18 Pros and Cons of Selling on Zazzle

Venturing into the world of Zazzle as a designer offers an exciting blend of creative freedom and entrepreneurial challenge. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the various pros and cons of establishing a shop on Zazzle. From the autonomy and passive income potential to the challenges of market saturation and the necessity for self-discipline. We’ll look into what it really takes to succeed on this diverse platform. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a budding entrepreneur, understanding these aspects will equip you for a more informed and strategic approach to your Zazzle journey.

a computer screen with Zazzle displayed on the screen and a bunch of colorful artworks around the desk.
Pros and cons of selling on Zazzle.

The Pros of Selling on Zazzle:

1. Autonomy

Opening a Zazzle store offers the freedom to make your own decisions. You have the flexibility to set your own schedule, choose what you want to sell, and manage the store as you see fit. This autonomy can be incredibly satisfying and allows for a more personalized approach to business, depending on your wants and needs.

2. Passive Income

With running a Zazzle shop, most of the work is done upfront and you can profit from it for a long time to come. It does require some maintenance of course, but once you have your main catalog of products created it is much less effort and you can coast off the hard work you put in on the front end. 

3. Accessibility​

Almost anyone can open a shop on Zazzle, see my step by step guide to opening a shop on Zazzle here, all you need is an internet connection. You can open a store from anywhere in the world, as long as you have valid tax information. You will need access to a computer or tablet. (You may be able to make it work from your phone, but it will not be a seamless process.)

4. Potential for High Earnings

Zazzle offers a high earnings potential. There are many people on the platform earning 6 figures a year on the platform and many more people earning 4 and 5 figures a year. The earning potential on Zazzle comes down to your ability to learn the platform and creating and marketing in demand products. 

Ultimately the sky is the limit, you just need to work for it. 

5. Control Over Profits

You have almost complete control over your profits on Zazzle. I say almost because you have to have a minimum of 5% and there is a service fee if your go to 15% or higher. You are in control of your commission rates so if you are a fine artist and want to charge a higher commission for your art you are able to do so. And if you are wanting to compete in the Zazzle marketplace you are also able to set your commissions at a competitive rate. It’s totally up to you!

6. Inclusivity

Zazzle provides a platform that is open to all, regardless of geographic location or background, and they often offer feature opportunities for artists that are members of marginalized communities.

7. Reputation

Zazzle has established a strong reputation for its expansive and diverse range of customizable products. Renowned for quality and reliability, it stands out with unique features like in-site design tools and a wide selection of customizable items, appealing to a broad international customer base. Their reputation for innovation and customer satisfaction contributes significantly to its success and growth in the e-commerce space.

8. Growth

Zazzle is a growing company and is consistently introducing new products and features, providing designers with an ever-evolving platform. This continuous growth ensures that the marketplace remains fresh and appealing to customers. For us creative professionals, this means a dynamic environment with increasing opportunities for innovation, customer engagement, and, best of all, sales. As Zazzle expands, it opens up more avenues for designers to explore and capitalize on, enhancing their potential for success in a vibrant and varied market.

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9. Product Customization

The ability for customers to customize products on Zazzle sets it apart from other print-on-demand platforms and serves as a major pro. This feature appeals to the growing consumer demand for personalized items, offering designers a unique way to attract and satisfy customers seeking one-of-a-kind products.

10. Product Selection

Zazzle offers a wide range of products with well over 1500 products to choose from, and they are consistently offering new products. This vast selection provides, what feels like, endless possibilities for designers to showcase their creativity and meet various consumer needs, enhancing the potential for sales and customer satisfaction.

11. Zazzle Marketing 

Zazzle actively markets designers’ products through paid offsite advertising, including in Google Shopping search results. This strategy amplifies visibility and reach, attracting a broader audience to the platform. This marketing support is a significant advantage, increasing the potential for sales and exposure of individual designers’ work.

My Recommended Tools

Below are my personal favorite tools that I use regularly in my POD business.
The below links are affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission for anything purchased through these links at no extra cost to you.

Creative Fabrica – My favorite place to get graphics with a straightforward commercial license for print on demand use.

Adobe Illustrator – I use Adobe Illustrator for at least half of my design creations. It’s pricey but so worth it when you choose to take the business seriously. Get a free trial to Adobe Illustrator here.

Graphics TabletMy partner got me this exact tablet as a Christmas gift when I was just starting out with creating my own designs. It has served me well now for several years and it was a very low cost investment that made a big impact in my POD business.

Ergonomic Mouse – If you spend long hours at the computer like me I highly recommend investing in a good ergonomic mouse. Over the years, I have caused an injury in my hand/wrist from being at the computer so much, but my pain has gotten significantly better since getting this ergonomic mouse on Amazon.

The Cons of Selling on Zazzle:

12. Self-Discipline Required

Self-discipline is a real challenge when selling on Zazzle. Without the structure of a traditional job, sellers must self-motivate to design, upload, and market products consistently. 

This requirement for self-management can be daunting, especially for those who thrive under external guidance or a more structured environment. 

The success of a Zazzle store heavily relies on the individual’s ability to stay focused, disciplined, and productive, which might not come naturally to everyone.

13. Slow Start

Building a Zazzle shop is a relatively slow process, often taking considerable time to gain traction. Success in this platform requires patience, as it can be a while before a new shop starts seeing significant traffic and sales. This gradual pace can be challenging for those expecting quick results.

I share my Zazzle income reports here if you’d like to see someone’s real earnings. In each article I also talk about how much time and effort went into my shops each year for more context.

14. Learning Curve

The learning curve on Zazzle can be a challenge for newcomers. Navigating the platform, picking a niche (and sticking to it,)  understanding product customization, and optimizing tags. This initial learning phase can be slightly overwhelming and may deter those seeking an immediate and straightforward start. 

But I’m here to help! I have a growing library of videos on YouTube to help you navigate the Zazzle platform and many article on this website to guide you on how to proceed,

15. Market Saturation

Market saturation on Zazzle poses a significant challenge, as the platform is crowded with numerous designers and a vast array of products. This abundance makes it difficult for individual stores to stand out and for newcomers to get a foothold. Which means extra effort in marketing and unique design creation is needed to attract and retain customers.

16. Repetitive

The repetitiveness of uploading, managing metadata, and marketing products on Zazzle can definitely be a bit of a bummer. These monotonous tasks can easily become tedious over time, especially for those seeking variety and creativity in their work.

This is where a having a system is very important and you are able to bang out these processes quickly and efficiently.

17. The Upload Process

Unlike other print on demand platforms, where you upload a design with its metadata once and it gets applied to every product, Zazzle requires you to do this separately for each product. This process can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially for designers with a wide range of items. It poses a significant drawback in terms of efficiency, making Zazzle less convenient for those who prefer a more streamlined, faster product listing experience.

18. Non Contributing Account Fee

Not many people know about Zazzle’s non contributing account fee. It’s a bit of a non issue in most cases, but it’s important to be aware of. Essentially, if you don’t publish a product or refer a sale for 15 months your account will be subject to a small fee. It’s currently set at $2 USD per month. You can get the full details here. It’s really not too big of an issue as Zazzle will never charge you, it will just be deducted from your earnings, and it’s pretty easy to pop into your shop once a year and publish a product. 

Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Selling on Zazzle

While Zazzle offers significant advantages like autonomy, potential for high earnings, and a wide product range, it also poses challenges such as the need for self-discipline, a slow start, and a competitive market. Understanding these nuances is key to navigating the Zazzle landscape successfully. Zazzle can be a valuable asset in your entrepreneurial toolkit, provided you approach it with patience, strategy, and a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

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