Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CafePress takes even more control...

UPDATE: A CafePress rep notes that the shirt in question has been in my shop since May 5. So I guess it's my fault. It's possible that the shirt was created by myself unintentionally -- I would never in my right mind try to put that shirt in my shop. I have now taken it out. I also just got an email from CafePress community relations manager Angela Low informing me of this, and she gave more details indicating that the buyer had purchased the design on a galaxy blue colored shirt, so the black text should show up (but not ideal).

I have to say I'm rather amazed at CP's quick response to my blog post, and it has certainly helped to clear things up. However, I do think this serves as an example of an instance where CP could use their new "changes" to do good -- modify the design so that it looks nice on the final product -- or don't sell it at all.

My original post:
OMG... I just experienced my first CafePress (CP) sale where CP actually put one of my designs on a shirt that wasn't meant to be used for that particular design (see image to the right) -- because the text is in black, and well, the shirt is black... {I have the same design where the text is in white and that was specifically made for "dark" shirts.} How did this happen, you ask?? CP recently made yet more changes to its seller services that gives them even more control over shopkeepers' designs. The following is quoted from an email sent to shopkeepers:
  • CafePress may help determine what products your designs will be available on in the CafePress Marketplace and may automatically add your designs to additional products for you. For example, if a customer wants your design on a sweatshirt, and you don't offer a sweatshirt we can add your design to a sweatshirt.
  • To improve the printing quality, CafePress may automatically modify your designs. For instance we may clean up JPG artifacting, adjust colors for optimal printing on different printers and products, and adjust placement on different products.
What's even worse is that they named the shirt "BaBY" (which is the title for another design I have in my shop, not this one!) -- this shirt is supposed to be called "Future Genius." Here is proof that they have no idea what they are doing, and they are ruining shopkeepers' designs. I wouldn't be surprised if the shirt gets returned to CP because it looks awful. I wish I could contact the buyer and let her know that she can get the same (but appropriate) design on a dark shirt directly from my store...


  1. Have you contacted Angela Low the shopkeeper liason to ask her to explain this? I'm curious to hear what she has to say.

  2. Hmm. No, I haven't tried to contact Angela Low yet. What's her contact info? (Should I have known her contact address, or am I just really out of the loop?) Are you also a shopkeeper?

  3. But certainly you can't be contacting Angela or some other person at CP every time this happens. This is just proof that, as you say, they are taking the new rules further than they said they would. Once again they lie to the shopkeepers. And I bet you can kiss that $1.20 goodbye when the shirt gets returned.

    What a travesty.

  4. JC, this is Marty from CafePress. We haven't started doing anything differently. That product is in your shop, and has been since May 5th.


  5. Hey Marty, thanks for looking into this. That product really shouldn't be there. If it's my fault, then I apologize for the misunderstanding. However, I would like to point out that I'm a bit surprised that this product was actually sold to someone (and that someone actually bought it). It's obviously not going to look good and will likely be returned by the buyer. This will not reflect well on CP nor my shop. Isn't this something CP should look out for, esp. when one of the new things is that CP will modify designs so that they look good on its products?

  6. The sales report shows that a "dark" shirt was sold - but it doesn't actually show the color the customer bought. The shirt this customer bought was the blue "galaxy" color. Your black text will show up fine. I hope that helps!

  7. Yep, thanks! That's what Angela Low told me by email. I've updated the post to reflect that.

  8. Is it possible this was a shirt you bulk-added? I find that process faulty and sadly keep finding boo-boos (dark designs on dark shirts) in my shop on occasion because I used bulk-add. I hope CP will fix that first (they know.)

  9. Yeah, I'm trying to figure out how that could have happened. I rarely bulk-add. It may have happened when I was adding the new dark organic shirt to that particular section, and the "Future Genius" image was retained on the "add a product" page from a previous addition. I'm pretty good about checking, so I'm not sure how that got past me.