Thursday, June 26, 2008

New POD Shop and Contest

I have two exciting new things to talk about today and they are both related. The first one is something I have been waiting a long time for and that is the start-up of a Canadian POD service website. The new service is T-Shirt Monster.

I had been doing Google searches for the last couple years, looking to find a Canadian based POD similar to what Cafepress and Zazzle offer. Up until last week, I had searched with no luck. Then two days ago, by sheer luck, I stumbled across a Google ad for T-Shirt Monster. Where did I see this ad, you ask? Why on the very blog you're reading right now. This would not have been the case if I had not decided to revamp my blog with a different template, new content and inserting Google ads that are relevant to the subjects and area from which my blog is based. After having the ads up for only one day, I happened to be typing a new post and when I checked the final published version, I noticed the ad for T-Shirt Monster. I couldn't believe my good fortune. The ad was like other POD site ads I had seen before. It advertised the ability to create custom t-shirts with no minimum order. What caught my eye however were the two little letters after the dot in the URL. The letters were .ca and I knew right then that I had finally found a Canadian POD service. But were they any good? It took me all of 5 minutes browsing their site to know that this was a great fit for me. I signed up almost immediately. I love their product designer, which they call the Design Lab. It is very user friendly, probably the second best I have ever used right behind Zazzle's.They only offer T-shirts right now but consider the fact they are still new. The galleries are free to open and are fairly customizable. You can set your own markup prices and I noticed a link that indicates that they will be starting up an affiliate program where you can earn 15% on referral sales.

But my favourite thing that T-Shirt Monster has are contest that I am eligible to win. Being Canadian, I have never been allowed to win any contests at all the American PODs I belong to since rules prohibit it. This was always a source of frustration especially when you consider the large cash prizes that were being offered and sometimes design software or drawing tablets. I wanted badly to find a place where I would finally be a participant and not just a spectator. Now I have found that place.

So now let me tell you about my very first contest entry in which I am eligible to win at T-Shirt Monster. A brewing company called James Ready, based in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has partnered with T-Shirt Monster to create a design contest to advertise their various brands of beer which they sell for a dollar per bottle. James Ready has even provided some of their own high resolution logos and graphics as clip art files so contestants may use them in their design entries if they wish. Unfortunately for me, the contest ends June 30th and having only found out about the website two days ago, it didn't leave me a lot of time to come up with a design and generate any kind of buzz or votes for that matter. However with 4 days left in the contest, I came up with a decent idea, under the circumstances, and submitted it to be in the contest exhibit and the Monster Gallery. My entry is titled Lion Tamer and features the JR lion from its beer label taking a swig from a bottle of James Ready 5.5 with a slogan reading, "Get Ready For A Lion Taming Taste! The winner receives $1500 in cash and prizes so i am keeping my finger crossed. Wish me luck!

Visit My T-Shirt Monster Gallery

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