One of the greatest things about the dot com lifestyle is that it can be achieved in so many different ways. The Internet has had the incredible effect of leveling the playing field, giving everyone the opportunity not only to make money online, but to earn a very comfortable living doing so. And yes, this includes busting the myth of the starving artist too.
In today’s review, we will be looking at the all-encompassing services offered by Zazzle. It’s an online marketplace where you can shop for all sorts of unique items you won’t find at your local shopping mall. That’s because it’s powered by Internet entrepreneurs like you and me… and you can cash in on that opportunity too.
Just Zazzle Me
On Zazzle, you’ll find a range of creative art custom printed onto a range of different products. There are t-shirts, coffee mugs, phone cases, fridge magnets, baseball caps, pillows and even whiskey flasks. A lot of it is funny and all of it is fun.
The goal of Zazzle is to “enable every custom, on-demand product in the world on our platform.” It’s all about customized products, offering through an internationally-accessible marketplace for everyone.
This is great for gift-giving, but we’re in the business of making money. There are three ways that you can make money with Zazzle and all of them can be accessed and used through the same single user account. Creating a new account only takes a matter of moments — just a name and an e-mail address — and you don’t even need to verify your e-mail address to get started.
Once you’ve created your account, you gain access to the main dashboard. Here you can go through all your reports, manage your products, enter your payment details and so on. It’s all very clean and easy enough to follow.
Open Your Own Online Store
Think about what it would take if you wanted to open your own physical store to sell your custom t-shirts and coffee mugs. You’d need to pay rent and utilities. You’d have to furnish the place. You’d need to invest in inventory. And then you just sit there on your inventory, hoping that you’ll be able to sell it. Zazzle removes all of those barriers to entry.
It costs nothing to open your own Zazzle store and you don’t have to pre-buy any inventory, because everything is made on-demand. You also tap into an existing brand with an existing (and growing) customer base.
As an example, here’s a look at Jeff Morin’s Zazzle Store. He’s a cartoonist and graphic artist based out of California and he offers a range of funny designs on different kinds of products. Indeed, his Zazzle catalog contains over 400 products available for purchase. This online store can be promoted like any other, and it benefits from being seen by other Zazzle customers.
What makes Zazzle particularly compelling for creatives is that you can name your own royalty percentage. They don’t set this for you and it can be anywhere from 5% to 99%. Basically, you get a base price for certain type of product and then your chosen royalty gets tacked on top of that.
The base price for a basic white t-shirt is $14.95. If you set your royalty rate to 10%, then the effective retail price for your product as listed on Zazzle will be $16.61, earning you a royalty of $1.66.
What If You’re Not That Creative?
Of course, not all of us are cartoonists and graphic artists. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money with Zazzle. They have their Associates Program, which is effectively their affiliate program.
The commissions are quite generous. You earn a healthy 15% for every sale that you refer and there is a volume bonus of up to 17% depending on how many monthly sales you send their way. Referral links are practically any URL on the Zazzle website (like to a store or a specific product) appended with ?rf=ID at the end where ID is your Associates ID number.
If you have your own Zazzle store, you can double-dip on your earnings by using what they call the “Zazzle Star.” Direct people to your store using an affiliate link with the format zazzle.com/username* to earn the 15% commission on top of your royalty rate. Pretty nifty, huh?