I thought I'd give CafePress the props they deserve by posting a 'thank you' thread on their member forum. So what did they do? Deleted it. Almost immediately.
I thought it was rather lovely, so I'll post it here instead.
Posted 04 November 2009 07:46 PM
As I've said [numerous times!], it wasn't until CP's brilliant idea [the 10% thing] that I finally decided to branch out to other PODs. Once the first one started making consistent sales [which it did in its first month--in fact, I made its first volume bonus level after my first week], I pulled out of CP's MP for good.
Next thing I knew the second POD started making sales.
And then this morning I was SHOCKED by a sale at a third POD--that I had completely forgotten about. Of course I can't mention its name, but it's the one that lets you make your designs available for sale separate from actually placing them on products yourself. I had uploaded a few designs and put them on a bunch of products, even paid for their version of a premium shop for a month--before realizing that they make your PERSONAL, PRIVATE info (name, home address, etc.) available to the public. I shut down the shop and deleted all the products, but left the designs in their MP. And voila! They're now selling too.
And guess what? My markup on them is MORE than the 10% that CP was giving me for all the trouble I went through putting products up. In other words, with CP, *I* upload the designs, *I* choose the products to put them on, *I* put the designs on the products, tweak the sizes so they look right, etc., set up sections, add keywords, write descriptions, and so on, only to make [about] $2 per shirt. At the "other place" ALL I do is upload a design, write a description and add some keywords, give it my markup, done. And I'm making roughly 2.5 times as much as the aforementioned shirt example at CP--JUST FOR THE DESIGN.
When I first heard about the 10% thing in June, when I was recovering from April brain surgery and was physically unable to do anything, I was very pessimistic and depressed about this change. And here I am, GRATEFUL for how it's worked out. I would be remiss not to thank CafePress!
Now, I can't IMAGINE why CafePress was offended by that post, and felt compelled to remove it! But they were and they did. Oh well. Fuck them.
On a separate, but somewhat related, note I have to mention that the other PODs don't feel the need to censor their forums the way CafePress does. I'm not referring to the deletion of my post. I'm talking about the way CP disallows the mention of any competitors by name--even in private messages! Seriously. They'll obfuscate the other PODs' names if you type them in a forum post or private message. How lame is that? Or should I say, how PARANOID is that?