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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel like I'm off to a good start, one sale opening day and a few subsequent sales throughout the week.


However I am banking on doing large custom orders to pay the bills and give me a little extra.


But I am having a few issues with communicating my services to customers. I worry that I am bombarding them with information they don't care about.


I want them to walk in and have a good idea of what I can do for them in just a few simple steps.


Should I just tell them yes I can do it, and leave it at that? I like to volunteer my transfer methods and options but my husband thinks I am giving away needless information and confusing them, ultimately running them off.



So I guess my first question is, how do you approach a customer when they walk in your store?



One other issue I am having, customers trying to save a buck by providing their own shirts, and even one lady who asked if she could just use my machine if she brought in her own shirt and transfer.


I feel this to be insulting by the way. I don't think it's any different than bringing your own food to a restaurant and asking the chef to cook it, at a discounted rate to boot.



I told the last person who asked that she isn't going to save any money by using her own shirts because most of my cost comes from ink and transfers and not the shirt itself.

Some seem to be concerned about bad quality garments, based on past experiences, but I can order any shirt if they have a specific brand or model.

How can I politely say no to them... without actually offending them? It's a small town and word gets around, so I have to maintain a nice appearance and can't get away with what I used to when I worked for others :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One more question, I've had people send me images from google that are clearly copyright and unusable... like a picture of a shirt with a design. I don't want to tell people no I can't do something.... but if I don't have a template that they like, and they don't have an actual file with a design, is it normal to offer graphic design services? I feel like I've spent more time piecing together graphics than anything. It feels like a huge waste of my time. I prefer they just give me the design instead of some crap cell phone screenshot that I can't work with and have to spend hours re-creating.


How can I clearly demonstrate what is needed from them for me to make a custom shirt? Without sounding like I can't or don't want to help them.


The printing store here is infamous for telling people they can't print stuff... because it's not good enough quality, there is no bleed area, etc. I don't want to place a bunch of restrictions and lose business on account of it.


But I don't want to print a shirt from a facebook picture that looks poor quality, even if the customer doesn't care, I don't want my business attached to any garment that appears to be poor quality... even if the fault is the customers crappy image.
 

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a)put a sticker on glass you don't do work on their t-shirts
b)praise your competition how good they are at this and send customers there and make it look like you being honest and you wanna best for the customer

you need more ideas?
 

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[media]https://i.pinimg.com/originals/40/18/54/4018543b82d68f8ef17737e2843c506f.gif[/media]
show them this picture
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
a)put a sticker on glass you don't do work on their t-shirts
b)praise your competition how good they are at this and send customers there and make it look like you being honest and you wanna best for the customer

you need more ideas?

Lol.



The first one will definitely be going on a pamphlet that I am working on.


Lucky for me there is no competition unless they want to either take an expensive boat ride, or order online. Most want to come to me, but then many have unrealistic expectations and want special treatment.


My husband said to treat it as if I am dealing with drunk 17 year olds. That's their level of understanding of my services at this point.






Also, a lot of people want to know what I'll charge for large orders, on the spot. I am working on a general price guide for basic transfers and t-shirts. But I can't give anyone a solid quote unless I actually see their design and know what I'm working with, what kind of garment they want etc. This seems to turn people off that I can't just tell them on the spot what I would charge. I tell people to email me their design and I will get back to them same day with their options and quotes. What more can I do?
 

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Put a notice up saying 'Just 'cos you can google it doesn't mean we can print it.'


Photoshop amateurs are just as big a pain with unprintable artwork - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


And don't get me started on smartphones. Four or five times a day I get 'customers' who spend several minutes trying to find an image that they have downloaded (stolen) onto their phone. Time bandits.


I am going to need a bigger counter for all the notices I need to display.:D:D:D:D


What was the question again?
 

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Someone in another thread mentioned telling customers who want to provide their own shirts that you will not guarantee the quality or longevity of a print on customer provided shirts, that you only guarantee shirts you are accustomed to working with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Put a notice up saying 'Just 'cos you can google it doesn't mean we can print it.'


Photoshop amateurs are just as big a pain with unprintable artwork - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


And don't get me started on smartphones. Four or five times a day I get 'customers' who spend several minutes trying to find an image that they have downloaded (stolen) onto their phone. Time bandits.


I am going to need a bigger counter for all the notices I need to display.:D:D:D:D


What was the question again?

Lol. What do you tell them though? I just don't want people to get upset or think I am intentionally trying to turn them away.


Maybe I need to write out the rules on the wall in giant writing or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Someone in another thread mentioned telling customers who want to provide their own shirts that you will not guarantee the quality or longevity of a print on customer provided shirts, that you only guarantee shirts you are accustomed to working with.

That's a good idea. No guarantees or money back. And I'll accommodate their requests to use their own shirts, for now, only because I need the business.


As for the lady who wants to provide her own shirts AND transfers, I've been avoiding her like the plague.


Maybe I should tell her $100 per hour for use of my machine.
 

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Then she'd burn her finger and sue you. Just say, "No, for liability reasons". An emphatic "no".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Then she'd burn her finger and sue you. Just say, "No, for liability reasons". An emphatic "no".

Yeah, well I figured she wouldn't go for it since it's clear she's trying to get out of paying anything to me. That would cost more than just having me make the damn shirt. But she totally would "burn" herself and then try to get something out of me.



And even if she did pay me to do it, and I used my shirts and everything, I know she's the type to then complain after the fact, find things wrong, ask for money back, discounts etc.


A nightmare customer.


Maybe I need to stop being so nice.


Liability reasons, I like it.


Time to make some notices for my shop.
 

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Then she'd burn her finger and sue you. Just say, "No, for liability reasons". An emphatic "no".

Yeah, well I figured she wouldn't go for it since it's clear she's trying to get out of paying anything to me. That would cost more than just having me make the damn shirt. But she totally would "burn" herself and then try to get something out of me.



And even if she did pay me to do it, and I used my shirts and everything, I know she's the type to then complain after the fact, find things wrong, ask for money back, discounts etc.


A nightmare customer.


Maybe I need to stop being so nice.


Liability reasons, I like it.


Time to make some notices for my shop.
Yes, you really need to toughen up when dealing with the general public. A firm NO can save you a lot of heartache later on. Don't plaster your shop with warning signs though, it doesn't look good and people won't read them all anyway. Just have one sign in a prominent place that you can point to when discussing print options, and try to add a little humour to it, that always seems to get the message across better.
 

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No matter what you do, you will not please all of the people all of the time.

As for bringing in their own shirts, you can also point out that you don't know where they bought them and that some places put some kind of anti fire treatment on them that inhibits an image from sticking to them. That's why you need to get the shirts from your supplier who supplies shirts that are specifically for putting an image on them.
 

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I don't print or do vinyl work on customer provided shirts. For the embroidery side of my business, I will stitch on their shirts as some of my customers use shirts (like Columbia) that I can't purchase wholesale. BUT, I charge a much higher price for my work when I'm not making any money on the shirt order. Price yourself to a level that unless you just can't get what they want, they would rather you provide the shirts.
 

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That's a good idea. No guarantees or money back. And I'll accommodate their requests to use their own shirts, for now, only because I need the business.


As for the lady who wants to provide her own shirts AND transfers, I've been avoiding her like the plague.


Maybe I should tell her $100 per hour for use of my machine.
And when you fubar a shirt and don't have extras you gonna get a bad rep and cost you money. And lose business.

Why not rent out the equipment and let her do it. YOu make money, shes happy and if shes good hire her..
 

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Your husband is right. Stop with demonstrating how smart you are.
SIMPLYFY your PROCESS at the consumer side.
As Einstein is credited with saying, "If you can not explain it simply, you don't know the topic well enough."
#1. Pick from the rack the garment you want
#2. PIck from the library the design you want. (add customer TEXT) This also protects YOU from being sued for stealing the IP of others your customer is passing off as their own.
#3. Pick from the calendar the time you want to pick it up
#4. Make check payable to: JPK1

Seriously, Keep It Simple.

No outside condiments allowed.
You can watch but if you try to help rates are $250 hourly.

HOWEVER, those who will order in volume will need and must receive more benefit from what you do know. Don't confuse this business with your walk-in shopper.

I find opening with the question, "What is the purpose for this garment?" For example, runners need to understand the cotton garment is thrown away after six months while the poly resists oder and endures much longer. Allow them to lead you into the depth of your knowledge and the benefit of your experience.
 

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Why not rent out the equipment and let her do it. YOu make money, shes happy and if shes good hire her..
I think a call to an insurance agent regarding liability coverage would dissuade anyone from doing this.
 
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