Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

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Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby Jin-roh on Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:13 am

I really wanted to wait until I had a "solid" fan base before I gave serious thought to Cafe Press, but at this point I am not sure if setting up a store is that much of a liability. I have about half a dozen shirts in mind.

I am really, really, interested in anybody who can tell me about their experiences with Cafe Press and/or alternatives. I am not expecting to get rich, but a little income here and there is nice.

Secondly, what should I be concerned about as far as fonts go? I have several options. I get them from 1001freefonts. Should I be concerned about copyrights or whatever?

Some of my shirts will not directly related to my comic, but cross over into other spheres of influence so to speak. I have a shirt dedicated to Ayn Rand in mind as well as a shirt about Open Theism. Yes, they are both niche audience type things. Any ideas on how to market them?

Thank you for the help. I really need it.
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby Mercury Hat on Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:35 pm

Jin-roh wrote:Secondly, what should I be concerned about as far as fonts go? I have several options. I get them from 1001freefonts. Should I be concerned about copyrights or whatever?

Yes, you should. You'll need to find out the licensing information for the font(s) you plan on using. Blambot's licensing agreement, for instance, states that "if you are a comic book self-publisher/small press publisher you may use these fonts for any independently published project, for profit or non profit or as part of graphics printed on merchandise to support your independent comic."
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby BionicDance on Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:15 pm

Well, my comic is fairly new, though it seems to be acquiring a small-but-dedicated following; having 1,600 YouTube subscribers to whom I've been able to advertise really didn't hurt at all. So I decided to open up a CafePress store because a few folks mentioned they'd like merchandise.

I've made exactly one sale. To my dad.

Granted, he wanted it for one of the kids in my old neighborhood whose parents are friends with mine, but still...if I were you, I wouldn't expect to make much money no matter HOW people bug you for merchandise; apathy and false promises reign supreme, it would appear. And given that CafePress takes the bulk of the money made anyway--unless you charge and arm and a leg, you make maybe two smackers out of the $16 or so someone might pay for a T-shirt--it really does start to seem something other than worth it.

Also, unless you make enough to justify having a CafePress premium store--which costs you a few bucks a month--your store may be a smidge anemic. You see, you can only have one of each type of item with a basic store on CafePress; if you want to have, say, a one lady's fitted T-shirt for each character of your comic, you simply can't with a Basic store. You can have multiple designs, but you can only have one of each style of item. Which really stinks.
And I sure as Hades won't be using CafePress if/when I put out my comic in book form; my comic is full-color and I want any book to be so as well, but CafePress only prints in black-and-white. For color books, I'm looking possibly at Lulu.com...

In fact, after less than a month, I'm seriously considering shopping around for an alternative to CafePress. I haven't found one yet, but...I'm doing a bit of research into it.

Hope this helps. I realize this review is a smidge negative and it's DEFINITELY subjective and biased, and maybe someone else has had a more positive experience than I. But perhaps not, as well. Regardless, as I said, I hope it helps.
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby EvilFlea on Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:47 am

http://www.spreadshirt.net if you're in Europe.
http://www.spreadshirt.com if you're in North America.

Much less limiting than CaféPress on a free account - and mostly good value, though the mugs are a rip-off. Oh, and you can enter designs into the "Marketplace", so if it's a *really* good design, other people might put it into their shops and you'll make a commission if they manage to sell any for you. Likewise you might like to use a little corner of your shop for other people's designs that you really like.

The one way SpreadShirt limit you if you're on a free account is if you upload vector- rather than pixel-based graphics - you can only upload 3 to start with, then another 5 once you make, er, 50 sales (I think?). No limit on pixel designs, but you're only allowed to use them on white or almost-white backgrounds.

Setting mine up but, like you, I expect to make bugger-all sales. Apart from occasionally adding a design, however, it hardly requires any upkeep. Any pocket money, no matter how small, would be welcome.
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby Jin-roh on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:14 pm

I've gone ahead with a zazzle store. I made a few items. Sold exactly one. To my best friend.

But I still sold something and that makes me feel good.
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby Jekkal on Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:29 pm

Jin-roh wrote:I've gone ahead with a zazzle store. I made a few items. Sold exactly one. To my best friend.

But I still sold something and that makes me feel good.


Also recommending Zazzle. Offers lots of items like CafePress, but with much higher quality, to the point I've seen folks selling merchandise off the site at their convention tables.

Also, they're introducing new products ALL THE TIME. They just came out with these new Avery binders, in fact...
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Re: Cafe Press and/or alternatives?

Postby Little Crow on Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:58 pm

honestly, there's nothing stopping you from having free stores at all the locations you can find. Just post a link on a "store" page on your comic showing which image designs are available where. I have a couple free cafe press stores I use mainly to make stuff for myself like buttons and magnets because I don't want to shill out the funds for a badge maker. I never really advertised them though so I've never made any kind of sale outside of myself.
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