CafePress: Sell Your Designs, Images, Photos

CafePress has got to be one of the easiest ways to make some extra cash and have some fun in the process. We say “extra cash” but some of CafePress shops have grown into full-time businesses. The site has over 11 million unique visitors a month and generates over $100 million a year. CafePress sells “user-generated, on-demand” merchandise. What this mean is, you upload graphics or text that you create, to print on T-shirts, coffee cups, caps, bags, magnets, stickers, and dozens of other items.  CafePress has a “base cost”  and you keep the mark up. For example, the base price on a (one-side) printed cotton tee is $16.99. If you mark it up to a retail price of $21.99, you make $5.00 (customer pays shipping). If you are creative, or know someone who is, you’re ready to go. Here’s a good game plan, with an emphasis on sales: Go to a site like Yahoo Buzz or  Google Trends and find out what’s “hot” — what people are talking and reading about. Find an item or a topic. Let’s say you find  that purple frogs are popular or that you have a particular knack for coming up with on-liners that you think would sell. You create or acquire the designs, set up your store — the basic (one-page) shop is free — and upload your designs. Then you could set up a simple Adwords campaign, ie “Purple Frog tees” and you’re there. You may get a trickle of sales — or you could have a greater seller.

BTW, you cannot violate intellectual rights laws and use copyrighted material from others. No sports team or university logos, no art from your favorite movie — unless you own those things, in which case you will need to provide CafePress with the documentation.

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