Sales Dramatically Decreasing Every Year 4 pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 9:32:04 AM
Still only one store showing, might be a conflict of interest if any of your products have a R rating, or you dont have the store pinned. Clicking on your icon (upper left side), a drop down menu will show, a gray or blue thumb tac will show, you want them to be blue to have them showing home page.
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 1:03:52 PM
I set my two main stores back to public. You can now see them in my profile.

However, I'm not sure what difference it will make. My stores have been private since I started selling on zazzle. Why would this affect my sales in the past 2-3 years?
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 8:16:52 PM
Hi Susannah or anyone else here,

I was advised that if my commission was above 15% or above, affiliates were less likely to promote my products. I was told that somehow they can search out those of us who are below 15%. That is why I am at 14.9% Do you know if this is true?
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 2:46:22 PM
Ted Raynor wrote:
Hi Susannah or anyone else here,

I was advised that if my commission was above 15% or above, affiliates were less likely to promote my products. I was told that somehow they can search out those of us who are below 15%. That is why I am at 14.9% Do you know if this is true?


This was not the case for me My royalty rates were always at 30% and more. Perhaps it is the case now? it certainly wasn't an issue for me before. It never stopped affiliates either.
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 3:15:34 PM
Ted Raynor wrote:
Hi Susannah or anyone else here,

I was advised that if my commission was above 15% or above, affiliates were less likely to promote my products. I was told that somehow they can search out those of us who are below 15%. That is why I am at 14.9% Do you know if this is true?


I have never heard anything like that. I guess that they can see by the prices of your products approximately what your royalty is set to but I don't know why that would matter to them... they still get 15% no matter what.

but just because I haven't heard of it doesn't mean it isn't true...

ETA: trying to think like an affiliate here, maybe it would matter to them to keep the prices consistent on a website so there are not wild fluctuations in price on similar items.

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 8:55:50 PM
Thank you for your replies Matt and Shelli! Then I guess that begs the question; is my commission too low?
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 9:55:02 PM
I can’t answer that for you. I depends on what you are comfortable with. 14.9 is the threshold before Zazzle charges a 5% transaction fee but if your designs will bear higher prices it might be worth it to you. I tried 20% for a while but had a slow down in sales so I came back to 14.9 which seems to be a sweet spot for my personal sales and I’m good with the earnings I get. Test it out to see, the worst that can happen is nothing and you come back to where you were. Good luck.
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 10:25:52 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
I can’t answer that for you. I depends on what you are comfortable with. 14.9 is the threshold before Zazzle charges a 5% transaction fee but if your designs will bear higher prices it might be worth it to you. I tried 20% for a while but had a slow down in sales so I came back to 14.9 which seems to be a sweet spot for my personal sales and I’m good with the earnings I get. Test it out to see, the worst that can happen is nothing and you come back to where you were. Good luck.


So you set your royalty the same regardless of product? Just the same across the board?
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:25:27 AM
TerriKJones wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
I can’t answer that for you. I depends on what you are comfortable with. 14.9 is the threshold before Zazzle charges a 5% transaction fee but if your designs will bear higher prices it might be worth it to you. I tried 20% for a while but had a slow down in sales so I came back to 14.9 which seems to be a sweet spot for my personal sales and I’m good with the earnings I get. Test it out to see, the worst that can happen is nothing and you come back to where you were. Good luck.


So you set your royalty the same regardless of product? Just the same across the board?


I do now, I used to have different ones for different products but once the design transfer was put in place I decided to go with across the board royalty and got rid of all my Zazzle heart products that are capped at 5%.
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 7:56:04 AM
Royalty strategies seem like a "your mileage may vary" situation. I set my royalties inversely proportionate to the base price of an item. In other words, 30% doesn't seem to be a deterrent on items that have a low base price. I suspect it could become one on items with a higher base price for some people.

So the question becomes, do I set it high anyway and make more on a low volume of sales for that item, or set it lower and hope to make more by selling more at the reduced royalty? I have a lot of doubts about 'making up the difference based on volume', but have decided to set aside that skepticism for now. I figure it can't be more of a disaster than anything else I've tried.
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:45:44 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

"I figure it can't be more of a disaster than anything else I've tried."

Fuzzy, I hear that and couldn't agree with you more.
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 2:07:19 PM
For royalty rates, when I started, I would set them based on how reasonable I thought the final product price would be. Would I pay $3.00 for a 1" button? $3.50? $4.00? etc. Now that I am able to start making new products again, I have been looking in the marketplace at same products and setting my royalty so that the final price is competitive with what else is out there. Also, I have one product that keeps selling, much to my surprise, that is a very low-profit item. It's royalty has been at only 9.7% (because that made a final cost I thought was reasonable) but I recently changed it to raise the cost by all of $0.25 LOL. I don't think that change will go into effect until next month, but I'm going to keep an eye on it and if it keeps selling, I will probably keep gradually increasing the royalty.
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 6:10:59 PM
I have almost 18,000 products now. It won't be practical for me to do anything but set a rate all across the board. But since I get so many cheapskates that just buy one postcard, and I get something like 14 cents, I should put a 100% royalty on them!
Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 6:05:48 AM
My question is this. I have noticed that the search pages only go to number 17 and then they stop. Realistically there would be thousands of pages of products on a common search result. So why can we only search to page 17? Even Ebay has a "jump to page" format where you can put in page 128 and jump there. How does anyone find out products if they can only search to page 17? I have some products up for a couple of years with 0 views and many with low views. Thanks, Steve
Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 9:36:35 AM
Photohistoryguy wrote:
My question is this. I have noticed that the search pages only go to number 17 and then they stop. Realistically there would be thousands of pages of products on a common search result. So why can we only search to page 17? Even Ebay has a "jump to page" format where you can put in page 128 and jump there. How does anyone find out products if they can only search to page 17? I have some products up for a couple of years with 0 views and many with low views. Thanks, Steve


I don't have the answer to why Z does this but I can tell it it is one of my biggest gripes about search! A page jump option would be great!

They say nobody scrolls that much past the first few pages but I beg to differ... I do if I haven't found what I am looking for yet and I know I can't be the only one.
Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2019 9:16:20 AM
I have the same problem. And pretty much anything new I make seems to go straight in to a black hole. I can't find it when I search the marketplace and the only views are my own. I spend time on titles, tags and descriptions but nothing seems to help. It is quite discouraging actually. If new products can't be found of course they will never sell. At the same time it seems the same people keep ranking well with lots and lots of products Sad
Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 5:53:57 AM
Update:
Sales are the lowest they ever been. I am now making less sales than when I started over 10 years ago!

I went ahead and updated all the tags for the majority of my products. Hopefully that will help. Only time will tell. I also decreased my royalty rates.

I do have a lot of discontinued products in the backend. Could this have a negative impact? Would deleting all of my discontinued items improve things for me in the front end?

I used to make my living off of zazzle alone. I'm lucky I was smart enough to expand into other POD sites!

https://www.zazzle.com/store/physicalculture/

Let me know if you guys notice anything in my store that could be screwing things up for me because when I'm logged in I can see 52k products, but as a regular user I only see 46k products... upon checking my discontinued products, it seems like I have over 3k discontinued items! (All duffle and drawstring bags, which I never sold many of anyway).

My main sellers used to be t-shirts and posters. Is zazzle now known for different product types?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how sales could drop so dramatically despite uploading new designs over the years.

Perhaps it's the way I create new products? I would do so by modifying an existing product of mine, replacing the design and posting that new product for sale. Could that be the reason why?
Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:29:20 AM
Matt wrote:
Update:
Sales are the lowest they ever been. I am now making less sales than when I started over 10 years ago!

I went ahead and updated all the tags for the majority of my products. Hopefully that will help. Only time will tell. I also decreased my royalty rates.

I do have a lot of discontinued products in the backend. Could this have a negative impact? Would deleting all of my discontinued items improve things for me in the front end?

I used to make my living off of zazzle alone. I'm lucky I was smart enough to expand into other POD sites!

https://www.zazzle.com/store/physicalculture/

Let me know if you guys notice anything in my store that could be screwing things up for me because when I'm logged in I can see 52k products, but as a regular user I only see 46k products... upon checking my discontinued products, it seems like I have over 3k discontinued items! (All duffle and drawstring bags, which I never sold many of anyway).

My main sellers used to be t-shirts and posters. Is zazzle now known for different product types?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how sales could drop so dramatically despite uploading new designs over the years.

Perhaps it's the way I create new products? I would do so by modifying an existing product of mine, replacing the design and posting that new product for sale. Could that be the reason why?


I do think Zazzle has been focusing more on the paper niche than the other products lately and I don't know if they are looking at phasing out other things, They do continue to add new products that are not paper, so probably not.

I think part of the problem is just the natural effects of an over saturated market and lots of other PODs now to compete with... even though Zazzle does still have the edge with personalized stuff.

My own sales picked up when I started creating some paper items like labels, stickers, stationery and party supplies. Now I am slowing trying to break into the invitations and also designing more other products with weddings in mind... you know, like things that make cool wedding favors.

I realize this won't work for everyone though and it is even hard for me since fufu wedding things are so not me... lol





Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:31:15 AM
I'd like to comment on the 17 pages theory:

If you hit a category, chances are you are going to go through nine to twelve pages before you hit a point of re-defining your search.

This is where the more pointed keywords come into play.

A general search for flower is expansive.

A search for Rose flower is huge, but now you are seeing the type of flower you want.

A search for Red Rose flower, closer.
Single Red Rose, now you are getting more ideas for designs you like...

It's all in the patience of the shopper, and how quickly they want to see a certain style/type.
Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:33:00 AM
@Matt

looking again at your store, are you promoting on Pinterest? if you aren't you should be because fitness is a huge thing there now days.



Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 7:41:33 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
@Matt

looking again at your store, are you promoting on Pinterest? if you aren't you should be because fitness is a huge thing there now days.





I used to promote on pinterest years ago but I don't think it helped much. I've heard that their platform had changed so I'll definitely look into getting back into the pinterest game!
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 9:36:48 AM
It is reassuring to read this thread, knowing that others share my frustration at what Zazzle has become. I know what I used to earn here, and what I earn here now is roughly 1/5 of that. Holiday earnings used to be awesome, but now they aren't even what I would have called a good month back in the day. Other PODs haven't had such a drastic decline. Only Zazzle.

If they would come out and say "We don't want to print shirts anymore, we're shifting our focus to paper", then fine. I'd adjust accordingly. But that hasn't happened. Yes, the front page features invitations often, but there are also shirts shown from time to time. Not as often, but it still happens.

So, like the OP, I don't know what happened here. We can guess, but we'll never know unless or until someone at Z tells us. Zazzle is still part of the routine, just not as important as it once was.
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 10:06:39 AM
I was trying to be positive but there is one other possibility that could be affecting sales and that is the constant experimenting and changing the site.

I don't know what, if any impact that makes on sales, but it is in the realm of possibilities.
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 10:51:12 AM
Matt wrote:
Update:
Sales are the lowest they ever been. I am now making less sales than when I started over 10 years ago!

I went ahead and updated all the tags for the majority of my products. Hopefully that will help. Only time will tell. I also decreased my royalty rates.

I do have a lot of discontinued products in the backend. Could this have a negative impact? Would deleting all of my discontinued items improve things for me in the front end?

I used to make my living off of zazzle alone. I'm lucky I was smart enough to expand into other POD sites!

https://www.zazzle.com/store/physicalculture/

Let me know if you guys notice anything in my store that could be screwing things up for me because when I'm logged in I can see 52k products, but as a regular user I only see 46k products... upon checking my discontinued products, it seems like I have over 3k discontinued items! (All duffle and drawstring bags, which I never sold many of anyway).

My main sellers used to be t-shirts and posters. Is zazzle now known for different product types?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how sales could drop so dramatically despite uploading new designs over the years.

Perhaps it's the way I create new products? I would do so by modifying an existing product of mine, replacing the design and posting that new product for sale. Could that be the reason why?


Your shop is GREAT!
Things I noticed:

- You have a FB page with over 10,000 followers and (I know it may not feel like a lot, but most "small businesses" I know don't get as much engagement as your most recent posts from last year. Pop a product on there once in a while!
- Instagram is HUGE for motivational quotes and memes, and HUGE for fitness influencers, and can cross-post to Facebook AND Pinterest.
- You have some collections, but over 45,000 products that aren't sorted into any collections. I looked at just a few collections, but most don't have a description, that should help.
- try using a keyword of "funny workout shrit" "sarcastic fitness quotes" "minimalist inspirational posters" - elaborate on the style a little more in tags and product descriptions.
- I've seen some *apparent* success with the motivational quotes on postcards and cards. Sometimes people are looking for a little something for a gift or something small for themselves. A card or postcard for a few bucks, when found as part of a collection, could help "larger" products get found. I'm cheap LOL, so I'm personally more likely to click on a $2-$4 postcard/card/magnet if it pops up in a search. Whereas I may not even be looking for a $50 watch that day. But if I like the magnet, and there is a similar watch that's ONLY $50 for a fun watch, I may be tempted to buy it. That's maybe just me though. LOL
- It's been discussed that the market on Zazzle is predominantly female. I know from my own products that PINK wins frequently. Annoying as it is, maybe try a few of your top sellers with pink/on pink - (soft pink) to grab that market a little bit.
- I think some more collections, tag and description adjustments, and use of social media will go a long way because I do seriously love your shop.



Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 11:36:21 AM
I have noticed a huge drop in sales too. :-(
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 12:04:13 PM
I figure that after having a month with no sales, it can't get worse. It can only stay the same or improve.

That's as close as you'll ever see me get to being optimistic.
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 12:11:09 PM
I have sympathy for those of us who have been here a long time and used quick create to populate stores with 100's products with the same photo and same meta data. They now have 100's of products that are dead in the water. Gone are the days of slapping your design on 100 products and calling it a day.

Matt, another hit you could be taking is from shirts styles that Zazzle took out of rotation last Christmas and has for their own reasons not brought them back. They've kept mum about if these styles will be coming back into stock for 8 months now.

Here is one below. I'm not so sure it is worth your time going through the shirts and trying to change the styles. The only way to know if they are out of stock is to literally click to view them. You could potentially be looking at a mess.

Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 1:00:21 PM
I haven't had a chance to read all the comments but I noticed my sales went way down this year. I didn't know if it was because I've been doing a lot of updating to my products and tags or if it was just overall. I was getting about a sale a day until I started removing products, updating products, changing options, and editing tags and it sales just crashed for a couple weeks and are now very slowly picking up.

I do a lot of promoting outside of zazzle. With my over 17K followers on twitter, I used to make a sale just about everytime I'd post to twitter, but not anymore.

The market is getting saturated with so many other e-commerce businesses that I wonder if that's affecting it. Also, Zazzle is continuesly running 15% off. If there were days they didn't run that, then the 15% off or other sales may seem more desirable. It's got to the point now that everyone expects the 15% off so promoting it over and over again is kind of useless.
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2019 7:20:14 PM
Jennifer White wrote:
Zazzle is continuesly running 15% off. If there were days they didn't run that, then the 15% off or other sales may seem more desirable. It's got to the point now that everyone expects the 15% off so promoting it over and over again is kind of useless.

Yes, this ^. It's not really a sale if a discount is always available.
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 5:24:13 AM
Felosarix wrote:
Jennifer White wrote:
Zazzle is continuesly running 15% off. If there were days they didn't run that, then the 15% off or other sales may seem more desirable. It's got to the point now that everyone expects the 15% off so promoting it over and over again is kind of useless.

Yes, this ^. It's not really a sale if a discount is always available.


It was for these reasons that I made my royalty rates so high initially.
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