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CafePress Announces Big Price Hikes for Buyers, Big Commission Cuts for Sellers

CafePress may try to dress up today’s announcement with a barrel full of hand waving, a slapdash cloudiness of vocabulary and a few other mixed metaphors’ worth of dazzling PR-speak, but what their news release all boils down to is this:

1. Come June 1, the print-on-demand corporation CafePress will increase the prices shoppers pay for its shirts and other gear.
2. Come June 1, CafePress will decrease the commissions paid to the sellers who make designs available on CafePress products, especially on non-apparel items.
3. Starting now but especially after June 1, CafePress will work to undercut designers who maintain their own shops and also sell on CafePress’ “marketplace” search engine.

The result: less independence for designers who work through CafePress and a greater profit margin for the CafePress corporation.

These are strong claims, so let me back them up.

CafePress will increase prices shoppers pay.

A simple comparison of the few examples CafePress reveals in today’s announcement to designers reveals a consistent trend toward price increases. In the system CafePress works by now, CafePress sets a “base price” and a shopkeeper adds a “markup” for every item. For example, our made-in-the-USA I Am Not A Second Class Citizen T-Shirt has a base price of $21.99 (reflecting a hefty markup for CafePress above the wholesale price it pays for the shirt). We’ve added a markup of $2.51 for each shirt, and that makes the retail price for the buyer $24.50.

Here are some base prices for five items CafePress sells:

Men’s Light T-Shirt: $14.99
Women’s Zip Hoodie: $34.99
Keepsake Box: $19.99
Small Mug: $10.99
Large Poster: $17.99

In the new system, if a designer chooses to sell on a traditional static html “shop” page she or he maintains and promotes (like www.cafepress.com/irregulargoods), she or he can continue to set prices like before. But if she or he makes merchandise with his or her designs available on CafePress’s search engine and own set of dynamic web pages (what CafePress calls its “marketplace”), retail prices will be set by a central committee at CafePress (making the “marketplace” less of a real market). Designers won’t be able to set a markup — they will earn a 10% commission off the retail price instead.

Here is the new, higher retail price range CafePress mentions today for five example products:

Men’s Light T-Shirt: $20.00 – $25.00
Women’s Zip Hoodie: $35.00 – $40.00
Keepsake Box: $22.00 – $28.00
Small Mug: $12.00 – $18.00
Large Poster: $18.00 – $25.00

If shirt retail prices rise $5-$10 (as indicated by the example of the light t-shirt), then for shopkeepers like us who markup by $2.51, or even for shopkeepers like Green Gecko who markup by $4.00, the result will be a retail price increase for shoppers.

CafePress will decrease the marketplace commission paid out to designers, especially for non-apparel items.

When it comes to shirt sales, people who add a low markup won’t see much change in commission: if the retail price for a dark made-in-the-usa shirt goes up to $25, we would still see a $2.50 commission, a mere decrease of a penny. But designers like Green Gecko, who currently add a markup of $4.00 or more (look it up for yourself, you’ll see these folks are more common), will see a decrease in their commission.

The effect is much more pronounced for items with a low base price. Buttons sold through CafePress currently have a base price of $2.99, and shopkeepers usually add $1-2 in markup for their profit. (We add $0.96, but psssst… we also produce our own buttons of exactly the same size for $2.95 including shipping and handling.) If CafePress sets its no-negotiation retail price for buttons in its “marketplace” at $3.95 (you think this includes shipping and handling, by the way? Think again: delivery at the speed of first-class mail will cost you another $7.00), that gives designers a much-lower profit of 40 cents, while CafePress rakes in more profit.

CafePress will undercut designers who sell on the marketplace and on their own shop.

In its announcement, CafePress has declared its intention to stop linking to designers’ shops from the marketplace pages displaying an item. This makes no sense from the buyer’s point of view, who may want to buy similar items from the same designer. It also doesn’t help the individual designer, obviously, since as discussed above she or he stands to make more profit from his or her own shop. But it does make sense for CafePress… if it is interested in taking shoppers’ traffic away from designers’ shops and onto the price-controlled marketplace.

Designers of items that sell on both their own shops and the new marketplace will find themselves in a fix. On the one hand, bumper stickers will have to retail for $10 on the marketplace in order for designers to make as much profit per sale as before. On the other hand, if CafePress doesn’t raise the retail price of its bumper sticker exorbitantly — say, to $3.49, designers could find the marketplace version of their item out-competing the shop version of their item… and producing more profit for CafePress and less profit for the designer. The shops are undercut by the marketplace, inducing designer/shopkeepers to lower their prices on their shops, again with the result of lower profit for designers.

I’m not making a moral case here that CafePress is a bad corporation that must be spanked for its naughty behavior. Corporations are built to squeeze people — it’s not good or bad of them, because corporations have no souls. This is just what they do, and the CafePress corporation is doing what it’s doing for a reason — most likely (despite CafePress’ oblique protests to the sort-of-contrary) because its sales are way, way down and it’s looking for a way out of its own hard times. Screaming at the unfairness, the injustice of it all won’t accomplish much, because despite its VW-bus ad copy the CafePress corporation is not organized around principles of fairness or justice.

I’m making a practical case directed primarily at designers for CafePress, and here is the case’s conclusion:

If you are a designer for CafePress who is dependent on the marketplace model, then well, chum, you’re out of luck, at least until you find a way to become independent of the CafePress marketplace.

The best way to become independent is to maintain a website that has something to do with more than selling things with pictures printed on them, a website that has to do with matters you care about. People who care about the same matters but are not interested in buying things with pictures printed on them will visit your website, and they’ll talk to you, and you’ll talk back, and you’ll have a good time. People who care about the same things you do and who also want to get a thing with a picture printed on it will find you and make a purchase through links from your web page. It’s a no-pressure way of making a living connected to things you care about, and I for one really like it.

If you are a designer for CafePress who is not dependent on the marketplace model, then there’s really no more reason for you to put your product on the marketplace. It’s turned from an enabling tool to an exploitive tool, and who wants to be exploited any more than necessary?

Independent shopkeepers, consider withdrawing your products from the marketplace. The next time our kids give us an hour or two of free time, we here at Irregular Times certainly will. I don’t expect many people to follow suit, because independence is a bit scary to most people, but I do think it would be in many designers’ best interest. If enough people do follow suit, then the highly controlled marketplace CafePress has fashioned may collapse on account of its own emptiness.


P.S. If you’re looking for another print on demand service that is respectful of designers, that gives you control, and that has an ethical focus, give Skreened a look. Nobody paid me to mention these folks… they are just that spiffy.

50 comments to CafePress Announces Big Price Hikes for Buyers, Big Commission Cuts for Sellers

  • qs

    Do you own part of that company or something?

  • Xavier Tico

    Your take on this is right on the money. I think it’s likely that cafepress is shooting itself in the foot. I’m actively looking for alternatives now. My shop is not entirely dependent on the marketplace, but this change will cost me dearly as the great majority of my sales are bumper stickers.

    Tell me more about your sticker, button and magnet printing capabilities. I buy a lot of them.

    Xavier

    • Jim

      Stickers are made the old-fashioned way: through a screen printer. There was a bumper magic sticker printing gizmo that made the rounds a few months ago, but it had big questions associated with it, and the business mysteriously folded.

      Likewise, the most economical and direct way to make buttons and magnets is the old-fashioned way: with a set of sturdy metal presses. Try Dr. Don’s Buttons for one reliable supplier (with made in the USA parts).

      We’re not a big operation with large scale, just a few folks who make merch in their attics to fund their real passion: tilting at windmills.

  • Chris

    So… the short of it? They find the cusomter they set the price, you find the customer you set the price? This isn’t exactly unreasonable.

    • Jim

      Well, that is the very short of it. The only slightly less short of it is that these are images that each designer has ownership of, and most importantly the terms of service until this change gave the designer control over price. So when CafePress changes the terms of service, and that changes the locus of control in such a stark way, it isn’t exactly unreasonable for independent-minded designers to think twice about the nature of their relationship to CafePress. Simply going along with whatever changes CafePress imposes wouldn’t be very reasoning.

  • Good article. Your $2.51 markup is probably lower than average. When Cafepress starts paying a flat 10% your example won’t change much– but the interesting part about this whole thing is that the most successful designers, some making $50k a year or more are suddenly figuring to lose about 70% of that income, with the balance going to the printshop (cafepress) while CP already makes plenty of money on the base price merchandise before markup. Conversely the little guys, stay at home moms etc suddenly won’t be able to make the grocery money anymore. There are many thousands of people making income from their creative efforts and wit, and Cafepress just arbitrarily changed the terms to radically favor themselves just like you said. People will lose their homes over this, it’s no small thing. Interestingly, the best selling designers will be the ones most motivated to jump ship first. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more short sighted corporate gaff: it’s the GOOD designs which sell the products. The final prices need to be as reasonable as they can weather (especially now!). If anything the most successful designers should be rewarded the most, not alienated and basically ripped off. By the way, I’m more on the end of “grocery money” and so have much less to lose but am still quite motivated to go with a printshop with a better long term business strategy. I have to wonder if there is some strategy here to devalue Cafepress stock within the company, are they ripe for a low price takeover? It’s just so hard to believe that they don’t anticipate the mass exodus of all their best designers, and as a result, a steep drop in overall sales.

    • Cher

      I totally agree! This is what has happened. Cafe press has to stop ignoring the fact, that it’s “the little spokes” that make the big wheel turn! Thank goodness there are alternatives- I know I’m not happy with Cafe Press at all!

  • The real story is this: people who used to make a good living selling mostly though the marketplace on Cafepress are about to be forced out of business. One person I found out about on Cafepress’s on forum says she makes $50,000 a year. After the changes being instituted on that site she estimates she’ll make only $5000-7000 for the same amount of work. This is her sole income! And she’s not even close to being alone!

    Thanks for addressing this on your blog!

    • Cher

      Hooray, people are starting to realize the huge profit loss, by hearing from cafe press shop owners. That’s a HUGE change in the bottom line if you ask me!

  • Johnny Dollar

    Thanks for your thoughts on this. Just trying to do a little research tonight figuring out where I can park my 2,000 plus designs after the CafePress implosion on June 1st.

    Is Skreened pretty much just t-shirts… or do they do bumper stickers too? I went over there and didn’t see stickers… but I didn’t look real hard.

    My 2008 1099 from CP was over 50k… even this year with all the talk of decreased traffic at CafePress and the election being behind us I’m making 2500 to 3000 per month. Not bad for a couple hours work a day… and since I work at home on my REAL job this was a perfect extra… I guess all good things must come to an end…

    But so far in life everytime I was forced to leave one good thing things just got better somewhere else… hope that trend continues with my POD stuff…

  • Greed Greed GREED

    I’m off to place my shops on other PODs. Bye, Bye Cafepress

    People are welcome to check out other POD options on my review site in the link

  • steve

    I’ve heard rumors CafePress will also amend the rules for participation in their affiliate program and shopkeepers will not be allowed to be affiliates. Has anyone else heard this?

  • .
    Cafepress has made a huge miscalculation! Their marketplace will see far fewer quality designs once all the outraged shopkeepers have defected to Zazzle, thus decreasing cafepress sales and decreasing buyer satisfaction.

    I hope there is enough backlash from this that they change their minds. It is an awful business decision. They must be reading from eBay’s playbook.

    Thanks for your post. I love that Zazzle made ”Welcome Cafepress Shopkeepers” t-shirts so quickly.

    –Marianne Dow msdowantiques.com
    .

  • I put a t-shirt on Cafepress’s own site saying DON”T BUY THIS T-SHIRT and a description that tells people what’s going on. And a blog post on my site about it, too at http://healingcommunication.blogspot.com/ .

  • Andrew Shaffer

    The new 10% commission is an insult to the artists/shopkeepers who have helped you grow to your current size. For most shopkeepers, this is equivalent to a 50-80% paycut. Affiliates make 15%. Will Cafepress be able to survive the defection of its most talented shopkeepers? Undoubtedly, the answer is “yes”–and that’s unfortunate.

  • For all we know CP has a lot more going on behind the scenes than anyone knows (don’t they always?). They could have signed a big fat contract with some huge conglomerate to do all their stuff, or they could have out-sourced design to some third-world designers(?) to do designs for them and just want to clean out the Marketplace. Who knows, it’s even possible they’ve hired some of the top shopkeepers to do designs and just want to get rid of (or exploit) everyone else… too many ugly scenarios come to mind that it’s pointless to ponder… better to move on and just try to better ourselves. No one’s looking out for you but you!

  • Your link to Skreened shows that Irregular Times is a partner. So actually, you are being compensated for mentioning the website if someone buys a product through your link. Is this not correct?

    • Jim

      Of course we’re a partner. We sell shirts through Skreened: that’s the basis of my recommendation. And I mean, heck, do you think I wouldn’t follow my own advice?

      I’m not talking to buyers of shirts here. I’m talking to sellers of shirts. I’m not making a dime referring people to Skreened as sellers. If anything, I’m getting more competition by referring people there.

  • Fainting Couch

    I think CP could have accomplished their goals with some other action, one that came from preparation and input from their shopkeepers. The MP was a time bomb to begin with though, gobs and gobs going in, nil coming out, with nobody standing watch. A DB that big has to have quality control and has to be circular to stay “alive” and productive (I know this from experience, painful experience). Lately the MP was feeling like a goopy stagnant pool, I don’t think even their best search algorithms could navigate thru the muck anymore with any real success. It’s no wonder the shoppers experience was deteriorating.

    Many of us lost a ton of sweat equity yesterday with that announcement from the Grinch of Thieves, they may feel the slow exodus of talent over the next few months, but there’s always someone willing to work for less…always.

  • In light of recent unpopular changes made by CafePress(tm) (1), we would like to extend CafePress Store Owners warm welcome to E-Shirt.com (http://e-shirt.com).
    At E-Shirt.com, we will continue to let you set the markup price for your designs both in our marketplace, and throughout our retail channels. So, not only are most of our product wholesale prices significantly lower than CafePress(tm)(2), but now you can make significantly more on each and every sale of your design, even in our marketplace.

    Compare two identical sales:
    One-sided White T-Shirt Design price set by store owner at $22.99 in the CafePress(tm) or E-Shirt Marketplaces (3):
    Your CafePress Profit: $2.00-$2.50
    Your E-Shirt Profit: $22.99 – $13.95 = $9.04

    You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to see many people have already moved over to E-Shirt.com It all adds up to what we call the E-Shirt.com difference. Come and see for yourself.

    (1) Refers to announcements made on April 22, 2009 (http://announcements.cafepress.com/?p=167)
    (2) Tee (cp:$17.99, e-shirt:$13.95), Womens Tee (cp:$17.99, e-shirt:$13.95), Dark Tee (cp:$18.99, e-shirt:$16.95), Womens Tank (CP: $16.99, e-shirt:$13.95), Womens Dark (cp:$19.99, e-shirt:$18.95), Dark Long Sleeve Tee (cp:$23.99, e-shirt:$22.95), Dark Sweatshirt (cp:$29.99, e-shirt:$28.95)
    (3) Calculated using current CafePress and E-Shirt wholesale prices, and statement made by Cafepress (1).

  • me

    Cafepress proves once more that it considers shopkeepers not partners, but mere peons, to be exploited as much as possible.

    • Cher

      I agree! I had a cool image during their “Twilight” months, and I followed the posted rules. Well, they changed the rules, and said that you couldn’t us an apple in your image, which I had. So, there went my design, and any orders! I’m not a happy camper….!

  • Sharon

    I see e-shirt inviting people on all the sites that are complaining about cafepress. I just want to say that I tried to make an e-shirt store because the prices looked good… but the templates are ugly and the custom pages do not work and their marketplace does not link to the individual shopkeepers that I could see. Plus, I don’t like having a notice on my shop that invites my customers to become their own t-shirt business. I’ll check back in a year and see if e-shirt has improved.

    • Jim

      I agree, Sharon: e-shirt is a busted business with a broken website. I personally wouldn’t poke at it with any less than a 10-foot pole… unless the business worked out of a demonstrated concern for the people who made their gear. Then I’d be willing to put up with a fair amount of difficulty. But e-shirt does not seem to be that outfit.

  • Karen

    This is absolutely insane! Cafepress just seems to be wanting all their shop keepers to leave! I already have opened a Zazzle store and Im working on getting more hits to that site. Im already making HALF of what I did last year…they are making me lose money. I will no longer refer cafepress out or use my domain name to point to their site. Thanks again CafePress for taking a good thing and making it crap!

  • Angry Top Shopkeeper

    I am a “Top Shopkeeper” with CafePress, and this is destroying my commission and my business. I signed up for CafePress and set the prices on my items. CafePress unilaterally raised their base prices and they lowered my markup prices without my consent. Regardless of how they changed their Terms of Service, they cannot be allowed to do this. I am working with an attorney who is highly experienced with class action litigation that can file an injunction that will force them to revert to the markups set by their shopkeepers, but I need to provide him with as much information and documentation as possible. I’d like to do this while preserving my anonymity until the lawsuit is actually filed, in order to avoid retaliation by CafePress. Does anyone have printouts or saved copies of their previous shopekeeper agreements and/or terms of service? It would be greatly appreciated and it will benefit us all. Thank you!

    • Jim

      You can find these terms of service via the WayBack Machine. Here’s a selection from the Terms of Service as as March 2003, about the time that Irregular Times began a relationship with CafePress:

      “CafePress.com reserves the right to make changes to such agreements, rules and policies at any time. Continued use of any part of the CafePress.com Service constitutes your acceptance of such changes. Accordingly, you should review such agreements, rules and policies from time to time to become familiar with such changes.”

      If you are really working with an attorney “who is highly experienced with class action litigation…”, and this attorney is charging you for his or her services, I would be very concerned about that attorney’s ethics and ask some hard questions of that attorney, because the terms of service look to be pretty soundly in favor of CafePress in this matter. Are you being strung along by a legal professional for payments of legal fees? I don’t know who your attorney is, so I can’t say. But I’d be very careful about spending any money on such a class action lawsuit. The Terms of Service are very clear about CafePress being able to change the terms as it sees fit.

      I’m not saying this out of any loyalty to CafePress. I am not at all happy with CafePress, and with the others here at Irregular Times I’ve pulled items from the Marketplace and am building relationships with other entities, like Skreened, who I find are much more upfront and much less like corporate vultures. I’m only telling you that the class action lawsuit idea sounds like a dead-end road that will only lose you more money because, well, that’s what it looks like to me. From what you’re telling me, and from what I read of the CafePress terms of service, this has “SCAM” written all over it in big red letters.

      The only way I would go forward with such a venture is if I didn’t have to pay any money to any lawyer involved in such suits. Even then I’d be dubious about getting much of anything from the effort; ask your lawyer for an upfront, clearly written good faith estimate of how much money you’d get from a successful $100 million class action lawsuit settlement against CafePress, and how much money she or he’d get from that same settlement. Ask for his or her signature on the bottom of that good faith estimate. If she or he won’t give you one, don’t pay a penny.

  • Max

    There are plenty of alternatives to CP. Try Spreadshirt — as a shop owner you pay a fixed price for each item and mark it up to whatever you want, keeping the difference. Very simple. (And better-quality shirts & printing).

  • BennyBug

    Meh, I don’t agree that SPreadshirt has better printing. The shirt i got from there that was designed by a friend felt plasticy and even after its wash it was still plasticy.

    I WOULD however re-recommend Zazzle’s new prints, especially the full prints on dark. I got an awesomely designed political tee for the 2008 election and its print (which had white in it) was FABULOUS. Just like a screen print! Lovely work and quality there.

  • Mike

    My girlfriend and I had three shops each. We consolidated everything into one shop each and closedthe other two. We are both moving to Zazzle and Printfection. We are not adding any new designs to cafepress…once my sales drop to little or nothing…I will close my last shop and be gone for good. We feel that cafepress screwed us. Not happy. I expect that cafepress is getting ready to sell the biz and they want to show more profit to increase the amount they can sell the biz for. When times are tough…squeeze the workers…After all, if you can’t fuck the slaves who can you fuck?

  • Another Angry Top Shopkeeper

    I am highly interested in joining / participating in a class action law suit against Cafepress. Cafepress has literally devastated me financially after spending 4 years full time building a business based on their fulfillment services and marketplace. What Cafepress has done is this. Over a period of time Cafepress has systematically manipulated and leveraged their relationships with shopkeeper designers who have invested enormous amounts of time and effort into a very unfavorable and harmful relationship. A relationship and time spent that most would never have entered into if they had known or even suspected that ultimately Cafepress would lure them into, cunningly manipulate them through unfair leveraged advantage into a bad lopsided financially injurious business relationship; one that unfairly extorts us into licensing our designs to Cafepress (or be financially injured even further) who then unfairly, maliciously and with financial harm markets in competition to us; taking nearly full control over marketing our designs through large budget marketing strength and reach. Cafepress can out-market all of us so our shop merchandise with higher margins are becoming nearly worthless. Their actions have also drastically undermined the value and/or potential value of our designs and relationships in other marketplaces. We shopkeepers are faced with 3 decisions about our relationship with Cafepress; all injure us: 1) Completely terminate our relationship with Cafepress and loose all value and income from untold hours publishing to and maintaining our shops; or 2) Keep our shops but pull our designs from the marketplace and Cafepress licensing umbrella – this injures us financially but not quite as much; or 3) just go along with being screwed over… the lesser of 3 evils living with a drastic reduction of revenue but more than either of 1 or 2 above. This is what Cafepress is counting on because they know how much investment we have in publishing and marketing our shops/designs. Cafepress probably has determined that most of us would rather have a lot less from our investment than nothing. Cafepress has stolen our designs and the bulk of their value from we the designers! We shopkeepers need to get organized and pursue a class action suit against Cafepress. I think we need a trusted party to collect our contact information so we can begin to organize without fear of reprisal from Cafepress.
    -Mark

    • Mark, your reaction, and your decision to post a message here, shows what a stupid marketing decision this was for CafePress. People all over the Internet are talking about CafePress, and not at all in a good way. It’s not going to make people want to work with, or buy from, CafePress. Brand CafePress has taken a huge hit.

  • Craig

    You get layed off, you can go on the dole.
    You get ripped off, you… uh, well… you can do nothing, you just get ripped off. Even though we all agreed to “changes” at CP’s behest, few people would ever speculate that such changes would even begin to approach losing 75% of their income. That’s because most people are reasonable and a “reasonable” person would not assume that a sweet talking entity that’s well known could ever do such a thing. For those of you thinking about class action legal recourse, keep the word “reasonable” in mind (judges and lawyers use the word ALL the time cuz it be part of their worlds). Thanks for this blog. It serves as a much needed support group. My name’s Craig and I belong to CPSA: Cafe Press Shopkeepers Anonymous.

  • urban

    Here’s how to fight back –

    To opt out of the marketplace, please follow the steps below.

    1. Log into your account.
    2. Click on the “Your shops” tab.
    3. Click on the shop id you want to opt out of the marketplace.
    4. Click on “edit shop profile.”
    5. Check the “affiliate eligibility opt out.”
    6. Save changes.

  • Thanks, for the information. I think I will not only “opt out” but make my store private while I think about other options. I really do like the printing at CafePress (for t-shirts). Is Zazzle and Printfection comparable?

    (excerpt)
    what I wrote CafePress:
    …Now there is no way to actually GET to my shop through a search or any links. Am I mistaken, or was it possible in the past to click on “From Language Hearts” and actually get to my shop; now that isn’t even a link. And if you click on “from this designer”, it just takes you to a list of my products (not my actual shop).

    their reply:
    On June 1st, we started a new commission structure where any sales made within the Marketplace will earn a 10% commission of the retail price (set by CafePress) for the shopkeeper… At this time, the “from this shop” link is no longer available. We wanted to prevent customers from being confused by seeing one price in the Marketplace and a different one in the shop.

  • overall, i believe they’ve been stealing from us all along. put your direct link up in squidoo, and you get a market place sale, even though it should be a shop sale. pay attention to google analytics because sometimes you get a phantom sale that no one knows about and take forever to get an answer about. looking at all the numbers that people posted – 80% came from marketplace. it didn’t seem to matter if they got adwords, or advertised outside. i’m thinking that you automatically get an 80-20 split – no matter what. and even though i’m out of the market place, i still think there is a third place where the sales are going. i usually get a handful of sales from my shop, and i have nothing right now. the only way to know if they are stealing is when someone finally investigates that place through an audit. all i know is, come march when my shop is due, i’m leaving…

    —Mike Savad

  • lucy dog design

    If there is a class action lawsuit against Cafe Press, count me in! I’ve had a premium shop there for 4 years and have gotten screwed over like everybody else effective 6/09.

    I closed my shop, deleted all 657 images in my media basket, wrote 3 nasty emails to C.P. voicing my discontent and the removal of my shop. BUT MY IMAGES ARE STILL ROLLING AROUND FOR SALE ON THEIR MARKETPLACE!!! I AM FURIOUS!

    How can I get C.P. to remove my images?!

  • I closed my Cafepress shop in protest of their new pricing policy.

  • I deleted my images, then closed my shop.

  • Another Very Angry Top Shopkeeper

    I believe there is good cause for a class action lawsuit. It would make them go back in their records and prove that they have paid everyone what they were supposed to. And I really doubt they have. It would take them years to do it and create negative publicity for them in the meantime. A company shouldn’t be allowed to ask a person for their time in a partnership and then take everything back after all of the work has been done. I’m sure there is a lawsuit here, not only in their change of commission but as far back as the beginning when they made mistakes in commissions testing their algorithms. Their obvious breach of trust and lack of common sense should give us the right to have them investigated at the very least. They have probably been ripping us all off for years. These website TOS are muddy at best, and there are real things called easment laws. If anyone wants to sue, I’m in.

  • Hello Cafepress Shop Holders… I am also a Shop Holder who got my store making an average of $250.00 – $450.00 a month, Last 3 Christmas’s I made over $1,000.00 each time. Now I get maybe $70.00 a month :( I am soooooo FURIOUS about this. I say, if there is a way to sue these THIEVES, then lets go after them. I’m serious about this. If you are to, lets get together to pursue this and take these guys down!!! Email me if you are serious at nwdesignsandmore@aol(dot)com

    Thanks,
    Don

  • TshirtManiacs

    I agree that CafePress is robbing us. We are now having to compete with Cafepress, to sell our own designs. I have had a monthy income reduction of about 60-70% since their new policies took affect. I say sue their gready butts.

  • kickCP

    I switched to zazzle a long time ago.they offer a premium store for FREE and don’t take away our commissions.

  • We’re a small operation and only get holiday sales at our CafePress shop. I manage the shop but the account is in the name of an officer of our shop, so I wasn’t even aware of the changes until I started scrutinizing our sales report this month. It seems an unfair business practice to have search engines go to their marketplace and not have a link there to our store.

    I noticed an “odd” pattern in our sales, i.e. they stopped completely at a time when they had been increasing dramatically. When I complained to CafePress, low and behold, the sales suddenly started to appear again that same day.

    There is no way to check the accuracy of their sales reports unless there is a completely independent audit. So I’m all for joining a class action lawsuit. This behavior needs to be investigated and punished.

    I have begun to shut down our shop and will start selling on Zazzle.

  • jessica

    thanks for telling us about skreened. i have been looking for an enviro-friendly, responsible alternative for cafepress. great tip!

  • Hack

    So basically, if you opt in to the CP marketplace you’re listed in searches, etc., but you make 10% commission. If you opt out of CP marketplace you can still set you’re own prices but then you aren’t listed in any searches and you have to handle getting your name/store/products out there (I.E. advertising your website) by yourself.

    Is this the gist?

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