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T-shirts!

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ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13

I think it's time we think about selling merchandise. I've looked into T-shirts, here are thoughts about how to do it.

1. Market:
I'm looking at the upper-market. It's more efficient to sell fewer, expensive T-shirts, with a clear indication that it's mostly a donation. It's less work (time...) but most interestingly it makes us stand out from the rest ([1], [2], [3] etc).
So roughly looking at a good-quality stuff priced at EUR 18 - 20 . The US dollar markets are almost out of range because of the current disadvantaging exchange rate.

2. Style:
I'd go for non-geek stuff. No joke, no risqué tagline, no reference to "root", not white text on black. Rather, something one could wear half-casually.

3. How to do it:
We have 2 possibilities so far.
a) Do it ourselves. Which is: do it myself. I had an estimate for a quick design, for a minimum order of 50 I can get them at 11eur each (everything included). Add 2eur shipping in the EU and 4eur to the US, if we sell them at 20 eur we can break-even at 27 t-shirts. If we sell 90% of them this will provide us with 225 eur out of it. Enough to pay 2/3 of our hosting expenses.
b) Do it with cafepress.com. It's much easier. My fears are that standing out will be much harder, because the "donator-customer" is driven away from us into a separate store. Also the probability that the customer is driven away on other "cafepress linux products" is higher.

4. Troubles.
In any case it's unbelievably hard getting money inside GLM's bank account. Welcome to France. The "association" status set of regulations makes for a great disincentive to "competing" with real companies. Paying myself and Gustavo legally is yet another story - that'll be for another thread. I'm battling with paperwork, authorizations and administrations.
All of this to say, it's extremely probable that we'll have to give a T-shirt as a gift for a donation. This will at least enable exporting T-shirts to the US without paying extra tax. CafePress might be a good way to sell T-shirts in the US, while the self-made solution might be good for the anywhere else.

5. One proposal
I had a go at a design and here is what it looks like (front then back)


(links to source files for your pleasure. Please don't redistribute).
The GNU is GPL-licensed, so a paper mention of the license and url to source file would be included with each T-shirt.
I trust the manufacturer I contacted highly. They provide two stores I know, each of great respectability. They can print up to 6 colors (no gradient) and need 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Thoughts?

Olivier.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
Hi, Olivier! ariadacapo

Hi, Olivier!

ariadacapo wrote:

2. Style:
I'd go for non-geek stuff. No joke, no risqué tagline, no reference to "root", not white text on black. Rather, something one could wear half-casually.

+1.

ariadacapo wrote:

3. How to do it:
We have 2 possibilities so far.
a) Do it ourselves. Which is: do it myself. I had an estimate for a quick design, for a minimum order of 50 I can get them at 11eur each (everything included). Add 2eur shipping in the EU and 4eur to the US, if we sell them at 20 eur we can break-even at 27 t-shirts. If we sell 90% of them this will provide us with 225 eur out of it. Enough to pay 2/3 of our hosting expenses.
b) Do it with cafepress.com. It's much easier. My fears are that standing out will be much harder, because the "donator-customer" is driven away from us into a separate store. Also the probability that the customer is driven away on other "cafepress linux products" is higher.

It's a hard decision.

CafePress is the easiest and cheapest, but also the risky solution. Perhaps we should use CafePress for the time being.

ariadacapo wrote:

4. Troubles.
In any case it's unbelievably hard getting money inside GLM's bank account. Welcome to France. The "association" status set of regulations makes for a great disincentive to "competing" with real companies. Paying myself and Gustavo legally is yet another story - that'll be for another thread. I'm battling with paperwork, authorizations and administrations.
All of this to say, it's extremely probable that we'll have to give a T-shirt as a gift for a donation. This will at least enable exporting T-shirts to the US without paying extra tax. CafePress might be a good way to sell T-shirts in the US, while the self-made solution might be good for the anywhere else.

Even if it was not a problem, we should explicitly say that we'll give a t-shirt for every donation >= 20 eur. This way, people won't be confused, thinking we're usurers.

ariadacapo wrote:

5. One proposal
I had a go at a design and here is what it looks like (front then back)


(links to source files for your pleasure. Please don't redistribute).
The GNU is GPL-licensed, so a paper mention of the license and url to source file would be included with each T-shirt.
I trust the manufacturer I contacted highly. They provide two stores I know, each of great respectability. They can print up to 6 colors (no gradient) and need 2-3 weeks for delivery.

As I told you by email: Regarding the design, I really like it, but I think it needs some color. We might also offer other merchandises including a GNU or Linux-related image whose license allows profit-generating activities.

Cheers!

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Maybe going with cafepress

Maybe going with cafepress for now would be best, at least so you can have something while you're settling the other issues..

About T-Shirts they look quite well and simple, but I've got a couple of more suggestions, with a bit more of simetry (I'm a sucker for that Smiling ).


The first one is a version with GNU and second with a penguin, so people can choose which they like more. The name "GNU/Linux feels fuller IMHO (although I might be biased considering how used I am to that term Eye ).

So anyway, just my 2.4 cents. Smiling

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I like your modified

I like your modified version!

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
great...

To be honest, me too, I like it a lot. It definitely looks better with only one drawing.
We still have to face the same old problem, that of Linux vs. GNU/Linux, and gnu vs penguin. I'd go for simply "Linux", for I wish to sell as many of them as possible.

I looked more into CafePress and it doesn't look very profitable. Blue Navy T-shirts are $19 while regular ("organic" shirts are $17. The shipping doesn't help much (unless I understood something wrong) so that solution may not be as helpful at it seems.

Unless we still go for CafePress we can only pick one design (I can't invest too much at once).
What I could do is go for 50 "Linux" t-shirts (with penguin or gnu?), and then as soon as (if) we manage to break even (27 Tshirts) I'd re-invest everything into proper GNU/Linux T-shirts.

I'm favoring the self-printed-and-managed option very much over CafePress now. I'll probably take a decision this week.

Keeping in mind that we have to get 50 T-shirts out, which design should we favor?

Olivier.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
I'm afraid you're right. We

I'm afraid you're right. We should go for the self-printed-and-managed option.

As for the design, I'd like this one: http://www.nuxified.org/images/front1.png ... Replacing "GNU/Linux" by just "Linux".

Cheers!

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
GNU/
Gustavo wrote:

As for the design, I'd like this one: http://www.nuxified.org/images/front1.png ... Replacing "GNU/Linux" by just "Linux".

Personally I would buy one of these t-shirts [given price etc] but I would not buy if it just said "Linux" I think the GNU/ part is quite important and strangely it would sway my decision on buying.

Just thought I would give my opinion...as a customer.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
A question bears to be

A question bears to be asked. Smiling Why exactly would a shirt with only "Linux" sell more than one with GNU/Linux on it?

I'm with Andrew too. I believe it just looks fuller and as someone who prefers to at least write it with full appropriate name "GNU/Linux" it seems inappropriate to wear a T-Shirt which says just Linux.

But, if it must be, I suppose a GNU head with a "Linux" would be an ok compromise.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
Good question
libervisco wrote:

Why exactly would a shirt with only "Linux" sell more than one with GNU/Linux on it?

Good question. I don't know.

Then, a GNU Head with "GNU/Linux"?

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
OK

OK... why not.
I'll very probably go for "GNU/Linux" with penguin head, towards the end of the week (I know, late again).
Olivier.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
The GNU/Linux shirts look

The GNU/Linux shirts look rather nice, I look forward to them being available.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
I just made a payment,

I just made a payment, ordering 50 T-shirts (last of pictures above). Excluding housing deposits, it's the biggest spending I've ever made =)
The T-shirts should be in within three weeks and will be "sold" as gifts for donations of 20eur or more. I'll take pictures when they arrive ;-)
Olivier.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
They're in! Now I'm curious

They're in!
Now I'm curious to see what happens. Either this works or I'll have clothing to wear for the rest of my life ;-) -several kilos of them sitting in my room. = )

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
Hey, they look very

Hey, they look very nice!

Unfortunately, I won't wear one of them at e-verano! Sad

By the way, who's that guy... =)

I'll blog about it in the spanish planet...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
That looks great! I

That looks great! Smiling

I suggest, for the sake of maximizing sales of these, to submit that page or perhaps an article with a quick intro to GGL and links to T-Shirts as a way to promote GNU/Linux and the site, to LXer.com, digg, LinuxToday.com, Linux.com or anywhere else you think it would be published.

I believe it would be published on LXer.com, at least, and that's already pretty good for boosting it.

I plan on getting one too as soon as I can.

Cheers

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
So far the sales "aren't

So far the sales "aren't exceptional" to say the least, but T-shirts are not a priority right now. In three weeks Gustavo and I will meet and work for a few days together. It'll be a good opportunity to budget the running costs for the coming year, and we'll then probably then launch a 1-month donation campaign for that. T-shirts will then play a pretty important role and I will follow your advice of posting to the above sites.
More on that pretty soon.

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