Tue 31 Dec 2019

HiVis jackets - next steps

RobJN Public Seen by 149

Some time ago we introduced an option to buy hivis OSM UK branded jackets. Basically we take orders, pass them on to a supplier and they fullfil the order. They payment to the supplier is made by one of the Directors who then claims the money back from OSM UK.

We agreed to sell these at cost with no profit margin added.

At first we got batches of orders but this has now slowed to the occasional single order. Our supplier has also put their prices up and we now make a small loss (£1.76 plus the paypal fee we incur) for each item sold.

I am starting this thread to get ideas of how to proceed. We could:

  • Continue as is

  • Increase our prices to reflect the suppliers new prices

  • Stop individual sales on the website, instead doing a batch order which we sell at events (e.g. the next meeting).

  • Just provide the artwork and the instructions to do it yourself.

  • Buy a load and start giving them out for free / as awards for active mappers (after all the branded hivis jackets are a form of promotion whilst out and about).

  • Any other ideas...

Let me know your thoughts. We can then set up a vote once I know we are on the right track.


Robert Whittaker Thu 2 Jan 2020

Are there advantages from placing a bulk order from the supplier? (I assume there will be in terms of admin, but is there any discount available?) I can see the benefit of OSM UK holding a stock of jackets, both for sale at events and for remote sales to mappers.


blackadder Thu 2 Jan 2020

Buy a load and start giving them out for free would get my vote if funds permit. Sponsorship would help with cost of course but then you might end up with a competing logo on board which isnt desirable unless the sponsor is happy to receive recognition by other means.


Brian Prangle Thu 2 Jan 2020

Buy a load gets my vote too. we can work out later on whether to dish them out as prizes or sell them.


RobJN Fri 3 Jan 2020

There is a financial saving for bulk order (10% off for 5+ items, 15% off for 10+ ; unsure if you can have a mix of sizes). Admin wise it changes it from a Director having to claim back money to a Director having to hold stock and arrange postage.

A bulk order becomes costly quite quickly. If we had more reserves and more certainty over future income then I'd feel comfortable. Right now I'm not so sure personally.

@blackadder I agree that we don't really want to put a sponsors logo on the hivis jacket. We could fund these from our general funds (which includes members and corporate members annual fees).


Shaun McDonald Sun 5 Jan 2020

I'd be of the view to have a bulk order and then someone at OSM UK to send them out. I'd aim for not making a loss on them, with any minimal profit going back into the organisation. Very hard to put an exact cost on these these due to the way prices change over time, and bulk orders happen. The other supplier might also be able to get cheaper postage due to the bulk when combined with many other orders, thus the saving of the items may be outweighed by the increased cost of postage.


Jon Harley Tue 7 Jan 2020

I agree that this isn't something we want a sponsor's logo on. I also don't think they should be sold at a loss. It should be a case of "support osmUK by buying one" not "hurt osmUK by buying one"!

I'd suggest charging enough to make a profit on them, but also bulk ordering some to give out free. That way, people who feel they are too expensive, but who attend events, could be given one; everyone else can make a small donation to osmUK by buying one. At present there is no way to do this (no way to overpay for people who want to help OSM).


Edward Bainton Wed 8 Jan 2020

Donations have the advantage that they're not taxable. If "free +postage, but suggested minimum donation £X", my best understanding is that all of X is tax free. If "Buy a jacket for £Y, please consider overpaying", then Y is taxable. (Assuming OSM-UK isn't a charity?)

Or even safer from the tax man, "Donate £Z, get a jacket free!" Z would need to be appreciably more than cost, such that the jacket qualifies as a token thank-you.


Jez Nicholson Wed 8 Jan 2020

OSMUK is a Community Interest Company CIC, i.e. is a limited company whose money is protected from its officers. Like a charity but not having to meet fill charitable status.

Nice idea on the donation, but reading https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim41810 I have doubts on non-taxable status. The last 2 paragraphs in particular. We can discuss in full if people are super keen on the idea. There may be special treatment for a CIC.


Edward Bainton Mon 13 Jan 2020

Interesting bc I based my post on a letter from a senior tax inspector at HMRC about a similar org I'm involved with - albeit the fundraising was for a different purpose, which may have made the difference (not a charity tho).

Since BIM is quoting case law it seems like a grey area, but my hunch still is that, as the org is not primarily in business to carry on a trade (a term which in itself is not always clear), any voluntary income would not be trading income. But none too sure. Might be worth getting a definitive answer on that if it may save 20% of the profits (really 'surplus', I think?) (unless the directors include an accountant and you're too polite to put me in the wrong too baldly!) This is probably not the thread tho - may pick up with you on email, inc on CIC status.


SK53 Sun 12 Jan 2020

Having only just got round to buying one I don't see these as massively price sensitive. I'd put up the price a bit to cover current costs with a bit of contingency.