When it comes to making money selling stuff online, especially customized products, CafePress is one of the oldest and most trusted platforms.
CafePress is basically a marketplace like Etsy or Zazzle that allows you to sell custom products – mugs, t-shirts, hats, etc.
There is an option in which you can pay a monthly fee for more customized shops, though most people find free shops to be great for starting out.
Keep in mind that you are not going to become the next millionaire by selling stuff on CafePress, however, it can be a great way to make a little extra money on the side.
What will I learn?
Can You Really Make Money with CafePress?
Yes, you can but it is going to take work.
You will basically set up your CafePress hosted store to sell what you are creating.
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The design you create can be applied to virtually anything that a person may desire, but you do not have to worry about this aspect. You simply design what you want, and wait for the consumer to become interested.
Of course, a big part of success with CafePress is the marketing. You have to market your design to get the word out there to the consumer market.
Marketing can be intimidating to many people, yet you can start small with social media marketing.
This can be a great way to start and can render results. In fact, with design work, social media can be the best way to market what you have since there are always people posting funny pictures and sayings that can lead consumers to find you on CafePress.
How Much Can You Make?
One of the most common questions asked is just how much can a person earn through CafePress?
The price of your designs on products is set by CafePress, this is standard for everyone involved.
Once a product is sold with your design on it, you receive 10% of the retail price that was paid by the customer. This may seem low, but you are not paying for the materials to make the design product, nor having to pay for the shop to showcase your work.
The other pay scenario is when a person buys an item directly from your store, you can set the price for the item this way. Plus, you can also earn more money through getting more sales as CP has a bonus system based on sales.
When Will You Get Paid?
After the sale has been made, it takes CafePress 60 days to process this. On the 15th of every month, the company pays their designers via PayPal or check.
Most people prefer PayPal as this is digital, so there are fewer worries about getting what you are owed.
Are You Going to Make Money Instantly?
The answer is no, there is no formula that says if you design 10 products in 10 days that you are going to see profits immediately.
The key is to design with quality in mind and be sure that you are unique. The more images you have created and have stocked in your store, then the easier it is for people to find you. Thus, after stockpiling your work, you will start to see more money thanks to the higher volume you do have.
How to Create Designs that Sell?
When creating designs for CP, there are several rules to keep in mind in order to ensure that your design is going to be suitable for CafePress. These rules include:
- The design must be in.PNG format
- The design works best with a 300 dpi
- 2000 x 2000 pixel is recommended
- With each product that is offered by CafePress you may need to find a size of your design that correctly fits each product
To get started, it is essential that you have a photo editing program.
A few of the most popular photo editing programs are Photoshop, Gimp and Paint Shop. GIMP is a free program, while the other two are going to cost under $100.
For those who are just starting in design, then Photoshop is recommended, as Photoshop has a few tutorials and is great for the new designer.
What Types of Designs Sell Best on CafePress?
As far as what types of designs are going to sell, you need to realize that some of your designs may never sell. This is why having quality work, in quantity is the only way to really make money from this venture.
But there are a few types of designs that do sell better on CafePress.
- Those that are clever, perhaps based on what is happening in the world today.
- Designs that are funny are always a hit with the consumer market.
- There are also many niche designs that sell great, you simply have to do a little research to find out what is selling at the moment.
- Artistic designs sell huge when they are partnered with the right buyer.
- In addition, consider political designs, as these can be a huge money maker around election time.
Getting the Most Out of CafePress
If you are serious about making some money with CafePress, then you have to realize that running the shop and designing a few pieces is not going to cut it.
In order to really make CP work for you, you have to consider all the tools that CafePress offers, as well as the numerous options they have available.
– Consider upgrading your account to a premium shop, as these types of shops make more money. You can pay the monthly fee with your CafeCash, so there is no reason that you cannot afford it.
– Use the descriptions within the gallery of your products, and with your products to your full advantage. This means calculating SEO to get these descriptions found easier, and basically letting people know what your design is.
– CafePress has a newsletter feature that allows you to create your own newsletter and send this to those who sign up for this through your shop. Be sure that you take advantage of this, as this is a great way to let current customers know of your new designs, keep the customers coming back to you and the like.
– There are chats held with CP employees at least once every week, participate in these as you never know when you are going to learn something useful to utilize.
– Utilize the templates for products in order to ensure your design fits the product. So many designs are not made for each product, thus they do not look good, and no one is going to buy something that is not looking great.
– Use the premium pricing that CP recommends. Though you may think that if you price your items low, they will sell better, almost always people find the opposite to be true. The value of a design is often judged based on the price of the product, thus a high priced product is going to be a high value for consumers.
– Be sure to pick which products will go with the design you have created. There are some designs that will not look good on certain products, so be sure that you take this into consideration when making your product. And also be sure that you utilize the entire selection of products throughout your store to offer a variety of items to your consumer.
– Offer to personalize the products that you have in your shop. You can charge more and people are often interested in personalized products since these are unique.
– Be sure to create pages throughout your store that can help to make your shop make it on the market. These other pages can be anything from a personal bio page to an affiliate program that you are partnering with.
Like any other money making venture, earning a decent income on CafePress also takes time and hard work.
Don’t go into it expecting to hit it rich. It won’t happen!
Take your time and build and maintain a storefront the right way, and before you know it, you will have a solid money making CafePress business.
UrStylez.com is my cafepress shop. I market and recieve a descent amount of visitors daily. What can I do to build more trust for customers to purchase directly from my shop UrStylez.com. Marketplace sales are great but I’d like to recieve more sales directly from my shop. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Joshua, I’d think the main thing you need to do is promote your shop, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, word of mouth, etc. You have to get the word out. And that is the hardest part.
I Am A Science Lady
I’m at the start of my CafePress journey (well, sort of, I’ve had a shop sat there for years not doing much, but occasionally paying out), and I don’t know where it will lead me. I have a lot of great designs on there, and I’m trying to appeal to the holiday / seasonal market, and to the geek market (who are presumably geeky all year round). I’ve set up two shops with different themes to achieve this. I’m guessing that things need to have been operational for at least 6 months before I can make any projections about sales revenue.
One thing I’m finding is that the user interface for sellers can be a bit clunky, and it sometimes takes a long time for changes to take effect. But once you’ve gotten used to its quirks, it’s a simple means of getting your art on a shirt (or mug, dog tags, journal, etc, etc…). I’m also using paint.net for my image editing. It’s like a watered-down version of Photoshop, and it came as a freebie with my installation of Windows. If you’re producing simple designs, it’s more than adequate.
My shops are Science Lady and Hallowe’en In January – both works in progress, but worth a look…!