Thursday, July 26, 2007


Hey, Sandy,

I've seen your shop. Very nicely plagiarized designs and descriptions from my shop. Other than lack of respect for my work and all the help you got from me, you seem to suffer from a lack of shame, too. I won't even talk about the lack of intelligence to come up with your own ideas.

Ah, well, you know what they say "karma is a bitch" and I bet she'll give you a very nice ride once you face it.

Everyone else, here's a couple of tips from me,

Keep your shops secret from other shopkeepers. It won't stop copycats like Sandy from stealing your ideas, but it will at least make it harder for them to find you.

Be careful of who you help. There are a lot of bad people out there. I made a mistake by helping Sandy and she back stabbed me. Don't make the same mistake. Help only the people who deserve it.

That's all.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Not Returning

For a while I thought I'd return to this blog. However, the final decision is not to do so. I am not closing the blog completely, but almost. I weeded out the posts and only left a few with general help texts. Everything else is deleted forever.

There were some very nice people reading. I am sorry that this is the final goodbye, but I know you will understand. I am also sorry that I never got to talk to the reader from Korea who was one of the first people here and kept reading till this day. I'd love to hear from you, so if you wish drop me a private message via the CP forum (username BZ). If not, never mind, I wish you all the best :)

Good luck with your shops, everyone. I hope you make millions :)


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Few Things I Heard In the Executive Chat

  • Calendars will change to 2008 in August
  • Value tees will be removed from the marketplace late in July
  • There will be gift certificates in time for the holiday season.
  • In the next few months they will start charging extra for printing on both sides of apparel. Printing on both sides of tote bags will not change result in extra charge.
  • They are looking into direct deposit, but IF it happens it won't happen this year.
  • Tile box will be upgraded.
  • There will be new clocks in the future (not sure if they'll just upgrade the existing ones or release different models).
  • They are working on tote bags and want to get back to printing on in the center, not on the top.
  • Jr Jersey ex Jr Baby Doll will get a new thumbnail image sometime in August.
  • The very useful numbers that showed how many times a tag was search in the marketplace that are now stuck at zero all the time will be fixed, but as far as I understood - not any time soon. I think I hard end of the year mentioned. I guess they think it's not important... I wouldn't agree.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Let Me Tell You About My Stalker

There is a person reading this blog several times a day each day. I am quite sure I know who this person is, but lets pretend that I don't know and keep it at that. I don't check the stats for the blog often, but whenever I do, that person is near the top of the page with more visits and page views than anyone else. That is actually nice, someone is interested in what I write, I appreciate it.

Ohhh, but that person is not just interested in this blog. Nope, that person spends hours and hours and hours visiting my premium shops. That's fine, too, because I chose to share those shops with everyone.

You'd think the person would stop there, but no. The person is a regular visitor at my 4thClick shops, too. Both of them. There, the person, found a new game to play - put stuff into the shopping cart. So, "the person" is going around both 4thClick shops putting stuff into the cart, coming back the next day and viewing the cart and than repeats. Was it because I mentioned a few times that I get frustrated when people put things into the cart and don't buy or for some other strange reason? I don't know and don't really care.

I could have lived with all of the above and never would have said one single thing about it here, but the next thing that happened spilled the glass for me. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I made some new political designs. Surprise, surprise the person shows up in my political shop via marketplace after the search for "newly arrived" political designs. How many hours did it take to go through all the newly arrived designs and shops and try to figure out which one could be mine? Why this obsession? Is it really a copycat or someone with too much free time and no respect for me at all?

Last night shortly after I wrote about my efforts to get visitors to see the design I wanted them to see and buy, there's the person. Spent 2 hours 40 minutes in my shop. First came from a bookmark or a cashed page, than in the middle of the visit left and came back from the marketplace after searching for the design that this person suspected I was talking about in my latest blog entry. (Note: the blog entry in question was later deleted from this blog.)

How does that sound to you? It doesn't sound good to me at all. If I wanted people to snoop around my political shop I would have put a link to it in the sidebar, so everyone could do it. Isn't it enough that I keep three of my premium shops public and both my 4thClick shops, too, so that anyone could see what they are about, check out prices, see the shop organization and use them as learning material if they need to? (Note: my shops are now edited out of the blog.)

I am really upset over this. I feel like someone is constantly breathing down my neck. I didn't mention anything giving the person a benefit of a doubt and hoping that the person would find something better to do than chase around CafePress trying to discover my shops or play with my shopping carts. Well, now it has gone too far, I can't not talk about it.

So, I am talking directly to you, now. Bravo, you succeeded in a few things. You made me regret that I ever started this blog. You made me not talk about certain things that would be helpful to the rest of the readers, because I knew you'd abuse them. I used to really love keeping this blog and put my heart into recording my experience as a shopkeeper and found joy in helping others make it on Cafepress. Not any more. You took the fun and joy out of it for me.

I have too many other things to worry about to have the energy to keep writing this blog as I did up until now and have to measure every single word, so I wouldn't mention anything that could be abused by "the person".

After explaining everything, I am sure that everyone will understand why this has to be the end of this blog as we know it. I might return once in a while to write a thing or two, but from now on, don't expect me to write every day or even every month.

I will still be present in the community and if you want to talk to me (everyone except "the person", I don't want to talk to you) you can drop me a private message via the forums (username is BZ).


Monday, July 02, 2007

Basic Shop Potential

Elise asks:

"I was wondering, do you think if I market my basic shops really well... Would they potentially earn as much as a premium shop? Why or why not?"

Here is what I think. It would be possible, but extremely tough. The only way of succeeding at it I can think of is having an external website that would bind all the basics together in one place. In that case, you'd need a web domain, web hosting, CPShop and a lot of time and effort invested into marketing to pull it off.

In theory, it could work. In real life... I doubt it.

Why not? Here is a list:
  • No matter what your premium shop looks like, it will look better than a basic shop. All basic shops look the same. Premium shops look more professional and can be personalized to make a better impression on shoppers.
  • The SEO for basic shops is extremely limited. Premium shops have just a few limitations in that respect. In a premium shop more can be done for SEO than any of us will ever have time to do.
  • Variety. A basic shop can only offer one product type at a time, the choice is very limited. In a premium you have many different designs in one place. I have people staying half an hour or longer in my premium shops, looking around and ending up buying multiple items. On numerous occasions, people come searching for one thing and end up buying something different after looking around. You don't get that with basic shops.
  • Efficiency. In a premium shop you can have a hidden section with all available products in it, with the prices set, designs well adjusted on the products and the products arranged as you please in whichever order you want to put them. When you create a new design you can just import that hidden section into a new section, do a bulk change of the image, do a bulk description and a bulk title change, delete products that are not needed and you are done. That saves loads of time. You can have a design up in a section and looking great in less than 10 minutes or less if you have a good hidden template section. Premium shop saves time all around and leaves you more time to do other stuff.
  • Limitations. In a premium shop you can create a section with many items of a single product. There are even whole shops with just one products as SagArt's clock shop, for example. Can't do that with a basic shop. You can make as many sections and add as many designs to a premium shop. No limitations at all. That gives you a lot of freedom that you don't get with basic shops.
  • Easy price setting. You can do bulk price changes. It gives you the freedom to experiment, offer short time sales of certain products, etc. without having to spend hours changing the prices.
  • Marketing. It's much easier
I could go on and on. The truth is, whatever you can do with basic shops, you can do it many times better with a premium. You can make money with basic shops, I have. You can make a lot more money with premium shops. Even my smallest, very much neglected premium shop, with hardly any designs in it makes more money than my 70+ basic shops together. Sixty bucks a year is a small price to pay for what you get with a premium shop.

It's only my opinion, but if one is serious about CafePress, wants to earn money and is ready to invest time and effort into it, a premium shop is a must.

Hope I answered your question, Elise.

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