Author Archive

Zazzle WINS a Crunchie

January 19, 2008

Remember about two weeks ago when we mentioned Zazzle was nominated for a Crunchie

Well, last night was the big event. Drumroll please…  Zazzle won the Crunchie Award for Best Business Model. This category was focused on “a company that’s pioneering new revenue-creation opportunities.”

Learn more about the 2007 Crunchies and see the full list of winners 

We’re excited about the award, and it’s dedicated to the entire Zazzle team who have put so much into building Zazzle, and to our contributors, partners, and customers who have supported us.  

Here are Bobby and Jeff sharing the Crunchies Award:

  the Crunchies 2007 photography sponsored by Zivity

the Crunchies 2007 photography sponsored by Zivity 

Welcome to z.2 + MySpace

November 3, 2007

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.

3.jpg2.jpg

>> 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.

nyr.png

>> 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.

1.jpg4.jpg

>> 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!

Start of Something New

September 13, 2007

Hey everyone – earlier this year, we decided to step back and think about what Zazzle is, and how we could make it better. We listened to a lot of your feedback and talked with a lot of users and customers. Based on what we heard, we set out to make Zazzle easier and more fun to use, and most importantly to better feature and sell the amazing products created by our community of artists and designers. In the process, we embarked on a major redesign of Zazzle that has taken us through thousands of design concepts, numerous focus groups and conversations, and countless hours of coding (touching every page on the site!)

Today, we are thrilled to launch just the beginning of some really exciting changes! Seriously – keep checking back because the best is yet to come :)

So what’s new today?

We’ve revamped the Zazzle website to be better for buyers who are looking for great products. And better for buyers is of course better for contributors who want to sell products!

With our new overall design (we call it the “Zazzle Skin”), we’ve designed a whole new background and color palette, intended, so that products and designs featured on the site will really *pop* on screen!

Our new site navigation should make it easier to get around Zazzle and immediately find and browse to great products from any of the links in the header. And to jump right in and design great products too! (special tip: click the arrows next to the main words in the header and you’ll get lots of handy quick-links into the site!)

new_header.png

Before we get into the specifics, I want to give a huge shout out to the entire Zazzle Team for making this happen. This has been an extraordinary effort and we’ve hand-touched every single page on the site to make these improvements. Huge kudos to every single person who made a difference here!

Even better, the website should now be a lot faster and smoother to load as we’ve revamped the underlying pages. If you are curious, here’s a great explanation of the technology involved in our redesign!

Now on to the new site:

1) What’s Hot - Browse the latest and greatest products and activity from the Zazzle community

whats_hot.pngOn What’s Hot, we’re featuring the top products from a whole set of categories that are *hot* right now. What’s Hot in any category is based on an analysis of sales and activity on the site. Bookmark this page – you want to check this hourly or daily to see what’s currently at the top of the lists, and get it while it’s hot! And we’ll show you what’s being searched, hot deals, and more!

If you want to have our products featured here, simply make great products. If they are getting lots of sales and activity, you’ll have a good chance of showing up!

Check out What’s Hot

2) Categories - Browse through all content on Zazzle through featured topics and all categories.

categories.pngZazzle has soooo many products, that it’s hard to feature all of them at the top. We’ve reorganized our categories and navigation to feature the categories that buyers are most frequently looking for.

Designing products for the featured categories is a great way to get noticed on Zazzle. These will be frequently changing based on what buyers are looking for, hot topics, and the current season. (but note, if you miscategorize products in one of the featured categories, your products may be reclassified or removed)

Start Browsing Categories

3) Participate - Get Involved and make $$ on Zazzle by designing products, entering contests, rating/sharing the freshest products, and more.

participate.pngThe Participate section has been set up to help you more easily get started on Zazzle, and to find and meet other great contributors. On this page, you can check out who’s making money (what products are selling), and rate the newest products to influence what’s hot. See and enter current contests, and learn more about our associate and promotional tools. And most importantly, click through and explore the galleries created by your fellow contributors!

We’ve also made some improvements to your galleries and more with this launch. Click here to learn more about gallery updates!

(and most importantly – keep checking back. In the next two months, there will be some even more exciting news on the gallery front!)

Go to Participate

4) Create - Design and create any of Zazzle’s 350+ products with your own designs, images, and text

create.pngAs you know, Zazzle has an amazing set of products available for you to design, create, and buy. The “Create” section is your area to learn more about our specific products, and get started designing.

We’ve made a number of improvements to our design tools – Change Image: change_image1.pngHow many times have you started designing a product, got an image positioned and sized just right, but then decided you wanted a new photo? Now, just click the “change image” button and it’ll work perfectly!change_image.png Multi-select: You can now select multiple images or multiple text objects and move them, click “change image” / “change text”, and more and affect all the fields at once! Title your design: When you are working on a design and want to remember it, set the title now right on the design tool! change_image.png

And with our Create-a-Product API, we’ve just launched some great new features to dynamically create products with templates! This is TRULY an amazing feature – click here to learn more about templates.

Go Create Products

5) A whole lot more

Ok, there are just so many more more things to check out. For example, we’ve redesigned and reorganized MyZazzle to make it a lot easier to find your products, your images, and your earnings. Browse around the site and keep on exploring. You’ll find great products you have never seen before, and lots of other small gems. And sadly, you may find a few things missing including one of my favorite features – our “search for contributors”. Don’t worry, these are coming back as fast as we can get them into the new design. Just had to put a couple small things into a temporary pause.

And remember, the best is yet to come :) !!!!

Have questions or feedback? Discuss in our forums

- Josh Elman

P.S. Thanks to the entire Zazzle Team for all the hard work to bring this to life!

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Hmm… stalking via Zazzle?

August 27, 2007

File this story under “interesting uses of Zazzle”….

One of our friends – Noah of www.okdork.com fame, was anonymously sent a shirt that says “I stink” via Zazzle. It came anonymously – no gift note, no sender information at all. Is this the new way to send a private and very direct message?

Strap on your detective rain coat and break out the magnifying glass and pipe it’s Sherlockin’ time.  If you have any information about who thinks Noah stinks, let us know. And if it was you, come out and say it to Noah’s face – he’d appreciate it.Noah’s new shirt

All new on Zazzle!

August 7, 2007

Oh boy was last night crazy! After long hours at the office and countless sleepless nights, Zazzle has a load of new features for the world to play with! We’re so excited, let’s jump right in:

1) The all new Product Page:

You like products on Zazzle, we like products on Zazzle. Now we’ve made it much easier to view, interact with, customize, and enjoy your favorite products on Zazzle. And it’s much slimmer and a lot faster to load too. Start checking out products now!  

new_zazzle_feature.jpg

2) Bigger IS Better 

So you see that perfect t-shirt or print, and you want to zoom all the way in to see just how perfect the details are. Well, now “Maggie” makes it easy. Just go to any product on Zazzle and place your mouse over the product image and VOILA! Maggie brings you the detailed view.

zazzle_zoom.jpg

3) Templates for Everyone

Templates make it really easy for you to personalize specially-designed products with your own images and text. And as a designer, it’s easy to create a template with your great designs for all of your buyers to tweak and purchase! We’ve always had customization, now templates make it so much easier! 

zazzle_zoom.jpg

Check out these great template examples:

Hello my name is TEMPLATE shirt

Hello my name is TEMPLATE
by
ecaggiani

Get this custom shirt at Zazzle

Oops! card

Oops!
by
Gingerbloke

Get this custom card at Zazzle

To learn more, check out the template instructions.
 
4) A whole lot more

Just browse around the site and you’ll see a lot more fun changes – in MyZazzle, in search, and more!Keep checking back – this is only the beginning of some really exciting changes!

Have questions or feedback? Discuss in our forums

 - Josh Elman

P.S. Thanks to the entire Zazzle Team for all the hard work to make this come to life!

*NEW* – now it really IS that easy to create a wall-sized poster / canvas print

June 1, 2007

When I joined Zazzle, the first thing I tried to do was order a nice framed print of one of my favorite photographs of the Canadian Rockies. I knew that Zazzle has the best printing quality, 7 media/paper options, and tons of great framing choices. But gosh if I got stuck and couldn’t figure out how to create and order my print with our 6 step print design wizard. I actually had to ask for help from another Zazzler. Fast forward to today…

Now, creating an amazing print, poster, or canvas for your wall couldn’t be easier! With our new print design tool, it’s as simple as uploading a great image and choosing the media — 7 choices including card-stock, posters, fine-art prints (gloss or matte) and canvas!

Create a poster, fine-art print, or canvas now!

We’ll suggest the recommended max size for the image(s) you’ve uploaded to print crisply. But you can choose whatever size you want from a small portfolio print (less than 11×17) all the way up to 52×78. Yup, we call our largest sizes “colossal” – over 4-feet x 6.5 feet. On the print tool you can type in any size you want, or just click “Auto Size” to get the recommended max size at any time.

And on top of that, it’s now really easy to add as many images as you want (idea: create an awesome collage!) as well as borders and text on your print.

Check out our handy guide to the new UI:

The brand spankin’ new print tool

…and have fun creating your prints!

Practice Safe Designing

May 11, 2007

Designing a product on Zazzle is fun. But you know what they say…when you have fun, do it safely! No, you won’t need to go to a drugstore to stay safe on Zazzle. All you have to do is design within the lines! What do we mean?

Well, when we’re making all of the cards, buttons, and more that you order every day, our production teams work very hard to make sure every piece of your image and text are included in your final product. However, even sometimes, if you fill up the entire card area edge-to-edge with text, it sometimes becomes very difficult to make it just so.

Today we’ve just launched a new guide when you are designing products called the “safe area”. When you are designing your next products, you’ll want to keep all text and the key parts of your images (faces, etc.) within the safe area. Design within the lines, like so:

Safe Area

This will help our awesome production team make sure you get the product exactly as you designed it. And even if you slip up and leave something important just outside of the safe area, they’ll take care of you anyway.

Our production folks were so happy that we implemented this safe area, some of them actually cried. Real tears. No, really.

Postage Rates go up, Prices stay down

April 9, 2007

As you may have heard, on May 14, the USPS is introducing new postage rates. The good ‘ol 39-cent first class stamp that we have loved for the past 1.5 years is being retired. In it’s place, we get the newer and fresher 41-cent stamp. Check out all the rate changes.

As of today, you can get the new 41-cent first-class, 26-cent postcard, and $4.60 priority rates right here on your own Zazzle Custom Stamps. And even better, for a limited time, you can get the new 41-cent Zazzle Custom Stamps for the same price as the old 39-cent ones!! (and same for the 26-cent postcard rates, up from 24-cents).

Start creating Zazzle Custom Stamps now!

Uncle Sam postage

Uncle Sam
by
smileycentral

Get this custom postage at Zazzle

For more info, see the news release from the US Postal Service. Other new rates (outside first-class, postcard, and priority) are being reduced! These will be updated prior to the official postage rate change on May 14.

(Permalink)

Meet the Robinsons in Zazzle’s Disney Inkshop

March 21, 2007

The Future Begins on March 30. And I can’t wait! I’m going to opening night for Disney’s latest movie Meet the Robinsons which opens on March 30. The early review from Ain’t It Cool News sounds pretty darn good too.

And now, thanks to our friends at Disney, we just launched the first Meet the Robinsons t-shirts (and prints and mugs and more!) in the Disney Inkshop.

I’m wearing this shirt to the premiere:

Meet the Robinsons

Get your Meet the Robinsons gear!

P.S. If you don’t believe that I’m just that into Disney, you should know that I spent 13 hrs at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure just last weekend…

Alexa brings you domain stats t-shirts with our Create-a-Product API

March 12, 2007

Zazzle API on AlexaWow – check out what Alexa has just done with our Create-a-Product API. Now, any time you look up your domain or others to get traffic rankings and stats, you can get a custom t-shirt to promote your site and help boost your Alexa rank. My favorite is “Rank Matters”.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/tees/?url=zazzle.com

If you have an idea and want to offer any of our custom products from your website, you can do it too! It’s fast and easy – the Alexa team had this up in just a couple of days. Check out our API here: http://www.zazzle.com/api

By the way, if you don’t know Alexa, www.alexa.com they are one of the leading sites for organizing and displaying information about domain traffic and sites across the web. We’re huge fans of their service. Thanks Alexa!

Check out some of the news reports from the blogs:


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