A year or so ago I tossed some of my artwork up on CafePress just for kicks. Within a few months I gained a few contract design jobs through it (folk noticed my artwork, didn't like CafePress's prices, so I made a custom design and pointed them to other vendors), and made about $6. Woohoo. Thrilling.
Then I logged in to find a bizarre shop in my "My Shops" section. Admin_CP7945435.
Initially they made an iPhone 5 case (shortly after the iPhone 5 release) with a small markup. I thought, "Cool! Maybe this is a featured product! That's cool, even if it's only a few bucks in my pocket!" In fact, here is that product. Note the small markup:
So I let it go. But today I logged in to see more products in the mysterious Admin_CP7945435 shop. Yet now my more popular artwork is appearing on products with no markup.
No markup means no profit - for me. In short, CafePress slapped my art on their products and sold sold sold. They didn't ask permission, didn't notify me, just claimed rights to my images and ran with it. Here's another one:
For the mathematically challenged, $0.00 markup means $0.00 profit for me.
I am more than a little peeved by this. I did notice in the Terms of Service that they are allowed to use my images for marketing and such. But does that right apply to selling my stuff without my permission or my knowledge, and without giving me a penny? Was the first iPhone 5 case a "trial run" to see if I'd notice their creepy little Admin_CP7945435 shop, if I'd close it or let it sail?
I put an email in to customer service - we'll see how they spin it. But my days using CafePress are Over as of - my cursor is hovering over the "delete shop" button - Click! - right now.