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.