A year ago, having become fed-up with waiting for the official Eve Store to finally open again, I decided to start a RedBubble store of my own. I had two goals in mind when I started: 1) To provide cool non-IP related merch, and 2) To provide Alliances a place to sell their Alliance gear. I also promised everyone that I would be transparent about the store as much as humanly possible. The store has done gang-busters in the past year and I am extremely pleased with how well it has done. The Alliance Gear section hasn't gone as well as I hoped it would, but it hasn't mattered. The Alliances that do participate are selling gear like hotcakes. So if you aren't participating you have no one to blame but yourselves.
I sell Alliance Gear at one percent mark-up, everything else at 5% mark-up. Our biggest seller this past year has been the Warp to the Dance Floor shirts, which Manic Velocity wore during the opening of Fanfest back in April. A very close second is the HTFU stuff. In fact store merch appears pretty much everywhere, during the recent Eve Vegas you couldn't see a crowd shot without seeing Rixx Merch in the group. That's something I am proud of. I don't make a ton of money off the store, on average the past year it turns out to be about $65 a month. I could make more if I increased the percentages, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to continue to keep them exactly where they are.
And while others continue to openly sell Eve IP on RedBubble, Zazzle, Amazon, and other places on-line (just do a simple Google search, it is insane how much there is out there!), I refuse to do so. Obviously the Rixx Store would be 1000x better if I could use even tiny wittle bits of Eve IP, but sadly I can't. And I know people are watching me like a hawk to see if I cross the line. Which is silly, because clearly I'm not going to do that. Duh. The more I sell and the more I don't use Eve IP, the more I continue to make my original point.
Not that it matters anymore. At this point I don't care about proving anything to anyone. It seems pointless now. So the only reason the store exists is so that the community has something cool to wear that has something to do with Eve. Since the real Eve Store seems diametrically opposed to giving us all what we want. If it was up to me we'd have spaceships on t-shirts and mugs and be done with it. After all, it ain't rocket science, that is exactly what we all want.
And if you run an Alliance in-game and want to provide your members with merchandise let me know. Remember you are allowed to sell things with your Alliance logo on them. The Bastion Alliance has sold 79 t-shirts with their logo on it in my store. And my Alliance, A Band Apart, has sold almost 100 items to our members this past year. So there is a demand out there and it is 100% legal to sell it.
I'll be adding a bunch of new original content in the coming weeks in time for the Holidays.
Onward and upward.