Have you ever wondered if you can establish a passive income source from your creative skills in graphic design or drawing?
In today’s battle of the giants, I will walk you through a head to head comparison of two of the most popular online services where you can simply set up a shop and earn your royalties right away.
Welcome to my Cafepress vs Zazzle showdown.
I have always been devoted to the idea of finding the hottest online earning opportunities, whether that be signing up with paying websites, freelancing, blogging, to even vlogging.
I have tried it all. 💯
And I guess one of the reasons why I enjoy reviewing online money makers so much is because I actually want to experience them for myself just to find out what the fuss is all about.
There are a lot of unique opportunities out there, and I have made it my advocacy to let others know if they are worth their time or not.
You see, the internet is growing every single day, which means that the chances of building additional streams of income online are also increasing.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds exciting to me. 😃
In fact, who would have thought that with the internet, you can make a whole new career or upskill and leave the confines of an office cubicle?
If that is something that you also want to try out, then I suggest you focus on building your passive income strategy today.
I am encouraging you to do this because I know how competitive the online market is and that usually means that whatever it is you want to try out, you have to stand out.
You’re probably asking yourself – “What exactly does stand out even mean?”
We are lucky to live in a time where we can virtually start any business within the comfort of our bed. In just a few clicks here and there, you can set up your online store or website in just a matter of minutes.
But the thing that you have to remember is that you are competing with other shops who have been in the market for decades, which means that to earn from your business, you should always offer something fresh or different.
And do you know the one best thing that you can offer in 2021? 2 words.
Digital Products. 👈
They are spreading like wildfire and are known to be insanely profitable. And just to prove it to you, I encourage you to visit this Etsy Page and see for yourself how much these babies are selling for.
See a lot of $50 products, don’t you? 💸
This is the reason a lot of people are working very hard to try and create online products that will generate passive income for them, like graphic arts and printable designs.
Not only do they have to make them once, but they can earn from them as long as they are in their store. These products are also scalable, and you do not have to worry about logistics!
So, if you think you have mastered, or you’re capable of mastering graphic design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or CorelDraw, then this online opportunity is a must try out for you.
But of course, there’s a catch. Your chances of earning in this line of business depend on two things:
- Your actual designing skills ✓
- Your ability to affiliate with good stores ✓
For example, Etsy is a good store, but it’s very general. It would be best if you had a platform that would be tailored-fit the product you’re trying to sell, and this is where my Cafepress vs Zazzle showdown can help!
So, if you think you can do designs like a pro, then this review is for you. 🎉
Cafepress vs Zazzle: Battle of PODs
POD or Print On Demand refers to the type of service where you practically sell your custom designs and let the users choose where they want that particular design printed.
This means that your craft can be made available and printed on t-shirts, cellphone covers, hoodies, plates, cups, and what not to be honest.
What is even better is that you do not have to worry about logistics or how you’ll print it, since the POD company will take care of everything.
So basically, you earn by sending them your designs. 🙂
Depending on the type POD company that you will signup with, you can adjust the pricing and earn sweet royalties whenever someone purchases your kickass design.
From the way I see it, it is a safe way to make an international name for your brand/business because your masterpiece is still under your name and you have complete ownership over it.
Additionally, I also love the fact that you can use your shop as a free online portfolio that will contain all of your designs.
Through this, you can also gauge which of your art is more eye-catching and take note of those non-selling designs.
Round 1: Company details
For artists, I seriously recommend that you try out Print on Demand sites and sign up only with reputable companies who can take care of all the heavy lifting.
With this being said, I want to take this opportunity to review these two giants who are making rounds on the internet due to their outstanding services to artists and aspiring entrepreneurs.
What is Cafepress?
Formally established in 2005, Cafepress allows designers and artists to come together and build a community where they can upload their designs and see them printed on various products.
They enjoy an outstanding A+ rating at BBB with about nine customer complaints (all answered and resolved) regarding their service and delivery.
On social media, they have an outstanding performance with over 600k followers on Facebook, 23k on Twitter, and 7k on Instagram. That online presence can speak a lot about how popular and highly regarded this company is.
So for someone who is just starting out in the field of graphic design, this could be a great platform where you can showcase your art to the world.
The company is also connected with many media franchises which means that any designer can create graphic arts and obtain real licenses related to their favourite movies, TV shows, or even cartoons!
In real life, getting approval from these companies can actually take a long time, and the approval process itself is a pain in the neck too.
Some of the franchise they are connected are:
- The Matrix ✓
- Amazing Race ✓
- Pretty Little Liars ✓
- Star Trek ✓
- The Voice ✓
- Mortal Kombat – Game ✓
- The Vampire Diaries ✓
- Veronica Mars ✓
- The Millers ✓
- Supernatural ✓
And believe it or not, there’s more to it. If you see yourself wanting to do some designs for U.S organisations such as the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, you can do as long as you follow the company guidelines for designing.
What is Zazzle?
Another leading Print on Demand platform is Zazzle which was established in 2006 by the Beaver brothers.
Basically, it works just like Cafepress, where they encourage art enthusiasts to try their hands on designing and uploading it onto their site.
The company holds an A+ rating and has won several awards in the past years, but one of the greatest achievements they receive is the “Hottest Silicon Valley Company” award. ⭐
On social media, they seem to have exceptional performance as seen on the number of followers they have: 184k followers on Facebook, 59k on Twitter, and 56k on Instagram.
Compared to Cafepress, they have significantly lower followers on Facebook but have outperformed them on Twitter and Instagram.
Are you looking for an extra promotion? 😊
In that case, I suggest that you use Zazzle just because you can reach out to more Instagram users, and many of them being online buyers that might be interested in what you have to offer.
Just like Cafepress, Zazzle also empowers designers to craft designs related to their media partners.
However, you have to take note that their brand partners are better than those connected with Cafepress. This includes:
- Disney ✓
- Getty Images ✓
- DC ✓
- Star Wars ✓
- Pixar ✓
- U.S organizations ✓
Round 1 winner: Zazzle ✔
Both of the companies help designers to be connected with clients all over the world for free without taking the role of being the middleman.
While they share a whole lot of similarities, I think that the franchise partners of Cafepress are a little bit old and are not as exciting as those connected with Zazzle.
In this sense, the winner for me is definitely Zazzle. ✅
Round 2: Service
Now let’s talk about their main differences in terms of the products that they offer, the common concerns of the customers, and the price difference between these companies.
How does Cafepress work?
Signing up with Cafepress to start your digital business is easy. You just have to head on their site and click on the sign-up button where you can simply link in your Facebook account for easy access.
Once you are in, you will have to choose what type of earning opportunity you want:
- Fan Portal ✓
- Partner ✓
- Open shop ✓
If you think you want to do design concepts based on your favourite media or book series without thinking about all the legal loopholes, then you should consider the Fan Portal.
In here, you will get to choose the brand you want to make fan art for and check the concrete guidelines outlined by Cafepress.
Please do note, that each brand partner has its specific set of rules so be sure to read all of them first (see the example for Star Trek) 👈
If you feel like you want to earn without actually allowing yourself to be stressed on how to learn Photoshop or Illustrator, then I believe that affiliating with the Cafepress Partner Program is the best choice for you.
I have always loved the idea of affiliate marketing since it allows you to earn from commissions by simply promoting the products of other people.
I recommend this path for those who have it better with words than with art. 🎨
However, if you know you that you make one hell of a design, then opening your own Cafepress shop would be your top priority.
I mean, its free and all you have to do is upload your designs and get ready to add your mark up prices at the end. Trust me, it’s simple as 1-2-3.
How does Zazzle work?
Signing up with Zazzle is pretty much the same as signing up with Cafepress. All you have to do is use your Google or Facebook account.
Once you’re signed up, you have to choose what type of passive income opportunity you want to try with the company. You have three options:
- Maker ✓
- Designer ✓
- Associate ✓
If you think you want to accept custom orders with specifications from actual clients, you can try out the Maker program.
This type of opportunity allows you to upload your own products and make use of the Maker Engine that comes with graphic design tools, patented technology, and access to print-ready elements that you can add to your design.
Please note that as of writing, the Maker Engine is currently being redeveloped which is some of the tools mentioned may not work well yet.
On the other hand, if you feel that you have what it takes to make designs that can launch a thousand ships, then opening your own POD shop and selling your design is the definite way to go. It works just like Cafepress, where you have to upload your designs on the site and write out the descriptions and tags properly.
After a maximum of 72 hours, you will receive a notification on your email whether the company approves your design or not.
Now if you want to earn as an affiliate marketer, you can also do that by joining the Zazzle Associate Program where you can earn as high as 15% depending on the item you are promoting.
If you become lucky and find clients who will order items in bulk, you might even be able to reach at least 18% more in royalties.
Round 2 winner: Cafepress ✔
I appreciate that both of the companies have extended their business offerings and allow users to become both marketers and designers as well.
I have already tried both of these services a few years back, and at that time, they still did not have the affiliate marketing category.
Now that that type of business model is changing the landscape of marketing, it’s good that they added it to help people maximize their earning potential from their websites.
With Zazzle, I find it a bit weird that they did not have a page with lengthy guidelines on how to craft (legal and copyright-free) basic designs.
While I know that they have a rigorous design approval process which usually takes some time, I think it will lessen their burden if they become more transparent on the design criteria, right?
With Cafepress, as long as you read the guidelines for the fandom media that you want to design, you can guarantee that your art will be approved right away.
You do not have to spend hours re-designing because, from the start, you already have a clear picture of what the criteria are.
Round 3: Royalties 🤩
What should you expect from Cafepress?
So let’s say your product is a long sleeve t-shirt with a one-sided design. Cafepress will show you the base price while you input the markup price to compute for the actual retail price that your customers will see.
If your item is sold, Cafepress will keep the base price, and they will send you the markup price as your design royalty.
What should you expect from Zazzle?
You can also set up your own prices with Zazzle, but unlike Cafepress, you can markup beyond $15 to even a hundred for your royalty fee. And if you want to increase your earnings, you as the designer can also promote your items and earn an additional percentage as an affiliate.
Round 3 winner: Cafepress ✔
With Cafepress, you have to be sure how much of a markup you will input since if you go beyond $15, the company will charge an additional .25 cents for every item sold.
As of writing, I found out that they have over 235 basic and premium products with low-cost base prices.
I used the term “low cost” because to be honest, their prices are budget-friendly and much lower than the prices in your local stores.
With Zazzle, I was quite surprised to see that their computation is not as structured as what you can see from Cafepress.
This means that some of the items on their marketplace are way overpriced since the designers want to increase their earnings to the maximum level.
In this sense, who would ever want to pay $300 for an average looking phone case when you can find almost the same quality at Cafepress for less than $20? 😐
Cafepress vs Zazzle: And The Winner Is… 🏆 🏆 🏆
I hope that I was able to give you a fair review of these sites because I know how important it is for you to know everything before signing up on either of them.
While I was writing this, I was really geared into cheering for Zazzle since their site is auspicious along with all those news features with media giants, but I was quite surprised at how unregulated their prices are.
Unlike Zazzle, Cafepress seems to pack all the right elements with its clear guidelines and effective pricing strategy to ensure that each item is good looking at a pocket-friendly price.
There are still other POD companies out there, but for now, I seriously recommend Cafepress. ✅
But, wait! I have a Better Alternative For Passive Income!
Since I have been mentioning affiliate marketing in the post, I realized that it is also the perfect time for me to introduce you to one of my most recommended ways for earning online, full-blown affiliate marketing.
This type of business model allows you to establish your very own source of passive income online and earn just like the designers you have seen on some of the Print on Demand sites we discussed above.
Wait, what, when, how? 🤯
Well, in here, all you have to do is to ensure that you promote products or services that you are really passionate about. By doing so, you’ll be able to earn commissions for products that you’re not even owning.
Day in – Day out! 🌞 🌙
The business model works like a charm, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You can indeed make some good money out of it, but it all depends on how much effort you’re willing to invest in it.
Same as you, I was once a beginner who knew nothing about building websites, promotions, marketing, and all those crazy things.
However, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon one of the most supporting affiliate marketing communities you can be apart of today, and the rest is history. I’m now comfortably earning four figures of passive income per month, and I want to teach you how to do the same.
The community I’m referring to represents the same platform that gave me all the pieces of training, tools, and support to innovate and thrive in this wicked online world.
And you know what?
It goes by the name of Wealthy Affiliate, and the forever free membership model that it has attests to how legitimate, trustworthy, and valuable this affiliate marketing platform is.
I’m so transparent in recommending it to anyone that’s thinking of starting online, and there’s a good reason behind that.
Without this community, the blog you’re on now wouldn’t have existed, nor I would happily sitting here and writing this Cafepress vs Zazzle showdown.
I don’t want to bother you too, and that’s why I’m putting a cap on this review. The choice is entirely yours, my friend, but know that I support you fully in whatever you decide.
As always, stay safe and keep on thriving! 🚀
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