Making Money with CafePress

Founded in 1999, CafePress has become one of the biggest online retailer of custom t-shirts, personalized gifts, posters & art, mugs, and much more. If you have created designs for Teepublic and Design by Humans, then CafePress is another place to sell them.

First, the bad news — you won’t earn a lot through CafePress, and all the prices are set by CafePress. In fact, the percentage you receive from a sale is based on your commission score. There are ways to improve your score, such as logging in to CafePress in the last three months and making sure your designer profile is at least 80 percent complete. In short, the more active you are on CafePress, the more money you will earn.

For this month, I have a commission score of 25 points, and earn only $1.98 in royalties out of $47.98 in sales.

You can receive your royalty payment either by check or through PayPal, though there is a minimum amount of $25 that you must reach. Also, all accrued royalties are paid within 60 days of the month they were accrued, since CafePress offers customers a full 30-day money back guarantee and needs time to account for returns and exchanges.

That said, earning passive income from your designs is more about casting your net as wide as you can. And with hundreds of products on CafePress, you increase your chances of selling your designs. Furthermore, you just need to upload the design — which takes less than 5 minutes — and CafePress will do the rest for you.

As usual, marketing will help you sell more designs. Consider making use of social networking services such as Instagram and Pinterest, which allows you to share images of your designs on different products with a wide audience.

You might not see any sales at first, but realize that it’s basically a numbers game. Keeping uploading designs that are unique and of high quality, and the money will start coming in. Also, it’s a good idea to check out some of the best sellers and see what kind of designs are most successful.

Let’s take a look at how you can sell your designs on CafePress.


It’s easy to sign up for a new account. Better yet, you can sign in using your Facebook, Google+ or Amazon account. Once done, feel free to explore your account. You should edit your profile and set your payment details under Settings.

Creating an Account

Exploring Your Account

Go to My Designs and Add Designs to upload the design you want to sell. Note that CafePress will filter out any images that do not meet the minimum requirements of 100 dpi and 200 pixels in height and width. Also, CafePress doesn’t accept vector files at this time, so you will need to go with either PNG or JPG. Lastly, make sure your design doesn’t infringe any copyrights, or it will be removed shortly after.

Adding a Design

Next, you will be asked to add a bit more information about the design. Besides Name and Description, Tags are keywords that help optimize your designs and products so they show up in relevant search results in the marketplace. In other words, making good use of tags will increase your chances of a sale.

Information about Your Design

After you Save Design, CafePress will automatically create the products based on your design and start selling them right away. However, the system isn’t foolproof — there are some designs that don’t look good on the selected products. As such, you should further edit your design under My Designs by adding or removing products as required.

Editing Your Design and Products

And that’s it, sit back and enjoy the royalties.

Selling designs on CafePress is quick and easy. While you probably won’t hit it rich, it’s still a decent chunk of change, especially if you focus on both quality and quantity.

One Reply to “Making Money with CafePress”

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