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Rises again

So in our latest Donnybrook installment, SteveF suggests putting out some CF merch, with kenny and Barry offering their dittos in support. He but little realized I was way ahead of him, long years ago. As I replied:

Actually, I did have, but it got to be too much to keep up with, honestly. Sales started off pretty brisk–they WERE nice shirts and stickers, if I do say so myself–but that meant I was always late getting orders packed and shipped and such-like folderol. So some years back I set up a CafePress store, uploaded the designs and all that, put up a sidebar link, and…didn’t sell a one, or not that I know of. Now I’ve completely forgotten the login and pass to the damned thing, and…well, heck, you’re right, I need to start all over again with the whole merch thing, don’t I?

I then threatened to dig up the old designs (I was rather proud of of ’em, actually) and post them here because hey, why the hell not. I still have a box of the actual shirts stored someplace or other, but the stickers I had made were snapped up pretty quick, I’m afraid; I gots no clue where the P-shop files for them might have wandered off to, alas. But here are the shirt designs:

My own personal fave, on a light beige/off-white shirt.

Why yes, that DOES look an awful lot like I might’ve appropriated the H-D bar and shield just a wee mite for the front of this one, don’t it?

The black one was front-only, nothing on back.

There were three, count ’em, 3 shirt designs, with a small image on front and a bigger one on back. I still have one of ’em myself, a faded, threadbare example fit only for working on motorcycles, painting living rooms, puppy-training, and whatnot.

Actually, looking at these things now, they seem to be reconstructions of the originals; the “Anger management” shirt is the one I still have, and the font above isn’t the same at all. If you’ll notice, too, the orange color on the front design is way different than the “Anger management” side. Also, I don’t remember the black one having any kind of slogan on it at all, just Angry Guy, the CF logo, and the “Harshing your etc” motto. But I could easily be all wet on that one. I need to scrounge up that box of shirts and check one of these days, I reckon. Pretty sure I know where it is. Pretty sure.

I liked the CafePress store, I must say. It made the whole enterprise one hell of a lot easier on me, plus I could offer things like coffee mugs and mouse pads—items I would never have been able to afford having printed up and then only selling a handful of them. Yeah, the price was/is a lot higher with CP, and the profit margin slimmer. Maybe that’s the reason I never sold a damned thing with it.

If I can find that ol’ box of shirts, assuming they haven’t gone all moldy and mildewy or been gnawed by vermin over lo, these many years, maybe we could have some sort of CF contest with those as the prizes or something. Might be just the thing to help celebrate the imminent 19th (!!!) birthday (9/14/01, if I recall correctly) of this here den of internet iniquity, no?

Oh yeah, here’s the image for the sidebar link to Ye Olde CF Mercantile Shoppe, just for grins ‘n’ giggles:


Yes, I actually did have honest-to-goodness shopping cart software set up and functional, while it lasted. The CF Shop was the first online store I ever built—OSCommerce, I believe, is what I used for running the backend of the thing. In fact, I was happy enough with OSCommerce that I used it several times afterwards for other commercial sites I worked on as well. Kind of a steep learning curve initially, or seemed so to my dumb ass, anyway. But not too bad, and once you got it all sussed out it was easy-peasy.

All in all the OSC software worked great: almost astoundingly customizable and tweakable; completely reliable; and readily adaptable to most any kind of online store you might wish to use it for, from music or audiobook downloads to (probably) amateur Pr0n (I’m guessing). Plus, it was also, y’know, free. Lots of useful plugins available for it too, most of those also free. If you’re thinking of setting up an e-commerce site, you could do a lot worse than OSC. I endorse the heck out of it.

Update! DANG, those images are big! Need to get into P-shop and shrink ’em down a bit. Sorry for all that bandwidth wastage, peeps.

13 thoughts on “Rises again

  1. Either I wasn’t reading CF when you had the merchandise for sale or I was broke. Except for the past two years and year or two ten or twelve years ago, I’ve been self-employed for ages. As many of us know, the income vagaries of self-employment are not for the faint of heart. Or for those with wives prone to worry and panic. But I digress.

    Anyway, get it set up and I’ll buy a few. Including a “Don’t Argue, I’m Right” for my daughter because she’d find it funny, and maybe one for my wife as a pointed comment even though she wouldn’t find it amusing and likely wouldn’t wear it.

  2. From the business perspective, sites like Cafe Press, which handle the shipping, are charging you for the convenience of not having to order big lots and store boxes in the apartment and spend hours per week packing and shipping orders. And handling returns. Ugh. You can make more money by doing that stuff yourself, at the cost of time, initial investment, and risk of being stuck with unwanted items. Which way to go is up to you based on your circumstances.

    Apologies if this is all really obvious to you. I keep getting my nose rubbed in it that things which I think are obvious and don’t need to be stated, aren’t and do. If I think of it, I err on the side of belaboring the obvious.

  3. I have no clue how much of this stuff has to be committed to in order to get it going. Since I wear T-shirts almost exclusively these days and since they get worn out pretty quick, I’m in for at least 5 if you decide to do it.

    1. Just as an aside, Barry: try The Mountain t-shirts. Like you, I wear t-shirts all the time, and I’ve found that The Mountain’s shirts last a LOT longer than any of the others I’ve bought.

      They’ll eventually start wearing through, but it takes awhile. Like, on the order of 1-3 years awhile.

  4. Dang it, just tried to retrieve my password at CP, and…nothing. So then I tried to set up a brand-new account as a workaround, made it to the “email confirmation” stage, and…nothing. That was about an hour ago, no emails, no…nothing. Tell ya what, fellas, I’ma go over to the girl’s house where that box of shirts is, dig through, and see what sizes I have left, what shape they’re in, etc. If they aren’t just rotted away or infested with a colony of brown recluse spiders, I’ll contact ya and get one to ya. Or, y’know, several. 😀

    1. Don’t be so quick to write them off if brown recluses are living in them. I have a use for a few of those bad boys. Would even be worth a drive to NC to go get them. Er, I mean, a friend was asking about them.

      CafePress’s account resets might not be automated because it’s a business system, with payments and credit card processing and such. I don’t know what the current requirements are in order to stay in Visa’s good graces. It’s possible that the resets are done only during weekday business hours. Try again Monday.

      As for shirts I wear an XL and my daughter probably a woman’s S. Maybe a size larger if there are a lot of spiders in them, bulking them out. $30 apiece sound good? A bit on the high side for a t-shirt but the purpose is fund-raising so it seems a decent starting point.

      1. If you want fund raising use a lower price point to get people out there wearing them and “Start a buzz”.
        These young kids know how to do that.
        But the idea is to make it like “Who is John Galt” and not Trumpian at first.

      2. Looks like you were right, Stevie, I got the password-reset email this morning. I had assumed those things were all automated, but apparently not. Gotta work on repopulating the store, which I’m doing now. I’ll notify y’all when I’ve got the thing back up and running again.

  5. Damn. I want one of the CF Bruisers on a t-shirt with the “Harshing Your Mellow Since 9/01” arching over the top, and “Don’t tread on me” with the underneath it.

    Be great to alternate with my Trump t-shirts.

    1. I haven’t noticed a single glare the last couple times I’ve worn my Trump2020 shirt. Not even one. Either everyone in the grocery store and such is fed up beyond words with Governor Andrew “The Family Shame” Cuomo and Gropey Joe and all the rest of the Lefty Lockdown Lunatics or I’m completely oblivious. And I don’t think it’s the latter because I’m increasingly twitchy and paranoid when I go anywhere because I do it so seldom anymore.

      It was even worse when I lived in Minnesota. The city had 710 people, 712 with my son and me. Work was a couple dozen, the grocery store across the street typically had a clerk, one other customer, and me, and so on. I’d go out and do things, but that was usually activities like walking a trail or bicycling. When I took the kid to the Mall of America I had a hard time, looking over both shoulders at once.

  6. I am not sure how to necessarily do a better job marketing them.
    I spent a lot of my career buying what no one wanted at one time and a year later or so wanting it again.
    From the little I know, The Silent Trumpkins would want something that basically appears non-political but makes people think. Or ask.
    So I like the first one;
    The bones saying” I’m Right” is good for people led to the “store”. So many think this way.
    I think the one with the Angry Man and the Anger Management My Ass is great, but not a “leader”. Offer that in that style but with “Harshing Your Mellow since 9/01”
    OR just the Angry Man with the ‘’ on it.
    Sends some youngsters to your site.
    I don’t know how close it would be to Disney and the Hulk to do marketing of “I’m always Angry”
    IOW the Angry Man, the and “I’m Always Angry” on a design.
    How about “Don’t Tell Me How To Feel”. And “Don’t Tell Me How To Feel – There’s Liberty to Protect”.
    Or “ – Because Freedom Is not Free”
    I guess what I am saying is have an alternative that is apolitical at first glance but provokes a “what’s that” response.
    The Angry Man says “Why Doesn’t MY LIFE Matter?”.
    I’m not sure about merchandising but I think NOW is a better time for you to think about this idea.

  7. Bottom Line: It needs to take advantage of the “Silent Trumpkins”
    At least at first. Wearing a “I’m Cold Furious and I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore”.
    The Poundingman below that.
    A little smaller then –
    That might get at least a bunch of BernieBros looking at the shirt. Maybe some will come to the site. Maybe some will stay.
    But the circle you want to make is T-Shirt to Site to Friends to T shirts…
    It’s the opposite of “Band” T Shirts. Bands nowadays tour on their past but make their real money on merchandise.
    New bands sit there at local clubs giving away T-Shirts etc and draw people in.
    That’s the symbiosis of the new “business”.
    All of a sudden I’m thinking “Mike knows this and you’re sounding like a “know it all”. I am probably naive.
    BUT, I say this in humility. I would not wear an Instapundit tee.
    Give me the Cold Fury tee sanse anything upfront associated with any politics and just claiming “freedom” I would wear.

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