Archive for July, 2010

Harry Potter Casts a Sale: Save on ANY product!

July 21, 2010

Harry Potter has cast a spell on Zazzle that’s caused a site wide sale! But the spell has caused different products to have different discounts. How does one reveal the discounts? Fight fire with fire, spell with spell! Enter this promo code “spell,” PRICEREVELIO, at checkout to unveil the discount on your order. The spell will expire at midnight on July 25th, so take advantage of this while you still can!

Don’t forget about custom Harry Potter gifts while casting your spells today.

DC Comics Celebrates 75 Years of Awesome

July 20, 2010

The company that helped to create and build the genre and archetype of “Superhero” is celebrating 75 years of comics this year.  In 1938, DC Comics released Action Comics #1, which became a turning point in the history of comic books with the introduction of the first superhero, Superman. Soon after the success of Superman, DC Comics introduced another hero in 1939, one that is still popular today, in Detective Comics #27, Batman.

In celebration of 75 years of awesome, DC Comics and Zazzle have joined forces to bring you 5 limited-edition Screen Printed T-shirts! I got to see the t-shirts up close and personal (I’m one of the models), and I can’t tell you how excited I am for these shirts… my geekness is overflowing.

DC 75th Anniversary Bundle Pack

T-Shirts also available to purchase individually

The 5 designs include:

Wonder Woman – Cover Art from Vol. 3 #18 “Return of the Khund”
Wonder Woman T-Shirt

Superman – Cover Art from Vol. 1 #201 “Clark Kent Abandons Superman”
Superman T-Shirt

Justice League – Cover Art from Vol. 1 #190 “Our Friends, Our Enemies”
Justice League of America T-Shirt

Green Lantern – Cover Art from Vol. 2 #41 “The Double Life of Star Sapphire”
Green Lantern T-Shirt

Batman (intro issue) – Detective Comics Cover Art from Vol. 1 #27 “The Case of Chemical Syndicate”
Batman T-Shirt

But we don’t just have T-Shirts; you can also get these covers (as well as a 2nd Batman cover, and the DC 75th Anniversary Logo) on Skateboards, Binders, Mugs, Posters, and more.

Batman 2 BinderDC Comics 75th ButtonJustice League Mousepad

Be sure to check out everything that’s available during DC Comics 75th Anniversary, but also check out DC Comics main store, for more of your favorite DC heroes!

Seki Bombs Win with Zazzle T-Shirts

July 19, 2010

Our office neighbors, PDI Dreamworks, had a Superhero Challenge a couple of weeks ago to have a little fun during the production of their movie Megamind.  One of the teams, Seki Bombs, contacted Zazzle in order to get team shirts in time for the competition.

They were in a bit of a time crunch, it was Monday and they needed the shirts for their competition on Thursday.  But, thanks to the speed of Zazzle Screen Printing, we got the shirts screen printed and to their door on Wednesday!

The t-shirts turned out great (as you can see from the picture above), and the Seki Bombs came in first, beating out 16 other teams. I’m not saying the Zazzle t-shirts had anything to do with them winning… but they did win, and they did get their shirts from Zazzle. Just saying.

New Zazzle Product: Custom Envelopes!

July 16, 2010

What’s the perfect pairing for custom invitations and custom postage? How about custom envelopes?! That’s right, we’re very proud to introduce the newest Zazzle product, fully customizable envelopes. These are the first envelopes in the world that you can customize the front, back, and top flap with your own photos, text, and designs. With the additions on envelopes, you can now send an invitation (or card) with a family photo and include that same photo and text on the postage and envelope. Envelopes come in 8 sizes (some for business, some for personal), 5 different paper types, and have optional security tinting for super-secret mailing. Check out some of the new designs in the marketplace below or start creating your own personalized envelopes now!





Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

July 16, 2010

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.


Krista Orangutan Fan Club shirt


Singing For Chum Shirt

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.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Ruxique

July 15, 2010

Ruxandra, from the Zazzle stores ruxique and ruxique_fantasy, was kind enough to sit down and talk with us about her time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores ruxique and ruxique_fantasy!

Cute Blue Bunny Flying with Balloons on White T-Shirt

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

Ruxandra: I’m Romanian, 38 years old, married; I have 2 kids, a dog, a cat, a turtle and a magpie. As a kid, I always wanted to become an artist, but my parents didn’t allow me go to the Art school… they said I’ll end up starving to death in a corner of a street, trying to sell my paintings hanged on a fence! So I studied Physics and Veterinary Medicine, but due to some events from my life, I ended up being a self taught designer and web developer – so I work in this field for more than 15 years now. I’ve been on Zazzle since 2005 but I simply don’t remember how I found out about it! Too long time!

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Ruxandra: Everything is an inspiration for me, nature, animals; I just look around, close my eyes and start imagining. Every design of mine has a story behind it, and all are my own creation.

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

Ruxandra: My favorite design and the closest to my soul is “Valentine Dane – Always in my heart”. I created it after my white Great Dane died, and I was a trying to find some consolation for this loss.  It still brings tears to my eyes every time I look at it. Another favorite is “The Little Turtle”. This one was created for my little daughter who loves turtles. Last (but not least) is my “Sunflower” series, which was supposed to be something different, but it became very popular.

Valentine's Dane Always in My Heart T-Shirt

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

Ruxandra: The feature I love the most at Zazzle is the customization feature for customers. It’s very helpful for all my wedding and business stationery.

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

Ruxandra: I wasn’t looking to sell my art from the beginning, just for an opportunity to show it to the people. I started with my digital paintings and 3D art I was making in my spare time, but Zazzle showed me that my art can be more than just something to look at, so I decided to give it a try by creating beautiful wedding stationery and business stationery, and it worked. Zazzle is a good place to be, and I love to be here surrounded by so many wonderful artists.

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

Ruxandra: Be patient and don’t give up. Keep designing. Always remember that quality is more important than quantity, so use only your best work if you wanted to stand out from the more than 20 million products on Zazzle.

Thanks Ruxandra!

Seller Wednesday Guest Blog – Creating a Website with the Zazzle API

July 14, 2010

Fran from the Zazzle store CartoonizeMyPet, setup a website using the Zazzle API.  Read her story below to learn how to do an API yourself, and check out her Zazzle store CartoonizeMyPet!

I vowed that after my website was up, I’d write a tutorial on how to set up the templates buffet. Well it’s up, buffet and all: www.cartoonizemypet.com. So here we go:

If you haven’t already, please read the official guide. If the Create-a-Product API works for you, great! But if you find yourself staring at the screen wondering what you’ve done wrong, then this is the tutorial for you.

Step 1: Declare your domains
Before you do anything you should declare your domains. Just enter the domain name of where your API images will be stored. That’s the base domain name, not the folder location. So even though my images are in their own directory on my website, I put www.cartoonizemypet.com in the box.

Step 2: Create your Templates
Create some products with the image you’d like to change in them. On the image, tick the “Make this a template” box.

The “Product page label” is the name that will appear above the template on the product page. The “URL parameter name” is important because it tells the API what the image is. Make sure you keep this name identical for all the images you’d like to change at the same time. So for instance; I have all my Boston Terriers as ‘boston’, Labradors as ‘lab’ and so on.

One nifty thing you can do to really make your product page look smart, is uncheck the “Allow editing on product page.” This will stop the image appearing to the customer as a template, but still allow it to be registered by the template buffet!

If you’re creating the template products individually make sure you have the “This product is a template” box checked on the “Product Info and Pricing” page.

If you’re making your templates via Quick Create have “Templates for sale” chosen in the “Quick Create Product Options”

Feel free to hit “Customize it” on any of my products to see how I have them set up.

Step 3: Preparing your link
With a lot of different products/templates in a category, the Create-a-Product API can often get very confused. I found it much easier to just deal with the URL itself. Now don’t panic, it looks scary but once you pick it apart it’s really very simple. Let the dissection begin!

http://www.zazzle.com/api/create/at-238606341631845955?rf=238606341631845955

Change the numbers in red above, to your own associate ID

&ax=DesignBlast&cg=196123651038034647

This tells the api which category to use. Replace the red text above with your unique category id. To find the right number, go to the category you’d like to use for your template buffet (in your actual store, not in My Zazzle) and copy the numbers at the end of the url. So for my Boston Terriers I went to the category and copied the category id at the end of the url:

&br=true

This turns on the category browser on the left hand side. If you don’t want it, just leave this bit of code out altogether.

&continueUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartoonizemypet.com%2Fshop%2Fdogs%2Fboston-terrier%2Findex.shtml

This is the url of the link back that appears at the top of the page. Put in whatever link you’d like, but replace every /, with %2F. So my link above will go to: http://www.cartoonizemypet.com/shop/dogs/boston-terrier/index.shtml

&rut=Go%20Back%20to%20Pet%20Selection

This is the text that will represent the link. Again you can put whatever you like, just change any spaces to %20.

&fwd=ProductPage&boston=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartoonizemypet.com%2Fshop%2Fpix%2Fdogs%2Fboston-terrier%2Fred-pi.png

Now comes the fun bit! Make the word in red the “URL parameter name” you assigned in Step 2, and the green url the location of the image you’d like to change it to. As before, make sure you change any / to %2F.

If you’d like to change more than one thing at once just add them to the end with &s. So if I had set up some template text with the URL param “bostontxt”, I could add:

&bostontxt=Boston%20Terrier

(Just change any spaces to %20)

Step 4: The completed link
Once you’ve constructed your url you just have to add some simple html to make it work. Here’s my completed link:

Code:

<a href=”http://www.zazzle.com/api/create/at-238606341631845955?rf=238606341631845955&ax=DesignBlast&cg=196123651038034647&continueUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartoonizemypet.com%2Fshop%2Fdogs%2Fboston-terrier%2Findex.shtml&rut=Go%20Back%20to%20Pet%20Selection&fwd=ProductPage&boston=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartoonizemypet.com%2Fshop%2Fpix%2Fdogs%2Fboston-terrier%2Fred-pi.png&#8221; rel=”nofollow”><img src=”red-pi.jpg” alt=”Red Pied Boston Terrier” title=”Red Pied” /></a>

Check that it works and then create a different one for every image you’d like to swap in! Here’s my completed Boston Terrier category.

Step 5: Protecting Your Images
As you’ll be hosting your print ready files on your server, there’s a danger of people following the link back and pinching them. To protect your images folder I recommend using a .htaccess file. To do this you’ll first need to check that your hosting company allows it (in my experience, they often do. If you haven’t got hosting yet I recommend BlueHost)

Create a simple .txt file in Notepad (or equivalent) with the following:

Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from zazzle.com

<Files .htaccess>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</Files>

Save the file and upload it to the images directory on your server (make sure your images are in their own directory because otherwise this file will stop people seeing your website.) Once uploaded – change the filename to .htaccess (yup with the dot at the front and no file extension at the end). This will prevent anyone but Zazzle from accessing the folder.

For more information on using .htaccess files see BlackQuoteProducts great lens on them!

Conclusion
I hope this has helped shed some light on the the template buffet! It really is fantastic once it’s working. This is my first run through of this tut so please let me know if anything doesn’t make sense so I can improve it. Happy buffeting!

Zazzle’s Facebook T-Shirt Giveaway!

July 13, 2010

One more week to enter and vote in Zazzle’s Facebook T-Shirt Giveaway! There have been some amazing entries so far from charities, animal organizations, sports clubs, and more – keep them coming!

In case you missed the announcement, here’s the scoop on the contest:

In celebration of screen printing – Zazzle’s newest apparel process – we’re giving away 1,000 screen printed t-shirts – 10 Groups will win 100 screen printed t-shirts! While this contest is open to groups everywhere, only 10 groups with the most votes will win.

Entering the contest is easy, and so is winning! To enter, follow the submission instructions, then cast your vote on Facebook, and share the contest link with others to make sure that your group has the best chance of winning.

Just think: When it comes time for your next event, party, or giveaway, you could already have 100 free t-shirts with your design of choice.

We highly suggest that you get started now, since this contest ends on July 20th! We look forward to seeing your entries!

Zazzle Down Under!

July 12, 2010

Last week was the 2nd annual Online Retailer Conference and Expo in beautiful Sydney, Australia!  Once again, Zazzle was there to soak it all in!  Jason Kang, our VP of Marketing, delivered a featured presentation titled “How Zazzle Supercharged its Search Marketing for the Holiday Season.”  And I (hi, I’m Mike) sat in as part of a panel discussion on Social Media.

The conference was a huge success.  The Australian ecommerce market is growing like crazy, and the energy and enthusiasm amongst all of the e-retailers there was exciting!  It was great to meet and speak with so many entrepreneurial types.

While we were in Sydney, we also met up with two of our Aussie ProSellers.  Simon, the creative inspiration behind www.zazzle.com/russelt, and Yiying, creator of the little gem found here www.zazzle.com/failwhale, joined us for dinner and good times ensued!

It was a great trip, and we were proud and happy to be invited down.  In just two short years, the Online Retailer Conference and Expo has become one of the foremost gathering points for online retailers seeking to learn, discover, and grow their e-business in Australia, as well as in the rest of the increasingly interconnected global e-commerce world!

Some pics are below!

Jason wowing the audience with his search genius!

Dinner with Simon, Yiying, and Galina

Clowning around with some FailWhale speech bubbles!

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

July 9, 2010

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.


Chairman Meow! Outlined Tee Shirts


Mermaid Birthday Invitation


Grill Master – Apron


T-Shirt – Chick Magnet


My url friends pwn. tshirts

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.


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