Glad you like the idea. We went back and forth on the wording, but what we’re trying to clarify is that you should buy the gear if it seems cool to you and not in an effort to support FlightAware.
The cost of silk screening high quality shirts (we all have some, they’re nice), doing payment, shipping, support, etc, is really high and something we didn’t want to spend any time or money on internally. That’s why we outsourced it and as a result, the merchandise vendor (spreadshirts) takes the majority of the money.
I know another big web site that actually sells t-shirts at a loss because they tried to do it themselves.
If we tried to pad several dollars onto all the merchandise, we’d be selling $20 t-shirts that nobody would buy and we’d still be getting the minority of the money.
I’m open to any suggested wording that will make the situation more clear & appreciate the feedback.
Edited to add: Karl said, “let’s just change it to what you said in your post” – so we paraphrased it and hopefully offer a better explanation.