logistics - how to handle sale, inventory, etc. (was Re: starting the discussion: merchandising at Conservancy)

Amy Terlaga terlaga at biblio.org
Thu Feb 7 14:14:27 EST 2013

Hi Tony--

I was actually thinking of having our members pre-order their stuff before
the conference so they would just have to pick it up at the conference.
That way, we'd have exactly the right quantity and it would remove the
guesswork.  Of course, it would require our getting the word out well so
that we maximized sales and didn't have to turn away too many unhappy people
at the conference who wanted to buy one on the spot.  Or we could have some
extras for those previously clueless.

Is this a bad idea?

Amy Terlaga
Assistant Director, User Services
Bibliomation, Inc.
32 Crest Road
Middlebury, CT  06762
203-577-4070 x101

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Sebro [mailto:tony at sfconservancy.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 1:17 PM
To: Amy Terlaga
Cc: merch at sfconservancy.org
Subject: logistics - how to handle sale, inventory, etc. (was Re: starting
the discussion: merchandising at Conservancy)

On 02/06/2013 04:09 PM, Amy Terlaga wrote:
> Hi Tony--
> I'm interested in starting up some merchandise sales for the Evergreen 
> project.  We'd love to have some things to sell in time for our April 
> conference (April 10-13).
> I have no idea as to how much money
> we'd need to get a good base of merch for sale for this initial wave 
> and I'd need some help with that.
***Logistics - how to handle sale, inventory, etc.

It's my understanding that online on-demand stores like Zazzle and Cafe
Press solve the problems of managing inventory, managing the point of sale
transaction, and investing up-front costs.  However, the quality of the
printing is invariably below that of a dedicated screen printing shop.  Of
course, for conferences where you want to sell shirts on-site, you'll have
to manage a small inventory of shirts in various sizes anyway.  You'd have
to pony up the up front costs for the inventory and hope that you'll be able
to sell enough to break even.

Regarding turn-around:  if memory serves, a screen printing shop needs about
ten business days to print a run of shirts (not including rush orders, which
cost extra, or shipping time).

Any other thoughts?  Has anyone received a recent quote for a run of shirts
and/or other merch items, for example?


Tony Sebro, General Counsel, Software Freedom Conservancy
+1-212-461-3245 x11
tony at sfconservancy.org

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