Archive for August, 2009

ProSeller PerfectPostage Sets Up Shop at Bridal Show

August 31, 2009

Looking for a new and interesting way to promote your Zazzle store? Take a tip from ProSeller PerfectPostage and set up a booth at a local bridal show. Bridal shows are events for brides (and their reluctant fiancés) to learn everything they’ll need to know to plan their wedding (there’s also FREE CAKE). So if you’re a wedding postage seller on Zazzle, like PerfectPostage, this is a great place to showcase your products.

“I really felt the bridal show was a success…Our booth was swamped in the morning – had so many comments from people who had no idea you could customize postage. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I also had stickers, cards, posters, buttons, magnets, mugs and a dog shirt to show off at my booth,” said ProSeller PerfectPostage.

Not only did PrefectPostage reach new potential customers, she was also able to make new contacts for further promotion of her wedding products.

“The editor from KC Wedding Magazine stopped by and took my card. She may want to do a feature story on wedding stamps. I’ll definitely follow up with her! I also made many other contacts with wedding planners, bakeries, stationery vendors and calligraphers. One of the calligraphers is in love with the custom postage and already put the Zazzle link to the Perfect Postage store up on her website.”

Thanks PerfectPostage for this great idea to share with all Zazzle Sellers! See below for some picture of the PerfectPostage booth at the bridal show and some of PerfectPostage’s wedding postage designs.

Got a unique way you promoted your Zazzle store? Send us an email at community@zazzle.com and we’ll blog it and promote your products!

(Permalink)

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your customer photos!

August 28, 2009

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


http://www.zazzle.com/minki_deluxe_purple_plaid_keds_shoe_shoes-167410011306870298


http://www.zazzle.com/hug_today_tshirt-235123746350520854


http://www.zazzle.com/whiz_kid_toddler_t_shirt-235676685473699235


http://www.zazzle.com/yield_tshirt-235964741127783862

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

(Permalink)

If You Seek Britney

August 27, 2009

Britney Spears is not new to Zazzle, but she recently released some fresh products. Throughout the period of her current US tour which ends Sept. 27 in Vegas, fans can purchase products “As Worn by” Britney Spears on her current Circus Tour. The program offering include a Standard version of the tank, a high-end Rhinestone tank, and a Custom tank where fans can insert their own initial. All products have a special “Piece of Me” signature logo on the back. This offering is certainly an out of the box concept and a really cool use of the Zazzle platform.

Britney Spears Exclusive Tank Top

Next post will feature Zazzlers wearing the tanks!! More Britney Spears products soon to be released!

Edward Moore “Teddy” Kennedy — Rest in Peace

August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy, who served nine terms in the U.S. Senate, died late last night at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.  Senator Kennedy is arguably one of the most powerful and influential senators in American history.  During his time in the Senate, he took a leadership role on some of the largest—and most controversial—issues of the day, including health care, immigration, civil rights, education, and more.  He was as much a hero to liberals as he was a foil to conservatives.  For proof of this, you need look no further than the Zazzle marketplace, which is split pretty evenly between expressions of adoration and disdain for Senator Kennedy over the years.  Being the fan of heated debate that we knew him to be, we think the Liberal Lion would smile at the products for sale in the Zazzle marketplace.  Today, though, as the nation mourns his passing, we’ll feature only these products:

ted kennedy poster ted kennedy mug kennedy mousepad

edward kennedy t-shirt Kennedy t-shirt ted kennedy shirt

(Permalink)

CTV – Canadian Television (aka “Crazy Television” experience for Zazzle)

August 25, 2009

Ever find yourself wondering what it’s like in the studio when you’re watching live TV, like the news? How are they censoring stuff, who runs the show, do the anchors drink scotch during commercials (ala The Anchorman)?

I found myself pondering some of these questions while riding in a taxicab in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. Probably the biggest one on my mind – what happens when you screw up on live TV? Is it possible to avoid becoming part of a blooper reel? Even so, you’ve still got good ‘ole YouTube? Hmm.

Anyway, it was about 4pm and I was off to the headquarters of CTV, the largest privately owned network in Canada (basically our northern neighbors’ version of CNN, I was told). I was invited to be a guest on the national 5 o’clock news (5 – 6pm) as we recently launched our localized Zazzle Canada website. My segment was scheduled for 5:45pm.

I had just left an interview with The Globe and Mail, which I thought went really well (very sharp interviewer, picked up all aspects of Zazzle quickly) and was feeling good about making it to the studio on time for prep at 4:30pm. It’s apparently imperative to be there at least an hour before you’re supposed to go on air. Stuff like makeup (hey it’s not like there’s a choice), preparing computers for demos, reviewing the Q&A script, etc.

I looked outside and took some pics with my new 3GS of all the plush greenery, as we headed out of the city (so relieved with the speed of the new camera, the old 3G drove me absolutely batty). Sure is beautiful up there…

MASSIVE TRAFFIC JAM. Out of nowhere the freeway became a parking lot. We were going about as fast as a drive-thru at In-N-Out Burger. But instead of getting upset and impatient from hunger and animal-style burger depravation, the stakes were a bit higher here. What if I miss the prep? Will they still let me on? …When the hell am I actually going to get there? Checking Google Maps, it wasn’t anytime soon. I called the studio and got connected to the Associate Producer of the news, Leila. I explained the situation… she clearly wasn’t pleased but was relatively calm about it and explained that as long as I arrived before by 5pm, we should be Ok.

It’s now 5pm. I’ve checked Google Maps so many times that they shut me off due to being flagged as a potential DoS attack. Nah, but you get my point. It’s way hotter outside of downtown (maybe because it’s further from Lake Ontario? I digress). I’m sweating. A lot. The cab driver is now beyond irritated at how many times I’ve asked if there are side roads to take. I considered getting out and running. Bad idea, no running shoes and really humid outside… there’s a certain amount of sweat seepage that probably isn’t acceptable for television.

I finally arrive at 5:10pm. I run through the security gate, charge into the lobby, skip to the front of the receptionist desk and ask for Leila, while panting. The receptionist is freaked out. I immediately dial Leila myself, but the news is rolling and she can’t actually talk because she’s on the set. She texts me back that an assistant is coming to get me. Phew. A few minutes pass by… nothing! I text then call back and she finally answers because it’s a commercial break.

Leila: “Jeff, where are you right now?!”
Me: “In the front of the lobby, you can’t miss me!”
Leila: “But where? What location?”
Me: “9 Channel Nine Court. Where else?!”
Leila: “You’re kidding me. That’s not where we are… Jeff, this is a big company, we have many different locations across Toronto”
Me: (….speechless…)
Leila: “Well, I’m sorry Jeff. I don’t know who gave you that address, but there’s no way you’ll make it down here in time now”
Me: (…shock turns to anger… our agency gave me the wrong address)
Leila: “Jeff, I’ve got to get back to things here… I’m sorry it didn’t work out”
Me: “Leila, I don’t know how… but, I’ll figure out how to get there. I would be a complete clown back at Zazzle if I missed this opportunity, after flying all the way from San Francisco”
Leila: “Jeff, I understand, but it’s physically impossible. There’s no way you can make it in time”
Me: “Just tell me the address, Leila, please…”
Leila: “299 Queen Street, downtown”
Me: “I’ll call you when I’m a few minutes away. I don’t know how, but I’ll figure out how to get there. LEILA – I WILL BE THERE (channeling Ron Burgundy!)”

I run outside. The ridiculous factor had now kicked in: the actual location was only a few blocks from where I was before the taxi ride – right in the heart of downtown. And there I stood beside the freeway in the middle of nowhere.

It’s now 5:15pm. There are no taxis in sight… I immediately dial Mike Karns, the head of PR at Zazzle. After a 10 second briefing (which went something like “!@#*& our agency gave me the wrong address, I’m in the middle of nowhere, can you get me a cab?!!”). I immediately realized this was an ineffective tactic…

Right then, a car came passing by – I jumped into the middle of the road and threw both hands up into the air like a lunatic, one hand still holding the phone with Mike on the line. Literally. Straight from the movies.

The car stops. It was a good thing, too, because there was no chance I was going to jump out of the way. The driver slowly rolls down his window, but only halfway, and looks at me in horror. I loop around and lean down to the window…

Me: “Hey – I’m so sorry to stop you like this, but I have a huge emergency. I’m supposed to be on the news in 30 minutes. I’ll give you 100 bucks to take me downtown, as fast as you possibly can”
Driver: “Uhh…”
Me: “I know you don’t know me, but this is extremely important… I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate your help”
Driver: (With the most reluctance I’ve ever heard in anybody’s voice) “…Ok”

And the race begins. I hand over $100 and jump in. This guy starts driving, FAST. Really fast. Dangerously fast. Turns out he was headed to the airport to send his family off, as they had been visiting him for a couple of weeks. But now he was going to miss that entirely by driving the opposite direction – back downtown – to help me out. Wow. Now we both have something on the line…

Also turns out that this guy, Aamil, actually worked at CTV and at the 9 Channel Nine location. As he’s weaving through traffic like a total madman, he tells me that there’s a faster way to get into the building than the Queen Street entrance… on Richmond Street, where there’s a parking lot and a back entrance. In the meantime, I’ve been constantly texting both Mike and Leila, telling them that I’m “almost there” and urging both of them to hold the segment for me…

It’s now 5:39pm. I call Leila…

Me: “Hey, I’m almost there!”
Leila: “Where are you, exactly?”
Me: “Queen Street and Parliament”
Leila: “Oh my god, are you serious?… that’s actually only about 5 minutes away”
Me: “YES, I know. Ok, apparently it will be faster if I come through the back on Richmond, ya?”
Leila: “Jeff – I have to hang up – we have a 3 minute segment, then a 3 minute commercial… and then you’re on. I’ll run down the back during commercial break and if you’re there in 5 minutes, I might be able to get you on”
Me: “I’LL BE THERE!”

What originally took 1 hour and 20 minutes in the cab to 9 Channel Nine Court was ~28 minutes on the return trip. And this was during rush hour. Aamil should be a stock car racer. At the very least, he should get new brakes… we barely escaped death on a couple of critical turns.

It’s 5:44pm. Aamil pulls up to the security entrance on the Richmond side, there’s no security guard, so he just slams the brakes in front of the gate and we both jump out of the car and start sprinting toward the back entrance, through the parking lot. There’s Leila, standing outside of the door…

Leila: “Jeff – is that you?!”
Me: “YES!!”
Leila: “Follow me – RIGHT NOW”

We start running up the stairs to the third floor…

Me: “Hey!” (Panting) “I need to use the restroom, just real quick”

(Forgot to mention that I had taken down an entire 1.5 liters of water during this whole extravaganza and, well… it was pretty much a necessity, let’s leave it at that.)

Leila stops in the middle of the stairs and points down at me:

Leila: “NO!”

After all of the antics leading up to this point, she wasn’t pleased at the suggestion. There was no equivocation in her voice and I was almost instinctively in compliance, like a child scolded by his mother. This was definitely one of those times where you just can’t push your luck too much… I resigned to hoping for the best.

We run onto the set. A few people are “handling” me at the point… they throw me into a chair, somebody puts a mic on me and runs a cord through my shirt, somebody else drops a laptop right on the table, and all of a sudden it’s “5 – 4 – 3…”

I’m in total shock. And I’m still breathless from sprinting through the parking lot and upstairs. Is this for real? They’re seriously just going to let me go on air in front of millions of people in this condition? They didn’t even verify my identity, I could be a total stranger. What the hell do I do? I don’t have the laptop ready with any pages loaded… I’m supposed to be doing a LIVE demo of the site and I haven’t even checked to see if it’s going to work.
“…3 – 2 – 1 and… ACTION.”

I use my sleeve to wipe as much sweat as possible from my face, chuckle for a quick second at how ridiculous this whole thing is… and then feel momentarily relieved that, if nothing else, I’ll get a couple of Zazzle.ca plugs in there, if I can catch my breath.

Right off the bat, I had to correct the interviewer about Zazzle.ca instead of Zazzle.com – she had no preparation either! You can also see in the beginning that I have no idea which camera to look into… and half of the interview I’m completely focused on the browser, trying to pull up tabs and load pages while the interviewer asked questions.

Toward the end, after the site was working and everything seemed to be Ok, I couldn’t help but start smiling ear-to-ear from disbelief of the whole thing. About 2 seconds after the segment ended, I bolted to the bathroom (actually, after the first few steps, I realized I still had the mic on and tore it off… avoiding a potential Naked Gun bathroom scene catastrophe. Oh, thank goodness.)

I returned to the set when the news was wrapping up and was able to hang with Leila’s crew for a bit. We all had a good laugh about the whole thing. Nobody could believe that I actually made it there in time… and nearly all of them seemed interested in learning more about Zazzle after the segment. Score!

So, there ya go. Moral of the story: commandeering vehicles is awesome, and you don’t even need a badge to do it.

Aamil – you da man.

Psycho Donuts Store Opens on Zazzle

August 24, 2009

If you haven’t heard of the interesting donuts shop in Campbell, CA, then you haven’t lived! Psycho Donuts features unusual, and fun donuts like Mood Swing, Headbanger, Jekyll & Hyde, and of course the classic donut fries? All of the donuts are delicious and are just damn fun to eat. But for those that don’t happen to live close enough to sample the donut deliciousness you might want to sample some cool gear like Psycho Donuts t-shirts, Psycho Donuts Mugs, and more from the Psycho Donuts store! Check out some of my favorite merchandise below and some pics of Zazzle Team members going nuts over some Psycho Donuts (well maybe not nuts, but they are really good donuts!)

psycho donuts mousepad psycho donuts mugs psycho donuts t-shirt

(Permalink)

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your customer photos

August 21, 2009

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


http://www.zazzle.com/walk_is_cheap_tshirt-235353714368633862


http://www.zazzle.com/the_lighter_side_of_dark_2009_calendar-158736066943539306


http://www.zazzle.com/talk_nerdy_to_me_tshirt-235913660612646043


http://www.zazzle.com/peaceful_lotus_mouse_pad_mousepad-144617163359711063

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

(Permalink)

Star Wars Shirt FAIL

August 20, 2009

This shirt is way too popular at the Zazzle Offices…

Here is the Star Wars Fail Shirt in case you want to get one.

(Permalink)

G’Day from Australia!

August 20, 2009

Hello to the Zazzle Community from Down Under! Bobby, Jeff, and Mike reporting in from beautiful Sydney, Australia. Bobby and Jeff were invited to be keynote speakers at this week’s Online Retailer Expo and Conference (http://www.online-retailer.com.au/) in Sydney. The entire Conference was an overwhelming success. In only its first year, it can already lay claim to being the #2 largest online retailing conference in the world (behind only the massive Internet Retailer show in the United States), so congratulations to the event’s organizers for that!

Bobby and Jeff killed it in their presentation on Wednesday. They discussed Zazzle’s business model, specifically Zazzle’s commitment to empowering our Sellers to earn real money through the Zazzle platform.

The conference organizers titled the presentation “Small Fish Taking Over Big Ponds – How to Harness the Power of the Internet for Competitive Advantage.” To be honest, we thought that was a bit tame.

So, we thought about how best to visually depict Zazzle in a way that more accurately represents the company and how we feel about our many opportunities ahead:

Small fish, big pond? Ha!… NO. We’re more like a bear with a revolver, riding a shark in the middle of the ocean. And escaping from a nuclear explosion. Also, wearing a wolf t-shirt, of course. T-shirt available here: http://www.zazzle.com/the_great_escape_bear_shark_cavalry_tshirt-235198574929322642

But even that’s not good enough! We’re here in Sydney to celebrate and promote our recently-launched Zazzle.com.au site, so we had our design team make some last-minute modifications:

Hell yeah! And, if you can’t tell, the kangaroo is wearing aviator goggles. T-shirt: http://www.zazzle.com/the_great_escape_kangaroo_shark_cavalry_tshirt-235734173036167931

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!!!

Anyway, our experience here in Australia has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve been bombarded with enthusiasm and interest from new sellers, partners, and customers. The Zazzle.com.au site is poised for impressive growth over the next few months, so we encourage the entire community of Zazzle sellers to create products and stores with Australia, as well as our other localized markets in Canada and the UK, in mind.

G’day!
Jeff, Bobby, and Mike

(Permalink)

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Kris Havlicek

August 19, 2009

Kris, of the design firm Kustom by Kris, has been a Zazzler since 2006. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her inspirations, her new design studio, and her time with Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store KrispysKingdom!

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kris: I’m a California girl finding success in the Midwest. Between being mom to three kids (14, 6, and 2), planning my 2010 wedding, and breaking my toes while playing tag with my cat, I am opening a design studio and consignment shop in the downtown shopping district. Customers will be able to browse and purchase handmade crafts, as well as see many of the designs I have created for clients. Dominating my live-action portfolio will be many products I have purchased from Zazzle! When I’m not creating new designs, I like to drive my ’07 Mustang (I’m a car lover), go off-roading, watch tons of movies, and stalk bakeries.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Kris: First and foremost, my family inspires me. Every funny t-shirt in my store is something that my fiancé or kids have said. My business cards are inspired primarily by trends and my wedding products are designed for me (i.e. I design what I would use myself and if others like it, then that is an extra bonus).

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Kris: It is hard to pick just one! I’m super picky and it seems my favorite design changes every month or even week when I create something new. The design that is closest to my heart is the set of Portrait Prints I created of my daughter (http://www.zazzle.com/talula_divine_birth_print-228025327469446922) and niece (http://www.zazzle.com/talula_divine_flowers_birth_print-228590185140047753). The one of my daughter is hanging in my dining room and the print of my niece will be hung in my design studio for the August 1 opening.

P1030058_sm

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Kris: I would have to say my favorite feature is the beta Advanced Customization. I used the Zazzle Store Builder, which is awesome, but it is easier for me to make my Zazzle store look like my website and integrate the two. It saves me so much time!

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Kris: I don’t really have any fun stories about Zazzle, but I would like to thank everyone for making me feel like I am part of something greater than myself. I feel like I have made some awesome online friends. Their support and encouragement has definitely contributed to where I am today as a Pro-Seller! Oh – and Steve, A.K.A. softproduct, made a YouTube video about the Contributor Toolbar that I created. It is hilarious!

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Kris: I started creating designs for Zazzle’s products so I could have creative control over something. I have been creating designs for others since 2003. I started with website design and construction, which has lead to designing products for all occasions, logos, and marketing materials. After three years of only designing what my clients told me to design, I was excited to find Zazzle and have the opportunity to create new designs based on what I like. Now my Zazzle store is an extension of my portfolio and shows potential clients the true extent of my creative style.

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Kris: If you are looking for a successful second (or first) income from your store, you have to take it seriously and treat it like a ‘real’ business. I opened my store July 23, 2006, but did not start earning a regular monthly paycheck until I considered Zazzle part of my everyday routine late last year. Also, keep your designs fresh and create each design individually for the product you intend to place it on. Remember quality over quantity.

Thanks Kris!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 632 other followers

%d bloggers like this: