Mary is a designer on Zazzle where her products have sold to people all over the world due to their global appeal.
Designing on Zazzle
If you're already a designer on Zazzle you may have been disillusioned with the amount of money you're making there. You could have designed a few products some time ago and for whatever reason, they haven't sold well.
The great thing about Zazzle, like everything in life, the more time and effort you put into it, the better the results. I would like to share some hints and tips with that will not only increase the number of sales but also the amount you make from each sale.
1. Increase Commission
One of the easiest ways to make more money is to change the commission rate you are asking. The default rate is 10% of the selling price but you can change this either when you first create your design or afterwards.
It is worth mentioning a few cautions here though.
- If you increase it more than 15% you will incur a fee from Zazzle.
- You may make your product more expensive than your competitors
In a highly competitive market, it may be worth keeping your commission low to make more sales.
Also just before a busy time, you could put your rate up before holidays such as Christmas, Easter or whenever you have noticed a jump in sales on your product. Be aware though, the company may stop any commission change for the holiday season. If you feel you want to increase your commission, change it before October.
Choosing an Eyecatching Price
Some of the products have a sliding scale as you can see from the screenshot. Using this you can adjust the price as well. Select a 'tempting' price for your item. For example, instead of something costing $10.23 you could opt for $10.49, $10.95, or $10.99. This type of marketing is more acceptable to the customer, they feel comfortable with these numbers. This is evident with most retailers, follow their lead and do the same.
2. Update Your Zazzle Keywords
Keywords or tags can make or break a product. You may have a fantastic design but unless you attach the best keywords to it, no one will find it. The first one should be your best and most specific. For example, if you have a made a card which has a dog on it describe that dog. Your first keyword shouldn't be 'dog'. If it is a poodle you could say, "white teacup poodle." If someone is searching for a poodle card, you pretty much have made the sale before they've arrived at your page.
Here are a few ideas:
- Check tags for similar products (this isn't cheating, it is savvy business research). The tags can be found by clicking on their product and scrolling to the bottom. Their tags will be listed there.
- Be specific as in the poodle example above. Include color, and size if appropriate.
- Use long-tailed keywords or phrases such as: 'American flag' or 'tropical beach'.
- Add feeling tags: determination, sadness, unhappy, excitement etc.
- Use spelling variation for UK/US: color/colour, humor/humour *
If you have made a product and you can't figure out what your keywords should be, ask someone, a friend, your spouse or your kids. It may be the greatest product in the world but if the world doesn't know about it, they will never find it. Aim to have at least 6 keywords, but the maximum of 10 is better. This is your opportunity to get your product found. Put the keywords you can think of and update them when you hear another 'buzz word' which applies to your product's design.
*Be aware that the majority of your customers are from the US. Only use variant spellings if your product is directly aimed at a UK market.
3. Market Visibility on Zazzle
Some time ago there were some major changes in Zazzle that affected the visibility of products. If your product has never been viewed, it can only be found by someone going to your store and seeing it, it won't appear in the search either on Zazzle or through search engines.
The reason for this was that there are so many designs just sitting there doing nothing and they are affecting Zazzle's ranking in the search engines. They are basically considered dead pages as they haven't been viewed or updated.
Although this sounds like a tragedy, there is a way around this. Just go to each of your products that hasn't been viewed and open the page. Allow the page to fully load and then go to the next one and do the same. This puts you back in the marketplace and over time you will appear again in search engines. Zazzle has said that this only needs to be done once.
Look at all your products and it will tell you when it was last viewed if ever. Go to 'My Products' and then in the filters go to 'last viewed date' . If you go to the bottom and click the double arrow, it will take you to the end. Edit these to public view, update your keywords, and share on your favorite social media sites to generate some interest.
4. Create More Products
If you wonder why you haven't sold many products on Zazzle, perhaps the answer is you need more products. Let's use the example of fishing. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish—it's the same on Zazzle. Create more high-quality products, and you will sell more.
Altering the color of your image or design will give you more bang for your buck. I have seen some very successful examples of this on Zazzle. Cards, for example, many people have the same image but in multiple colors. Doing this increases the number of products quickly and efficiently, plus it gives your customer more options.
5. Advertise Other People's Items
Although you may be a designer on Zazzle, don't think you can only sell your work. Consider promoting the work of others. You will make a whopping 15% of the sale price by referring the customer to Zazzle. Let's say you have a website or article about fishing. I'm using fishing here as it is a popular hobby. Maybe you don't have any products related to fishing that would work well on your page. I can guarantee you that someone on Zazzle will have something suitable. By linking to their product, you add to your customer's experience in your article or blog post, and a 15% payout in your account soon adds up.
Zazzle has a 45-day cookie*, so even if they don't buy immediately, they may return with your cookie still on their computer.
*If that person visits another Zazzle link before making a purchase, yours will no longer be valid. Also, your cookie only applies to the device on which they accessed your link. For example, if they clicked on your link on their cell phone but ordered from a laptop, you wouldn't receive a referral for that sale, as the cookie (small tracking data) was on their cell phone.
6. Write a Blog About Your Product
It is no good making a product and not doing anything with it. There is a whole world out there waiting to see and hopefully buy it but you have to let them know about it. So how do you do that, you might ask?
Write about it. It could be an article related to a hobby or passion of yours. Let me give you an example. If, for example, you designed products with a pink ribbon on them in support of finding a cure for breast cancer, you could write an article about ways to fund raise, how to train for a fun run in support of breast cancer research, etc. Another example is bowling. Maybe you have the perfect t-shirt with a caption about bowling. You could write about how to oil your ball, throw the perfect strike or choose the best bowling shoes.
Of course somewhere on your blog or article you can put a picture and a link with your reference number to your products you have created. This gets you not only the royalty payment but also a referral bonus.
7. Share on Social Media Sites
Zazzle make it easy to share your designs or those of others. There are many avenues to sharing on social media and no doubt you will have your favorite. For me, I prefer Pinterest, Twitter and Stumble. I do know that many designers also love to post their designs on Facebook as they have a wide circle of friends who share similar interests.
If you don't think that social media works for common everyday things, consider the video below about knitting: over 9,000,000 views at the time of this writing.
Social Media works!
Social media choice
8. Make it Customizable
One of the main reasons people shop at Zazzle is because of the ability to customize. This is the key feature that sets them apart from stores at your nearest mall. When you design a product, I believe you should always give the customer the chance to customize it how they want. I know there are some designers who might be reading this and cringe at the thought of allowing someone to alter their design. I understand that for many designers their artwork is akin to their children, but be aware you may lose sales if the customer isn't allowed to adapt it how they wish.
I would say about 80% of my designs are customized; that is a big chunk of people. I also prefer to put a name on a product, as opposed to writing "Your Text Here," so they can see how it will look.
9. Use Zazzle's Coupon Page
Everyone loves a bargain and by linking to their coupon page your customer is more likely to buy. Many of their coupons have a short time limit but by linking to their page, the customer will always find ones that are still valid.
You can link to any page that Zazzle offer. By adding your referral number you will get a proportion of any sale. Instructions about adding your referral number to any page can be found by going to <My account- and clicking on more promotional tools>. See the screen shot below.
That page will have your referral number and instructions how you can link to any page, even their coupon page. For the coupon page go to Zazzle/coupons.
There you have it: my top 9 ways to help you succeed at Zazzle. There is nothing like waking up and finding an email with the subject line, "Your recent sales." I hope this has fired you up to go back to Zazzle and give it another go.
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.
Questions & Answers
Question: Why do I get very few sales on Zazzle? I know Zazzle sells around the world but my sales are few and far between. It would seem like you would at least get a few sells a day.
I have been putting my designs on Zazzle for years and so many times I have just wanted to give up.
Answer: I am sure many people feel the same way, I know I did. I would make a sale, then put up a few products, thinking I had 'figured it out'. Day after day I'd check my stats and no sales would come in so I would lose interest. This went on for a few years with me.
I knew I wanted to make Zazzle work but I felt I just wasn't getting anywhere with it for the amount of time I was spending on it.
In May of 2018 I decided to get a mentor. I realized I was never going to do it on my own. I am now in a group of people who are very supportive, and have group weekly mentoring sessions. It has given me the support and the drive to make my Zazzle business work.
When you begin to think of it as a business and not a hobby, you can see the potential.
Question: Does 'put products on two Zazzle platforms' mean two Zazzle "Stores"? If I understand right, the same store name can't be in Zazzle twice.
Answer: On Zazzle, you can have multiple stores. What I was referring to, is some people will open a store on the Zazzle site for the UK, or other countries. The algorithm is different on the other sites than the US Zazzle. I check the Zazzle Brazil site for my products and sometimes they aren't showing up. Therefore you could open an account on the other country's site.
I would caution you though, managing multiple stores is not easy, as you spread yourself too thinly. Also, the majority of the traffic is on the dot-com site, not others.
I am now so committed to improving on Zazzle I have mentors. I also have just had the best Christmas season since I started using Zazzle.
Question: Do you find that the limited payment options (check or PayPal in the US) impacts the number of sales?
Answer: Zazzle accepts payments of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Paypal. So no, sales are not affected by limited payment options.
I think what you are referring to is that Zazzle will pay their associates/designers by check (in the US) or Paypal. This too has no bearing on sales.
Question: Is it a good idea to put products on two Zazzle platforms? (One in my country, and one in the USA.)
Answer: I would say it depends which country. Definitely put it on the USA one as that is your biggest market. However, if you have a card or invitation and are in a country whose language isn't English, make the equivalent product and put the sentiment in your own language.
Question: How about when a designer has a series of ongoing designs surrounding a niche? Do niche designs printed on Zazzle products do well in the market?
Answer: That would depend on the niche, and how they are marketed. If your niche is birthday parties for children, there is a lot of scope there for selling products, however there is more competition. If you have a small niche for example one targeted at people who play the Alpine horn, you may sell to many of them but the numbers would be far fewer.
Another thing to take into consideration is how you will market it. Do you have a website for this niche that already has a steady stream of traffic? If so, the products you create on Zazzle could be a good fit for your website.
Question: Does Hubpages allow Zazzle links?
Answer: At the moment, yes. However, I would use them with caution because your articles are not suppose to be for self promotion to send readers off to other sites. Hubpages, which is now under the Maven umbrella, doesn't benefit from sending people off their site. If you link to an Amazon product they do get a percentage of the profit.
If you use a hyperlink, it may be more acceptable to them.
However, I don't know if you are familiar with a site called Squidoo. It was similar to Hubpages and was bought by Hubpages some years ago. That site was full of people self promoting with very little substance to their articles. There were then people who would hype the views up in exchange for others viewing theirs. My point in telling you this is, we are not only writers and designers, we are users of the internet. You need to stop and ask yourself, if you as an internet user would want to see an article with a link to a Zazzle product. Is your article useful to the reader? Does it solve a problem? Does that link you want to put in aid the customer or is it just meant to fill your pockets?
Hubpages has done well to improve their site while many similar sites have fallen by the wayside. We as writers, I feel, have an obligation to raise the bar as well and not look for a fast buck.
© 2015 Mary Wickison
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 06, 2020:
Because there is no cost to you and you never have to buy anything, I'd say, Go for it.
CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on July 06, 2020:
Thank you for the great information. Thinking of setting up a Zazzle store, but wanted some tips before I weigh up the pros and cons.
Valerie on June 11, 2020:
Hello! Could you direct me to the Zazzle Mentor group? I'd love to join and get some help with my Zazzle shoppe.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 27, 2019:
You can use images of real places but you need to exercise caution. Cars, homes,business, and anything that may have a trademark shouldn't be used.
Your example of a waterfall should be fine. However, all natural items are not okay. A case in point is the Lone Cypress Tree in Pebble Beach California. This is still under disputed.
Do your due diligence before using an image.
Carina Vause on August 27, 2019:
Hoping you can clarify the "you can't use images of real places" comment below. If I took a photo of a waterfall can I use it?
Also can you share a few examples of how you personalize?
I assume it's more creative that "Happy Birthday Mary"
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 14, 2019:
You've misunderstood, let me clarify. When you are sharing other peoples products it only benefits them, yourself, and Zazzle. Bringing people to the Zazzle platform, will increase the visibility for the site.
This is why the social media share buttons are on each and every product that Zazzle sells. That is the whole point of how social media works. Sharing products that you create and recommending other products as well. It's not about creating duplicate content.
Plus you have the opportunity to earn 15%. The seller still earns their commission as well. I know that the majority of my sales are what are called 3rd party sales. That is where someone else has promoted my product and earned a commission as well.
I hope that clarifies it for you.
Di on August 13, 2019:
BTW, with all your respect, copying other people's work only creates "Duplicate Content" on Google. You get penalized for it and it doesn't help anyone, neither the author of the content nor the copycat!
Kat Massard from Perth, Western Australia on August 12, 2019:
THanks so much! I have been a designer with zazzle for over 10 years now and it has been a godsend. I have seen many changes during this time, most for the better, but a struggle to keep up with... I have the products but really need to achieve that next level of promotion and getting my products found in a saturated market. My focus is mainly paper products, invites, holiday cards and business cards but have fun branching out into random products :D Best of luck to you also! Kat x
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 10, 2019:
I'm glad you like it and I hope the ideas will help you in your Zazzle business. I saw you followed my Zazzle store, thank you.
Good luck on Zazzle.
Kat Massard from Perth, Western Australia on August 10, 2019:
Great article Mary
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 12, 2019:
That is a good question and I am going to suggest you contact Zazzle about it.
When I began on Zazzle, I was in the UK but opted to build my stores on their (dot com) site. The biggest market for their products is the USA.
The key thing is getting your products found by the most people who are ready to buy.
Nell Rose from England on June 06, 2019:
Hi Mary, I am just starting out on Zazzle and wondered if I have to have different accounts for Britain and America, or can they be combined?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 18, 2019:
Yes, many people do that. I believe we all live in areas where there is something interesting to photograph. Sometimes we don't appreciate it, but others do.
Don't limit yourself to just cards and posters. Scenes can look fantastic on a wide variety of products.
Rose Jones on May 07, 2019:
I found a store today where a person took her own photos of where she lived (she lived in a beautiful part of the world) and sold them on her store.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 17, 2019:
I'm pleased they clarified that for you.
There have been changes with Pixabay. There was an update to the terms of service in January 2019 and thought that could be the cause. In essence, any image uploaded after 2019 must have added value. This is something you already do,
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on March 16, 2019:
Hi Mary, Thanks for that reply. I know I can’t use pictures of real people or places. And all images need to include added value—not used as is.
They finally gave me an answer, although not very clear. They mentioned that I used the name Pixabay in the attribution for the image. They implied that I should not use their name. How strange, because it was only for giving credit. But when I removed that, they accepted it. Pixabay does not require attribution, so I’ll just continue doing it that way.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 13, 2019:
I do use images from Pixabay and other sites that provide images that are in the public domain. I have not run into the problem you mention.
I would question whether the image had a recognizable trademark, people, or personal property. Those types of images could potentially cause problems.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on March 12, 2019:
Hi Mary, it’s been two years since I left a comment here. I’m back to review your article again because I just decided to start up again with Zazzle.
I ran into a problem and I wonder if you had the same issue. I tried using some images from Pixabay since they are in the public domain with a CC0 license, which means they can be used commercially. Pixabay's terms indicate that they can be used on printed items under the condition that we modify the images to add value.
Having understood that, I went ahead and made some items on Zazzle, adding text to the images. They quickly deleted them and said Zazzle does not allow unauthorized images from Pixabay. When I asked what they meant by “unauthorized”, they just repeated the same comment in another reply.
So, have you have any experience with trying to use Pixabay or other public domain images on Zazzle peoducts?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 05, 2018:
Oh, I'm so pleased, I know exactly how you feel. I still get a buzz when I sell something.
Like anything, the more time and products you put into your Zazzle business the better the results. Here's wishing you many successful years on Zazzle.
Shannon Miller on May 04, 2018:
I opened my dazzle account in January. I’ve put quite a lot of work into it and just made my first 2 sales. So exciting! Thank you for putting these tips. :-)
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 30, 2016:
Think of hobbies and clubs that you participate in and what products they may like. Even things such as key rings sell well when it has a generic image of their favorite past time. They can then customize it with their club's name. For example, if someone plays the fiddle with other people, put a picture of a fiddle and make up an imaginary name for the club.
They can then replace it with their own club name.
Good luck for the upcoming holiday season.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on October 28, 2016:
Your hub is extremely useful Mary! I have a Zazzle account which is basically inactive. I never succeeded at making any sales, although I've come up with a few creative ideas.
You made some good points about the proper way to use keywords, and also how to price things. I also didn't know how to get Zazzle products listed in search engines.
Now that I read your hub, I'm motivated to go back and do the right things. What perfect timing too, right before the holidays are coming.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 30, 2016:
It is very much a case of the more you put in to it, the more you get out. I thought the sales would drive up after Christmas but I still have them coming in almost daily. Remember all the holidays, birthdays and other occasions which occur throughout the year. Emphasize the ease of customizing for your customer . I feel it is the fact they can personalize something which keeps customers coming back to Zazzle.
Good luck with your relaunch on Zazzle. I still get excited when I receive an email with the subject line "your recent sales". It is the ultimate passive income.
Sharilee Swaity from Canada on January 30, 2016:
Hi @Blond Logic, this is a great article. I put some stuff on Zazzle about three years ago, and so far, my dashboard says about @3.00 ... but I would like to try it again, and this article comes at the right time. I will be pinning this for future reference. Thanks for the info!
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 08, 2015:
You should, Zazzle have introduced many new products all waiting to be customized. This Christmas has been very good for sales from there I'm pleased to report.
Remember, someone somewhere is celebrating something, and they need your product.
Thanks for reading and your comment.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 08, 2015:
I have not been in Zazzle for a long time. Your hub made me want to get back there and do something.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 28, 2015:
Images of your birds would do well I think on cards and posters. Because you are uploading the images, you never have to buy stock and try and sell it yourself unlike Ebay or Etsy.
You should consider doing it, as you know bird watching is a very popular activity around the world.
Thanks for your visit.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on September 27, 2015:
I never sold anything on line, but at least I know where to go now if I want to do so!
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 22, 2015:
Hi Ms. Dora,
You should take a look, they have a huge variety of customizable products. Everything from t-shirts to lamps.
Thanks for your visit.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 21, 2015:
You tempt me to take a close look at Zazzle. Thanks for these very helpful hints.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 21, 2015:
I just so happen to have another hub about the very thing. It explains how to put the images into Hubpages so you will get credited with the sale.
Thanks for asking.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 21, 2015:
Yes, more keywords and more products. Keep pumping them out and good luck with them.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 21, 2015:
I know exactly how you feel. 24 hours in a day just isn't enough it seems.
Hang in there and thanks for your visit.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on September 21, 2015:
I am just curious, is there any way to connect these products to hubpages? Have you ever tried writing about one of your products in hubpages?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 21, 2015:
Yes, give it time and keep at it. When you get your first sale, it feels amazing.
Good luck and thanks for reading.
Brandon Lobo on September 21, 2015:
Pretty awesome hub. It's definitely going to help someone big time. I have just a few 4-5 products. I should try adding more keywords.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 21, 2015:
Excellent tips, Mary. Now I just have to find the time to do some of them.
Sherri Tuck from Virginia on September 21, 2015:
I just opened my Zazzle store. So far no sales but I know I need to give it more time. Thanks for the tips.