Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cafepress Slashes Royalties For Contributors by 70% While Increasing Its Own Profits by 40%.

There is a new uproar at the infamous Print On Demand company known as Cafepress. It was announced yesterday that they will make some changes that will benefit the customers and make their shopping experience better. This includes cleaning up the Cafepress marketplace by sorting and throwing out redundant designs to make browsing easier. This is something that fellow shopkeepers have been asking for for so long, so that’s the great part of the changes to be made in June. But what isn’t cool, is how we shopkeepers will benefit by making a measly 10% from marketplace purchases. As of right now, the agreement is that shopkeepers set their own prices whether the products are sold from the marketplace or directly from our shops. If a t-shirt’s base price is $14.99 and we set our markup to $8 that means that the final selling price to the customer would be $22.99. Now according to the new changes coming soon, shopkeepers will only receive 10% of $14.99 if the item is sold through the marketplace. Why is that bad? Well how would you feel if you were used to having your freedom as agreed in the TOS to sell your products at a reasonable price set by you and only you….only to have the agreement change and told that you will earn a whopping $1.49 for your design. A design that many shopkeepers have spend countless hours on on many days just to make a living. Now shopkeepers can still earn whatever markup they chose via their shops directly, but since most shopkeepers earn their profit through the marketplace, this is a drastic problem for us all!! Tell me Cafepress, how does this benefit the very people that brought you sales in the first place? The very people that changed their lives just to contribute your business by uploading hundreds and thousands of make enough to pay mortgage or a bill or two. Here’s the recent press release regarding these very disappointing changes.

CafePress Retail Platform Evolving: More Focus on Buyer Needs
Last update: 1:55 p.m. EDT April 22, 2009
SAN MATEO, Calif., Apr 22, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — CafePress, the leader of user-generated commerce and biggest online destination for self expression through merchandise, today announced changes to their marketplace to respond to the needs of their growing customer base.
As with other companies based in user-generated content, CafePress has witnessed an explosion of design submissions (from 2 to 300 million products in just 5 years); and their customer’s needs have changed as the size of their catalogue has grown.
“Our focus has always been helping customers find unique products that allow them to express themselves. In the beginning this meant just having designs available on every topic imaginable, today it means helping customers locate the most unique and relevant design amongst millions of choices,” explains Fred Durham, CEO and co-founder of CafePress.
Over the months to come, CafePress will be rolling out changes in their marketplace to improve their customer experience for their 11 million monthly shoppers in two key areas:
1. Search Platform and Algorithm changes to ensure they better deliver the designs and merchandise their customers are looking for by bringing the best designs to the front and reducing redundant designs.
2. Pricing and Designer commission structure changes in order to offer their customers consistent and competitive prices and invest in their site experience.
CafePress’ changes to their marketplace mark a major milestone in the evolution of the very space they have pioneered. The vision for the marketplace is to become more retail-like, where innovative and quality designers are rewarded with premium shelf space and customers can consistently and easily find relevant and unique designs at a great price.
“These changes are all about listening to our customers and using their feedback to launch the next generation of the CafePress marketplace, streamlining how customers find products and investing in a quality experience,” comments Durham.
Over the months to come, CafePress shoppers will more easily find a wide selection of quality designs on products most relevant to their searches at consistent prices across the board.
About CafePress
CafePress is the leader in User-Generated Commerce and offers sellers turnkey e-commerce services to independently create and sell a wide variety of products, and offers buyers unique merchandise across virtually every topic. Launched in 1999, CafePress has empowered individuals, organizations and businesses to create, buy and sell customized merchandise online using the company’s unique print-on-demand and e-commerce services. Today, CafePress is a growing network of over 6.5 million members who have unleashed their creativity to transform their artwork and ideas into unique gifts and new revenue streams.
For more information visit CafePress at
SOURCE: CafePress

Kimberly Youngstrom, 212-221-1713 (Media)
Marc Cowlin, 650-655-3039 (Media)

So tell me Cafepress…are we supposed to get excited by earning .99 cents for a bib that costs $9.99? How can you sit there and tell us that this is all about the shopping experience when your own shopkeepers are the ones who made it possible to even buy your products? Many people including myself will lose over 50% of our income because of this change and it’s not right. Many of us have purchased expensive software, fonts, marketing, etc to maintain our shops…and here we are preparing to have it all for nothing. Many of us shopkeepers took a huge blow when Cafepress changed the volume bonus program resulting in loss of income, and now this? How much money did you save by doing that Cafepress?? Oh yeah…way more than what we will earn from now on!
I sure hope that you have considered all possibilities to go along with these changes. Because it will be your loss and too late when your best and loyal shopkeepers turn their backs on you…even though some already have rightfully and understandably. Do you know the saying “don’t burn your bridges?” Well you’ve set the bridge on fire a while ago and just let it continue to burn with us shopkeepers still running across it. And if you are a shopper at Cafepress, my advice to you is to get what you like now because it may not be there in the near future.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This songs been on repeat all day

This is a song done by Sikh Knowledge. It is a song for Palestine. Check it out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Know Its Been A While

I'll be updating this blog soon once I find time so keep checking back!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Islam, Nationalism, & Heritage

Being a Muslim abroad ,it is a common scene to see intercultural marriages taking place between Muslims. You know what else is common? Seeing reluctant parents when it comes to their child marrying someone who is not of the same ethnicity. I mean what is it with people who are against their children marrying someone of a different ethnicity or even someone who is from a different city of origin?

One may claim to be a devout Muslim, but how can one claim to be a devout Muslim if they are so quick to prejudge those who are different. It is contradictory to hold such a stance because marriage between different tribes and nations is seen as a way of strenghtening our Ummah. If an individual is a pious Muslim why should one reject them for marriage to your child? Shouldn't the top priority be the Deen of a man/woman when it comes to building up a criteria for prospective spouses?

This is a question we must ask ourselves. I've personally seen too many people not marry eachother because their parents will not allow marriage outside of a certain ethnicity. It doesn't even stop there, I've seen it go as far as a woman not being able to marry a man who is not from the same city as her parents. Another example seen too often is the 'Syed/Syeda' complex in which one may only marry the other.( I'll speak about this absurd nonsense in a future blog). If you're wondering what a Syed is , a Syed is someone who supposedly is a direct descendant of our Prophet PBUH or one of the Imams. The funny thing is that everyone claims to be 'Syed', but why can't we all just claim to be Muslims instead of some fabricated title?

Although blogs are suppose to be just statements and opinions I like to ask my readers questions also. And I want to know, whatever happened to one's faith being more important than anything else?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Problem With Islamic Hip Hop & Pop

Okay so is it just me or has 'Islamic' Hip hop really made its way into the youth of our Ummah?

'Islamic Hip Hop' is an absolute oxymoron. I personally am a music fanatic. I play instruments, am part of a Bhangra team (Folk Dance), and listen to music all the time. I am not claiming to be a saint who adheres to my religion verbatim and I can care less with what other people do on their spare time. But to directly mix our religion with haram elements is an absolute abomination on our faith.

If most forms of music are considered haraam in Islam, how is it okay to create 'Islamic Hip Hop'. Keep in mind that the daff (hand drum) is considered halal by many. But lets be real, most Islamic Hip Hop/ Pop does not strictly use the Daff.

For anyone who disagrees on the fact that most forms of music are haraam in Islam, I will lay down some facts for you;

The Narration of Ibn Maajah :
The Messenger of Allaah said : "A people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of female singers. Allaah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine."
This hadeeth has also been narrated by al-Bayhaaqi and ibn Asaakir, and has been authenticated by the renowned scholar of hadeeth Ibn al-Qayyim.

Narrations of Ahmed bin Hanbal :
The Messenger of Allaah said : "Verily Allaah prohibited wine, gambling and al-koobah; and every intoxicant is prohibited." Sufyan said : " I asked the narrator, Ali bin Badheemah, ' What is al-Koobah?' He answered, 'It is the drum'."

The Messenger of Allaah said : "Verily Allaah has prohibited for my Ummah wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute; while He supplemented me with another Prayer, the witr"

These are only a few facts amongst many others that advocate the negativity of music.
So as I mentioned before, what is it with Islam,Pop Music, and Hip Hop?

Don't be so naive into thinking that these forms of 'Islamic' music are 'Halal' and all other forms of Music are 'haraam'. My friends, music is music regardless of its content. Inserting Islam into something that is already haraam, does not make it halal.

Until then,

Enjoy your Ninth Day of Ramadan :)


Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Confusion With Halal Meat

Halal Meat, literally meaning meat that is permissible to eat.
There are several requirements that make meat halal and one of those includes being able to eat the meat of the people of the scripture.

This day are (all) things Good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them... (Al-Ma-idah: 5)

Growing up my family has always had to buy very EXPENSIVE halal meat from the halal store. One of the things that frustrated me was not only were these products Expensive, but many times they were Freezer burnt, old, or Stale. Than I started to even notice that you can even buy halal cheese pizzas and halal falafels that were just as expensive. Does anyone else feel like maybe us Muslims are being overcharged by these Halal Food companies?

With that said our family began to just slaughter our own meat and slowly have began to switch to Kosher Meat. I mean what is wrong with kosher meat? Its cut by the people of the book in their religious fashion thus it is lawful for us to consume. Did I mention that kosher meat tends to be of better cuts and lower prices

It tastes great, its permissible, and it doesn't hurt the wallet. I don't think Allah would want us to struggle financially just to attain meat that 100-200% than kosher meat.

Next time you begin to break the bank for 'Halal' meat , do some reading about Kosher meat :).

Until than,


Monday, September 1, 2008

First Day Of Ramadan

Salaam everyone-

So today was the first day of Ramadan. It was sort of interesting because this is my first Ramadan alone. Instead of having someone wake me up and make me a nice breakfast I just stay up all night and have a weird combo of foods for suhur.

Its a bit different, and this year I break my fast at work for the most part, so that whole Ramadanish feeling isn't so Ramadanish at all.

Not to mention Ramadan is slowly creeping its way into Summer. I remember when I was a kid iftar was at 4:30. And during those times I would hope I wasn't around for Summer Ramadans. But you know what, these Summer Ramadans aren't so bad if you keep yourself busy.

I guess this is all part of growing up.

Anyways, I hope everyone's Ramadan is going well insha'Allah.

Check back here soon.