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Selling "10% off t-shirts" from cafepress

Timbo6585Timbo6585 subscriber Posts: 3
edited June 2007 in Selecting a Business
I`ve got an idea and figured I`d bounce it off the minds here to see if it`d work or not.
I`m thinking about writing some local businesses here and offering to get them new customers, a loyal customer base, and free advertising through a t-shirt program.  They`ll agree to let the wearer of the t-shirt get 10% off their purchase.  I`ll get somewhere between 5 and 10 businesses to agree, put all of their names on the back of a t-shirt with my logo on the front and sell them for anywhere between 10 and 20 bucks.  They`d be businesses that people frequent quite a bit, one coffee shop, one ice cream place, one local grocer, etc.
I think if I have a good selection of businesses on there people would be interested in buying the shirts.  I`d also promote it that it is supporting the local small businesses in the area, not the "big evil chains".  I would then probably go through CafePress which would mean I wouldn`t have to worry about the manufacturing of the shirts, shipping or anything.  I`d just have a website set up that goes through Cafepress and then they order their shirt.
Does anyone think the local businesses would want to participate?  It`d be free for them(except the 10% discount) but I think it`s a good idea.  I mean with 7 to 10 ice cream places here in town what will make that person choose theirs?  The fact that they get 10% and get that businesses`s name stuck in their head everytime they see it on their shirt should help build their customer base.
I`d like to hear others thoughts on this.


  • MarkBMarkB subscriber Posts: 2
    Tim,I think this is a novel approach to advertising, but I would have a couple concerns about it, both from your standpoint and if I were a business you were selling to.1. How do you make any money?     Have you looked at the price to produce a t-shirt on Cafe Press? It is     very cost prohibitive unless you sell in bulk. My guess is that you are     not going to be able to sell these shirts in bulk from the web to your     local townspeople. You would probably have to front the cost of     printing (from someone less expensive than Cafe Press) and try to     get the retailers to sell them from their stores. 2. If I am the retailer, my question is what are you going to do to     make this work?     Do you have a marketing plan for how you are going to get people to    buy the shirt? If I have to put some time into this, including training     my staff to recognize and provide discounts I would like some     assurances that it has a chance to provide a payoff.Frankly the idea doesn`t strike me with a lot of force. I think you will find it difficult to convince someone to spend $20 (with Cafe Press you are going to have to charge every bit of that) to get a t-shirt that will give them 10% off their purchases at a few local retailers. That means that if they want to get their money`s worth, they are going to have to make sure to have the shirt handy to wear when they go somewhere. Also, if I am on the North side of town and my shirt has a vendor who is on the West side of town, I am probably not going to be compelled to make the drive just to save 10%, especially on a $3.00 cup of coffee. It becomes an inconvenience at that point.I just don`t think the offer is compelling enough.BTW, This is already done when businesses create coupon books and people sell them to the general public. It is done as a fund raiser for non-profits. I would say in it`s current form it is probably not a great idea.Don`t give up, though. I like the thinking! And local retail businesses are always looking for an edge.Mark
  • Timbo6585Timbo6585 subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for the feedback, valid points.
    I wonder if maybe instead of a t-shirt, a plastic membership card would be better?  These would be much cheaper to produce and I could charge between 5 and 10 dollars for each one.
    My other question, do you think the businesses will be willing to give a 10% discount?  Will that be too much of a strain on their profit margin?  I don`t know a lot about business.  In my mind it`d be good because it gives the customer incentive to go to them instead of a competitor.  The city isn`t very big and I would try to target businesses in the center of the city where everyone visits, instead of out in the fringes where someone might not want to drive for a 10% discount.
    As for selling them, maybe make a website about it and give a press release to the paper about it?  Maybe I could split the profits with the businesses too.  Say the cards can be made for $1 a piece, which is higher than it will be, but just for an example.  I`ll get some and sell them to the businesses that are in the network for $5 a card.  They can buy as many or as little as they like.  They in turn promote it and sell it from their store for $10 a card.  They get a loyal customer base and the profits of $5 a card.  I in turn get $4 a card and don`t even have to do a lot of work for it, simply sell the cards back to the businesses so that they can resell them.  Also with a plastic card I could probably fit a lot of names on the back and make a bigger network?
    Thanks for the criticisms it`s helping me think it through some more.  Are these ideas better?
  • Timbo6585Timbo6585 subscriber Posts: 3
    There was one other thing too I forgot.  Some businesses may be hesitant about going into a seemingly unending agreement where they forever have to give a discount when this card is presented.  So I thought about putting a year on it too.  Like the `07 card, then the `08 card and so forth, so each card is only good for a year.  That way the business can opt out next year if they like.  And I get to sell new cards each year!
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