T-shirts, polos, and other trinkets

Two ways to get trinkets:

  • Letting your members buy their own online.
  • Creating them to have at the reunion.

Letting your members buy their own online:

“In the past” if a group wanted to offer T-shirts, the committee had to add another task to their already full plate. An online development that now makes this easier for organizers are businesses that allow you to post a design, then anyone can order the item themselves. Two such businesses are Zazzle.com and CafePress.com. Both offer similar services. I’ve worked with Zazzle, and their speed is amazing (in the SF Bay Area, I’ve ordered a tie on Tuesday morning and it was delivered Wednesday!)

The process for both sites is about like this:

  1. You decide the type of product you are going to offer (T-shirt, polo shirt, mug, glass, etc.) The product will determine the size of your graphics/text.
  2. You create a design: You can either upload one you created on your own, or you can upload one or more images (e.g. a yellowjacket from your year), then add text to it (e.g. Berkeley High Class of XX).
    1. This is a good place to involve members of your class who aren’t on the committee: Announce that you’re having a T-shirt contest, and solicit designs (have them submit to you, not to the online service).
  3. Add the design to your product.
  4. On Zazzle, you set your “commission” rate (I suspect CafePress does something similar). The company has a base price for the type of product the buyer selects (e.g. organic cotton T-shirts or long sleeve are a few bucks more than a standard T-shirt), and it adds the commission to their base price to create the selling price.
    1. If you don’t set a commission, you classmates will get the lowest price. If you set a commission, you’ll need a bank account to put your income into.
  5. The web site will give you a link to your new product. Publicize this link on your Facebook, etc. resources.

With Zazzle, you can create an account for your class, then create multiple items. I think it’s fairly easy to use the same graphic on multiple items (although I haven’t done this), therefore it is easy for you to offer clothing for those who want that, and mugs, pet clothing, mousepads, etc. for folks who want those. (Again, I suspect that CafePress will allow you to do this as well).

Creating trinkets to have at the reunion

You may want to create items for your classmates to receive at the reunion. The Class of ’78 had wine glasses with “Class of 1978 30 year reunion” printed on them. We also provided pens with similar text (people liked these because they could write notes on the program, their business cards, etc.)

When you buy 100 or so of any custom item, the price can be surprisingly low (although, of course, the quality of the item won’t be that high–the pen I got at the Class fo ’78 reunion didn’t last that long, but I still have my wine glass).

I hope to add some links here for businesses that other classes have used successfuly. Check back.

— Lee Trampleasure, Class of 1978

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