Shirts and Merch
I frequently get emails from people with ideas for shirts, towels, mugs, mousepads, etc. The only thing stopping me from turning them all into a vast and profitable line of JoCo merchandise is the amount of time it takes to set up and organize all the products in CafePress. Here’s what I want:
1. Some way that anyone in the world can upload graphics and design a new product in my store.
2. That product becomes available for everyone else to buy (subject to my approval, just so the graphic isn’t a picture of me without my pants on or something like that). I’d even share some revenue if there was a way to do that, but mostly this is so that I make money and you get the shirts you want.
3. On my site, images of all the products, linked to the songs they’re related to, ordered by popularity, grouped by color, whatever. A vast, ever-changing, user-created treasure trove of merchandise that doesn’t create more work for me.
I spent some time this weekend trying to figure out how to do this. Spreadshirt has an option where the customer can choose their shirt color during checkout, and they have something called a “Designer Spreadshop” that supposedly gives users access to the same shirt design tools that store owners use to design products – I think this would work. But they charge $999 to set this up, which seems a little pricey to me.
CafePress is where all my stuff is now, and they don’t even really have a great collection of shirt colors, let alone something like this. They do have an API, which some people have used to do interesting things. Click-shirt is one of those things, and it comes close, but I’d have to make my CafePress password public, and then you would all steal my money.
I suppose there are some thorny IP issues here, which is probably why this doesn’t exist. Probably nothing that a draconian user agreement wouldn’t solve – I own everything you submit forever, if you infringe on copyright I’m not responsible, etc. But sheesh, I think it would be pretty excellent. Anybody know of some way to do this? Anybody dying to jump into the CafePress API?