If Cafepress is to be considered as a dropshipper, it is probably the biggest dropshipping company out there. If you have never heard of Cafepress before; it is basically a website that allows you to create your own customizable products which you can buy or sell to other people. It’s basically like Custom Dropshipper which I have mention in the article “Dropshipping for the Creative Mind“. Before I give you guys my opinion on whether or not Cafepress is good for dropshippers or not, I must first justify why Cafepress is in fact a dropshipper. Some people might argue that Cafepress prices are too high for resale, and that they are the retailer and not a dropshipper. Others might say that you don’t have enough control over your own store for it to be considering dropshipping. However, dropshipping to put it down plain and simply is basically a supply chain management technique where the supplier ships the product directly the the end consumer on the retailers behalf. Under these definitions Cafepress can indeed be considered dropshipper.
Now, moving on to the main topic “Can you make money with Cafepress?” Considering the size of Cafepress, I am not surprised how many times I have seen this time of question been asked on the web. My answer has been and is still “Yes a some people do make money, but few make anything decent”. Cafepress prices aren’t exactly wholesale prices. Anything you mark up and sell will not give you a huge profit; you are supplying your design to a large retail company that will compensate you a little if your product sells. You will have to have some luck and sell hundreds of products on a regular basis to make anything decent. And if your wondering why I used the word luck, it is basically because with Cafepress you have much less control over your products and website than with most dropshippers. This isn’t necessary a bad thing because it also means that Cafepress is taking over more of the business functions such as marketing of the product.
In summary, Cafepress is a great place designers who love to design stuff as a hobby with no business intentions, and shoppers who are looking for unique designs. But it is not really a place for dropshippers who are looking to build a successful business. The percentage of successful people in respect to people that try is just too small to recommend as a money making business venture.