Thursday, 25 June 2015

6 Months of Zazzle: Key Stats & Sales Infographic

As I mentioned earlier this month, June marks 6 months since I first started my Zazzle shop! Despite this month being pretty down due to my confusion over the W-8 BEN form and actually getting paid eventually, I still have hopes for my shop & wish to continue on my Zazzle journey. I wanted to review my progress so far, so that is what I did this month. I looked at some of the major stats from my shop over the 6 month period of December 2014- May 2015, and found some of the stats really motivating, while others pretty de-motivating. But mostly it was really cool to see my progress so far.

On my infographic I included stats about my total sales including a month to month breakdown, number of products sold and where my products are sold to. What I did not include on my infographic was the amount of money I have made so far, total views, or the amount of things I have shared across social media platforms. While they are all important pieces of information, finding out exactly how much promotional effort I have put is hard for me to measure, & I like to keep actual money things private. I didn't include my views because tracking views on shop front in Zazzle doesn't really give accurate stats, & finding the total number of views is tedious as they are spread out over 2000 products. I will tell you now that I do have all my products set to 20% royalties & sometimes higher amounts, depending on what I think is a fair price. This is unrelated, but I have heard rumours that if you have 20% royalty or above, Zazzle will not put your products on the front page or feature them in promotions. Since my products are featured in different sections of the website, have appeared on the front page and also in a Zazzle promotion, I can tell you this is only a rumour! Set your royalties to whatever you feel comfortable. If people like your design enough, they will buy them regardless of whether you set your royalties to 10% or 20%+.

Here is my infographic! (if it is too small you can click it to see the biggest one)

So there you have it, the progress of my shop over 6 months. What I have learned through this infographic.....

I have created A LOT of products, and so many of them have not sold! ;___; 
The downside of print on demand is that you have to create a lot of products before it starts working for you. This can take quite a long time, especially if you are making these items customizable with text and different elements. The important thing to remember is that once they are out there, they can be found by people. So share, share, share the items you have created!

On the bright side, the designs that have sold have gone to places I haven't even been before! Its so cool to know that someone on the other side of the world is enjoying my artwork.

What I wish I included was how many unique designs I have uploaded, and how many of those designs have sold this far. I will keep track of that for now on, and for my 1 year Zazzle infographic I will put that stat for sure. :)

I hope you found my infographic informative!  It is now time for me to get back into actual shop management mode and to add new designs.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

A general update

Hi guys, I know I haven't been posting here lately! I went on a lovely vacation, got back, and now I have tons of stuff to do. I haven't forgotten about this blog, I promise! I have been working with my boyfriend at his marketing company, and we just launched a website & lookbook for a client of his ( I even wrote their first blog post & made lots of graphics for them!) It was really exciting, but beyond that, my regular work hours, upcoming freelance work & recent family events, I haven't had much time for my print on demand hobby, or new patterns! :( I really am itching to make a new pattern, as this month's birth flower is the red rose, and I love making my monthly floral pattern.

Another reason I have not been posting much is that I am hesitant of promoting my Zazzle shop more, as my W-8 BEN form still has not been processed, 6 months after initially submitting one. Now there are new IRS updates and Zazzle is saying that international sellers require an ITIN number on their W-8 BEN form to prevent the IRS from withholding 30% of your earnings. Getting an ITIN number is pretty much impossible for me, as I don't have the required identification to get one. I don't even get taxed 30% in Canada, and I have no intention of giving another government 30% of my income, so if this is indeed a new rule I may be closing shop at Zazzle and finding a new POD to act as my main shop. I will be sad if I have to do that, I had so many plans for Zazzle! I do have hope though, as the actual w-8 ben form instructions state that the ITIN number is only used if you cannot provide a foreign tax number. I have one of those, so if I can provide that on my W-8 BEN and not get taxed I will do that! But in the end it all depends on whether Zazzle will accept foreign tax numbers on the forms, because they are the ones who are saying we need an ITIN number. I haven't had much time to think about this whole process, and since submitting forms on 3 separate occasions I think it is best for me to just wait it out and see what zazzle decides in the end, rather than starting the form process over all over again.

For anyone else who is an international seller like I am, I will keep an eye out for any updates and post when I find out what is really official.
The post about ITIN from Zazzle:
The W-8 BEN form instructions: (see page 5 for information saying that you can provide your foreign tax number.)

Other than that, I did start an infographic about my Zazzle shop's sales over time, since it has been 6 months on zazzle for me. I think it is quite interesting to see my progress on Zazzle over time, and if I do stick to Zazzle it would be a neat way to see how it is growing, when my slow months are and what countries are buying from my shop. I will be posting it this month!

In the absence of my Zazzle shop, I will be promoting my Redbubble shop for now. ;) Did you know redbubble has new items? Check out drawstring backpacks and notebooks! They also have pencil skirts!
Drawstring backpack: $35. My old watercolour hearts design goes great on black!
I love how these bags look.

Spiral Notebook: $15. Same heart design. I will feature more designs later!
If you get a white gel pen, you can easily write your name in fancy lettering near the hearts.
Or get a black permanent marker and add your name inside a heart! :) 
I hope everyone is having a fantastic June, I will post soon!