Zazzle is an online marketplace that offers designers and consumers an opportunity to create personalized products from iPhone cases, to coffee mugs, stationery, clothing, and much more.
The platform, which targets millennials, partners with a variety of brands to amass a collection of millions of unique products listed therein.
Overview: Why Zazzle
Founded in 1999, the company’s on-demand business model has seen it grow rapidly since its launch in 2005.
The beauty of this is that every product is made-to-order so there’s no waste as everything is purchased.
This is unlike the retail model where inventory is made in advance of shopping seasons, and before purchase.
So both producers and consumers enjoy personalized products without bulk order requirements.
Today, it is the ‘leading customized products marketplace’ where consumer enthusiasts create unique products to share and celebrate their interests.
Zazzle claims to carry over 300 million unique products since its inception, when they only offered posters and t-shirts.
It targets its audience through great visuals by honing their creative assets and photography to attract and convert them on the site.
This coupled with real-time marketing based on hot topics and/or trends, allows them to feature what’s trending on their homepage, a factor that millennials appreciate and find appealing.
However, the most powerful marketing tool for the platform is customer online search, which brings Zazzle up among the top results on search engines and product listing ads.
The company also tests with social display ads, specifically on Facebook and Instagram, where they upload great pictures of their unique products, and move these through social platforms.
Nearly two decades later, Zazzle has seemingly realized its mission of giving “anyone, anywhere the power to make anything imaginable.”
What You Can Do on Zazzle
If you’ve ever wanted to create your own unique items like cards, t-shirts, or whatever designs you fancy, Zazzle gives you the opportunity to do this with the convenience of the internet.
As a leading online retailer of customized merchandize, Zazzle lets you upload digital images of your designs or products and text to create them.
It has an easy to use interface, so any average person can use it.
This makes it one of the best digital printing and embroidered decoration options for retail items.
You can also create your own store on Zazzle and sell your items, or sell through other members on the platform.
Unique Selling Proposition
As mentioned earlier, Zazzle is one of the top and leading online marketplaces and print on-demand sites today.
It features products from top brands including Disney and DC comics, who place officially licensed merchandise on the platform.
This makes Zazzle one of the legit companies in the industry for offering high quality products.
Zazzle’s Powerful Features
Zazzle’s variety of features make it a solid online marketplace from where consumers can get a variety of items such as t-shirts, cards, mugs, and iPhone cases, plus so much more.
Here’s a rundown of the powerful features you can expect from the platform.
Three ways to join Zazzle
The platform allows you to sell and make money in three free and easy ways: as a Designer or Artist, Maker or Manufacturer, or an Associate or Affiliate.
As a Zazzle designer, you get to be creative doing what you love without the hassles of order fulfilment or having to deal with customer support. Zazzle does all this for you plus:
- Uploading and selling your artwork for free on hundreds of Zazzle products
- Manufacturing and shipping products hassle-free for you
- Setting your own royalty rates (5-99 percent)
- Reaching over 30 million global shoppers
As a Zazzle Maker, you get to produce quality, made-to-order and customizable products prior to joining Zazzle. The platform then offers you benefits such as:
- Reaching millions of customers
- Hassle-free shipping with labels provided by Zazzle
- Easy tool for uploading customizable products
- Managing orders easily using Zazzle’s order management tool
Zazzle Affiliates or Associates are those that promote Zazzle products and earn from it.
Anyone can be a Zazzle Associate and receive benefits such as:
- 15 percent per sale + volume bonus earnings
- Select from millions of products on Zazzle
- Promotion of any page on Zazzle including designs from brand partners like Hallmark, Disney, and many others
Interface and User Experience
Although Zazzle’s website looks quite cluttered with lots of buttons and clickable links, you can still navigate through the site as everything is clearly labeled and placed.
There’s a “Sell on Zazzle” link at the top right corner that allows you to join as a Maker, Designer, or Affiliate/Associate.
This process is self-explanatory, easy to do, and hassle-free.
However, the backend may be difficult to use for average users on the platform, as would creating a store and uploading your designs.
This interface may be a bit confusing.
Similarly, options for creating designs or new stores seem to be hidden, so before you get the hang of it all and get your collection on the site, it may take some time.
Sellers may have to figure out the backend interface and learn how it works before they can be comfortable using the platform.
Zazzle has a wide variety of products in different categories, available on the site.
You can find almost anything from phone cases to clothing, and other items on their catalog for customization.
Among the main product categories include cards and invitations, clothing, accessories, electronics, art, gifts, weddings, home and living, baby and kids, and office items.
Each of these categories offer different products and their variants, so you can select as many products as you like and add your designs on them to sell.
A wide variety and selection of templates is available for all product types, holidays, and events from Christmas, to Chinese New Year, and much more.
Zazzle offers plenty of options especially with photo card templates.
Zazzle’s service doesn’t let you work with designers to create your unique designs from scratch or alter existing ones substantially.
Print quality warnings also lack in Zazzle, so for example, if you upload wrong dimensions or resolutions for photos, it won’t give you warnings so you may end up printing incorrectly.
Several options exist for paper but not for envelopes. For some reason, you can only order white envelopes, but you
cannot get decorative envelope lining options.
Envelopes are also thicker and kind of fancy compared to those of rival services.
In terms of quality and service, Zazzle outsources its print jobs to different companies so the quality you get may not be exactly what you want in color or paper quality.
Print quality thus depends on whichever printer will handle your order.
Finally, Zazzle doesn’t have a mailing service but lets you order personalized rubber stamps or return-address labels.
The official Zazzle app allows you to create designs or select from more than 200 million pre-existing designs or templates you can add to about 500 different types of products.
Zazzle carries some top and respected brands in the world such as Nike, Zippo, OtterBox, Champion Sportswear, and many others.
Customers get connected with artists’ beautiful designs on these top global products, and anything you imagine can be created and sold on the on-demand marketplace.
Artwork is also available from official Zazzle-licensed brand partners such as Sesame Street, Coca-Cola, Disney, Marvel, Looney Tunes, Outlanders, DreamWorks, Hallmark, DC Comics, and more.
With the Zazzle app, you can fulfill the following tasks:
- Design unique, one-of-a-kind products using the product design tool
- View order status updates and tracking in real time
- Get sneak peeks of sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Enjoy secure and safe shopping
- You can also sign up for mobile notifications and stay updated on exclusive promos and the latest Zazzle discounts.
Zazzle promises 100 percent satisfaction on all orders, so if you don’t like the customized product you got, contact Zazzle and they’ll take it back within 30 days.
Zazzle Affiliate Marketing Program
If you choose to join Zazzle as an Affiliate, you get a unique opportunity to get passive income and this can be quite profitable with the right strategies.
Some of the benefits of this program include:
- Affordable and Economical: Zazzle is a popular marketplace in specific categories like wedding invitations, business cards, and customized items.It gives you the unique opportunity to order the exact amounts you need, so it is both economical and affordable.
- High commissions: A 15 percent commission rate plus volume bonuses is available for affiliates, making Zazzle one of the higher paying online marketplaces.It also offers easy and multiple opportunities for selling with higher potential for earning more money.
- Easy sign up: Zazzle allows you to sign up hassle-free, plus you can be an affiliate and still a designer or maker, without extra hurdles or costs.This way, you can earn double commissions as long as your affiliate link is on your postings as well.
- Wide audience: Zazzle caters to a wide audience what with its extensive product category options.You can pinpoint a niche easily from the vast site, regardless of your target market, and find everything in one place.
- Multiple stores: if you’re an affiliate and designer at the same time, you can create multiple niche stores in Zazzle and leverage this to increase your passive income streams.
Zazzle representatives are available via phone, online chat, or email if you have any questions or concerns.
If you’re not happy, for instance, with your final product, the Zazzle money-back guarantee will come in handy.
However, for products such as photo cards, some companies usually consider the origin of the error and assess if it happened from their end prior to issuing refunds.
Zazzle has a FAQ section on their website from which you can receive answers to most minor queries you may have, but their reps are generally very helpful.
A Knowledge Base section, or help center, is available and is divided in three parts: for sellers, makers, and designers.
Each of these sections offer FAQs that are relevant to each of these accounts, but you can always contact support for prompt responses.
Zazzle does everything to ensure all the sellers on their platform receive payments smoothly.
Timings may be stretched out a bit, with a 30 day period after you cross the payments withdrawal threshold, but the process is smooth either way.
You can get paid via US Bank account if the seller uses US Dollars as their currency, or PayPal (for any other currency).
Buyers can easily track shipments on Zazzle. All you need to do is log into your account and track your orders.
Three shipping options are available for US based customers: Standard, Premium, and Express:
- Standard ships in 4-7 days
- Premium ships in 2-3 days
- Express ships within 1 day
These shipping options depend on the quantity and type of products, as well as the customer’s address.
For actual pricing estimates on shipping, the Zazzle checkout page indicates what you will pay, and with pricing based on various factors, you may want to try a mock order to see actual prices before you accept.
International shipping is available for supported countries as listed on Zazzle’s help section.
How Zazzle Works
The process is simple and hassle-free for sellers and buyers, as the platform is easy to navigate and its features are self-explanatory, so you can find what you need.
To get started:
- Sign up for an account: either as Designer (Artist), Maker (Manufacturer), or Affiliate (Associate)
- Enter your personal details to create the account and get tools tailored to the account type you sign up for
- For each account type, do the following:
Designer: upload your designs, select products you want to print your designs on, and place them for sale
Maker: Offer your products on Zazzle and handle the manufacturing and shipping aspects
Affiliate: Sign up to start earning commissions for every product you sell (whether it is your own or for other members)
To create a store, do the following:
- Go to your account profile
- Click “Create a Store”
- Follow the prompts to build your new store
- Enter the store details
- Select a banner image
- Select a unique URL for your store
Note: If you want to change the name of your store, go to your account>Stores>select Store and then go to Settings.
Enter your preferred store name and hit Save.
Zazzle is free to use, so there are no daily, weekly, monthly, or annual fees to it.
All you need to pay for are base prices of products when customers buy them from you.
Zazzle deducts the base price and you keep the remaining profit.
There’s no comprehensive document or list available for Zazzle’s product pricing, but once you’ve signed up for any of the three accounts, you can see the individual product prices from the “Create a product” tool.
Zazzle Pros and Cons
- Free to join
- Sell as many products as you want
- Variety of product categories and their variants
- Discounts for bulk orders
- High quality products and prints
- Upload own designs and/or sell products with designs from Zazzle
- Other members can sell your products
- Set your own pricing on your items
- Store customization options available for members
- Zazzle handles all customer support, shipping, production, returns, technology, and payment processing
- Useful tracking reports
- Helpful promotional tools
- Limited options for store customization
- Quality of some products may not be the best
- No option to create your own website or domain
- No cross-platform integration
- Doesn’t warn you on image sizing and resolution
Zazzle is a solid online marketplace and print on-demand platform with a wide selection of templates for almost any occasion or holiday.
The service may not be as impressive as its selection, but it’s a great option if you’re dissatisfied with similar platforms offering similar items.
It is however gaining popularity as a leading platform with solid options for designers, manufacturers, and affiliates.
If you’re new to the industry, it may not be the best platform to use as it needs more time to learn, especially its backend and inner workings, before you’re comfortable using it.
However, with some experience, it’s a great platform to use.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Elsie started off as a freelance business and tech journalist. Having written for publications like Lifewire, and WindowsReport, she has garnered immense exposure over the years. She is a certified social media expert with deep interest in internet marketing, ecommerce and information technology.