Zazzle vs CafePress

If you want to get into the world of custom printing but you don’t want to keep any stock or pay any up-front cost, Zazzle and CafePress are indeed very attractive choices. Both Zazzle and CafePress are online retailers that allow the users to upload and sell their designs so that the users can print on demand instead of piling up stocks. Both allow you to sell your designs for a wide range of products. Both also allow you to create a storefront freely, without any cost.

For those of you who are still in the gray area, services like Zazzle or CafePress usually have a similar way of workings: you make designs that you upload as digital images to either Zazzle or CafePress, they use your images on their various products, and you earn a commission whenever someone buys a product featuring your image.So, which service should you choose? Below, we will see the comparisons between Zazzle and CafePress in order to determine which one is the best design marketplace for you.

About Zazzle

Zazzle is an American online marketplace where designers and customers can make their own products with independent manufacturers or use images provided by participating companies. So far, Zazzle has partnered with various brands and companies that allow it to amass a wide collection of digital companies, including from Disney and Hallmark. It was launched and went live for the first time in 2005 by three founders: Robert Beaver, Jeff Beaver, and Bobby Beaver.The headquarter is in Redwood City, California. Today, Zazzle already features over than 300 million unique products listed on its site, serving users and buyers from all around the world.

About CafePress

Meanwhile, CafePress is an American online marketplace for stock and user-customized on-demand products. It was founded in 1999 by Maheesh Jain and Fred Durham in San Mateo, California, but has moved its headquarter and production facility to Louisville, Kentucky. So far, CafePress already has over than 13 million members and over than 325 million products listed on the site.

Zazzle vs. CafePress: How Much to Earn

Okay, so let’s see the comparisons between Zazzle and CafePress in terms of how much that you can actually earn. Obviously, Zazzle has become an incredibly popular design marketplace for some reason – and the commission is perhaps one of the primary reasons. Zazzle allows you to set the percentages on your royalties. The users usually set the percentages between 10% – 35%. You can get your payment from Zazzle via PayPal or check. The minimum threshold for the PayPal option is $50 (or $2.50 fee if the payment is under the threshold). Meanwhile, for the check option, the minimum payment threshold is $100 or $5 fee if the payment is under the said threshold. It gives you a free shop on the site, and you can list an unlimited number of products there.

CafePress also allows you to set your own percentages, but these percentages are only applied if the purchase is done through your own personal storefront. If the purchase is done through CafePress’s main site, you can only earn 10% of the sale price. And, of course, most people buy something from CafePress through their main site rather than a designer’s personal storefront. The minimum payment threshold is $25, given using either PayPal or check.

Zazzle vs. CafePress: Affiliate Programs

Both Zazzle and CafePress offer affiliate programs that make it possible for you to earn even more money by promoting your and other people’s products. Zazzle features a minimum referral commission of 15%, and you can earn up to 30% commissions with their Volume Bonus Earning Program. You can link any product using your referral ID.

Contrary to the way the percentages work, CafePress only allows you to earn additional commissions when referring people directly to the marketplace a.k.a. the main site, and not to the shops. So, if you are about to link any product, please make sure that you take the product’s link from the marketplace and not from the shop. And don’t forget to make your products available for display on the marketplace so that other people can also find and promote your products. Take a note that the affiliate program is not available for the residents of Hawaii, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Zazzle vs. CafePress: Products Availability and Quality

Both Zazzle and CafePress provide quite a lot of products of various types. They have a large collection of apparel items, accessories, gift and hobby items, cases, covers, etc. However, there are some that are offered by Zazzle but not by CafePress, such as pacifiers, playing cards, and cake toppers. CafePress also offers some things that Zazzle don’t, such as pillow covers, shower curtains, and yoga mats. The product pricing are actually quite comparable. However, Zazzle seems to have more positive reviews regarding the product quality. Some reviews on CafePress’ items say that the product quality is good, but some others mention disappointment.

Both services also offer bulk discounts when purchasing products in large quantities. Zazzle can give discounts ranging from 10% to 70%, depending on the type of the product. You can see the list of the items given bulk discounts on its website. On the other hand, CafePress can give up to 45% discounts when you buy in 12, 36, or 72 quantities. There are also other promos that can lower the prices even further – you can subscribe for their newsletters to stay up to date on sales, discounts, and promos.

- Sellers can set their own commission percentages, which are applied to both the main marketplace and the personal shops- Sellers’ custom percentages are only applied to the personal shops; 10% commission on the main marketplace
- $50 minimum payment threshold on PayPal, $100 on check- $25 minimum payment threshold on both PayPal and check
- 15% - 30% commissions for referring any product- The affiliate commissions only apply to products on the main marketplace, not on the shops, and not for people living in Hawaii, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York
- Mostly good reviews about product quality- Usually offers lower prices
- 10% - 70% discounts, depending on the type of the product- Up to 45% discounts when buying in 12, 36, or 72 quantities


Zazzle and CafePress are two of the most popular design marketplaces in the world. Zazzle seems to offer better payments due to the custom percentages being applied on both the main marketplace and personal shops. It also generally has better reviews about the product quality. CafePress, on the other hand, will require more effort from your side in order to make people buy products via your personal shop. Without promoting your personal shop, no one is going to buy things there.

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