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Sell T-Shirts at Cafepress

About Cafepress
Update: 2/18/2012

Cafepress is the largest and easiest web sites to allow you to sell t-shirts. You can start selling for free and receive money if any of your t-shirts or other products sell. With Cafepress you can sell t-shirts as well as mugs, prints, hats, and 100+ other products.

The bad news is that the filed for an IPO and really have gone away from their core mission of personalized products and caring about sellers. As the result of an over success of their t-shirt sellers a few rouge MBA's decided to stop paying so much to their t-shirt designers who made them what they are today. Many of the top sellers decided to stop putting energy into content there and move to Zazzle. Many people who had built an income to pay their car payment, mortgage or more were suddenly having to look for other income sources. Cafepress filed for an IPO and it was clear that they had been taking a loss for a year or two. To boost revenues the company decided to try other measures as they felt Zazzle coming close behind. Their website and email marketing is frequently full of garbage including free cell phone offers and licensed NFL football products.

The other good and bad news is that they do practice some form of favortism in featuring designers like Zazzle does. They will feature certain long-time artists on high volume pages but then never swap it out for other sellers. Personally I think they need to take a step back and see what they have built, what they have destroyed and think about what is important and hopefully it is creating a vibrant community of artists who are rewarded for their efforts for making Cafepress the powerhouse that it is today.

We have a brief breakdown of Cafepress services below.



  • Open a store for free
  • Excellent marketplace to bring you free traffic but commissions on those sales suck.
  • Newly added designs have a likelyhood of actually appearing in results for a day or two to give it a chance to sell.
  • Easy interface for creating t-shirts or storefronts.
  • Pay for services with money you make from selling products (Cafecash).
  • Option to upgrade to premium services for $6.95 a month that provide great flexibility and advantage or pay from commissions paid out.
  • Well established and has a strong presence in the major search engines but due to their changes it is mostly marketplace results, not your own store.
  • Can print on dark colors.
  • They have an affiliate program to help you make sales.
  • Payment by check or Paypal.


  • They aren't committed to rising artists and practice favortism in who they feature with little rotation.
  • Low commissions on marketplace sales.
  • You are one of millions of t-shirt sellers.

Paid Services

  • Premium Stores. For $6.95 or $59.95 for the year ($5 a month) you can upgrade your account and have more products to sell, switch templates on your site and add more products and designs.
  • Option to pay your store fee through sales commissions at a slightly higher price than mentioned above.

Potential Commissions

  • Store Sales: Ability to markup the items to whatever you want over the Cafepress base price. So if the base price of a shirt is $15 and you sell it for $20 then you make $5 profit. They have fair base prices making the average commission between $3-$6.
  • Marketplace Sales: Opportunity to make $1-$3 on sales made through marketplace sales.

Summary / Future

  • High traffic and great search engine placement
  • Decent quality marketplace shopping experience if you can get a view from customers.
  • Good customer service.

Ready to sell with Cafepress?

  Sign up for a free Cafepress account

About Cafepress

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