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MinusBlindfold said:
I love the hands on feel of doing it myself, and long before i got a press kit I knew I could do it. I kind of don't like the idea of someone coming up with something, and sending it off elsewhere to get done. I think the DIY type approach is more admirable, and shows more character and more interest in screen printing and shirt design in general.
I personally don't see how this shows more character, and how it's relevant to running a successful business.

If someone wants to contract out any part of their business, especially if the end product will be better because of it, I think it's smart and shows just as much character.

Just listing some of the things required to run an online t-shirt business (in no particular order):

1.Website design/creation
2.Create designs for t-shirts
3.Having shirts printed
4.Shipping shirts to customers
5.Overseeing the running of the business

These are just some of the things involved, and each of these things present various challenges themselves and require lots of time and energy.

I don't see how someone contracting out 1 or more of these things (having the shirts printed in particular) shows less character, or is less admirable than if someone chose to do most or all of these things themselves.

Are people that print their shirts themselves but have someone create their website showing more character than someone that does most of these things, but sends their shirts to someone else to get printed? I certainly don't see how that could be. I also don't see how that's more admirable.

Different people have different skills and different skill levels.

Some people can create websites, others can't. Some can print their own shirts.

I think there is something to be said for someone that can oversee the whole operation and make it successful. Whether they print themselves, create their own website, ship their own products, or have someone else do some or all of those things.

I would also like to point out that there are some people that are too busy running their successful business in order to print their own shirts. And that's mostly because they are busy creating designs, updating their site, shipping their products, and marketing their business.:);)
 

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Your opinion was that printing your own shirts is more admirable and shows more character than people that contract their printing out. I don't think I read into it wrong, but I also stated an opinion.

I simply disagree and said why.

There are many reasons why someone doesn't print their own shirts, and having dollar signs in their eyes isn't necessarily the reason they contract it out.

Speaking for myself: I am married, have two children (boys ages 8 and 5), work full-time in the medical insurance industry, go to school part-time, and am trying to run a small business.

With the learning curve it takes to learn to screen print quality shirts, I just simply don't have the time.

I'm sure there are other constraints such as expenses and just the inability to learn to do it that would also hinder people from being able to print their own shirts.

I would love to learn to be able to do it someday. I am sure there is a great degree of accomplishment that comes with printing your own shirts.

But, to make a blanket statement of printing is more admirable and shows more character than outsourcing, I think is quite short sited, especially given the many different reasons people can't/don't print themselves.

My opinion.
 

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Minusblindfold, if what you meant was that you like the do it yourself approach better and that's all you meant, then that's what you should have said. You didn't leave it at that.

I don't know what you were thinking when you talked about printing yourself being more admirable, but it does seem self congratulatory to say: "This is the way I do it and it's MORE and admirable and shows MORE character." Especially without saying why you believe that.

I don't think anybody was jumping down your throat. I certainly wasn't. You made a comment, I responded to why I believe you are wrong. I hope you don't see someone that simply disagrees with your opinion, as jumping down your throat.

As for the topic of the post, deciding whether to print yourself or pay someone involves lots of factors.

1. Can you afford quality equipment?
2. Do you have room for it?
3. Do you have the time to invest in learning how to make quality prints?

As identityburn stated, printing yourself will probably cost you more in the beginning, but you could probably have a higher profit margin in the long run. But, then you could become so successful that you don't have time to print thousands of shirts!

There are pro's and con's to printing and outsourcing. You need to weigh them, and see what's best for you.
 

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Well put...

I think the problem comes in, like you say, with the "I find it more admirable." Because it does seem to imply that the the other method is less admirable. And in the context of what the topic of the thread is and the question the OP had about starting a business, how admirable printing one's own shirts is debatable.

One could be printing their own shirts to the detriment of their business. They could be so concentrated on printing, and neglect other aspects of their business, and consequently the admiration for printing their own shirts goes down the drain, because their objective is to run a successful business.

They could be printing their own shirts, but be a very bad business person, have poor customer service, overprice their shirts, don't ship in a timely manner, etc. Then being an artisan, and printing their own shirts doesn't seem so admirable in the grand scheme of running a business.

Solmu, if the gist of what Minusblindfold what saying is how you put it, I also agree with this notion. There is something extra to be said for someone who takes the time to hone their craft and be an artisan. But like I said before, in this situation, there are just so many reasons that people can't/don't print their own shirts, I think the chosen words don't really apply, because they seem to automatically imply that if you don't print your shirts, then you have less character and your methods are less admirable.

And while this may be the case in some instances, it's hard to just apply that to all that don't print their shirts themselves.
 

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No harm at all.:)

I was just trying understand why you felt that way. The way you put it seemed to say that anyone that did other than whay you felt was admirable, had less character and what they did was less admirable. That seemed like a very narrow viewpoint to take, given the different reasons why someone may not be doing what you think to be admirable.

Healthy discussion is all it is!;)
 
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