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scam

thirtee are probably assholes

When I first wrote about Thirtee back in March I said this about their model of spotlighting one designer a month and just selling their shirts, kind of like a virtual pop-up shop for artists:

I can’t really see anything wrong with [this] equation: cool designers + quality t-shirt blank + low prices = goodness

Apparently there was something wrong with the equation, they weren’t paying their designers, they weren’t posting out t-shirts, and if/when the shirts arrived the printing was of poor quality. Wotto (who was on Thirtee for their second month, after Greg Abbott was their first artist) has posted a thread on Mintees explaining how he has not been paid for the sale of his design on Thirtee, and that he has received e-mails from Thirtee customers asking where there shirts are and what the situation is. Thirtee are not responding to e-mails from anyone by the looks of it, and their domain currently resolves to a generic placeholder that you get when you install Apache software on your webserver.

There is a rumour going around that Thirtee was created by the people that used to run Teextile (a design competition that scammed artists by not paying for designs and not fulfilling orders, and not being at all forthcoming about clearing the air on the situation). I took a look at the WHOIS records for Thirtee and Teextile and there is nothing concrete, but there are a couple of similarities. Thirtee.com is registered to someone called Mike Philpott, with an address in San Diego with the domain pointing at Media Temple nameservers. Teextile.com is registered to Franco Galvez, who also has an address in San Diego (6 miles drive from Mike), and also points the domain to Media Temple nameservers. As I said, there is nothing concrete there, Media Temple is a large webhost, and San Diego is a large city. I don’t know where those rumours have come from of a connection between the two sites, but it’s entirely possible that it’s more than just coincidence they’re in the same city using the same web host.

I feel I must apologise to any readers of Hide Your Arms that purchased a shirt after seeing an article about Thirtee here. I post a lot of new brands, always in good faith that they’re legit. When I first saw Thirtee’s site I did say “their site is a bit bare bones at the moment (too much so really, if a ‘name’ artist like Abbott wasn’t attached I would probably have some concerns)” and I guess that those concerns turned out to be legitimate. Clearly Wotto and Greg bear no responsibility in this situation, if it turns out it was a scam they’ve missed out more than most people that bought shirts since they licensed their designs to these people for a month, and I would suspect that Thirtee picked Wotto and Greg because they’re respected names and that would lend their startup a lot of credit and some good exposure (Thirtee was written about by a lot of tee blogs). I am sorry that there are some people in the t-shirt world that don’t keep to their word, but please remember that most people in this industry are honest and selling t-shirts because they love it, so please don’t turn your back on indie companies just because of a couple of bad apples.

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Chris from Ichabods dropped me a line so that I could help spread the word about a guy whose been e-mailing tee producers telling them that they can get there tee’s into films if they send a few over to him. I guess its really exciting for small labels when a celebrity wears their stuff, so people may be tempted to ship over a few tees no questions asked, but I’m afraid this guy doesn’t seem to be legit. He goes by a few names, Will Skrivseth and Bill Farley amongst them, and lists his address as being in Minneapolis.

Whilst I don’t have much experience with this side of the industry, always research any kind of offer or company when they ask you for free clothes (if you google them and can’t find anything, something Fishy may be going on). Whilst we’re on the subject, I will never contact anyone asking them for a sample for review, in fact I don’t accept samples unless I think that the company in question makes good and interesting clothing, so if you get an e-mail claiming to be from me asking for a sample, forward it on to me and I’ll deal with it.

Links:
Ichabods blog post
Plopculture smelt a scam back in 2007 too

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