Zazzle helps you sell your art through print-on-demand, and/or design and manufacture products to be further customized on Zazzle.
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 30% for “makers”; You set your own royalty rates for print-on-demand products
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: 13 or older
Zazzle offers two ways for freelancers to make money. You can upload art for its print-on-demand operation, which pays a royalty on each sale. Or you can make products for sale, such as tote bags and t-shirts, under Zazzle’s Maker agreement.
So, we’ve divided this review into two parts dealing with the two different opportunities.
Zazzle allows you to upload your art and make it available on everything from greeting cards to tote bags.
Like other print-on-demand operations, such as Society6, RebBubble and FineArtAmerica, you don’t have to do the production or shipping. You simply provide the art and earn a royalty for making it available to beautify coffee mugs, t-shirts and tote bags.
You set your own royalty rates. However, if you want more than a 14% royalty, the site may hit you with additional fees. The site pays you once you earn more than set amounts ($50 for payments through PayPal; $100 when you want to be paid via check.)
Zazzle’s print-on-demand arm is particularly strong with paper products, such as wedding invitations and customized napkins. If these are the products you want to make, Zazzle is our top choice in the category.
However, there is no reason not to sign up and sell your paper products with other print-on-demand operators, such as Society6, RedBubble and FineArtAmerica too. All of these sites operate on non-exclusive contracts.
For designers (makers):
Zazzle allows “makers” to create their own products that can be customized (with Zazzle print-on-demand designer’s designs). However, you can’t simply set up shop here as a maker, like you can as a designer under the site’s print-on-demand banner.
Makers join by invitation only. This may be because the site was having some quality and mailing issues when it was easier to sign up to manufacture products on the site. Recent reviews indicate that those problems may have been solved, making Zazzle a good option for both manufacturers and artists.
Makers price the products they sell and pay 30% of revenue to the site.
If you want to offer greeting cards for sale, Zazzle is our top choice.
If you’re making your own products, though, we think Etsy is a better choice, offering the ability to sell what you make at a lower net cost. To be sure, you won’t have someone else’s art to decorate your, say, aprons. But maybe you want to decorate them yourself anyway. Either way, neither site asks for an exclusive lock on your talent, so you’re free to sign up with both platforms.
What their sellers say:
Kristen Juckiewicz, owner of Redwood & Vine, which is a top-seller on Zazzle, agreed to describe her experience with the site and respond to questions about Zazzle’s print quality and terms:
“I’ve found Zazzle’s print quality to be excellent. Since the site relies on user-generated content from designers as well as photos or text that a customer might add, there are bound to be occasional snafus with printing. Sometimes those are due to customers uploading low resolution photos and graphics and ignoring the warning that they may print poorly, or not heeding the bleed areas on a particular product, resulting in text or images being cut off. And sometimes there’s a problem with the designer’s template, like text that’s too light. When that happens, or when the print job just isn’t satisfactory, they’re really good about making it right with a reprint or refund.
“There’s really no guideline as to what a Zazzle artist can expect to earn,” Juckiewicz says. “I earned about $150,000 in 2017.
“My Zazzle store, Redwood & Vine, started as a side hustle in 2015 when I was on maternity leave from my former job in the management consulting industry. By early 2016, it had grown to the point that I was ready to take the leap, resign from my firm and pursue it full time.
“I experimented with many different products before settling into a happy niche with weddings, holidays and special events. I love that on Zazzle, customers can find not only invitations, but postage, labels, menus, thank you cards, favors, photo gifts and hundreds more items. That breadth has allowed me to extend my design range to everything a customer needs for that special milestone or event.”
“The design lab they offer is very simple to use due to the self-explanatory steps involved and installed guides making it very user-friendly. Also, users can set up their own store and promote their own brand.
From artist Cindy Hopkins Monro in All About Zazzle:
“If, like me, you pursued art or photography as a hobby, it will be less rewarding and perhaps discouraging at first. With persistence, you could make at least $1000 your first year, building up to a second income by year three. The speed at which you increase sales will be determined by the time invested, the quality of your designs, the networking you do, and how successfully you have gauged your audience. At the end of each Christmas season, take stock of your accomplishments and adjust your Zazzle related tasks accordingly (you may need more products, you may need to blog and network more often, you may need to specialize or expand you product line).”
“Create as large a virtual inventory as possible – each sale will give you a relatively low amount of money (remember the 29 cents?). You have to sell in volume to make a substantial income.”