Today we launched a new, self-hosted merch store. Previously we used a Teespring store (which never actually processed any orders). This is replaced by a locally-hosted WordPress instance running Woocommerce and connecting to a Printful catalog of products.
There is an extensive post that describes which plugins are used and how they are configured for maximum privacy. I won’t rehash all of that information here, but I will summarize it by saying that this implementation is the most privacy-focused e-commerce solution we could find while still not being as privacy conscious as I would like. Perhaps at some point in the future when Stoutner has multiple employees we will dedicate time to creating a better solution and sharing it with the world so that others can use it as well.
One of the deciding factors in picking Printful to handle fulfillment was that they have facilities in both the US and Europe, meaning that shipping is more reasonable as compared with international shipping rates across the ocean.
Stoutner only makes a couple of dollars from each sale, meaning that this is not the most efficient way to fund the development of the open-source software. Those making donations to the project have a much greater financial impact. However, one of the most important things I am trying to accomplish with Privacy Browser is to change the expectation of how the internet should work and how web pages should behave in relation to user privacy. The items in the merch store provide perfect opportunities to strike up conversations with other people about internet privacy, which goes a long way towards raising awareness about these issues and changing the culture of what is considered acceptable. As such, having a functioning merch store is central to the changes Stoutner is attempting to make in the world, even if it is unlikely to be a financially significant source of revenue.