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There used to be a place where you could buy Stack Exchange branded gear, what happened to it?

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Unfortunately, it no longer exists. The short story is that it was just too much work for the amount of sales we had.

The long story is, we have a lot of remote employees in different states. Our sales tax burden for selling tangible goods started to become an administration nightmare. We also couldn't justify the costs of either having someone at the office ship swag or paying a fulfillment house to do it for us (we were doing both). It also was complicated by the fact that a few months ago, a group of people defrauded us for a few thousand dollars in merchandise before we caught it.

We only averaged maybe $20-$50 a day in sales. Sometimes a week would go by without an order. We also felt like allowing anyone to purchase our swag made it a bit less awesome when we sent it out for free to people for being awesome on our sites.

So we closed the shop. We'll continue to make swag, and continue to gift it to people in special circumstances, but you won't be able to purchase it anymore.

I apologize to everyone who is upset by this news. We should have foreseen a lot of these problems beforehand, and we didn't, so it's my fault.

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27  
Sounds like a great decision - swag that can be "earned" only through participation feels so much cooler. I can confirm Martijn's problems though –  Pëkka Jun 25 '12 at 15:02
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Prediction: record sales in one week as people start to panic buy. –  Flexo Jun 25 '12 at 15:51
    
I just ordered a SO shirt 2 days ago, i assume i am still getting this ? –  Jane Doe Jun 25 '12 at 16:54
    
@JaneDoe Yes, anything ordered will be delivered –  Alex Miller Jun 25 '12 at 18:12
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The store could have been saved if you let us buy the unicron shirt :P see here and here. –  Matthew Read Jun 25 '12 at 20:18
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I also have to say, there was very little marketing of the shop. I only found out last week, when I saw a friend of mine with an SO sticker on his laptop, that there were even SO branded stuff. now i've got like 3 days to go. I'm gonna rush buy, but in the future can we also be informed about competitions where we can win stuff.... And for Gods sake, why Isn't South Africa on the list of Countries in the billing information? –  Umoh Jun 29 '12 at 12:06
    
As for the fraude: if people made an effort in getting branded merchandise for free, then I guess one could still take that as a huge compliment?! –  Arjan Jul 2 '12 at 16:11
    
Maybe some (very tough) goals to achieve can be introduced with a T-shirt as a reward (like badges). –  Tudor Jul 5 '12 at 13:00
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@Tudor: Or badges for doing RL stuff, like "Stand next to an original Zuse computer with an SO shirt on." ;) –  Raphael Jul 11 '12 at 22:08
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Did you guys consider outsourcing most of the work (shipping, tax, orders) to someone else? Like opening a store on cafepress.com maybe –  Anthony Hatzopoulos Aug 2 '12 at 19:07
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gasp here I am wearing a carelessly crumb-covered SO T-shirt. Henceforth, I vow to preserve it's awesomeness more carefully. –  TCPMAN.EXE Aug 13 '12 at 18:47
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So what are these special circumstances where I will be receive swags? –  Starx Nov 5 '12 at 3:29
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What Starx said, I wouldn't mind an SO mug. Be kinda fun, actually. Dunno if I rate, though. :-) Does page two on the all-time rep list on SO rate? –  T.J. Crowder Nov 12 '12 at 17:37
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I guess I'm lucky to have bought an SO shirt before the store closed. It'd be really cool though if swag was easier to receive. If SO was a non-profit, it could be donations, but it's not.. Surveys are too "open" and SO hardly ever has anything like SU did where they gave away T-Shirts for participation in the windows-8 tag. –  Earlz Jan 21 '13 at 18:46
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The store link still mentions "You can vote for it to be created through our democratic, community-driven process at area51.stackexchange.com, or see a complete directory of all our Q&A sites at stackexchange.com." That means there is still a possibility to get it opened if we democratically propose for it. After all SO is of the people, for the people, by the people :) –  pal4life Apr 29 at 16:15

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