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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to get some ideas on how to manage the cost of shipping to my shop from the many distributors I have. I get case pricing from all of them if that matters.

The main issue here is that I find many of my distributors have what I want to order but their stock varies. The largest headache of an example I can give is when a client wants, say, 100 shirts in a single color in various sizes. One distributor may have all the sizes I need except they are plum out of size XL. Well, the other distributors have the shirts but they are out of M. Inevitably I have to order from 2 distributors to get all of the sizes - and being charged for shipping on at least one of those orders. Today, I have to order 1 piece from another distributor so I can get everything the client wants. It will cost $10 in shipping for that one shirt.

What do you guys do about these types of situations? I can absorb some of those costs with my pricing but I don't like to leave money on the table and I know damn well the client doesn't want to see a misc. service charge of $10 on their bill...
 

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Talk to your rep about inventory levels and stocking regular movers with Enough inventory. Often times they can help you out at the moment if they are a little short.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keeping some stock on hand is fine, but with all the different styles, brands, and colors it's just not plausible if you want to offer more than Black Gildan 2000's.

See the image below? That is a screen shot of one distributor for a very common shirt. They have +50,000 units in XXS but NONE in Small? Are you serious?! This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

 

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If I need one piece I would just go buy it from a t shirt store and show my wholesale permit and see if they will sell it to me for$1.00 what they paid. I have a shop that dose that for me.What place is that in Fullerton ca. I'm 10. Minutes from there
 

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We have Imprints, which got bought out by Alpha Broder. The nice thing is that all orders have free shipping for $150 and >. That includes if you have to order from multiple warehouses, even if it's just a single shirt coming from 5 different warehouses across the US. So long as the aggregate order is $150 or >, free shipping.
 

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Once you get past the free freight point with Sanmar if they have to send you one shirt from 4 different warehouses and the rest of your order from a fifth warehouse it is still free freight. Their inventory problems they realize is their problem. Maybe that is one of the reasons they are so successful, customer satisfaction.
 

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From the distributor point of view, we get many corporate orders because we are viewed as a one stop shop. Many times, there will be an item or two that the client wants but we don't have listed. Most of our corporate customers make us procure those missing items before authorizing the purchase order so getting those items for combined shipping becomes our responsibility. Perhaps you can take a similar approach with your vendors.
 

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Speak to your rep. I was a rep for many years with several of the largest distributors in the industry. Shipping from multiple locations was always an issue with my customers. I was more than happy to offer freight concessions to my customers to help them out when shipping from other locations. The distributors are all extremely competitive at this point so you've got nothing to lose by asking! :)
 

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Only $10 shipping for one shirt is a steal! I always get quotes of $20 and up! I occassionally will order from jiffyshirts in those situations. The shirts are higher but the shipping is just $5.99 so it ends up being cheaper. TSC also once you meet the shipping minimum it doesn't matter what warehouse you're shipping from they ship the entire order for free. I am almost always ordering from more than one of their warehouses. But I've had more than a couple times where I have to order from a couple different suppliers and don't always have $300 worth of shirts to order from the two companies to get to the miminum free shipping requirements.

I feel your pain. I usually just eat the cost. But I do always tell people if they are just wanting one or two shirts from me that they will have to wait until I place my next order that I can't buy just one shirt.

And I also have gone to other screenprinters in town and bought just one shirt from them, as well have working relationship w/ another & an embroider that if any of us needs just a shirt or two we'll text each other and see who is ordering next and add our shirt onto their order.
 

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This is a shipping costs issue with a vendor, Conde Systems, not exactly the same as the original post. However, cannot find the correct post location and hope someone will point me in that direction. I also notice that Conde is not on the preferred vendor list, which I am confident there is a good reason.

My last substrate order from Conde, the shipping cost was 35% of the product cost. Add another 10% for errors, breakage and customer satisfaction - that's a 50% add to the product cost. I sent a message to Conde asking what could be done to reduce this cost. Guess what, not even a response. Did a few inquiries and discovered why no response. Conde is marking up their shipping cost. Way up!! Another reason why they don't offer free shipping on any size order. Would you consider this an ethics issue, almost bordering on fraud?? Just wondering what thoughts others might have. Really a non-issue as I won't be buying from again. New prospective buyers should be aware.
 

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I'm glad most of the stuff i order from conde i can will call and pick up 5 minutes away from me. But i did have to order one time and shipping was like $12.95 i was like damn. And what i got was small
 
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