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Discussion Starter #1
I know that Cafepress isn't the cheapest, but it is a one stop shop for those selling and the quality is pretty good. The hardest part is promoting the shop.

Who do some of your use to print your t-shirts?
 

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There are a few other fullfillment sites represented on the forums: Zazzle, PrintMojo, 99dogs and Spreadshirt.

I haven't actually heard anything about 99dogs in months, I don't know if that's indicative of anything or not.

Spreadshirt seems to be an increasingly popular option: more and more semi-professional sites seem to be using it over CafePress.
 

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Solmu said:
There are a few other fullfillment sites represented on the forums: Zazzle, PrintMojo, 99dogs and Spreadshirt.

I haven't actually heard anything about 99dogs in months, I don't know if that's indicative of anything or not.

Spreadshirt seems to be an increasingly popular option: more and more semi-professional sites seem to be using it over CafePress.
anyone know why this is? i know that spreadshirt is offering more colors but i haven't heard much about the quality and i've heard that it's not nearly as easy to set up and customize your shop.
 

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It could be partly the fact that they have a European and an American division (that does seem to attract some people, especially European site owners).

I haven't particularly done a comparison of the two - I know Cafe Press charge for premium stores - do Spreadshirt offer some of those services for free?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I signed up and they were supposed to send my password but never did. So, I can't log in. Don't want to create another account. Now I have to contact support about this.

Not very user friendly.
 

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Did you check your spam filters?

(e-mails often go astray on eBay and that's the most common cause - but sometimes things just plain stuff up)
 

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I've just set up my first shirt store on SpreadShirt. It was rather easy to design and integrate with my site. Of course, I need to refine my store a little more. Am I wrong in thinking that they are a little high in price and don't seem to offer quantity discounts as do some others like ShirtMagic. My customers really don't want to spend quite this much for a t-shirt.

Comments and suggestions welcome.
 

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BenJMann said:
some others like ShirtMagic
I'd never heard of ShirtMagic - checked it out then and wasn't left with a very good first impression.

I take it you've tried them before but weren't happy? (since you compare them to Spreadshirt, but are opening a new store?) Would you recommend them as one of the alternatives to CP?
 

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I looked into CafePress, Printfection, Spreadshirt, Goodstorm, Printmojo and Zazzle. Went with Spreadshirt for my store that's opening later this week. The ability to print well on a wide variety of available dark shirts was one deciding factor (using their plot printing.) It also has a good community. And is flexible in setting up your webpage. The premium membership, which eliminates the Spreadshirt banner and gives you other features like XML or XLS imports for SQL databases or for Froogle, costs $10/ month or $100/ yr.
 

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Spreadshirt is very easy to use and the communication you can have with the company is unmatched. As long as you can create your artwork in vector format, you have so many more options vs CafePress and the quality using plot printing is amazing.

The price seems high, but really isn't. You can easily make $5-$7 per item sold. Not as high as doing it all yourself, but you don't have to worry about order taking, fulfillment, etc.
 

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I've been selling on CafePress (who I recommend) and Printmojo (who I highly, highly recommend) for a few years now, and have only just started on Spreadshirt. I've also used Zazzle, but found their licensing provisions offensive so I can't recommend them.

Here's how I'd stack 'em up:

Printmojo:

If you _know_ your design's going to sell, and know which colors, sizes, and products to put it on, Printmojo's the best option. Your margins will be higher, and your product will be better quality than anybody else I've seen. And they have a free script for integrating your storefront into other sites which is surprisingly easy to use. (I'm kicking myself for only just starting to fiddle with it.) And you can create your own coupons whenever you want. Very nice.

That said, you have to print every product up front, which means paying for it yourself up front. It also means figuring out exactly how many items to print in each size and color, which can be daunting for rookies like me. That said, Printmojo has a great team that's happy to offer advice.

On the marketing side, I don't think Printmojo gets anywhere near the traffic CP or Zazzle do, which means a bit more effort if you want to sell all the stuff you've printed. And there's no affiliate program like CP or Zazzle have to encourage other people to sell your stuff for you.

Also, printmojo passes their actual shipping costs through to the customer instead of doing a flat fee or formula like Spreadshirt or CP, which isn't ideal.

CafePress:

CafePress has made a lot of improvements over the last year, and they're now probably the easiest storefront solution after Zazzle, with much more configurability than Zazzle. I can upload one design and put it on oodles of products pretty quickly -- and my design needn't be in vector format. CafePress also has a relatively new affiliate program that's pretty well done, and there are a couple third party scripts for integrating CP on your own external websites, which I'm beginning to play around with.

One really nice thing about CP is that they sell bumper stickers. So you can slap your design on a bumper sticker, lure in traffic with a $3 to $5 product, and then upsell with your shirts. Works with buttons and magnets, too, but I think the bumper sticker market is bigger.

Overall, quality's nowhere near Printmojo -- especially over time -- but it's generally decent except for their black shirts, which look terrible. I also got one cap sleeve tee that looked very iffy, and saw color variations on one design that I had printed on two different products.

CafePress seems to be constantly improving, so it's probably just a matter of 8-12 months before their dark shirts go from horrid beta to pretty goodness. For now, though, I can really only recommend them for light shirts, bumper stickers, and, oddly enough, teddy bears.

Spreadshirt:

I've recently had models ask to do shoots in my stuff, so I really wanted to get more dark shirts and underwear to broaden out the wardrobes. So I started using Spreadshirt.

So far, I've found that Spreadshirt is _great_ for printing text on dark shirts. The text feels raised, in contrast to the smooth feel of a Printmojo shirt, but otherwise it's pretty much perfect. They also have thongs in more colors than CP as well as shorties. The thong and shorties look so good (at least with my slogans on 'em ;) ) that my first model said "I want to model them just so I can have them."

And the products are shipped USPS priority instead of UPS (yay!) in a really cool envelope. When the mailman delivers something from Spreadshirt, he's going to be jealous even though he won't know what you're getting.

But unlike CP and Printmojo, Spreadshirt doesn't really generate much of a _storefront_ for folks who are just starting out. And I also have to put my designs, product title, pricing and shipping on every single product manually, instead of just generating a whole "Design X" page at once. There are some folks who have made really professional sites using Spreadshirt, but it's going to take an awful lot of work to make a customer-friendly presence.

I'd be surprised if this doesn't change over the next year or two, though. Spreadshirt's products are very strong competitors to CP and Zazzle. It's just a matter of time before their user interface catches up.

So, overall, for first time sellers, I'd go with CafePress for now. For serious professionals, I'd go with Printmojo or Spreadshirt.
 

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Yeah, having to input description etc manually for each product is a pain at Spreadshirt. But the colors available and quality is great. As is the community. And I think it's not too difficult to customize a great looking store if you have some HTML knowledge. Are there a lot of templates available if you don't know HTML, no.

However, one thing I'm frustrated with is their mens tee selection. There's no high quality crew tee. They have a FOTL lightweight tee in black and white and soon to be Khaki, and FOTL/Hanes heavyweight tee in numerous colors, but no American Apparel or equivalent. They do have the AA ringer but no crew. Might not matter to some people depending on their target market, etc., but it does to me which is why I'm now probably going to get a heat press and go plastisol on Alternative Apparel shirts.

Their women's selection is fine. AA gym ringers and a new Great Republic baby ribbed contrast stitch tee along with a bunch of Bella options.
 

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teestyle said:
Also, printmojo passes their actual shipping costs through to the customer instead of doing a flat fee or formula like Spreadshirt or CP, which isn't ideal.
Interesting. A lot of people prefer charging the actual shipping cost because it's fairest to both parties. Do you think it's better to (potentially) overcharge a customer on shipping if it means they have a clearer idea of what they will be paying from the start?

(good post by the way; plenty of people have dabbled with more than one company, but few people can properly compare them like that)
 

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Solmu said:
Interesting. A lot of people prefer charging the actual shipping cost because it's fairest to both parties. Do you think it's better to (potentially) overcharge a customer on shipping if it means they have a clearer idea of what they will be paying from the start?
Yes, although I'd err on the side of undercharging. I think Spreadshirt's $5 flat rate for up to $50 in orders is a great way to do it -- and I think CafePress is about to adopt the same model -- but $3.50 or $4 plus $1 per shirt would also be good. Locking in a fixed rate also gives the fulfillment companies a bigger incentive to find good shipping rates. I *hate* seeing $7 UPS charges when $4 from USPS might arrive just as fast (if not faster).

Another advantage to adopting a flat rate is that it makes it easier to incorporate the shop into eBay (and now Google Checkout). It's possible to have a high enough margin on PrintMojo to make eBay auctions/stores feasible, but the variability of the shipping makes it harder to tell

Solmu said:
(good post by the way; plenty of people have dabbled with more than one company, but few people can properly compare them like that)
Thanks!
 

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teestyle said:
Yes, although I'd err on the side of undercharging. I think Spreadshirt's $5 flat rate for up to $50 in orders is a great way to do it -- and I think CafePress is about to adopt the same model -- but $3.50 or $4 plus $1 per shirt would also be good. Locking in a fixed rate also gives the fulfillment companies a bigger incentive to find good shipping rates. I *hate* seeing $7 UPS charges when $4 from USPS might arrive just as fast (if not faster).
Yeah, those are all good reasons. I guess I'm just used to those flat rates being disadvantageous to me as a customer (i.e. I get overcharged). A lot of smaller sites run shipping at a loss to attract customers, I just haven't really seen it from larger sites. No reason they couldn't incorporate that into the base charges they have on each product though.

I agree that flat rates are a good thing if they benefit the customer (and are accounted for so they don't eat into your own margins too much).
 

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I've just set up a 'shop' using Spreadshirt. I went with them as they have a European biase and allowed me to easily sell in GBP. Also, there is no limit to the number of items you can have in a free shop in the way there is with CafePress. Integration with an existing site was as easy as it gets, and so far it has all been working well... Now I just need to get some decent T-shirt designs so that some people will actually buy something!

Al.
 
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