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Hi all,

Just a quick note to introduce myself... My partner & I have recently launched a new t-shirt label, Non-Fiction & I found this site while trying to work out how to market our products. Thanks for all the info I've read on the forum so far!

At the moment, we're selling screenprinted women's t-shirts, tank tops & singlets - all made here in Sydney & sweatshop-free. We had patterns made up & used fabric with 10% spandex, so they're an easy fit for all shapes & sizes. We're looking forward to expanding into men's t-shirts, but we'll see how sales go first.

If you'd like to check out our site, the URL is http://www.non-fiction.com.au.

Cheers,
Carolyn.
 

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DickTees.net said:
$64.95 per shirt? Can you convert that to US currency for me?
Isn't that what currency converters are for? :p

AUD $65 is a little under fifty bucks in USD. It's on the expensive side for Australia, but not unheard of.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
On the expensive side? 50 dollars IS expensive!
Bear in mind shirts tend to cost more outside of the US.

£18+ is common in the UK, which is around USD $32
$40-50 is very common in Australia, which is around USD$30-38

Also, in the US most designers are forced to basically price match the one-off gag shirts. Obviously there are exceptions, but most people charge under $20, regardless of the genre they're in. Spent a ton of time working on a complex design and a lot of money getting a quality screenprint done? Good for you, you get to charge the same amount of money as someone who slapped a slogan down (in Arial, with typos) on a shirt they're selling on Cafepress (granted you'll sell more units, but you'll have to match their price).

In Australia, and my limited exposure to the UK (monkeylantern?) there are a lot less gag shirts and a lot more artistic design. It nourishes a high priced market (whether that's as it should be or not I'm not entering into).
 

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Solmu said:
Also, in the US most designers are forced to basically price match the one-off gag shirts. Obviously there are exceptions, but most people charge under $20, regardless of the genre they're in. Spent a ton of time working on a complex design and a lot of money getting a quality screenprint done? Good for you, you get to charge the same amount of money as someone who slapped a slogan down (in Arial, with typos) on a shirt they're selling on Cafepress (granted you'll sell more units, but you'll have to match their price).

In Australia, and my limited exposure to the UK (monkeylantern?) there are a lot less gag shirts and a lot more artistic design. It nourishes a high priced market (whether that's as it should be or not I'm not entering into).
I don't think that's true at all though. There are lots of higher priced, artistic/fashion t-shirts here in the US. Just not everyone buys those types.

It's hard to make a generalization about the US like that because it has very diverse markets. Some markets don't blink twice about paying $25-$50 for a t-shirt, some markets will laugh at a shirt priced over $12.

Sellers in the US don't have to change their pricing if they don't want. If they are selling to a certain market that appreciates the time they've put into the design, then they won't have a problem getting the pricepoint they want.

A person that's looking for a $10 bargain priced slogan shirt is not the same person that wants a $50 fashion t-shirt, so there's no reason to try to cater your pricing to some other market.

Sure the $10 slogan t-shirts may sell more, but that's because it's a "pop(ular)" culture t-shirt. More mainstream like pop music. A $50 fashion shirt is a smaller market no matter where you go, but the buyers are still there.
 

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Solmu,

I understand what you're saying. It's just that a t-shirt priced at $50 is kind of sticker shock for me. If that's the going rate in Australia and the market will bear it(and apparently it does), I have no problems with it.
I guess it just gets down to what a particular individual values. Some people value artwork. Some people just want a cool t-shirt. Does the value of the item you're thinking of purchasing equal or exceed the value of what the seller is asking. If so, that person would have no problem spending that amount of money.

But that is a topic for another day, I guess ...:rolleyes:
 

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Hi guys,

It does cost heaps when you have the shirts made from scratch! (Many thousands...) We're looking to sell through shops as well as online & this price range is pretty common here for independent labels, especially those which are Australian made. Considering we'll sell to shops at wholesale prices, we realistically can't set our recommended retail prices any lower. Retailers would not be happy if we undercut their prices in our online store, but we do include international shipping in the price.

Hopefully we'll find our niche in the market - in terms of price, we can't compete with the many shirts made in China, but then again, we are offering something a bit different.

It's great to hear all your comments.

Cheers!
 

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Oh, by the way - our prices of AUD $59.95 (singlets) & $64.95 (tanks & tees) also include the Australian 10% GST. So the price for overseas buyers is about $5 less.

(I know it doesn't make that much difference, but thought it would be worth mentioning!)
 

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greycat,
A question about your production process. Could you explain how it works? Did you have patterns made? Made them yourself? Source material, or have it done? Do you sew the shirts, or outsource that? Dye fabric, or buy it already dyed? I guess what I'm getting at is how much of the work of producing the finished product, and how much of it do you pay to have done. Also about how much in AUD does it cost to produce one shirt (without screen printing)? I would love to know your method and how you go about doing everything, and I'm sure there are others here that would like to know as well. This is of course, if you don't mind.
 

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Solmu said:
In Australia, and my limited exposure to the UK (monkeylantern?) there are a lot less gag shirts and a lot more artistic design. It nourishes a high priced market (whether that's as it should be or not I'm not entering into).
No, those prices are not unusual at all.

Given you market is high-end hand-crafted female fashion, I think you should be fine (I think some of your designs are superb).

It would not be unusual for one of your shirts to sell in a mid-level fashion retail store in the UK for GBP30-40, which is about USD$60-80.

Those sort of prices for that sort of garment wouldn't be odd in the fasionable boutiques of Melbourne or Sydney either (and, I dare say, the high-end boutiques of New York or LA).
 

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Comin'OutSwingin,

It took us months to organise production as this is our first venture into the world of fashion. I found a couple of local fabric manufacturers, bought sample fabrics, & chose or made sample garments. We used existing colours - you'd have to order massive amounts of fabric if you wanted them to custom dye colours for you... (We had around 1000 shirts made.)

Our screenprinter is also a patternmaker & works closely with the factory who actually cut & sew the fabric. She made up her samples & once we were happy with the fit, she made the rest of the patterns.

The costs really vary, depending on the cost of different fabrics (eg. our cotton/spandex fabric was a lot more expensive than even the high quality combed cotton, darker colours can be more expensive than lighter colours, and some companies are more expensive than others - though some of the colours we just loved..), the amount of fabric it takes to make a certain style, how much fabric is actually on a roll as opposed to the stated length (we had said to use each whole roll & got quite a few more shirts than expected!), extras like trim, and the quantity of each style. It was also really important to us that everyone involved in production was paid properly, and also that our shirts are Australian made, using Australian fabrics - so I'm sure this is reflected in the cost. We found you can't really compare costs until you know exactly what you're planning. (For us, we didn't have firm pricing until halfway through production!) We went by very general estimates & how well we thought we were going to be able to work with people.

We were lucky to find a really great screenprinter. To be able to organise everything through the one company is great - it was still really complicated even then! Obviously cost is a huge consideration, but to have someone really experienced in printing many different creative styles was wonderful - and really important for us since we were relying on her advice. Our screenprinter is also only a 10 minute drive away for us - and I drop in regularly for all sorts of things including style alterations, proofing for placement, etc., etc. During the print run, I was able to drop in to check the colour mixing before they started printing, and of course change my mind!

We also organised extras such as woven labels, washing instruction tags, swing tags etc... We could have done more of the production ourselves - but I wanted the results to be professional. I'll stick at what I'm best at... which takes all my time anyway. Wow! That was quite a few questions to answer! Hope it helps, though I'm sure different things work depending on the results you're after and what's available to you. It would have been easier to start off with blanks, but I guess I got selfish & wanted to make my ideal styles!
 

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Thanks greycat, that really helps me. I was thinking about doing the same thing, but in the end decided the costs would be too much for the pricepoints I wanted to meet with my t-shirts. Luckily, I found some blanks that were exactly what I was going for, and at a decent price. So, I just relabel those for now. Maybe one day when I the company can afford it, I will try to get them made from scratch. But, I understand how difficult it can be. I had done all of the work and research and had even gotten the patterns made because I just couldn't find the right blank shirts that I wanted. They had to be high quality 100% cotton and fit "just right". But I found the perfect shirt that was almost exactly like I was going to have made.
I understand that the costs vary. But have you estimated an average production cost per shirt? Fabric, sewing, labels, and screen printing all together? How much is the average for a shirt? How much profit are you able to make doing it this way compared to getting blanks? Just curious.
Thanks for taking the time. It really sheds some light on how difficult the process of starting from scratch can be.
 

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How much profit are you able to make doing it this way compared to getting blanks? Just curious. Thanks for taking the time. It really sheds some light on how difficult the process of starting from scratch can be.
Asking someone how much profit they make in a public forum probably won't get you a response :)
 
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