Pictures of cats org Online Shop?

PoC Online ShopI’d just like to float the idea of opening an online shop on PoC. The first thing to note is the obvious: it could not compete with mainstream online shops so if it were to work it would have to sell specialist items that could not be found online elsewhere. It may be possible to achieve this. I would like to explore the possibility.

For me there are two distinct advantages to a PoC, specialist, online, cat product shop:

  1. The profits could go towards cat charities and
  2. Its existence would widen the scope of the website and add another dimension to it.

Is a PoC cat product shop practical? The software is easy to install. It would have to be PayPal payments only but PayPal is widespread these days and international as well as local. The shop would be entirely free-standing and customised. It would not, for example, be an Amazon site on PoC. They don’t work.

The number of items for sale (the itinerary) would be small and specialist. I have the storage facility and the time. Also it may be possible for others to get involved.

If it did work out – and that is far from certain – I would expect low levels of profit. That is not a problem because it can be built on and a shop could open doors to other possibilities.

What sort of products could be sold?  They would have to be small to allow easy and manageable post and packaging. I envisage products such as handmade-to-order jewelry. I would need to find someone to craft it to order. A specialist velvet brush for brushing up cat hair that I use would also be useful. Perhaps jewelry of famous cats might be popular. I would consider commissioning a jeweler to make earrings of well known cats and/or rescued and saved cats. These are just initial, thinking aloud ideas.

I would appreciate some “gut feel” feedback. Negative feedback is as acceptable as positive feedback. I have no illusions as to the viability. If we did sell cat products I would expect it to fail but I think it might be worth a try.

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Pictures of cats org Online Shop? — 26 Comments

  1. The first item that comes to mind would be a tee-shirt with artwork, like the kind (sorry blanking on name) that makes the point- don’t declaw your cat. Artwork would have to be simple and not gruesome- with humor and a somewhat challenging question- as in the “I don’t cut the thorns off my roses”. The idea would be to make the artwork simple enough and “non threatening” so that people who might see me (for example) wearing such a tee-shirt might be intrigued enough to engage me in conversation.

    I remember from long ago that there are sites/ businesses that produce tee-shirts to order, using artwork provided by seller, and also ship them out. It would probably take some research as to how to manage this vis a vis a PoC online store, and all kinds of other details.

    I don’t need more jewelery (which I don’t wear anyway), but I would certainly wear a tee-shirt as “walking billboard” that would help send out the anti-declaw message.

    • Thaks VG. I could buy a run of say 100 T-Shirts (maybe) produced to our design. They would be easy to post (unbreakable) and store and they would be unique. Ruth designed some bookmarks. We could sell those. We could sell stuff that gently educated in a humorous way (as you say). Would need some thought.

      • I’m not sure if you are familiar with Vista Print. They often have rock bottom prices for t-shirts and you can have whatever you create on them.

  2. I think it is a wonderful idea. I think it would be nice to have mugs, key chains, t-shirts, etc. with the PoC label and various cats, of course, on each item. Or we could find an graphic artist to come up with some nice designs. I know some, but it would probably be best to have someone in the UK? Plus their styles may or may not fit the bill in this case. I know a children’s book illustrator who I may be able to hire. She has a warm style that I think would appeal to parents with children. No idea what fees she would charge. The other ideas sound like an amazing idea. You could even make deals to sell cat products that we all think need an International home. Maybe for a small part of the sell price to cover Michael’s expenses. This could potentially bring in new visitors. Great idea!

    • Thanks for the ideas Dan and the encouragement. I think it has potential partly because online buying is expanding rapidly. I think it would help the site and cats. The big question is what to sell? I’ll take onboard your ideas.

  3. Sounds like a potentially good idea, my feeling would be not to go for too expensive items, I like the sound of the POC branded goods and tee shirts, like VG I’m not keen on jewellery. My pet hate on online shops is postage costs, sometimes that puts me off buying online so I’d hope that could be kept to a minimum. Having said all that I wouldn’t be able to purchase anything anyway because I don’t have Paypal and am not keen on getting involved with it.

    • Thanks Barbara. I like the idea of a PoC shop but…..there are difficulties. As you say the postage would have to be as low a possible. The thing is though the savings in hassle and time or travel costs outweigh the postage or courier costs for a lot of people. Online shopping is growing rapidly in the UK. It would be nice to join that expansion. It is a personal thing and old fashioned shopping still has great advantages.

      If I did open a PoC shop it would have to be limited to certain specialist items that were not very expensive and unique to PoC. I chose jewelry because it is small and easy to post (jiffy bag).

  4. I think it has a lot of potential Michael but the cost of the postage would be my first concern, the post can be unreliable too.
    Remember Charlie’s catnip mouse arrived to you hundreds of miles away the day after it was posted, yet ours posted at the same time took a week for only around 10 miles away from us.
    One tiny catnip mouse costs 90p to post in the UK.
    As most PoC visitors are American it would cost you quite a bit. I posted a package to a friend in the USA yesterday, it only contained a letter, card, light letter opener as a birthday present and some newspaper cuttings and it cost £4.50! She sent a cheque for Kays Hill to me a while back and it took a whole month to get here, we thought it had gone astray.
    So you’d need some sort of insurance for postage failure or pay even more postage for recorded delivery.
    I think selling small things like jewellery, bookmarks (we could design some more on other aspects of cat welfare education because the anti declaw education wouldn’t sell here where it’s banned anyway) etc would be a good way to start and I wonder if you could have some PoC Christmas cards made with a message on the back that profits would go to cat charities? I’d buy some of them, we don’t have paypal but could always transfer the cost through our bank to yours or post you a cheque.
    I’d say start small, not laying too much money out and see how it goes.
    Babz sells 20p mix ups in her funeral office, for charity, she has to buy more sweets out of the proceeds when they are all gone but is very slowly starting to make a small profit, it will take a long time but like your 5 cents a comment donation scheme, it all adds up eventually to be enough to donate.
    I admire your determination to think up new ways to help cats and if I can do anything to help I will. We could all share the link to your shop with friends and on face book etc, once it was up and running.
    Good luck 🙂

    • As most PoC visitors are American

      Thanks for the input Ruth. I have discovered that over the past few months British visitors have outstripped US visitors. PoC is now officially for the Brits 😉

      I agree that a PoC shop needs to be carefully thought out from the manufacturing perspective and postage. If possible I would not use Rail Mail but a commercial company as they are more reliable.

      What about some sort of link up with Cats Protection? Don’t know how that could work but it would be nice if PoC could sell Cats Protection products on the PoC site and the profits went to Cats Protection. Just a thought.

      • Has that happened suddenly Michael? It’s not that long since I saw you posted about this site being visited mostly by Americans. I think it was on the article about arguments causing cats stress and there was a bit of controversy about it being based on Americans.
        In that case as it’s mostly British now, yes I think it might be good to sell Cats Protection goods, I think Marion would be happy about that.
        But I’ll send her the link to this article for her thoughts…

        • Marion says
          ‘Small branches don’t even stock Cats Protection stuff as it’s usually £50 min order from their suppliers and there has also been a lot of hassle with out of stock items so I don’t really know much about it’

          I suppose it would mean dealing with someone at CP headquarters Michael but whether the money would go to Marion’s branch I don’t really know, I don’t think it would.

  5. I would buy from the shop. I just finally managed to get hold of something I really wanted for a long time for my cats – a few XXL Tickle Pickles by Tipsy Nip – they are the best catnip toys on the market according to my research, they are strong and filled with high quality organic catnip. They were only available in the US for ages – I finally got them from Oskar and Klaus’ website (Oskar is the cat with no eyes in the winning cat film festival film) – here’s the actual product page: but you can see they other Tipsy Nip products like small Tickle Pickles and so on – my cats love them, they smell of catnip proper and they are just really very nice organic products, nice and big and so on. It took alot of looking around to find these and now that I finally got them I lve them and so do the cats. I paid with paypal.

    Michael you will see they don’t ship to Australia and NZ. I buy an awful lot of things online with regard to bicycles and I can tell you that there are certain countries you can’t ship to like Italy – each for different reasons. The reciever pays import tax over a certain amount etc – I’d be happy to email you with any advice you want. I have been buying antique/vintage bicycles and parts from all over for the last 10 years or so. Bicycles really push the postage services to the limit in terms of size and weight and the challenge of them being well handled and not destroyed. Right off the bat I can tell you the UK, US and Swiss postal services have always been perfect. From the US I had a couple thngs get lost and they were successfully returned and resent to me so not lost forever.

    There’s alot onvolved but cat products are small. BTW you can’t send catnip to AUS or NZ because its plant matter and a danger to their already completely destroyed and messed up ecosystems. (ok AUS, not NZ, NZ is not destroyed yet but that ugly bald man says the cats will destroy it, I hope the cats start with him if he’s right)

    …..alot involved

    …but, most importantly there are specific things which I very much want like these catnip toys. I want bigger cardboard scratchers which you just can’t get in Europe. I can show you the productsa I most want based on my research. Then there will be large things like cat trees or specific good cat carriers. There are certain products in the cat world which seem superior to me. For another example, cats love cardboard scratchers and they are in keeping with the environment and recycling. But they are always too small, your cat can’t really lay in without pulling it over or something. So here’s one I badly want: …they are just nice things and cats ‘love’ them I can tell you from my readings that they are totally in love with those things. You can eventually replace the cardboard part. Most of all they are made of nice materials and they are just plain simple design. I want one but haven’t found one available here yet – mind you I haven’t looked in the last 6 months so maybe I’ll go on there now and see if they ship IntL. The Tickle Pickles come from Oskar and Claus since I couldn’t get them direct from Tipsy Nip. Maybe with the Brawny Cat XL Scratch and Slumber I can find a second company who will ship IntL. – if Brwany Cat still dont.

    There are cat trees I want too but can’t get out here. I could go on. Most of you know that many cat toys don’t last more than 10 minutes before being broken or whatever so it is really important you can find the right ones that hold up to your cat’s level of play. Lilly can destroy almost anything in 5 minutes. So far the pickles have held up perfectly.

    There is a great value to the idea Michael – PoC could really sell some specific and good things for people. Even cat trees break down so the boxes are within shipping size standards.

    We should eventually make a list of products we want as a start. You could also have a ‘wish list’ and get feedback as to what people want.

    • Many thanks for taking the time to provide some product ideas. The cardboard scratchers you showed are like cat sofas – large cat sofas! Excellent. The device looks really nice but as you say getting your hands on one is hard. Maybe he’ll sell a small shipment of them and I can sell them on! Dreaming maybe! I’ll chew over your comment. There may be a way to make this work.

    • I wonder if it would be possible to manufacture the Brawny Cat lounger in England. It could be copied. Do you think there is something impregnated into the cardboard or is it just the feel of it that makes cats want to roll about on it? It looks like corrugated cardboard.

      • I love those luxury loungers!
        I’d think maybe catnip was impregnated or maybe like our cat scratch sofas a packet of catnip is included to sprinkle on.
        See how ours are very basic in comparison.
        Walt and Jo would love luxury ones.

        • This is the luxury one made in the USA. I was wondering if you thought like Marc that they were really good, I might be able to find someone to make them here and sell them on PoC. The picture is by D Sabo Photography and the cat is “Turbo”.

          • Yes I looked at Marc’s link and was very impressed.
            The one in your picture looks so luxurious, I wonder how much they would sell at?

            • They are expensive at about $200 inc. shipping in N. America.

              This is the sort of thing PoC could sell if we could make them. I may be able to do that. That would be a unique product in the UK. It is that sort of approach to a PoC shop that appeals to me.

              It is large but a courier could deliver it. Might be able to get someone to make it cheaper and as good. It is a fairly basic construction. But this would be quite an ambitious project.

      • Personally I’d go for the cheapie because it’s disposable, replaceable and affordable though I can see the attraction of the superior model

      • It’s really about whether a person could afford a luxurious one or not, we couldn’t at that price and considering we’d need to buy two.
        We also need to remember that cats are even happy sitting in a cardboard box.
        I’d be worried if you had expensive ones made Michael and couldn’t sell them….although I suppose you could maybe have them made to order if people were willing to wait?

  6. I really like the idea 🙂 The cats charities would benefit so much and people do want something unusual that they haven’t seen anywhere else 🙂

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