Zazzle don't dazzle: £12.99 for 1st class recorded delivery

22 April 2009

A good friend of mine is celebrating the big dreaded 3-0 in a week's time. So I decided to plan ahead and order them a custom greeting card.

I still have a week to go, so when I discovered an online company by the name of Zazzle, I was intrigued. Zazzle is a custom design service that is community driven. Users create their own items, ranging from greeting cards to mugs to t-shirts. Buyers can then customize them by adding images/text with some flexibility. Zazzle commissions creators for designing their own products, so it could even be a useful home based revenue stream for some. They also start at very reasonable prices for greeting cards, from just around £2.

I decided to give it a try, and I started designing my card. I spent about an hour on it (I'm a perfectionist). The interface is great and easy to use, but the connection freezes at times (maybe on my end). But all you have to do is refresh and it caches your work so you're unlikely to lose it.

So far, so good... right?

Yep. But not for long.

When I got to the checkout, satisfied that I have the 'perfect card', I got the following:

(the white box with red borders was not courtesy of Zazzle. It's just to cover up my personal details :))

Notice under 'Shipping Method', there are 2 options: standard or express.

Standard shipping with no tracking is a pretty reasonable price, at £2.49, but will take "7-12 business days" AFTER manufacturing.

In other words, even if you ordered a card one week ahead of time, you're probably too late. Leaving you with the expressed delivery option.

But wait. "Express 2-3 day delivery" costs £12.99.

£12.99? How do they justify charging £12.99 for shipping a greeting card? Are they sending a netbook with that via special delivery? Hmm.

Maybe it's just me, but the phrasing "2-3 day delivery with tracking after manufacturing" sounds more like 1st class recorded delivery.

The reason I am sharing this is not to moan (okay, maybe a little!), but I am sure plenty of consumers get to the checkout, only to find out that they would not get their orders on time, but will most likely go ahead anyway, having to go with the cheaper option and buy another card from ASDA while keep your fingers crossed that this one would arrive. That's exactly what I'm doing right now.

And considering most people order this kind of stuff at the very last minute, this means this marketing upsell tactic could force your hand to purchase after your initial time/emotional investment. Especially for those who are willing to fork out £15 for a greeting card. If it wasn't for this, I would have probably recommended the service.

If you have any experiences with Zazzle, or with any other companies utilizing similar tactics to make more money (we can start with ebay sellers), please share them with us!



  • Song b.
    I always look for shipping info and price up an order or put in a bogus item and go to checkout to get delivery prices. If registration is required and delivery prices aren't visible anyone on the site, I don't bother with the retailer.
  • me
    one thing that i used to hate on ebay is people assuming you make money off the postage - when you include packaging and ALL the fees associated with paypal and ebay you are well into the sold for price. Least on ebay is clear what the price is at purchase.
  • SimbaK2K
    I've used several times and while you can do a similar sort of thing for a lot smaller price. Normally from a couple of pound plus. Takes a day to print and send and special delivery is only about £4 extra (which is similar to royal mails actual pricing).
  • Schexy S.
    Maybe the price includes packaging too. Let me know if it comes in a platinum box
  • Vince W.
    Simba that's the site I was actually looking for! I used Moonpig years back but forgot the name. Thanks for reminding me. -Vince
  • Vince W.
    and yes Schteve will let you know if it comes in a platinum package when they deliver it weeks from now!
  • Alistair
    SimbaK2K beat me to it but Moonpig are pretty good
  • tits
    i just paid £35 for a fence to be delivered. that was interesting. no?
  • Song b.
    I would submit that as a news story!
  • Free R.
    Mate, ive just had the same problem then stumbled across this post. Ive just discovered though that they are based in California and make all the stuff there but cheekily have international sites making it look as though they ship from UK when in fact they do not. So as much as it sucks its not like they are trying to scam us all they are just shipping internationally.
  • Ade
    Yep, last poster is correct. Zazzle are over in the States, hence the 5-12 days wait. I'm hanging on for some business cards that I designed on a week ago. Pays to do a bit of digging/research before you commit, saves on frustration/disappointment later down the line.
  • Chris
    I've use zazzle a few times. Spent upwards of 30 dollars on shirts I had fun customizing. I made two shirts to give as gifts. Now it is holiday season and I'm going into my third week of waiting for my shirt order... to be processed. It was fun while it lasted. Practicality can be a powerful marketing tool. Unfortunatly, it is something zazzle lacks.

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