Print On Demand Designers Feel Fees of PayPal Pinch

Posted by Mongo

As a designer, I love getting those little emails that say, “Congratulations!  You just sold a design on XXXXXX”.  That “DoNotReply” form letter is a welcome sight in the world of email.  It means that I produced something that someone else found to be good enough to buy.  It’s a validation of my efforts at being an entrepreneur. 

Even more welcoming is the email from PayPal that states I’ve received payment from the Print On Demand company I’ve been using to sell my works.  That means I’ve made enough to get paid for my efforts.   While the individual sale is a validation for my art.  The payment email is a validation of my business model and my ability to continue doing the work I love.

Quite recently, though, I was greeted with my usual email about payment and went skipping and “tra la la la”-ing into my PayPal account to see the payment applied to my balance.  Unfortunately, something didn’t add up.  One of the companies I use, had issued a payment and PayPal issued a fee on top of it to the tune of 2.9% plus $0.30 of the payment. 

I had never seen a fee tacked onto one of my commission checks and wasn’t sure if this was PayPal mucking something up or a new policy I was unaware of being instituted.  

I contacted the company and asked if they had seen this before from any other designers.  They informed me that 'Yes, unfortunately, PayPal had started requiring them to issue commissions as a purchase of services, instead of a personal payment.'   Seems rather silly since the company did not actually purchase any service from me.  I guess you could say that, as a designer, they are purchasing my design at the cost of their base pricing on apparel or products.  Still, they are not the ones purchasing the service, the customer who buys my work is paying for a service and I am splitting the cost of the item with the Print On Demand company.   PayPal looks to be tacking on fees to just be… tacky.

So far, this is the only company that has been told by PayPal to do business this way.  I will know more once I receive payments from the other Print On Demand publishers I use.   The company that provides 50% of my commissions states on their website that PayPal doesn’t charge fees for payments.  This may change or this may be a case of them being a bigger player in the Print on Demand services industry and that keeps them exempt from this ‘fee’ that PayPal levies against the smaller guy.   I am currently investigating with PayPal as to why this fee is now appearing and calling somewhat of a shenanigans on their practice of not requiring a fee with payments from other sites.  As an update, I submitted a request for verification on December 1st and it's now December 16th.  Great customer service you got there PayPal.

Of course, I could shoot myself in the foot with this and it could cause PayPal to start charging fees on all site payments.  If this is the case, I will decide on whether or not I will keep using PayPal as a payment service.  

The argument against physical checks
It sucks for me, the artist, because I am at the mercy of the mail service and have to be mindful of where the mail ends up in my house as well as minding the amount of transactions I make in my account.  Luckily, I think I am OK in that area.  I very rarely deposit money or write checks, using the wonderful world of technology at my disposal.

It sucks for the Print On Demand company because I am burdening them with having to physically print out a check and pay postage, rather than direct deposit electronically into an account.  Now, in the case of my two biggest Print On Demand partners, I am not as concerned for them.  They are huge corporations that have means necessary to do this. 

However, I do use a couple of smaller businesses and I want them to do as well as possible.  Go Small Business!   The one in question did not seem to feel any more burdened by issuing me physical checks.  They only require minimum payment of $50 and issue a $2.00 check fee to send me one.  I would rather give them $2 for my check instead of giving PayPal 2.9% plus $0.30 on every payment amount.   I could receive a physical check for $500 and only have to pay $2.00 for it vs. paying $14.80 for it to be sent electronically. 

This is one of the reasons why I quit doing business over eBay.  The fees kill the ability to reasonably price anything.  In order to make a profit you need to account for listing and payment fees and that ends up pricing you out of a sale on some items.  Back in the days when I was skirting the edges of PayPal rules and did secret e-card auctions, I would end up losing a lot of money to fees for items that had multiple purchases at the tune of $1.00.   33% of my  efforts went to PayPal and an additional percentage went to the fees to list the items.

So, PayPal is nothing new in my world.  They're a business and will continue to do what it takes to make money for their service.  Of course, they can be a bit douchey when it comes to their fees.  Look at what happened with Regretsy, this year.  That doesn't mean we have to play their games.

Just recently, I was a part of a huge giveaway and thought it would be nice for us indie design brands to take up a collection to get something nice for our organizers.  I put out the call to the others to give what they could, without being too crazy... it is Christmas, after all...  we all have to take care of our own as well as each other.  Anyway, the money came flowing in and after doing some quick math, something wasn't adding up.  PayPal siphoned off a bit from a few of the payments because of the type of payment the issuer made. 

So, as a business owner, always pay attention to your account and always be careful when using those little radio buttons on the payment portion.

The Full Mongo Interview

Posted by Mongo

Here it is... my interview day from The 12 Days of Christmas giveaway.

From TeeGazette:

What makes you so angry? Or is that all rumor.

My pants are too tight and I don’t get enough fiber. Kidding.
I am a big ball fluff in real life, most of the time.Mongo Angry’, the blog started as a war cry against the ridiculousness that has become pop culture these days. Remakes, adaptations, and a lack of original thought in Hollywood and the media has made this child of the 80s rise up and shake his meat hook at them. Shirts were kind of a byproduct of trying to express my love for dying childhood memories.

Tell us more about the person behind Angry Mongo!

Oh, that’s all boring stuff. It’s the same old story; actor turned bartender turned corporate lackey who turned a silly idea into a pretty decent side business. For realsies, I live in the suburbs outside Pittsburgh with my wife and daughter, hold down a desk job by day, and by night wreak havoc on the Internet with a mouse and a basic grasp of third grade English.

Is there a particular design you are most happy with that you have created?

Oh, now, I love all my children equally. *wink* Actually, the latest, Riverbottom Nightmare Band, is particularly gratifying in that I took a considerable amount of time on it. I am admittedly, not a good artist and I didn’t cheat or use tricks to achieve the look. That was down-to-the-pixel-level clicking that took a lot of late nights to finish.
fignavymensffffff1 12 Days of Xmas Interview: Angry Mongo

Do you have any designs soon to be released in 2012?

I’m still trying to gather a few more ideas for a line of designs called ‘Brews of the Bard’ which will combine my love of Shakespeare with a fictional line of beers.

What designs have you created recently?

Flash 2.0 and Silly Walk Sign are the latest but I’ll probably crank out a couple more before the year’s end.

If you could win any t-shirt from the brands involved in this giveaway who would you pick?

Any one of those awesome brands would be a win in my book.

Who are your favourite friends on Twitter?

I have friends? Did you know about this? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things? Seriously, I have a lot of great ones that have been quick to reply or RT a lot of stuff. I see no need to bring them down to my level by naming them. They’ve suffered enough.

What present do you want Santa to bring you this Xmas?

Some talent.

12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway

Posted by Mongo

It’s on!  The 12 Days of Christmas giveaway has dropped like a fat man down a chimney.  12 days, 48 brands, 12 winners, 4 shirts to each.  Get on over to The Tee Gazette and check it out.  Each day is a different theme with different brands.  I’ll be posting up a link to my interview on my day.   You will have the chance to win four shirts, including one of mine.  Rules are simple; comment, tweet, like, share.  Do that and you’re in like a present under the tree.

Click the image to go to Tee Gazette and get in on the fun.

2nd Annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Posted by Mongo

Everyone, I wanted to give you a heads up that in 2 days I will be once again participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.

Last year, I joined 11 other shirt and apparel designers to give away a shirt a day plus stocking stuffers.  It was a blast to be a part of such a great group of people.  If I haven't said it before the design community has been fantastic and welcoming to this old schmoe.  I am just as excited this year, if not more so, because there are 4x the amount of indie shirt brands and more prizes to give out.   Here's the list from the Tee Gazette's official announcement.
  • 48 indie t-shirt brands;
  • 4 surprise event participants;
  • 12 lucky tee winners;
  • 2 lucky bonus winners;
  • 12 days of winning;
  • over $1000 USD in prizes!
And here are the rules:
  • There will be ONE winner each day;
  • Each daily winner will receive a prize pack of 4 t-shirts;
  • Each daily giveaway will be open for 24 hours, beginning at 12AM PST and ending at 11:59PM PST;
  • Winner(s) will be announced shortly after the daily giveaway ends;
  • 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE – Anyone, anywhere can enter;
  • There will be a TOTAL of 12 lucky tee winners, each winning a prize pack of 4 themed tees;
  • Winner(s) have 24 hours to claim their prize, otherwise a new winner will need to be picked
 And once the specifics are nailed down you can enter via:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Comments via TTG
Good luck and stay tuned!


Think Geek Air Swimmers

Posted by Mongo

Click image to go get one.
Air Swimmers Flying R/C Sea Life 

From ThinkGeek...
We'll admit it. We saw that viral video of the kitty getting spooked by the RC flying shark and we went scrambling to get the digits of the folks who made them. Lo and behold, we found they made a Clownfish too! 

RC flying sea creatures are perfect for doling out justice to fish-stalking kitties or just scaring the pants off the guy in the next cube over. (If you wear headphones and have your backs to us, you're just asking to get pranked.) The AirSwimmers RC flying sea creatures stalk through the air with incredibly smooth and life-like motion. Fill your AirSwimmer with helium at the nearest party store, florist shop, or grocery store that carries balloons. (Or use the helium tank in your friendly mad scientist's lab.) 

The AirSwimmer's body is made from a high-quality, durable nylon material that will stay inflated for weeks and can be refilled over and over again. Grab the infra-red remote and you can guide the shark or clownfish up, down, and 360 degrees around. Product Specifications For Ages 3 Years and Up RC flying inflatable AirSwimmer toy Hours of flying sea creature fun for the whole family Durable, high-quality nylon material will stay inflated for weeks Simply refill with new helium when the AirSwimmer doesn't fly anymore Remote functions: Climb, descend, and tail fin control for turning 

Range: Up to 40 feet
Includes Shark or Clownfish and infra-red controller 
Requires 4AAA batteries (not included) 
Requires helium (not included, find it anywhere that sells balloons) 
Length (with tail): 57 inches 
Height (with fins): 36 inches 

Note: Not to be used outdoors

Zazzle Black Friday Deals Extended Until 8pm PST 11/25

Posted by Mongo

Use Code ZBLACKFRIDAY to save on the following:

$5 OFF t-shirts

$3 OFF mugs

50% OFF cards & invitations

20% OFF mobile cases

FREE SHIPPING (on orders of $50 or more)
FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING $39.95 $19.95 for a year of Zazzle Black 2-Day!

$3 off during 'Black Weekend' Sale At Mongo Angry Mongo Smash's Skreened Store

Posted by Mongo

You can have your Black Friday sale, because over at my Skreened Shop, I am going to drop prices on all my stuff by $3.00.  Three Days, Three Dollars.   Now, you don’t have to go out and fight the masses at Walmart or at the mall.  You can sit around in your pajamas… though I’ve seen that at Walmart a few times… and get all the funny shirts for your family and friends, discounted for the entire weekend.   

Hell, you can sleep in, watch all those back episodes of Parks & Rec or CSI, and then eventually get around to shopping on Sunday and you’ll still save at my store while retail outlets clean up the blood and shredded Snuggie bits.  And while they raise all their prices back up and sit  around to count their money, you can continue to shop for less, only risking an advanced case of carpal tunnel, which you were well on your way to getting after completing all those Lighthouse Cove quests in Farmville…. ahem, just guessing.

So, surf on into Angry Mongo’s Skreened store and save some time and money.  I’ve got plenty of great designs in a lot of different colors and styles for you to stuff their stocking with on Christmas.  Here's just a sampling of the latest designs to be added to the store.

USB Hero, Bazinga! 

Those hoodlums from Riverbottom got their own edition of the popular video game.

Man in Black Protection availble, I mean it.  Anybody want a peanut.



Even when I'm 12 parsecs from everywhere, I never forget.  I'm a Dapper Darth Man.

A cold front has been spotted on Stark Doppler, Winter is coming for Westeros.

Dr. Horrible Meets Dr. House

And, don't forget my number one seller...
He's just a nasty ass hungry badger.

White Friday Sale: 50% off Zazzle stuff for 4 hours

Posted by Mongo

From Zazzle…

50% Off T-Shirts, Mugs,
Cards, Invites, Wrapped
Canvas, Calendars, Mobile Cases, Ornaments,
Necklaces, AND Keychains!

It's the last big Friday Four Hour Sale of 2011 and we're going out in style! Starting right now, you have exactly four hours to save 50% on t-shirts, mugs, cards, photo cards, invitations, wrapped canvas, calendars, mobile phone cases, iPad cases, ornaments, necklaces and keychains from Zazzle. Shop thousands of designs in our marketplace, or craft your own unique gift with our easy-to-use design tools. Now's the time to save big!

Can't shop right now? Worry not! After four hours have passed, you can still receive 20% off t-shirts, mugs, cards, photo cards, invitations, wrapped canvas, calendars, mobile phone cases, iPad cases, ornaments, necklaces and keychains for the rest of the weekend. But be sure to act soon!

From Me...

Get a jump on Black Friday with what I’ve called White Friday!

Honey Badger Don’t Care shirts 50% off
Honey Badger Dont Care shirt

Puss in Boots iPhone Case 50% off
Puss In Boots Poster speckcase

Winter is Coming shirts – 50% off
Winter Is Coming shirt

Zombey Road Shirt 50% off
Zombey Road shirt

We Are The 99% at 50% off
We Are The 99 shirt

Designated Texter iPhone Case 50% off
Designated Texter speckcase

Deathly Hallows iPad Cases 50% off
Harry Potter 7 Part 2 - Harry vs. Voldemort speckcase
See other iphone cases

Harry 8 speckcase

Nothing Beats a Pittsburgh Girl Shirt 50% off
Pittsburgh Girl shirt

Winter Carriage Ride iPad Case 50% off
Winter Carriage Ride speckcase

Winter Carriage Ride Christmas Cards 50% off
Winter Carriage Ride card

 MacReady's Deep South BBQ Shirt 50% off
MacReady's BBQ shirt
World’s Greatest Final Boss mug 50% off
World's Greatest Final Boss mug

Star Wars – Original Gangster shirt 50% off
Jabba the Hutt: Original Gangster shirt

Lightning McQueen kids shirt 50% off

Lightning McQueen 5 shirt
Browse other Lightning T-Shirts

Congratulations To The Mongoween Winner

Posted by Mongo

It was a great week for Mongoween.  I had lots of great tweets and posts about Halloween and the winner has been contacted and the prize pack is in the mail.

Congratulations to Allison Saurino who tweeted her entry.  She will get her ghoulish prizes by Friday.

Mongoween Giveaway 2011

Posted by Mongo

It’s that time of year and do I have some treats for you.  

Last year, I had a kick ass giveaway for Halloween and this year, I’m doing it again.  The Treat Bag is overflowing with goodies and the winner will get the following.
  1. MacReady’s BBQ Apron for cooking up aliens, flamethrower optional.
  2. A Silver Shamrock keychain.   Just don’t wear the mask when you see the commercial.
  3. This Is Not a Horcrux mug.  Yes, I’ve may have given a part of my soul for a cup of coffee in the morning but that doesn’t mean it has to be destroyed.
  4. $20 Gift card to Skreened.  You can use online or at their store in Columbus, OH.
  5. Killer Klowns From Outer Space DVD.
  6. Michael Jackson 25th Anniversary of Thriller (CD+DVD).
  7. The usual creepy crawly extras. 
  8. ????  It’s a surprise!
  9. ????  Another surprise!

There are three ways to enter, which means you also have three chances to win.
Just answer the question, "What's your favorite scary movie?"
  1. Comment in the comment section answering the question.
  2. Like MAMS on Facebook and comment on the appropriate post answering the question.
  3. OR Tweet, “I’m entering the #Mongoween giveaway for chance to win a bunch of treats”

The giveaway runs from October 14th at 11:59 PM EST to October 23rd at 11:59 EST.

UPDATE:  Due to a shipping snafu, Killer Klowns DVD will be delayed.  I apologize 1000 times over.  However, I want to get the bulk of the prize pack to the lucky winner out by Monday and to make amends, I'm throwing another DVD into the mix as a bonus. In fact, one of the entries sparked the idea.  After all, what's better than having one killer clown movie to give away? 


Mongoween Giveaway Announcement

Posted by Mongo

Last year, I held a Halloween giveaway that went quite well.  I gave out a prize package of about 10 items that were themed around Halloween including two shirts, the Zombie Survival Guide and a signed photo from an actor who has been in great horror films like Dawn of the Dead and Silence of the Lambs.  

Last year's Giveaway Post

I’m doing it again and by the end of the week, I will be putting up the actual entry posting and then we will go from there, so stay tuned.

This year I am looking to give away some more Mongo Halloween/Horror gear, another DVD, another CD, and some other stuff.

Keep coming back for more.

O Vader, Where Art Thou?

Posted by Mongo

Vader.  He is the man of constant sorrow.  He’s seen troubles all through his days.

Dapper Darth Helmet Wax
Now available at Skreened and Red Bubble.

One of the biggest thrills of doing shirt design is to try and find two polar opposite themes and just smash them both together.  Hopefully, the result is something that plays well on a shirt.  Better yet, is when you see the design and your mind wanders off into the madness of how really close those two opposing ideas are.

There is a lot more going on between O Brother Where Art Thou and Star Wars than you can imagine.   Just take a look at the next two weeks after the end of A Hew Hope.

I could just imagine… and I hope someone actually has the brains to make a video of this… Darth Vader walking into some Podunk outer rim shop to get parts for his busted up Tie Fighter and some Helmet Wax.  The shopkeeper tells him that the parts are not available and won’t be in for a while.   After handing the Sith Lord a can of FET Wax, Vader gets testy.  Saying he doesn’t want FET.  He’s a Dapper Darth Man.  When the shopkeeper, again, tells him that in order to get Dapper Darth he’d have to wait, Darth goes off on him.

“Why, this place is a geographical oddity. 12 parsecs from everywhere.”

I imagine the scene ends with a dead shopkeeper on the floor.

But, perhaps Darth doesn't lose his touch of the blues and eventually, on his death bed he decides it's time for one last jam session...

Did Yinz Feel That - Pittsburgh Earthquake Shirt

Posted by Mongo

So.... we had an earthquake on the East Coast, which rarely happens. I totally missed the shaking but my wife called me at work to ask if I had felt it. It was a 5.8 magnitude quake in Virginia.

People as far North as Boston and as far West as Michigan felt the tremors due to how shallow the quake struck.

Being a Pittsburgher, the typical response was, "Did Yinz Feel That?" So, now there's a shirt for the occassion.


Deck Your Walls With YourDecoShop

Posted by Mongo

As we near the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  It’s hard to not still feel a sense of sadness over those events.  Being an hour away from Shanksville, PA, I challenge anyone to go there and not walk away with a lump in your throat.  Feelings of sorrow aside, there is a company called YourDecoShop, that makes some awesome wall mural decals and you can get them to decorate your own abode. 

Here is a perfect example of posterity with a silhouetted skyline of NYC with the World Trade Center towers still standing.  You can get the decal in varying sizes from 23.6 x 7.9 inches all the way to 141.3 x 48 inches.

Click on the button below to head into their site.
awesome photo wall murals

Angry Birds iPhone 4 Cases

Posted by Mongo

AngryMongo promoting Angry Birds?  How could he not?

Angry Birds iPhone 4 Cases
Angry Birds iPhone 4 Cases
The funny thing about smartphones is that we most often use them for their smart capabilities rather than the phone capabilities. And if we were to run a program and make a pie chart of the ways you use your iPhone 4, we're going to bet that a large slice of that pie involves the various Angry Birds games. What would happen if you were to damage your precious Angry Birds playing device? THE HORROR! Don't let that happen! Protect your Angry Birds device with one of these officially licensed Angry Birds iPhone 4 cases. They're made of hard plastic for maximum impact protection and are available in three different designs featuring the birds you love. The case features holes to let you access all the important buttons and ports on your iPhone 4. It's the perfect iPhone 4 case for the Angry Birds addict in your life... you? Product Specifications Hard plastic iPhone 4 cases for the Angry Birds fan Officially licensed Angry Birds product Features holes to access all your buttons and ports Very low profile, won't add unnecessary bulk to your phone Three models available: Red Bird, Yellow Bird, Black Bird

Harry Potter Marauder's Map

Posted by Mongo

Harry Potter Marauder's Map From Thinkgeek

Harry Potter Marauder's Map
Click image to buy from ThinkGeek

We think every office could benefit from a Marauder’s Map. Just think about all of the awkward situations that could be avoided if you knew where everyone was at all times. For starters, Lumbergh would never ask you to work on Saturday. You could conveniently arrive in the kitchen when nobody’s using the microwave (or when that cutie from Accounting is there). Best of all, you’ll know when your boss has left the building so you can scoot home early on a Friday unnoticed. But for now, you’ll have to settle for this really amazing map of Hogwarts, prepared with love by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. Sneak around the halls of Hogwarts with your own Harry Potter Marauder's Map. This highly detailed replica is printed on quality parchment paper and is a whopping 72 inches wide when unfolded. Product Specifications Marauder’s Map of Hogwarts School as seen in the Harry Potter films Sneak around Hogwarts with Harry and friends Detailed replica printed on high quality parchment paper Measures approximately 15.5” x 72” open and 15.5” x 8.25” folded.

The Deathly Hallows Shirts

Posted by Mongo

Here's a problem for all you Muggles out there.
How do you make a Harry Potter shirt sell in a world where sites have multiple tees with the same design?

Well, if you find out the answer, let me know.  Until then, I give you two of my own takes on the Harry Potter series.  "Not A Horcrux" and "The Deathly Hallows."


Both are from my Skreened store.

Of course, if you want more 'official' gear then here's a couple of items from Zazzle.

Snape 2 speckcase
Snape 2 iPad Case by harrypotter

House of Re-Animator

Posted by Mongo

I've never actually watched House and have only seen a few of the Re-Animator movies, but I thought they needed to be on a shirt together, Cthulhu be damned.  So... I give you a mash up of Drs. House and West.

At Skreened.

Fun fact about the shirt design:
I designed the whole thing in white and then duplicated the layers that were going to be green.  The underlying layers were blurred and then I used the 'glow' effect in Paint.Net.  Lastly, I changed the colors to that neon green color on both the top layers and bottom layers.

Unfortunately, I felt a little bad about having to muck up the design with the syringe, but I felt it needed to be there to connect the idea back to Lovecraft and the Re-Animator series.  Otherwise, it may have been to obscure of a concept.  I think I might do an additional without the syringe for the pop culture elite.

2011 Summer Giveaway Winner Announcement

Posted by Mongo

That’s it!  We have a winner in the Angry Mongo Summer 2011 Super Deluxe Awesome Show Giveaway!

I wrote down the entries, in the order they were given, into a spreadsheet.    I, then, took the total number of entries and added that into the True Random Number Generator at   It spat out a single number and that belonged to...

Joby Franczek (@baldfatguy) who posted that their favorite vacation spot was Sun Palace, Cancun.


The 2011 Summer Giveaway Banner

Posted by Mongo