One month, 260 products, no sales :( What is wrong?
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2018 12:21:28 PM
My store, RetroVintageStore started about a month ago, in 11/06/2018. I added a few products every day and it has now 260 products in 13 collections. Still not a single sale. What I do wrong?

I looked at the "Top 10 Mistakes" - they don't seem to apply:

1.) Too few products

As I said, I have 260 products.

2.) Abuse of Quick Create

I used Quick Create only a little, at the beginning. I didn't like it and don't use it any more. Now I use to transfer the design.

3.) Stolen images

I only used images that are in the public domain - both in the US and in the EU.

4.) Too few keywords or the WRONG keywords

I put many keywords/tags - maybe they are the "WRONG" ones?

5.) Painful color schemes

I don't think it's the case - judge for yourselves.

6.) Designs are under-represented

I have usually around 20 products in one Collection with one design. My largest collection has over 40 products based one one design.

7.) Low variety

As I said, I have 260 products in 13 collections.

8.) Easily discouraged

Uh, I'm afraid that I'm starting to feel discouraged - but until now, I worked steadily, creating daily products for my shop.

9.) Lack of perspective

Maybe I was too in a hurry to grow my store? Still, I didn't publish a product I wasn't content with - I have many Saved Designs, the ones that I feel still need improvement before publishing them.


10.) Products aren’t customizable

Not only I never prevented customization, but many of my last products - phone cases, luggage tags - are explicitly made to be personalized with name, initials or address.

The most deficient part - and the most difficult for me - is the promotion. I don't have Facebook, Twitter, google+, Pinterest or Tumblr. But even if I had Facebook/Google+ I'm Eastern European an most of my contacts would be from my country, not typical Zazzle buyers - I don't even know if Zazzle sells in Eastern Europe. I'm not proficient enough to blog in English (I tried, but I produced only 3 articles). So I did what I could: I frequently posted my products here in the Show Me section - all my 53 posts before this one are there - hoping some affiliates will take the promotion part I can't do myself. I also announced in the topic there that I want to be promoted. What can I do more, not being a native English speaker?

Please, more experienced Zazzlers, can you tell me what I do wrong, how can I improve?
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2018 12:38:51 PM
First, it took me 2 years before I sold my fist item. I don't think it takes that long for most people to sell their first item. Plus, when I started, almost 12 years ago, there weren't as many products on the site as there are now. The more products you have in your store, the better chance you will be seen. Some people say the 'magic' number is 1000 products. Some people can have a few hundred items in their store and start selling in a few months. Keep making more products. One thing I noticed is you don't have any images on postcards and cards. The images you have would work great on those two items. Cards and postcards are popular sellers. Also, look at the sales zazzle has. The items they have at a discount are good items to have in your store as well. You can also add other products, like you have already done. I hope this helps a little. I'm sure others will have other ideas that might help.
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2018 1:23:56 PM
Hello,

I am another that was here a while before my first sale, almost a year and over 1000 products in my store. 260 sounds like a lot when you are designing them one by one but when you look at how many designers and designs are in the Zazzle marketplace it really isn't that many and will be hard to surface in searches without super great titles and tags.

I noticed you are not using all 10 tags you are given. Try to use them all. And you get up to 500 characters you can use in those 10 tags, so you can use more long tail phrase tags. I also noticed your tags are very generalized.

for example on this product

https://www.zazzle.com/vintage_regency_ladies_for_jane_austen_fans_paper_plate-256601614696566977

your tags are...

retro,vintage,ladies,jane austen,regency,fashion plates

those are ok but you could elaborate by using something like,

vintage fashion plates, retro fashionable ladies, 16th century women's clothing styles, Jane Austin era, pastel colors, Regency girls, pink blue and white, elegant gowns, antique advertising

See how by using all phrases I was able to use many more relevant key words, including important details like color and era so there is more chances to get found in searches.

Also I used Jane Austin because you did but now that I think about it, I am not sure you can use Jane Austin's name without risking trademark issues... I would have to research that more.

Any way that is all I have right now that hopefully will help you except for just encouraging you not to give up. Just keep making products and following the advice you find here in the forums.

That is what I did and things are getting better with time for me.

Good luck.

ETA: lol I just noticed I was spelling Jane's name wrong. I guess my spell checker didn't catch it because I am spelling like a Texan even though I am not one. Laughing
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2018 5:52:12 PM
Jane Austen is fine to use. The only copyrights in existence are for new works about her.

As for selling, I was downright lucky, making my first sale 2 months after starting, but I sure didn't make sales every day after that. There are mountains of designers who've been here a long time, and they're way ahead of everyone who's just starting now. It takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, and not feeling rejected when you don't sell.

One thing mentioned often to new designers concerning tags is to realistically imagine what a customer might search on to find your product. When I'm pulling a complete blank, I a thesaurus, which often tells me simple words I'm somehow forgetting. If you have a thesaurus, you'll find it's a good buddy.
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:29:26 PM
Hi! I am very glad that you share. I also began to sell after the first two years. Your products are wonderful.
When I started, I thought that my products are unique and not available anywhere, but there are many talented designers at Zazzle. This is a competition.
Now I don't think so. Just for fun, creative and advertising. This is one place where everyone can show their unique talent. And customers choose.
260 products have very little for a shop in Zazzle, I understand.
I also don't have a lot of sales. For a year about a hundred, and that's that. I'd love if someone give me advice. I understand, it's nice not to ruin products. Understand and here need daily work and care to keep it going.
I wish success on your new shop!
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 1:02:40 PM
Thank you all for informations and advices. So it takes between 2 months and 2 years to have a first sale... hard to persist and not be discouraged in such circumstances...

So I should revisit my products (especially the older ones) and try to improve my tags. And also create a few Christmas / New Year cards (I actually have a card, just one, but it's for Thanksgiving).
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 2:32:58 PM
You should be working on holidays about three months in advance.

And promote your products outside of Zazzle.
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 2:52:36 PM
Too few images applies. Just look at the numbers and you will easily realize that 260 products is nothing more than a winzy tiny tiny tiny drop in a giant bucket.

1 month, you are far too impatient.

Keep at it. It is hard work but if you love creating things and art, it is the kind of work you always enjoy, and though it starts out like a hobby with maybe benefits it can turn into a business that supports you.

But in order to get there you need to learn and put things in perspective.
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 3:51:07 PM
pettra wrote:
Hi! I am very glad that you share. I also began to sell after the first two years. Your products are wonderful.
When I started, I thought that my products are unique and not available anywhere, but there are many talented designers at Zazzle. This is a competition.
Now I don't think so. Just for fun, creative and advertising. This is one place where everyone can show their unique talent. And customers choose.
260 products have very little for a shop in Zazzle, I understand.
I also don't have a lot of sales. For a year about a hundred, and that's that. I'd love if someone give me advice. I understand, it's nice not to ruin products. Understand and here need daily work and care to keep it going.
I wish success on your new shop!


Hi Pettra,

You have good designs but you really need to work on titles, tags, and descriptions. I know it is probably hard if English is not your native language but without good titles that describe basic things about your designs, descriptions that go into more detail and good keyword tags your products are going to be invisible in the marketplace.

taking this design for instance




words that come to my mind when I look at this design are

cute, colorful, bunnies, bunny rabbits, pastel colors, pink, blue, green, orange, stars, fun, cartoon animals, whimsical,

the above words make good tags...


try to use a title that tells something about the design and don't worry about naming the product, Zazzle adds that part for you.

so a good title might be "Fun Colorful Join the Party Bunnies"

Then give more details in the description. something like this...

"A cute design for babies with adorable cartoon rabbits in blue green orange and pink, and whimsical pink stars are very inviting for a child's party!"


This same process can be used to add better titles tags and descriptions to all your products and I bet you will see a difference afterwards.

feel free to use what I gave as examples if you like.

I hope this helps.



Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:55:18 AM
@Maz: So I should rather work for Valentine's? If it is so, then my new card and other 10 products of yesterday are useless - they were specifically for New Year 2019, Year of the Pig - or maybe it will sell 12 years from now...


@Shelli Fitzpatrick: I tried to apply your tagging advice at my last product of yesterday, a Regency gift bag:



The tags:

jane austen fans
classical beauty
book lovers
girly
book gift bag
green umbrella
vintage fashion plate
elegant parasol
19th century
regency lady reading


I wanted to write "regency lady reading in the garden" but a tag permits only 5 words.

I hope this is ok. But I will have hundreds of past products to revise... Thank you again for the advice.

@Pettra: I only now realized that you are from Bulgaria. Did you promote your products outside Zazzle - how? Do you promote on Facebook, for example? Our countries are quite similar, in spite of the big language/alphabet differences, so what worked for you may work for me too. I don't even know if Zazzle sends its products to the Eastern part of EU.

I'm surely not the best person to give you advice, but I'll try:
From your store, I liked the favor boxes the most - some of them seem really beautiful. But I think some of them would be more successful with some text (a text made template object, to be easily changeable by the customer). For example this blue favor box seems to really lack the text (having a place for it):



And I think it should have the world Blue both in its name and among its tags.
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:08:40 AM
@retro Nostaglic

Those tag improvements should help!
I feel your pain on the time it will take to revise tags and maybe you could just choose a few products each day to work on (like ones you would like to see sell first) and work your way through them a little at a time.

Eventually you will work your way through all of the products you already have.

I believe that it could help you get a sale before you even get finished and if you do get a sale that will give you a boost of motivation to do more.

The main thing I have learned about Zazzle is this is like a marathon rather than a sprint. It takes time and perseverance. Good Luck!
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:39:46 AM
Vintage Nostalgic wrote:
I wanted to write "regency lady reading in the garden" but a tag permits only 5 words.

I believe neither "the" nor "in" are actually used in a search, so you could just as well have written "regency lady reading in garden."
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:07:05 AM
One month later, I have 450 products in 24 collections, a zRank of 5 but still not a single sale!

Today I'll start Elke Clarke's 7 days course for beginners - let's see if it helps.

@Petra: You have so many favor boxes, I think you should try making wedding suites with invitations, thank you cards etc. of similar designs as your best favor boxes and put all with one design in the same collection. Elke Clarke, the Pro Diamond Zazzle designer who made that course, has lots of wedding suites in her store. And not only her. Look at this Pro Bronze designer's sales: main sales are invitations, favor boxes and cards/photo cards (that she says are actually "Wedding Thank Yous"):

http://jszazzlestore.weebly.com/jamies-designer-blog/september-2017-monthly-sales-roundup

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 11:59:01 AM
RetroVintageStore wrote:
One month later, I have 450 products in 24 collections, a zRank of 5 but still not a single sale!

Today I'll start Elke Clarke's 7 days course for beginners - let's see if it helps.

@Petra: You have so many favor boxes, I think you should try making wedding suites with invitations, thank you cards etc. of similar designs as your best favor boxes and put all with one design in the same collection. Elke Clarke, the Pro Diamond Zazzle designer who made that course, has lots of wedding suites in her store. And not only her. Look at this Pro Bronze designer's sales: main sales are invitations, favor boxes and cards/photo cards (that she says are actually "Wedding Thank Yous"):

http://jszazzlestore.weebly.com/jamies-designer-blog/september-2017-monthly-sales-roundup



one thing this post teaches it that it is not necessary to have sales in order to reach a zRank of 5...

I hope you benefit from your training. Roses
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 12:54:31 AM
Patience is key. I almost never sell a product until at least 3/4 months after it was posted.

Just keep adding good designs and eventually they'll sell.

Good luck!
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 6:32:27 AM
Based on your posts, and a very quick peek at some of your designs, your English is wonderful, please don't doubt yourself or not blog in English because you think it's not! Smile

I think your designs are fun and on relevant/popular products that make sense for the designs, that's all good.
I was drawn to the goldfish designs and noticed one thing - "golden fish" may be what the original artist named this piece or maybe the translation directly and it does make perfect sense named that way, but typically one looking for a general design with that type of fish would say "goldfish" or maybe "gold fish" - so that might be a helpful tag adjustment - though I do not know how specific Zazzle's search box gets. It's possible it does a little "translating" automatically, but I am not certain about that.

You can use Zazzle's search feature to peek at what others selling designs with goldfish have used as tags.
And also google search goldfish "fan sites" to see what types of terms they use when talking about their beloved goldfish. While there will be people who like the artist specifically - more people who'd buy the case are probably looking generally, for a goldfish design of any kind without knowing about this artist by name. So you want them to be able to find the product as well, so the tags need to help them find it too.



Someone else who sells similar art may have more knowledge on this, but I'd guess that most people looking to buy a phone case like the above example also won't search for something as broad or general as "aquatic animal" "marine life" or "la belle epoque" or "water" or "sea" and I'd try replacing those tags with more specific descriptions of the visual image VS the artist's artwork titles and artsy terms (because those are already used in your title and description).

Maybe something like:
art nouveau, goldfish, orange, yellow, blue, koi, fish, gisbert combaz, aquarium, fish pond? <-- or another term you find over and over when researching things goldfish fans talk about or describe in their sites.

Beyond that, if you can get on Pinterest, also research how to use it and how to write descriptions for your pins, and join some of the group boards posted here in the forums.

I have also found that it typically takes at least 1 month for any design to pick up and that is WITH my own relatively heavy promotion/pinterest/instagram use.

You've done some cool things with stock/public domain art, good luck!
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2019 12:21:51 PM
I recommend to log in on zazzle.com and use English descriptions.

Ever since my "fount ton fish" I prefer that the translate bot translates from English to any of the other languages. FYI the translate bot used the German word "born" when I used the English word "born" and translated the German abbreviation for ton into ton. Lucky me there is no German word or abbreviation that spells "fish". It happened because I logged in on zazzle.de.

You can't edit products with translate bot foul-ups from COM when they were created from DE. They remain German items and the foul ups of the translate bot are permanent, if the description requires English and a German translation would just be weird.

I replaced most by now, but one sold several times and I don't have the heart to replace one that at least sold well for a while though I cringe with every view.

Long story short: Stick to English on COM.



Vintage Nostalgic wrote:
@Maz: So I should rather work for Valentine's? If it is so, then my new card and other 10 products of yesterday are useless - they were specifically for New Year 2019, Year of the Pig - or maybe it will sell 12 years from now...


You're already late in the game for Valentine, but better late than never. The rule of thumb is to produce two month ahead and promote three to two weeks before the event according to zazzle marketing. The beauty is most events occur annually and they might fins a buyer in the following year, though the new year of he pig won't be back for more than a decade. Good thing that the pig serves as a good charm for new year every year not just in the year of the pig.
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 2:16:00 PM
To my great surprise, I discovered yesterday that I actually had a few sales - for 9 products, first of them in November, the month I started. I had no idea because I didn't receive any mail (maybe it ended in Spam)?

Sorry I misinformed you all unwittingly.

Most products sold were seasonal, ornaments for Christmas and pigs for New Year. Somebody bought even a Santa candy box I made in Christmas day! So maybe isn't totally late for Valentines?

Today I finished Elke Clarke's course - let's see if things will change.
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:14:17 PM
RetroVintageStore wrote:
To my great surprise, I discovered yesterday that I actually had a few sales - for 9 products, first of them in November, the month I started. I had no idea because I didn't receive any mail (maybe it ended in Spam)?

Sorry I misinformed you all unwittingly.

Most products sold were seasonal, ornaments for Christmas and pigs for New Year. Somebody bought even a Santa candy box I made in Christmas day! So maybe isn't totally late for Valentines?

Today I finished Elke Clarke's course - let's see if things will change.


Well good for you! you can check your earnings anytime to see if you have new sales and not have to wait to get an email notification. I believe they only send them when the item actually ships anyway so they are usually late in relation to the date of sale.

To check your earnings hover on your avatar and then click earnings then from that page you can check your royalty history and many other helpful things.

Cheers and congrats on your sales!
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