Update KDE merchandise store at CafePress
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Description

I've passed this volunteer offer and link around on a couple of mailing lists, but it seems appropriate to write it down formally so it doesn't get lost among everyone else's current workload.

I'm volunteering to help revise & revitalize the current KDE merchandise store we have at CafePress. What we have now is a little sparse and spartan. (It's also a little hard to find the link, but that's an entirely different issue.)

I've got some experience setting up and configuring CafePress stores, so I put together a mockup using my own account. It's hidden from public view and protected against search engines, so no one's going to mistake my sample for the real thing.

Have a look: https://www.cafepress.com/bdtokde

I'm not a member of the VDG or the Promo team, I'm just a willing volunteer. I know there's been a lot of talk lately about revamping the KDE.org website(s), so perhaps this is a good time to throw this idea out there. Or maybe not.

I worked with what pre-made clipart I could find around the various sites, and rendered a few of the icons direct from the original SVG sources. I'm sure the artists and designers in the VDG could come up with additional and improved designs. Alternatively, I'm relatively proficient in graphic design apps like Illustrator Inkscape and Photoshop GIMP, so I might be able to lend a hand there too.

This is my first shot at creating a Phabricator task. I hope no one takes offense.

I think this is something worth doing, and I'm willing to do it. But I need the help and support of (many) others.

Please add your comments and let me know where I should start.

sharvey created this task.Mar 16 2018, 3:30 PM
sharvey triaged this task as Normal priority.

Hey Scott, if you're contributing to KDE Promo, then you are part of the Promo team :) - so, welcome!

Thanks for creating this task, it's good to have the efforts tracked here, and it also helps with visibility.

Hello from me as well.

@sharvey can you link to the threads/mailing lists you shared this? Did you get any response?

Also, do we know who manages KDE's account on CafePress at the moment? If yes, did you attempt contacting them? If not, it would be good to find out. We could ping some people from KDE e.V, see if they know something more.

I do like the facelift you suggest and it would be nice to see it implemented. Hopefully it will be easy to do it, especially if the current maintainers of the account don't have something else in mind.

I shared this to:

Visual Design, KDE-Community, and KDE-Promo (archive unavailable?).

I got a few positive comments, none negative. @apol offered support from the KDE e.V Board. There was a request for organic/sustainable/free-trade merchandise, which, unfortunately, CafePress does not offer. I've got an open ticket with CafePress, trying to get details on how they'll handle an international non-profit organization, and getting any merchandise markup ("profit") to go to KDE e.V. tax-free.

KDE merchandise seems to be scattered over a few different places. Just yesterday, I stumbled over a link to embroidered shirts for KDE and KDE neon. I think I found this on the KDE neon pages.

An advanced feature of CafePress is the ability to embed a store within your own website. Everything operates as usual, but there's no continuity break of leaving the kde.org domain. This would mean setting up a site like merchandise.kde.org, with all the subsequent benefits - and headaches. But I've got plenty of web experience under my belt and would be willing and able to help. I think it would be a very professional approach, making our merchandise available from a kde.org site, rather than linking to an outside provider.

As a matter of personal opinion, I'd like to see the KDE merchandise reigned in and collected in one location. We've got things on offer at several different providers at the moment. CafePress isn't the cheapest, but they're probably the most reputable and dependable on-demand merchandise provider available. And having it all under one umbrella would ensure that any proceeds do find their way into the KDE e.V. coffers.

Meanwhile, @apol and/or @lydia - do you know who maintains the existing store? It's currently got a co.uk address, so it must be one of our Brit colleagues. I'd really like to explore getting it set up under merchandise.kde.org, but that will need the help of the Websites crew.

As I've said - I'm willing to put some effort into this. But I do need help!

duffus added a subscriber: duffus.Mar 27 2018, 12:44 PM

As a matter of personal opinion, I'd like to see the KDE merchandise reigned in and collected in one location. We've got things on offer at several different providers at the moment. CafePress isn't the cheapest, but they're probably the most reputable and dependable on-demand merchandise provider available. And having it all under one umbrella would ensure that any proceeds do find their way into the KDE e.V. coffers.

Having multiple companies supporting us by selling merchandise is sustainable, many of them we have a good relationship with and have been doing this for years. So any attempt to demand our supporters cease seems very undesirable and in contravention of our trademark policy. The more places we have merchandise available the easier it is for the community to get what they want.

Having multiple companies supporting us by selling merchandise is sustainable, many of them we have a good relationship with and have been doing this for years. So any attempt to demand our supporters cease seems very undesirable and in contravention of our trademark policy. The more places we have merchandise available the easier it is for the community to get what they want.

I didn't intend for any of our supporters to cease what they're doing. My intent was merely to get all the merchandise collected and coordinated in one place, to make it easier to find and buy.

Maybe we can add a sub-task to this - collecting all the seller links in one place, and list them on one prominent page. And, in some cases, find out who organizes and maintains those shops.

For example, there's UnixStickers.com, which has an assortment of KDE-branded stickers and pins. They've also got a prominent pledge to return a portion of proceeds back to the parent organization. But do we know if there's anyone from KDE involved in maintaining this? They've got other merchandise available as well (mugs, shirts, etc.), but none for KDE.

There's also RedBubble, which again has an assortment of KDE items, including some with Konqi and the Plasma logo. But they don't make any mention of returning proceeds.

I've also found FreeWear.org, which does clearly state they make donations.

And Spreadshirt as well, but again no mention of returning proceeds.

... and I'm sure there are more.

I don't want to put anyone out of business or stomp on another volunteer's well-intended efforts. I started out by simply offering to update the existing KDE shop at CafePress, as I have a bit of experience with CafePress. Now I see it's more complex than that, with all these other vendors offering merchandise. But I think we should do our best to promote, maintain, and coordinate these various offerings for the sake of maximum exposure.

We list places that support us on https://www.kde.org/stuff/metastore.php if you aren't aware of it

Yep, I'm aware of that page. I'm just offering to help update things as needed.

Re: International taxes & international non-profit organizations, according to CafePress

Their reply to my question was disappointingly vague and not much more than a copy & paste from their FAQ.

I'm a non-US corporation, non-US partnership or other non-US business: Cafepress will withhold the maximum applicable withholding tax on payments unless:

  • You are eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under an applicable income tax treaty with US and you submit an accurate and complete Form W-8BEN

They will, however, waive all shop fees if we submit a copy of Form 501(c)3, a US federal form that declares an organization to be not-for-profit. How exactly that works for a non-US-based organization is outside my realm of experience. I'm guessing we'll need assistance from the KDE e.V. officers to handle this.

But I'm getting far ahead of myself. Still need to collect more feedback and ideas for products to offer, and get the existing store refurbished.