Advice on Pricing Zazzle Products For Sale

by dustytoes

Zazzle sellers have a few options when it comes to pricing their products for sale. This page explores them.

The print-on-demand Zazzle site makes it easy for anyone to set up a free shop and sell various types of images and artwork on products. I opened my first shop at Zazzle in August, 2007. As sellers we have the option to place a markup by percentage on each product we sell. The default, or very least we can choose, is ten percent (dropping to 5% July, 2013), but the store as a whole can be set at any percent, or products can be individually priced.
As our percentages (royalties) go up, so does the cost of the product.
So what is the best way to select prices for your Zazzle store? The truth is that it's up to you - the designer and shop keeper - to understand what sells best, or has the potential to, and what is therefore worth a higher markup.

The Basics of Pricing and Using Royalty Percentages at Zazzle

Should you choose one default price for everything or set individual product mark ups?

To set the default percentage to apply throughout your Zazzle store, go to your store account and in the "Seller Account" area choose "default royalty".  There you have the option to choose a royalty which will show on all products you don't individually price.  Or set one royalty for everything and it will show up automatically.

For instance, when you use the Zazzle Quick Create option and make a bunch of products using one design or image, all end products will be given this default royalty.  But, you will have 24 hours to go back and set varying royalties for each item.  Quick Create items don't post immediately so you'll have to remember to find the products and change the percentages within that time period.

Use the Default, or Set Individual Prices?

Each seller must decide if they want all products to have the same markup.  This will depend on what they sell and how much work has gone into the image being sold.  I also take into consideration the original cost of the item.

Reasons I Set Each Percentage Manually (But I also choose a default, just in case.)

  1. Items with an already high price tag (set by Zazzle) get a low mark up from me.
  2. Products I rarely sell, get a lower mark up. 
  3. If there is lots of competition and similar products with (say for instance, a rose image) I keep the royalty low - closer to the base 10%. (update: recent changes have made the base 5%)
  4. Set the price according to the amount of work you've put into the image design and how unique it is.  Good, original artwork deserves a higher mark up in my opinion.
  5. Also, if I can expect the customer to possibly request a lot of help with something I've made (due to custom text needs), I will have a higher markup due to the potential time involved.
  6. Use the Advanced Royalty settings calculator to add pennies to each sale.  (I talk more about this further down on this page.)

How to Choose a Default Royalty For Your Products

The Zazzle site looks a bit different now, but find your settings the same way as shown here.
Setting A Store-Wide Default Royalty
Setting A Store-Wide Default Royalty

What Percentage Should I Choose - High or Low?

How can I make the most money?

Will I sell more if I keep my royalties low, or is it worth having higher prices to make more money?  That's a big question that is not easy to answer, but many of us at Zazzle always wonder about.

I's say it's trial and error.  Affiliates want to promote items with a lower mark up.  Less than 15% as I understand it currently.  But who is to say that an affiliate will even choose my stuff to promote?  If the majority of people creating products keep their prices low, isn't it impossible to find cheap stuff?  I mean, it all looks the same!

The truth is that some customers want to feel that they are getting something nicer, and will pay for it.  If the design is good and the price is higher, they won't care.  Other customers head right for the least expensive items.  Have a combination and see how it goes.

This is where self-promotion will make some difference.  Promote your best and most unique stuff and you can probably charge more and still make sales.

The 24-Hour Window to Change a Price

Price changes will go into effect only once a month after the 24-hour window has closed.

Every time you post a product for sale you'll see a notice about having a 24-hour window to change the markup percentage and set a new price.   Once that window has closed, any new price you set won't show up as changed, until the around the 20th of the month.

To change your royalty markup, and price of your product, go into "edit" for the product you want to change, and then make the change in the royalty area.

Let me explain.  Prices can be changed at any time, but the new price you choose won't change for the customer to see until "on or around" the 20th of the month.  Make changes by the 19th or you will have to wait a month for them to show up.  Zazzle's explanation for this can be read when clicking on the "why" in the yellow text line shown in my image below.

In part, the explanation from Zazzle is,"Real-Time pricing changes are putting our ability to participate in search engine feeds at risk." (Read it here.)

As the seller you can see the new price reflected in the edit section for each product.  See the example below.

 

Product Royalty Pricing - View This in the Edit Section of Each Product

Changes will take effect on the twentieth of the month, but can be made at any time.
Royalty Changes
Royalty Changes

Easy Adjustments in Your Percentages To Add Pennies to Income

Play around with the advanced calulator to see what I mean.

Instead of choosing a basic 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%, you may add decimals to the percentage when clicking on the "advanced calculator" which allows you to slide the price up or down. (The link is in blue text above, and is shown being used in the image below). 

Using the image below of a square, wedding invitation in one of my shops, you can see that I have set the percentage at 30.9.  The price for the product will be $2.25 and I will make 66 cents on each card sold.

If I had chosen a round, 30% for the markup, the selling price would still be $2.25 but my royalty would be a penny less at 65 cents.

Also, be aware that it seems Zazzle would like us to stay under the 15% markup.  Sometimes setting the percentage at 14.9 will get you more than going a bit over that.  Play with the royalties to find what works best for you.  I write them down on paper to keep from having to play with it every time.

Using the "Advanced Calculator" To Set a Percentage

This is an easy way to keep the price of the product the same while giving yourself a few extra pennies for the sale.
Sliding royalty calculator
Sliding royalty calculator

Other Ways The Price and Royalties Can Change

Products that offer various options to the customer.

In the example shown above, if the customer changes the paper from felt (which I have chosen) to basic paper, the price of the invitation will be $1.95 and my royalty will be 57 cents.

This can happen for any product on the Zazzle site which gives the customer the option to make changes.  It can happen the opposite way and make you more money too, when they choose to upgrade.

If the customer uses a coupon code, or buys during a sale, my royalty will be even lower because the price for the item will be reduced.

Many products offer discounts when purchased in bulk.  Bulk purchases are wonderful, but with a discount added automatically, the royalty percentage shrinks but may be made up by the fact that many were ordered.

Zazzle's site wide sales and promo codes can also apply and reduce royalty amounts temporarily.

Postage stamps are a different story.  I talk about them below.

Royalties on Postage Stamps Will Be Less Than What is Typical

Zazzle offers postage stamps to customers living in the United States.

As you can see in the royalty calculator below, I have marked my fall wedding stamps at ten percent but the royalty amount looks too low.  If the stamps sell for $21.95, at 10% I should get $2.20 for the sale but it is showing my cut as $1.28.

Because stamps are from the U.S. Post Office, when designing for postage we only get royalties on the design itself and not the stamp.  At least I think that is the reason.

For more information on royalties, please read the Name Your Royalty page at Zazzle.com.

Postage Stamps Are Different

Your profits may seem too low.
Selling Postage Stamps
Selling Postage Stamps

Unique and Involved Designs Can Sell For More

Original artwork and graphic desgins along with photo templates will normally sell for a higher price.

I sell a lot of stationery.  I love to design for weddings and special occasions, and so do many other designers at Zazzle. 

Because I know that what I make is unique - I don't use clip art, and usually draw the images myself and use my own photography - I ask for customers to appreciate that by raising my royalties to be slightly above normal.  I think it's fair for the amount of work I put in.  Also the customer is getting something original.

I also offer personal help to my customers who may need custom wedding paper of all kinds, which can mean hours of extra work and time in correspondence.

Price According to The Work Involved

Don't sell yourself short. If you believe it's worth more, price it accordingly.
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Updated: on 11/10/2013, dustytoes
 
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How do you price your Zazzle products?


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dustytoes on 11/10/2013

@Jennifer - go into "edit" and then change the markup percentage in the "royalty information" area. The change will not be immediate - Zazzle now only changes the royalty around the 20th of the month, but your change can be made at any time. It just won't kick in until that time.

Jennifer on 11/10/2013

I can't figure out how to change the price on my product. Anyone have a clue?

dustytoes on 09/25/2013

Many things have changed at Zazzle recently, but I'm glad to hear this page has helped you. Best of luck with your Zazzle store.

Raintree on 09/25/2013

Thank you for this very useful information. I have recently started on Zazzle and very much finding my way around. This is very helpful.

dustytoes on 05/11/2013

Yes, that is true, but I don't set everything to 10% as Zazzle can't possibly promote everyone's products, and truthfully I sell more products that are marked higher (because of design). Some customers will want the cheapest they can find, but others don't care as much. They are looking for a specific design. We each have to decide on what is the best way to promote. Thanks for your comment Cheryl.

CherylsArt on 05/10/2013

I found out recently that Zazzle does more promotion of products are are set at the 10% royalty. Also, the window for changing the markup rate is now monthly, on the 20th.

dustytoes on 03/14/2013

Thanks for links @maigi, much appreciated!

maigi on 03/14/2013

Very useful article! Thank you! I posted link on Google+ Zazzlers community page.

Boriana on 03/13/2013

Thank you for the article on Zazzle prices, it is very useful!

dustytoes on 02/09/2013

Sheilamarie, I am glad to hear you are getting your money's worth on Zazzle products! It sounds like you are able to "think like the customer" to bring sales.




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