Is CafePress.com for Artists?

Is CafePress the right service for you if you're looking to sell prints of your art? Dan, from Empty Easel recently reviewed CafePress in this article, CafePress.com: Where Art Becomes. . . Stuff, giving a less than ethusiastic endorsement.

Dan later reviewed a CafePress competitor, Zazzle, in this article, My Review of Zazzle.com: Printable Products and Posters on Demand, in which he rated the site slightly above Cafepress but still not ideal.

In both reviews I agree with his conclusions since he is coming from the perspective of sites and their suitability for selling framed art prints. In both reviews he recommends Imagekind or Red Bubble as better options with more choice for buyers.

However, I do think his review of Cafepress came across a little more harshly because he did limit his conclusions to what the site offers in the way of framed prints and posters. Dan made no mention that some types of art might be better suited to Cafepresses entire range of products than others making it a better option.

For example, if you're like me, and much of your art is quirky, humorous or whimsical characters that appeal to children then these may translate more appropriately to a T-Shirt, mug, or sticker and have greater appeal than a fine art print.

For myself, it was the Premium (i.e. paid) shops that attracted me to Cafepress. Visit my Gallery Shop here. Neither Zazzle, Red Bubble nor Imagekind offer customized shops in any kind of equivalent capacity.

Premium Cafepress shops allow such a level of template customization that they can integrate into the look (right down to the help and checkout pages) of your web site. That ability to keep people within your site template gives you far more control over how you upsell or tempt buyers to purchase related products.

It also doesn't split your marketing efforts between two sites - even though technically you are. People can browse your shop without feeling like they've left your web site. Such customization allows you to make your Premium shop more than just page after page of products. You can include everything, right up to embeded video of you talking about your art, on your product pages if you wish.

Don't discount Cafepresses free shops either. Yes they are limited in products (one design per product) but this is easy to circumvent by using multiple free shops linked to your web site. It may sound cumbersome but it isn't. I speak from experience. I initially paid for the first three months of Premium Cafepress shop from the money I made from ten free shops all linked to one web site featuring my art.

Although Cafepress is known more for humorous slogans and political themes there are still thousands of artists using the site with varying degrees of success. With over 6.5 million members, getting your art noticed in the Cafepress marketplace is much like getting noticed on ebay. Pay close attention to your design tags, category placement and use keyword rich product titles and descriptions.

As I said from the outset, I agree with Dan's conclusions about Cafepress from a fine art print perspective but do take into consideration the type of art you make. Cafepress might make your art more accessible if your market prefers something more fun, portable or functional than a framed print.

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog entries - "I'll pencil you in" -
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Judy. "I'll pencil you in" is certainly one of my personal favorite posts because it's a real life story.

    ReplyDelete

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