On Earth Day CafePress sent an email out to shopkeepers explaining drastic changes to their business model. They didn't call it that, but that's what it is. I won't go into all the details but the nut of it is this, they will be dictating prices as of June 1. All products sold through their Marketplace will net the creators 10% of the retail price. Up to now they've always allowed creators to set the markup, set their own price. Many creators have built successful businesses making a decent profit from every sale, inspiring them to grow and promote their own ecommerce "shop" and brand. Generally by default all products created are for sale in their Marketplace. CP says their new pricing won't affect products in shopkeepers "shops" only in the CP Marketplace. Well, when same product selling in the CP Marketplace for sells for $12.99 and the designer has it in their shop for $18.99, who will make the sale? The creator makes $1.30 vs $6, My spouse calls it the "WallMartization of CafePress".
CP is abandoning their model of empowering creators to build their own brand and control their content to one where they control the market. They say it's to improve the customer experience.
Most of my sales come through the Marketplace, so I will be affected. CP is mostly a fun sideline for me, but this action by CP sours my enthusiasm. I really feel for those with highly successful shops, like one of my favorites "Obey the Purebreed". Maybe CP will be cutting side deals for select creators to stay, who really knows. If not many will be cutting out the Marketplace entirely and/or moving to the big competitor Zazzle.
It's a cold, cruel world. CP has made a pure business decision to change their fundamental model. They may regret it.
Zazzle here we come. Now if only I had snagged "matissimo" as my user name way back in 2004 when I first signed up. Someone else has it, but they've posted no products. Zazzle "matissimo" who are you?
P.S. CP also announced it changed the Marketplace search platform to bring the best designs to the front and reduce redundant designs. I welcome this change because in the past you had to wade through a lot of junk to find quality. Just too bad this change comes along with the price fixing. Maybe CP will back track.