Zazzle Shops - are they good?

Zazzle Shops - are they good?

Nov 19, 2016, 11:38:54 PM Tech and Science

As an addicted player of World of Tanks i just created some Tshirts in my own shop on Zazzle, try to sell something.

Here are the link to the Collection:

Holidays and other gift-giving occasions, from birthdays to graduations, lead a lot of people to try designing custom-made greeting cards, calendars, picture books, and other goods, with photos of the family or just personalized messages. The quality of the finished product depends a lot on the service used to make the product. Zazzle has been helping consumers customize everything from t-shirts to greeting cards for more than ten years, so it's not a new site or service by a long shot. It's most similar to Cafe Press in what it offers.

Zazzle gives users a lot of control over the elements being customized—design, images, text—letting would-be designers alter the place, size, and layering of elements, but the app's online tools aren't as rich as a full image editing program (even those of free online image editors, like Fatpaint, for example). On the other hand, they're slightly too complex for anyone who isn't quite as tech-savvy with image editing. I managed to design a greeting card that was shipped on time, looked professional in print quality, and met my needs for a fair price—but Zazzle's online tools were so clunky that I wasn't in any rush to make another custom product.

Such Thing as Too Much Control
In looking at other greeting-card making services in particular, I found that sometimes reining in users and restricting them from making too many changes to a template card is often a blessing in disguise, steering those who lack an eye for design into creating a final product that still looks good., for example, has some template designs with fixed colors and fonts, even though the customer can still change the writing that will appear on and inside the card. The Cards iPhone app by Apple, too, puts limitations on how much designing the user can do, making for a quick customization experience and very effective results. Apple users on desktops and laptops can get the same quality cards but with slightly more indepth editing tools using the Projects feature in iPhoto.

Zazzle gives you good amount of control over your product, but I don't necessarily think that's a good thing. Designing is a skill, and if you don't have it or don't practice it often, a little guidance goes a long way. One example is how Zazzle prompts you to upload images. Wherever there is a placeholder for an image, you can replace it with your own easily enough. But the new image isn't shown in a window at the same size and dimensions as the placeholder—it's just slapped on top. In greeting card creation there are typically layers to the right of the screen, which you can drag around to expose or obscure different elements underneath others. But the whole thing is clunky and feels outdated.

That said, Zazzle does offer more customization and more tools for editing than some competing sites, especially if all you want to make are greeting cards, wall calendars, and other small paper products. You can always change the color, images, size of the finished product (e.g., 7-inch by 11-inch calendar versus 11-inch by 17-inch). You can add text, and adjust the point size and font. You can rearrange the layered components of the design. Zazzle gives you the ability to "revert" back to the original template, but there's no undo button for single changes.

Value and Quality
I created a few cards and chose one to buy, a simple holiday card with a photo and a personalized message inside. When I realized that the overwhelming design editing power being granted to me by Zazzle could quickly cause my own undoing, I kept it simple and talked myself down from trying out every typeface on offer.

When the card arrived seven days (or five business days) later, I was very pleased the results. The printing on the glossy card looked professional and clean. The card stock met my expectations, too. Cards that I've made using and Snapfish are comparable and arrived in the same amount of time. Those three services—Zazzle, Hallmark, and Snapfish—let you select the type of card and the cardstock (except with Hallmark, the stock depends on the card template you choose). With the iPhone app Cards, matte letterpress is the only option, but I think it's more sophisticated looking than the glossy print.

My single notecard cost $2.68. Tack on $1.99 shipping and $0.21 tax, my grand total came to $4.88 for one card. The card was shipped to me in a stiff envelope, as Zazzle doesn't have an option to mail the card via first-class post the way and Cards do. Of course, the prices get better the more you order, as the $1.99 shipping fee doesn't seem as drastic when it's covering a dozen other items. And the cost of some products, like invitations and postcards, decreases as you order them in bulk. For value and quality, Zazzle is very good.

Zazzle for Some
Zazzle didn't leave me feeling "zazzled" or wowed after I created some personalized merchandise, but the quality and prices were better than I expected. The editing tools disappointed me, although I can see how they do give you a lot of control over your designs—which is fine if you know how to design well. However, if you are an apt designer, you may already own some expensive designing software, like Adobe InDesign (heck, you can even design in Microsoft PowerPoint if you stick to certain kinds of products), in which case those tools will serve you much better. For iPhone users, the Cards app does a remarkable job and produces fantastic results. If you need something Web-based, though, is a reliable option.

Published by Mighty Fox

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