T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I live about 45 minutes from NYC, so I was wondering if anyone has advice on being a street vendor? For one, it seems like it would be a lot easier to sell t-shirts in person on a busy street in Times Square than online as there is no shipping to worry about and you'd get a steady flow of traffic. But, you can't use credit cards. If anyone wants to take a stab at this, offer any advice, etc., I'd love to hear it. If anyone has experience with this (in any city) please let me know. One other thing, I heard that you might need a permit or license to sell something on the street, anyone know if that's true? Oh, and about copyright, would it be illegal to sell "I (heart) N.Y." shirts? Or shirts with a picture of the empire state building? *confused*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,970 Posts
I'd think a city like New York would almost certainly have street vending laws. It would probably count as busking, which is almost universally liscensed in any major Western city.

As a good strategy....I'm not sure. There's probably a huge amount of competition in NY for "I (heart) NY" style tshirts. Have you been out to see the competition? Can you make a profit if there's 200 people selling the same thing for $5 a pop?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
sweetheartice said:
I live about 45 minutes from NYC, so I was wondering if anyone has advice on being a street vendor?
No personal experience with it myself.

There have been a couple of brief media appearances on the topic: if you check out the 2000 section of the t-shirt timeline, the first video ("One of a Kind T-shirts") is about bS T-shirts who are street vending.

Then there's a student article about Item Eleven.

Both are interesting, though neither is particularly likely to be helpful.

sweetheartice said:
But, you can't use credit cards.
I think you can get wireless credit card terminals.

Certainly you could use a laptop with wireless internet access to get onto a credit card server.

This doesn't change the fact that it would be impractical and entirely unworth it (for one thing people wouldn't trust someone on the street with their credit card), but it would be possible.

sweetheartice said:
I heard that you might need a permit or license to sell something on the street, anyone know if that's true?
Almost certainly. I don't know about NY specifically for sure, but I'd be shocked if you didn't need a permit to do it legally.

There seem to be more street vendors in NY than most places, so maybe not. But most cities would require a permit.

sweetheartice said:
Oh, and about copyright, would it be illegal to sell "I (heart) N.Y." shirts?
Yes it would.

Milton Glaser designed the logo pro bono in 1977. Since then the City of New York "has tried to uphold its trademark by filing a total of nearly 3,000 trademark objections against imitators".

So it is trademarked, and they do strive to protect that trademark.

sweetheartice said:
Or shirts with a picture of the empire state building? *confused*
If you take the picture yourself or draw it yourself, etc. (or buy the rights from someone else) it should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Here's a link for street vending in New York . . that should get you a good start on some of the information you will need

Diane ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Shuffy said:
Here's a link for street vending in New York . . that should get you a good start on some of the information you will need
Very interesting. Especially the sub-section "Items Associated with Right to Free Speech".

T-shirts strike me as an item that could definitely fall into that category, especially if they have a strong political bent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I also live about 45 minutes from New York and although I have no experience with street vending and I don't condone breaking the law (yeah right) if you have ever seen the number of unliscensed vendors in NY selling everything from bootlegged movies to shirts, hats and artwork etc... I don't know how they work it but there sure are alot of them which leads me to believe it is not enforced as much as you would think.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah actually, does anyone watch The Apprentice? Last season Donald Trump had one project where the two teams had to sell ice cream on the street. One of the teams came across a street vendor who told them that they were on his block. Then, he showed them his license and asked if they had one. They just left and went down to another block corner and nothing happened. I don't think you'd get arrested for it, but the website says your merchandise could be taken away. Well, I'd just pack lightly lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I am from NYC and I have been researching the " selling on the street" thing because you cannot by no means get a General Vendor's License in NYC unless you are classified as a vet that was discharged from service due to injury. If you get a Certificate of Authority which is free you can do the flea market circuit. Most of the people selling on the street are illegal and if caught which is common because there is a certain time of the month where law enforcement does raids on illegal vendors and does either one or both things which is arrest you and confiscate your inventory not to mention give you a fine or confiscate your inventory and give you a fine. But if it is art you are protected by the first amendment. If you plan to set up shop on the street it's best to have a car nearby with your inventory and just put stuff out as you run out because they can only take whats laid out in plain view. There was a court case where these 2 guys where doing graffiti on hats in Manhattan and police took their stuff away and arrested them. Well the judge said the guys were in the right because it's art. Which means that art is so broad it can be anywhere. On clothing, on paper... Know the law and work through the loopholes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I use a laptop, an aircard and PC Charge to process credit cards. I think CC processing is important for sales. lots of people don't carry cash anymore. I never have much cash on me, but I always have my debit card.

I don't set up on busy streets because I do custom on-site printing and sublimation and my rig...well...my rig won't fit in NYC. A couple weeks ago I was staying overnight at a truck stop in VA. I put out my signs and ended up doing 12 shirts for truck drivers...Photos of their trucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I use a laptop, an aircard and PC Charge to process credit cards. I think CC processing is important for sales. lots of people don't carry cash anymore. I never have much cash on me, but I always have my debit card.

I don't set up on busy streets because I do custom on-site printing and sublimation and my rig...well...my rig won't fit in NYC. A couple weeks ago I was staying overnight at a truck stop in VA. I put out my signs and ended up doing 12 shirts for truck drivers...Photos of their trucks.
WOW RRC62 !!!That's a great idea you doing the truck stops guessing you are a trucker.I personally think most people want on spot personalized items.What size sign used?type shirts,Can you also share your price..thanks!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
WOW RRC62 !!!That's a great idea you doing the truck stops guessing you are a trucker.I personally think most people want on spot personalized items.What size sign used?type shirts,Can you also share your price..thanks!!!!!!!!!!
We're actually not in the business anymore. We traveled in a converted MCI bus with a trailer. We stopped doing shows when sales and show attendance started falling off and diesel prices went through the roof. The trailer was lettered, so that was the sign. I also had a few small corroplast signs. We didn't set up in truck stops, but we did get a few sales when we over-nighted at truck stops. We did a complete line of sublimated products. Shirts were a very small portion of our overall sales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
We're actually not in the business anymore. We traveled in a converted MCI bus with a trailer. We stopped doing shows when sales and show attendance started falling off and diesel prices went through the roof. The trailer was lettered, so that was the sign. I also had a few small corroplast signs. We didn't set up in truck stops, but we did get a few sales when we over-nighted at truck stops. We did a complete line of sublimated products. Shirts were a very small portion of our overall sales.
That's great...I have been doing a few festivals in my area with on the spot photo tees and it has done fairly well so I am wanting to start doing sublimation but the ink is so expensive.I want to do mugs,tiles,plates.As I just found on the internet there is a shirt priting machine out now,.here is the link...CHECK IT OUT..
Home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
That's great...I have been doing a few festivals in my area with on the spot photo tees and it has done fairly well so I am wanting to start doing sublimation but the ink is so expensive.I want to do mugs,tiles,plates.As I just found on the internet there is a shirt priting machine out now,.here is the link...CHECK IT OUT..
Home
That's a vending machine, not a printer. You load it with shirts and it dispenses them like a soft drink machine.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top