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Hash, Inc. - Animation:Master

Merchandising: TAR of Zandoria


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I just looked at my Cafepress and realized I haven't sold anything since 2008!!! --I better come up with another business plan!

 

Will,

 

merch needs to follow the shorts. I'd set up a kickstarter campaign, use the merchandise you have as rewards for those who sign up. Follow largento's model, based on his experience you should be able to put together some first round founding for a pilot. Or better yet a Zandoria channel on youtube.

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yeah, I guess... I already have a Zandoria channel, which is where I plan on posting the shorts. Eventually, I hope to garner fans--and that those fans will by something to show their support.(?)

Ironically, I was browsing Core77 today and saw a banner ad for Cafepress: The banner featured the Tar of Zandoria mug! http://core77.com/

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Cafepress isn't too great for merchandising. Their cut is far too high on high-priced merchandise to begin with. And I don't think the quality is very good, either.

 

I had a few readers ask me to put up Wannabe Pirates T-shirts and 2 of the 3 people asking ordered one. Since you have to make at least $25 before you can withdraw your funds, it was basically me making money for Cafepress. I ordered a shirt for myself last year and the quality of the printing was poor and the shirt itself disintegrated after a couple of washes.

 

From what I've heard from people who do manage to sell T-shirts, logos and branding don't sell well at all. It's more clever stuff and gags. The people who are good at this do well, but usually banking on existing properties that they don't pay a license for (ie a Peanuts-styled Dr. Who sitting at Lucy's psychiatric stand with the sign "The Doctor is In.") And they print their own shirts, so they can get a higher cut of the sales.

 

Print on Demand is great as a vanity press, but not-so-great for trying to make a profit.

 

I've even considered doing a 16-page comic adaption of Stalled Trek, but the POD cost is just too high. It would force me to charge at least $3 per copy, with printing coming to $2.25 per book and shipping eating up most of the rest of the difference. Selling 100 of them would probably net me less than $25. And the likelihood is that I might only sell 5 of them. It becomes a real what's-the-point?

 

That's why I'm focusing on DVDs. I can sell them for higher than a printed comic with less cost to make them.

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Ironically, I was browsing Core77 today and saw a banner ad for Cafepress: The banner featured the Tar of Zandoria mug! http://core77.com/

Not sure it's irony, prolly more like the new customized advertising strategy permeating the web. I browsed your shop, then went to another unrelated site and there was a CP ad with you TAR Mug and my Chinese Gravity Poster. Coincidence? I think not.

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Yep, that's Google hard at work. I work for a Spa (Hot Tub) dealer and we do sales and repair. So, I get banner advertisements all the time that are related to the sale of Hot Tubs of all kinds. Even though most of my 'browsing' is to the manufacturer's web site for technical and documentation.

 

I've had an okay time with Zazzle, but again, the shirt prices are a bit high. But they are pretty good quality. Better than Cafe Press I'd say.

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merch needs to follow the shorts.

A very good observation here by Paul! Although there is no harm done in having the merch available beforehand.

 

And everyone else's observations on the different options are very helpful. It's clear that things are definitely in the favor of the vendor!

 

I'd set up a kickstarter campaign, use the merchandise you have as rewards for those who sign up.

Although not everyone is guaranteed the success largento has had to date, I think you would have a good chance at doing well. Largento has the advantage of a reasonably long and proven track record with the comic, and a lot of other output including a few shorts.

 

The disadvantage of doing your own merch is that you are doing your own merch, which is not a competency you will want to spend your time on when you could be putting it towards animating. I don't know if this would actually work or not, but ... Maybe you could team up with a company in town to handle production and order fulfillment (including billing), and maybe they would be able to give you a better deal than the online fulfillment vendors.

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