What Is CafePress?

Photo showing a Cafepress logo

Look, this may just be my opinion but if you ask me, there truly is not any shortage of knickknack and accessories focused online retail stores, and today I wanted to talk about one of the older and bigger ones out there, Cafepress.

What is Cafepress? In this short blog post I am going to be going over and trying to answer that very question.

I would highly recommend caution dealing with Cafepress before reading what I have to say, I could very well save you time, money or both depending on how you want to get involved with Cafepress.

Read onwards if I caught your interest and you want to learn more.

What Is Cafepress?

Cafepress, like mentioned above is one of many different online retailers that sells simple products such as coffee mugs, T-shirts,  car magnets, phone cases, watches, jewelry, greetings cards, journals, calendars, pillows, blankets, shower curtains, clocks and many, many other items. I don’t blame you if any of what I just listed off to you doesn’t sound interesting, because by itself most of those things really aren’t that special or abnormal to be sold through an online retailer.

What makes Cafepress an interesting and worthwhile site, at least in theory, is that they offer for users to upload their own design or photo onto just about all the products I just mentioned, in addition they also have the option to set up an account with Cafepress to be able to upload your own designs, which users can then find and choose to go on the product of their choice, landing you a commission as they chose your design.

If you sign up for an account you can then choose, if you wish, to set up an online store through Cafepress where you can then customize with your own personal designs and sell 250+ products available through them, giving you the opportunity to make more money through them then just by creating and uploading new designs for others to use.

Ok so I am going to do my best to create a summary for you of what both the user and the designer/merchant can expect when dealing with Cafepress.

I promise to try to make it as quick as possible, but keep in mind those whose have an idea to start making money online using this site, I plan to point out a superior alternative to Cafepress that would be way more effective and beneficial for you long term when talking about making money, and if you have never visited my site before then there is a good chance you may be surprised with what I have to say.

What Merchants Need To Know

Photo showing the merchant info section of Cafepress

Here is the really quick summary, don’t waste your time trying to make any real money with Cafepress.

Ok now for the longer, drawn out summary

. If you are looking to set up an online shop to sell products with Cafepress, what they handle on their end includes international shipment of all your products, all returns and exchanges, and all payment either through most major credit card companies or Paypal. As far as what is provided for your store front, they give you a list of different templates to choose from to personalize your shop, even allowing you to further customize your shop by being able to add your own text and images.

You can organize your online store to spotlight whatever item you want including whatever “hot” items may be trending on Cafepress at that given time. Let’s go over how making your money works with Cafepress real quick before I get into the deep problems this site seems to have.

How it works is fairly simple, you select different available items to showcase on your online store and each item has a base price to start with, the base price is where Cafepress makes its money, and what you do is add on your commission on top of the base price, giving you the total price that your customers will pay for the products.

So here is where the wheels start to fall off, according to the reviews of many, MANY different merchants who have worked through Cafepress, these guys screw the merchants pretty hard(the customers don’t fare much better but I will talk about that in a sec). Many people are swearing up and down that the payments they are owed were randomly cut in half or just flat out denied for whatever reason or another.

According to Cafepress, merchants owed payments being cut in half is nothing more than a “bug” in their system, but coincidentally this supposed bug remained a problem for many months later, likely even to this day to be honest.

The support staff is both understaffed and outsourced, with multiple people claiming that the staff they spoke with over the phone just gave them double speak when confronted about problems such as payment disputes, not to mention the massive amount of complaints from users and merchants alike that their emails are never returned.

I don’t think you need anymore convincing that it’s a bad idea to waste your time and talent working with Cafepress so I won’t go any further, but don’t forget my recommendation for anyone looking for a way to make money online is just down at the bottom of this article if you want to take a peek.

What the Users Need To Know

Photo showing different products on Cafepress

But what about the users right? Surely the actually offerings of Cafepress and the customer support and how they treat their customers would be better than how they treat their merchants right?

In case you can’t detect the tone I am trying to emphasize right now, the answer to that question is no.

They do not treat their customers much better.

So many customers claim that they order something on this date and are told their product will arrive by that date and should expect an email confirmation when their product is shipped, only to find out 2 or three weeks later that their order was never shipped at all and was actually cancelled with no notification or email.


Many different people claim that they ordered one thing and got something different, others claim that they buy something and it’s very poor quality, made out of cheap materials and a lot of times the design that is printed on whatever they buy is not printed correctly and also of poor quality.

I would go into a little more detail about what you could expect as a potential user but I really don’t see most people reading this article right now going over to Cafepress to make money or buy a creative gift for a friend or loved one, not after all the glaring problems that I have presented.

In summary, if you are looking to buy a custom gift for you or a friend, do not waste you money and time, there are better online marketplace alternatives to Cafepress, like Fiverr just to name one off the top of my head.

If you are looking to use your talents to try to make money through Cafepress, definitely don’t waste your time unless you want to get ultimately screwed one way or another. I have read multiple warnings from merchants who have been partnered with Cafepress for 7+ years and they say the same thing, DO NO WASTE YOUR TIME WITH CAFEPRESS!

As I said earlier, I myself can recommend you a far better method of making money online if that was your intention with Cafepress. Have you ever considered building your own website? It’s really not near as complicated as most think it is, or near as complicated as it actually was back with the internet was just starting to blow up big time.

There are tools and training available to help and teach you how to go about completing the process of building your own money generating website. If you feel like you have the time, energy and motivation to learn how then check out my page where I talk in depth about the online school that taught me how to build websites and the different ways to make money off of websites, Wealthy Affiliate.

WA is one of, if not the best place to begin your journey building a website, and its free to begin going through the courses. They provide you with plenty of training, assistance and tools to help you succeed, the rest is up to you. If what I said caught your interest and you want to read more about Wealthy Affiliate then click here.

Hopefully this article helped answer the question you were asking , what is Cafepress?  I hope you plan on moving towards a more positive direction for buying and selling online. If you have experienced the service of Cafepress, whether you have bought items or sold through them, I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject! Please make sure to leave a comment down below if time permits it, seeing your comment really would make my day!

Thanks again for reading,





6 thoughts on “What Is CafePress?

  1. I really have never heard of cafepress until a few months ago, and they didn’t interest me at all.

    But while I was reading your review, I checked to see how many people are actually searching for them each month.

    Wow! They are popular, aren’t they? But when I did a little research, I can see they have many bad reviews.

    People are hungry for ways to make money online, and I must agree with you that Wealthy Affiliate is a much much better alternative.

    Thanks for your review

    1. Yes its unfortunate that they produce such low quality products, the idea they had for Cafepress was something cool. I am also as surprised as you are that they receive as much traffic as they do, knowing the quality of their work.

  2. I have been considering ordering some items from Cafepress, but sounds good that I have not done it yet.

    I like the idea of the personalized items, but a bit scary to hear about all the complaints that has been from other customers and even from companies that have been working with Cafe press.

    Thanks for the warning, and I will do some more research and try to find the gifts I am looking for at another platform that has a better reputation.


    1. There are plenty of alternatives out there that offer similar merchandise/services but do it better. Good luck with your search, Mikael!

  3. The way I see it, Cafepress benefits the buyers more than the sellers because it gives a lot of choices to choose from. Unfortunately, this also means that sellers have to compete fiercely for their designs to stand out.

    It provides convenience for sellers to acquire merchandise but it lacks an active marketing system for each sellers to showcase their skills.

    Good for getting the feet wet with eCommerce, not good for long term profit though.

    1. I agree, it can be a good place to start but its not where anyone wants to end up, for the most part at least.

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