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EpicSki Gear Store - Input Requested...

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
After doing the accounting this year, I started brainstorming about how to help cover expenses better and decided to do something we should have done a long time ago -- sell EpicSki Gear. The Gear Store is about to launch, but first I wanted your input on design & merchandising. So let me know what you think.

Here's the setup as it stands now:

  • What do you think of the graphics on the merchandise?</font>
  • Would you prefer a different tag-line (with the blue oval design)? If so, what?</font>
  • What do you think about the selection of items offered? Would you like items that are not currently listed in the store?</font>
  • Please share any and all ideas you have on the EpicSki Gear Store!</font>
I'll do the best I can to incorporate all suggestions, but we can only have one graphic design for each product and colors are limited to what you see (both of these restrictions come with the CafePress vendor service which makes this possible).

Thank you!

[ March 13, 2004, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #2 of 47
Thread Starter 
Some samples:

Details Here: http://www.cafeshops.com/epicski

[ March 13, 2004, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #3 of 47
How about a t-neck or mock tee??? Not all of us strip down to our undies in company.

Are the logos embroidered or printed?
post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
They use a dye sublimation printing process for mugs and mousepads and digital transfers for all apparel. These processes are similar in quality to screen printing, with no image cracking, peeling or fading.

But these aren't undies (except for the boxers!) -- they're t-shirts, not undershirts (i.e., outerwear).

And sorry, but they do not offer turtlenecks.
post #5 of 47
How about other company stuff. Like Wickwear from northpole designs?

With our logo of course.

post #6 of 47
I'll probably buy a sweatshirt and a mug just because...well just because. In general, I'd be more excited about dark colors and more gear-head items. The former because whenever I wear light colors I always deposit a latte or some pasta on my shirt... The latter because stuff like an EpicSki windstopper vest or custom logo silkweight capilene boxers would be way cool!

Of course all of this probably only pencils out if all the logo wear generates more donors & additional gear buyers than it does random visitors/lurkers eating up even more bandwidth.
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
Those are all good ideas, but at the moment (and for the foreseeable future) we have to work with what the vendor here offers, otherwise we're looking at inventory and a merchandising operation beyond existing resources (including a packing/shipping/return operation). They don't offer windstopper or any serious performance gear, just casual merchandise like what you see listed. We may be able to find another option for the higher-end items later, which is why I asked. But for now we are looking at T's, caps, mugs, mouse pads, and bags.

Are the graphics appealing? We can change any of the graphics, these are not printed and sitting in inventory, they are printed individually as ordered (which is what makes this a viable option for selling EpicSki merchandise -- no up-front costs). If this proves to be popular, then we can look at options with up-front costs, though I don't see taking big risks since this is trying to cover an existing shortfall (can't dig deeper!).

The Northpole designs stuff was nice and well put together, but it did not help EpicSki cover expenses (it was purely for the fun of having that merchandise available). Every purchase here helps support the website.

Feel free to submit new ideas regarding graphics, logos, and tag-lines.
post #8 of 47
AC, I LIKE IT. Very good idea, and I like the design of the stuff for sale. Good job!
post #9 of 47
As well as making a bit of money, you'd also want to get the name and url out there? I'd suggest items that people will wear while skiing, and be visible in liftlines etc. hats are the obvious one.

Um, I rather like the colour scheme on the home page. the strong blue, with the url/logo.

Also, if you had stickers, people could put them on their skis, car, helmets etc.
post #10 of 47
Caps and cups both are good.

Wherever possible, the red-on-blue is the best looking and most like the logo on this site.

What IS the tag line? I can't read it.

Although there have been stickers - and in the red-on-blue style, which is cool - it would be neat to have sticker small enough to put on helmets.

Good idea, AC, especially if it generates a good imediate return on investment. The downside is innvisible to me. The advertizing from the caps and outer (not under) garments can't hurt, either.
post #11 of 47
Although I am a fairly new visitor I have really enjoyed the forums.

Serious skiers are your visitors, I would try to provide them with ski gear that can be logo'ized. Higher quality gear at reasonable prices tends to have a high desireability, especially for cost cutting skiers. High quality Private label brand name fleece (polartec), gloves (grandoe), helmets, shells can all be done. If you provided agressive pricing I think you could really merchandise a lot of stuff to your readers.

Although I like you minimum offerings, a purchase by me would be more out of charity/support of the site than feeling like it was "worth it". Heck, I get great cotton t-shirts with ski resort logos, maps etc on them for $10 at Walmart in Summit county ($16 for long sleeve). So you see, value should probably be part of your equation.

just my input.

lots of luck to you.

post #12 of 47
I doubt you'd find one of these EpicSki.com items in Wal-Mart, Guy.

The value received for a $15 donation to EpicSki.com is enormous. The garments/bags/caps are just some neat icing on the cake.
post #13 of 47
Actually, one of my favs is woven cloth patches. people can sew them onto fleeces, parkas etc, and so display their affiliation without Epicski having to stump up for pricey outer gear.

When I used to travel for my peripatetic ski trips, I'd buy these, rather than resort fleeces, hats et al. No one ever twigged!
post #14 of 47
I think that most of the merchandise is atractive enough and should sell. The only thing is the color of the cap,which would look better with red lettering on the blue field.

Good job A.C.

Need to get more stickers out there. There's a store in Steamboat called the Click. I don't think there's one lift tower there that doesn't have at least one sticker on it.
post #15 of 47
I was not doubting the value and established that in the beginning of my post. I was simply trying to add a suggestion to AC for merchandising and revenue generation for the site.

I did want to add that I think seasonal pre-ordering would work on this site due to regularity of visitors. IE: How many people want to order spring leather ski gloves?

A bunch of us might be ready for a new pair right?
Similar polling and sale posting on the site would work. Ski poles would be cool too - long enough for all the letters of the url .

post #16 of 47
What a cool idea, AC!

I LOVE the mugs. The logo is strong and readable. I'm in for two of them, minimum.

I have some ideas........

I think stickers that are red lettered on white background, about 1"x3", for helmets would be awesome! Most stickers are too wide to fit flatly on a round helmet. I'd put one on the back, so they can read it as I zoom by them. And while standing in a lift line, something large and readable would be good. Red on blue just gets "lost". Larger stickers for car windows might be good, and skinny ones for ski poles. I'd buy a bucketful.

Pins would be good if they were large enough to read easily. And patches to sew on things we already have is a wonderful idea.

How about something with the "Barking Bear Forums" on it? (my favorite part of Epicski) I saw a cool Bear looking out a window design once that would be good for that.
post #17 of 47
I like the designs - cool and simple. However, contrary to Lars, I would prefer red lettering on an all white or off-white cap.
post #18 of 47
How about Camelbacks, with logoed patches? We had them for one of our kids programs this year, and quite reasonable- cheaper than retail by a significant amount...
post #19 of 47
One vote for "Home of the Barking Bears" - shorter, catches the attention better (stands out), and better conversation starter.

I'm looking forward to wearing these duds and stickers, and using these mugs, four seasons!
post #20 of 47
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Messenger bag!

Can you get Velcro ski ties or Bones or some such?

I was also thinking of a rock concert-style Academy/Gathering list (dates: resorts) on the back of the T-shirts, but that would probably involve too much stock turnover at the end of each season. (While we've the imagination turned on: Epicski goggle straps, ooh.)
post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Great stuff, keep the ideas coming.

Stickers are a "for sure", I just have to get a smaller design finished. Good idea Bonni about a helmet-sized version.

The tag line under the blue oval says "EpicSki - The Online Home for Dedicated Skiers (you can click on the "View larger Image" link under the t-shirts with the blue oval design to see it larger). Another thought I had would be for it to instead say "Home of the Barking Bears".

Camelbacks and poles are great ideas too, they just involve a lot more logistics unless someone knows a vendor that will take orders, make the item with custom logo, ship the product, process the billing, and take care of returns (EpicSki isn't my job, just my hobby!). Keep the ideas coming. Thanks!

I have a design tweak in mind, I'll run it by you guys if it comes out well.
post #22 of 47
the patch is a good idea to allow for use on clothing/bags we already own as well...
post #23 of 47
Ditto Comprex's idea of ski ties or straps. I like it a lot.
post #24 of 47
Check out Aramark. They have an affiliate program where if you go through a connecting link, the originating home page earns a percentage of the sale. NSP-East uses it. ASIA did for about 2 years.

Logo can go on any clothing!!!

post #25 of 47
Just some random thoughts.
I agree that ski straps, stickers and patches are a good idea.
T-shirts might do better if in color(s) options are included.
"epic ski.com" should be as clearly visible on all merchandise as possible.
Although the oval graphic is nice, maybe a larger more agressive design alternative might be also offered as an alternative for the T-shirts.
Good luck!
post #26 of 47

I think this is great. I like the products offered as well as everyone's suggestions, but this is a good start. I like the graphics and the current tagline. I think it's more informing for the non-Epic skiers. My one suggestion for additional products would be a fleece pullover and vest with the current logo or patch. Again, I think it's great.

ps. Tall sizes would be great.
post #27 of 47
If you're gonna sell boxers, I think its only fair and equitable that you offer a thong.
post #28 of 47
Originally posted by Stu Pidasso:
If you're gonna sell boxers, I think its only fair and equitable that you offer a thong.
I don't know about that one, 'asso. I hear your cousin Ima Hogg and her boyfriend F. Atbastard Mofo think thongs are grotesque.
post #29 of 47

You might be able to "do it all" if you have an annual or semi-annual sale by prepaid order only where you sell the more technical gear (with or without logo). That would allow us to restock our socks, union suits, wicking shirts and whatever else we need and still make you a few bucks.

I know, I know just what you needed another job. But, hey, around here there are many people who are willing to get involved and lend a hand. At least think about it.

I suspect that a good research group could take the task off your hands and find some good products at reasonable cost which could be drop shipped thus taking you out of the loop altogether, well except for the cash bonus to you to help defray the site costs.

I was thinking that ordering in mid October with an early to mid November receive date would also work for X-mass presents and you know what a cash cow X-mass is...

post #30 of 47
Hold on there Gonz!

Ima was a real person, and a grand philanthropist in many different areas down here in Texas. She grew up not far from where I live, and people don't take well to "northerners" poking fun at Texas' more colorful characters! ...Find yourself another joke to use that wasn't the daughter of a Texas Governor.

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