I just mentioned recently that Zazzle and Cafepress seemed to be involved in a game of one-up and today it seems more true than ever with the launch of Zazzle embroidery. To be honest I laughed out loud (that’s LOL for you 1337) when I saw this banner. Surely the Real is a dig at Infinistitch by Cafepress. Don’t you just love a bit of friendly rivalry?
Just recently I expressed my doubts about Zazzle adding embroidery products to their catalog but I was clearly wrong and I will try to be a bit more open-minded about unsubstantiated rumors in the future. Probably not though. Anyway, heads up to T-Shirt Chat for calling this. Although he did say that I was the first to call it way back when. So way back when I didn’t even remember. Then again I heard it from somewhere else (an embroidery blog I believe) so that wouldn’t even make me the first to call it.
Anyway, when Infinistitch was released quite a few people commented on my post about the fact that Infinistich wasn’t authentic embroidery. It was quite a heated debate as far as I remember but by the looks of it Zazzle’s embroidery won’t elicit such a debate. It seems to be pretty authentic to me although don’t take my word for it as I don’t know much about embroidery.
When I first saw the embroidery page I was blown away by not only the number of new products but what the new products were. Yes, I admit it. I am a front zipper hoodie wearing type of guy. So what’s new? Lots. Of course you some of these are available as print items but for embroidery you can select from the following list.
- Basic T-Shirt (11 colors)
- Basic Long Sleeve T-Shirt (11 colors)
- Ladies Basic T-Shirt (12 colors)
- Ladies Long Sleeve T-Shirt (8 colors)
- Classic Polo Shirt (4 colors)
- Long Sleeve Polo Shirt (8 colors)
- Ladies Polo Shirt (Fitted) (8 colors)
- Ladies Long Sleeve Polo Shirt (Fitted) (4 colors)
- Basic Pullover Hoodie (12 colors)
- Basic Zip Hoodie (7 colors)
- Ladies Pullover Hoodie (3 colors)
- Ladies Zip Hoodie (3 colors)
- AA Fleece Zip Hoodie (8 colors)
- Classic Sherpa-lined Zip Hoodie (2 colors)
- AA Thermal Fleece Zip Hoodie (6 colors)
- Basic Sweatshirt (5 colors)
- AA Pullover Fleece Hoodie (7 colors)
- Ladies Sherpa-lined Zip Hoodie (2 colors)
- AA Fleece Zip Jogger Jacket (8 colors)
- AA Fleece Track Jacket (7 colors)
- Flexfit Wool Blend Cap (15 colors)
- Basic Adjustable Cap (18 colors)
- Distressed Chino Twill Cap (8 colors)
- Grocery Tote Bag (5 colors)
Wow, now that I wrote the whole list down I’m even more impressed. For those that are curious that is a total of 182 items if I have done my sums and research correctly.
Of all the items, the ones I am most excited about are the zipper hoodies, of course, and the distressed chino caps. I have a similar hat at the moment but it would be nice to be able to make my own.
The thing I am least excited about is the tote bags but then again I don’t think dudes are all that interested in bags.
I also have to add that the thing I am most confused about is the military caps. I see them but I don’t see them.
This all seems great. We have real embroidery and a bazillion products to put them on. It seems to blow Cafepress out of the water so why didn’t they come up with this? There is a catch of course. You can’t simply apply any image you design to these products. There are guidelines that you must follow. But even that is not the real catch. The real catch is that it might cost you a lot of money to just add the design to your products. I tested one design and it would cost me $55 just to convert it to an embroidery-ready format. I decided not to make it. The bigger you design is and the more stitches that are needed the more expensive this conversion fee will be. So this will be a major factor in stopping shopkeepers from loading their stores with these products.
I really don’t think many shopkeepers are going to profit from these new products although I am sure a few will. I have a feeling anyway that these products are not really geared to us shopkeepers but rather to shoppers. I think there are plenty of people out there who will be willing to fork out a bit of cash up front for the conversion fee if they are buying the products themselves. I think they will be wildly popular with clubs, companies and sports teams as embroidery just looks so much classier than regular print items.
On the other hand Zazzle have provided us with a few ways to avoid the conversion fee, one of which is to just use text with the supplied test editor. The fonts are limited but it the selection is varied so you will probably find something you like. The other option looks like it is for shoppers only. You can use some of the 15,000 designs they have already uploaded.
I quickly created an Obama 08 cap which you can see at the Rude Politics store. It was a pretty painless procedure. I love the video feature for the embroidery products too.
Anyway, I think it is fair to say that EOD (Embroidery on Demand) is here. Well done Zazzle. I wonder what else you have up your sleeves.