Saturday, August 25, 2012

Design with Dave

Your shop name *
Design with Dave
Zazzle to me is a... *
Hobby that I wish would become a part time job
What is the best advice you have received from a fellow shopkeeper about your shops or designs you would like to pass on to another shopkeeper? *

I have never received direct advice...but I have deduced from the forums the following:
1./ There is no discernible pattern to "what sells": I have posted what I consider subjectively great designs and, conversely, others I have not been too pleased with...and guess what sells!!
2./ My own personal preference is to ALWAYS allow customisation: whether something "looks right" or not is in the eye of the beholder i.e the customer/potential customer not me as the designer.
3./ More products=More Sales: manipulate sizes, background colours, positioning etc on all products to get something that looks correct- by making the image exceptionally large compared to other products using the design you can sometimes create a unique design.
4./ Partially repeating 1./ above - DO NOT get too concerned with when sales fluctuate, or designs do not appear to be selling- I've had designs that have not sold ever for a year plus suddenly make a sale "out of the blue".

What PODs do u currently use or have shops on? *
  • Zazzle
What did you do with your free time before zazzle or other POD's....and what do you do with it now? *
I have always been a keen amateur photographer and IT hobbyist (and part of my career). I now try to use the 2 interests to construct designs from the photography. I have always tried to be different in my photography: if all the tourists head one way I'll head the other! If everyone is stood up shotting a scene I'll be the oddball flat on my back pointing camera straight up- I don't care what people think- though I've had a few odd looks in my time!!!
What programs do you use to make your designs *
  • Photoshop elements
  • Other photo-editing software
Tell us more about what you like and do not like about each software you use, what makes it special. *

Photoshop Elements v9. I like the fact that the product allows for simplicity of use in the interface presented to the user but also has more advanced features "under the hood" when they are required. The ability to add on free plug-ins from the net is extremely useful.My only piece of advice to a newcomer to the product would be NOT to use the "Auto" features: learn how to adjust the individual settings and manipulate each separately- the white/black balance, for example, is hopelessly wrong in Auto setting usually.
There is little to dislike except for a couple of bugs that have been around in previous incarnations of the product: getting stuck with the "hand" pointer, sudden crashes when auto saving has not saved work done. A minor niggle I have is that the options do not allow for pointing to a particular folder or, better still, remembering the last used folder used- why?

Will you make custom orders? *
Yes - sometimes free, sometimes fee required upfront
Elaborate on your answer above regarding custom orders... *
Since I started using zazzle I have always felt it would be interesting to have some feedback from customers (not the reviews system which seems poorly designed and not well liked:) ); "custom" orders would provide me with an element of feedback. I have had the email contact option on since I started on zazzle....yet I have never had a request for a custom order :( (crying.........)
List your shop URL's *

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