Earlier today, after the Town Hall Meeting held about upcoming changes to Zazzle, I made the post below in the Feedback and Suggestions section of their forums. There were only two comments in the thread prior to me posting, neither sounding happy about the changes. Guess what? I don’t know if anyone else posted or not BECAUSE THE ENTIRE THREAD HAS DISAPPEARED! So, I’ll just repost my part of the thread here – it’s my blog, I can do that, and I think what I had to say is important. ***
“I just left the Town Hall Meeting about upcoming changes to Zazzle. I’d planned to spend the weekend hustling to get more items in my fairly new store, and work harder on getting traffic. Right now I’m not very encouraged to do it. The meeting seemed to include a lot of unhappy sounding sellers asking questions and from what I saw, no real answers about much of anything. They did say that the decisions had already been made and would be taking effect, so I’m not sure what the point of the meeting was for. Nothing sellers said was going to make any difference. Hopefully more clear answers will be made available really soon.
It seems now, if you choose, you can lower your royalty rate to 5%, down from 10%, and that with this change BASE PRICES OF PRODUCTS WILL BE INCREASED. Also, the really good sellers who have a lot of sales will no longer be getting their volume bonus – and IMO that is simply unfair to them.
Sounds like tier levels for affiliates will change, too, but I think the volume bonus is still there at least. It’s the people who make the designs being marketed by affiliates and sold by Zazzle who will be hit hard. The affiliate thing had already stunned me – in that some items I put up were promoted extremely fast – and ranked way above my actual store in search engine results although some of those sites had nothing but affiliate links, no other content at all, just links. I realize that’s a search engine issue, but still….
I haven’t made any sales. I don’t get traffic, even though I’ve tried to put my products out there. I couldn’t sell water to someone dying of thirst, I stink at selling/marketing. Period. The only visitors I’ve had are the kind sellers here who gave me opinions I asked for and friends I asked opinions of about my products. The friends thought some of the prices were too high and were shocked that although the designs were mine I would only get, for example, $2.00 off a $19.95 shirt. I defended Zazzle, saying they had to make profit, too, and that they did all the physical part of mfg, shipping and such. I also explained I could increase that 10% royalty but the cost of the shirt would also increase. I got a lot of “wow” reactions. More than one friend told me I was wasting my time. And now there is the potential to lower that 10% to 5% – and in order to be competitive, it may be necessary to do so in order to compete if enough people lower theirs.
Overall it sounds to me that Zazzle and affiliates are going to be just fine, while the people who create the designs for them to market and sell will be the ones to take the hit. Without the designers, where would the other two be?
Oh well, will have to see how it goes from here I suppose. I chose Zazzle over other POD’s, one of which I have a free year of premium membership with. I hope I didn’t choose wrongly, but right now I have to wonder. Getting off my soapbox now, and thanks for listening – I really needed to vent a little.”
This was posted to the Feedback and Suggestion part of the forum. It was my honest feedback. I don’t know if it was what I said that caused the thread to disappear or maybe someone else said something. I wasn’t nasty or threatening, I simply stated how I felt and why. Maybe that’s not acceptable?
The original thread was entitled something like “sellers thrown under the bus” and had been there for at least 24 hours prior to my posting.
I checked my email, thinking I may have an email scolding me about my post or something ,but there is nothihng there. But then, I never received, not in my junkmail or anywhere else, the email Zazzle said they sent to sellers about the meeting, I had to stumble across it by reading their forums.
***The views stated in this article are my own. I can easily be contacted and by posting a link to my (for now) Zazzle store they have my direct contact information themselves in the event they wish to contact me.