Saturday, February 14, 2009

CafePress - setting up shop

For years, I've hunted for fun t-shirts on Who hasn't ordered at least one shirt from the site? I've wondered how easy it really would be to set up a web shop, and even more important, what would I sell?

I took the plunge by offering to set up an online store for my local Y. Check out the YMCA Pro Shop for Y-babies and Y-kids. :) Hopefully, the online shop will bring in a small revenue for an excellent non-profit that provides so many community services.

The business proposition for CafePress and its shop keepers is a good one. Products (T-Shirts and stuff) are "created" or "customized" online by a shop keeper, who provides the artwork graphics and picks which products to sell, prices each product, and launches an online shop. No products are created, stored, or shipped until an item is selected and ordered by a customer. Basic shops are free. No upfront costs. No investment in inventory. Ideal for a small business, non-profit or individual.

CafePress provides the following:
  1. Free online shop (URL) to promote your products.
  2. Produces each item when ordered (print-on-demand).
  3. Handles payment transactions.
  4. Ships products worldwide.
  5. Manages all returns/exchanges.
  6. Offers customer service - toll-free and e-mail.
  7. Sends you/your organization a monthly check for your earnings on sales.
  8. More? Guess I'll learn more as I add more items to the store or add more stores!

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