Zazzle Frustrations Continue
If I hadn't already invested so much time in setting up my Zazzle shop (I'm not up over 550 items) I might be tempted to quit. The actual designing part works great but Zazzle is seriously lacking in their process of publishing items to designer's public storefronts.
I currently have items that I created going all the way back to 10/6/2018 that are missing from my storefront! To give a little background, publishing products is a 2 step process. After you create a design and select 'Sell It', the item publishes to your designer page but goes through a vetting process before being published to your public storefront. This supposedly is how Z verifies that you haven't pirated an image/pattern/design from someone else and to make sure you're not using any trademarked images/phrases, etc. Understandable, right? Once the item has gone through this vetting process, designers are sent an email letting them know the item has been 'posted for sale'. But wait, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to show up in your storefront. It could be another 24 hours before that happens. Huh? Confused? Me too! Why send the 'posted for sale' email if it hasn't actually been posted for sale? Zazzle claims it can be another 24 hours before these items show up in your public storefront. In total, they claim, the process can take anywhere from 24-48 hours! Now, 24 hours seems reasonable but 48 hours is starting to push it to me.
What this means is that, as a designer, you can't publish new items to take advantage of a current promotion Z is running unless the promotion is running more than 1 day. But, even if it's a 2 day promo, you're likely to miss it. And they don't let you know ahead of time what promo is coming up. So, you can pretty much forget about trying to create new designs for currently running promotions. You have to just market what you already have.
But wait, there's more! Their process is even more flawed. They are missing posting item's to designers' storefronts. Today, not counting designs I just created yesterday, I have about 10 items missing from my public storefront going all the way back to 10/6/2018. And, it makes no sense! These are all items that I've received the posted emails for. With the exception of 1 day, all the missing items were created with images/patterns that were used on other designs created that same day that ARE showing up in my public storefront. In several cases the images used are my own photographs! For that 1 day that I mentioned, I had created 4 baby/toddler items and all 4 items are missing from my storefront even though I received a posted email for them. These items were created 5 days ago!
Apparently I'm not the only person having this issue as it shows up in Z's forum and other people in a Facebook group I belong to have mentioned the same issue. Frustrations are running very high. There are designers that have been with Z for several years that are ready to call it quits. Not just for this reason but for other issues going on with Zazzle. They implemented a new Departments structure a month or so ago. But when they retroactively assigned departments to already existing items the process was flawed and people's items ended up in the wrong departments. Unfortunately, unless you go through every department to see what items are included/if there are any that shouldn't be there, there's no way to know. And, when you do find items that have the wrong department, there's no way to mass-correct them. You have to do each one manually. Some designers have thousands of items! Can you imagine the time that it will take to correct everything so that it shows up in the correct Zazzle department? I'm really happy that when they made this change I still only had a couple hundred items!
I'm going to keep plugging away, adding new designs and hoping that all these Zazzle issues get straightened out soon. It's just my time, which, at this moment, I have a lot of since becoming unemployed at the end of May. I just figure if I keep adding designs (I'm trying to get to 1000 at my 1 year mark) and keep marketing on FB & IG, I'll start getting more sales. My goal was mostly just to do something with my photography but bringing in a few extra $ would be nice even if it's just extra spending money.