do nothing at all.  It's not a situation wherein we can upload our material to the sites and then watch the sales roll in, as most of us have discovered.  So I suppose the question then becomes one of how best to market these products and generate sales, which means more time away from photography (or creating vectors if you're an illustrator) to devote to sales & marketing.  I'm not sure I wanna go there.  Any thoughts?


I just started on Zazzle in Mid-January.  What I found was there are folks who will promote your stuff for you because they get the referral fee.  Some people make money there JUST on referrals and don't sell any products.  So they are always looking for new stores, etc.    There is a forum section where you can add your store info and referrers can pick it up and start marketing you.   You can also add your products to peoples squidoo lenses and stuff, also consolidated in that one forum section.  I have made (3) sales so far (all through referrals) that have netted me $23.32 so far, which ain't too bad.   (iPhone covers, stamps and stickers are what I have sold so far)

It IS a lot of work though.  It took forever to get my quick templates built up, to figure out the create method, and even to find all the various products that are hidden about the website.  Getting your workflow set up is painful, and I will admit I haven't been adding stuff there recently because of that.   I get the impression that it takes time for your products to build their position in the Zazzle Marketplace (rather like Best Match), but that once you have established yourself with some critical mass of products that the momentum picks up. 

My store is http://www.zazzle.com/the_edge_of_light  if you are curious. 

« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2012, 08:55 »
0
I made a few  sales without promoting my stuff in any way - buyers found them by keyword search.  So it's possible, and might amount to something if you have images of popular subjects.

Another warning: some time ago I complained on the Zazzle forum about a recent change Zazzle had made.  I was immediately locked out of the forum and all my posts were deleted.  Zazzle is a nasty place, basically an automated money machine.  There is little if any support for contributors and they obviously want their forum to be a "happy place" much like IS.

« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2012, 16:37 »
0
i looked at zazzle, but it seemed like too much work for the possible payoffs - i cancelled finearts when the renewal came up; similar slim results at greeting card universe

i still have a redbubble acct that brings in a coupla $ a month, but havent added to it in well over a year - RB has a lot of activity but it's more a social site with everyone trying to sell their portfolios, but doesnt seem there are many actual buyers there

« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2012, 17:25 »
0
i looked at zazzle, but it seemed like too much work for the possible payoffs - i cancelled finearts when the renewal came up; similar slim results at greeting card universe

i still have a redbubble acct that brings in a coupla $ a month, but havent added to it in well over a year - RB has a lot of activity but it's more a social site with everyone trying to sell their portfolios, but doesnt seem there are many actual buyers there

Yup.

What I want is a POD site where I sell images on things like coffee cups and T-shirts, with a design/listing process that is quick and straightforward, and with reasonable prices for the goods.   I don't even want to be bothered with keywording,  I'd promote it myself.   I haven't found such a site.

« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2012, 18:44 »
0
I just started on Zazzle 3 or 4 days ago and have already had 2 of my products selected as 'Today's Best', which has brought in a decent number of views but still no sales. I've got about 130 designs (mostly illustrations) that I've been working through putting on products. So far I only have about 250 products, mostly just iPhone and iPod cases. I think I can get up to 3,000 products or so using the 130 designs I already have made. I don't like their quick create feature and I don't intend on putting my designs on every product they offer, just the products I think fit my designs. Cherry picking the products will certainly be more time consuming, but hopefully worth it in the long run as my store won't be filled with crap.

My store: http://www.zazzle.com/abstractzz

I haven't got around to creating a nice store design yet, obviously.

« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2012, 21:32 »
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Illustrations do well in Zazzle.

helix7

« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2012, 16:31 »
0

I'm disappointed with the product quality at Zazzle. I used my earnings to buy a t-shirt and an iPhone case. The t-shirt was a white design on a black shirt. The white printing came out sort of faded looking, and you could see the entire imprint area of the front of the shirt, like the fabric was somehow affected by the imprinting, even beyond the actual printed graphic.

The iPhone case was a symmetric design and supposed to be centered on the case, and it was printed very off-center. It was also cropped very differently than it appeared in the preview. I had them redo it, and the replacement case was warped and couldn't hold the phone. This time around, they're only offering a refund.

I almost feel a little embarrassed to be selling my work on these products. They're pretty crappy.

« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2012, 17:26 »
+2
i decided the only way zazzle would work for me is if i could find someone to design products using my images, otherwise it's way too time consuming.  other sites like redbubble, fineart, etc let you upload ! image, then just click the products you want to support, you dont need to individualy design each product

« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2012, 18:24 »
0
Redbubble is much simpler than Zazzle.  Unfortunately they don't offer many POD products - mainly just prints, cars, t-shirts and (of course) iPad covers.  I'd like to do coffee cups, but Rebubble doesn't have them, and Zazzle's are too expensive.

« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2012, 16:41 »
0
I now have a few images on fineartamerica.

For ex, here's one I entered in FAA contest. It needs only 248 more votes to be eligible to be considered by jury for TV commercial use ;)

[dead link deleted]

Until reading RacePhoto's post, however, I forgot they have a 25 image limit for free membership. I'll focus mainly on angels & see what happens - FAA has only a 10,000+ of those heavenly creatures so far ;)

RacePhoto -  lovely panoramic cavern!

smiles - ann

[edited 6/30 to delete dead link, since no longer on FAA]

[....] I have a free FAA account, uploaded scenic and waterfalls and basically what I think would be best there - Wall Art. Haven't reached the 25 limit yet and when I do, I'll start trading in newer shots and removing old ones. Same as other places. Panoramas and wide shots, don't display very attractively. I may have to grab some centers of those and see how they do, but I like making the wide shots and for the two that I printed for myself, they hang nice. (of course I'm terribly biased!)

Example: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/colored-cavern-panorama-pete-klinger.html
[....]  
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 19:42 by ann »

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2012, 17:31 »
0
I got the same shoddy workmanship from Cafe Press, after which I closed my account.  Looks like I'll have to do the same with Zazzle unless it's an isolated incident.

« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2012, 17:52 »
0
I'm a huge fan of Zazzle's mugs.  Excellent quality!

« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2013, 05:03 »
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Hi all, I'm planning to put my designs up on these POD sites and have been doing some research on them. I think cafepress and zazzle have a higher base price on their products but i love the range of products they provide!

Microbius

« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2013, 05:07 »
0
i decided the only way zazzle would work for me is if i could find someone to design products using my images, otherwise it's way too time consuming.  other sites like redbubble, fineart, etc let you upload ! image, then just click the products you want to support, you dont need to individualy design each product
Did you find someone to do this for you, I have thought about doing a deal with someone to create using my stuff and doing a split but not sure how it would work.

« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2013, 10:33 »
0
i decided the only way zazzle would work for me is if i could find someone to design products using my images, otherwise it's way too time consuming.  other sites like redbubble, fineart, etc let you upload ! image, then just click the products you want to support, you dont need to individualy design each product
Did you find someone to do this for you, I have thought about doing a deal with someone to create using my stuff and doing a split but not sure how it would work.

Agreed.  I've tried several times to get moving on Zazzle but it's just too slow and tedious.  And, their prices are too high.  That company desperately needs some serious competition.


« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2013, 08:35 »
0
Hi all!

I am on Zazzle for 6 months now. I must say it is a huge amount of work cause I do doodles and then need to convert them to vector which means my output is not that much as compared to photo taking. But as I continue to build up my portfolio, learn how to do key words correctly and promote my stuff, I do see an increase in the sales. For the first four months, I am making so many mistakes.   

This month has been my best so far, making about $50 with special thanks to a customer that bought 100 magnets.

It may be tedious but it is the only one that I found results so far so I am sticking with it. Hopefully, I can do better in months to come.

If you are interested, my store is newbielink:http://www.zazzle.com/rustydoodle. [nonactive]

Cheers,
Rusty


 

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