Saturday, April 23, 2011

Selling Photographs on CafePress

Someone on Twitter asked me if you could sell photography on CafePress, and it's hard to go into details in 140 characters so I'm doing it here.

Pretty much all the images I sell on CafePress are photos. The photos of my art were taken by Pat Thielen. I uploaded them as 3000x3000 px .TIFF images. So far the quality has come out very true with anything I've ordered on paper, but a little too colorful on ceramics.

OK, here's how it works:

Types of Shops

You can create a basic shop for free. You can create as many as you want. Each free shop can only have one of each product. For example, you couldn't have several regular mugs with different images on them. You COULD have one image on a regular mug, another image on the large mug, and a third image on the stein, if you wanted.

When I only had 5 paintings on there, I just had 5 basic shops, and that was fine. Eventually I had so many designs up it seemed worth it to get a premium account. Those allow you to put as many of the same items as you want. I can put up 30 mugs with different designs if I feel like it. The costs are as follows:

$6.95 per month
$18.45 for 3 months
$34.95 for 6 months
$59.95 for 1 year

You have complete control of the images. CafePress can not go putting your images on other things, and people can't special-order your images on particular items. They can only buy what you set up.

Getting Paid

CafePress has a base price for each item. That money all goes to them. You set the mark-up as high as you want. All of the mark-up goes to you... IF the items are bought directly through your shop! That's the big catch.

When you set up either the basic or premium shop, you have the option to make it available through the marketplace or not. If you do, then people can find your stuff through the marketplace by searching for your name or key words. It makes your stuff more available.... BUT you only get 10% commission on the sale.

Here is a link to their full pricing policy: Shop Pricing Policy

And their explanation about the 10% commission: Marketplace pricing and commission


I'm no photographer, but I have a few small photographs available in my shop.

Painting Studio
I took this one with my cell phone on low resolution. I can only be printed on small items.

These are three photos I took with a cheap disposable panoramic camera. I had the negatives put on a CD and uploaded them that way. As you can see, they work for slightly larger items, like the small framed prints.

On the Wings of Love
Another one taken with a film camera and put on CD so I could upload it digitally. This was taken with my real camera so it's higher resolution. Still not as high as it would be if I'd used my new digital camera! But as you can see it's large enough to do the largest size posters.

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