Sales Dramatically Decreasing Every Year 4 pages: 1 2 [3] 4
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 12:15:36 PM
Well... if the website doesn't work properly, it's hard to get traffic or sales.
Stuff is not indexed, blocked from Google, Products, About, Collections all in a black hole.
Collections do not update, such a simple operation breaks all the feeds, new products do not enter the store, although you get the confirmation emails. Stuff is deleted for a single word someone registered, like the smiley. You can't fix that, just recreate all those 20 products again. Other products get hidden no one knows when, discontinued ones hang around and some poeple suggest, that this may affect the rank (really?). Another group of products was never seen by anyone, because they were created before some software update........ Oh... and that Quick Create tool you shouldn't use, which is availalbe on other sites as THE ONLY solution.
Weird politics. Just a tip of the iceberg.
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 12:48:16 PM
Wish you hadn't said iceberg! should we hit the lifeboats yet?
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 12:54:05 PM
Well.. I am absolutely not trying to advise anyone here, I only feel sorry for the people who devoted a lot of time to get nothing. I hope Z will wake up eventually
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 12:58:08 PM
Plrang Art wrote:
I hope Z will wake up eventually


me too
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 6:31:11 PM
Matt wrote:
Fuzzy 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.

Same here. Then my zRank tanked, so I restructured them, according to the base price. (The higher the price, the lower the royalty.) Worked for a while, but my zRank went down again recently. Apparently I made too many new things without selling enough old things to counterbalance.

Maybe I should just raise them back where I think they should be, and stop worrying about appearing in Zazzle's marketplace search results, which just keeps getting harder and harder anyway.
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 10:11:44 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
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.


I jump and do it even if there isn't an official option and I have to analize the url to find the page.

I'm absolutely annoyed that they even cap the admin area. I reached the point where I have to get creative to see all my products.

BTW how people find your products with a 17 page cap. They mostly don't unless they get creative with their search terms. Those blue and green search terms are zazzles invitation to narrow down the search. If any of those apply do your design you might want to include them.

Anything else is cheer luck or the help with outside links.

When I advertise my products I always narrow down the search terms to my store, so they get have them land on a selection within my store and not directly on the product detail page in the marketplace, since we don't have store product detail pages.

·△·
Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 10:21:25 PM
·▽·

BTW my count of unseen products in 13 months is down for a while now. It was two to three pages a day and is now down to half a page and my shop rank has always been a low 4.

But then I'm still busy building an income I can live of and I'm a few hundred sells short in that respect. I'm on my way though. My sales have a slow and steady up-curve.
·△·


Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 1:39:39 AM
If working on a store would be a downgrading factor for it.... that would be a total nonsense, if true Laughing
I hope it isn't
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 4:09:14 AM
Plrang Art wrote:
If working on a store would be a downgrading factor for it.... that would be a total nonsense, if true Laughing
I hope it isn't


Many SKs have seen their Zrank drop after doing a cleanup of their shop in effort to improve the rank. This is well documented in the forums. Just search zrank and you will no doubt find some of the threads I’m speaking of.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 5:03:04 AM
I know, I'm not saying they're wrong, I'm saying it would be a stupid solution.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 7:21:49 AM
Plrang Art wrote:
If working on a store would be a downgrading factor for it.... that would be a total nonsense, if true Laughing
I hope it isn't

Probably not as simple as 'working on a store'; more likely it depends on the specific changes that were made.

For example, if one decides to delete a bunch of non-performers, there's potential to decrease one's diversity of offerings, which could in turn affect zRank.

If one deletes newer products while keeping older ones, that could negatively affect a store's 'freshness', another possible factor in zRank.

Deleting products that once sold but aren't getting much attention lately? That can hurt one's products sold to total products ratio - another possible factor in zRank. Same applies if you add a bunch of new, as-yet-unsold products, thereby also affecting this ratio.

ETA: Let's also include trying to improve titles/descriptions/tags of products that have previously sold, or have been getting views but maybe haven't sold yet. Not saying don't touch them at all - some of us really need work in this area. But sometimes tinkering with things that have at least had some success may end up doing more harm than good.

Now picture working on multiple things, some actions affecting more than one factor in zRank, having it fall, and then not really knowing what caused it. This is exactly where we are with zRank today.

None of us really know what the factors affecting zRank are, or how they're weighted. We can only speculate / make educated guesses when a zRank drops right after making a particular type of change. Even then, it may be more than one factor that pushes a store over the zRank edge.

We get zero guidance on the specific thing we did wrong that tanked our zRank. It's a completely opaque situation. We can only guess, and possibly end up making things worse instead of better.

Thus, zRank has proved to be more annoyance than assistance.

Then there's the issue of, "Why doesn't my product rank high enough to be included in search when I know it has matching keywords?" The answer is probably a combination of insufficient sales and store ranking combined.

Can't be seen if you aren't selling, can't sell if if it can't be seen. A Catch-22. We're told the remedy is external promotion, but unless you're an expert promoter, it's even more doubtful whether those efforts will be rewarded.

Regardless, making these concerns known doesn't seem to effect change where we badly need it. We're basically on our own (or lost together, if you prefer.)
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 7:46:22 AM
...

It isn't that bad.

Z-Rank 4 is pretty much you completed the task to a complete store and with z-rank 4 you are listed in general. So to be getting seen, is SEO, is doing research into key phrases and finding places in the search that are fairly popular but not overly crowded.

You can still increase your sales and even if you only use common key phrases and hardly describe your work, with a certain number of diversified designs you're bound to hit a sale and build up even regular sales over time.

A blind hen finds a corn sometimes ...

My sales in my money maker - which isn't zazzle yet - are down and have become quiet worry some. The number of designs have increased in general and are getting more every day, so my competition is getting overwhelming. At the same time the customer pool hasn't grown in proportion.

So it is to some extend a normal progression. If you can ride it out until the market cleans itself you probably will get back to a decent income with a manageable effort.

For now it is frustrating and I can only hope I have my eggs in enough baskets so I won't fall onto too harsh times.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:28:20 AM
LM Gildersleeve wrote:
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.



Thanks for pointing this out. I thought items like this would have been moved to the discontinued category. I have almost 2000 hoodies. It's gonna take a while to go through each one to figure out which one has a discontinued/out of stock status. Everything is a mess. I already have thousands of discontinued accessories to delete/transfer.

Fortunately t-shirts haven't been affected, which were one of my main sellers, so I still don't know why my tees aren't getting sales anymore.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:42:16 AM
Plrang Art wrote:
I know, I'm not saying they're wrong, I'm saying it would be a stupid solution.


I think we might have misunderstood each other?

I was trying to agree with you and show examples of times when store upkeep did end up downgrading your Zrank.

maybe that is not what you meant...



Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:47:56 AM
Z limits what gets indexed by search engines. Make of that what you will.

How much is one's success here tied to targeting Z's core demographic - millennial women? For others, how much of it is tied to having been here since early days?

When you consider that curation seems to consistently focus on refinement tags that mostly skew toward millennial women, I think it becomes clear that some of us need to look elsewhere for success. I obviously haven't completely jumped ship yet, but it's only because I haven't found the right place / nothing rivaling Z's design tools - it really is the latter that keeps me hanging around. It sure isn't sales.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:51:15 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Z limits what gets indexed by search engines. Make of that what you will.

How much is one's success here tied to targeting Z's core demographic - millennial women? For others, how much of it is tied to having been here since early days?

When you consider that curation seems to consistently focus on refinement tags that mostly skew toward millennial women, I think it becomes clear that some of us need to look elsewhere for success. I obviously haven't completely jumped ship yet, but it's only because I haven't found the right place / nothing rivaling Z's design tools - it really is the latter that keeps me hanging around. It sure isn't sales.


yes and there is the other problem too that I have. I am at currently at 3 other venues and 2 of them are no sales at all... one is once in a blue moon sales.

So even branching out is no guarantee. I am not sure it if is my art or my lack or promotional skill but Zazzle is the only place I have any sales worth mentioning.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:54:19 AM
These are my earnings comparing this year with previous years of the same month. It's no exaggeration when I say I'm making less sales now than when I first started in 2013.

90% of my sales were directly from the marketplace, with some being 3rd party, and very few being referrals.

It's ridiculous how much things have degraded despite continuing to create new products. It's extremely discouraging.

My peak was around 2015/2016, and things started going downhill from there.
Can anyone recall any major changes zazzle implemented those years?

Zazzle used to be the first POD site I recommended to artists, but now I tell them to avoid it like the plague.

Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:56:17 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Z limits what gets indexed by search engines. Make of that what you will.

How much is one's success here tied to targeting Z's core demographic - millennial women? For others, how much of it is tied to having been here since early days?

When you consider that curation seems to consistently focus on refinement tags that mostly skew toward millennial women, I think it becomes clear that some of us need to look elsewhere for success. I obviously haven't completely jumped ship yet, but it's only because I haven't found the right place / nothing rivaling Z's design tools - it really is the latter that keeps me hanging around. It sure isn't sales.


yes and there is the other problem too that I have. I am at currently at 3 other venues and 2 of them are no sales at all... one is once in a blue moon sales.

So even branching out is no guarantee. I am not sure it if is my art or my lack or promotional skill but Zazzle is the only place I have any sales worth mentioning.


This is a really bad move on their part. When I do a google search for products of my niche, zazzle rarely shows up at all.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:57:24 AM
Matt wrote:
Fortunately t-shirts haven't been affected, which were one of my main sellers, so I still don't know why my tees aren't getting sales anymore.

Not all tees were spared when Zazzle decided customers were being presented with too many choices, and solved that issue by putting things 'out-of-stock' (or was it 'completely sold out'? I forget which).

If they've since made a decision to discontinue the affected items completely, they haven't told us. We've been left to discover what's happening with them completely on our own. So I changed mine to other styles, or dumped them entirely.

Of course, there's no filter for finding things that are "out-of-stock" or "completely sold out".

Hasn't been much fun for those selling apparel.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 8:59:33 AM
Matt wrote:
My peak was around 2015/2016, and things started going downhill from there.

Can anyone recall any major changes zazzle implemented those years?

zRank?

ETA: Although some will tell you that our stores and products were already being ranked before zRank; that it just wasn't visible to us. I don't doubt that, but late 2015 / early 2016 was when the bottom dropped out for me. Some of that I can blame on my own mistakes. Some of it probably also comes from copyright infringers in foreign countries exploiting Amazon's third party platform.

It's my old products that sell. New stuff, not so much, even though I like to think I've improved as an artist and in titling/describing/tagging in the meantime.

Yes, something changed, and I don't think I'm entirely to blame for it.

Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 9:58:02 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Matt wrote:
My peak was around 2015/2016, and things started going downhill from there.

Can anyone recall any major changes zazzle implemented those years?

zRank?

ETA: Although some will tell you that our stores and products were already being ranked before zRank; that it just wasn't visible to us. I don't doubt that, but late 2015 / early 2016 was when the bottom dropped out for me. Some of that I can blame on my own mistakes. Some of it probably also comes from copyright infringers in foreign countries exploiting Amazon's third party platform.

It's my old products that sell. New stuff, not so much, even though I like to think I've improved as an artist and in titling/describing/tagging in the meantime.

Yes, something changed, and I don't think I'm entirely to blame for it.



I'm sure my design sell in many places without me having any part but providing thieves with the material and it was definitely part of the decline in sales.

I peaked 2011 and 2012.

2014 I discovered how bad it is on amazon and wrote in the 2015 over 10.000 DMCAs to amazon and approx the amount of DMCA to sites like sunfrog and co. I was angry and fought as best I could, did not much else. Thanks to a passive income that sustained me, still does but less and less.

It is not just the competition from pirates it is also the hype that the promise of a passive income created.

I don't feel very passive. I'm again working more and harder than a shelf filler with less income than a shelf filler. It will take a long while to reach a decent level again ... at least I'm hoping I get there.

As said my numbers are going up.

·△·
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 10:25:57 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
Plrang Art wrote:
I know, I'm not saying they're wrong, I'm saying it would be a stupid solution.


I think we might have misunderstood each other?

I was trying to agree with you and show examples of times when store upkeep did end up downgrading your Zrank.

maybe that is not what you meant...




No, I completely agree with you. Just wrote that to explain that to be clear.
But it's just a guess, since the ranking changes once a month, I guess. You can't really tell what was the cause.
Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 12:39:49 PM
Matt wrote:
These are my earnings comparing this year with previous years of the same month. It's no exaggeration when I say I'm making less sales now than when I first started in 2013.

90% of my sales were directly from the marketplace, with some being 3rd party, and very few being referrals.

It's ridiculous how much things have degraded despite continuing to create new products. It's extremely encouraging.

My peak was around 2015/2016, and things started going downhill from there.
Can anyone recall any major changes zazzle implemented those years?

Zazzle used to be the first POD site I recommended to artists, but now I tell them to avoid it like the plague.



This is very telling. I have never made more than $200 in a payout since I started in 2015. I had no clue some of you were doing that well here.

seems things really have gotten worse.
Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2019 3:22:18 AM
Thst's exactly the kind of nonsense I mentioned.
I'm talking about people who WORK on a store, don't spam and know what they are doing. About people complaining on this forum, most of them take a good care of their stores.
So that's why I call that strategy a NONSENSE, because it's a nonsense to downgrade if changes are made.
The only factor to up/down grade is the customer. Otherwise it's fiddling with unknown and in fact a great way to manipulate the results in a wrong way.

If people buy stuff it sells and it goes up, who is hiding a product which sells but is old??? Certainly someone like Porsche or Harley D lol. That's all what I have to say about having fun with manual product positioning. Sure even Amazon does something like that BUT the right way.

As for the spammers, who created the Quick Create? Who APPROVES it? There is a known delay caused by some reviewing process right? And then we see a bunch of weird flood of a not aligned stuff.

Another part is the "noindex" practice, since I could understand some internal fluctuations depending on some holidays or seasons, I have no clue what's the point to hide stuff from Google. That's just ridiculous.


For that given phrase there is 0 URLs from Zazzle, zero images from Zazzle. My website is the first to appear for a product FROM Zazzle. And it's not a product of mine, just one I promote, man....
So that's what you get when you want to pretend to be a Google/Search Engine.

Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2019 6:25:26 AM
Wow Matt, seeing your earnings decline by so much is really disheartening. My sales have been going down the past 2 years. My goal at Z was to make enough to get a check consistently every month. Looks like I can forget about that.
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 4:52:07 AM
waterart wrote:
Wow Matt, seeing your earnings decline by so much is really disheartening. My sales have been going down the past 2 years. My goal at Z was to make enough to get a check consistently every month. Looks like I can forget about that.


I think you're better off focusing on other POD sites at this point.
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 5:03:11 AM
Hey Matt,

Curious... as a gold seller you have made over $100,000's here. Have you done as well at any other POD site?
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:48:30 AM
Josh B wrote:
Hey Matt,

Curious... as a gold seller you have made over $100,000's here. Have you done as well at any other POD site?


Definitely yes. Luckily I was smart enough not to keep all my eggs in the zazzle basket.

Unlike zazzle, the more work I put into the other POD sites, the more I profit down the road. Zazzle used to be like that too, but now I'm beginning to give up on them. My time and effort isn't paying off here anymore.
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:22:52 AM
Matt wrote:
Josh B wrote:
Hey Matt,

Curious... as a gold seller you have made over $100,000's here. Have you done as well at any other POD site?


Definitely yes. Luckily I was smart enough not to keep all my eggs in the zazzle basket.

Unlike zazzle, the more work I put into the other POD sites, the more I profit down the road. Zazzle used to be like that too, but now I'm beginning to give up on them. My time and effort isn't paying off here anymore.

Would you mind saying what other PODs? I'm also on Cafepress, Redbubble and Imagekind and sales there have totally tanked. Zazzle is the only POD I'm earning the most with and sales are getting less, I worry that it's doing to go down to practically nothing like on the other PODs
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:36:17 AM
waterart wrote:
Matt wrote:
Josh B wrote:
Hey Matt,

Curious... as a gold seller you have made over $100,000's here. Have you done as well at any other POD site?


Definitely yes. Luckily I was smart enough not to keep all my eggs in the zazzle basket.

Unlike zazzle, the more work I put into the other POD sites, the more I profit down the road. Zazzle used to be like that too, but now I'm beginning to give up on them. My time and effort isn't paying off here anymore.

Would you mind saying what other PODs? I'm also on Cafepress, Redbubble and Imagekind and sales there have totally tanked. Zazzle is the only POD I'm earning the most with and sales are getting less, I worry that it's doing to go down to practically nothing like on the other PODs


From most profitable to least:

Redbubble
Merch by Amazon
Spreadshirt
Etsy/Printful
Teepubluc
DesignByHumans
Society 6

I never heard of Imagekind. I'll check them out.
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