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Zazzle: A Buyer’s Story

Zazzle LogoZazzle is a website that allows you to create and sell t-shirts online. Much, like Cafepress (where White African’s store is), but with better choices of t-shirts, colors and customization. Basically, you design your t-shirts and they print them, hold an inventory of blank t-shirts, and ship them.

I’ve had small shop up there for RVA Alumni for a couple months and have been happy with it from the seller’s side. Last week I decided to buy a shirt for myself a) because I wanted one, and b) because I wanted to make sure my buyers were getting their money’s worth.

First, the good stuff:

  • The customization options are outstanding. You can choose any design and decide what type of shirt or color you might want.
  • Many colors to choose from – this is outstanding, it’s so much better than just white and black like Cafepress.
  • Checkout had saved my profile from when I set up the store, so it was really very quick for me. First time buyers might find it like many other eCommerce websites where you click 15 pages before you actually get to buy your stuff.
    My order arrived within 3 business days of it’s order (I’ve seen Cafepress stuff take 3 weeks, so this is really good)
  • Members can leave comments on any product.
  • T-shirt quality is top notch.

The not-so-good stuff:

    Zazzle White African T-shirt

  • The printing was subpar. I’ve actually owned and run a t-shirt shop before, so I know a little about this. When you’re putting white on a dark color, you need to use thicker ink or double it up. So, because the t-shirt was red with white lettering – the white lettering actually looks pink because it’s see-through.
  • Their t-shirt designs are in boxes, instead of on an image of a t-shirt in the gallery mode. Why make it harder for the buyer to “see” what their product could look like?
  • Customization is hard to find. When you’re looking at a design, why is it the fact that you can customize it so hidden?
  • Expensive. I mean, I know you’re in business to make a profit, but really! $22.45 for a large dark t-shirt – not counting shipping?

In Summary:
Overall the I still think Zazzle is a better option for t-shirts than Cafepress. They offer far more options, and their website gets better everyday. I would like to see a better end product, but I might have just had the one “bad” print in the lot. Both Zazzle and Cafepress charge exhorbitant rates and give very little of it to the “seller”, the first one who comes along and offers a better deal to the sellers will get my business. So, if you’re going to set up a “shop” for your website, take a good long look at Zazzle as well as Cafepress.


  1. Did I tell you that my wife got me a White African t-shirt for Valentines Day?

  2. That’s great David! If you ever want a customized one, I’ll put one together for you. 🙂

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