Who Knew There Was A Market for $100 T-Shirts

When I first heard about 200 Nipples my reaction was of the “that’ll never work” variety. The t-shirt site operates on a gimmick whereby only 100 t-shirts are printed of each design, numbered 1 to 100 with a corresponding dollar cost for each t-shirt. The first shirt, for example, costs $1, while shirt number 37 costs $37, and so on up to shirt number 100 for $100.

In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think that would work. I couldn’t have guessed that there were enough people out there who would pay $100 for a shirt, just for the bragging rights associated with purchasing that #100 branded shirt. Turns out, I was wrong.

After just three shirts, 200 Nipples is now profitable and is going to start ramping up from one t-shirt every month to one every two weeks. So how much are they making? Well, not enough to retire yet.

T-shirts on 200 Nipples are sold just for a set time period (2 weeks for the first shirt, 4 weeks for the second, and 2 for every shirt from here on out). They’re not sold until they sell out, and so far none of the designs have sold out. The first design sold 36 copies, and second sold 56. But even though the lowest numbered shirts are sold at a loss, the expensive shirts make up for it fast if they sell — and they have been selling.

This month’s design has already sold four shirts above the $80 threshold (including numbers 99 and 100), and half the shirts are spoken for. And if they sell out all 100? Well, their revenue on a sell out t-shirt would be $5,080. The cost to print 100 t-shirts is probably not more than $600 (figure $5 + $1 for the labor to screen print each shirt) and since each is printed on demand, they’re not printing any more than they’re selling.

If 200 Nipples can scale up to Shirt.Woot-level success, and print and sell out a new shirt each day, they’d have a nice little business on their hands (printing five days per week x $5,080 is around $130k $1.3 million per year in revenue). Unfortunately, that’s about as high as this idea can scale unless it evolves (200 shirts per print run? 2 shirts per day? Popular shirts reprinted later and sold in a side store?). Regardless of how large the the idea scales, congrats to 200 Nipples for their modest success.

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  • http://www.gearthhacks.com/ mickmel

    You’re off a bit on the potential revenue. 5 days a week x $5,080 x 52 weeks = $1,320,800 in revenue per year, not “$130k”.

    That’d be pretty sweet…

  • http://www.dangrossman.info Dan Grossman

    It’s nice to read about someone coming up with a new internet business that’s profitable. This is the kind of story most SitePoint members can get behind and hope to achieve themselves. So different from the “startup” scene where most of the ideas aren’t original at all, yet they take huge investments and launch without revenue models.

  • http://www.mockriot.com/ Josh Catone

    @mickmel Thanks! I’ve fixed that. Looks like I multiplied by 26 instead of 260. ;)

  • shareitall

    It always amazes me what markets are yet to be exploited. Obviously if $100 t-shirts do well, $50 ones would work too, for anyone looking for a proven business model!

    How interesting, thanks Josh.

    Daniel
    entrepreneur blog

  • Wade – 200nipples.com

    Thanks for the interest and the encouragement, guys. If any of you care to buy one of our shirts, use coupon code BEGINNERS-LUCK-10 for 10% off your purchase price and shipping costs.

    Cheers,
    Wade
    Partner – 200nipples.com

    P.S. I like the building a company without a revenue model comment. I never understood that. Thanks for the great compliment, Dan.

  • Doneby50

    Or, it looks like you can use coupon code SUPPORT-IS-GO! (expires 08/31/08) for 15% off your next order. this is from their blog. apparently sitepoint is dissed by 5% :(

  • Wade – 200nipples.com

    Nah, Sitepoint;s not dissed but my blog readers get an extra 5%. 8-P

  • AK

    Surprised that no one asked why his site’s domain name is 200 nipples ? Am i the only one disturbed by that?

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    Surprised that no one asked why his site’s domain name is 200 nipples ? Am i the only one disturbed by that?

    Thought it was pretty self-evident, myself.