Groovin' on CafePress...
A couple of years ago, Harry turned me on to a little tool/service/website a bunch of teams inside Microsoft were using to do project tchotchkes. The service is called CafePress, and although I've only dabbled with it before, I'm preparing to unveil a whole slew of web-available products supporting one of my projects.
CafePress is awesome. Its basically a totally outsourced company store, in my case. For free, you can:
a) set up an online storefront (in less than 5 minutes, and with no technical expertise),
b) identify products I want to sell, c) personalize those products (in less than a minute, and with no technical expertise) and
d) instantly have those products ready for sale and delivery.
If that's not enough, here are some REALLY cool things about CafePress:
- A basic store is FREE.
- Buyers get a very rich browsing/buying experience (that I didn't have to program or pay for)
- CafePress handles all ordering and credit card clearing details - you don't have to know how they do it, or lift a finger to make it work.
- Products are manufactured just-in-time, in the quantity the customer orders. Nobody inventories anything.
- CafePress happily packages the products and ships them to the buyer.
Damn. The only thing that could make this better would be something wacky like an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee.
Oh. CafePress provides this too.