I thought I would throw my 4 cents into this discussion:
My 2 cents to shirt.woot: I, as an owner of more than 40 woot shirts, feel a little taken advantage of over the change. I understand this is a business issue, but there does seem to have been a lot of changes happen rather quickly even though this must have been discussed and planned out over a period of time. Granted, staff members are monitoring the board and the numerous emails you guys are most likely receiving, however, a price hike with the ‘this is what quality costs’ tag, fine. A switch in supplier, for a cheaper cost per shirt, fine. One following another in succession? Not so much. You are going to lose customers because of the ‘made in america’ stamp, but I think you’ll lose more due to the abrupt change on both ends of quality of shirt and price.
I started buying a while ago, “It’s A Trap” was my first shirt, and when I saw that, it was a shirt that I needed to have. ‘Made in America’ wasn’t something that I thought about, I just really wanted the design. I will most likely continue to purchase shirts that I ‘need to have’, however, most of the purchases I have made have been random shirts. Of all the woot shirts I own, most were purchased from the random sales… however I will be hesitant to purchase any shirt.woot shirts (random or otherwise) for both cost and quality. I have some ANVIL shirts. Most are poorer quality. I don’t wear them. If I see a design I really -really- must have, I might buy the shirt and make a pillow or something out of it since I don’t like wearing ANVIL shirts…but now might not buy the shirts at all because $12/$15 for an ANVIL quality shirt I won’t wear won’t work for me. If you were using ANVIL shirts from the beginning, I might have bought my first shirt (most likely my last) and that would be it. Maybe a few more…however now, maybe not so much. Maybe lower the price back to $10? Give the customers an option? Something for loyalty? Coupons for a free shirt to try the new ones out?
My 2 cents to the posters/emailers/consumers of shirt.woot: Welcome to the world of business. Woot is growing, woot, shirt.woot, home.woot, wine.woot, maybe mugs.woot, airline-tickets.woot, partyfavors.woot, who knows. We already know that woot is expanding the shirt side of things by offering (although limited) long-sleeves, hoodies, etc, and that money needs to come from somewhere. As I said previously, the money isn’t necessarily going into pockets, but it’s being invested into other products. The bigger things get, the bigger they become… Yes, it sucks for us who are loyalists for a belief or product or quality or price, we simply won’t give woot any more money; but woot will continue to make money and grow based on their model…or at least hope to. Those who won’t buy anymore just won’t buy, but the price margin that they would be getting in return would be (ideally) constant and then grow with everyone who buys the ANVIL shirts, including new people. The market will expand and we might say ‘Hey, I can have a woot mousepad now!’ and buy the mousepad which was created from an investment that came from the shirt change-over in a business move. Again…welcome to the world of business. Am I advocating that this is what we want? No. What woot wants? No. Woot would love to retain all its customers and expand the way it wants to, but that just can’t happen. It’s just business… Let’s see what woot will do for us…
Hate it or love it, this change has been in motion for years, possibly even before I bought my first shirt.