Why I Went There
I feel kind of arbitrary about birthday gifts. Some years I get people things, other years they’re lucky if they get a voice mail of me (and whoever I can coerce into joining me) singing happy birthday.
This year, I breezed over my sister’s birthday (sorry Kristy) in May but covered Father’s Day and 2 birthdays in June. I did get Kristy’s daughter Aoife a cool gift with the help of Cass, who used to work in a toy store and consequently knows what’s good.
Anyway, the gift I want to talk about was my brother’s. He is crazy about his puppy dogs and is rather fond of beer, so I thought a customized beer stein would be a good bet. After comparing a few sites, I found zazzle.com. (Top Google result for “customized beer stein.”
How it Works
After following the Google search link, I clicked on the image which took me to a “Customize Your Product” wizard. I clicked on “Add Image” and played around with “Adding Text” as well. After spending some time in Photoshop, I uploaded an image of the puppies and completed the online order process, which is pretty standard. (Think amazon.com.)
If you’re creating your product and the image shows the words “Add image or text” or similar, make sure you delete that text before submitting your order. If you don’t, those words will appear as part of the design. Classy, yes? They may have removed this, since I don’t see it on the site now, but watch out for it.
If you don’t delete the dummy text, you may receive an email from the Zazzle.com Quality Assurance team. I found my contact to be helpful and able to communicate well. Additionally, they spotted the issue and initiated contact via email, rather than waiting for me to get the product and feel like an idiot. I was given the option to cancel the order, and reorder it correctly, with a full refund on the botched order.
Retailmenot has coupon info (go to retailmenot.com and search for “zazzle.com”) and a hack involving making your product public so you qualify as a contributor and save an additional percent.
Here are two images of the finished product:
The photo quality was really amazing. The original image was pretty large, but even so, I was impressed how well it was translated to the stein.
Overall, this is a great site and a great service. The cost is reasonable (about $25 for this order including shipping), the final product is excellent, it’s easy to use and the customer service is above and beyond the usual online store service. Finally, the gift itself is both functional and personal, which is always appreciated. I recommend zazzle.com and I would use it again.