How To Set Up a Basic Zazzle Store

by dustytoes

Everyone, who has art or photography to sell, can easily set up a basic online store at the Zazzle site.

Zazzle, the print-on-demand website, offers basic layout options for your Zazzle store so you don't have to be technologically inclined to participate at the site. All you need to get started selling, is some original drawings or paintings, photos or graphic artwork to upload (at the correct size) and then place them on any of the many products Zazzle offers for sale. (Certain pictures in the Public Domain can be used as well.)

How you choose to present those products for sale, is up to you. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first for anyone who has not run their own online store (most of us!), but it's quite easy to have products ready for sale in a matter of hours.

I opened my first store at Zazzle in August 2007 and have learned quite a bit since then. The site has updated and changed, mostly for the better, since then. I want to share the basics for those who are just starting out, or thinking about becoming an online entrepreneur.

Anyone Can Open a Store... And It's Free!

On the Zazzle.com home page you will see a "sell" link right at the top.  When you click that link you can either choose "create a store" or "become an associate".

To create a store you will need to know what to name your store. This will be permanent.

To become an associate, you will find all the info you need to create referrals by promoting products outside of the Zazzle site.

Choose a Store Name That Will Also Be Your URL

Choose a name carefully.

Zazzle banner for bluehydWhen choosing your store name you can use only letters and the underscore symbol.  Thousands of people have Zazzle stores so your first choice for a store name may be taken. 

Some people use their own name or their website name, if they already have one.

The store name could relate to the products you will sell.  As an example, in my BlueHyd store I sell mostly stationery containing the hydrangea flower.

This first store will be your main store and if you open any others they will be linked to this one for referral bonus money, payment, etc.  Don't worry about that at this point, we are talking about getting one store set up, and then you can look into the affiliate information.

The Account Area Options

Zazzle account areaOnce you have a name for your store, find the account area by hovering over your icon at the top of the page. You will see a list of options as well as your store name or names.

In the "My Account" area there will be a top bar with more options, and in the "account" area you will be able to finish filling in your contact e-mail, store settings, etc., and manage profile information.

Set Your Store to Private

You can then work on making your store presentable before everyone comes to shop.

 

  1. Go to STORE and then choose MANAGE
  2. Choose SETTINGS and then EDIT SETTINGS
  3. At the top of that page check the box to MAKE THIS STORE PRIVATE
  4. Un-check the box, at any time, to make it PUBLIC

This is only a suggestion.  You may leave your store public while it's being set up if you wish.

 

Set Up Your Store, Account, Earnings and Images Areas First.

You won't have any Products and the Associates section you can do later along with the Wishlist.
Make this store private
Make this store private

A Private Store Has Public Products

This is optional, but I like to work on my store without people visiting.

Checking off the private store option means that no one but you will see the store front.  If you'd like to add your own banner and colors and wait until you have at least a few products up to show, then choose the private look.  You can change it to public at any time, by simply un-checking the box.

Note that any products you create can still be seen and purchased - unless you keep them private when you post them for sale.

All your stores will be listed here when / if you have more than one.

As you can see, I have 10 that are public and 2 that are private. I can manage them from here.
Manage your store
Manage your store

Store Set Up

Add your icon and store description and decide how you want products to show.

In the "My Account" area choose "Store" to get to your store management area.  

Customize the look of your Zazzle store under settings where you will add the store icon, meta tags and description.  Also add an e-mail link for customers to contact you.  (This is optional).  Enable, and set up Google Analytics as well.

Under "Store Content" section you will add your banner and choose how to show products and store categories.

This area is pretty self explanatory.  It will take some time to get all things as you want them, but the end result will be an organized store.

Adding Images to Your Store

Keep your uploads organized and you will work more efficiently.

drumsetAdding images of photos or artwork you will use to make products is an important step in creating and setting up your Zazzle store.

Before you upload image to the images folders, have an idea of how you'd like to organize them so they will be easy to find as your store images area grows.  I learned this the hard way!

Also, make sure they adhere to the Zazzle image guidelines by reading the Designer Tutorials page.  If your images are too small, they will not print well on the products and your customers will not be happy. (Customers can leave ratings and feedback now, so you want good reviews!)

On the images page (the link is in the "my account" section), click the "add folder" area and name your folder.  TIP:  If you plan to have more than one store eventually, I suggest you name this folder by your store name and then add sub-folders inside.

If all your images will be for one store, name the folder according to what you intend to upload - be exact so you can find what you are looking for later.

For instance add your Rose photography to the "Rose" folder.

You can use the Zazzle Bulk Image Uploader, or add images a few at a time.

** Good to knowDeleting images from your "Images" folders (where you store the images you use to create) will not delete them from your products.

(Drum image credit:  Pixabay)

Organize, Organize, Organize!

In the beginning you won't have all that many images to deal with, but as time goes on your Zazzle images area will fill up.  It's best to find a way, in the beginning, to organize those images in ways that they will be easy to find down the road.

In the same way you will organize your store front for customers, organize the images area for yourself.  Put photography in one area and artwork in another.  If you plan to eventually have more than one Zazzle store, keep images in the store they relate to.  

Organize by theme, colors, designs, or whatever you plan to use to create products.  Only you can know just how to organize for your own benefit, but I suggest you give it some thought before you get overloaded with images you can't find.

 

How are you doing with organizing images?

If a customer asks for something, could you find the image needed?

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I just grab an image and start making products.
2uesday on 07/16/2012

I am still struggling to organize my Zazzle products. So I am a bit of both, let's just say I am still learning with my Zazzle account.

Ragtimelil on 07/15/2012

I just opened my store but it's getting out of hand. I will have to get organized soon.

sheilamarie on 07/09/2012

Unfortunately, I just jumped in with my two feet. I need to organize my images.

JoHarrington on 07/09/2012

But I've only just started. I'm now reading your Wizzle and thinking about adding folders. :)

I am organized and have my folders all in order.
scott on 10/25/2012

I like to organize my images into folders. It's easy for me to remember which types of images I put @Zazzle.

Sheri_Oz on 09/17/2012

Once I started having more than one page of images, I realized organizing them into categories was best.

Jerrico_Usher on 07/10/2012

folders, definately but I also sometimes would just grab images

MHeart on 07/09/2012

I like to keep organized

Use Folders to Organize Products For Sale

Zazzle provides folders for us to help with organization.

After you've read Zazzle's basic design tips, click on the "Products" button and begin making a product that you will add to a virtual "folder" in your store.  Add an image either from your images that were previously uploaded, or grab them from your computer.  Zazzle has tutorials for help with designing, but if you want to begin with something easy, I suggest a greeting card or postcard with just a nice image on the front.

All products can be added to the "New Products" folder which will be included in your store, or you can add a category and create a folder for what you make. You will make your folders in the "Products" area of your store.  I call it, the back room.  You can also make sub-categories in each major category (folder).

Either way, eventually you should have categories set up to hold each design or product you want to sell so customers will be able to find them easily. 

** Please note that when you move products into new folders it can take some time for them to show up where you want them - so don't be alarmed if they didn't seem to "move".

Here's a Simple Way to Create Categories

Use this trick to quickly improve the look of your online Zazzle shop.
It's easy to create a Zazzle category and then fill it with products, but there must be an image on that place holder for customers to find it.

There's a Lot More To Know But...

You are off to a good start once you get the basics down.

The Zazzle.com website has grown tremendously in just the seven years I've been working there and they are constantly improving and changing things to grow their business which is good for my individual stores within the site as well.

It can be a bit overwhelming and there is a lot more to know than what I've covered here, but read the help pages and visit the forums and while you are filling your store with quality products to sell, keep in mind that it can take a while to begin making sales, but if you are using quality images and tagging correctly, eventually sales will happen!   If you are proud of your products, (and you should be!) promote them online and elsewhere and you will most definitely begin to see sales.

Best of luck to you!

More Helpful Advice and Ideas For Working Online

The more you know, the better your chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Make products easy for the customer to personalize by adding template text to them.
I use a free software program to remove the background from my photos for use at Zazzle and this picture tutorial will show you how.
Zazzle sellers have a few options when it comes to pricing their products for sale. This page explores them.
Once you have opened a store at Zazzle and filled it with great products, the next step is promoting your work.
Updated: 01/20/2015, dustytoes
 
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Have I convinced you to give Zazzle a try?


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dustytoes on 12/10/2014

I wish I had done the same, but there wasn't much information out there about Zazzle when I began in 2007. Thanks for that link from your blog post!

RuthCox on 12/09/2014

I wish I had set up my images better instead of willy-nilly in my stores but I suppose I could rearrange things a bit even now. Great article! And, I spotlighted it on my abitosunshine blog today!

dustytoes on 09/19/2014

You could use some of your nice nature photos to set up a store.

AngelaJohnson on 09/19/2014

I keep hearing about Zazzle, but never took the time to check it out. After reading your tutorials, I'm going to give it a try.

Guest on 09/04/2014

Dustytoes, Thank you for sharing this information. I'm thinking about signing up for a Zazzle affiliate account, so your tips have reduced my level of puzzlement.

dustytoes on 01/15/2014

Best of luck to you.

frankbeswick on 01/15/2014

Thanks, ideas are beginning to develop in my mind already. I will put some thought to it.

dustytoes on 01/15/2014

@Frank.. Then I would suggest photography, or design, and set up a store with unique, niche products. It 's not easy, and may take a bit of thought, but you could play around with some ideas - after all, Zazzle is free. You've go nothing to lose, except some time out of your day. ;)

frankbeswick on 01/15/2014

What advice would you give someone like me, who is a very poor artist and who therefore could not sell his art work?

dustytoes on 01/14/2014

@Intuition, you are welcome.


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