How to get people to buy t-shirts

> As of today I’m working for a screen printing business that is based out of my school. There is an $1,000 “scholarship” at the end of the year for the student who brings in the most sales. I want, no, need to win it. Any social engineering tips that would make someone more inclined to buy shirts? Any general sales or retail advice would also be appreciated.

Hey, I sell t-shirts.

In my experience, there are two reasons why people buy my t-shirts:

  • It allows them to perform an identity that they like. (“I’m so witty / clever / self-aware”)
  • It’s a great gift for a friend because it leverages some inside joke or in-group (“OMG, this t-shirt is TOTALLY him).

People also buy things that they perceive to be status symbols, but that’s hard to do if you’re a smaller store that doesn’t have brand equity (you can’t compete with a Nike or Chanel logo, so don’t).

You say you’re based in school– what are the funny things and events that happen in school? Is there a teacher or principal you can SUBTLY make fun of? (Directly insulting people will get you in trouble… try celebrating them rather than mocking them, it’ll be funny.)

Does your school have a rivalry with another school? Could you do a t-shirt that subtly mocks the other school? (I was at a burger joint recently that said “If you’d prefer crappy burgers, the Clown is just around the corner”, with the W being the upside-down McDonald’s logo).

You want to identify people’s feelings about things and play around with that.

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