On December 20th I received an email from MerchSquad saying that my order had shipped. A bit of investigation told me that the order was for two tees from the charity t-shirt web site FiftyThousandShirts.com. I’m a fan of charity tees, assuming they are well-designed, because it’s not like you are just giving money away. You are also generating business, income and sometimes even creating new jobs. You also get to show off how charitable you are and the chicks really dig that. (Jokes!)
I first mentioned this website back on May 24th when I put my name down for two shirts but it wasn’t until August that they officially opened the store. By that time, of course, the publicity and news of the tragic situation in China had died down. I guess the interest also died down but clearly interest was never as high as Steve Paterson, the creator of the project, had hoped. The idea was to sell 50,000 shirts and send about $1 million dollars in aid to the victims of the earthquake that devastated China earlier this year. The total number of people who put their names down for shirts didn’t reach 750 which is quite short of the hoped for figure of 50,000. In reality though, the number of people who put their names down and the number of people who actually paid for the tee was also way off, at least when I spoke to Steve Paterson on the phone. I guess one reason could be the state of the economy had drastically changed since this project had started and people were more worried about putting food on their own table and paying their own rent.
Anyway, I paid for my t-shirts on August 15th and when a month had rolled around with no sign of a shirt I wanted to know the status. There were no updates on the site so on September 30th I shot off an email to see what was going on.
It has been over a month and we still haven’t received our shirts. We were wondering what the delay was and when should we expect the shirts to arrive.
There was no reply so on October 19th I send another very similar email to which there was no reply either. Nor was there an update on the site.
It has been nearly two months and we still haven’t received our shirts. We were wondering what the delay was and when should we expect the shirts to arrive.
This was a little frustrating. I decided to call them but because of the time difference it was difficult to find the right time to call. Find it I did though, early one morning before work I got through to Mr. Paterson. He wasn’t very apologetic but he explained that he was waiting for 1,000 or 2,000 ( I forget exactly) shirts to be ordered before he would get the first batch printed. It was here he told me that of the people who put their names down for a shirt only a few actually paid. I can understand that and I wouldn’t have minded waiting longer if I had to. The thing that annoyed me was that he neither replied to my emails or updated the website to let us know what was going on. In fact, there was no update, that I can see, on the website from August 11th until finally the shipping notice was published on December 15th. At this time, they also announced that the store had closed.
It’s been a long time coming, but the shirts should arrive from the printer to MerchSquad on Dec 17th, and be shipped out by the 18th! Thanks to everyone for your support and your patience through this process. I know many of you have been wondering where your shirts are… and hopefully you’ll have them as an early Christmas present!
Also, you may have noticed that we closed the store. I am saddened that we needed to end the project before reaching our goal, but it looks like I simply bit off more than I could chew. In reality, it did not make sense to allow orders to trickle in, one or two at a time – as printing costs would have been too high to allow for much to be dontated.
Please check in after the Holidays, as I’ll be posting a little info about how much, and to whom we’ll be donating the profits. And again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who supported this project. You are a blessing.
The t-shirts haven’t arrived yet but when they do I will make another post and hopefully include the details from the donation they have promised above. Although I won’t hold my breath waiting for them.
My advice for anyone in any business is to keep the lines of communication open. If you are having some problems that will affect your customers in any way, you should let them know. In many cases they will be understanding. On the other hand people get very frustrated and angry when they are ignored.