written by john lewis

T-shirt t-short: Itself review

Imagine it’s lunch-time. You’re sitting at your desk stuffing your face with some kind of nutrition-less processed snack and you think to yourself: “Ooh, I better check my bank balance”.

Trawling through your credit card transactions, buried between Hell Pizza and numerous iTunes charges, you see:

80000 TANITIM ILETISIM ISTANBUL (27.06 Turkish Lira)

Simultaneous thoughts of “Oh crap” & “WTF!?” rush through your brain. Followed immediately by: “How’d they get my credit card? I better ring the bank, reverse the charge, and get a new card…”

itself.gifThen suddenly you remember. Could TANITIM ILETISIM ISTANBUL be Itself, that cute t-shirt site you bought a t-shirt from last week? A quick email to their support team answered my question in the positive. Phew.

The review:


The good
Itself is a well designed site that is clean and visually appealing. The checkout process is easy to complete and they’ve definitely thought about most of the interactions users are going to have with them and worked to make them simple. Given how much Threadless has led the charge in this area it’s not surprising to see others follow.

I do like the t-shirts they offer and the fact they’ve limited it to only a handful of designs. Itself’s shipping costs to NZ were quite reasonable and they definitely out perform Threadless when it comes to packaging – beautiful in comparison. Their comms and support are also very good – for instance they don’t charge you until your t-shirt has been shipped.

The bad
The whole credit card charging scenario I went through above is a major let down for Itself. I felt they weren’t upfront about being a Turkish company or what I could expect to see on my credit card bill. I just don’t understand why companies don’t charge with their brand name!?

It’s not an issue about Itself being Turkish, the problem is purely that my expectations are that when I order a t-shirt in US Dollars from a .com English language website, then I’m going to expect to see a US-based charge. Not an Istanbul charge in Turkish Lira with a name I don’t recognise! Seriously Itself has no idea how close they came to having the transaction reversed/canceled.

The t-shirts themselves are ok – but they’re the kind of t-shirts that only look good on people who go to the gym. A lot. (If you’re one of those people then this won’t be a bad thing…) This is purely a style call. :)

Here’s the actual t-shirt I bought. Love the simplicity quote so had to have the tee:


Wee note: Part of the reason I’m posting this is in case anyone else has the same freak-out when seeing their credit card and Google’s the charge name. If that’s you, do leave a comment…

Posted in: Design, Rants, Web


There are 6 responses to T-shirt t-short: Itself review

John-Daniel Trask
Wednesday, 20th August 2008 6:19 pm

Hey John,

Here I was, about to unsubscribe from what I thought was a dead blog… kidding, kidding ;-)

Gotta disagree with you a little here – never assume just because it’s USD that it’s a US business. About 80% of my online purchases are in USD for companies I know are based outside the US.

Even we charge in that manner. Heck, even on the Ponoko site you charge in USD (although to be fair I guess technically you’re a US business now :)

People need to upgrade their industrial age consumer chip to the new information age consumer chip – location doesn’t matter as much anymore.

I think your real point should be “appear on my credit card bill as the name of your company”. Otherwise, good post.


– JD

Thursday, 21st August 2008 9:45 am

Gotta disagree with your comment a little here :)

As I said in the post, it’s not an issue about them being a Turkish company at all. It’s about expectations.

My real point(s) is yes it should appear on my credit card bill as their brand name. But also, if I purchase something for USD$22 then is should be charged as USD$22. Not “27.06 Turkish Lira”.

Like, I assume with you guys that ‘Mindscape’ would show on the bill and you’d bill in USD$. You wouldn’t see “JD’s Obscure Company Name – 123.45 New Zealand Pesos”.

Location will always, ALWAYS matter :)

Monday, 6th October 2008 12:35 am

hey man, had the same freakout, and have to say, thanks for this blog. It helped me to recognise this.. I was going to call my bank and cancel this, and would never realized what the payment is for.

Monday, 6th October 2008 8:33 am

No problem, glad I could help!

Sunday, 19th April 2009 3:57 am

I had the same! Allready had the transaction cancelled and when I googled the the store where these criminals had used my creditcard I found out! It were those t-shirts…

The name isn’t even the biggest problem, the fact that they charge in Turkish Lira makes it worse!

Saturday, 5th December 2009 8:07 pm

Same freaking experience here …
For me the name was the biggest problem. If itself was somewhere mentioned there would have been no problem.




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