at what point would it be more feasible to go from heat pressing your product to contracting a silk screener? my guess would probably be after you reach sales of 500 + per month on a consistant basis. what is your opinion?
I'd say that figure is way too high. If you have a design that sells regularly every month, then you know it's a winner. That's when I would get them silk screened. Not so much for the quality really, since transfers have come a long way, but for the practicality, price, labor etc.
Not necessarily, I have many repeat customers and all I sell is heat applied transfers. If you read my Ebay feedback you will see many repeat customers that have made multiple purchases from me and I never had to convert to screenprinting to gain one.
Hey Munchies, That’s great! I would imagine you would experience far more repeats w/ screening. You have some good eBay numbers, why haven’t you switched over?
I have a few friends that were doing about 300 shirts a week w/ heat transfer products. They had just over 3% repeat customers. I have no idea what an average number is for repeat customers for shirts on the Internet, but now that they’re screening, they have just over 16% repeats. Not to mention increased overall sales of 37%, but that number is also tied into a few other factors.
I'm looking into expanding to the screen printing, my main problem is space. I would have to use one of my bedrooms in my home. Anyone use this company for their screen print equipment? www.printa.com Also, is it to big for a bedroom?
Well CoolHandLuke I wasn't talking about friends or any one else selling T-shirts, I am actually doing it. I don't need to reference anyone else I am talking from my actual expierience starting a t-shirt business less than 5 months ago and making a great living from it. If you would like to talk about friends also selling on ebay I have a couple of them that are making sales of over a 1000 shirts a month doing heat applied transfers without the use of screenprinting.
Why should I go with screenprinting have you done Heat transferring then converted to screenprinting? If so lets see some proof like your website, ebay feedback, or anything else that you can prove to me that switching to screenprinting will as you said in your statements above, "I would imagine you would experience far more repeats w/ screening". "but now that they’re screening, they have just over 16% repeats. Not to mention increased overall sales of 37%". How exactly did you come up with these numbers, did you just make them up because they sounded good?
Easy guys, CHL was offering his opinion based on his experience. No need for accusations of making up numbers.
To stay on the topic of when it is feasible to switch to screen printing, there is no "set" number. Some never use heat press to begin with, so basically you can start using screen printing from the very first shirt you sell if that's the direction you want to go. You don't have to until 500 sales per month.
Hey Munchies, I don't think CoolHandLuke is trying to give you a hard time. He actually gave you a compliment on your sales and tried to give an example in a way that might help you make even more sales, so you might be taking what he said the wrong way.
I too think screen printed shirts are probably a little better, but as long as you are doing the best transfers you can do, then the quality is very good with transfers also.
To me, I think it depends on what is practical. I would not want to make a hundred heat transfer shirts of the same design if I knew they were going to sell based on previous sales. Screen printing them would be cheaper, leaving you with more profit.
On the other hand, until you have enough experience with what designs sell well, and what sizes you will need, I personally would not want to have the inventory of dozens of designs in several sizes and colors laying around waiting for a buyer.
Perhaps many of us would better understand those that screen print everything if one of you could give us a walk through of your process, and I guess I mean those of you that do not do the screen printing yourselves since that would give you much more flexibility I would think.
For those that have others do your screen printing,
Do you have a lot of inventory laying around?
Do you start every design with a small quantity of screened tees or do you just have a set of screens made and saved, and then have them printed on demand?
What do you do with all the tees that don't sell? I'm sure after a while you must end up with tees that are not the right size, color or design for good sales.
So, when a design pops into your head, what steps do you take?
Depends on the site (I have a few different t-shirt lines).
If it's an established line with a steady flow of customers, I will start out with a run of say 25-50 screen printed shirts, depending on how well I think the design will sell (ie. If I've gotten a lot of emails asking for a similar design I would order more...if it's my own twisted creation, I would order less).
I usually order like 5 Mediums 10 Large, 10 XLarge, 5 XXL (or some similar combination ratio).
I send out an email to my opt in newsletter base and post the design on the site in a few places and judge the initial sales of the shirt (I give it 1-2 months).
If the design does well, I reorder, if it doesn't, I don't.
For the screen printed designs that I fulfill myself, I know that they *will* sell because I've been selling the shirts for years. So having inventory doesn't bother me because I know I'll have the stock in hand when the orders come in and I know the orders will come in Some designs I carry a LOT of stock for and some designs I carry minimum levels.
Slower times of the year I let stock levels stay low, but when busy shopping seasons come (spring/summer, holidays), I keep the stock levels higher.
If I have a new t-shirt idea that it *outside* my normal "established" t-shirt lines, I'll create the artwork myself (or hire someone to create it through designoutpost or one of the other freelance companies I use) and put the design up for sale in one my my cafepress stores. If it sells well, I might create a printmojo store to get the product screen printed or I might just leave it for sale at cafepress.
Depending on the market, if I wanted to start a brand new t-shirt line, I would probably go through printmojo, spreadshirt or cafepress .Each service has its benefits, but the main benefit for me is NOT doing the fulfillment myself, because when you have a lot of sales, it can be very time consuming to go through the orders, screen for fraudulent orders, print out shipping labels, pull the stock, package the shirts, schedule a pickup. If I had to also print the shirts at the same time, I'd probably go insane
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