Author Archive

Design on the iPad!

August 5, 2010

Many of us here at Zazzle headquarters are enjoying playing with our new iPads.  However, we were a bit disappointed that our design tool did not work as well as it could.  But we recently made some changes to fix this.

When using the Zazzle Design Tool on the iPad you can now re-arrange objects and resize them using your finger.

Zazzle on the iPad

It's easy to re-arrange design objects with your finger on the iPad!

There’s just one troubling limitation – due to a limitation of the Safari browser on the iPad you cannot upload images from your iPad photo library into a design.  But if you have images in your Zazzle account you can use those when making your design – just login to your Zazzle account to access those images.

If you’ve got an iPad go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think.

The First Zazzle Screen Print Order!

July 1, 2010

A few weeks ago, we launched Zazzle Screen Printing and shortly thereafter we were very excited to receive our first order!  And while we’ve made many great screen printed shirts since then, the first order will always hold a special place in our hearts.  Zazzle Screen Print Order #1 was placed by Brandon of The Shim Shack in Cleves, Ohio.  The Shim Shack needed shirts to promote their business, which specializes in producing custom metal shims, brackets, mounting plates, spacers, and more.

Here’s a photo of The Shim Shack crew wearing their Zazzle Screen Printed T-shirts:

The Shim Shack Crew in their Zazzle Screen Print T-shirts

The Shim Shack Crew in their Zazzle Screen Print T-shirts (l-to-r): Jeremy Stock, Brandon Stock, Jason Thomas, Denise Stock, Dwain Grace, Josh Walters, Larry Stock, Matt Stock.

Brandon from The Shim Shack says the Zazzle Screen Print Tool “was very simple to use and it really simplified the process for us.  The shirts arrived quickly and the final product looked fantastic!  Glad to be a part of Zazzle history!  We will definitely be using the Zazzle Screen Print tool again in the future!”

Try out Zazzle Screen Print T-shirts the next time you need shirts for your company, team, family, or group.  And check out The Shim Shack if you have a need for custom metal shims.  If you want your own Shim Shack T-shirt, you can get just one or two digitally printed at The Shim Shack’s Zazzle Store.

A Visit to SJSU

December 15, 2009

There’s a lot of super smart people working at Zazzle.  Many of them attended Stanford or Cal, but there are other schools represented.  I did my Master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics through the excellent program at San Jose State University, while still working my day job.  My advisor while there was Dr. Anthony Andre, and he recently invited me to come back and talk to his current crop of students about what I do at Zazzle and how I have put my degree to use in the “real world”. As someone who moved from User Interface Design into Product Management, I have a somewhat non-traditional job for a Human Factors degree.

Last month, I visited the SJSU ISE 290 class and talked about Product Management, User Interface Design and how these roles fit in at Zazzle.  And, of course, I presented a few case studies about how good interaction design benefits Zazzle customers.

Mike T at SJSU

Mike T presents to ISE 290 class at SJSU

Some things that we discussed:

1.  Product Management 101:  look for problems and create solutions, don’t make a solution and look for a problem it might solve.  At Zazzle we’re always striving to solve problems for our customers.

2.  Talk To and Listen To your customers.   This is important for UI Designers and Product Managers.

3.  How UI Designers work with Product Managers

4.  How UI Designers make excellent Product Managers

5.  Case study: Zazzle Product Page re-design.  More on that in a future blog post!

And just to show that Zazzle has something for everyone, even User Interface Designers, here’s a few related products

Fitts Law T-Shirt

UI Designers have to remember Fitts' Law!

UXWear T-Shirt

User Experience T-Shirt

Requiremens Mousepad

Requirements gathering is one of the first steps in the process

Jeff’s Quest For Blue Links

October 23, 2009

As a follow-up to Jeff’s urinal cake near encounter, I thought it might be interesting to see how he got himself into this mess.

Enjoy!

Mike T.

——————-

From: Darren

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 4:48 PM

To: Darryl; Jeff ; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

[grumble grumble grumble]

Jeff, I hope you’re planning to participate in the next Creative Team’s Disgusting Food Friday event for making me put up with this. ;-)

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:35 PM

To: Darryl; Jeff ; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Loving this thread… very refreshing after a 9 hour marathon of Monday meetings to see quick progress somewhere!!

*  I will eat something blue and disturbing if this happens and goes live… but not before!

Short version: I like blue links.

——————-

From: Darryl

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:42 PM

To: Jeff ; Mike T.; Darren

Subject: Re: Blue Links

The only thing I can think of that’s blue and disturbing would be urinal cakes.  I’m just not sure if it’s poisonous or not. ;)

——————-

From: Darren

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:42 PM

To: Darryl; Jeff ; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Underlined blue urinal cakes!  Love it.

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:45 PM

To: Darren; Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Wow… now I really know how the Creative team feels about me.  C’mon there’s got to be some cool blue food out there.

——————-

From: Darren

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:47 PM

To: Jeff ; Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Love you, Jeff.  That’s why we want you to hold the champion position at the very top of the pyramid for daring Zazzle food eaters! ;-)

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:47 PM

To: Darren; Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

…aha!  Ok then.  Yes, to maintain that love, I will eat a urinal cake.  If it doesn’t kill me.

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:49 PM

To: Darren; Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

I wonder if these are eatable?

http://images.google.com/images?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=blue%20sea%20urchin&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

——————-

From: Darryl

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:53 PM

To: Jeff ; Darren; Mike T.

Subject: Re: Blue Links

I’m sure they are.  I’ve had tons of sea urchin, not sure if they were blue though.

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:54 PM

To: Darryl; Darren; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Back to the urinal cakes…

“However by looking at this I’m guessing that I could expect to live after eating one quarter of a urinal cake, perhaps even half of one.”

So maybe we could compromise with a quarter of a cake?

——————-

From: Darren

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:55 PM

To: Jeff ; Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

See, Darryl, I told you he really, really, REALLY wanted blue links.

——————-

From: Darryl

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:57 PM

To: Darren; Jeff ; Mike T

Subject: Re: Blue Links

Well, the difference between the men and the boys is where you get the urinal cake from.  A store, or the urinal.

——————-

From: Jeff

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:58 PM

To: Darryl; Darren; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

…now that’s just mean!

——————-

From: Darryl

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:59 PM

To: Darren; Jeff ; Mike T

Subject: Re: Blue Links

I, BTW, would be a baby in that scenario. ;)

——————-

From: Mike T.

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:14 PM

To: Darren; Darryl

Subject: Re: Blue Links

Removing jeff.  I think when the links go live we should order a blue cake in the shape of a urinal. That would be funny.

——————-

From: Darryl

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:15 PM

To: Darren; Mike T

Subject: Re: Blue Links

That’d be awesome!

——————-

From: Darren

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:16 PM

To: Darryl; Mike T.

Subject: RE: Blue Links

Perfect!

NEW Zazzle Features!

September 2, 2009

Last night we added some great new features to the site!  You asked (and asked again), and we listened:  Store Category Sorting and Browsing has launched!

Store Category Sorting & Browsing

“Product Lines” are now called “Store Categories”, and you can now set the display order of your products.  Want your favorite T-shirt to appear first in your store or in your “Cool T-shirts” category?  Just drag-and-drop in your MyZazzle public products list to set the order.  Do you want icons for your Store Categories to appear on your Store homepage automatically?  Now you can upload custom icons for each of your categories and set your homepage to display them.  Your customers will be able to easily browse the categories in your store to find the products they want.

More information can be found here, and you can enable the feature in MyZazzle.  Just choose “Show Full Categories” under Homepage content (or the option of your choice), and don’t forget upload custom icons for your Store Categories on the Products tab.

Other New Seller Features

We also added StatCounter support to your Store basic info page, the ability to upload PDF and Adobe Illustrator file formats for use on products, and made improvements to the Payment Settings and Preview Next Payment pages.

What are you waiting for?  Dive into MyZazzle today and start sorting those products and uploading those icons!

Zazzle Seller Incentive Program Q&A

September 18, 2008

Hello,

Welcome to the 2nd posting on the Zazzle Seller Blog!  There have been a lot of questions on the Zazzle forums, and other websites and blogs about the new Zazzle Seller Incentive Program.  This blog post will attempt to answer most of those questions and give an easy-to-understand overview of the new program.

Q. Please explain in simple-terms, the New Volume Bonus Program.
A. Sellers still make money on Zazzle in the same two ways – through royalties on sales of their products and through sales that they affiliate / refer.  The changes we’ve made with the incentive program just reward these two activities even more.  The Zazzle Volume Bonus Program is a system set up to pay contributors and associates extra money as they increase their sales. The more sales they make, the higher their bonus. There are four bonus levels based on sales amount, and bonuses start adding up as soon as $100 in sales are made in a month.

Volume bonus pays out a bonus based on amount of sales per month.  The amount of each product price that counts toward your volume bonus is the base price, NOT the listed price.  Here’s how it works:
As a contributor, the only sales that do not count towards your volume bonus are sales referred by a third-party; for all other sales, no matter if they are from the marketplace or your shop, the base price (see below) counts towards your VB.
As an associate, the base price of any sale you refer counts toward your volume bonus.
Sellers are encouraged to sell their own products and the products of others – this allows you to maximize your volume bonus and reach the higher levels more easily.

More information, including the bonus levels and amount of base price sales needed to reach each level is well-documented here, under Standard Volume Bonus Levels.
http://www.zazzle.com/sell/incentive/volumebonus

Q. Please explain in simple-terms, the Associate Referral Changes.
A. The changes to this program are easier to explain:

  • The associate referral fee has been increased to 15% of total sales
  • Contributors will pay 20% of their royalty toward this referral fee for any referred sale.  Zazzle will pay the rest of the referral fee.

The referral fee is calculated on the total price of the product, not including tax, shipping, and price of postage (in the case of stamps).

More information can be found here:  http://www.zazzle.com/sell/incentive/associate

Q. How did Zazzle come up with 20% for the referral program fee?
A. While the base associate fee is 15%, volume bonus on referrals and affiliate program fees are typically much higher. 20% does not fully cover the cost of maintaining the referral programs (which are designed to help you sell your products), but we believe this is a fair number that simplifies the program for contributors. Please note that Zazzle is paying for the referred sale, we are simply asking contributors to share this burden on the chosen royalty amount over and above the base price.

Q. How do I calculate the base price of a product?
A. The base price is 90% of the Standard Price of a product.  The Standard Price is the price of a product if you do NOT add anything above the standard 10% royalty.  Note that the standard prices for different styles of t-shirts varies by quite a bit (from $12.95 to $36.95) so all t-shirt sales do not earn you the same dollar amount.  Volume discounts for the purchaser buying more than one item will also reduce the standard and base prices.  Also note that certain things, like the price of the postage, is subtracted from the base price before royalty is calculated.

Shipping is not counted toward base price (it is an additional cost to the buyer) and it is NOT part of the volume bonus program, nor is it part of the Seller Referral program.  Tax is also excluded.

Q. How do I combine all of my galleries together so that all count towards my volume bonus?
A. Go to MyZazzle and login as the account you wish to be your “master account”.  Then click on the Earnings tab, and select Volume Bonus on the left side.  You’ll see a box at the top left says “Have more than one account”.  Simply enter the username and password and click Add for each account you wish to combine.

Q.  Will my normal product royalties then be paid to this master account?
A. No.  Your normal product royalties will continue to be paid to each individual account.  We are looking into implementing this feature in the not-too-distant future. Referral fees are also paid to individual accounts.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions or comments and I, or someone else from Zazzle, will respond soon.

Regards,

Mike Talvensaari
Director, Product Management


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