Forum:That Uncyclopedia Store: A suggestion

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 3563 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

The wisdom of the Dakota Indian tribe goes that if you happen to find yourself riding on a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. [Citation not needed at all; thank you very much]

Despite all that hot air generated here, so far I still haven't seen any realistic action that will, at the end of the day, amount to anything that matters. Yes, we know it would be pretty nice to have so sort of an online store that sells the "Uncyclopeida" brand of merchandise, not-for-profit or otherwise, but what worries me is that the entire discussion of the issue seems to be revolving around the vaguest of the conceptual side of the things and who and who are supposed to go out there and play the magic for those who don't bother. This is just pathetic.

I am not saying that we should ditch the idea right here and right now. The idea itself isn't really that bad. In fact, it's quite workable so as long as we know exactly what kind of direction we are going to take in this particular venture. However, besides all that vacuous talk going on in the other forum page, I still haven't seen anything that will give me a better idea about this "Uncyclopedia Store" thing other than that: -

  1. it's a website,
  2. there will be some kind of transactions involved, and
  3. somehow, someone or some people will just have to do the dirty work including starting the whole business from scratch.

Furthermore, what is the mission of this whatever-you-call-it? What is the vision given for this particular venture? Without the mission and the vision - or the general/grand direction as we know it - there simply can't be any kind of venture. Whatever discussed over there simply does not and cannot exist.

To set matter straight, I sincerely suggest all of you to consider seriously the following issues:

  • What is this "Uncyclopedia Store" supposed to be as an entity? What kind of goods and/or services that this business is supposed to deliver? And what would you like to see it as in the future (i.e. where the business headed)?
  • Who are the key stakeholders in this venture (i.e. parties that have a potential key interest in the business)?
  • What are the key objectives involved in this venture in, say, the following 1, 3 or 5 years?

This is just the beginning of the business planning process, and remember even if you realise nothing will work out with the given resources (capital, human and material), there is always that good saying from the Dakoda Indians that you may follow. It's better to reject what turns out to be an unworkable idea in the planning process rather than to fix it when it's all too late.

-- The Colonel (talk) 01:56, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Looks like someone was paying attention in business management class, but not in the other topic. I believe I posted a comment that answers most if not all of your questions. I'll copy and paste it here if it's too much trouble for you to find it.
*:I think merch would also appeal to the readers who don't edit. People often misunderestimate how many "just readers" uncyc has based on the active users. A couple of traffic estimate sites reckon we get around 900,000 visits a month. Which is plenty. And the issue with the pricing, it's easily solved if you use something like custom dropshipper. They take all the orders and have them made up, and then send it to the buyer, and send you the difference between the base price and what you sold it for. The base price for a t-shirt is $12 (with free shipping), so we could sell it at that and make no profit, or mark up as we like. And there's loads of different things, mugs, hats, pretty much anything you an put a picture on. They also do a VIP store which allows you to run your own store on a subdomain of your own website, with no evidence that it's run by a third party, which would be all kinds of good (but would definitely need wikia to set up for us). And that only costs $10 a month or $100 a year, which we could easily make that back if we marked up $1 or even less on each order. In other words, it could definitely work, and work well.


To specifically answer the questions:
  1. The store will sell various merchandise with uncyclopedia related designs on. Everyone loves those. There are plenty of store sites that do all of this work for you, and leave you with nothing to do but find the customers. As far as I know, there was never any doubt in the other topics that this is what the plan was.
  2. There are no stakeholders as such, as there are no stakes as such. Depending on the method we choose to do this by (which we were discussing in the other topic), there are a few expenses, all small. The only initial expenditure would be the first month's subscription for running the store ($0 for custom dropshipper btw) and a domain to run it on if wikia don't let us use for it, or we might not even want a specific webite for it at all and just use the merch website's own (usually free, I think). If it ever stopped making enough money to pay the monthly service cost by itself, the service would simply stop. With no financial losses involved in "just stopping". All that is needed in this regard is a group of people who can be trusted to look after the money and make sure it goes to the right place. Who the right people are and where that right place is, if there is any profit, was being discussed in the other topic.
  3. The key objectives in year 1 are to sell T-shirts, mugs, and mouse pads, and possibly raise some money for uncyc competitions, depending on what the decision on profits is. Ditto for year 3. Ditto for year 5.
I think you're misunderstanding what we're trying to do here. We're not trying to run a business. This is uncyclopedia trying to sell T-shirts with uncyclopedia stuff on, not create something that we can sell to google for millions a few years down the line. There are already businesses that can do this for us. I don't think anyone's even looking to make any kind of profit from this. And with the method I suggested, all you need to do that is a paypal account with $10 a month in it and somewhere to put the shop. But these are all things we were discussing in the other topic. You haven't seen any realistic action because nobody wants to take any yet. Now is the time for discussing whether we want a store or not, licensing issues, and other things that need to be decided and planned before jumping right into it. And especially waiting for wikia's input.
If you need to know anything else, ask it in the main topic on this. You can even go nuts with a new header if you think it's important enough. Because we seriously have too many topics on this, and need all our thoughts in one place, or it'll be killed simply because there's 50 topics on it and nobody can even find what anyone else is thinking. Spang talk 02:47, 19 Nov 2007
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