Launched: 1999 (zazzle.com launched 2003)
Status: Announced $16m Series A on July 18, 2005
What is it?
Zazzle let’s customers create customized products, ranging from tshirts to stamps, and sell them on the zazzle website.
In their own words, “Zazzle is the leading customized products marketplace for consumer enthusiasts to share and celebrate their interests by creating apparel, posters, cards, stamps and more. We combine on-demand manufacturing, a robust community, the largest online collection of customizable digital images and unmatched personalization tools to empower you to create your own products. In addition, you can choose to become a contributor by sharing your unique creations in Zazzle’s public galleries. Within these galleries, you can browse, comment and connect with others who share your interests. Contributors also earn royalties every time their creations are purchased by others. For anyone who wishes to create, wear, display, sell or celebrate their interests, Zazzle provides a compelling interactive marketplace to a worldwide audience.” Link
Creating products is a relatively straightforward process of choosing prodcuts (apparel, posters, stamps, etc.), uploading images, and pricing the items. Zazzle claims that they have “over 500,000 totally unique, user-created products, available in billions of variations”. Link
Zazzle Stamps is really interesting. Within certain parameters, users can upload their own images, or use stock zazzle images (like disney images), and create actual postage stamps. A sheet of 20 first-class stamps will sell for $16.99, 130% more than “normal” stamps. Zazzle Stamps is possible via a partnership with Pitney Bowes.