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I have a question about giving a couple of tees away as a means of promotion. I just had my first set of 8 tees printed up for an event this weekend. I'm not formally selling anything at the event, but this is a place where my target consumers will be in large numbers. My plan is to wear a shirt and give one to a friend to wear during the event and talk to people and pass out business cards. I know a couple of other people who will be attending also. Is it beneficial to give them tees for free as a means of promotion or should they pay for them?
 

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Is it beneficial to give them tees for free as a means of promotion or should they pay for them?
Who is "them"? Your friends or the people attending the event?
 

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tlparham said:
I have a question about giving a couple of tees away as a means of promotion. I just had my first set of 8 tees printed up for an event this weekend. I'm not formally selling anything at the event, but this is a place where my target consumers will be in large numbers. My plan is to wear a shirt and give one to a friend to wear during the event and talk to people and pass out business cards. I know a couple of other people who will be attending also. Is it beneficial to give them tees for free as a means of promotion or should they pay for them?
So you want people to pay you to wear your t-shirts? Isn't it usually the other way around?

Luckily, these are your friends and I'm sure they will do it for free as long as you provide the shirt for free.

It's free advertising man! Can't beat that.
 

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I always want people to pay me, when I print a shirt... But things don't always work out that way. If your going to give out promotional shirts, make sure your logo is on them and visable. I can't really tell from your post if it is.
 

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So you want people to pay you to wear your t-shirts? Isn't it usually the other way around?
Isn't that what we all want :D People to pay us to wear our shirts?

Maybe I misunderstood?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The "them" are 2 acquaintances who will also be attending the event. My friend and I will already be wearing the tees, I just need to know if I should give away a couple more shirts to those 2 acquaintances for more promotion or should they buy them? My logo is on the shirts.
 

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I just need to know if I should give away a couple more shirts to those 2 acquaintances for more promotion or should they buy them?
Did they ask for the shirts to wear at the event? If so, then you might want to sell them. If they didn't ask and you just would *like* them to wear your shirts at the event, you should just give them away as promotional items.

It could also be worth the good will to just give them the shirts to wear. It might make them more happy to spread the word :)

So I'd be leaning towards free.

What in your gut makes you want to sell them the t-shirts? Seems like there may be more to this?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They did inquire about the shirts.

I can go with my gut on most things, but I'm just not sure what to do in this instance. One of my hesitations about giving the tees away is hoping to make some sort of profit. The other piece is I work in the non-profit world, and I'm steadily trying to build my business sense and identity outside of that work. I don't want to start handling my business in the same manner I think of my work, which is more altruistic, if that makes any sense.

But maybe free is the way to go, however that would only leave me 5 to sell. I guess that's ok. Attending this event is really just to showcase the tees and drum up interest and potential business.
 

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Oh, you meant actually 8 shirts. I thought you meant 8 designs. 8 shirts is a pretty small amount of inventory to start out with.

Are you actually selling your shirts at the event (with a booth and everything)?

One of my hesitations about giving the tees away is hoping to make some sort of profit.
Maybe you could give them a "friend" discount if you end up selling it to them to at least cover the cost of the printing.
 

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tlparham said:
I have a question about giving a couple of tees away as a means of promotion.

Is it beneficial to give them tees for free as a means of promotion or should they pay for them?
I would say if they are for promo purposes, free. I'd gladly give away a few shirts with the hopes of generating business. Walking billboards are seen more than stationary billboards. Just watch and see if you don't catch a glimpse of a rolling billboard around town sometime.
 

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think of how much a program ad or booth might cost at the event and then compare it to the cost of the freebies. if your friends are willing to be walking billboards for you and tell anyone who asks where they got the shirt, it sounds like relatively cheap advertising to me.

remember: you usually have to spend a little money to make a little more money. even though those 8 shirts seem mighty precious right now, making people aware of your shirts should be a top priority.
 

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I would give your acquaintences shirts and chalk it up as a marketing expense. The good will toward your line, that you'll end up spreading, is worth it.

I've recently given away some shirts to friends and acquaintences, in my niche, and I can't believe the response I've received. You'd think that people wouldn't get all that excited about getting a free shirt but they love it. Its definitely made me believe that others would spend money on my shirts, and is motivating me to keep going with it. :)
 

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I'm thinking about giving away some t-shirts to my friends to see what they think of my designs. Although they're all over the world so it should be interesting to see how they respond. I'm also planning to allow some friends in Melbourne to have some t-shirts themselves in exchange for selling them at car boot sales etc. As well as giving some out to university friends, I figure I may as well open three different markets. But focus on the first two which would be me currently in the UK and my friends in Melbourne. Once my website is running it could go international. Make any sense? I'd welcome any advice from the good folk who come to this here forum. :D

HongKongDMZ
 

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Make any sense?
I'm not sure friends are the best way to get a good barometer of the "sell-ability" for your designs.

Giving away free t-shirts is also not the best way to judge if someone will pay for it.

You might get opinions, but since those people aren't actually opening up their wallet and they might not want to offend their friend (or someone that gave them something for free), you might not get the most honest responses.
 

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Well, so far my friends have pointed out the negative and positive aspects in my designs. And obviously I still need to show them to a wide range of people as possible. I feel that the design is important sure but so is the branding and the idea behind it. Most people have a good idea but how many actually organise themselves properly to take advantage of that idea? But granted my friends may still only want to show me 'positive reactions'. Would you know any other way I could gain feedback without giving out free t-shirts? I'm thinking about a car boot sale selling them cheap just to judge the market reaction towards them but I want to be based either online or sell wholesale through retailers. Giving away my designs to look at may not be the best bet..maybe asking my friends to ask their friends to critically judge my designs and see what they think? Again I'm not sure...any help is appreciated but thanks for the comments so far. They teach me a lot. Thanks. :D

HongKongDMZ
 

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Would you know any other way I could gain feedback without giving out free t-shirts?
One way (maybe not ideal) would be to setup a cafepress store for free and put them up for sale to see if there are any takers with a little targeted Google Adwords advertising.

If you already have them printed, you could put them up for sale on your website and get some traffic to it to see if there are any buyers.

Another way would be to post in the "Site Reviews - Design Reviews" section of this forum and ask for some honest feedback. We're good at honest ;)
 

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Would that be t-shirt designs or digital photos of my t-shirts though that I can put on here?
Not sure what the difference would be. Best way would be to post in the Site Reviews - Design Reviews section and include some type of image of the design you want reviewed.
 
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