CafePress Quality Review

Once the industry’s unquestioned leader, Cafepress now hosts official merchandise in addition to fan creations. While they still have a massive base of customers, their decision to greatly decrease revenue for sellers when items are purchased through Cafepress’s marketplace means that it won’t turn into much extra revenue for you.


Designs can be uploaded through the Media Basket tab. At this stage you can name designs and add tags so that other people can find them through searches. Free stores have the unfortunate limitation of only allowing one design per product type.

I sent two files for printing at CafePress, one solid-colored illustration of a dinosaur skull and one full color photograph of leaves. Here’s what those files looked like on CafePress’s site when ordering:

I ordered on Monday night, and received this package the following Saturday:

Branded shipping bags are a nice touch, but they’re more of an advertisement than a bonus for buyers.

Inside the package, though, CafePress has done a really nice job. Small touches like wrapping the tees in a paper ring and placing the receipt in a holder make great personal touches, reinforcing the idea that someone carefully put this order together.

I have mixed feelings about how the dino skull illustration printed. While the print is crisp and placed well, I feel that it’s a bit small on the tee. Additionally, the white ink underbase peeks out beneath the lines in several places:

It’s not obvious from far away, but is definitely noticeable at normal, conversational viewing distances. Given the quantity of shirts that CafePress prints, I had expected that they’d have all their quality issues figured out by now.

The photographic print is where I expected CafePress to struggle, but instead this is exactly where they triumphed. The colors are a near-perfect match to the original file I sent them, with an impressive amount of detail. Placement and sizing are also exactly as requested.

SUMMARY
CafePress still seems to struggle with printing on dark colors, but their prices are reasonable and their quality on full color printing can’t be beat. If you’ve avoided them due to the quality of their early prints, I think it’s safe to say that they’re worth another try.

Shirt options:
White t-shirt starting at $14.99
Jr. jersey t-shirt (4 colors) starting at $18.99
Light t-shirt (3 colors) starting at $14.99
Golf shirt starting at $16.99
Women’s t-shirt starting at $14.99
Jr. spaghetti tank (4 colors) starting at $16.99
Fitted t-shirt starting at $15.99
Yellow shirt starting at $14.99
Green t-shirt starting at $14.99
Women’s light t-shirt (3 colors) starting at $14.99
Organic men’s fitted t-shirt starting at $19.99
Value t-shirt starting at $8.99
Jr. ringer t-shirt (3 colors) starting at $16.99
Women’s tank top starting at $14.99
Men’s sleeveless tee starting at $14.99
Ringer T (3 colors) starting at $14.99
Women’s cap sleeve t-shirt (3 colors) starting at $15.99
Dark t-shirt (9 colors) starting at $18.99
Men’s fitted t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $21.99
Women’s dark t-shirt (4 colors) starting at $19.99
Women’s v-neck t-shirt starting at $15.99
Women’s v-neck dark t-shirt (2 colors) starting at $19.99
Women’s plus size scoop neck t-shirt starting at $24.99
Women’s plus size scoop neck dark t-shirt starting at $24.99
Women’s plus size v-neck t-shirt starting at $24.99
Women’s plus size v-neck dark t-shirt starting at $24.99
Maternity t-shirt (2 colors) starting at $23.99
Maternity dark t-shirt starting at $23.99
Men’s polo (3 colors) starting at $29.99
Women’s polo (2 colors) starting at $29.99
Organic men’s t-shirt starting at $22.99
Organic men’s t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $23.99
Organic women’s t-shirt starting at $22.99
Organic women’s t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $23.99
Organic women’s fitted t-shirt (colors) starting at $19.99
Organic women’s fitted t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $22.99
Organic men’s fitted t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $22.99
Women’s fitted t-shirt (dark) (2 colors) starting at $21.99

Other product options:
Long sleeve shirts, outerwear, kids clothing, hats and caps, bags, teddy bear, license plate frame, ornaments, signs, Flip Minos, pet apparel, mousepads, coasters, aprons, clocks, boxes, journals, pillows, mugs and bottles, buttons, magnets, underwear, cards, prints, calendars, stickers, books and CDs.

Customization:
You can add a header and logo to the shop page with the free shop. Premium shops can use custom templates and HTML.

Community:
While the number of customers browsing CafePress is robust, a marketplace sale will only net you 10%. So despite the sizable community, you’ll want to focus on outside traffic.

Previously

Learn Something Every Day tackles DTG tees
Learn Something Every Day tackles DTG tees

Learn Something Every Day is a project from Young, a UK design studio. Each day they post a new and