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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to share an idea that I've come up with. Note that this is not going to be for everyone. However, for my business and my target market it's perfect. I will explain that further down.

I was trying to figure out something extra to include with orders. The goal of this extra was:

1. To be different.
2. Memorable.
3. Continue marketing my site.
4. NOT be thrown away. :)

I wanted to include more than just the shirt and invoice. So, I'm going to include a magnet with the invoice. A picture of the magnet on my fridge is below.

I feel that a magnet met all of the requirements above.

1. Of all the t-shirts I've bought on the internet over the years I've never received a magnet.
2. If it's stuck on the person's fridge than they will see it every once in a while and jog their memory to come back and see if I have new shirts up.
3. Anyone who is over at their house, friends especially will see it.
4. I've never known anyone to throw away a fridge magnet. In fact, I think that would be pretty psychotic -- I mean can you really have enough refridgerator magnets?!

Some may argue that fridge magnets are tacky. However, like I said above, this is perfect for my market since this is something they would throw on their fridge without hesitation. I would, all my friends would.

Does this mean that it won't get thrown away? Certainly not. If a magnet can generate 4 sales for me they will pay for themselves. They will always be on that person's fridge and constantly seen by other people. Well worth it I think and different.

This is probably not a good idea for clothing lines that are trying to emulate a Fubu or Ecko, etc. However, for those of you selling offensive/funny/sport-related shirts this is perfect.

I ordered 100 magnets (you can order more) from www.vistaprint.com. There are a lot of places that do this, just search Google for "business card magnets". Vistaprint was really good to me, had reasonable prices, friendly interface, intuitive and they store your information/images for future reorders.
 

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Re: Magnets

I like the idea of throwing something in the package (I do it all the time), but I personally think stickers will go a longer way and get used more than magnets.

You can get bumper stickers of all sizes pretty cheaply. You can get 300 stickers for $50-$60 through a place like vgkids.com.

If you want them cheaper, I think stickerguy.com is pretty cheap as well (but much slower on service).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Magnets

Rodney said:
I like the idea of throwing something in the package (I do it all the time), but I personally think stickers will go a longer way and get used more than magnets.

You can get bumper stickers of all sizes pretty cheaply. You can get 300 stickers for $50-$60 through a place like vgkids.com.

If you want them cheaper, I think stickerguy.com is pretty cheap as well (but much slower on service).
I thought about stickers too but I have never seen a bumper sticker for a website on a vehicle, let alone a t-shirt website.

Also, I don't know anyone that uses stickers. Even when I get stickers (with something I've ordered) I throw them away or don't use them. I just think stickers are really generic, permanent, a pain to (try and ) remove, and messy.

Since there is no "magnets vs. stickers" data to draw from I have to go from personal experience and like I said I don't use stickers and neither does anyone I've ever known except for my 5-year old cousins.

Still a good idea and I'll probably give it more consideration once I can poll customers about it.
 

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Re: Magnets

I thought about stickers too but I have never seen a bumper sticker for a website on a vehicle, let alone a t-shirt website.
I guess it depends on the website (and the sticker). I've seen lots of stickers for brand names on cars (roxy, nike, nor cal, fox racing). You just have to make people want to sport your brand.

Also, stickers aren't just for cars anymore. Lockers, bikes, folders, laptops. People personalize all types of things with stickers.

You would limit your exposure with a magnet, since it stays in the person's house (refrigerator) if they do decide to put it up. Whereas, with a sticker, your exposure travels with the person.

Also, I don't know anyone that uses stickers. Even when I get stickers (with something I've ordered) I throw them away or don't use them.
Remember, you are not your customer :)

I think (without any scientific data), that the popularity and useage of stickers would surpass that of magnets. But, like you said, there's no real data about the magnets vs stickers issue.

PS. BTW, I dig your samurai and site name!
 

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Re: Magnets: Good inserts to go with your t-shirt orders?

I actually had the same thought (about throwing magnets in), but for a different reason.

My kids used to use cloth nappies (I have now been swallowed by the disposable monster - so sue me, I've got twins!), which I made myself. The lady I bought fabric from included a magnet in my first order. And every time I go to my fridge, I think about the cute nappies I made them and how I ought to go and see if she has any more cute fabric.

Similarly, the magnet my dentist gave me reminds me to book in for a check-up. The magnet the Fridge Guy gave me reminds me who to call when the fridge breaks...

My point is, I have so many darn promotional magnets that encourage me to give repeat business, it does seem like a good idea.

On the other hand, what I had considered doing with stickers was...let's say someone buys one of my "Twins Rock" t-shirts - I would include a "Twins Rock" sticker (of course with my URL on the sticker as well) or a similar design. That way the sticker is more likely to get "out and about" as it's not just a company's logo on a sticker - it has a design I KNOW they like, because they just paid money for it, along with my URL.

Just my two c...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Magnets

Rodney said:
I guess it depends on the website (and the sticker).
As I stated in the original post. :)

Rodney said:
I've seen lots of stickers for brand names on cars (roxy, nike, nor cal, fox racing).
I'm not saying that you are lying but I think it's funny that we both live in major cities and you are seeing all of these stickers on cars and I never see them. Even when I lived in Virginia Beach, VA I never saw this phenomenon.

Also, think about it. You pull behind someone that has an interesting sticker on their car. Most people probably can't read it clearly and if they can they won't remember it.

Rodney said:
You would limit your exposure with a magnet, since it stays in the person's house (refrigerator) if they do decide to put it up. Whereas, with a sticker, your exposure travels with the person.
Point taken but I strongly believe that most people discard or don't use stickers they get. You are right that stickers get more exposure though, that's a given.

Rodney said:
Remember, you are not your customer :)
I always keep this in mind when making business decisions but like we've both agreed there is no data to support either side of the argument so I have to draw from what I know and have experienced.

Rodney said:
I think (without any scientific data), that the popularity and useage of stickers would surpass that of magnets.
I respectfully disagree (without any scientific data). :D

Rodney said:
PS. BTW, I dig your samurai and site name!
Thanks! I dig your sites and it pains me to have to take an opposing viewpoint on something business-related since you have all the experience. Normally I would concede the point but without data...
 

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Re: Magnets: insert ideas for t-shirt orders

On the other hand, what I had considered doing with stickers was...let's say someone buys one of my "Twins Rock" t-shirts - I would include a "Twins Rock" sticker (of course with my URL on the sticker as well) or a similar design. That way the sticker is more likely to get "out and about" as it's not just a company's logo on a sticker - it has a design I KNOW they like, because they just paid money for it, along with my URL.
That's actually more along the lines of what I was thinking. A sticker that matches a popular design (and includes your website address...maybe just as a copyright line). The stickers that people adorn their stuff with usually says something about them.

Thanks! I dig your sites and it pains me to have to take an opposing viewpoint on something business-related since you have all the experience. Normally I would concede the point but without data...

No worries and no need to be pained :)

That's what forums are for, discussing ideas and getting different points of view. You could be totally right on this and I could be missing the boat on magnets.

I will say this though: I sell stickers on my site and I also have a store that has magnets for sale along with the other similar products. People buy a lot of stickers (especially as an upsell item), but I haven't sold that many magnets. I actually started selling stickers because customers asked for them. I never had one request for magnets in over 10 years, but I've sold thousands of stickers.

Granted, I haven't had magnets for sale as long, and they aren't in my main store (they are in my cafepress store...so it didn't cost me anything to add them to the lineup). But just the requests for customers to want to buy a certain item makes me think they are likely to use it. To get more for free seems like a nice bonus.

But you obviously know your market. For different markets, magnets seem like a great idea. I have magnets for my kids' pediatrician, the plumber, and a few family vacation magnets on my fridge, so magnets definitely do get used :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Magnets: insert ideas for t-shirt orders

Rodney said:
I will say this though: I sell stickers on my site and I also have a store that has magnets for sale along with the other similar products. People buy a lot of stickers (especially as an upsell item), but I haven't sold that many magnets. I actually started selling stickers because customers asked for them. I never had one request for magnets in over 10 years, but I've sold thousands of stickers.
Is there anything you don't sell? How many fricking stores do you have? :)

Seriously though, I've given it some more thought. It would make sense that stickers sell A LOT more than magnets but I really think it's one of those things where people assume that stickers work rather than explore other avenues of marketing and exposure.

I'm writing my congressman right now demanding he immediately form a special committe to study the effectiveness of magnets versus stickers. It'll be called S.A.M.U.R.A.I., Stickers Against Magnets: Universal Research Analysis and Investigation.
 

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I know of a T site where the owner makes her own small buttons, and buttons with magnet backs, and throws in a few with every order. The buttons have her designs on them.

Also she hand writes a little thank-you note. these things are little bonuses, and add a "human"element to the transaction. And it lets people know they're dealing with a nice person who is running a small business.
 

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I was just thinking about this part of your post:

4. I've never known anyone to throw away a fridge magnet. In fact, I think that would be pretty psychotic -- I mean can you really have enough refridgerator magnets?
I think that's an interesting point. Since fridge magnets actually have a "weight" to them, it does seem like an item that is less likely to be thrown away. Pyschologically, it's probably easier to throw away a sticker which as the same weight as scrap paper, than it is to throw away a magnet which will feel a bit heavy when you pick it up. I think the weight might help give the impression that the magnet is "worth" more.

a special committe to study the effectiveness of magnets versus stickers. It'll be called S.A.M.U.R.A.I., Stickers Against Magnets: Universal Research Analysis and Investigation.
Did you just think of that? You're quick :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Rodney said:
I think that's an interesting point. Since fridge magnets actually have a "weight" to them, it does seem like an item that is less likely to be thrown away. Pyschologically, it's probably easier to throw away a sticker which as the same weight as scrap paper, than it is to throw away a magnet which will feel a bit heavy when you pick it up. I think the weight might help give the impression that the magnet is "worth" more.
Yes, that was exactly my thinking and one of the goals, #4 NOT be thrown away!

I just picture someone seeing it's a magnet and rather than throw it away it's just easy to stick it to your fridge, plus it's probably the coolest-looking fridge magnet they will have up (pat on back).

It's just that as a small business or as someone starting out you want to get the most out of your money and while the thought of someone tossing something you include or make, while realistic, is painful. Now if I was rolling in the dough like you ;), I would do both stickers and magnets!

Seriously though after giving it more thought I probably will get stickers as well pretty soon and stick them all over town rather than include them in an order. At least that way I can go to sleep at night knowing I put them to use and they aren't in a trash can (not to imply that stickers in orders don't get used). :(

Rodney said:
Did you just think of that? You're quick
Just trying to keep up with you and Badalou.
 

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Seriously though after giving it more thought I probably will get stickers as well pretty soon and stick them all over town rather than include them in an order.
You may also want to throw them up on your site for sale. It might give them impression of an expanded product line. Sometimes people want to buy a smaller item from a site to make sure they are "legit", then they'll place a bigger order. Or sometimes people just want something small.

I don't know what your t-shirts are about, so this may or may not be a good idea for you :) But maybe it'll help someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rodney said:
You may also want to throw them up on your site for sale. It might give them impression of an expanded product line. Sometimes people want to buy a smaller item from a site to make sure they are "legit", then they'll place a bigger order. Or sometimes people just want something small.

I don't know what your t-shirts are about, so this may or may not be a good idea for you :) But maybe it'll help someone else.
Good idea. I'm actually going to do that.

Since plastisol is so expensive (for my budget) I'm only going to have 8 designs initially; the front page was looking a little sparse so that's perfect

P.S. - I'm going to sell shirts that would appeal to the anime/gamer crowd.
 

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Rodney said:
You may also want to throw them up on your site for sale. It might give them impression of an expanded product line. Sometimes people want to buy a smaller item from a site to make sure they are "legit", then they'll place a bigger order. Or sometimes people just want something small.
Not only that, if the item you're including as a "give away" is "sold" on your website, it may appear to have more value to the person to whom is is given...
 

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Awesome thread, and thanks for the links Rodney. I've been planning to throw in a sticker as a hang tag with my url on it but the market I'm going after puts stickers on things...

The magnet idea is a good one, as is paying $60 for 300 stickers to expand my product line. Speaking of that, Rodney, you mentioned that you sell stickers online... I can't imagine anyone paying more then a buck for a sticker (I could be wrong) so my question is, do you have problems with "micropayments" not being worth making the sale or is that counterbalanced by the sale of regularly priced items on the site?
 

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I can't imagine anyone paying more then a buck for a sticker (I could be wrong) so my question is, do you have problems with "micropayments" not being worth making the sale or is that counterbalanced by the sale of regularly priced items on the site?
I sell stickers anywhere from $1 to $3.95 depending on the size and design.

It's definitely worth the sale to have your brand out there one more time in whatever form (especially if people are paying). I always offer free shipping on my stickers, and I still think it's worth it.

If you can find a way to offer a sticker (maybe a discounted price) during the checkout process, you'll see a lot of sticker sales. Especially if the sticker is related to the t-shirt design they are buying.
 

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Free promo items and paid items are not created equal either - I don't doubt that stickers would sell more, but magnets may still be better to give away. As people have said they're less likely to be thrown away, which is important for an item the customer didn't ask for. Also, if you're giving away an item it can be more blatantly advertising based (i.e. big obvious url, etc.) than if people are paying money for it. If you give away a sticker with a big url, it's only going to get used if the person really digs your company - that still applies to a magnet, but considerably less so in my opinion.

As Rodney said stickers aren't just for cars - I'd say one of the more common uses for a sticker bought on the internet (and I specifically mean that, as opposed to in a store) is to stick on a laptop - potentially gets your name out there, and gets your sticker seen by the owner a lot.

It certainly works for Threadless anyway - so on Rodney's principal of "WWAD?" (What Would Amazon.com Do?) it's worth doing.

(maybe "What Would Threadless Do?" should be the next forum shirt ;))
 

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yes . . ppl love FREE stuff . . .

I have always included something extra in with every order I ship out . .
since my main niche is all about Awareness . . I include a silicone bracelet and a buddy packet for 'every' T-shirt

and for those folks that come by my shop on the weekends . . when they say . . I'LL BE BACK . . . I hand them my "Offical" I'LL BE BACK . Discount coupon card . . and about 50% of the people actually come back and end up buying something . . just to get a discount . .

I get the buddy packets free from the local hospital and I found a vendor in south FL . . that I purchase the awareness bracelets from

for those that has an inquiring mind about the buddy packets . .
in the packet is instructions for your monthly self exam for Breast Cancer and Testicular Cancer
you share your packet with your buddy


Diane :)
 

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although I sell them in my shop . . I don't sell them to teenagers without their parents being there . .

Diane :)
 
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