Nikki is a wife, mom, blogger, entrepreneur, and animal lover.
Making Money on Zazzle
If you have never heard of Zazzle before, let me introduce you. Zazzle.com is a massive site that offers various products to consumers that have been created and designed by its own users—including you. Every time one of your products sells, you make money! And the greatest part is that you don't have to pay anything to set up your store. Zazzle also makes the design process extremely easy, and allows customers to customize products to make them exactly the way they want them.
Once you've created enough things on Zazzle, you will slowly (or very quickly for some!) start to see yourself making your own purchases on Zazzle because of the ease of customization and variety. For those of you who have been active on Zazzle for a while, I hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I do. And for those of you who are new to it, I am so excited for all the fun you have ahead of you! Nothing feels better than seeing that email come in with all the z's and the anticipation that follows in the seconds you must wait to find out what you've sold. Regardless of your experience with Zazzle, I hope this site helps you to take your store to the next level. Good luck!!
Tip #1: Make Lots of Products
Yes, this may seem obvious—but not for the reason you may think. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what people will use certain products for, and sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what images people will like. The vast majority of my images are photographs, so when I started using Zazzle, I focused on postcards and posters. Once I started experimenting with other products, I was shocked with how much was selling. And lo and behold, one of my first, and largest, bulk sales was for 200 pins. Who knows what they were used for, but good thing I made them! Postcards still bring in the most money for me, but the other products that have made me good money are (in descending order): invitations, prints, pins, magnets, notecards, stamps, and ornaments.
The same thing should be said for the images you use. Now, don't get me wrong—all of your images should be as high quality as you're capable of making. But don't forget that different people have different tastes, and not everything has to be totally unique! I used to stray away from photos that I had taken that I considered generic—flowers, my own pets, trees, etc. I finally decided to test some of them out and now two of my top sellers include a wild flower that I photographed on the way to the beach one summer and my dog Phoebe.
Tip #2: Adjust Your Royalties
Sometimes it's hard to raise your royalties when all you really want is to get a sale. And likewise, sometimes it's really hard to keep them in check when all you want is to make a lot of money. But finding that sweet spot is really important. I started selling prints at the standard 10% and would make about $3.00 every time one sold. I recently decide to bite the bullet and raise my print royalties to 65% - raising the print price from around $20 to around $50. I don't sell quite as many prints as I used to, but now each sale brings in $25.00 instead of $3.00—far more money overall and well worth the increase. With that said, you still need to be careful about which products you tie high royalties to. A poster is going to hang on your wall for a really long time—it's worth finding the perfect image and paying a little extra for it. Customers would probably be less likely to pay a 65% royalty on a postcard or notecard. Right now, all of my postcards are set to a 15% royalty, which raises the cost of a postcard from $0.95 to $1.00 for the customer—that's something that customers can handle.
Tip #3: Add Text to Your Products
This one was key for me and has made the biggest difference by far. Zazzle is completely customizable for customers, so you'd think there's no reason to add any text to a product because a customer could just do it themselves. But that doesn't appear to be true. One of my top selling photos is a great shot I took of the Hong Kong skyline. I sell prints and postcards of this photo both plain and with the text "Hong Kong" printed at the bottom. I consistently sell more with "Hong Kong" at the bottom.
For photography sellers, adding the city name to a skyline shot is probably a bit obvious. But there are tons of other instances of text helping to sell a product. Remember the large pin sale I referred to earlier? The pin said "Grandma To Be" on it. Happy Birthday and Thank You are other regular sellers for me. The options are endless, so don't hold back!
Tip #4: Tag Your Products Well
Tagging is very important, and also very easy to do. Every time you create a product, you will be prompted to add tags—make sure you do this! Right now, Zazzle will only use 10 tags in their search engine. But you can still add more and they might be used in other search engines like google (yes, your products will show up in google too!). Picking the right words is essential if you want your products to be found by people you haven't directly communicated with.
When you're choosing tags, think about what words you would be using if you were to try and find your product or something similar. For example, if you have a mug that says "Mother of the Year" on it, you may have tags like "mom, mother, grandmother, year, mug." But think about what other search terms customers might use that would ideally bring up your mug - "gift for mom, mother's day, coffee lover, coffee cup." Also, try not to be too focused on one specific use for your product, and remember that everything is customizable! A "mother of the year" mug could be customized to say anything, so don't limit your tags. You could use "birthday gift" as a tag, or better yet "party favor." Sure, maybe it's unlikely that someone would give out "Mother of the Year" mugs as a party favor, but what if they customized the text to say "Party of the Year"? Then you would have sold 15 mugs instead of one! Just remember to think like a customer when creating your tags, and put some thought into it. You only have 10 options for Zazzle's search engine.
Already active on Zazzle?
Tip #5: Watch for New Product Launches
Zazzle is regularly adding new products to its marketplace and some are bound to be huge hits. Even after you've created your store and made various versions of your images, don't forget to regularly check back to see what new products are available to customize. When luggage tags were launched, I started making them immediately and was pleasantly surprised that they were a huge hit. Within the first couple of months, I had made 15 new sales (some of them for more than one luggage tag). Pacifiers were another big hit that I was able to jump on right away.
Be the First to Find Out
Before a product ever hits the "Create" space, it is released to Zazzlers who are paying attention. Make sure you are one of those Zazzlers! Reading through the forums is really important and will keep you in the loop on products that you otherwise would not have known about.
Which 2014 product brought in the most sales for you?
Tip #6: Create Separate Stores
If you're just starting out at Zazzle, spend some time focusing on your first store. Try out different products and images and go where the demand is—if you're selling lots of t-shirts, then keep making t-shirts! If you have one particular image that keeps on selling, then put it on as many products as you can. Once you have your store up and running, consider whether you can branch out to other specialized or focused stores. Ideally, a customer would find your product, go visit your store, and leave with 5 items in their cart! But to do that, you need to make sure that your store offers various products that each visiting customer is going to like.
Your stores can have specific themes (holidays, weddings, travel, etc) or offer specific products (business cards, clothing, travel accessories, etc). I started with my flagship store and branched out to include a garden-themed store (Garden Harbor), a wildlife-themed store (Wild Days), and am currently working on a holiday-themed store (Holiday Harbor). I consistently have customers that purchase more than one item from my stores. In addition to more related products, adding focus to your store will help you come up with good ideas for future images and products.
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Tip #7: Categorize Your Products
Once you've created a store that has multiple products that customers will be interested in, you need to take it a step further and create categories that will help customers find products they are interested in. Your categories will vary depending on your store and the products you are trying to sell. If the type of your images vary, you may want a category specific for each type—photography, cartoon, vintage, etc. If you created products for special occasions, then your categories could include weddings, birthdays, holidays, etc. Categorizing your products has an added bonus - when a customer is looking at your product, Zazzle features other products from that category below it. So the more relevant the other products are, the more likely a customer is to buy more than one product from you.
Tip #8: Focus on Products That Sell
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to overlook. When a product sells, there's a reason for it. Use your sales as motivation for making other similar products. If you sell a t-shirt with a funny saying on it, then make more t-shirts with your other images, and add that funny saying to other types of products. My top selling image is the top seller for 5 different product types—postcards, baby t-shirts, magnets, keychains, and more. I originally started selling just the postcards, then decided to test out the other product types. Once I started selling the baby t-shirts, I created more baby tees with other images—now I've been able to sell baby t-shirts in various images. That's something I would have never predicted on my own—I just watched what sold and went from there.
Tip #9: Market, Market, Market
One of the greatest things about Zazzle is that you can create your products whenever you can fit it into your schedule and then make sales while you're sleeping the night away. However, if you really want to make lots of money, then you need to do some work to get those midnight sales frequently and consistently. There are endless ways to market your products, so always have your eye out for what works for you. If you're really social and have a huge personal network, then by all means—sell, sell, sell! Make sure your network knows when you have new products launching and be ready when special occasions and holidays come around. And if you don't have a strong personal network—don't worry, Zazzle is still for you! The internet is full of amazing ways to market your products.
Social media is no longer cutting edge or highly technological. It is now commonplace and used by people of all ages. So take advantage of it! If you have your own personal facebook page, then put your Zazzle store on your profile so that friends and family can browse through your products. Every now and then, post one of your new products. Zazzle also offers special tools that can be used within facebook. Other social media sites can be helpful as well. One of the sites that has worked well for me is Pinterest. The Pinterest following is perfect for the products I sell, so it acts as a way to market my products, but also as an inspirational source. On Pinterest, you can make special boards for your products, or mix your products with other relevant material.
Be open minded and try them out! Most of Pinterest's popularity has come in the past couple of years, so it's still relatively new. Had I not tried it out, I would have never found that it would be a good source for me.
Tip #10: Utilize Referrals
One of the greatest profit potentials that Zazzle offers is their referral program. Essentially, Zazzle will pay you to refer someone else's product. So if it seems impossible to come up with more products to develop, fear not! Referrals should be your next focus. Once you've developed successful methods of marketing your products, start to market other people's products. You will need to use a special link to make sure the sale is tied to you, but Zazzle makes this extremely easy and provides the link for every product as long as you are properly logged in.
Tip #11: Market Research
Sometimes I'm blown away by the ideas I see others coming up with. And while you don't want to copy someone else's product, many times an original thought will come up when you see something else that's been done. By scanning Zazzle's site, you'll also get a good idea for what types of products are selling. If you've got an image of the beach, then search "beach" in Zazzle's search engine and see what comes up. Maybe you'll be surprised to find that mousepads are the top search result, or maybe there are lots of Happy Birthday cards. Take advantage of what others have learned and follow their lead! It will help you reach your goal much sooner.
Tip #12: Think Outside the Box
For some people this comes naturally, for others you may need to work harder at it. Maybe you need a glass of wine with you while you brainstorm, or maybe you need to ask others what they do! Either way, thinking outside the box is a HUGE way to dramatically increase your sales.
Here's what I mean by thinking outside the box: I told you earlier that postcards were my top sellers. For most of us, when you hear that, you think that people traveled somewhere that I had photographed and then sent my postcard to friends and family. In many instances, that's exactly what happened. Or maybe sometimes they collect postcards. But what about other uses? I actually had someone comment on one of my postcards to say that they had used them in their wedding as welcome bag notes! The point is, there are many ways to use some of Zazzle's most common products that aren't exactly what they intended. Good luck brainstorming!
I hope these steps have proved to be helpful! Let me know what works for you! Remember—a rising tide raises all boats!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
email@example.com on June 23, 2020:
I am new as of mid April, 2020, and I love Zazzle, I love painting and coming up with quotes for the paintings. It makes my morning, my day, to come up with new paintings, new quotes, and then finding the product to put the text on. I start my day preparing breakfast, then on Zazzle, then i will begin the laundry, back on Zazzle, and I continue my day like this. 16 hours in a day, making time for Zazzle 8 hours my goal, home, yardwork, time with Pop, or other family members. the other 8 hours. We are retired. We cared for elderly parents in our home 23 years, and grandkids and friends children while they worked, and this is what I have always looked forward to. Rosie Foshee
Karen on November 11, 2018:
Just read this article.. been at Zazzle a year.. love your tips.I get discouraged when there are technical difficulties. They cause a lot of down time when you set yourself some goals and then things go bad, but I decided I have come to far to just give up. I sarted doing it just for fun.. now its pinterest, facebook, twitter, G+, Instagram, Flikr, Tumblr, a dot.com a blog and I take my products to show friends and customers. I really want to suceed but my biggest problem is I cant seem to concentrat on justone theme! Getting viewers can be difficult at the beginning.. and gettng sles, well thats another number!
Brian Williams from Hope Mills on April 05, 2018:
Nice post Nikki. I will use some of these strategies for my store. For beginners on Zazzle, do you think it's easier to advertise on Pinterest or Facebook? Thanks for the reply ahead of time!
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on November 02, 2016:
Nikki, I realize you wrote this a long time ago and hadn't updated it to remove the obsolete references to Squidoo. Nevertheless, I found this to be a wealth of useful information about Zazzle.
I am just starting to set up my Zazzle store and I find that each and every one of your tips are very worthwhile for anyone using Zazzle to review.
Andrea Parker from Florida on February 23, 2016:
Oh, I love this hub. I have not tried Zazzle but I am somewhat addicted to Redbubble. I want to try Zazzle as well. Thank you so much for this detailed information and I will myself try it out and soon. There are others of course like Cafepress and I guess its no harm in doing them all since it doesn't cost anything.
Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 08, 2015:
This article was written a while ago, but I was glad to have read it. I've now been at Zazzle for just a year. This is my first Christmas (2015) since I can't really count last year. So far Ive done a lot of work on the new website layout and collections with banners and yes the marketing through two blogs and all the other social media, but its still very hard to see a regular sale even during these holiday times. I've recently learned about # but the many hours I spent each day just doing the marketing is sometimes getting to me. I have found several creative ways to promote my designs and written hubs about them but I do hope to reach my very first payout before the year is out. $8 to go. Seems like nothing but my visions are long term.
BarbaraCasey on July 28, 2014:
Terrific tips! I need to get more of my pics on the new products. Thanks for the encouragement.
leonvd on July 25, 2014:
Great tips for zazzle beginners!I think you should more #9 (market market market) to #1. you can have the best products but when people cant find them they wont buy
BastardCard on July 14, 2014:
Glad to see this lens still getting updated. I remember getting tips off it quite a while back that were hlepful in building my Zazzle store... now 2 Zazzle stores, and it's great to see new helpful content.
Bergey7 on July 02, 2014:
Great lens on making money with Zazzle. Even though I have been selling on Zazzle for a while, I still learned a bunch of stuff here! Thanks for your time!
James Jordan from Burbank, CA on June 16, 2014:
I'm going to look into it now!
Andromachi Polychroniou from Maurothalassa, Serres, Greece on June 12, 2014:
Definetely I will sign up with zazzle and implement what I learnt after reading your lens
joann from utah on April 27, 2014:
Great advice! I am starting out on Zazzle and this will surely be helpful :)
sorayac on March 19, 2014:
Thank you for the great tips!
shahedashaikh on March 02, 2014:
Indeed very helpful.Thanks for sharing.I have noted all the points.Hope i too make sales like you.
Jacone on February 05, 2014:
Very interesting lens, so much information about Zazzle, I will have to look into it, Thank you!
Meredith Davies on December 25, 2013:
I have had some success on Zazzle. Your ideas are excellent. There is much food for thought here and many of these ideas I can put into practice. Thanks for this.
sherioz on December 23, 2013:
Always good to get a refresher course on how to zazzle well. Thanks.
Bomazu on December 11, 2013:
Nice Lens. I think I have most of these down. Interesting Poll results :)
EdQuail on December 10, 2013:
Hi, you have some great tip for Zazzle. I have a Zazzle account, but have not touch it for, maybe three years. You just inspired me to get back to it. Take a look at my sqidoo lens and tell me what you think. Matching-Pajamas-and-Fuzzy-House-Slippers
ChordsAndStrings on December 09, 2013:
LOL, my dog's name is Febie. "Friendly Ear Biter" is how she got it. Great lens with some great info!
FunNaturePhotog on December 08, 2013:
Really excellent lens! I bookmarked this article and will return to study it more carefully. Thanks for the inspiration!
Nikki Schilling (author) from Pennsylvania on November 29, 2013:
@getupandgrow: This is a really hard question because I'm constantly trying to test out royalty rates. However, I can definitely tell you that I still make a lot of sales that are above the recommended 10%-15% royalty rate, so I have not brought down any of my royalties. With that said, it is also important to take into account what type of image you are using on your product. If it is one-of-a-kind, then you should be able to command a higher price. If it is generic and there are a lot of competing options, then a lower royalty rate might increase your chance of sales.
DiddydelDesigns on November 27, 2013:
Great tips, thank you so much for sharing, going to give them a go,my site isn't getting any footfall at the moment although I think I have some great products on there
MusicMentor on November 15, 2013:
Thank you for sharing all of this information about Zazzle.
getupandgrow on November 12, 2013:
Thank you-this *is* a great and really helpful lens. Just one question-have Zazzle's changes to royalty rates affected your own policy towards royalties. (I'm still at the newbie, "Gosh it's great I made a sale!" stage with Zazzle, but I'd love to know your thoughts as a seasoned pro.
cookiebear98 on November 03, 2013:
Zazzle sounds like something I need to look into and get started. Thank you for your lens.
Martina from Croatia, Europe on October 29, 2013:
Thank you for sharing these tips! This`s a very useful articles. It`s so pleasant to read and your instructions are very clear.
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on October 22, 2013:
Very interesting lens chock full of great information! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I need to get started with Zazzle...
Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on October 21, 2013:
What a fantastic lens. Thanks for sharing. You include so much good information that will be very useful. I had to go right to your pinterest board to check that out too. Excellent!
LluviaDeArte on October 17, 2013:
Stupendous lens. Wow.Thank you so much, this goes into our favorites here at a working artists studio. Thank you for such greath information.
anonymous on October 04, 2013:
I am blown away by the information you have provided here. This has to be the most down-to-earth no-nonsense guide to making the most of Zazzle. I have a store but am one of those people who definitely need a glass of wine or two in order to come up with ideas...lol. Thank you for this great resource!
blestman lm on September 23, 2013:
i bookmarked this lens because I will be working through it. Thanks for the information. Your lens is clearly written and very valuable to someone starting out.
emma_07 on September 20, 2013:
Thanks for sharing.I am working slowly at my progress but I bookmarked this lens and hope to give it a go.
oddobjective on September 15, 2013:
Great lens. Love the enthusiasm. I do have Zazzle stores but haven't been working them like I should but you got me re-motivated. Thanks!
mel-kav on September 15, 2013:
Great tips - thanks! I really like the tip about adding words and sayings. I will try that with my next product. Still hoping to make that first sale.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 12, 2013:
This is awesome - chock full of great suggestions. I'd like to make more time to work on Zazzle. I do sell some, but I know by acting on some of your tips I could sell quite a bit more. Thanks!
Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 12, 2013:
Thanks for the tips--I hope to use some of them for my store. My postcards have been the best sellers, too.
anonymous on September 12, 2013:
I don't Zazzle, but your lens is zazzalicious!
Johanna Eisler on September 10, 2013:
I read your page with eagerness and came away with lots of good ideas - thank you!!! I have a question: Are your Zazzle stores linked to one another somehow? I looked at your main store and didn't see a link to any of the others. Thank you from all of us!
Dancing Cowgirl Design from Texas on September 10, 2013:
Thanks for the advice. I do agree about raising the commission on things. People still buy things at a higher price because that is what they want, plus it can be customized so that adds value.
Angela Hobbs from The TARDIS on September 10, 2013:
Love Zazzle, thanks for the tips!
lesliesinclair on September 09, 2013:
This is a nice tutorial, especially because I never explored it on my own. thanks.
RinchenChodron on September 09, 2013:
I have a zazzle store too and I do enjoy it very much.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 09, 2013:
What excellent ideas. I loved every word and read it twice. I also bookmarked this lens for future reference. I'm going straight to zazzle to see for myself. Thanks so much for getting me started. I feel like we are friends already!
Elaine Chen on September 09, 2013:
i don't know about Zazzle; great to know it is one of the online income source; thanks for your sharing
FrancesWrites on August 30, 2013:
Excellent article, I've bookmarked this to return to. I've glanced at Zazzle since to Squidoo earlier this year and I am planning to get into selling on zazzle shortly. Thanks for a great bunch of guidelines to help me get started on the right track.