Well, I thought it would be fun to create a few tee shirts and I went to Zazzle to have them printed. Here’s what happened.
The Original Designs
I had three different designs that I had printed. One black shirt with printing on the front and back, one grey shirt with printing only on the front, and a ladies long-sleeved olive tee with printing on the front. Everything looked great on Zazzle’s design tool as shown below.
But once the shirts arrived, they turned out to have problems.
The printing on the black shirt was especially bad with small pinholes throughout the design on both the front and the back of the shirt. In the images below (click to enlarge) you can see the holes in the ink.
Every shirt also had unsightly white halos around black black elements.
There was also a huge sizing difference between the black and grey shirts. On the Zazzle site, these are both the same shirt, just different colors. According to the tags on the shirts, they are the same manufacturer and the same size and the Zazzle web site says the “sizes run standard.”
However the actual shirts are very different. The black shirt, when laid flat, is about 24½ inches (62 cm) while the grey shirt is closer to 23 inches (59 cm) across. Of course, the difference in circumference is twice as great since this measurement was taken across the flat tee shirt. In the image to the right, both shirts are aligned evenly along the left edge but you can see how different the widths are. As a result, the grey shirt is tighter than I would like.
You can also see that the grey shirt has a clear overlay of some sort that makes the shirt significantly darker in the imprint rectangle. All the shirts have this but is very obvious on the grey shirt. Sadly, it makes the grey shirt look as if I made it myself with an iron-on or something.
The Ladies’ Tee
And to round out the Zazzle fuck-up trifecta, I present the ladies’ tee shirt which has the imprint skewed downhill and not even close to being centered. And just to add insult to injury, there’s a hole in the seam for the right sleeve.
Okay, so anyone is entitled to a bad day. Perhaps the Zazzle employee who printed my items was new or otherwise off their game. So I contacted Zazzle’s customer service with a return request and was informed that I had two options:
- Zazzle Account Credit or refund for the product (so that you may place a new order on the site)
- A replacement for the product (using the current design/content) can be created on a different size, style, or colored* item of the same product type.
No acknowledgment of the error. No indication of whether these problems are to be expected in the reprinted items. No assurances that they can fix anything. And, finally, no option to have my money returned to me. Even though their web site has the following on it:
The Zazzle Promise: If you don’t love it, we’ll take it back. If you are not 100% satisfied, you can return it for a replacement or refund within 30 days of receipt.
Needless to say, I am very unhappy with Zazzle and do not recommend them to anyone seeking a custom printed tee shirt.