I'm just wondering who else out there is fed up with Zenfolio's attitude towards self-fulfilled products.
Zenfolio doesn't allow any custom options for self-fulfilled products. So, if I want the customer to have the option between a black frame or a wood-finish frame, I need to create two separate products. Then, if I offer 5 different size prints, I need to create 10 custom products (5 sizes * 2 frame colors). If I want to offer two mat colors, I'm now up to 20 different self-fulfilled products (5 sizes * 2 mat colors * 2 frame colors). But, what if I want to offer the ability to buy prints that are matted but not framed? Now I'm up to 30 different self-fulfilled products just to offer 5 different size prints with options for matting and framing. You've got to be kidding me... talk about a confusing experience for customers!
Even worse is that Zenfolio refuses to collect payments for me. At that point, why would I even use Zenfolio's service? I mean, seriously. I can buy a dedicated IP and an SSL certificate and build my own website on my domain where I can accept payments on my own website... no getting tossed over to PayPal.
Zenfolio is useful in that it provides a nice way to manage my photos online and provides decent options for creating a customized interface. But, let's face it, if you sell self-fulfilled products on your website, then you're practically a second-class customer to Zenfolio. They have no interest in helping you accept payments, no interest in helping you keep a practical and uniform buying experience on your website and they have no interest in helping you with custom options.
When I originally signed up with Zenfolio, I used MPix as a partnered vendor and things were great. Once my needs changed and I started implementing self-fulfilled products, I was astonished at the degree to which Zenfolio basically tells you to go scratch. "You don't wanna use our partnered vendors? Fine... figure it out yourself, then!" I mean, seriously, that's pretty much their attitude towards Zenfolio clients that want to sell self-fulfilled products.
I truly don't see this changing anytime soon, because Zenfolio seems very comfortable basically forcing people to use their partnered vendors or else subjecting them to half-baked selling capabilities that are terribly unprofessional.
You can bet that once this years time is up for my Zen subscription, I will be cancelling and setting off my own to build a worthwhile website on my domain where I'm not penalized for wanting to sell self-fulfilled products. For a mere $75 more, I can buy a dedicated IP address and SSL certificate on my domain and integrate my own merchant account. Hell... I'll be SAVING money. Zenfolio just isn't worth the money if they can't offer the same powerful selling functionality for self-fulfilled products that they offer for partnered-vendor products.
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