HalfWheat wrote:No one can reliably predict what shirts sell the best. Woot picks shirts all the time that don't sell well. If selling out every day was their goal, you'd think they'd be the ones who could make the best predictions, and you'd think that there would be a lot more dailies that sold out.
So either they don't care about selling out, or they can't predict. Or both.
As far as what is wearable, that's a personal decision.
Low-selling art pieces might utimately be a good business decision. The derby draws people to the woot sites who might not otherwise come here if it was just a site for cheap shirts. It's not all about making money at the moment, it's about making money long-term.
If you put out diverse and well-done work every day, you bring in people who like diverse and well done work EVERY DAY. They may not like today's offering, because people who like diverse and well done art spread their sales based on their tastes, while people who like Ramy buy only Ramy even if it leaps into the vacuum. But they check every day for the next awesome design, and sometimes they buy. On the other hand, people who are so narrowminded and only like the generic populist drivel are going to only buy the generic populist drivel. Adding too much of such drivel (as woot does most derbies) will drive off many of the diverse viewers. Lack of diverse viewers will make the good shirts sell even worse, since who's checking woot? It's just a bunch of bunnies! It's not like a Nevermore fan is going to buy something attractive and creative very often! And with no one to buy much in the way of great work, woot will become more about appeasing the sheep. But eventually the sheep won't be able to buy every shirt. And then who's going to buy scaffolding that has no audience that really appreciates it for anything but easily consumed merchandise?
There are plenty of tee sites that continue to turn profits enough to stay comfortably in business without hitting woot's normal levels of sales. Woot averages over 1000 shirts a day, between the featured shirt (which usually cracks 1k itself) and next-day sales of other tees. I don't even know if Threadless can boast those numbers. Toss in three other successful sites and the new kids.woot, and I'm pretty sure woot is turning a hell of a profit. So screw everything people claim to know about business. You know how to sell out, but you know nothing about how to sell well. If you offer something high quality and unique and honest, you have no competition. No one else is marketing your passion, your drive, and your mindset. That is why so many diverse tee sites crop up: they all have their own unique designs. You can't go to design by humans to get threadless shirts, or shirtfight to get tilteed, or seibei to get owlmovement, or whatever. But you can go lots of places and get most of woot's most popular pieces. Aaarrrgyle was already done at uneetee. Quick brown fox was more interestingly executed at Threadless. Listen to Your Conscience and Evil-o-meter were/are rehashes that have been done time and time again at Spencer gifts. But nowhere else can offer creative, well-executed and uniquely styled work, because if anyone else tried to copy it, it stops being creative in the copying.
If woot spent a month banning popular work, everybody who buys the popular work would abandon ship to somewhere else. We all know that. But woot has been all but banning GOOD work for about a year, and has been questionable about its prints for longer. Yet the people who want something great to succeed stick around because we know that when it does, we can only get it here. That base will never die. And that is why woot, and any business, does itself a disservice trying to sell out instead of sell right. If you're selling quality, a quality base will keep coming for it. If you're not, all it takes is one misstep to shift your whole buyership to another, similar site.