I’m going to express my feelings on how I was treated by Zazzle. I’m a loyal designer who works to create, promote, and praise products made by them, but how I feel insulted now has me looking elsewhere for business.
It starts with Christmas: Kat and I bought Jake, our brother, a shirt as a gift. Zazzle, of course, produced it. You might see from the picture above, that a careless employee let a smudge go unnoticed, or ignored, and put my shirt in the post anyway, without caring that it wasn’t perfect. Since I only paid about 50 cents for the shirt – but because I had earnings accumulated from recent sales that weren’t withdrawn – my guess is they had no motive to redo the shirt in the fact the customer “didn’t pay” for the shirt anyway. Untrue! I earned that money, fair and square! I may not have paid full price, but only because I earned money and decided to use it, which means I paid!
Whether they dissed me or it’s just a mistake, the incident made Christmas less impressive, since it was my only gift for Jake. He unwrapped the gift and saw the smudge. Dad pointed to it, everyone was like, “Oh man” and it became a topic of discussion. Later, Jake said, “I wanna complain…I want a full refund! Or else I’ll sue. A refund for $1000!” (He was probably joking, though Jake’s dry humor is derived from the frankest of honesty.)
If I were a customer and nothing else, maybe it would only be a minor issue. Jake washed his shirt and came back to me, showing it to me: “Almost” he said. (The stain was still there, but had slightly faded…) It’s the principle of the matter, though.
To be honest, lately, Zazzle’s changed course, seeming less interested in being fair. Kat and I talked about it and her statement was, “They think the letter Z with a black circle is going to sell their products; their name is what makes them great. They don’t really care about their designers.” And it’s true for more than just the smudgey shirt – each product is expensive, and though designers are lucky to get even a few pennies from a 5% royalty rate, I have a feeling Zazzle makes a fair share since prices soar above market value, and out of customers’ price range.
Therefore, with stingy royalty and less than quality care, I am this close to saying adios. I am at the point where I feel safer buying my own printer, and printing my own shirts, or else ordering Zazzle products and keeping inventory to sell from my own shop online, checking each product to make sure it’s quality when I send it out, but with that, what’s the point of Zazzle?
Coincidentally, last week a representative of Snapmade wrote on my Facebook page and asked I join snapmade.com, a competing marketplace; a bright face only days after I had qualms with Zazzle, and with my family begging for me to find another way to sell products, I thought, ok let’s check it out!
So far, Snapmade has my interest peaked. Price range is more affordable, respect for designers are higher, and their current Facebook likes is 120,831. Nice start! Also, there’s a “Guest Checkout”, which gives customers the easy choice not to register an account. I’ve even used their customer support and it is helpful. The only problem so far is website downtime, and I have yet to order anything, but I will continue to weigh the options.
In the New Year, nearly 5 years with Zazzle, I may be setting up shop elsewhere. I could keep getting ripped off, ignore my pride and integrity, carry on with pennies in my pocket, or I could listen to Albert Einstein’s advice:
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I’m no longer willing to go down a sloppy path towards failure and poverty. In 2017, let’s try something new, shall we?