Limited Edition Tank Tops

My Plea for Shirt of the Week

7sixes
posted by 7sixes • 1 month ago

Hey DBH and members,

I truly miss the shirt of the day. It was a competition that I fought HARD for and pushed me to make better shirts. When the competition aspect was lost, we also completely lost the community part as well. The forums used to be buzzing with posts about help on designs, templates, etc. which definitely added amazingly to the community aspect of the site.

This was all due to the competition aspect: the shirt of the day.

Now I understand that the current model in our stores with easy screen printing is cost efficient, easy to mass produce shirts, etc. but can we PLEASE have some kind of contest come back? It doesn’t need to be daily…weekly would be fine! Even monthly! This would keep sales up in our stores and bring the competition & community back to the site.

There has to be someone else here who agrees!

Thanks for reading

- Brian aka 7sixes

12 Replies

Inked Inked Staff: Community Manager from California, United States

Let me start off by making one thing crystal clear: Contests are not dead.

With that said, the way in which we approach contests has changed. The classic Shirt of the Day was a model that wasn’t sustainable long term and didn’t provide any real long term growth for DBH. Any similar contest even at a weekly or monthly iteration would fall prey to the same issues as SOTD. It’s great for YOU, not so great for everyone else. This is the challenge we have to overcome. Sparking the imagination and challenging our artists is huge, but we have to be able to sell that end result consistently.

What we would like to do instead and this is something my team and I have been working on with Wotto, is to build a contest platform internally that utilizes our new printer technology that would allow us to run multiple contests in parallel. Ultimately, this means we could have multiple contests running simultaneously in real time. If we wanted to run a Halloween contest at the same time as say a literary design contest we could, without impacting each other.

Our large scale design contests with partners like Warner Bros and Blizzard Entertainment require long term schedules to plan and execute, weeks to run, and weeks to print the large amount of inventory. This new contest platform would compliment our larger ones and allow us to be able to run smaller contests more frequently, with or without partners contributing to the contest and art would immediately go up for sale in a store specifically designed to showcase that contests winners.

This would also allow you to have more than 60 products up for sale because these pieces would be classified as contest winners and displayed in another storefront, but much like the Diablo III store works.

Just wanted to shed some light on the subject. Keep in mind, while a “contest” doesn’t sound like a big deal to just throw together. It’s a significant undertaking with a lot of parts.

7sixes 7sixes Artist from Minnesota, United States

Can you explain in detail how the Shirt of the Day (or weekly, etc.) isn’t sustainable? Or contribute to growth?

And the “It’s great for YOU, not so great for everyone else.” Are you meaning like its great to artists who win and for everyone else its not so great?

Inked Inked Staff: Community Manager from California, United States

I can’t go into specifics from the business point of view, but I’ll try to give you a bit of insight.

SOTD isn’t cheap once you tally in the employee hours, the blanks, the printing, the operational costs of storage and maintenance of a warehouse, and the costs of long term storage should the design not sell.

Every artist knows that every design they sell isn’t going to be a hit. This is true whether it came through the voting process or you just create a product in your store. Votes are an incredibly misleading metric. It’s like social media, you can post a link to your product and it might get 10,000 likes. You’ll quickly notice however, it doesn’t get 10,000 sales. “Liking” or voting for something is easy, it can be done in passing. Purchasing requires much more incentive to follow through on.

This is where people like myself get involved. I break down past sales by varying metrics to predict or forecast out future behavior. That’s great, but when we’re largely selecting designs (not always) based on the popular vote, the ability to predict possible sales becomes increasingly difficult. Sometimes you get slow movers that take forever to sell through, sometimes you sell none, and sometimes you pick “It Makes The Heart Grow Fonder” and it sells out completely in 12 hours.

For the artists who sell well, it’s not much of an issue. For the artists who don’t sell well on their own it was more impactful losing the SOTD because we paid you a flat sum regardless of your performance four days out of every week. Ultimately, the burden of selection was on us, so the burden of bearing the cost of that selection was on us as well. Threadless made a similar move as us shortly after we made our changes, because like us, the old model simply wasn’t working.

DesignsbyReg DesignsbyReg Artist from Cebu, Philippines

@7sixes : Don’t worry! They have explained this a million of times already. Although I was saddened at first by the change, now it seems to be going well. (I still buy the screen printed ones not much with the DTG ones though! Haha!) They have their reasons and it’s a business at the end of the day. They have also put in a lot for us here, specially with the new updates, in-store discounts and such. Also, I’m sure they have contests planned ahead of us.

Inked Inked Staff: Community Manager from California, United States

We have several large contests on the horizon, but they have to line up with the contest partners calendar of events, product launchs, etc. Not to mention, hashing out prizes, legal issues, art, designing and building the contest site and more.

Large contests don’t happen quickly, and due to production schedules on both sides, they often get delayed several times before finally being locked down.

XDot XDot Human from Greece

in-store discounts ?

DesignsbyReg DesignsbyReg Artist from Cebu, Philippines

I don’t know if that’s the exact correct term they’re using here but I’m referring to the large discount artist have whenever they buy their own items/products.

XDot XDot Human from Greece

so artists are more appreciated than customers..good to know..
y i guess, they bring business so you need to have them happy..
so artists buy their own items for more than 30% discount and then sell maybe more than $24..good job

Inked Inked Staff: Community Manager from California, United States

The in-store discount is only available to an artist for their own products. It is designed to allow them to be able to get samples and such to test print quality, preview their items, etc.

It is not in any way designed to allow them to buy at a discount and resell. That point was clearly made when the featured was implemented and we made it very clear we would remove the feature if we found artists using it as a method of wholesaling their items.

You seem to have this notion that you’re unappreciated Xdot, which I promise you is not the case. Design By Humans exists to provide you the best possible products we can make at the most affordable prices we can provide and still grow as a company.

biotwist biotwist Artist from new jersey, United States

contest are kind of dead. even threadless and lefraise really dont do them any more. sure there will still contests here and there but that motivation to always push my self has been decimated

I also see no need for the artist to buy their own shirt and re sell. That 3 dollar royalty is one of the best offers around and now DBH is going to be the place i’m going to show case my best work now

Inked Inked Staff: Community Manager from California, United States

I know contests are a contentious point, but my team and I are working to bring them back in style. It’s a complicated thing and it has to be executed flawlessly so we’re moving slowly. We think we’ve nailed down how we can bring them back in a manner that will once again provide extra motivation to our artists while also benefiting our customers.

Our royalty is very competitive. One of the best aspects of it is your royalty is not decreased when we run sales. A royalty that is not a percentage of net profit for retail sales is a hard thing to come by and something we have been adamant in keeping in place. Our decision to initiate a sale shouldn’t effect your bottom line.

slamgirl65 slamgirl65 Artist from Michigan, United States

I do miss the screen printed shirts and all over prints, but this system works a lot better. I started out on this site as a newb with relatively little skill, so I never got to see the big pay out you guys used to offer, but I design more for myself than I used to when it was all about getting votes. I really like the fact that even without the contest there’s still an approval process. The only other place out there that offers a similar royalty is society6, but none of the designs have to get approved to go in the shop and there are no limits on the number of products you can sell. The site is so saturated that individual artists end up stagnating. I’ve done far better here than anywhere else.

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