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Establishing a line of t-shirts (and other gifts). Don't know a darn thing about the t-shirt business.

145 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Gwilikers
Hi. I am a writer. An established writer. I want to publish a portion of my writing, quotes, jokes, inspirational poetry on t-shirts, mugs, posters, greeting cards, stationary and other gifts.

I am at the beginning of research and uncertain as to whether I want to delegate/contract with others the whole thing, or parts of it, or own a pertaining business. Want to research first and learn some specific things.

Caught on to this forum and would like to connect with others who are in the t-shirt business. I really know nothing about it.

At this stage, Jan 15, 2018. I have about 30 what I think are excellent quotes, jokes, etc. that I think would make excellent t-shirts.

So, for this type of writing, I can come up with a lot. Was thinking of submitting them and getting royalties to a companies that buys rights to designs and produces and distributes t-shirts, but I would like to investigate... and would likely prefer to have a collection of designs available on t-shirts, and get eager people in the t-shirt business to sell them. And I could see they could get a lot out of it, too. I really would not spend time selling, but rather writing. The other thing is I can come up with 30 solid designs a month which is a lot. A royalty company is never going to buy all my designs.

I thought about print on demand, online, but.... headaches with that too. i want to know what is standard because some like some of you know very much how to do that.

I don't know what to expect financially (assuming they are decent).

I don't know if I should pick one design, do a small run and try to sell it. Or just contract with a really good company or distributer or printer? Should I try to get some into a department store?

At any rate, I think I could learn a lot here, once I figure out how to navigate through this posting process.

I would rather not only offer print on demand.

I have an unstocked gift shop under construction on my website, and was planning on filling it with t-shirt designs, so those who are fans of my writing can buy gifts. But I also think it will be a very small percentage of sales as compared to if I printed them by a company and found others who know how to sell t-shirts.

The print on demand t-shirts are good in that i can test designs easily without many variables, but the choice of products are not necessarily as complete and also the cost is much higher than printing a run of them. And the ones I found don't seem to sell whole sale. But they have their purposes.

I don't think this will take long to establish if I keep things simple and get good advice. Will be expanding forever, but to get something started, I am confident can happen in a few months, or even very very quickly.

I don't want to skip on quality or efficiency.

I have many questions, but will post them singly.

Look forward to posting with many of you.

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For T-shirts, one thing you might consider is Merch By Amazon. It was originally intended to be a sort of POD that Amazon ran for bands, brands, authors, companies, etc. You upload your art and description, and Amazon sells it and produces it. You could then have links to your Amazon products from your own website, for example.

However, people quickly saw MBA as a get-rich-quick-scheme, so MBA has been flooded with people applying and posting designs. They have throttled back on things whenever it outstripps their capacity.

It took about a year for my application to get accepted. It seems they have recently increased capacity, so no idea what current wait time might be. Read how it works and see what you think: https://merch.amazon.com

I'm an "unestablished writer" ;-)
Any tips on that?

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you might as well start the process at merch by amazon
esp. if you can just link all your fans via your own site/blog

let me guess, non-fiction?
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I speak from experience. We own gift and print shop, brick & mortar as well as online. We also started our own print shop to supply our shop and to take in print on demand because retail is VERY seasonal, online is VERY trendy but new ideas get stale quickly as well as easily stolen and print on demand is..... VERY well named.

Have you considered selling your print ideas to an established vendor? We pay local artists a flat fee per item we print on as well as create our own art. It has worked out well for us and our niche. We get a steady supply of fresh ideas and the artist does not have the expense of manufacturing and selling.
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Yes! that is exactly what I wanted to do is connect to find established vendors. How do I find them? Any in the room? Or distributers? (I keep spelling that word wrong.) Deligate, deligate, deligate. With people who know how to sell t-shirts.

The other thing I wanted to do is find some printing companies at a good price who will ship directly to these wholesalers. I want to get into some department stores so contacted them today for research.

And thirdly am looking for some software where stores, vendors can buy in bulk online and have it shipped from the manufacturer. from a page on my website.

Has anybody found a printer that carries all the plus sizes for women. I want to give them the same price and selection as anybody else. i dont think women should have to pay more just becasueu they are overweight. nor should have to wear a man's t-shirt. Can't find one so far. and i can't seem to read that post above with how to find a suitable printer, even though I keep clicking on it.

Please let me know if i am posting on the wrong page. i am having a heck of a time navigating on this site.

Thanks for your help!

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i think in general when you get to 2xl and above there is an up-charge
(at least all the manufacturers i have seen)

you could head over to the 'fulfillment' sub-section and look at printaura, printavo, printful, etc.

put a post up here
but you are going to have to get a little more detailed in your post there (location, shirts, distribution, etc.)

if you want a company to do everything, you should expect to pay a fairly high price
then you want your tee's shipped to a middleman to be shipped to the final destination (stores)

any ecommerce software will allow people to order your products

it's obviously possible to do what you require, companies do it all the time
but (imo) you are going to have to go overseas and buy by the container
which means you better have some deep pockets and a working knowledge of your countries import laws (or hire a broker)
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I also own a brick and mortar gift shop and I am currently looking to expand into custom shirts for the local area.
Are you using DTG printers or are you screen printing?
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