SNAC Proposal - We Need A Community Merch Shop!

Can you make 10,000 unique Secret ANON shirts?

What is the average cost of a shirt in raw material and other fixed costs? How big is your network of friends and supporters? Do you have an existing “list” to market to?

3 Likes

These are fantastic questions and I will do my best to answer them.

  1. I cannot, personally, design 10,000 different shirts. Nor do I see the value (at this time) in doing so. Over time, I could. (But I still likely, wouldn’t.)

My vision for it, is to (personally) do some designs, and let others (with the desire to do so) add some designs. And do limited runs of designs. (I.e. maybe 15 at a time. I guess that would just depend on how far the ecosystem grows. Right now it would obviously, be smaller, but we would want to include people’s logos and fun designs for each sector, also.) With monthly or bi-monthly rotations.

I also don’t plan to put every design anyone sends, up. (If you’ve seen us designers, you know we can crank out a ton of things, and fast, but only some will be the best.) We would be choosey. And perhaps this is a fun way for community involvement, voting on designs. The best isn’t necessarily what I think is best, but what the community wants to buy.

  1. Costs. (I’m in my phone in the editor, so hopefully remembering your questions adequately.) Print on demand would have a CANVAS + BELLA single shirt running $10-17. Est. $11, plus shipping. Plus it would print around $5 for just one. That has (let’s say, $15 + $5 just to print one.) So if it sells at $25 + shipping, there’s only $5 profit in it. That’s using my (high-quality) methods, with my people. If I did a print-on-demand online store, we could get that maybe down to $13 (bought shirt and printed on shirt) for one shirt. Not including shipping. But the quality would be questionable and it would feeding right back into big corp.

If I buy in bulk, and print in bulk, I can get those costs down to. (This is estimated, because I don’t have a tax license yet for selling physical goods, so I can’t get fully into the approved wholesale department of the CANVAS + BELLA website yet.)

I believe, buying in bulk quantities of about 100-200, I can get the shirts down to $5-7 each. Printing, I can definitely get down to $3-4 each, with those quantities. (That would change depending on how many designs, so for this example I’m going to say 1-2 designs.)

Figures are all different for everything else. I bought one plain hat several days ago. It was cool, but it was $17. In bulk, I believe those are $10 a piece. That is still un-designed. Shipping for that was free, because it was Amazon. But it was just one (awesome-looking, plain) hat, and terribly high-priced for one item.

I hope I passed the test but I’m going to have to go back and look at the rest of that question now.

1 Like

When we do get adopted by more mainstream communities they will not do it knowing enough about how the product works or what our engineers built. They will latch on to a t-shirt or meme or marketing scheme.

I think it’s a great idea to diversify. If blockchain goes into a slumber we still have to retain everyone to manage it. It would be prudent to horizontally integrate in the space and spend a small piece of the ICO and other funds to start a few thriving businesses that can become self sustaining and profitable. MLM’s and affiliate programs can make millions in themselves and provide a constant stream of demand for SCRT or revenue. If we don’t get paid back $6k we would at least have thousands of new followers if a decent artist joins or celebrity take note.

I don’t suggest we need a ton of these projects but I think it’s a good business decision to have someone working on the non technical side of the industry and offering feedback. We all hated Bitconnect but mlm’s and affiliate programs were capable of reaching the masses because they could connect on a personal level. We have enough brilliant minds to help make this branding work and add actual value to people who support SCRT as the authority on privacy products and branding. Perhaps this isn’t about shirts as much as it is about the front-facing development, art and marketing.

We have the privacy product built and so I would look into the art style and capabilities further and maybe vote to fund this to prove privacy can be leveraged in the real world by non techs alike.

2 Likes

If you submitted a popular shirt design to the other platform and wanted to diversify into quality products you might have your work cut out for you. If this plan doesn’t work maybe you should show a basket of designs to get people interested in your vision.

2 Likes

Okay. Got it.

  1. How big is my list of friends and supporters? SMALL! Once I became an entrepreneur, my list of people (that care about what I’m doing) went WAYYY down. Because to be perfectly honest, nobody (that I personally know, except my family) cares about my brain and marketing ability. My personal friends and connections are excited when I’m in a new play, or movie. But that’s because they care that I’m an actor. And that affects them. (People are very self-interested.)

But that has nothing to do with my ability to run ads and make money for people. My marketing ability doesn’t affect them, because THEY’RE not in business for themselves yet. When my (actual) friends start new businesses, I’m one of the first people they tell, because THEN they are excited to work with me and have me give them advice and make designs for their businesses.

This is very much why my plan involves (and is intentionally built on) community effort. (Affiliate program + designer compensation.) If I had a merch shop on my own, selling… Let’s say notepads + calendars. That’s something I’ve designed, created, printed, and sold on my own before. It didn’t sell. I gave away a ton for free, considered it local advertising, and still have stock for it in my hall closet.

That doesn’t change the fact that they’re awesome! I use them every day! Everyone in my extended family has one (or several)! And they use them every day! But with a marketing budget of zero, I couldn’t even put up a website. So I (personally) have no ability to market those, because I have a zero budget.

In the case at hand, though,
There is a community. We love Secret. We want to buy things that involve Secret (and SEFI). (I’m including myself here. Because I literally wanted to buy a shirt & hat on day one, but didn’t like the existing options.) And I’m daily, as part of the secret agent program and as part of the Katie-thinks-this-is-cool-program, talking to real-live people about Secret. So dude. Official term there. I would buy all of this! Y’all can do what you want. :joy:

Hope these answer your questions! Thank you for asking them!

1 Like

Affiliate marketers get paid indirectly by having contacts and building those relationships and so I asked. I know a few marketers with enough people in their network to be able to sell their ability to market other products…

I joke about t-shirt NFT’s but as kids we would bring POGS to school and sell the unique designs printed on the little bottlecaps in the same way you would market unique ownership on a t-shirt.

I think we need a plan to build landing pages and build a list outside of the current community. That’s where I see value. A good affiliate program works when it’s more than a commission and people who buy stock and sell shirts from their home have something to gain by recruiting other sellers.

Having the background to be an effective affiliate marketer without training from an existing program is tough. It might take a good reading of Rich Dad Poor Dad to get excited (for the right person) and understand passive income streams and a few years of experience with Mary Kay, or something similar in order to build a list.

1 Like

Yes obviously I’m Katie’s brother and biased.

I love the idea. Both I personally, and the podcast would love to buy shirts supporting different causes. We’d love to sell podcast merch. Iowa and I would love to get SEFI merch. I know I and the rest of the FATS community would love FATS merch. I’d LOVE to see ANON merch. ALL of this would be easily encouraged and accessible in one store.

For only $4,000 up front I think this is an EASY yes.

Adding: I think that this would be an easy marketing on-ramp for new projects. Fardels, Altermail, Shade, EVERYONE can design and create and get their own designs made cheaply in one place, AND get profits on future sales of said designs! It’s as easy as sending a PNG or SVG file, and boom, everything is ready to order!

1 Like

Throughout your message I see “one store”, “one place”, etc.

There is already one store. And its owner said “any design we dream of can be added, printed, and shipped around the world in a matter of 5 minutes”. This sounds a bit hyperbolic, but nevertheless it’s already available. Why haven’t you done it on Brendan’s shop for example?

It’s not about the quantity. Trying to justify things on a “meh, why not its cheap” is just a bad argument imo.

1 Like

I didn’t know. Do you know where and how we can submit them? And what the incentives are? I’m not asking sarcastically I honestly don’t know.

I don’t think that a cheap attempt at community unification and involvement is a bad idea at all. I would and will support almost anything from a dedicated individual who came forward with a plan to create something unifying and helpful, that will be marketable and engage the community.

One of the things that hooked me into crypto was one of Tor’s podcasts discussing the future of video games, and learning that artists could get paid right now, while not employed by the game company or gamers themselves, by designing and selling outfits and whatnot independently. We SHOULD incentivize our artists! We SHOULD try to get as creative as possible! We SHOULD hope that people not even involved in our network come up with a marketable design and can profit from it and share it to their friends!

1 Like

I would love to see a cost breakdown of that, because that’s really hard to believe.

I’m sure you can get the merch cheaper, no doubt about that. Your cost is not going to be in the merch, your cost is going to be in the shipping.

Print-on-demand stores get great deals on shipping because they ship so much. They get volume contracts with logistical companies like DHL. On top of that, a print-on-demand store will have factories in Latin America, Asia, Russia, etc. They produce closer to their customer and further reduce the shipping cost.

How much is a package to the Philippines going to set your store back? How much to Brazil? What is your breakdown of shipping destinations and average shipping cost? I think you will soon find out that you have to ask more per item than in a print-on-demand setup.

Would love to be proven wrong.

From the knowledge I can gather you are going to regularly have to ask for SNACS or community pools funds as it would appear that there is no economically viable business model. It could be a community desire to fund it nonetheless, but the economics and expectations should be transparent up-front.

2 Likes

Thank you for pointing this out. I also, think this is extremely valid. Is it unreasonable to ask people to pay for their own shipping? I pay for my own shipping.

That was my plan. But maybe it’s not a good one? What is your suggestion? I am not experienced with shipping out of country. But I know stores of all kinds are global and can be. Especially if it’s digital.

If I’m unaware, this is where I am. Always up for being honest and transparent. (I hope that’s evident in every single message.) I do not know about global shipping, but I know shipping can be easily built in, so I would expect people to pay for their own.

Does this (honest ask) sound unreasonable? Let me know if you have an alternative? Is print-on-demand by a large chain the only “alternative?” To not eating those shipping costs?

I think it’s reasonable to expect to pay for shipping, but maybe I’m missing something…

1 Like

I’ve bought stuff from China and Sweden, and received stuff (unexpectedly) from India and Latin America. But I don’t know what it cost them to ship to me. Sometimes I’ve paid for shipping and sometimes I haven’t.

This is one of the designs I am most excited for! A designer brought this to me. I think it’s awesome. I never would’ve thought of it. And I love that about our community. Everyone is great at so many things and it’s so varied!

This is a SecretSwap logo as if it were a Gucci design. It would be done in foil and as a print all over the shirt.

3 Likes

FATS could have some really funny designs! :joy: I’ve had a lot of ideas for that. People would eat that up.

1 Like

It isn’t unreasonable, but I worry that approach will render your merch store to North America only.

The first thing to consider is when you and I order something from abroad, that is usually with a company that ships A LOT, thus has volume contracts with logistical companies. Those shipping costs are unlikely to be a fair representation of the cost you will have to put on the invoice.

If it costs $35 to ship a mug to the Philippines, or $40 to ship a hoody to Australia. Does the question arise if you are really running a global merch shop? Or has the shipping costs now effectively rendered the store to a US/ North-America store?

Again, I don’t have the answer to these questions. With print-on-demand, these aren’t applicable as you are able to make use of the logistical network of the print-on-demand partner. In your print-to-stock model, these questions do become relevant if you’re proposing a global merch store. That’s why I would like to know how your business model works to ensure that everybody can order merch with a reasonable shipping cost.

2 Likes

I love the idea of more Secret Network shirts and designs regardless of how it’s implemented, so I’d say we’re on the right track!

I like how Brendan’s store has Cosmos themed shirts in addition to Secret Network shirts. I think if we sell Cosmos / Monero shirts with clean designs, we can attract attention to the site and subsequently bring some awareness to Secret Network.

As a consumer, I’d probably pay max $35 for a single brand shirt after tax and shipping. I don’t really mind if it’s print-by-demand or not, just that the price and quality is there. Though I can see that print-by-demand probably offers more options for international customers. I am not opposed to having two stores.

2 Likes

Focusing on American markets or high quality doesn’t hurt the branding. I don’t want my Secret Gucci to have a Fruit of the Loom label… Even if it is US based and high quality the people willing to pay shipping will find a way to own it and it will impress those who can’t afford to import high quality American designer goods. We can also ship them the patterns if they want to start one in their region.

2 Likes

It would still be worthwhile to buy in bulk, but yes I would also like to see what shipping costs would look like under the current plan. I believe that Shopify has accessible and cheap premium international shipping, but I’m no expert on this.

Even if it WERE to be difficult however, I think that even if this was primarily US based initially that it’s still a good idea and a reasonable ask. I also don’t think that her idea would necessarily be limited to print-to-stock. @katiewaisanen is a hybrid possible in the future?

1 Like

Getting ready to make a marketing push for SEFI, and I’m glad to get the first of my merch in to properly represent! Thanks @katiewaisanen

In general we all CAN get whatever we want made independently… it just isn’t easy or user friendly.

1 Like

My hope is for normal-ranged t-shirts to be priced at $25. That leaves room for tax and shipping. A super fancier one might be $30. But in my head $25 works well, and leaves room for designers to get paid and room for bulk discounts & special offers.

I like that everyone wants details. I think this is helping and asking the right questions. But there are a lot of variables (even down to print types, machines, and how many layers of ink). So there are some things I’m just going to have to experiment with and see.

@Ewais001 hybrid is totally possible.
@Stefan-001 Shopify does have bulk deals with shipping companies, offering sometimes 50-75% off. (Sorry I didn’t mention that before. It was a given that I now realize I didn’t enumerate.) How that translates directly into figures for this is one of those things I just can’t know until I’m doing it.

Regarding hybrid store, I like the idea of (if it being a better option) having other sources ship to other countries. If that is smarter, wiser, and the better option, I see no reason why we can’t do that also. (If you guys opt for that route, I’m open to looking into it and figuring that out to. Print-on-demand is always easier, in my opinion. Anyone can go anywhere and get a shirt made. But the quality varies a lot. And sometimes you can’t tell until it’s in your hand. And sometimes two weeks into wearing/washing.)

2 Likes