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Old 07-06-2005, 11:19 PM   #1
cyburrr
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Default Merchandise with site logo etc.

Forgive me if this is in the wrong forum:

I've always wanted to produce merchandise with my site logo or slogan on them. I'd use these to give away for contest prizes and/or sell.

I have a loyal readership - 90% women - and am relatively certain I'd recoup my cost - even profit if done properly. The items I'm most interested in would be lightweight (to save on shipping) IE: tote bags, t-shirts - pens - calendars - mouse pads etc.

I like the idea of cafepress - but would prefer to do it myself.

Is there any online companies? Or should I use a local promotional item supplier?

Any thoughts/feedback appreciated.

Thanks

Oh - accepting paypal would be good too.

Last edited by cyburrr; 07-06-2005 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
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The great thing about using CafePress is the lack of risk. Apart from the time you output to produce the designs, CafePress effectively costs nothing; even if you fail to sell a single item. For this reason, I'd probably tend to suggest setting up a CafePress store initially, even if only as a 'live' market research tool. You could use this to gauge which products are of most interest to your viewers and to determine how viable it might be for you to start producing and sending the items yourself.

If you're confident that the items will be snapped up, or if your CafePress experience gave you this impression, the next step would definitely be to contact a local promotional products supplier. Most of these folks operate as little more than wholesale brokers, so they'll bring along a whole pile of catalogs from different manufacturers and importers when they come to see you; giving you access to a huge range of products at volume-based prices, but with the option to order a limited quantity and to piggy-back on the broker's larger orders to some extent.

I've worked with a few friendly promotional product suppliers who took a lot of legwork out of the ordering process, while negotiating for good rates on my behalf. If you find the right intermediary, you could stock up your supplies affordably enough as to undercut CafePress by a good margin, in which case you'll be laughing.

Hope this helps, and best of luck.
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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cyburrr, I agree with Czar because I have had similar experiences with my dealings.

Since CafePress was mentioned, I'll mention an alternative to CafePress. It is 99 Dogs http://www.99dogs.com/

The name sounds strange, but they are similar to CafePress. I found the 99 Dogs methods easier. Others might have a different view.

So if you are interested in low risk by not needing to purchase in large quantities, the 99 Dogs might be worth considering.
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the invaluable, (or is that valuable) information.
I'll check out both those online options for T-shirts (since it'd be too costly to stock various sizes) - but I might try the mousepads locally - easy to store - inexpensive to ship etc. I'm 99% sure I'd have significant sales. My members are always trying to give me money...lol. I've actually had to refund donations via paypal cause I wasn't comfortable with the amounts And of the 3 times I awarded money for contests, the winners/recipients tunred around and bought/sent ME a gift.
Thanks again guys
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:13 AM   #5
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It's fantastic to see that you have such a loyal audience. You must treat them beautifully.

Best of luck with the plan. Be sure to let us know when the mousepads are ready for a look-see.
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