When Your Zazzle Products Are Not Selling

by Dustytoes

If you run a Zazzle store, I want to help encourage you to keep at it until it becomes the success you are looking for.

Zazzle is an online company that lets everyday people upload their art, graphic designs, and photography to products they sell. As the shop-keeper, we get to display, organize, promote and sell as we choose.

If your Zazzle store is not productive, maybe you need some ideas how to make it so. Instead of getting discouraged by your lack of sales, learn what to do that could improve income for yourself.

Do You See Great Potential For Yourself at Zazzle?

Or are you discouraged by your lack of sales?

Do you think you have the potential to make money at Zazzle? 

This was the question I asked on my Wizzley page about "Running a Zazzle Business" and a large percentage of people have answered as being discouraged by their lack of sales.

This article is intended to encourage you to keep trying.  I have been designing and selling at Zazzle since August 2007 and I recently reached Gold ProSeller status.

My hope is that after reading this page, you may have some good ideas as to why your products are not selling, and how to improve your chances of making money online. 

Each person has varying talents and knowledge, but the more you learn, the better the possibilities of success.

Sitting Back and Waiting For Products to Sell Won't Work

Don't be lazy!

sleep rest lazyJust about anyone who makes money online will tell you that it took them a while to get there.  It took a lot of long hours and hard work to be successful and they have to keep at it to ensure continued success.

It's not possible to make money by filling your Zazzle store with products and then just sitting back and waiting for the paychecks to roll in.

If you open a Zazzle store and don't work on it all the time, or are sloppy when it comes to posting products, you probably won't see much income. 

 

Mistakes Zazzlers Make

Common mistakes that newcomers at Zazzle tend to make.

bad graphicsWhenever I visit a Zazzle store and see these types of issues, I assume the shop-owner is quite new to the site. 

Are you an obvious newbie?

  • Images that don't fit correctly on products (like the card shown).  Square art and / or photos that don't cover all the white area of the product.  Greeting cards, posters, stickers, and many other products should make use of the entire space and not have a chopped off look.   
  • Offering customers no customization.  Learn how to make text templates.  It's easy to do, and since Zazzle is a custom type site, customers are looking to be able to make some sort of customization when they find something they like. 

Can Customers Easily Find A Product in Your Store?

Search your own store for something specific and how easily you can find it.

store front

If you wanted to buy some bananas at the store pictured here, how long would it take you to find them?

If a customer wanted to find a banana t-shirt in your Zazzle store (lets say you have one for sale), how long would it take them to find it?

Many times customers enter Zazzle by searching for a product, so they may not see your store front, but if they are searching specifically at your store, how long would it take for them to find that banana t-shirt?  I've read that three clicks should get them there, or else they give up and leave.

If your Zazzle online store is a mess, get it organized.

What do you think of the "quick create" process?

At Zazzle you can make a bunch of products from one design or make them one at a time.

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I think that QC has it's place but it's not for me.
c on 06/24/2014

I like creating each product one by one to make sure it looks exactly as I want it.
Check out my store.
http://www.zazzle.com/deznr07

Daniela on 04/24/2014

I personally prefer to take my time with each product to ensure it has great quality! I spend a lot of time designing things to end up ruining all my hard work.
Check out my store: http://www.zazzle.com/vagabunding

bizilady on 02/15/2012

When I first started I used the "quick create" but it was a big waste of time. I had to fix most of the images because they just didn't fit the products.

sheilamarie on 01/09/2012

I'm not a big fan of quick-create. I seldom use it because it sometimes takes even more time to tweek and delete items that just don't look right..

sheilamarie on 10/29/2011

I'm not sure whether Quick Create has ruined the Zazzle landscape, but I tend not to use it, as I end up having to delete most of the products. I like to make products individually.

Yes, I do use Quick Create and fill my Zazzle stores up fast.
Paula on 04/30/2013

I do use QC but I try to go back and make the products better and make sure that the photos are correct. Check out my store http://www.zazzle.com/TravelWith...

Mike on 06/03/2012

I use both methods but only use a custom quick create for select items. What I wonder is if there is a market place penalty for using QC since it lumps your designs into one item with a note below saying see this design on multiple products. If you make them individually then you see all the products show up in the market place, which gives you more exposure if you ask me. Would love to hear opinions on that.

Sheri_Oz on 02/05/2012

I use quick create but before I finalize each product I check it for size of the image on the actual product. It is easy because the description blurb doesn't have to be rewritten for each product and I just click "done" for each product as I verify its appropriateness for the photo.

BarbRad on 02/01/2012

Now that I've been making my own quick create templates, I've been able to create more products more quickly, since I only have to put the descriptions and tags in once. Because I do these templates by shape, I don't have so much customizing and deleting to do before publishing. It's been a Godsend for me.

Dustytoes on 01/19/2012

I have begun using Quick Create for some new images recently and the biggest thing I don't like is that everything will get the same markup percentage. I price my items with varying markups so have to remember to get back and change them within the 24 hour window for making changes. Remembering is not something I do well!


Create Good Titles, Tags and Descriptions

To sell the product, use only wording that relates to what you have made.

Throwing up a bunch of products is not as important as describing them correctly.  Give it an appropriate title and describe it well in the description area.   Add appropriate tags so it can be found by customers.  Zazzle gives us room to use 10 power tags and you really shouldn't need to use many more than those.  Add words that are only appropriate for that item.  Tag spam includes wording that has nothing to do with what you've made.  It is frowned upon, big time.

If people sell items that are similar to what I sell at Zazzle, but  my description contains better keywords, and my tags are more appropriate, I may sell more.

 

How often do you work on your Zazzle store?

  Display results
Keeping your store fresh by adding new products and organizing them is important.

It's Easy and Free to Set Up a Basic Zazzle Store

This article shows you the basics to get you started.
Everyone, who has art or photography to sell, can easily set up a basic online store at the Zazzle site.

Watch Your Pricing of Products And Be Realistic

Don't set a high percentage on something that is not worth the money, or you won't sell anything.

pricing productsZazzle lets you set a default percentage for items and you can leave every item you create priced at that percent, but I suggest that you don't.

In my opinion, many products Zazzle offers are expensive enough without me adding a high markup on top of that.  We have to add at least 5%, and we can choose any amount, but keeping the markup reasonable will help with selling.

In my wedding stores I set my invitations at a higher markup than the coordinating RSVP cards, postage, stickers and other items that match because I feel that if the customer buys the invitations they will be more likely to choose the matching items if they are reasonably priced.

Your markup will depend on how much work you put into the design, how original it is, and how much in demand it will be.  At the present time, our price changes will go into effect around the 20th of each month, no matter when you make the changes, so be careful when setting prices.   Also, once a product is made (or a bunch if you use Quick Create) you have 24 hours to set your prices that will have to stick of a month.

What If I Can't Think of Anything to Make For My Store?

Sometimes desingers need some inspiration for fresh and new ideas.

stuck for ideasI admit that I am never at a loss for something to create, but I do sometimes feel that I can be repetitious in my designs.  Then it is time to go look at what is out there in relation to what I am selling.

When I began selling wedding invitations I had to look around at what is selling these days.  I was married many years ago when there were no "save the date" cards or other more modern products having to do with wedding stationery, so I had to learn about what to sell.

Very few people are totally unique.  If you look at the wedding items (for example) sold at Zazzle, many do copy ideas that are found all over the internet.  Our ideas as designers usually come from other things we've seen, and no matter what you are making, this is true.  So viewing online wedding stores and flipping through wedding magazines can give me new ideas - not direct copies! -  for creating when I need to branch out a bit.

You can do the same for your field of creating. 

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

You Can Use Photos and Images Made by Others

Most photos on this page were taken from the Pixabay site.

Except for the seashells, product image snip, and cat photo, which are all my own images, all other pictures on this page came from Pixabay.  It's a site which offers photos found in the public domain and they can be used for free, even on commercial items (stuff we sell).    If your mind is drawing a blank when it comes to being creative, just browse the Pixabay site, or any other site like it, for inspiration.

Please note:  Just because an image is free to use, does not mean it is always okay to use to SELL (commercial use).  Examples would be; certain famous buildings, people, or makes of cars (as examples).  If you find an image, first make sure it has a Creative Commons license or is in the Public Domain.

Here's More Help For Finding Copyright Free Images

An exhaustive list of the best online resources for copyright free cliparts and photos for commercial online and offline usage.
Pixabay is an online site that offers high quality photos and clipart images that can be used as you please - even to sell in your Zazzle store.

Don't Forget to Promote Your Store(s) and Items

Once your fabulous products are created, get them out there to be seen.

Promoting your products is as important as creating and posting them correctly.

If you are clueless as to how to do this, pay attention in the Zazzle forum and read the Zazzle blog. They just wrote a very helpful page entitled, "Social Media Tips and Tricks: Part 1, Facebook", which explains a lot about how to set up and update your Facebook Page to promote a Zazzle store.

Many Zazzlers use Twitter and Pinterest regularly as well.

Do Some Writing That Relates to The Products You Sell

I write at my WordPress blogs, Squidoo and here at Wizzley.

Seashell photographyI love WordPress, but their blogs are not to be used solely to sell products.  I have four WP blogs and I use them to write about the subjects I am interested in which go along with what I create and sell in my Zazzle stores.

For instance, I blog about seashells and Florida and beaches on my Seashells by Millhill blog which coincides with my Zazzle store that is filled with products containing beach shell images.

I also write here at Wizzley and they do let you write to sell as long as there is plenty of useful written content to go along with it.  It's a great place to be niche specific.

 

If You are Doing a Good Job, Sales Will Come Eventually

Have patience and carry on with your creating and promoting.

Waiting for the sales to come rolling in takes patience, but you must realize that most products you create will take time to sell as well. 

One time I sold something the day after I made it, but usually it takes months before great products begin to sell regularly.

Keep promoting yourself by writing on your blog, tweeting, adding products to FaceBook and Pinterest.   Update your store regularly and and keep learning and researching for good tag words.  Visit the forum and join in the conversations.  You can ask for help and advice there and maybe learn something new.

Being creative and selling online is not for everyone.  If you don't enjoy what you are doing, or find it difficult to be unique and offer quality products, maybe you should consider doing something else.  I dare say that most everyone who is successful at Zazzle loves what they do.

 

Customer Reviews Are Helpful to Designers

customer reviews commentsI love that Zazzle now lets us read comments made by our own customers. A lot can be learned by reading these reviews. Sometimes a product should be re-done if there is an obvious design flaw and when customers see them first hand (as we cannot) it's good to know about any issues. But the best thing about the reviews is seeing how pleased a customer was with something I created! It's nice to hear.

To find out if anyone has reviewed your products go to "My Account" at the top of your page (once you are logged in) and then click "account". At the bottom left side you will see "My Reviews".  In the "Reviews Received" area you will find a list of customer comments on products they have purchased.

You may need to fix or change something if a customer was unhappy with a product.  Unfortunately we can't reply, and that can be frustrating if the problem was not related to the design. If we get less than a 5-Star rating it is sometimes due to a shipping problem, that we have no control over as designers.

Updated: on 04/25/2014, Dustytoes
 
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What's your Zazzle experience?


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Mira on 06/04/2014

I enjoyed this. One thing I can't figure out: I'd like to know how many items I have created. Well, if I check out someone else's store, I can see that number in the top right section. If I check out mine, I don't see anything. I tried signing off and going to the store afterwards -- I still didn't see a number. Pretty strange. Any thoughts?

Dustytoes on 03/29/2014

I think we are both helping new Zazzlers.

Sheri_Oz on 03/29/2014

Came back for another read - can never go over the basics too often. Thanks for this clear and comprehensive article.

Dustytoes on 04/12/2013

Good luck to you Melba - it does take time.

Melba428 on 04/11/2013

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I shall keep on keeping on--keeping on untill I get it right.

katiem2 on 04/11/2013

I'm cheating, doing all my studies for future reference, I tell you one of these days I'm going to be a star pupil making you proud. This is great information. :)K

Dustytoes on 04/11/2013

Because of your question Melba, I have added a section here to help explain why some newbies to Zazzle are having trouble selling. And Brenda answered part of the question too.
Your store is too dark and not well organized among other things. Re-read the new section on this page please. Hope it helps - and thanks Brenda!

BrendaReeves on 04/11/2013

Melba, Pam's the expert on this, but I would say the dark background is the problem. It's difficult to make out the designs on the products. My own personal thing is that I do not like dark backgrounds, and I will automatically hit the back button when I see one. I have no idea if the majority of people are the same way. That's also a question for Pam.

Melba428 on 04/11/2013

I have a couple of stores, but haven't sold one item. Its normal to want to give up, if you can't sell your products. I would love to know what I am doing wrong.
http://www.zazzle.com//mmsfantasyartetc.

BrendaReeves on 03/16/2013

I missed this excellent article. I'm going to read it again and make a checklist to make sure I'm doing these things.




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