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Zazzle to change commission structure

A recent post on the Zazzle forums suggests that they will be making a change to their commission structure soon. The comment was by Josh of Zazzle: “P.S. Get ready for more over the next few weeks – some we’ve hinted at (being able to set your royalty), and many more we can’t even talk about yet!“.

Currently, designers are stuck with only receiving 10% royalty on sales (or 17% by also joining as an affiliate). It really is about time that Zazzle made this commission change. Many folks who are serious about t-shirts or designing products would never touch Zazzle because they keep such a high percentage of the money made from sales there.

Other companies such as Cafepress not only let you set the commission they have volume bonus’ that range from 7%-22% making it a much more attractive place to sell your products. Zazzle has sort of been the Walmart of t-shirts in that they make a load of money and give little back to the “little people” AKA – Product Designers, who make the business grow. It was the opposite of a site like Goodstorm who really made sure that shop owners got what they deserved. With this commission change they will probably see an influx of new designers. However, there are lots of people who fear Zazzle and their Terms of Service. Rumor is once you load your design on Zazzle you lose control of it and can never get it back. If anyone has any details on this I would love to see it. From what I can see they have the following rights/terms:

“You retain all rights to your work. If you choose to publicly display your work at Zazzle, you will maintain your copyright on everything contributed to the site. You are not transferring ownership of your designs when you contribute them to the Gallery. Rather, you are only granting us the nonexclusive right to actualize your designs into products. Nonexclusive means that you may continue using your contributed work for any other purpose you want to, including selling it elsewhere. Please see the Nonexclusive License Agreement for complete details.”

It will be interesting to see how Zazzle’s reputation changes if they modify their commission structure. Artists deserve to set their own markups so thumbs up to Zazzle if they make the change.

Written by T-Shirt Talk


  1. Josh · August 10, 2007

    Thanks for the post – there are a lot of exciting things that we are working on at Zazzle. Keep checking the site and our blog / forums for more updates. We just launched some really exciting features around templates for example.

    I did want to clarify any questions about our Terms of Service. To put it simply, it’s YOUR design. 100%. You NEVER lose control of it. You own it and can do anything you want with it – including placing it on other sites, and remove etc. And you can take it down at any time.

    One concern that may be related to this is that to currently take something down from Zazzle, you have to make a request to our support team who schedules the deletion. We know this isn’t the best experience for our designers, and we are working hard on making this automatic as well – watch for updates!

  2. T-Shirt Guy · August 10, 2007

    Hey Josh, thanks for clarifying the Terms of Service and providing more information on about the removal of designs from Zazzle. I am not sure where the myth started that images that get put into Zazzle can never be taken down but its good to know its not the case. Hopefully a designer would never need to have their designs removed but it is good to know its possible. It might help to put something about this in your TOS that states designs can be removed from Zazzle by a request to the support team.


  3. T-Shirt Guy · August 10, 2007

    Also, I wanted to say that its great to see all the changes over at Zazzle and I will continue to follow and feature its updates. 🙂

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