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Discussion Starter #1
hello again all ;) In my head i've always thought i'd ship the tee-shirts out myself.... at least in the beginning days/months of the company. I'd get the orders, have the boxes/packing supplies/tee shirts all in a room at my place, put it all together, and maybe at the end of the day call UPS to come pick everything up.... or go down to the UPS store myself and send out everything.

..but i figure i should check to see if that is a realistic vision! how many people out there ship the tee-shirts out themselves, especially those of you who are getting a decent amount of orders per day?

...and how many of you use fulfillment services - people who you send your boxes/shirts to, and pack up and ship the orders for you? are there any cheap & trustable ones?

thanks :)
 

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I do both (ship myself and use fulfillment services).

I can see the benefits of each :) Sometimes it's nice to have the control of packaging the t-shirts, printing out labels, making sure the right shirt goes to the right person, knowing exactly what happened with the order if you get a customer call or email.

I can also appreciate the fulfillment services that allow me to focus on marketing, so if I have a spike in orders, I can be outside swimming in the pool and not have to be so "hands on". If you get 100 orders in a day, you are not going to want to be doing all that packaging and shipping. Right about then, a fulillment company looks really nice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hey rodney, thanks again for your reply! I suppose the two big issues with using a fulfillment service is 1) money and 2) faith that they will get things done correctly. i've looked reviews of t-shirt sites.. what customers think of them.. and most times than not, when there are multiple complaints about speed of shipping, shirts never being sent, etc, they are almost always using a fulfilment service... i can see using one when, like you say, 100 orders a day... but in the beginning? i'm sure the personal approach gains a few customers, and allows you to see the ins & outs of the whole shipping process :)

are there any very good fulfillment services out there that you might recommend?
 

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I think you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Because there are so many t-shirt sites using fulfillment services, I think they probably get more exposure (both positive and negative).

Smaller shops probably don't have the same volume of customers to warrant public reviews (either good or bad).

Even doing it yourself, you have to remember that you're still human and prone to mistakes :) With 100's of orders, you (or the fulfillment service) is bound to make a mistake now and then. I think how you respond to those mistakes and how you (or they) handle customer service is a bigger point.

I don't know if you're looking for a fulfillment service that prints and ships or just ships. I don't know of any that just does shipping, but any of the major online t-shirt fufillment companies that print&ship are good from my experience. They each have a little something different in their service offerings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
prints *and* ships? hmmmm (scratches chin) ...if they also relabel we might be onto something here ;)
 

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...ahhh. i see what you mean, rodney. cafepress, zazzle, printmojo, etc. the big problem with them, of course, is that you're visually attached to the hip with them, re: www.cafepress.com/rodneyshirts i don't want that at all. I'd rather pay for a seperate & unique site, and find a printer/relabeler/shipper... the printer/relabeler part seems to be easy enough, but a fulfillment service that will stay seperate and also ship? that's the key i'm looking for :)
 

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Foix said:
the big problem with them, of course, is that you're visually attached to the hip with them, re: www.cafepress.com/rodneyshirts i don't want that at all. I'd rather pay for a seperate & unique site,
You can do that as well with cafepress, spreadshirt, etc. Many of the more successful stores have their own unique domain name and website with their products listed there, and then only for the actual checkout are you sent to the fulfillment company's secure servers.

and find a printer/relabeler/shipper... the printer/relabeler part seems to be easy enough, but a fulfillment service that will stay seperate and also ship? that's the key i'm looking for :)
How separate are you looking for? Do you already have a merchant account setup to process transactions?

There are fulfillment companies that "just" do fulfillment. Meaning, you ship them the product and tell them where to send customer orders and they warehouse your printed product and ship them as you send them orders. Do a google search for fulfillment company and you'll find lots.

Not sure what the price range is for "just" fulfillment, but depending on what you're looking for...the service is out there :)

Or you could just find a printer (some screen printers will also relabel for you), and get a web hosting account, merchant account, web design, domain name, and do it all yourself. Sometimes it's fun to handle it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rodney said:
You can do that as well with cafepress, spreadshirt, etc. Many of the more successful stores have their own unique domain name and website with their products listed there, and then only for the actual checkout are you sent to the fulfillment company's secure servers..
..hmm, well that sounds promising, but admittedly if you don't have visual control over how those checkout pages look, i'd probably balk at it (i'm a picky sort) ;)



Rodney said:
How separate are you looking for? Do you already have a merchant account setup to process transactions? .
all my questions are basically just speculative... i'm researching, and so far, this forum is the best place to do t-shirt research i've seen! (hence, all the multitudes of questions from me) ;)

Rodney said:
There are fulfillment companies that "just" do fulfillment. Meaning, you ship them the product and tell them where to send customer orders and they warehouse your printed product and ship them as you send them orders. Do a google search for fulfillment company and you'll find lots.
ah! thats exactly what i'd be looking for :)


Rodney said:
Or you could just find a printer (some screen printers will also relabel for you), and get a web hosting account, merchant account, web design, domain name, and do it all yourself. Sometimes it's fun to handle it all.
that just could be the plan, senor rodniffico! I'll have to see how much that plan destroys my wallet though ;)
 

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Rodney said:
I don't know if you're looking for a fulfillment service that prints and ships or just ships. I don't know of any that just does shipping.
I know of one, although they are a small indie distributor, so they're more there for a niche market.

If there's one I see no reason there couldn't be more though.
 
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