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Re: producing, distributing, storing Debian t-shirts

On 01/05/17 21:33, Adam Borowski wrote:
> On Mon, May 01, 2017 at 07:45:06PM +0200, martin f krafft wrote:
>> For many of us, it goes without saying that we'd not take a margin
>> off merchandise we create/sell for our project, mainly because of
>> our idealism.
>> However, at the end of the day, all things considered, if Didier or
>> Person X would mark those items up, say, 5% to cover the incidentals
>> (not the time spent), then I wouldn't have a problem with that.
>> It'll certainly help if they were entirely transparent about it,
>> though.
> I for one would be glad even if he _did_ take a fair fee for his time spent. 
> And it would make a difference:
> # It's been fun in 2011, but I would not do it again, no.  I have better
> # uses of my Debian time.  :)
> If you get compensated beyond the costs, you don't get that warm fuzzy
> feeling of doing gratis work, but still do provide a welcome service to
> members of the project.  If that can tip the threshold between the service
> being provided or not, then why not?

There are various reasons why not:

- opportunity cost: time spent on this is time not spent on other things
where people have more to give

- financial reward isn't always a smart motivation (see Lepper and
Greene, 1973)

- Debian's constitution states we are volunteers, so if people do stuff
like this with Debian money maybe they can't personally be paid for it.

but I personally have no objection to somebody profiting from this if
they are transparent about it and provide a good service to the community.

>> Note also that there's nothing that prevents Person Y from producing
>> Debian merchandise and offering it with a more substantial markup.
>> If people buy it (i.e. the price is right), then everyone benefits…
> Note the data mentioned in this thread:
> * decent printed shirts cost $0.60 in a large batch (including the
>   manufacturer's profit)
> * "very good quality" printed shirts made in a small batch retail for $3 if
>   you skip most of the "rich country" artificial markup (ie, the price you
>   pay in shop is "what the market will bear" rather than just what would
>   keep the seller in business)
> Thus, there's a massive gap between doing it for costs and a full commercial
> operation.  It's not hard to find a sweet spot in between that would flood
> relevant places with people in Debian-themed clothing while not cutting into
> volunteers' unpaid time.

Those are very different cases though: the embroidered shirts would
probably be more simple (just the logo) and designed for a long shelf
life.  The screen printed shirts may have more topical designs (e.g. for
DebConf17 or Stretch) and in these cases the smaller quantity is fine.



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