Artists can customize orders and sell creative goods on Zazzle. This online marketplace is free to sign up, and takes care of manufacturing and shipping while you receive a royalty percentage of each sale.
Consider the cost to sell as a Designer or a Maker and how to set your rate to sell.
How much it costs to sell depends on whether you sign up as a Designer or a Maker. In either case, it’s free to create a Zazzle account and start creating custom products. But your bottom line hinges on the type of Zazzle account you register for.
You’ll also want to be wary of referral fees. Zazzle’s Associate Program allows users to sign up to promote Zazzle products. And each time they successfully facilitate a sale, they earn a 15% commission.
Selling on Zazzle as a Designer
When you have a Designer account, upload your artwork and Zazzle produces and ships your orders. You earn a commission, and Zazzles takes care of the fulfillment process — from manufacturing to delivery. There’s no setup or selling fees.
So, how do you earn money on your design? By setting a royalty rate or a percentage of the sale price, you determine what you’ll get for your sale:
Zazzle’s default royalty rate is 5%.
The maximum royalty rate is 99%.
Zazzle recommends a royalty rate of between 10% and 15%, with an average rate of 12%.
The final price of the item is calculated by adding your royalty rate to Zazzle’s base price.
Let’s crunch the numbers
Here’s how potential royalty rates work out for a $50 throw pillow sold with your design:
If your royalty rate is set at 5%, you would receive $2.50 from the sale.
If your royalty rate is set at 12%, you would receive $6 from the sale.
If your royalty rate is set at 15%, you would receive $7.50 from the sale.
Selling on Zazzle as a Maker
As a Maker, you can join Zazzle and create an online store that features your own made-to-order, customizable products. Designers can add their artwork to these products, and get a cut of the profits. It’s free to sign up and create a store, but watch out for these fees:
Zazzle fee. The price of your products is up to you, but Zazzle takes a 30% commission on net sales before tax and shipping.
Shipping services fee. Zazzle provides packing slips and shipping labels you can print at home to help streamline the fulfillment process. The cost of shipping is passed from the customer to you, and the amount is automatically deducted from your sales.
Let’s crunch the numbers
Here’s how the fees shake out for a custom cutting board you sold for $60 that costs $15 to ship:
You pay a Zazzle $18, equal to its 30% commission of the net sale.
You pay the $15 shipping fee, equal to the amount the customer is charged for shipping.
Your bottom line for the sale, minus the Zazzle and shipping fees is $27.
How do I start selling on Zazzle?
How you sign up depends on whether you’re creating an account as a Maker or as a Designer.
Create a Zazzle store and start selling products by completing these steps.
You can create an account using your Facebook or Google login credentials or by entering your email address.
Provide your email and create a password.
Hover the icon of the person at the top right of the screen and click My account from the drop-down menu. From the account menu click Create a store.
Click the link in an email from Zazzle to validate your address. This signs you back into your account.
Type your store name in the field provided and tick the box to verify that you’re not a robot. Click Create store.
Provide the following information:
Tagline for your store
Store banner image
Tags to help customers find your store
You contact email address for customers
Choose a product to customize and upload images and designs.
Maker accounts are available by application only. You can apply on Zazzle’s site, and you’ll need to answer questions about your products, manufacturing, shipping and sales channels.
If you don’t want to go through the application process on Zazzle, or if you’re not approved, sign up for an e-commerce platform to create your own store and sell through other sites, like Amazon, Instagram and Wish.
The best-selling items on Zazzle tend to be gifts that customers can customize with personal images, though specific best sellers may vary depending on nearby holidays and current events. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, cloth face masks might sell like hot cakes, whereas father’s day themed gifts do better around the end of June.
There are a couple of factors to consider when pricing items on Zazzle:
Your costs. Consider the cost of the materials and the time it takes to design or make when setting your price.
What customers will pay. Research the cost of similar products listed on Zazzle.
You can also try out royalty rates to see how they affect your sales. While it’s possible to set your royalty percentage as high as 99%, Zazzle suggests that its prices are structured around a royalty rate of up to 15%. This keeps the final price within the limits of what most customers are willing to pay.
What types of payment does Zazzle accept?
Shoppers can buy your products on Zazzle using the following:
Zazzle issues earnings payments to sellers monthly by:
How to get paid by international buyers
If you earn royalties in a foreign currency, Zazzle converts your earnings to USD and charge a foreign currency conversion fee. However, this conversion fee isn’t listed on the Zazzle website, so you’ll need to contact a rep to learn more.
How to arrange shipping
As a Zazzle Designer, Zazzle arranges shipping for you.
Shoppers have five shipping options: Standard, Premium, Express, Zip and Zip Plus:
4–7 business days after manufacturing
2–3 business days after manufacturing
1–2 business days after manufacturing
2 business days after ordering
1 business day after ordering
As a Zazzle Maker, you’re responsible for packing and shipping your orders. Your customer selects their shipping option at checkout and Zazzle creates the corresponding packing slip and shipping label. You print your shipping labels from your Zazzle account and ship the order.
How do I market my Zazzle products?
The Zazzle Associate Program allows platform users to earn a 15% commission when they share Zazzle products on websites, blogs, emails and social media. It’s free to sign up for this program and you can promote your own products or those of other users.
Zazzle also offers a range of free promotional tools to sellers, including:
Linking tools. Share your store and individual products on websites, blogs, email and social media.
Banner ads. Access predesigned banner ads to help you earn more referrals.
RSS feeds. Send your products to applications or feature them on websites through Zazzle RSS feeds.
What to watch out for when selling on Zazzle
There are a few pitfalls to be wary of when selling on Zazzle:
High royalty rates. Make sure the royalty rate you set doesn’t price potential buyers out of the market.
Referral fee. The 15% referral fee that applies when someone buys a referred product can eat into your royalties.
Low visibility. With thousands of other designers selling on Zazzle, it can be difficult to make your designs stand out from the crowd.
Limited customization. Zazzle’s limited online store customization options may not suit your brand.
Is selling on Zazzle worth it?
Zazzle is a unique marketplace that provides a lot of potential for you to boost your income by selling to 30 million customers worldwide.
But as with any other e-commerce platform, selling on Zazzle has its risks. With fierce competition among designers and slim profit margins, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to turn your Zazzle store into a viable venture.
That said, there are a few simple things you can do to maximize your chances of success:
Set reasonable royalty rates. Don’t let the attraction of hefty royalties sway you — if your prices are too high, you’ll drive away sales.
Make use of keywords. Take time when creating your listings to make sure you’ve used accurate keywords and tags that will make it easier for shoppers to find your product.
Build a bigger store. It’s free to create products on Zazzle, so add some more items to your store. The more items you have, the greater your chances of making a sale.
Promote other products. If you refer someone else’s product to a buyer as part of Zazzle’s Associate Program, you can earn 15% of the sale price.
No, you can create an unlimited number of products on the platform. However, when you have more than 100,000 published products, your least popular designs are automatically hidden.
While you can’t delete your Zazzle store outright, you can make your store private so that no one but you can see it. Make your store private by signing into your Zazzle account, navigating to My stores, clicking Settings, and checking the box, Make this store private.
Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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