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.


wolffie said...

Way to go! As another Cafe Press shopkeeper, I share in your sorrow. Cafe Press has become a greedy corporation that could care less about the designers that made it what it is today. It has ruined countless lives. I know several stories about people who were doing so well with their stores at Cafe Press, they quit their regular day jobs, and were working on Cafe Press full time....single mothers, parents with children to support. Now what happens to them? They go to Zazzle...that's what happens to them. Zazzle is waiting with open arms to embrace all the shopkeepers Cafe Press has thrown out in the cold. Rot in hell, CP!

Anonymous said...

Fred is just trying to buy his private jet... That's why cafepress is in business.