Selling t-shirts has been an easy way to raise money for a while. They’re simple to make, and what better way to help promote a cause then a bunch of branded t-shirts that give added promotion? A new crowdfunding platform called Sell A Tee has launched for just this purpose. Ben Wood is the founder of this site and is still pursuing the t-shirt business after a failed attempt at getting funding on Shark Tank.
In April, 2012 Ben Wood appeared on Shark Tank to promote his t-shirt line Viewsport. These t-shirts contained motivational messages that were activated by sweat technology, a new way to encourage you to work out harder. Although the idea sparked a little interest the technology wasn’t patented and ultimately none of the sharks bit. Still, the appearance on the show did get Viewsport some much needed exposure, as pointed out in a Democrat & Chronicle article:
“Viewsport produces official apparel for the U.S. Army, it has partnered with Gatorade for promotional campaigns, and it has sold a lot of products through its e-commerce website.”
Wood hopes that this new crowdfunding platform will help non-profits raise money for various causes. This way of funding t-shirt sales means they do not have to buy the shirts upfront, meaning less risk if they don’t sell. All you need to do is design your shirts (by uploading your own design or working with over 6K pieces of clip art and over 20 fonts), set your goals, describe your campaign, and launch!
This platform works on an all-or-nothing funding model, like Kickstarter. It can be a simple and affordable way to fundraise. The company states on its website that it:
“[M]akes a flat fee per t-shirt you sell, which is included in the quoted base price you see while designing your item. We do not take a percentage of your profit margin.”
After the design stage Sell A Tee does a lot of the work for you. Of course like any other crowdfunding platform you need to get most of the traffic on your page yourself. This platform allows creators to run campaigns from 3 to 21 days. Once you reach your goal the t-shirts are printed and sent to backers, and your profits are sent to you via mailed check or PayPal.
The t-shirts are printed by one of Wood’s suppliers in Florida that produces t-shirts in large quantities, giving them the flexibility to work with smaller projects who don’t need such large orders.
The basic idea of this platform is good and could have some potential, but it may be difficult to get a real sense of community on the site if creators just slap together t-shirts to raise money for different causes. Also, if all they sell are t-shirts, backers may not return as often as they do on other sites that offer more variety and excitement.