This is the second significant revision to MarketPlace participation in as many years. You read about the last one here.
Zazzle's plan is to have only "successful" products in the MarketPlace. A successful product is one that meets one or more of these criteria:
1. Sold at least once;
No change here. A single sale and your product is guaranteed to always be in the MarketPlace.
2. Created, edited or viewed within the past 15 months;
Vastly more sensible than the 180-day rule from the previous change. At 15 months your new products will always be in the MarketPlace for at least one Christmas/holiday selling season. And if you have an editing schedule to maximize your marketplace products, it is now every 15 months rather than every 6.
3. Is a product type which was added to the Zazzle site within the past 2 years.
Under the previous system, a new product was good for 180-days. Hardly worth the time to create. This update provides an extra year and a half in the marketplace over the old ways. I am more likely to create now since I am more likely to see a financial return on my time investment.
4. When one of your products is deemed "unsuccessful" it will be automatically hidden . . . out of the MarketPlace. Only you can see it. In your back office, you may have seen the new filter for hidden products. Zazzle says that by using this filter, you will be able to find the products they have auto-hidden and make the changes to again qualify for the MarketPlace as successful.
The filter does not have two types of hidden, although there really are two types. Those you have hidden and those Zazzle has hidden. And you need to know which is which to efficiently return Zazzle hidden products to the MarketPlace.
Quickly before Zazzle begins the auto-hiding effort, create a hidden folder and name it "Retired Products". Then filter to only get hidden products. These are the ones you hid, move them to the Retired Products folder. Whenever you hide a product, move it to this folder (We put our direct only products in this folder also).
To see which products will have been hidden by Zazzle, pick an active store category and use the hidden products filter. Any products that show up will be ones hidden by Zazzle because Z does not change your store category (You have your hidden QC templates in their own folders, don't you?).
We still have some questions: Clarify a new product type . . . does a new phone case form count as a new product type such as the recent S7? What about the 100,00 product limit? Can I now have more than 100,000 products in the MarketPlace as long as they match the definition of successful? As Zazzle hides unsuccessful products, will our zRank rise thereby improving the MarketPlace positioning of our remaining products?
What questions do you have? Add them in the comments. As we get answers we will post them in response to your comment.
EDIT: Zazzle has posted a good Q/A in the forum. Here is the link: https://forum.zazzle.com/news/more_on_marketplace_optimization.