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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good conditions to invite design submissions

Hi all, just discovered these forums, first post.

I have set up a t-shirt shop to cater for a specific sport in these parts.
For the moment it is built on the back of Spreadshirt.
To date all designs are from myself (design is the day job).

Over the next year I want to expand the range of designs on offer and build up the number of products. 30+ main teams.

I want to encourage design submissions from third parties for a variety of reasons.
1. Build a community and awareness around the shop.
2. Add variety to the styles on offer.
3. Increase the range of designs and products on offer.
4. Quickly populate the shop range.

However I have seen enough such requests on other forums to realise it is not a simple offer to do right. I am looking for advice on what you believe would be a fair offer for a designers hard work and creative talent. At the same time it is a business and I am in it for the long haul.

What I am thinking is something along the lines of the following.

A selected submission is paid a small lump sum (or even something as simple as a print of their own T).
For a period of 1 year (too much? 6 months? ) all profit from that design goes to the designer.
After that period the copyright is then transferred to the company and perhaps a 5% commissions on all future profit from that design goes to the designer?

What do you think?

· Registered
349 Posts
Hmmm, that's an interesting way to approach your spreadshirt shop. Just to be clear, you want to encourage other designers/people to submit designs for your shop. Then you want to pay them a small sum and give them all the profits from that particular design for 6-12 months. Wow.

If I understand that correctly I don't think you should do that. Here is why:

Using a fulfillment service already takes a large chunk of your profit margin away. Also, there are already thousands of spreadshirt shops. So, you've got that working against you as well. Now you want to pay people to submit designs and then give them all your profits for 6-12 months? This also means you would have to keep very meticulous records, break up your checks from spreadshirt and send out checks. Way too much work.

If you are a designer why not just design everything yourself? You list 4 reasons why you would want design submissions but if you design everything yourself you just took care of 2-4 and with constant and clever advertising you take care of 1.

· Registered
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply ph0yce.
The shop is targeted at a specific niche so there is no current competition from other spreadshirt shops.
I already am using my own designs but I currently have two other ventures off the ground so time is at a premium.
For this particular sport, there are 4 leagues of 30 teams each so that's 120 base designs just to start with.

I don't mind loosing out on a chunk of profit for the first period as
1. There are few overheads to me,
2. It builds exposure,
3. It quickly positions me as the leader in this particular market before any competition comes along.

The keeps records thing will be a headache but could be worth it.

· Registered
2,468 Posts
I see a few issues with this.

1) People can just as easily sell their own designs on Spreadshirt. It's not like you're having the designs screenprinted (a la threadless). Why would they not just sell their own designs, and make the profit ad infinitum?

2) Are you saying that basically you'll make no money on this venture at all for a year? And even go negative, if you pay a lump sum too.

3) Your designs may only sell with any number for a year.

4) If they sell very well, you may be paying a designer thousands and thousands of dollars.

I'd just do a lump sum (and a free t, or free membership of any "shirt a month" scheme you may have). I'm still not sure how a design submission can work on any of the fulfilment sites that are essential already design submission.

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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks jdr8271 that is a big help.

I am starting out in this area so please correct my assumptions :)
Designing t-shirts that will sell is not a problem. As monkeylantern pointed out, anyone can sign up with spreadshirt and start selling.
The difficult part, and the difference between an online t-shirt shop and a successfull online t-shirt shop is building a well known brand and becoming known for quality, designer Ts, good service and frequent new product lines.
It is this long term goal that I am trying to achieve when I ask my first question above.

A designer can set up a spreadshirt shop and upload a design to sell. They then try and advertise the site, the design and perhaps make a few sales.


They can send the design to my shop, which has an established brand and site audience, be guaranteed a minimum amount of money, make less on each sale but perhaps sell 5-10 times as many units and have to do absolutely no work in trying to generate those sales.

This is my logic but please tell me if it is flawed :)
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