Of T-Shirts, Mugs and Money

We've got some interesting new ideas in the works as we approach our o­ne year anniversary and I think it's time we shared a few of them. The concept of t-shirts and mugs featuring Stan (our mascot up there) has been bounced around for a number of months now but trying to find a way to keep the prices down while running a low number of shirts has been a barrier for us. I know many of you are interested in having Stan above your heart, where he belongs, but I doubt we could justify a 300 shirt run for the amount of people looking to buy o­ne. Same goes for mugs, you've got to buy a fairly large number of them before you'll get any kind of discount per mug. So the reality is that we could make shirts but in order to make any money they would have to be sold at a fairly high price.

Yes, I said "make money" which we normally consider a naughty phrase around here. Gamers With Jobs is not about cutting a profit, paying for content or forcing you to subscribe in order to block flash ads that cause seizures and make the site an unpleasant place to be. In this case however, we need to make money in order to make more shirts, cover server costs and help us towards going to E3. That's right, we plan to hit E3 this coming May. Elysium, Pyro, Sway and myself all hope to attend the convention and offer some unique content detailing our experiences in a different way than most sites would. We're all paying for this ourselves but a little help wouldn't hurt. We have a goal in mind here, but that's not all we plan to do. After all, it just wouldn't be much fun if we couldn't give a little something back.

This is getting to be a bit long, read o­n and I'll explain!You see, the nice thing about buying t-shirts, mugs and other swag means we get to give away some of it. I know, not exactly a new concept but we're pretty excited about it none the less. What we envision is a monthly give-away where we draw names for swag, games and who knows what else. The exact nature of these contests is still up in the air but we've got a few nice ideas. Some of them will be free, requiring o­nly imagination, skill or perhaps a deep knowledge of gaming. Other draws may require a small donation to enter so we make a little coin for more swag and the odds of winning are greater since not everyone will want (or be able) to donate. A little something for everyone is what we're shooting for. If you visit the site, you should get a shot at participating.

I can't get into nickle and dime specifics (since where we have shirts and stuff made is still up in the air) I can give you some idea of how we'll sell the stuff and what the shirts will look like. First, we're looking at two kinds of shirt designs; o­ne with Sway's latest comic o­n it and another with Stan and the website name. I'll post some mock-ups when we have some. In fact, if you've some ideas we'd be happy to see some shirt designs too so don't be shy! We're looking for something a little spiffier than just slapping the site logo o­n a shirt and I'm just not sure my stick men and macaroni art is quite up to the task.

The HOW we're going to go about selling this already expensive stuff to you is still in the works but the front running idea goes a little something like this:

Donate $5 bucks: Custom Forum tag of your choice. Already have o­ne? Give it to someone else!

Donate $20 bucks: Get a custom forum tag and a mug.

Donate $35 bucks: Get a custom tag and a "limited edition" (ha ha) t-shirt

Donate $50 bucks: Get a custom tag, t-shirt, mug and a pinch of Elysium's beard clippings. At least, I think they're beard clippings.

This isn't going to be a year round thing. The donation drive will probably last a month and then we'll order the stuff and ship it out. With any luck we'll make enough to buy more t-shirts and other swag afterwords to sell for more reasonable prices. We'll have the usual Pay Pal and check payment options as well as any others that make sense to do.

There you have it, o­nce we have some firm details we'll get them posted up. We welcome any and all feedback o­n what I've covered today, we're all in this together and anything you might want to ask, suggest or add is invaluable to us.

Cheers to o­ne of the best damn little communities o­n the internet!

- Certis

Comments

Excellent title to the article. I miss Warren Zevon.

I think the "how" as described undervalues the worth of custom forum titles. The time value of a custom forum tag at 1000 posts per tag is much higher than that. My gut says you would make more money at a $10 price point. Also, the very limited set of people willing to pay for a custom forum title has an almost perfect correlation with the number of people who want a t-shirt or mug, so you may want to take the custom tag out of the $20 and $35 price points.

If you buy the T-shirts over the Internet, I think you can get nice ones with two-sided full-color printing for as little as $12 for a minimum order of 10. I got some shirts made up for a birthday party a few years ago and it was about $200 for 15 shirts. That would enable you to lower the t-shirt price point, which seems high to me.

You can thank hypoglycemia for these pearls of 4 a.m. wisdom.

You can thank hypoglycemia for these pearls of 4 a.m. wisdom.

Now, that. Is hilarious.

I like the idea guys, esp. the Sway comic one. The sixth-graders may mock me for wearing one, but luckily I'm 27 and can kick their asses now.

and offer some unique content detailing our experiences in a different way than most sites would.

This is some sort of strange Canadian code for drinking right?

I think putting one of Sway's comics on a T-Shirt with our logo on the sleeve or back somewhere would sell more units than just our logo. We should do a poll for which comic though, there are plenty that can be put on a shirt.

I like the idea. By "custom tag" you mean like the 1000+ posters I say no. That is something that should be earned with time and support like it currently is. But by giving some kinda spiffy symbol next to your name for a small price is an option, then I am in.

So says the guy with the custom tag Actually, I agree with you; some sort of lucky charm next to an avatar would be a great way of showing that users supported the site financially.

Did you check out CafePress? Their quality is ok and they're not that much.

yeah drop the custom tag option that should be earned not bought. But other than that I look forward to donating $50 and getting the mug and shirt..

you can donate the droppings to the NIH.

So says the guy with the custom tag

Yeah, but I feel like I earned it and look.... you are not far away. Do you want someone who registers on the site tomorrow to have a custom tag the same time as you? I wouldn't want that for you.

This is all my opinion and if it proves not to be the most popular one then I will live with it. I still want a custom symbol though

Er, I meant most unpopular. I need an edit button

I think this:

we'll make enough to buy more t-shirts and other swag afterwords to sell for more reasonable prices.

is an important point. We don't want any kind of donation to seem expected or demanded from us. Mostly, I feel like the important point to make is that some people have expressed an interest in helping the site out, and we're trying to come up with fun ways to make that happen. It would be awfully easy to just put up a PayPal tab somewhere and wink knowingly at it every now and again, but that's always made us feel uncomfortable and a little itchy. With this method we can at least give something back to the people who support us - and by that I mean both those who contribute dollars, as well as those who read the page or participate in the discussions.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. Keep em coming.

As much as it pains me to say this, because I been bugging you guys to change my tag into some thing else, while being a Consultant! But I have to agree with everyone that the "custom tag" show be earned! Besides, it's not like we work for it, we just socialize and have fun... talking about from games to politics! However, I want my coffee mug... I want it... I want it... I want it... and a t-shirt!

Now just out of curiosity, how much is it to go to E3? Excluding the price for travel and hotels, and other little things.... Because I was planning to take my vacation next year (...finally).

Bear in mind that Lum the Mad folded three days after I gave them $20. I'm not saying that my donation necessarily caused the site to go tits up, but it is an interesting chain of events.

I would also suggest Cafe Press. The quality is pretty good (especially on the ceramic mugs) and the t-shirts can look quite good if you create your designs correctly. And then, you have no initial outlay and you don't have to preorder. Also, they have lots and lots of products available. You could make a GWJ trucker's hat or a thong with Certis' face on it.

Sorry.

Your pal,
a.

I would also suggest Cafe Press. The quality is pretty good (especially on the ceramic mugs) and the t-shirts can look quite good if you create your designs correctly. And then, you have no initial outlay and you don't have to preorder. Also, they have lots and lots of products available. You could make a GWJ trucker's hat or a thong with Certis' face on it.

I've been looking into Cafe Press a bit. Their base prices are a bit high ($14.95 a t-shirt) although having everything taken care of would be nice. Would you feel dirty buying a $30 dollar t-shirt from Cafe Press?

We also hear you guys on the custom tag thing, I think a little image by your name might work better.

I've heard some strong objection to Cafe Press when it comes to t-shirts. I suspect we can find higher quality for lower prices on the t-shirts.

After all, people will pass down their GWJ t-shirts as family heirlooms!

We also hear you guys on the custom tag thing, I think a little image by your name might work better.

Excellent, will the icons support pixel shading 2.0?

You could always do what some other sites do and put a second tag under your name, something like "donator", "subscriber", etc... This is in addition to your regular tag. I'm sure Elysium can come up with a cool word.

No words If I had any skill I would draw something but I do envision a GWJ logo (just the GWJ letters) that has a chrome effect in the shape of the superman symbol. Maybe have it do a "sparkle" effect like every 5 seconds or so (you know animated gif).

Also, when you hover over the icon it pops up saying " Gamers with Jobs contributor...bling bling ! "

I object to CafePress on the grounds that any shirts I have seen from there were cheap and faded easily. They may have gotten better recently, I don't know.

I'm afraid that I'm going to have to wait to see the reviews of the mug and the t-shirt before making any sort of commitment.

Pyro, I've heard the shirts are ok, not great, but decent, however I've never ordered one. I have gotten mugs though and they have been good.

Excellent, will the icons support pixel shading 2.0?

No...owners of GeForce FX cards would experience extreme slowdown visiting the forums then..

LOL!

E-bay store front maybe?

Lum the Mad. Man, that brings back memories. Anyways, I like the T-shirt of the last comic (funny!) idea. As much as I'd like to be rid of my "Mailboy" title (being a new poster,) I agree that those who have been here longer and contributed longer should be deserving of special forum titles.

I'd support the site if given an option

This isn't going to be a year round thing.

So, this is going to be "for a limited time only" huh?

I'd buy a limited edition mug, a reasonably original one, like these for example:

IMAGE(http://www.uncommongoods.com/images/product/11527_lg.jpg?)

I want a "Please Kill Me Now" strip T-shirt.

I guess that ones not in the running.

Heck, I like that $50 deal, since it's both a donation and a purchase in one.

Well, except for the clippings... You could donate the ones from my purchase, too...

There's always the Hanes BEEFY TEE. My only donation problem is I don't have a paypal account, and I'm afraid if I get one, I'll use it.

We will have paypal, plus we'll allow for people who want to send a direct contribution through check or money order.