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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

Hoping this works because I've tried repeatedly to register, to no avail.

Ok...so I have a design idea and I have tons of people interested in buying the product.

The thing is, time is of the essence for me and I need to get this up and running. I was looking at POD companies but it seems I won't really make much at all, but the allure of POD was that I could very much be hands-off and not get sucked into the business when I have an ailing parent to care for. So, I am interested in POD but not sure who to go with.

I'm also considering looking at local printers (I'm located in Missouri, USA) but I'm not sure what to ask when I approach them.

My logo is either fully black or fully white and I need some print on the upper back. What process is best? What kind of shirt is best? My tshirts will benefit nonprofits and I want people to keep buying, to buy for gifts, and to have a reliable product that will hold up after many washes.

I'm thinking that if people want to buy products online, I could do POD, but the bulk of my money would come from shirts printed locally and sold at events and to friends, colleagues, etc.

I'm dreaming that this will be a solid for of income, but if I'm paying a POD company everything, then I'm making very little...especially with 10% of income going to charities.

What would you do in my shoes? What POD companies would you go with, and if you were going local, what kinds of shirts/ink/specs would you require for quality shirts?

I'd like to make calls to schedule appointments with local vendors, but I have no idea what to look out for.

Thank so much for your help...I suffered a head trauma a few years ago and this is all a bit overwhelming to me. But it's part of my reason for starting this and it means so much to me...to help others in need.

Thank you.

TeeNewbieGirl (once I can finally get registered...the captcha is killing me!)
 

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POD works best for people easing into the business and seeing if their designs are popular or deciding what does and doesn't work. If you know your designs will sell then I don't think POD will work for you because of the cost.

If you can place a large order then screen printing will be the most economical and its the traditional look that people like. The larger the order quantity, the better pricing you'll get. If you can provide printable artwork and aren't in a rush that will also keep your cost down.

When shopping for a printer don't necessarily use the cheapest printer. Look for an experienced contract printer you can work with. You'll want to get their pricing information (per shirt quantity pricing, screens, special placement costs, count-in fee), turnaround time, know what artwork formats they take and also understand what happens if a mistake is made. If you sell locally you may want to use a printer that isn't in your immediate area but since you'll be selling a specific product competition shouldn't be an issue.

The type of shirt depends somewhat who you market to. If you let us know who your typical customer will be we can make suggestions. The cost of blank shirts will vary depending on whether its a common basic T or less common style.
 

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First I would get a few sample shirts made. These are for you, and perhaps a few friends, to wear in order to gauge reaction. You could get a local shop to do these either as DTG or vinyl, depending on the design. Again, this is just to test out the design, so cost per unit and handfeel and durability are not priorities.

If you find an encouraging amount of interest in the design, then you might get a small batch screen printed, say 100, or so. Now you could go to shops with actual product in hand to show them. Of course, if you sell into shops, you get only 50% of the MSRP.

Making money marketing your own line/design is harder than people tend to think it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
POD works best for people easing into the business and seeing if their designs are popular or deciding what does and doesn't work. If you know your designs will sell then I don't think POD will work for you because of the cost.

If you can place a large order then screen printing will be the most economical and its the traditional look that people like. The larger the order quantity, the better pricing you'll get. If you can provide printable artwork and aren't in a rush that will also keep your cost down.

When shopping for a printer don't necessarily use the cheapest printer. Look for an experienced contract printer you can work with. You'll want to get their pricing information (per shirt quantity pricing, screens, special placement costs, count-in fee), turnaround time, know what artwork formats they take and also understand what happens if a mistake is made. If you sell locally you may want to use a printer that isn't in your immediate area but since you'll be selling a specific product competition shouldn't be an issue.

The type of shirt depends somewhat who you market to. If you let us know who your typical customer will be we can make suggestions. The cost of blank shirts will vary depending on whether its a common basic T or less common style.
Thanks a million! That's absolutely helpful. I'm trying to see if there's a way to erase the middle man (i.e., Printful) and just connect directly with each vendor/distributor and sell via my website, but then I'd have to hire a web person to work out the sales modules, etc.

I'm so torn. Thanks for your help...interestingly enough, the typical customer is everyone, all ages, ethnicities, sexes, races, backgrounds. I'm even looking to do children's shirts and "onesies." Trying to get this up before the holidays because buying the shirt is like giving two gifts...the shirt and the donation.

I've got little money to invest at this point, but I'm thinking about a kickstarter or gofundme. That's what I'm being encouraged to do, anyway.

Apologies for the delay and thanks so much for your prompt response, Jennifer. My mother's been in and out of the hospital and I've been caring for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First I would get a few sample shirts made. These are for you, and perhaps a few friends, to wear in order to gauge reaction. You could get a local shop to do these either as DTG or vinyl, depending on the design. Again, this is just to test out the design, so cost per unit and handfeel and durability are not priorities.

If you find an encouraging amount of interest in the design, then you might get a small batch screen printed, say 100, or so. Now you could go to shops with actual product in hand to show them. Of course, if you sell into shops, you get only 50% of the MSRP.

Making money marketing your own line/design is harder than people tend to think it is.
Thanks so much NoXid. I'm going to see if I can get into a shop this week to get a walk-through and see what they have...and what they suggest about selling online. I think your idea is the perfect way to start. I greatly appreciate your input.

Out of the easy ways to sell online, do you have a service or process you suggest? I want people to buy through my own website and not by going to Amazon or a separate site/reroute. Any advice for online sales?
 

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Thanks so much NoXid. I'm going to see if I can get into a shop this week to get a walk-through and see what they have...and what they suggest about selling online. I think your idea is the perfect way to start. I greatly appreciate your input.

Out of the easy ways to sell online, do you have a service or process you suggest? I want people to buy through my own website and not by going to Amazon or a separate site/reroute. Any advice for online sales?
I have found it difficult to get traffic/sales online outside of marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, etc. YMMV
 
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