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Cafe Press

October 13th, 2008 at 08:23 pm

I have been thinking awhile about opening a store on Cafe Press. That is a web site where you can upload sayings and images and they put them on t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc, and people can buy them. There is a base price and you can add a little (or a lot) to the price and that is how you make your money. For instance, the cheapest t-shirt is $8.99, and you can add a dollar or two to that price and if anyone buys that t-shirt you get that money.

I have 8 ideas right now, mostly just saying that I think are cute or funny. I made two of them and loaded them up to Cafe Press. You can have a "free" store, but you can only have one image on each item for that, or you can pay $7.00 a month and have any image on any number of items (for instance, for free, I can only have one type of $8.99 t-shirt, but if I have the $7.00 per month subscription, I can have any of them on the $8.99 t-shirt).

Has anyone made any money on cafe press? Do you think it is worth it to pay $7.00 a month?

8 Responses to “Cafe Press”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    hmm i've never heard of cafe press but im a member of redbubble - i havent bought anything yet but a friend of mine has some designs up there

  2. Personal Finance Student Says:

    I have a CafePress store and have made money off of it, not a ton, but I have made about $70 profit. I have grossed more than that, in that I have not had to pay the monthly fee in about 2 years because the sales cover it. I just checked and this month I have had 5 orders totaling $14 in commissions (I don't have a large markup on my stuff), I've had a good month! I haven't done much marketing at all, just some links here and there and a website, so I am wanting to put more time into it and see what it can really do. I started it in 2006.

    I think the biggest thing is creating items for a niche. It's easier to sell items that way and for people searching for your item to find it. My store is very targeted, to one category of people within a specific group of people (does that make sense?). I am very familiar with the niche and that's important too. I'd say the majority of people who make money on CafePress have a very targeted customer, have the premium store and really work at it.

    Best of luck if you choose to try it. I think it's really fun and am now motivated to get started on it again. Thanks!

  3. Scarebaby Says:

    For the casual user, I wouldn't recommend paying the monthly fee at Cafepress. You can open unlimited free shops (although there are limitations to a free shop, such as you can only sell one of each type of product, i.e. mug, value t-shirt, organic t-shirt, etc.), which is probably the best way to dip your toe in the water and decide whether this is the kind of thing you want to do. To earn a living at it, you do have to work very hard, keep your shop current, learn about marketing, be creative and business oriented, have another source of income for as long as it takes to start making lots of sales, etc etc.

    Niches are a great idea!

  4. cptacek Says:

    thanks for the info, guys. I wonder why they charge you the $7.00 a month. Assumably, they make money on each thing that is sold. I wonder how many people would go through with it instead of backing out when they realize they have to pay $7.00 a month?

  5. Personal Finance Student Says:

    It used to be free for unlimited things, but changed (2004 or so? I can't remember). I assume they had so many people wanting to do it that were not being profitable, charging is one way of finding the serious ones. That's just a guess, but also it's a good business move for them since they are making money on each item sold and the hosting.

  6. Nathania Says:

    Try out Zazzle.com, a CafePress competitor. You can have your own free "Gallery."

    If you stick with it and enjoy the process, then move to CafePress and spend the money. You might want to try buying multiple months at a time, which saves in the end.

    I've sold about $5 worth at both sites with no marketing whatsoever.

    If you want to make more, you have to be super dedicated and do a lot of promotion.

  7. cptacek Says:

    Nathania, I had never heard of Zazzle. I'll check that out.

    I don't know if this comes across, but I have a dry sense of humor...xkcd.com is hilarious to me, but I sent some of them to my friends and family and all but one didn't get it. Those are the kinds of things I would be designing...don't know if there is a market for that or not.

  8. nyheartsme.com Says:

    I've been working with cafepress.com for about a year, and all my stores are "basic" (free). I've thought about paying the monthly fee to upgrade, but I really don't see that much of an advantage, if you have your own website to promote your products, which I do.
    You can check my stores here, if you're interested:

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