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Discussion Starter #1
This reads like a major gripe session..sorry...I'm discouraged and looking to vent and get general advice.

Launched my site around July 7th. First 2 weks had no visitors except for friends and friends of friends. Starting paying for placement by search words with Yahoo..now averaging about 30 visitors per day.

No Orders.

My current stuff is a parody of a global line, and I think the art is good. It's simple and well executed. The website is easy to navigate and looks good, not great.

I'm certain my audience has not been exposed enough just yet, but I am surprised that with 300+ visitors, I have only sold shirts to supportive friends.

Could be: Bad Idea - Too Pricy ($14-18 plus shipping), Not enough time, Not reaching target audience - any or all of the above

How long has it taken anyone that is successful to get orders coming in?

Should I be selling down in the $10 range even though my shirts currently cost about $9 to make? (24 at a time -6 color art)

Are there too many Tee stores "out there"...now Wal-Mart and other big department stores have there own lines of "racy" t-shirts that they sell for $10 or less.

I would take specific critques, but I'm not sure I want to throw my design ideas out to potential competitors with stronger businesses just yet. Thanks for letting me vent.
 

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Re: How Long?

With only 30 people a day, it may take longer to get good sales coming in. Even with a 100 people day it may not convert over to more than 1-2 sales per week. You will do better, it just takes more time. I doubt if you are even listed in the major search engines yet. Just keep plugging away and get your link out there on as many quality sites as possible.
Join sites like tshirtcountdown, and tshirtshowdown and other ranking sites, this will help get targetted traffic coming to your site. The more times your link appears on other sites, you will do alot better with the search engines.
Make sure your website is set up with lots of descriptive text and use image tags and title tags and it will all come together soon.
Aim to have your site up to about 100 visitors a day by christmas cause sales around that time can be great!
 

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Re: How Long?

Well thanks for a figure to shoot for. I guess going from 0 to 30 got my hopes up a little. I have considered the options you presented about t-shirtcountdown and others. I guess I'll need to keep plugging away on many fronts.
 

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Re: How Long?

If you aren't converting your visitors with at least a 1% conversion ratio (1 sale per 100 visitors), especially with paid ads in search engines, then you may need to rethink a few aspects.

Marking with paid keyword ads in Yahoo/Google Adwords is a bit of a science in and of itself. You can't just buy keywords and point the people to your homepage.

You have to target the *right* keywords and make sure you are sending the visitor to the right page on your website after they click. After they are on your website, you need to make sure you are answering ALL of their potential questions with your website text: sizing chart, about your business, contact information, return policy, t-shirt quality, printing quality/method, payment methods accepted, shipping prices upfront.

At a price of $14-$18 per shirt, I don't think you're priced to high for original t-shirt designs. If a person can't get your design at walmart, then you never have to think of walmart as your competitor :)

With the right design and right ads to the right market, you could make money within hours with a Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing ad. For example, if you make a design for people who love blue scissors and you buy the keywords related to blue scissors and your t-shirt is just what they are looking for, you could have sales right away. If your site isn't converting at least at 1%, then there are a few things you should look at modifying and testing.

Without seeing your site, it's hard to give specifics other than what I wrote above :)
 

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Re: How Long?

I have 8 sites up. 4 of them are retail sites and one is a directory service for pedigree cats. I get plenty of hits but they do not alway turn into buyers. so do I care. yes and no.. No because as long as I have been doing this I use my sites more as a catalog for my brick and mortar stores or for information about my business. Has any one counted the number of tee shirt shops online. The index reads over a million. So where are you? I came in 32nd for promotional tee shirts on google but do I get sales. Nope.. Not yet anyway. But I track where my hits come (This is the yes)from and what they are using as search terms to find me. This is important. I have used adwords for my cat directory service and was very successful. I have not done so with the tee shirts or promotional tee shirts yet. I think the key word bids would be high for that market. And I am not ready to pay that price yet. But I will. Also Google just settled a suit for false adword clicks. I got these myself. So how do I make money. I don't go after the funny words or fancy design business. I do more custom and institution markets. Everyone has an idea that what they have is the greatest product out there. But you better have a marketing plan.. The people who make it in this business spend dollars. The term build it and they will come, yeah if you build a baseball park.
 

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Re: How Long?

Is there anybody in the forum selling 100 shirts or more per week? I read that busted tees does about $250,000 in monthly revenues. At an average 0f $18 per shirt that appears to be 135-140 shirts per week. Granted, they have college humor to promote busted tees, but I've also heard of many others doing at least $3,000 a month...that means around 50 shirts per week.

I guess my question really involves marketing budget and methods. I have been in advertising/marketing most of my career. I'm certain my product is marketable...My problem is having time to milk the free stuff, and capital to fund the paid stuff....I'm beginning to wonder if I need to shell out more money pumping the site.

Does anybody out there make $50,000 plus or more in anual sales and how much do you spend on marketing.
 

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I guess my question really involves marketing budget and methods. I have been in advertising/marketing most of my career. I'm certain my product is marketable...My problem is having time to milk the free stuff, and capital to fund the paid stuff....I'm beginning to wonder if I need to shell out more money pumping the site.
That definitely sounds like a different concern than the original post :)

You can be successful in the first month if you have it all planned out right and spend money in the right places for advertising.

Granted, they have college humor to promote busted tees, but I've also heard of many others doing at least $3,000 a month...that means around 50 shirts per week.
It's definitely possible with the right advertising and marketing.

For a marketing person like yourself, it should be easy to find the right spots to advertise once you've defined the target market for your t-shirts.

There are a lot of great marketing and advertising ideas right here in the forum :) Here's one thread with some tips:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=4115

Here's another:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=3191

It does cost money to run a successful business. Whether you are in a local offline shopping mall, an online t-shirt store or a fortune 100 corporation.

I've read that it's good to spend at least 1% of your revenue in continued advertising. That sounds like a pretty decent number. If you are just starting out, then you should definitely set aside some money for advertising and marketing your products.

As for where to advertise, what works for one company may not work for all t-shirt sites. Just try to put yourself in the mind of your potential customer and try to put your product wherever they are (radio stations, magazines, blogs, newsletters, websites, search terms, tv shows, local events, etc)
 

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I also wanted to reiterate that if you're spending money adverising on Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture), then you definitely need to take the time to research and learn the system.

That way you're spending money on the right keywords, doing the right testing of your ads to make sure that they are effective, testing your landing pages, etc. Without the right testing, keywords and information, you could be just throwing money away.

The same should be said for any advertising you decide to use.
 

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Is there anybody in the forum selling 100 shirts or more per week? I read that busted tees does about $250,000 in monthly revenues. At an average 0f $18 per shirt that appears to be 135-140 shirts per week. Granted, they have college humor to promote busted tees, but I've also heard of many others doing at least $3,000 a month...that means around 50 shirts per week.
My guess is busted tees is selling a few thousand shirts a week.

I think there are quite a few people on this forum that retail 100+ shirts a week. That is around $50,000 - 60,000 a year, depending on hjow much you sell the shirts for.
 

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No, we are not smart.. we are experienced. There is not one successful person on this forum that has not failed in one way are other. But those mistakes are knowledge and you build on that.
What is success? I am retired so to me to me it is making enough money on the side so I don't touch my retirement money. keeps me connected to the outside world. keeps my brain activated. keeps me from getting under my wifes feet while she takes care of my grandson during the day. Lets me work with people on this forum to help them understand the business world as I have 40 years of it under my belt.
 

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I have a friend that has a t-shirt site doing around 10 shirts a day, so it is indeed possible. Thing is, he sold almost nothing his first year - it takes time to build up your name, and time to perfect website layout, products, pricing, advertising, etc. etc.
 

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I have almost same situation as the author of this thread. I started my tshirt line 2 weeks ago, and started advertising it on Myspace and via Yahoo immediately. I get an average of 40-100 visits / around 3 ppv per day, mostly from Myspace, and the rest from Yahoo ppc's. Sold more tshirts in the first week then in the second week, and kind of puzzled by that.
My hypothesis is that I only have 1 tshirt on the site (even though I have more designs, I didn't print them yet) and probably visitors are discouraged because there's no variety. So I am planning to keep Yahoo ads going and meanwhile print at least 2-3 more designs. By the way does any of you think that this is a problem for a buyer - seeing only 1 item on the site? And in your opinion, what is the relevance between number of styles and number of purhcases?
 

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farennikov said:
By the way does any of you think that this is a problem for a buyer - seeing only 1 item on the site? And in your opinion, what is the relevance between number of styles and number of purhcases?
i like to look at collections. Sorta like a Music CD with different songs.
 

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farennikov said:
My hypothesis is that I only have 1 tshirt on the site (even though I have more designs, I didn't print them yet) and probably visitors are discouraged because there's no variety. So I am planning to keep Yahoo ads going and meanwhile print at least 2-3 more designs. By the way does any of you think that this is a problem for a buyer - seeing only 1 item on the site? And in your opinion, what is the relevance between number of styles and number of purhcases?
Generally, I would say so. It's hard to go far on a lone design; people expect to see several they can browse and pick out one they like from a few different ones. This doesn't mean you need to be a jack of all trades and carry 100 shirts from 10 different genres, but some selection is important in most cases.
 

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farennikov said:
By the way does any of you think that this is a problem for a buyer - seeing only 1 item on the site?
Definitely. Lowers the chances of a customer finding a shirt they like on the site, and raises questions in their mind about how legimitate your business is.

farennikov said:
And in your opinion, what is the relevance between number of styles and number of purhcases?
Isn't that the million dollar question? ;)
 

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By the way does any of you think that this is a problem for a buyer - seeing only 1 item on the site?
I started out by selling just one t-shirt design. It can be done, but that one design has to be compelling.

It has to be a design that people just WANT to buy (not like a design that hasn't really been proven yet).

Sometimes this can be a timely t-shirt based on an event, or it can be a design that customers have been asking you about (like if you have an established site).

and started advertising it on Myspace and via Yahoo immediately. I get an average of 40-100 visits / around 3 ppv per day, mostly from Myspace, and the rest from Yahoo ppc's.
I don't think your myspace visitors are going to convert very well. I don't think those visitors are generally in "buying" mode. You probably got some decent sales because of your site "launch", but you'll have to come up with more marketing methods to keep the sales coming in.
 

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Rodney said:
I don't think your myspace visitors are going to convert very well. I don't think those visitors are generally in "buying" mode. You probably got some decent sales because of your site "launch", but you'll have to come up with more marketing methods to keep the sales coming in.
That's probably true.

You know as I think about it, I think I am wasitng money and efforts on exposure and getting conversions just because I don't have much to offer. And at the other hand that also depends on how fast I can sell what I have to spend on more designs.
 
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