Welcome to z.2 + MySpace

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Today, we are excited, proud, and exhausted. We have just launched what we internally called z.2 – the next generation of Zazzle. And to top it off, we’re announcing a major partnership with MySpace – the world’s leading social network – around music merchandise and more.

We started this year focused on our vision: To Re-define Commerce, Powered by the World’s Imagination. We set out to build a great commerce platform for on-demand retail. We wanted Zazzle to be a true community marketplace – where designers and artists can post products for sale, communicate with one another, and earn money selling great products. And a place where buyers can find, create, or customize one-of-a-kind products that let them express themselves uniquely in the real world.

We’re launching several really exciting new features today that get us at least one step closer to reaching that goal. Here’s what just launched:

1) Model Realviews

Since the very beginning of Zazzle, one of our biggest challenges has always been how to bridge the gap between virtual images online to real, high-quality products that we actually manufacture. Because, after all, everything that you see on the site is completely digital and virtual, until ordered.

Today, we’re releasing Model Realviews. The first time you can design apparel online and see it for real, on a model. We’re starting with hundreds of different model shots to choose from, and expect this number to grow quickly. As a contributor, you can choose exactly which model to feature your product on to maximize your sales.

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>> Learn more

2) Name Your Royalty

Zazzle has always had a simple royalty model – for every sale, you earned 10% of the sale. While it worked for a lot of people, we consistently heard feedback that people felt they wanted to decide just how much they should make on the sale.

Today, we’re launching the ability to set your own royalty for every product you post for sale in the Zazzle Marketplace and in your gallery. Each time you post or edit your product, you can choose the royalty rate – from 10% to 99%. When you increase the royalty rate above our standard 10%, you keep all of the earnings to yourself. This guarantees that every time someone buys your product, you will receive the percentage you expect from the sale.

This is one of the biggest and most exciting changes we’ve made to Zazzle’s pricing, and we look forward to helping everyone feel empowered to make the most sales and earn as much $$ as they can.

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>> Learn more

3) Dark Apparel – new and improved

Zazzle first pioneered digital dark apparel products two years ago – November 2005. We called it “beta”. While we have been very happy with the product, we had kept it in beta for a long time, because it was not always the same or better than what you could find in a store. That wasn’t good enough for us.

Today, we’re launching an entirely new dark apparel process that is simply amazing. Our team of engineers, chemists, and washing machines have developed a new printing process that is simply unparalleled. You have to see it to believe it.

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>> Learn more

4) Lots of little things

Check out the new categories section - we’re constantly finding and filtering the best of Zazzle. Check out MyZazzle - we’ve reorganized the page to make it easier to find what you are looking for (we hope!) and we’re sure you’ll find lots of other gems throughout the site.

And lastly, today, we are incredibly excited to announce a partnership with MySpace – the world’s most popular social network. This partnership will empower more than 6 million musicians and bands on MySpace to sell unlimited music merchandise to the MySpace community instantly. Any user, actually, from MySpace can now easily create merchandise in through our revamped widget, called the Merch Booth. Check out the whole MySpace Merch to the Masses experience.

Have questions or feedback? Discuss in our forums. Note – our forums unfortunately were not quite compatible with the new Zazzle. We are doing everything we can to bring them back ASAP so we can get your feedback. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the launch, please contact us at www.zazzle.com/support

UPDATE 11/2 7:30PM: the forums are still being persnickety. We hope to get them back online very soon. Also, we’ve heard LOTS of great feedback on model shots. Some positive, some negative, some really really negative. We hear you. Next week we’re hoping to launch several great improvements – first is that you will be able to change the model on any design in your gallery simply by clicking “Edit This”. Second is that we will be revamping the gallery view to focus more on the t-shirt than the full model view since it makes the design so small. And that’s just next week. We will continue to listen to your feedback and make improvements. This is a work in progress and we hope to work with you all to enable the very very best in merchandising of your products on Zazzle with all kinds of possibilites for representing your products in various views.

UPDATE 11/3 12:15AM: changing models/styles is now live. You can now change your model, view, or style for any t-shirts you have already for sale in your gallery or marketplace. Simply go to the product, click “Edit This”, and click “change style or model”. You can even use this on other product types (like mugs) to change the style of the product you have it featured on in the marketplace. Have fun!

UPDATE 11/7 11:30AM: forums are back

- Josh Elman

P.S. Thanks to the entire Zazzle Team for all of the hard work bringing this to life. From engineering to marketing to manufacturing to BD to Finance, the entire company has worked hard to make this real. And it’s only just the beginning!

20 Responses to “Welcome to z.2 + MySpace”

  1. azac Says:

    Thank you for finally implementing the “name your own royalty” option. It was long overdue and I think contributors will be very happy with it’s flexibility and ease of use. The real models was a very pleasant surprise and a ell kept secret on Zazzle’s part. I can’t believe you guys kept this from us without so much as a hint. This puts Zazzle miles ahead of the competition, maybe even light years. I didn’t even know that the technology was that advanced to pull this off. Thank you very much for the models feature, it should do wonders. I am disappointed about the Forum being down right now as I hoped to discuss the new changes with all my fellow Zazzlers. Hopefully you can get it back up soon and the fun can begin.

  2. Justin Says:

    I’d like to know how many comments haven’t been posted underneath this Blog topic as I know for a fact there are many of us that think Zazzle has taken a turn for the worse. The ‘real models’ are awful…the idea doesn’t work, it doesn’t show of our designs to their fullest and i am guessing that it’s cost Zazzle a huge amount to implement such a stinker of an idea. Get rid of them….give us back the t-shirt view or at least give us a choice between model view or t-shirt view. People are not looking at my shirts as much as they were doing since the change. I also have a feeling that this comment will not make it underneath the blog. Please don’t ignore the contributors who use Zazzle on a daily basis…..the models are terrible and have angered many of us.

  3. Moira Ashleigh Says:

    Honestly hate the people in the shirts – but I hope it sells more shirts for you. Would prefer if the artist had the optiom to pick the model – maybe next upgrade?
    Moira

    PS the text in this comment box needs to be brought up a size it is TOO SMALL!

  4. azac Says:

    While I disagree with Justin and Moira about the models, they do make a good point about letting the contributor having the option of featuring the model view or simply the product view. It should always be about options. Now that contributors can choose their own prices, they should also be allowed how to display their t-shirts. I must say though that I think the models are a good idea and give you a better idea of how your design will look in the real world. If customers want a better view then there is always the “view design” option.

  5. Cowboycraic Says:

    While I applaud Zazzle for the upgrades and the changes that they are implementing, I have been very frustrated over the past few days as I try to prepare my Gallery for the Holiday season. I have encountered numerous issues, no pricing for Cards and Calendars (fxed now), children’s t-shirts on adult models, an inability to create anything that requires uploading any pictures and an inability to load my zazzle gallery without completely refreshing my browser.

    I have read so many comments from unhappy Zazzlers regarding the models. I know they are REAL people. However, why isn’t there some sort of system for quality checking to make sure that there aren’t male models wearing Flowery, obviously female intended shirts and vice versa? I agree that we should be allowed to choose the Live Model option as a secondary, much as we do the enlarged view. I did chuckle at my child’s “Cactus Faeries” shirt which says “Read to Me” being modeled by a bewhiskered young lad in a knitted cap.

    I cannot help but wonder why this merger and round of improvements couldn’t have been orchestrated at a time which wouldn’t be a detriment to Holiday sales. I have two websites which are considering featuring my Zazzle Gallery in their Holiday shopping guide. Both editors have emailed me to ask when the Galery will be truly fully up and running. I am excited at the revenue possibilities that being included in their gift guides will create. I am worried that all of the Glitches will not be ironed out in time and they will select somebody else instead.

    On a positive note, I am thrilled that you have made it possible for us to choose our royalties. I spent an entire day reworking prices on some of my product. I am eager to see what new types of products you might also be including as you upgrade. I would love to be able to do Bibs and journals someday!

    Bright Blessings, Bit

  6. azac Says:

    I did happen to notice a couple new items when I was adjusting my prices that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere (what with the Forum still not working). They are a frosted mug (two different sizes) and a woman’s nightie. Anybody happen to see any other new items. Zazzle, what else is new?

  7. peerdrops Says:

    Wow that was the fastest re-launch I’ve ever seen hehe!

    I agree with azac…I *love* these real people wearing my t-shirts and apparel.
    I know that this will help with apparel… and designing.

    I was never very good at it…seemed really difficult to me. Now it’s a LOT easier. I can see it instantly on a real person… how cool is that?

    In pretty well ALL popular clothing catalogs and fashion magazines that I’ve ever seen, they show clothing being worn by models…not lying flat on the page!! duh!

    In a lot of store window displays, or inside stores, clothing is being shown worn on mannequins.
    This just seems like common sense to me, so thanks very much for this feature!!!

    I hope you do NOT change the model views in my gallery.. I want it like this!!!
    As azac said “If customers want a better view then there is always the “view design” option”. They can hover over the image. I don’t see the problem with this….. as long as people have the choice to not have the models, then leave it alone.

    But changing the model on any design by clicking “edit” would be terrific, thanks!
    And it would be great for people to be able to *choose* if they want their apparel shown on models or not!

    Thanks for the option for the royalties too, nice that we can change it, if we want.
    I also like the “back to product page” when I click on a product!

  8. stevenr Says:

    Overall I think the idea of the model shots is good, but I have noticed a few where the design image gets “corrupted” for want of a better word. These seem to be mainly on the back views. There are also some models where there is only a front view or only a back view available, which can be confusing when both sides are used.

  9. dtdesigns Says:

    Azac I think only the frosted mugs are new ( they are great btw zazzle .. ty ) .. theres always been nighties .. as for the models .. well I think everyone knows my opinion on them .. they don’t work for me and many many other contributors .. why cant they just be on a preview of the item and / or as a image preview on the link to this feature .. You cant view the designs on a lot of the shirts ..( even if the new view idea that was mentioned by Josh is brought in.. I dont want them ) the models distract from the design .. as blazen_thunder pointed out to me yesterday the design used to sell its self… even if we can change the models the majority look completely uncomfortable and some look plain stupid ( sorry models but thats my opinion.. theres even a lot of contributors just making fun of them with tshirt designs now because its not taken seriously ) the kids are cute as can be and seem to be the only ones that work to any reasonable amount but I still dont want them in my stores… give us a choice please zazzle .. lets have classic view or model view .. I just feel that the contributors that dont want these models are being ignored totally .. and that hurts like hell because to me zazzle isnt just a POD business its THE POD business .. and I enjoyed being part of it .. but right now I dont

    And I hear that views are up on t-shirts .. thats only because we are looking at our own products and shaking our heads

    Also it was very useful to be able to drag and drop your images on the apparel in the product view not just the design view .. it used to give you a better perspective .. but thats gone as in the design tool we have models that are facing sideways etc and impossible to work with :(

  10. sneakerdog Says:

    I made attempt to add the merch widget to MySpace. I worked, but imagine my surprise to see that my other widget, the one that says “Sneakerdog’s gallery at Z” on the skin, was displaying, not my gallery but someone else’s! Then I went to my website at http://www.sneakerdoggy.blogspot.com and instead of the galleries I was promoting, including my own, someonelse’s Christmas cards, photos, t-shirts were being displayed. Thinking that I would just copy the html for my gallery back into those and fix this, I went to my gallery, clicked on Promote This Gallery, and there was someone else’s gallery being displayed, product-by-product, in my own gallery! I’m thinking that no one will be buying my products from any of the widgets. I’m wondering if I’ll get any credit for selling other random peoples’ designs.

  11. azac Says:

    I’ll take your word for it DT that the nighties aren’t new. I guess I never really noticed them before. As far as the real models go, I can see the argument from both sides. To me the best compromise would be to offer gallery contributors the choice to turn on or off the model feature or pick the default view just like the back or front of a product. I don’t know if it’s true about views being up on t-shirts but even if they are, what about sales? Are sales up? That is the bottom line when it comes down to it. Only Zazzle has that answer.

  12. Mareen Says:

    Hi!

    Am I the only one where the new royalty feature doesn’t work? I edited a few of my Halloween products because I created a new product line in my store. All of the products I put in there have reduced prices now since the royalty has been set to ’0′. No matter what I do, whether I set it to 10 % or 20 %, after I click the ‘save’ button, the royalty line is empty and it only shows the net price. Means, if people buy this stuff I get nothing. Does anyone else have this problem? I have contacted Zazzle twice but so far nothing has changed yet. It is making me nervous.

    ~ Mareen

  13. captphrank Says:

    It’s only been a couple of days now and there is much dissatisfaction between Contributers and the Zazzle team, but it seems clear to me the middle ground answer here is to give the contributers a choice of The “Classic Store Look” or the “New Store Look”…This could all be done with the “click” of the Mouse…It would involve a little more programming, but Zazzle wouldn’t have to Trash it’s whole new look and we contributers would be happy designers with the old look..Two links , somewhere on the store front, one would say ‘Classic” the other “New”. This would be in Edit mode (logged in) so the contributer could choose their store front….Besides, this would give Zazzle the oppertunity to see which store front actually has the most sales…The Customer ia always (usually) right!…capt.

  14. wolffreeborn Says:

    hey zazzle?
    (i didn’t know where else to post this)-i’m having a serious problem uploading or using anything with that drop down white box~it’s doing this bouncing thing like “catch me” with the ok buttons.
    could something be done with that?it never did that before the upgrade,i had no problems :(
    thanx.

  15. Minx267 Says:

    Ok. I haven’t seen anyone else mention this -so I am starting to wonder if It has only happened to me.
    I created a card, and it doesn’t show up anywhere except in my cards… if I search for it under my
    gallery name.. under whats new or even what’s hot… not there… if I search for it by some of the tag lines
    i entered (subject) ….NOT THERE..
    I have got a lot of compliments on it but those have only been from members of my fan clubs…
    it does not even show up on my main Gallery page.. which shows all my popular products.. even though it
    has been viewed quite a bit….
    Is this a glitch for everyone or just me and my card… hmmmm

  16. Luminosity Says:

    I like many of the new features.
    Although I think that you should implement a deviant art like feature and be able to click all of the designs that you want the same keywords and writing to apply to it would save me a ton of time.

  17. wolffreeborn Says:

    minx267~
    it’s been kind of doing that on mine-it shows up under “all products” but nowhere else.
    sometimes it shows up about 15 minutes later,if it doesn’t i usually go to edit on the product and check that it has a
    personal gallery folder-more often than not it didn’t save it on mine.
    it’ll say error when i try to save the move,but does move it for me (so far).

  18. Moira Ashleigh Says:

    You know what I would like – heh. I would like to know when folks favorite my art. It is a feature available on Deviant Art and would be real nice to have here. It could just be an email and you could have preferences to get it monthly, weekly, daily or never. I know someone like Redboy would be swamped but some of us others would be pleased to know we have been favorited and want to thank the person. It is a big piece missing in the favorites system.

    BTW the fix on the t-shirts is better but still hard too see the art – maybe you can let the creator choose to show design view or product view?

    Thanks for all of your hard work.
    Moira

  19. Marshall Says:

    your hard work is shining through this project that you have created. i was green with envy seeing all the work and the outcomes you have achieved well done

  20. Create a Merch Store on Facebook « Zazzle Blog Says:

    [...] hard to provide you with the tools you need to spread the word wherever you are on the web. The launch of our Merch Booth for MySpace last week was an example of this and we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Merch Store [...]

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