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I have owned a few AA shirts, and don't really find them to be that well made. Yeah, they're soft, but they lose their shape quickly, and they seem to be expensive, here in Canada. But they seem very popular.

I'm not impressed by the things I've heard about the CEO, Dov Charney, and his views on "employee relations" and his trying to steer away from the whole "sweatshop free" slant, because it's "...so passe." But, I'm wondering, because everyone and their dog seems to be printing on AA, is it a 'necessary evil' for me to (if I want to sell a crap load of shirts) not only have the best designs I can create, but to print on American Apparel?
 

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Everyone has a different opinion on what a quality shirt is and which brands they prefer.

You don't have to sell American Apparel or any other brand to generate sales. I don't print any of my shirts on their garments and they sell just fine.

Depending on your niche market and demographic, printing on American Apparel may help your sales some because they do have a following that actually loooks for their products, but you don't have to.

We recently had a thread about new article on American Apparel, so you'll see some similar comments there.

As I mentioned in that other topic, I don't want this to turn into a company bashing thread against American Apparel, because we don't allow company bashing in the forums, but to answer your qeustion "is it necessary", the answer is no :)

:welcome:
 

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kentphoto said:
But, I'm wondering, because everyone and their dog seems to be printing on AA, is it a 'necessary evil' for me to (if I want to sell a crap load of shirts) not only have the best designs I can create, but to print on American Apparel?
To me there's two prongs to this question:

The first, is it necessary to print on a garment like those made by AA?
The second, is it necessary to print on garments made by AA themselves?

In answer to the first: that depends on you and your demographic. Some people only buy AA style shirts, some people refuse to buy AA style shirts. Whichever brand you use, you will exclude some buyers. I think if your designs are good enough you can use more or less any style of t-shirt, so it's mostly up to you what you want to use.

In answer to the second: no, it is absolutely not necessary to use AA shirts. Even if you choose to use that style it is not necessary to use American Apparel (unless, of course, you choose to). One option you could consider is Alternative Apparel. Of the people I know who've compared them, all think the two brands are similar, and all prefer Alternative (though not by a long way or anything - they are quite similar).

If you want to use a different brand you can either address the topic head on (e.g. in your FAQ have "Why don't you print on American Apparel?"), indirectly ("we print on Alternative Apparel, they have a modern cut and don't use sweatshop labour"), or not at all (it's always a good idea to state what brand you print on - but you don't have to justify why).

There are also other brands of shirts who meet criteria of being a slim cut, sweatshop free, etc. If you do some searches in these forums you should come up with several leads.

Basically though, while some people like AA specifically they are normally open to trying other brands. I find a lot of people on the internet who like AA don't like AA so much as they hate "traditional" brands. You can use a different brand, so long as you make it clear that the brand has the same features that make them like AA.
 

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I think alot of people get American Apparel for the same reason people go to Starbucks over joes coffe shack. The name. They are very soft and thin so I guess it depends on what you like. Personally I really like Hanes beefy t's.
 

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I have tried several shirts, hanes, fruits etc. I use them and then make up my mind. AA in "my experience" is the best. I ordered alternative tees and they feel like AA but not as well constructed. The bad about AA is that you cant mix and match sizes or colors.They cost more because they are better. Mercedes cost more than honda for a reason.
 

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aokusman said:
I have tried several shirts, hanes, fruits etc. I use them and then make up my mind. AA in "my experience" is the best. I ordered alternative tees and they feel like AA but not as well constructed. The bad about AA is that you cant mix and match sizes or colors.They cost more because they are better. Mercedes cost more than honda for a reason.
Price does not always equal quality.;)
Someone could charge $100 for blank t-shirts that are poorly constructed, and made with cheap materials. Does that make it better? Of course not.

Quality (like beauty!) is in the eye of the beholder. Someone may look at an AA shirt and think: "Why would anybody be dumb enough to pay that much money for a t-shirt, when this one that I have costs half as much and is twice as good!".
 

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I personally don't like wearing AA... but I sell them. Give the people what they want, but it's getting hard to do since they have "store only" lines that are gaining in popularity.
 

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I like the fact that AA shirt color are much more brighter and "truer" to the actual color

I've been looking at AAA shirts which are thicker but are more muted in color; the fit is much better for my demographic, which are men who are gaining size with their beer belllies.

But overall I would use AA because of their solid color choice
 

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Depends on the demo. We printing some of our shirts on Fruit of The Loom and Gildan that are for men. And some on AA for men, depending on our print and who we're targetting. Alot of the younger gen's like AA because of the fit (tighter) and the whole "thin and soft" feel. Our girls shirts are from Article One or AA. For the reason that girl's in the younger demographics don't like heavy shirts.
 

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Does the customer really care if American Apparel t-shirts are used as opposed to another company? Of course quality is very important, however, if you can get the same quality of shirt from a different company for much less expensive, what is the benefit of using American Apparel shirts over another company?

Are they really a socially conscious company or is that hype?

 

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laylaazure said:
Does the customer really care if American Apparel t-shirts are used as opposed to another company? Of course quality is very important, however, if you can get the same quality of shirt from a different company for much less expensive, what is the benefit of using American Apparel shirts over another company?

Are they really a socially conscious company or is that hype?
I think it really is going to depend on your market. American Apparel sel form-fitting shirts that are very light weight. They cater to a younger audience as that is usually the style. I'm in the same position as you right now, as to which brand to carry.

I'm starting with Hanes Beefy-T just because they hold up really well. But I may also carry American Apparel at a slightly higher price for those who want it. I hope to get feedback from my customers as to what brands they prefer because thats what really matters, not what I like personally.

But as many have stated on these forums before, if you have great designs people will most likely buy your shirts. Not to say to get the lowest quality shirt to cut costs, but something in between. I know many here use Fruit of the Loom or Jerzee. I would just order some samples from a variety of companies and see what bests fits your busines and wait for the feedback.
 

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I also use Hanes Beefy Tee's and Bella rib tees. They both have been fabulous. I won't use Fruit of the Loom. Don't like the quality.
 

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The "socially conscious" issue is interesting. Has anyone seen any kind of hard data/polls/stats out there that speaks to whether that component influences buying habits? It'd be great to see a break-down of that according to demographic.

The definition of that term is open to interpretation as well. There's a great argument that the so-called sweatshops of the third world are only negative from a western point of view, but are actually very welcome in those societies. Anyway, I'll shut up now.
 

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aokusman said:
How much per shirt for a dozen black short sleeve.
Comin'OutSwingin said:
Men or women? Take a look at their site. There is a style number below each pic. If you give me the style number I can tell you peice, dozen, and case price.
aokusman said:
RA5051 thanks
Small-XL Black $4.05/shirt per dozen
2XL Black $4.55/shirt per dozen
3XL Black $5.05/shirt per dozen

Case prices:
sm-xl $3.80/shirt per dozen
2xl $4.30/shirt per dozen
3xl $4.80/shirt per dozen

piece prices:
sm-xl $5.55
2xl $6.05
3xl $6.55
;)
 
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