Thursday, 6 August 2015

Zippi Art POD: First impressions of selling on Zippi

Hey guys! Earlier on in the week I mentioned that I had joined another print on demand website. That print on demand site is UK based Zippi! After my experience with USA international tax treaty misunderstandings at US based Zazzle, I decided that the next print on demand I join would be one that is not based in the USA, because that whole situation was a nightmare! Zippi is also a great choice for people currently living in Europe because shipping will be cheaper for you if you choose to purchase something.... and with more affordable and quicker shipping you will probably be more comfortable and likely to refer people you meet in real life to your art shop. Zippi is a relatively new POD, the first blog post on their page dating June 2014, which means they have room to grow and they look very promising!
Here are some key things you should know about Zippi if you are thinking of joining.

1. Ownership and Royalty Rates

 The first thing I looked at before I joined Zippi was the terms & conditions to find out what the rules are - you would be surprised how many PODs I have stumbled upon that want exclusive rights to your work or want to have full copyright! Thankfully with Zippi they state very clearly that we keep the rights to our own work. As with all print on demand websites, we are granting them permission to use our art to print and sell it. In their terms and conditions you will also see that they are strict on intellectual property - that is, all the work you submit must be your own and must not be infringing on anyone elses' copyright.

As for royalty rates, they are set at a fixed 20%, which is my go to amount for print on demand anyways. Your royalties are payable 30 days after Zippi has been paid by the customer. As usual, if a customer cancels their order or returns an item, you will not be paid royalties for that. If in the future Zippi does change their royalty rules, they will provide 30 days notice via email.. so make sure you always have an up to date email on this print on demand website!

2. Browsing the Marketplace

There are a few ways to browse art on Zippi. The first and probably most common thing customers would browse is their "find art" page located right next to the Zippi logo on the header. When you go to this area, there are seemingly random designs (I am not sure if they are sorted by most popular or most sold - I just know they are not the newest ones) and there are four main categories: For him, for her, nautical designs & british designs.

The second way people browse is by clicking on the product they want, and then browsing art from there. The product view search has a more detailed and directed search function, allowing customers to further narrow their search by sorting designs by theme & collections. This is probably the easiest way to search for specific styles of artwork, and where the collections & descriptions you use will have the most importance.

The third way that people can browse art is browsing by artist on Zippi's Artist Portfolio page. Here is where you can have a quick look at a sample artwork from each artist if you are looking for a particular style. At this time as far as I can tell, Zippi takes the first piece you upload as your sample for this page, so make sure you add one you feel represents you the best!

One thing I am not sure about is how they determine the rankings for all of the marketplace sections. It would be nice to be able to sort them by popular, best sellers, newest etc. It is a new platform and growing, so we may see more implemented in the future!

3. Your Portfolio & Adding work 

Zippi has a simple way to add your art to all their products. While it offers no customer customization, it does make a process that is quick for artists, allowing you more time to promote your shop & make new artwork. Adding work to your portfolio is super easy. Go to "My Account" and then click on "Portfolio" to see and edit your existing designs and to add a new one. Zippi accepts artwork between 400kb and 25MB in .jpg or .png format. Once you upload your picture & create a title for it, you can select which products you want to sell your artwork on, and also edit how the products will look on a variety of sized items. If you don't like how your design is being displayed on products, clicking "edit" for a particular version allows you the option to upload your own resized design, giving you full creative control.

Once you are done fitting your design to products, you will have to select up to three themes that your design falls into, and you will have to describe your design. You only have a limited amount of words to describe your design in, so i suggest using keywords separated by comma that will help your search ranking.

Once your work is successfully added, you can view it in your public portfolio page! The portfolio page is clean and simple, featuring your artist bio & photo at the top. Here is a sample of what it looks like:
As you can see, Zippi provides a clean interface where customers browse by
art preview first. Visit my portfolio here!
Zippi is off to a great start with a wide variety of products to design and purchase. They offer iPhone, iPad & laptop skins & cases, placemats, keychains, mugs, jigsaw puzzles, messenger bags, tote bags, mugs, canvas prints and device sleeves.... and they are sure to add more products in the future!

3. First Impression Overall 

Zippi has a lot of good things going for it. I love the clean interface, from adding products to viewing them in the portfolio and on the website. They are also new and growing, which gives you the advantage of growing with them. I love their product selection as well and am especially excited that they have iPad sleeves! Zippi also has a great social media presence, and are also very quick to respond to inquiries through their website- it is always such a good feeling to find a print on demand that actually communicates! Finally, they have fantastic reviews from customers about their service and products. View the reviews here. Knowing that your designs will be printed properly and on good quality products is definitely a breath of fresh air!

If I could change something to make Zippi perfect it would be to add more ways to sort and view artwork in the marketplace (ex. Newest, Popular, Best Sellers etc) to give designers a way to see what is selling, what is popular, and a chance to show up on a new artwork feed. Another thing that some other print on demand websites have that I love is social media quick share buttons as well as quick code to paste into websites & forums! Self promotion is always important and the ability to share things quickly makes a huge impact on how much promoting you can do & how much extra traffic you can drive to your print on demand portfolio.

Overall Zippi is a very solid print on demand website, and I know it will grow to be even better. I am new to it right now but if all goes well, Zippi will be one of my main print on demand shops!

Do you use Zippi? What are your thoughts on it? Feel free to share your shop and your comments below!

Tanya