Today’s Thoughts . . . Sept. 16, 2013

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Is the T shirt thing a bust? EP T

We opened up the Store about a week ago. Got our first order of shirts in, ready to mail out. But – so far – no one has bought one.

No big deal. If the concept sucks, it sucks. We only ordered up a fairly small batch to test the waters/gauge interest. Worst case, we’re out a few hundred bucks – but will never run out of “Throw it in the Woods” T shirts for ourselves and family members!

We’re gonna give it a month and see what happens.

I posted a brief note yesterday about site finances. The donations are ebbing. It’s not critical, but we are concerned that things are beginning to taper off. That’s the Catch-22 about a reader-supported model. It’s wonderful to have that direct relationship – and also to not have the site littered up with sales pitches (to say nothing of Google sales pitches). But the downside is having to regularly pass the proverbial hat in order to equalize the outlay relative to to income.

Like rent, come the first of the month, we have another bill for servers. Plus the need to compensate the people who do the work to keep the site up and working (that’s Dom) as well as Your Humble Narrator.

We’ve made it exactly one full month without Google – without losing our shirts.

So, please, if you’re interested in a T-Shirt, buy one!

And if not, please consider sending $5, $10 or $25 dollars – gas in the tank, to keep the motors runnin’!

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Why black? Nearly every t-shirt I buy at a concert, get free at work, etc… is black. Not so good here in the Texas sun.

    I have to agree with DS on paying an inflated price for a t-shirt versus a donation. I’ve got four strike-the-root.com t-shirts and some bumper stickers to boot.

    • We picked black because we thought it looked better than plain white (and of course black hides stains better!)

      The problem with T-shirts as a financial proposition is you’ve got to buy them in large quantities to get them at a decent price – and be able to sell them at a profit.

      We can’t afford to do that, so we bought a fairly small initial batch – and paid only slightly less for each one than we charge you to buy them.

      Our goal is to not lose money on the operation.

      So far, we’re not on track to do that.

      Donations (I prefer not to use that word because it implies charity; I prefer reader support) on the other hand, involves no overhead.

      Other than the taxes we’ve got pay, of course. (For me, that means 15 percent off the top, before figuring federal and state taxes; with what’s left, I have to pay for the servers, then Dom… .)

      Thus, small amounts – $10 a month, say – can cover our costs and keep this site going… if we can get enough of the people coming here to send us $10 (or so) a month.

      If even 10 percent of those people sent us $5 once a month, we’d have no issues at all.

      • @Eric Capitalist pig. You whine about taxes helping the poor, and give no thought to altruistic values. You will receive your re-education camp notice in the mail.

  2. Imho, you need to be able to accept credit cards. How-freaking-ever; they probably take too big of a cut.

    Also, many people live paycheck to paycheck, so maybe they’re waiting for the first of the month?

    And, there’s no STP or Thrush logos and the like on the shirts, …

    One of my favorite t-shirts when I was 18 was a white t-shirt with the Thrush logo on the front. But that was a long time ago, in land far far away, and I was a whole nother person. One unexposed to the N.A.P. and Austrian Economics.

    Sorry, I digress.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather pay a way over ‘inflated’ price for a t-shirt to support your/our cause than give a flat out donation.
    But that’s just me.

    Have you thought about trying to give a prize to a random buyer?
    I suppose that’s illegal too though. …Isn’t everything that’s fun?
    Hell, fun itself is illegal! …Just ask the underground diners:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/new-yorker-foodies-pissing-off-the-regulatory-bullies/

    Snail mail is slow, and I won’t be sending anything until Thursday. …Along with my donation.

    • Hi DS,

      We hope the T Shirt thing works out. This batch was fairly small – and so the unit cost was pretty high. If we can sell these – if there’s interest in more – we can buy a larger batch next time and the price will come down.

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