[Members] Annual T-Shirt Debate

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Jan 13 13:32:22 UTC 2012


As many of you will remember, we tend to sell T-Shirts at FOSDEM, in  
part because everyone else there does.

The XSF differs from most of the projects in selling t-shirts at  
close to cost, historically - instead, we're really more interested  
in drawing people to the stand to talk about XMPP, and to publicise  
XMPP through FOSDEM and in general.

We're shorter on sponsors for this year's event, so we need to be  
careful not to make an actual loss here. Last time we did t-shirts,  
we did indeed make a loss.

Also, historically, we have a fun argument each year about what  
colour t-shirts, what the logo should be, and so on.

For reference, the going rate for a simple t-shirt at FOSDEM is €5  
to €15. Some people have sold them at €20, from memory. €5 is  
(very) cheap for a t-shirt at FOSDEM.

Rather than start this argument from scratch, this year Florian and I  
have been chatting things over, and we're giving some initial options  
out. It *is* possible to pick both.

1) A "Hooded T" - t-shirt material, long sleeved, with a hood - with  
a (very simple) varsity/GAP style "XMPP" across the front. Colour of  
the hooded T would be "Dark Graphite", which is essentially a dark  
grey. Cost price is about €13, so selling these at €15 will make  
some profit, but they'll be amongst the more expensive.

Colours of the "XMPP" isn't yet decided, I imagine we'll pick some  
colours from the logo. The lettering could, I believe, be done as  
embroidery at the same price.

2) Black t-shirt, breast-print, as three years ago. Picture:

http://dave.cridland.net/t-shirt/xsf-2009.jpeg (Awful picture, but  
you get the idea).

I think we could add a date to these, maybe "FOSDEM 2012" or simply  
"XMPP Summit 11".

These cost about €3.65, so we could either sell them for €10 and  
help reduce the risk of not selling (and allow us to drop the price  
later) or else sell cheap at €5. I think which depends on whether  
we do both designs or not.

As history, we still have some of these, too:


(They have </presence> on the back).

We failed to sell many of these in 2010, and even failed to give them  
away in 2011. In fact, their only saving grace is that the picture  
compresses almost 300k better, and that's not the most useful sales  
point. Note that we had to drop our prices when they didn't sell,  
hence my reasoning that we should ensure we have an adequate margin  
to do so.

You may note from the very creased nature of both my t-shirts that I  
hardly ever wear either. I'm pretty sure I *would* wear (1) above  
quite a bit - it's sufficiently subtle that I'd feel comfortable. As  
for (2), we know from experience that we can sell cheap t-shirts like  
that, especially if we can match or beat everyone else's prices.

So my personal choice would be to get both of (1) and (2), and sell  
at €15 and €10 respectively, initially. Perhaps €20 for both,  
too. And if people refuse to buy either, threaten to give them one of  
the old grey ones until they do.

Florian's personal choice is anything that doesn't involve his  
parents looking after several hundred t-shirts for two years.

Dave Cridland - mailto:dave at cridland.net - xmpp:dwd at dave.cridland.net
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