Frustrated by Zazzle
I know, I'm really bad at this blog thing. I'm too inconsistent. It's not a job, I don't make money from it, so I don't make an effort to post something every day, every other day or even every week. I'll try to do better in the future. Maybe commit to at least once a month. I think I can live up to that commitment.
Anyway, the real reason I'm here... Zazzle. While I still prefer Zazzle to Redbubble because of the design tools featured on Zazzle and the variety of products that you can add your design to, I've been very frustrated with the site over the past few weeks. Something has been going on at Zazzle that is causing a variety of problems. In my case the problems I first noticed were with my Collections. I had created a dozen or so designs that all had an Autumn theme - whether Halloween, Falling Leaves or just typical fall colors. I created a Collection called 'Shades of Autumn' and added these items to the collection. Mind you, these were all items that I had already received email notification for stating the items had been posted for sale. I found the Collection was not showing up in my public storefront. I waited a day or so and it still wasn't showing up in my storefront. At that point I contacted Zazzle Help. The response from the help desk person was that the items were still being reviewed which is why the collection wasn't appearing. I responded that all the items contained in the collection had already been reviewed and posted for sale. Additionally, when looking only at the list of products in my public storeroom, the items appear there.
The next response I received from Z-Help was, once again, that the items are still being reviewed and should be available soon. Additionally, the rep used the difference in quantity between the # of items in my product list vs the # of items in my storefront, approximately 20 items, as proof that there were items still being reviewed. I responded, pointing out that the difference in the number of items is due to the Hidden items I have in my list and that when only the Public items were displayed in store management the count was within 2 of the number of items in the storefront view. (That brought up yet another issue; What were those 2 items that were missing! I'll hit on that in a little bit.)
That was the last I heard from Z-Help. I posted a question on one of the Facebook groups I belong to and found out that other people have been noticing that it's taking longer and longer for new Collections to show up in your storefront. Apparently it's also been discussed (and/or similar issues) in the Zazzle Forum. They said give it some time and the Collection(s) will show up.
So, a week later, my 'Shades of Autumn' collection finally appeared in my storefront along with some other Collections I had created to test out different situations. In the meantime, my Drinkware collection, which I created a couple months ago and which had been showing up in my storeroom, disappeared. The only thing I had done with that collection was to add some of my new mugs. So, what, adding new items to a collection, items that have already been reviewed and posted for sale, causes a Collection to disappear from a public storefront? This just isn't making sense to me. The items have already been approved. Why should adding them to a Collection have any impact on that Collection whatsoever?
This whole process has been very frustrating. To top it off, with nearly all my Collections displaying in my public storefront again, I reorganized the Collections - changed the order in which they are viewed. Just changed the order!!!! Out of 17 Collections, only 7, that's S-E-V-E-N, now appear in my public storefront! I submitted an incident to Z-Help again and have received NO response.
I'm less than pleased with the level of help I've received from Z-Help.
Back to those 2 missing items. I opened my storefront on a separate browser window so I could be in management mode on one screen and viewing my store like a customer on another screen. I brought up the product list on both screens and compared the items one by one until I found the two items that were missing from my storefront. It was 2 mugs that I created months ago. Once again, I submitted and incident contact to Z-Help. The first response I received suggested I verify that I had the 'G' rating and not the 'PG-13' or 'R' rating selected for each of the items as this could cause them to not display. I responded that none of my items require anything other than a 'G' rating and this is what I've selected for all my items. Also, I checked both items and, in addition to the 'G' rating setting, verified both items were set to 'Public'. I received a reply not too long after that the issue was being forwarded to the tech department to look into.
So, at this moment, I have 2 issues open with Z-Help; The 2 missing mugs and only 7 out of 17 of my Collections showing in my storefront.
Zazzle is a complicated site and has a lot of moving parts. I don't expect everything to work 100% correct 100% of the time. But I do expect that issues of this type that have such an impact on sellers would receive more attention and receive better help than what I've seen demonstrated over the past couple of weeks. Even so, I still prefer Zazzle's site to Redbubble. I'll keep using both though for the foreseeable future.