|The Nutcracker 2014 commemorative ornament with Clara
Many years ago, when I was still teaching ballet, I started out selling my ballet watercolor images on a single web page (This was back in 2001.). Back then, I made everything at home with my printer and handled all customer service and made my trips to the post office. This was all doable because, back in those days, there were four additional US Postal had branch offices placed throughout town, and it was relatively convenient for me to make multiple trips per week.
In 2005, I discovered CafePress and set up my shop. And let me tell you, back then, things were FUN!! I'm sure a lot of shopkeepers felt the warm fuzzy feeling as they made products with their images and set up sections to their shops. Back then, the royalty percentage you set was honored in the 'market place'. No weird commission math was done to our earnings - no, nothing like how it is today. Then things started to get sour when CP started targeting the content providers (= shopkeepers) as a profit source to be manipulated as they grew in size. First, their bonus structure got tweaked, then came the announcement that all market place sales will have the flat 10% royalty percentage "because that's the industry standard". Then came, 10% sales fees imposed on your earnings unless you choose to pay shop fees upfront. More recently, yet another tweaking of rules - unless you add a new design at least every 3 months, your earning percentage can plummet from 10% to 5%. Yeah, ... no warm fuzzy feelings there these days. LOL
|Waltz of the Flowers (Nutcracker 2014) 11 oz mug
I feel lucky that I do well on Etsy, so my shops at CP and Z have taken a complete backseat to my general operation as an artist these days (I've dropped Red Bubble and all other POD places because they simply made no sense when I analyzed the 'return on investiment' in terms of my time to these venues.). Holiday season, however, is when I see a spike in sales from these two places. The reason is that my ballet watercolor designs are of The Nutcracker.
I have not been able to update and add new designs as much as I've liked over the years - either busy teaching or painting my fantasy art. But I usually managed to work on it in September to get ready for the holiday season. This year, though, I completely, utterly FAILED. ^^; It was an email from CP customer service, which was forwarded from a customer who inquired about a 2014 version of a design! ^^; I grudgingly got myself into action and started updating the commemorative gifts section.
|Dance of the Snowflakes (The Nutcracker 2014) teapot
|Nutcracker & Chipmunk Ballerina 2014 Ornament
|Nutcracker mug (15 oz.)
|Nutcracker mug (11 oz.)
|Nutcracker Pendant Necklace