How to Sell Your Creative Work on CafePress - dummies

By Greg Holden

If you’re a creative artist and you just want to sell a few examples of your work to family and friends, CafePress might be just what you need. If you already have an account with PayPal and regularly use its payment services for sales on eBay, it makes sense to open a PayPal store.

If you use Microsoft products, such as Expression web, to create your web pages, Microsoft Small Business Center is a good option for creating an online sales catalog and storefront. It’s all a matter of deciding what you need.

Creative people aren’t always the best at marketing and selling their own work. Millions of amateur artists out there are probably hoping to become professionals. They have great ideas for cartoons, logos, and drawings, but the prospect of getting them printed and sold in stores is a big obstacle.

It’s easy enough to start your own CafePress store. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect to the Internet, start up your web browser, and go to the CafePress Free Store page.

    The Sell Online: Introduction page appears in your browser window.

  2. Click the Create my Shop link or the Start Selling Now! button.

    The Join CafePress.com! page appears. Before creating a store, you need to register with CafePress.

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  3. Assign yourself a username and password (if you haven’t done so already). When you’re done, click Join Now.

    The New Member Survey page appears.

  4. Fill out the survey and click Open Your Shop!

    The Open a Shop page appears.

  5. Click Open a Basic Shop.

    The Welcome to CafePress.com Basic Shops! page appears.

  6. Under the Shop Information heading, enter a short ID that will be included in your store’s URL and enter a name for your store. Fill out the rest of the options on the page if necessary, and click Submit when you’re done.

    The Welcome to CafePress.com Basic Shops! page appears. Click the URL supplied for your new store so that you can see that although it’s empty, it really exists.

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  7. Click the Build Your Shop button.

    The Products page appears.

  8. Under the Storefront Contents tab, select Add a Product.

    The Choose a Product page appears, with a set of products you can personalize and sell in your store.

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  9. Close the new browser window that opened so that you could inspect your page and return to the Welcome to CafePress.com Basic Shops! page. Click the Add These Products button at the bottom of the page.

    The Your Account page appears.

    If you want to sell something other than a tote bag, license plate frame, book, or other products shown on the Choose a Product page, you should open a site with another web host. But if you’re just beginning with e-commerce and aren’t sure what to sell, a CafePress.com store is a good starting point.

  10. Select the box that contains the type of item you want to sell and then click the Edit button.

    The Product Designer page appears.

  11. Click Select Image.

    The Media Basket page appears. This page is intended as a storage area — a place where you can store product images so that you can add them later when you want to put items up for sale.

  12. Click Add Image.

    The Upload Image page appears, with an explanation you should read that describes the acceptable file formats.

  13. Click Browse.

    The Choose File dialog box appears.

  14. Select the file you want to place on the front of the object and click Open.

    The path leading to the location of the image file on your computer appears in the Image file box.

  15. Check the I Agree to the Terms and Conditions Described Above box and then click Upload.

    An Uploading dialog box appears with a progress bar that describes the progress of the file transfer. When the transfer is complete, the image appears in your Media Basket.

  16. Click Add image.

    The image is added to the front of your product.

  17. Click Next and follow Steps 11 through 16 to add images to the back of the object and to add more objects to your online store.

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Make sure your logo or other image meets the height and other requirements for a CafePress.com store. Images must be 200 pixels in height (1 inch equals approximately 72 pixels). Find out more by clicking the Need More Image Help? link, which appears on the product design pages as you’re creating your store.

Visit your new site by entering your web address, which takes the form www.cafepress.com/storename (where storename is the name you choose in Step 6).

CafePress.com sets a base price for each object. For example, a set of six greeting cards has a base price of $10.99. If you charge $14.99 for the cards, CafePress.com collects the base price, but you get the $4.00 profit. You don’t have to do the printing or shipping; CafePress.com handles all of that for you.