Zazzle vs CafePress – I have made up my mind!

And the winner is … Zazzle! I will focus more on products for and promotion of my Zazzle shops. But there will be stuff in my CafePress shop too :)

I have SO much to say about these print-on-demand companies. But when it comes down to it, here are the reasons that I choose to focus more on Zazzle, but will still be selling a few items through CafePress.

Zazzle Has

  • All shops are free.
  • Lots of sales! These make it easier to purchase your merchandise – for quality control, or just because you want to.
  • Set your royalty as a percentage of the final sale price. May be affected negatively by “sales” and referral fees.
  • More customizable.
  • Zazzle Black – about $10/year for free shipping on many items.
  • $50 minimum payment threshold by PayPal. $2.50 fee for payments below this threshold.
    $100 minimum payment threshold by check. $5 fee for payments below this threshold.
  • Items found on Zazzle but not Cafepress as of October 13, 2012
    • Playing Cards
    • Dart Board
    • Pacifiers
    • Belt Buckles
    • Tea pots
    • Cake Toppers
    • Skateboards
    • And they use to offer Ked shoes, which I was really excited about. I hear they will start offering another kind of shoes in the next several months.

Browse other gifts from Zazzle.
CafePress has

  • Basic and Premium shops
    • Basic is free, but severely limited
    • Premium costs a monthly, yearly, or percentage fee. High volume sellers would do best to pay $60/year up-front. Low-volume and new would do better with the 10% of royalties fee, up to $10/month.
  • Cool clipart, and I think they had more cool fonts?
  • $25 minimum payment threshold. Money by check or by PayPal.
  • Items found on CafePress but not Zazzle as of October 13, 2012
    • Pillow Cases
    • Shower Curtains
    • Key Hangers
    • Mylar Balloons
    • Blanket Wraps (think snuggie)
    • Throws / stadium blankets
    • Dog hoodies
    • Yoga Mat
    • Books

Both have

  • Similar base pricing on similar products.
  • Standard print-on-demand items such as t-shirts, stickers, and greeting cards.
  • Good quality.

Room for improvement

Both of these print-on-demand shops have room for improvement. I would love to see an option to make full-size images on shirts.  Like make a pattern that will extend from the neck to the bottom. I can understand why this might be more expensive – but still hope to see it soon. I would also like to see the ability to list certain items in multiple categories within my shops. Sure, I could recreate that perfect shirt or poster. But if I have a picture of a puppy in flowers, why can’t I list it under pets AND under flowers?

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10 comments to Zazzle vs CafePress – I have made up my mind!

  • coral

    Hi, I have a question.

    I would like to know the printing quality from both.
    I am a designer and artist. I just started using cafepress but have not made any orders yet.
    I’d like to know how my print will come out on things like tote bags, rugs, cushion with my own graphic images ( fresh paint and pen&ink medium). I do use some of their design tools like shapes and their fonts..I just wonder how the colors, print result will be overall? Because I have read many bad reviews about their printing quality. If you have any experience with them, any insights, I would greatly appreciate you could share with me and advice. Thank you very much!

    • I have not had anything printed by CafePress lately to tell about their quality. But I am almost always pleased with results from zazzle! And the one time I was not pleased, they were quick to ask for more details so that they could decide if a reprint was needed.

      Zazzle’s cheaper quality level posters come out wonderfully! Their photo prints are .. eh. They are not bad, but they are not spectacular enough to justify the wait and price when compared to places that specialize in photo prints. (like if you have a local photo center) Keychains and playing cards do not look as good with a photo as they do with illustrations. (The cards have a textured feel to them, which is really nice. But I think it affects how photo prints show.)

  • Dave

    I had a smaller poster printed at CafePress and was extremely disappointed with the quality. It looked as if they used water-based inks on a glossy surface which pooled instead of printing cleanly. The image I used was more than large enough and was uploaded at 300dpi. The Canon printer in my studio could have produced a far more superior print. I expected more, since other products I had ordered from CP were fairly good.

    I haven’t had a poster or print created at Zazzle yet, so I have no comment to offer.

    • Dave, if you have a zazzle account I suggest you sign up for their newsletters. (if you have not already) They can be a bit annoying when you aren’t in the mood – but sometimes they have really nice deals. … By the way, I have had 4 posters printed by Zazzle now and one “photo”. The posters seemed to be of better quality, which I found surprising.

  • Hi Michelle! Thanks for the article.

    Would love to check out your zazzle shop if you’d be into sharing the link?



  • Hi Michelle,

    You have a great comparison summary for Zazzle and Cafepress. I too choose to spend more time on Zazzle over Cafepress. I still haven’t really figure out how to customise on Cafepress and simply resize images on products only.

    Just for sharing:
    Zazzle is looking to increase their product line – e.g. Lunch boxes, Leggings, Scarves. New product launches can be found in the forums news –

    Cafepress has a full-size image on T-shirts. It is titled the “All Over Print T-Shirt”.

    You have a lovely starting collection on Zazzle. I’m sure you will do well!


    • Thanks for the update Rusty … Zazzle has been doing some great product line increases lately. I wish they would bring back tennis shoes though. … So excited to hear about CafePress’s “All Over Print T-Shirt”! I picked up a side job for a screen print & embroidery company, so it will be a while before I order any more shirts from CafePress or Zazzle. I really want to order a cafepress shower curtain. Not sure if my design is cool enough to justify the price.

      By the way, great job on your zazzle store. Excellent artwork. :-) Most of my designs are still on scrap paper stuffed in the nightstand. *sigh*

  • Ali

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for this comparison. It is quite helpful as I have a store, Rustic Harbor, on both. I have been focusing more on my Zazzle store though ( I’ve had sales from both sites but only received feedback from the products sold on Zazzle. The quality from Zazzle seems to not disappoint. I guess I will continue to focus on Zazzle even though I wish some of the products offered on Cafepress were available on Zazzle.

    Great job on your store! Very impressive!

    Thanks again!


    • Thank you :-) And I agree, it would be great if Zazzle offered some of the products that I see on CafePress. Specifically I have some shot glass and shower curtain designs I would love to post.

      Good job on your store too :-) Thank you for sharing the link!

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