CafePress vs Zazzle vs Redbubble

CafePress vs Zazzle vs Redbubble: Ultimate Print on Demand Site Showdown

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Welcome to the colorful and dynamic world of print-on-demand (POD) platforms! If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between Cafepress vs Zazzle vs Redbubble, you’re in for a treat. This blog post will offer a side-by-side comparison of these three giants in the POD industry. Let’s get started on this exciting journey!

Key Takeaways

  • When choosing between CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble, consider their unique features like user-friendliness, product range, affiliate programs, organic traffic, and niche fit for fine arts.
  • Each platform offers different financial models: CafePress allows setting your own prices with a recommended markup, Zazzle combines higher base prices with bulk discounts and an affiliate program, and Redbubble offers advantageous organic reach and lower payout thresholds.
  • Marketing, customer service, fulfillment quality, and scalability are vital in growing your POD business. Evaluate how each platform supports marketing efforts, responds to customer queries, ensures product quality, and allows you to expand your product line and streamline operations.

Choosing Your POD Platform: CafePress, Zazzle, or Redbubble?

Whether you’re an artist aiming to monetize your creativity or an entrepreneur looking for innovative business models, print-on-demand platforms can be your ticket to success. Selecting among CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble could seem challenging, given their distinct benefits and limitations. However, this post aims to guide your decision-making process by offering a comparative analysis of these platforms.

Here are three popular platforms for artists and designers to customize and sell their products, including art prints and metal wall prints:

  1. CafePress: A user-friendly platform that allows you to customize a wide range of products. Its easy-to-use interface and customization options make it a favorite among artists and designers.
  2. Zazzle: If you’re looking for an extensive product range and an affiliate program to boost your earnings, Zazzle might be the platform for you. It offers a creative ecosystem that can be an artist’s paradise.
  3. Redbubble: If organic traffic and unique designs are your primary concerns, Redbubble, an Australian-based platform, could be your ideal choice. It has an impressive organic search presence and a wide array of print-on-demand services for artists and designers.
  4. Fine Art America: A platform dedicated to art prints and print on demand services, making it a great choice for artists looking to showcase their work in a fine art-focused environment.
Customizable print on demand products

But the decision doesn’t end at the platform’s features. The business model, potential reach to customers, and branding options should also be considered. For instance, CafePress and Zazzle have forged partnerships with different media franchises. This not only attests to their popularity but also opens up an expansive customer base for their sellers. Your optimal POD venture should reflect a synergy between your business objectives and the offerings of your chosen platform.

A Deep Dive into CafePress

cafepress logo

Cafepress is one of the leading providers of print on demand products. However, not everything is rosy. Higher base prices on CafePress compared to competitors could affect overall profitability. We will further examine selling and profitability aspects of CafePress in the subsequent subsections.

Selling on CafePress

Selling on CafePress is quite straightforward. All you need to do is create an account, set up your shop with relevant details, and start adding products or designs to your online store. But what kind of designs can you upload? CafePress accepts designs in JPG or PNG format, with a recommended size of around 2000 x 2000 pixels for optimum print quality, particularly for t-shirt designs.

Once your designs are up and ready, CafePress takes care of the production and shipping. With an average turnaround time of 2-3 business days, CafePress ensures that all products are made according to the customer’s specifications and delivered in time. Furthermore, CafePress offers a myriad of promotional tools to help you drive traffic to your store. From rocking your own shirt designs to handing out business cards or mini-buttons, there are plenty of ways to get the word out about your shop.

Profitability and Pricing Structure

One of the perks of selling on CafePress is the ability to set your own prices. Artists can add a markup of 35%-50% to the base price of their products, allowing them to set a competitive sales price and earn more from their designs. The base price on CafePress is determined by adding a fair margin to the cost of production to ensure business sustainability.

However, when compared to Zazzle, CafePress’s pricing model shows some differences. While CafePress charges a service fee from the base price when a sale is made, Zazzle has higher base prices but offers discounts for large orders. Both platforms have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on your business model and selling strategy.

Exploring Zazzle’s Creative Ecosystem


Let’s now turn our attention to Zazzle, a creative ecosystem teeming with a myriad of products, customization options, and an affiliate program. Zazzle’s user-friendly design process and the opportunity to earn additional income through its affiliate program make it a popular choice among artists and designers.

We will further examine the creator experience on Zazzle and its affiliate program in the subsequent subsections.

The Zazzle Creator Experience

The Zazzle creator experience is all about creativity and customization. As a creator, you can set up multiple stores, customize your products, and even benefit from the platform’s marketing efforts. Setting up a store on Zazzle involves signing up, setting up your store with a custom banner, logo, and description, and adding products for sale. Zazzle’s design community, AI tools, and unique product creation options give creators a unique playground to showcase their creativity.

Zazzle allows creators to personalize a wide range of products, including movie characters, music artists, and branded products. This gives creators an opportunity to target a wide audience with diverse interests. Moreover, Zazzle supports its creators by providing digital resources to expand audience reach, enhance brand awareness, and boost sales, making it a real boon for artists striving to make their mark.

Zazzle’s Affiliate Program

In addition to earning from selling your designs, Zazzle offers an affiliate program that allows creators to earn a 15% referral fee from sales made through their referral links. This provides creators with an additional revenue stream, making Zazzle an attractive platform for creators looking to maximize their earnings.

Joining Zazzle’s affiliate program comes with several benefits, including higher payouts for custom orders, a 15% commission on sales, and a 45-day cookie duration. Zazzle tracks and pays commissions either by sending a check or through PayPal, depending on your account settings.

To join Zazzle’s affiliate program, you simply need to create or log in to your account on Zazzle, sign up for the program, and start earning commissions on future purchases.

The Redbubble Artist Shop Advantage


Next up in our POD showdown is Redbubble. Famous for its huge organic reach and artist shop model, Redbubble has quickly carved a niche for itself in the POD industry. Its impressive organic search presence and wide array of print-on-demand services make Redbubble an attractive platform for artists and designers.

We will further examine how sales are conducted on Redbubble and how it compares with other platforms.

Making Sales on Redbubble

Making sales on Redbubble is a relatively straightforward process. To set up a shop, artists need to sign up, set up their shop, and start adding products or designs. When it comes to uploading designs, Redbubble recommends using a large image in JPEG or PNG format, with PNG being better for transparent backgrounds and file size.

Once your designs are up and ready, Redbubble offers the following benefits:

  • Leverages its organic traffic to get your designs seen by potential customers
  • Boosts your store’s visibility and potentially drive more sales
  • Offers a range of promotional tools that can help you enhance your shop’s popularity and sell more products.

Redbubble vs. Other Platforms

When compared to other platforms, Redbubble stands out in terms of:

  • Pricing: Redbubble allows creators to purchase their own designs at the base price, potentially saving them money. In contrast, Zazzle charges creators the full price for their own designs. Redbubble’s prices are similar to CafePress and Zazzle, with CafePress typically offering slightly cheaper products.
  • Product selection: Redbubble offers a wide range of products for creators to showcase their designs, including clothing, accessories, home decor, and more.
  • Marketing opportunities: Redbubble provides creators with various marketing tools and features to help promote their designs and reach a larger audience.

When it comes to payment thresholds, Redbubble has a lower payment threshold of $20, enabling creators to get their earnings quicker. Zazzle has a $50 threshold for PayPal transfers. Additionally, the company has a $100 threshold for checks. In terms of the overall working model, both Redbubble and Zazzle use one website for creators to upload designs, make products, and sell to customers, making it easier for sellers.

Quality and Fulfillment Face-Off

Quality and fulfillment comparison

Quality and fulfillment are paramount considerations when selecting a POD platform. Let’s compare the quality and fulfillment processes of CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble.

In terms of product range, Zazzle takes the cake with a wider selection of products compared to Redbubble. However, both Redbubble and Zazzle are known for delivering top-notch quality products. The quality on Redbubble can vary based on the printing partner and the product.

In terms of fulfillment, the print-on-demand orders typically take 2 to 10 days for printing, followed by additional days for shipping. Among the three, Printify is usually the quickest. Bear in mind that the quality of POD products significantly influences customer satisfaction. Low-quality items can tarnish an artist’s reputation and displease customers.

Marketing Your Designs

Now that we’ve compared the platforms in terms of features, quality, and fulfillment, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of marketing your designs on CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble, ensuring they meet the customer’s specifications.

On Zazzle, creators have the opportunity to promote their designs by creating engaging digital content using their design tool and disseminating it on social media platforms such as Instagram. Redbubble leverages the power of email marketing to promote designs by sending out campaign emails showcasing popular products.

When it comes to CafePress, SEO plays a crucial role. By making appealing designs, identifying keywords your audience is searching for, and tweaking your personal storefront, you can drive more organic traffic and gain the trust of potential buyers. Remember, effective marketing not only increases visibility but also boosts sales and profitability.

Customer Service Showdown

Customer service is another critical aspect to consider when choosing a POD platform. Let’s compare the customer service experiences on CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble. CafePress typically takes about 9 hours to respond, while Zazzle takes around 24 hours, excluding weekends. As for the support channels, CafePress offers live chat, call center, social media support, and forum support. Zazzle provides phone support and email support through their request submission form.

However, it’s worth noting that CafePress has received low ratings from customers, indicating dissatisfaction with their problem resolution process. As for Redbubble, there’s currently no specific information available about their customer service experience. In any case, effective customer service can significantly enhance the overall experience for both creators and customers.

Scaling Your POD Business

Once you’ve established your POD business, the next step is scaling it up. Here are several strategies to expand your POD business on CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble:

  • Team up with artists and freelancers
  • Get help with tasks
  • Improve your website’s functionality
  • Invest in advertising and email marketing
  • Automate processes to streamline and save time

Efficiency is key when it comes to growth. By implementing these strategies, you can take your POD business to the next level.

Expanding your product line is another effective strategy. On CafePress, you can organize your products by design line and be descriptive in your titles and descriptions for better visibility and appeal to customers. On Zazzle, adding more products to your collections, exploring different product categories, and ensuring that your designs go beyond the bleed line can boost visibility.

When it comes to Redbubble, checking out what’s popular, professionalizing your account, sharing your products on social media, participating in community forums, and offering sales or discounts can help you add more products to sell. Remember, scaling your business is a strategic process that requires careful planning and execution.

Navigating Legal and Licensing Issues

Navigating legal and licensing issues is a critical aspect of running a POD business on CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you’re capturing all the traffic while staying compliant.

CafePress and Zazzle both have mechanisms in place to protect artists’ copyrights. CafePress considers copyrights, trademarks, and service marks of the images, photos, designs, and other content on their site. Zazzle has a Copyright Policy and a mechanism to report violations, allowing them to take down any content that infringes on copyrights.

However, dealing with copycat designs can be a challenge on Redbubble. Other sellers creating designs that resemble yours can potentially cut into your sales. Navigating these issues can be complex, and it’s important to be aware of the legal and licensing aspects to protect your work and avoid disputes.


In this post, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble, comparing them across various aspects such as features, quality, fulfillment, marketing, customer service, scalability, and legal issues. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on your business goals and preferences. Whether you’re an artist trying to monetize your creativity or an entrepreneur exploring innovative business models, POD platforms offer a world of opportunities. Here’s to your success in the vibrant world of POD!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Zazzle or Redbubble?

Zazzle is better than Redbubble because it allows for more consistent sales of products over time, unlike Redbubble which focuses on “trending” designs. So, if you’re looking for long-term sales, Zazzle is the way to go!

What percentage does CafePress take?

CafePress takes 5%-10% of the sale price on products sold in their marketplace. Always check your sales report summary for the current royalty rate.

Can I sell on redbubble and Zazzle?

Yes, you can sell your designs on both Redbubble and Zazzle, as you retain the rights to your designs and are free to sell them on multiple platforms without any issues.

Which is better Zazzle or Society6?

Zazzle is better than Society6 because it offers more versatility and checks more boxes for sellers. It’s the bottom line!

How can I start my own shop on CafePress?

To start your own shop on CafePress, simply visit the CafePress join page, create an account, enter your shop details, and start adding products or designs. It’s a straightforward process that allows you to get your shop up and running quickly.

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Cam Morales

Cam is the Founder & CEO of, Bix and EcomUpstart - he built two 7 figure businesses since he started his entrepreneurship journey in 2016. He now helps others launch ecommerce stores and other online businesses.

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