Been on Zazzle.com for quite a while and read many a blog and article on the subject about how to actually sell items on Zazzle. I know a few people who have been doing very well on Zazzle but also some people who have been on Zazzle.com for a while and received only a few sales.
Don’t rely just on your zazzle page
It does seem a key thing is not to rely on your Zazzle page. Sell your products on your own website, sell them via blogs, sell them at fairs, get the word out – any way you can. Each day more and more items are added to Zazzle.com – make sure your items are not lost in the crowd.
The “quick create” is a nice feature on Zazzle even if there is no actual explanation – it does create 100 products in a quick and easy way. I generally use a large 3000 x 3000 or so picture and that seems to work well with most of the products. Some of the items such as the tie and the mugs often require additional work, though sometimes the end result (for a mug etc) can be an abstract design – instead of a face, half a smile appears and that is often just as pleasing a design as the core Zazzle design. Can’t say I have used quick create for all my Zazzle products, just some of them as pillows etc are not included in the quick create, and I quite like creating the pillows and cushions. Anyway, you can quickly go through all the items and delete the ones that haven’t worked or do a quick customization on the item. I wish the product display would list what the items are – many look much the same, so it is hard to know if you are editing a t-shirt or mousepad or belt buckle.
Zazzle api / panel
Once you have the products, another option is to use the zazzle api and add all the items to your own hosted website. I found this didn’t work for one website hosting but it was fine on my Linux one. Anyway, perhaps it was me. Or you can use the lovely zazzle panel which displays many of the items in your store (or other stores) as well as all the items referenced by a search term. Personally the search term approach is a little limited and I wish the zazzle panel would allow category or keywords or easily defined groupings of products. Still, the Zazzle panel works well and doesn’t seem to add much (or any) drag on the web page especially if placed outside of the core div for the webpage. It would be great if Zazzle.com added some additional variants of the Zazzle panel, perhaps a up down panel or a spinner or spherical design.
There are also other similar sites to Zazzle.com – CafePress etc comes to mind.
Zazzle.com and videos
Another place to promote your zazzle.com items are video sites. With applications like Quicktime or some of the screen capture tools like Expression Encoder etc, a video can be quickly created. Of course, you could take even more care and develop a powerful promotional video using After Effects or Premiere etc – all selling your wonderful Zazzle.com related items.
Creating items for zazzle.com
Anyway, I sometimes go weeks without creating any items for the Zazzle.com site; sometimes I can spend all day creating different items for Zazzle. The upload / product create is fairly straight forward and it doesn’t take long before the product appears on your Zazzle pages, as well as a link direct to the product. It is useful to take those links and add those to your twitter feeds etc occasionally (you really don’t want to do it for all the products as people will get fed up – surely – with seeing 100s of messages selling mousepads etc).
A useful set of files are zazzle guideline files – PNG format etc. You can find them via the zazzle site and it gives the size etc for all the mousepads, t-shirts etc. I have used them as a start point for the Zazzle.com items and created my own PSD files with layers etc for quick creation of designs (as well as permanent record of the creation of the designs)
The world definitely does need more mousepads. Love to see a Zazzle.com mouse as a product though. Zazzle.com is a very useful site and really worth checking out, especially if you have a design or loads of designs you think the world needs to see.
My site on zazzle.com
Of course, after all that – my Zazzle.com is
Got about x number of products such as t-shirts, pillows etc on the site. What sells best on Zazzle.com, I have no idea. I suspect that pillows are never going to be the biggest seller but I really like creating the pillows. T-shirts.. ? posters? Anyway, carve out your own niche and also try a load of different items – don’t just caught doing the same items over and over. I created a lot of t-shirts when I first started, probably others do the same. Hopefully the mix is a little better now. 98% of the zazzle items on my pages are created using the shapes / brushes off my site http://www.graphicxtras.com. 2% are other items such as 3D renders or pictures of Maidstone or photos I have taken over the years