tshirt_because_guns

It’s been a week since we intro’d our new line of AI gear. While sales have been steady – including the state gun rights org supporting stuff – they haven’t really been anything to write home about. And since we’d love nothing more than writing some big, fat checks to people like Calguns and the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, we want to make sure we’re offering items the People of the Gun really want. A couple of commenters yesterday said they’d buy, but that the gear offered through Cafe Press costs too much. So we’ll put it to you, our loyal readership…are the prices too high? Just right? Are we not offering anything you’d want to be seen in? Let us have it.

110 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Our Gear Too Much?

      • No, some stuff is made in Taiwan, or Indonesia, or Nicaragua, or Guatemala, or India, or Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or Korea, and other various 3rd world countries.

      • I find anything I need made in the USA consistently, it just takes longer. Yes, some things such as an iPhone or a cordless drill are impossible, but clothing, shoes, appliances, gear, etc I can always find Made in the USA. I won’t buy crap made in China unless it is a necessity and there is literally no American (or even canadian, japanese, taiwan, etc) option, because we are killing our country when we do that.

        It’s worth the extra time and cost to buy a product made domestically, it is almost always better quality, and you can still look yourself in the mirror in the morning. And there is a lot of pride of ownership that comes free.

        “The Bitterness of Poor Quality remains long after the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten”

    • I guarantee that the phone / tablet / computer you typed this on wasn’t made in the US. Pretty confident most of your clothes you own aren’t made in the US. Your house likely wasn’t even built by Americans.

      Quit being a racist / xenophobe and realize that Americans priced themselves out of the manufacturing market decades ago by demanding middle class pay for unskilled work.

      • While it’s probably true that all our computer stuff is from elsewhere, and possibly the clothing, I’m not sure how you can interpret his statement as racist. Given that he offered other Asian nations as possible alternatives, it seems to me that he is more concerned with simply not supporting products produced by our national rivals, whenever possible. It seems to be good sense to support goods from our own country whenever possible.

      • 95% of my clothes ARE made in America because I make an effort to support American Manufacturing Jobs. It’s not about Xenophobia, it’s about not being an idiot.

        And if you think it is easy finding my clothes, I’m 6’7″, 350 and wear a size 15. It’s not easy to find stuff that fits me from anywhere. But it can be done with a moderate amount of effort and thought. Playing the long game on our nation, which says we might need to invest a little more time and money in the goods we buy in order to stabilize our economy down the road.

        Or you can just justify buying cheap crap from anywhere and take the “Screw America, I got mine” view. Up to you.

    • Agree. While I will buy one, I’d buy more if prices were a tad lower. 26 bucks for a t shirt? I had a custom printed one made (extremely offensive), and it got to my house for 24…

    • I don’t mind the prices if the quality is good. A $15 t-shirt nowadays is thinner than it should be, often enough. But I would need something with a slogan or logo that I actually find interesting and attractive.

      • That same $15 tee, a bit on the thin side, can be found for $6 on Six Dollar Tees, and American company, although the tees themselves are doubtless made in China.

    • Agree, T-shirt prices too high (and maybe hats). I may be (read: definitely am) a cheap bastard, but I won’t go over $15.00 for any T-shirt.

  1. I think they’re all pretty cool and the prices are okay, but since I open carry, I really don’t want to wear anything that screams “gun”.

    My goal is to normalize open carry so I make sure I dress normal like everyone else.

  2. Yup. Too expensive especially for the quality. But that’s what you get for direct to garment printing. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much of an option unless TTAG is willing to take on inventory. This also generally means fewer offerings, not that that’s a bad thing. Take on your own inventory and you can offer higher quality printing on higher quality garments for less than you’re selling now and make more money.

      • There’s a pretty cool shirt that has Armed Intelligentsia on the front and the logo on the back. Leaning toward that one (and the Free NY stuff), but yeah $25 is a bit steep for just a t-shirt. $10 plus shipping would be a little more on the nose.

        • I just bought a bunch of rock shirts (decent quality) for $7.99/ea at Bob’s Stores. Stuff like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones.

      • While it’s pretty obvious that the long guns spell out A I, unless you ARE AI, how do you know what it stands for? How many non- POTG do you know that have any idea about Armed Intelligentsia, or even agree with that assessment? And even more obscure, the comment “Because guns.” Why because guns? In my everyday travels down the street I don’t really want to have to stop and explain to people what the hell the shirt means, it should speak for itself, clearly. Why not “Because guns save lives!”

        Prices are a little out of my range except that if I saw something that had a message that grabbed me I might spring for one. I certainly could not afford enough to make them everyday apparel.

        Work on the message clarity and bring the prices down, maybe you’d have a winner. Maybe you could find a third party willing to take on inventory if the sales were brisk enough?

        • Armed Intelligentsia sounds so smug. I don’t like it when the term is thrown around on this site, and I definitely don’t want to say it or have to explain it to anyone who asks.

        • I agree about the smugness. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t see myself as a member of the “intelligentsia”, I’m not bourgeois, and I don’t ever intend to be that kind of person.

          Gun ownership crosses all education levels and social classes; advertising to white collar people is to me, a marketing faux pas. When you go to a gun club meeting, or a meeting of a pro-2A group, you can rub elbows with people who didn’t finish high school and state Senators.

          If I were going to sell shirts, I would keep it simple. TTAG logo or abbreviation, or “shall not be infringed.”

      • Lighter, thanks I get that part after a bit of consideration, which shouldn’t be necessary with a good brand but I still don’t know what Armed Intellegencia means. What is the message that it is supposed to convey, I guess it could be me, I’m just a product of the NYC public school system. 🙂

  3. With shipping and handling, I paid $42.00 for a long sleeve T-shirt. Cotton. Made in some far off place. I don’t know about where you live, but for mid-NC that would get you half a dozen similar shirts except for your logo. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t. And if prices stay where they are, I won’t again.

  4. I’m not crazy about the logo. It’s not clear at first that it is made up of two letters, and it is too big (except when it appears just on the upper-left of the chest). I’d rather have a snappy slogan – e.g., “Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims” – and The Truth About Guns across the back. Or The Truth About Guns on the front and a snappy slogan on the back.

    And I’m sure you guys will be very good at coming up with snappy slogans that are far better than the one I gave as an example.

  5. Contact BERG ENTERPRISES in Maine. Perhaps you can get a better price as well as a Made in Maine label. Check em out. They’re already in our corner.

  6. I still think the “AI” / “because guns” is too vague and too much of an inside reference for most folks.

    CafePress doesn’t let you have much margin , I know that – even with $0 markup it’s not cheap.

    But if a design that made a bit more of a clear (to everyone else) statement was available – I’d probably buy something nonetheless .

  7. Although the entire state of Illinois is not a lost cause, a “Free Chicago” t-shirt would be nice along with a contribution to one of our local organizations. Just because the new concealed-carry law preempts most local regulations doesn’t mean that we aren’t dealing with a whole lot of nonsense from the City of Chicago and Cook County. A “Because Chiraq” motif may also be appropriate.

  8. As long as you can:
    put $5 into the NRA-ILA/CGN/Gura network
    put $5 into your beer fund
    price >25 for a basic tee

    You’ll have a winner. Although the “AI” logo is not particularly attractive. Good logos are hard, good luck.
    Maybe do a reader submission contest and try out some of the crowds ideas.

    • ^ THIS
      The AR+10/22 design is clever, but not the least bit discrete. Personally I’d like something that fits a bit better with opsec.

  9. I couldn’t say the price is good or not. I’m still recovering from a layoff and living paycheck to paycheck. If I had the money, I’m sure I would have ordered already

  10. It’s a hard sell for me, even though I’d kinda like to have one. But I work at Walmart, which means I don’t make enough to afford $30 for a shirt. And more to the point, I wear a 4X, or at least a 3X that runs on the big/tall side, so some offerings may or may not fit. I suppose I could buy a T-shirt at Academy for $4-$5 (fits great, several colors) and iron on the small sticker.

    And finally, given a choice between $30 for a T-shirt with a cool but also relatively obscure theme and buying the allotted 3 boxes of whatever flavor of ammo I can find in sporting goods….ammo wins every time.

    Tom

  11. I’m looking for something a little more “concealed carry”, something that on the surface appears to be a non-gun tee. That way I can where it more often.

  12. Dunno… I guess it’s a combination of logo and price. The current logo, I guess I’d buy… a coffee mug?

    I think if TTAG is willing to take on some inventory, a better logo + better prices + made in America would be nice. I’m sure there has to a TTAG reader out there that can offer t-shirt printing or swag manufacture!

    Oh, an Armed Intelligensia logo design contest. Let us vote on the submissions, and winner gets a free t-shirt + props.

  13. Cost, AI meaning not well known even among gun owners (not all are on the internet), symbols made of guns (a bit over the top for me) and quite frankly smells of elitism.

  14. 26 for a t-shirt is a little too pricey. I’d be more likely to buy if I could get something to my house for closer to 15… I know it’s tough to do that these days

    • Yep, thats the heart of it.

      1. The designs are bad.
      2. The prices are high.
      3. The designs are really bad.
      4. The “AI” logo is weak.
      5. …cafe press? Pass.

      Look at some of the designs at ENDO as suggested. That’s how you do it.

  15. The graphic is meaningless to 99.99% of the population. I even had to read some comments here on TTAG before I could figure it out.

    Robert, I’ll email you a photo of the best pro-gun T-shirt I’ve ever seen. I always get nice comments whenever I wear it.

  16. My issue isn’t so much the price, it’s that I’d prefer something other than just the website name. But that’s just my opinion.

  17. Have a T-shirt design contest, print a reasonably-sized batch on black shirts with your local screen printer, sell them cheap. I’ll buy and advertise.

  18. I’m in the “discrete” camp – if something came along that said “TTAG” (as in the letters, not the full name of the web site) I’d be happy to pony up in support. Folks who care would know what it meant; that’s good enough for me, and I would stay discrete as I carry but don’t want to advertise it.

    • Agreed. A simple TTAG badge on the left tit would do the job. More aesthetically pleasing than spelled out. Couple that with a good design on the back (I’d like to think TTAG has my back). I’ve never been a fan of the ‘front-loaded’ design scheme.

      The AI design really ain’t bad – but on the front it almost looks as if the shirt-wearer is fixing to get his head blown off. Or something. And drop the ‘Because Guns’ thing. It doesn’t resonate.

      Folks might say, “Cool shirt! WTF is TTAG?”
      Then let word-of-mouth work it’s magic…

  19. Flex Your Rights “Got a Warrant?” shirts are made in the USA and go for $25.

    I’d drop $30 on a good t made in America easy. Knowing the profit goes to a group I support means I’ll likely buy one of each design.

    Going the extra mile for made in America matters. Especially considering the subject in question.

  20. I develop branding and messaging for an array of organizations and I think you’ve received some great feedback (all above). Kudos to you for soliciting thoughts. The meaning of the AI nomenclature is obscure and does not resonate with some of your audience – it’s not a big enough tent and can seem smug as mentioned above. “Because guns” wants to be clever but is enigmatic instead (to me). Being enigmatic can be useful in some cases… If the shirt simply said “Free Maryland” without the logo for example it might spur more interest and conversation. The AI idea seems to suggest you are seeking the high road but the artwork and language doesn’t necessarily support that. I’m out on a limb here but some TTAG readers could have more of a civil rather than militant spirit and might decide that sporting images of modern military rifles is not there thing. It’s not a bad thing it’s just that the branding doesn’t have the legs you probably seek.

  21. The prices are a bit extreme the design of the logo is so so i have seen worse but I’ve also seen a lot better. I’d be a buyer at around 15 bucks OTD or TTD in this case

  22. The problem is not one of price. The AI gear is far cooler than the TTAG gear, but the entire brand is very cerebrally minded and OFWG oriented. You’ve got nothing on Endo. I love this site, but it has no draw. Get a deal with Endo or SOE Gear or even Amazon where every order linked from this sites gives you a marketing fee.

    Or just get that Cory guy to shamelessly pimp out Erica in a way that no one finds sexy. That seems to sell things that the gun community should otherwise shun. *misses Brandon401401 like it’s his job*

  23. I just got a military green size TTAG T-shirt. It really the only one that I thought looked cool. A bit more design could do wonders. The price is high, but I don’t mind too much because I know that part of the money goes to support pro-gun causes. The other part is likely going to a sweatshop, but I digress.

    $6 dollar T-shirts has some decent stuff, and might allow you to sell a T-shirt for $15-18 bucks and include a generous donation to Calguns / FPC / NRA / GOA, etc. A round up for a various pro-gun charity would also be nice. I purchased Cyberdyne Inc. and Stark Industries T-shirts of adequate quality for $6 (naturally) apiece. Not bad, and somewhat clever, just like the wearer.

    6dollarshirts.com/
    Funny T-Shirts, cool tees, and soft vintage shirts shipped daily for only six dollars each. New shirt …

    A little more design on the shirts themselves would also be nice. Smaller TTAG logos would be virtually invisible to everyone in condition white. Suggestions:

    -Hot ladies with guns
    -A photo of the UN twisted revolver with an appropriate quote
    -Mark Twain quotes
    -FF Quotes
    -Joe Biden “fire two blasts” quotes
    -Chuck Norris quotes
    -Feinstein as a zombie (not much of a stretch)
    -Gun Use Infographic
    -Low profile CC shirts similar to 5.11 and Woolrich Elite Tactical
    -A cooler TTAG Logo, etc.

    • Reading these responses and just realized. 6 dollar tees is an advertiser on TTAG. That or it’s some kind of cookie tracking thing since my last order with them.

  24. Cafe Press is no good. Their printing is cheap and their product expensive.
    Go to a local screen printer and you can get them done under $10 a shirt, with QUALITY screen printing.
    Before that though have a design contest.

  25. I don’t like advertizing that I like guns, own guns, or carry guns. Maybe some more subtle designs, such as the ones Yeager likes to wear. They let gun people identify each other, without advertizing it to the general public.

  26. If the stuff sported popular 2A stuff I would want to be identified, I would consider it. The name of a blog or some phrase based around the name of the blog is unappealing to me. Something along the lines of a super libertarian quote from our founders with respect to the 2A or “Guns Save Lives”, Some quote about the Samurai thought of the life giving sword and the gun, blah blah blah.

    Or the “don’t Tread on Me” in alternate colors with “The Truth About Guns” in place of DTOM would be pretty cool.

  27. I only wear button up shirts and I never wear hats. I don’t put stickers on stuff, especially not my truck.

    That pretty much eliminates your whole line for me…..

  28. To me: Gun culture clothing is kinda gimmicky. It’s too in your face. Plus, I don’t want to wear something like that when I conceal carry.

    Yes, the price is too high also.

    And finally, I’m too damn broke even if it was half the price. I get half the contracts for work that I used to and they pay the bills–barely.

  29. 1. The logo looks silly.
    2. Nobody but those that frequent this blog will know what it means.
    3. The slogan is meh
    4. A shirt copying the “Keep Calm and Carry On” would be more pertinent

    Just have it say “The Truth About Guns” It says it all. It can start a conversation without making it seem like the wearer is incapable of conjugating verbs.

  30. Guys, that “AI / Because Guns” logo is a real clunker. Why doesn’t every single shirt, hat, etc have some variation of TTAG on it? I’d be proud to wear that. Oh, and DON’T spell TTAG with rifles or pistols or muskets… Please.

    And I’m still sad that I never got my TTAG/Founding Member t-shirt. That was what I really wanted.

  31. Just my $.02….
    There are some really intelligent, creative, funny, serious, smart alecky, and deep commenters here. A design contest would be really neat. I’d love to see what folks come up with. You could have some real winners here.

  32. As a silk screen printer, the cost of T-shirt and one color screen print is $5.00-$6.00.
    Most of that price is for the colored shirts. White shirts: $1.20-$2.20 per shirt p/gross.
    And that’s a quote for quality Hanes 6.1 oz T-shirts, not a no-name Chinese product.
    If you buy them by the case, it’s cheaper still. As far as the $25.99 being too much?
    Charge whatever you want, it’s your product, it’s your choice. If I want it, I’ll buy it.

  33. Agree with all the comments above, the “AI” logo and term are a flop. Might as well just use terms like the “AE” (Armed Elitists) or “AB” (Armed Bourgeois)

    ENDO has great shirts. Also look at 1791 Apparel for some more discrete gun shirts.

    I’m cool with anyone that recognizes an AK selector lever on a shirt and wants to strike up a conversation. As for the rest of the population, they’d probably have no idea what it was. Thats exactly what I want in a shirt.

    http://www.1791apparel.com/collections/store

  34. Too high. Also, while I have no personal experiences with Cafe Press, several acquaintances hve not been happy with their experiences with them

  35. You have a design issue, as in your current design is not that great. As you are finding out, the “build it and they will come” saying is a bit more complicated that you might have initially thought. Like other commenters have said, I prefer a bit more understated firearm shirt (ENDO shirts can be both in your face – “Keep Calm and Carry One (Glock) – and understated). Opening up a design competition to your readers is probably a good way to solve your problem.

  36. MUCH too expensive, especially since it’s Cafe Press crap. Shirt prices of $9.99 or so would be great – I’d buy a bunch!

  37. I’m afraid those AK’s and the shotgun really don’t do anything for me.
    Perhaps some sort of competition is in order.

    • Agreed. There is another gun blog I follow that has amazing apparel and artwork but I prefer the content here and would love some TTAG stuff I could wear out.

  38. Love the blog and I’ve had several years of experience with CafePress as a seller and a customer, and have tried other shirt-printing methods (Direct-to-Garmet [cafe press style], Vinyl Plotter Iron-On, Inkjet Iron On [Avery Iron, Office Supply Store, print at home style], Silk Screen/Screen Printed [both water and plastisol inks], embroidered) and and familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    CafePress has upgrade their equipment as time has gone by but DTG is inherently expensive and relatively low quality – it fades fast and you can see a distinct block around the printing area. CP works best if you are using it just to get your name out there, rarely to monetize a design and of course, no set up cos is nice. CafePress IS NOT “made” in China – some of their blanks are but others are made here in the US all depends on the brand – almost everything is printed in Lousiville, KY. I love their stickers and paper stuff, but hate all their apparel.

  39. Seems to me a lot has to do with the TTAG demographics. How many readers fit the profile of the kind of person who would wear T-shirts as common every day wear and would want the kind of artwork and message on your present shirt offerings.

    It’s not my cup of tea, but then again, I just used the phrase, “cup of tea.”

    : )

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