Monday, February 07, 2005

Mini Review: Cafe Press

Do you have a business which would benefit from selling promotional items? Is your logo so cool that people keep saying "I'd like a shirt with THAT on it." Do you think you could sell the image of your company or a message related to your mission, and make some extra money? If so, you might want to develop a Café Press store for your business and web site!

I have used this service to be able to provide "print on demand" for my artwork, and recently, some of my clients have begun offering Café Press stores on their sites. For example, the logo for OlderWiserWomen.com was a natural fit to begin offering t-shirts, bags and other items on the site. CartwheelsforKids.com has set up a store to buy product for the kids and parents who come in to play, as well as the web site.

The benefit of using Café Press is that you can create promotional items as you need them, without a huge cost. It's a fairly simple process to create a free, basic store, by uploading a good version of your logo and then selecting the products and prices. Premium stores, which allow many more products, and can be customized to look more like your site, start at $4.99 per month. You might need to get help with customizing the site, and assuring the imagery on your products is of the highest quality.

The only downside I've found is that the prices are a bit high to start with so there isn't room for huge markup. But considering it allows you to put an ecommerce store on your site, selling your own products, and there is no cost to you except time to set the store up, making a couple of dollars per item sold seems fair. Plus, every piece that is created puts your business in front of someone else. You can also buy your own promotional items at wholesale and bulk rates, and use for your own promotions for your business (like sending the love to your clients!). It's definitely worth a look - let me know if you have any questions or need help.

Check out Cafe Press for yourself!