My Beef with CafePress

As some of you know, I play rockband with a couple of friends every week.  Our band has its own blog and has seen its share of successes (and failures) in local RockBand competitions.  We even made a video for the Disturbed song Down with the Sickness containing footage of our performance in the AMP Rock Band challange.

Well, what does that have to do with anything?  You see, several months ago I created an online store for the band using CafePress, the self proclaimed leader in User-Generated commerce. I created a couple of products using some ideas generated by the group, and posted them on our store, for all to see and purchase.

On June 1st 2009, several months after the launch of the shop, CafePress modified its royalty policies. Where we, as shopkeepers, had once decided how much our products would sell for, CafePress would now state the price for all products, giving shop owners 10% of every sale.

Now, this may seem reasonable, but let me take you through an example:

On the 3MaaR store, we have a “They’re Buttons You Know” T-Shirt posted at $21.99. Of that $21.99, CafePress takes $14.99 for the shirt, and we receive $7. Not bad huh? Well, if you happen to buy our T-Shirt off of CafePress’ website (which all people do, as we have virtually no traffic going to our shop) you’ll have to pay $25 (3$ more than what we ask for it). Not only that, but CafePress will only give us 10% of the sale, meaning we get $2.50 and CafePress gets $22.50, up from $14.99!

So to reiterate:

Old System:

  • Our price – $21.99
  • Our cut – $7.00
  • CafePress’ cut – $14.99

New System:

  • New Price – $25.00
  • Our cut – $2.50
  • CafePress’ cut – $22.50 (That’s $7.50 more than before!)

Customers get screwed because they have to pay 3$ more for our shirt, and we get screwed because we receive $4.50 less than what we would have originaly. The only ones who are happy in the end is CafePress, who laugh all the way to the bank.

Well, you suck-didely-uck CafePress! And with that, I am sad to say I will be closing the 3MaaR online shop, as I can’t stand seeing a company so blatantly screwing over its customers.

As for any potential shop owners out there who are looking to publish their creations, don’t use CafePress. There are many other great alternatives (like for example) who are much better, and a lot less devious…

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