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Discussion Starter #1
I have an online t-shirt brand and shop.
I have been approached by a distributor to supply my t-shirts to retailers nationwide.

They are interested in either me supplying the t-shirts to them and they distribute.
or
I licence the designs and brand to them and they look after the rest.

This is a new business area for me. The t-shirts were only ever to be small side project but they are really starting to take off.
I am in the process of getting samples to them for retailers to order for next spring. When the orders come in we will have a better idea of demand and will sit down to talk money.

My question is, what would be a reasonable deal to expect in either situation. I am not looking for absolutes but a rough idea from which I can base negotiations on.

Thanks for your help.

Alan
 

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Hi Alan, I don't know the answer to this question, but I'm eager to hear what others have to say.
 

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get a guarantee $$$$ from the distributor for a set term. So if the retailers return some or all the goods cause they did not sell you will not take a financial and Brand deface hit.
 

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Ultimately, you probably want a distributor to deal with your shirt manufacturing. Licenced distributors have all of the tools necessary to promote and distribute your clothing line throughout North America and probably South and Central America, too. If your product wasn't good, no one would approach you. I deal with distributors for Walmart and Target on a daily basis. Their promotional reach is incredible. Just make sure you control the designs that you want printed.

License the design and brand to them and let them deal with the rest. They get better prices on t-shirts, better deals with screen printers and their promotional reach is above and beyond any website alone.

Unless, of course, you know what you're doing and you know how to promote your clothing line on that level of distribution and licensing... But I'm guessing you don't.

Hope that helps,

-- Jimmy
 

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good points Jimmy.


Had a similar conversation last week with a competitor ( yes we are friends ;) ) and as it turns out a deal with Wal-Mark north america only lasted a year.... because of the $ exchange factor and the gazzillion transfer that were made under a private label.

So set a term.

The poster is going nation wide, this means 1000's of t-shirts and a lot of $ involved.

Selling it out-right may be better, take the cash and start over.

Just like Filodoro Hoseiry did when Hanes (saralee) bought them out. They built a new Brand name and the factory to go with it....

I wish I was that lucky. :mad:

 

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...one more thing. :)

Since the reps are hitting the pavement now and booking orders, wait to see what quantity demand they return.

You will then be able to decide better.

Again, if they come back with a fair size book PO's, you will be able to get the financing you will need via Factors and such yourself and hire a contractor that can produce the goods, they are out there. The Distributor will be aware of that too, so its all about the total demand that comes back from the retail book orders.
 

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Oh my gosh, thank you all so much for the quick replies.

Sounds like licensing is the way to go.

If we license the brand to them, we can retain control of designs, no?
Can you also control what kind of stores they sell to? I guess everything is negotiable, eh?

The woman I spoke to basically told me they'd work whatever deal was good with us (licensing or just distribution), but did not give me a whole lot of examples of different sorts of arrangements and details.

I will be making calls to the lawyer, but it's great to gather some knowledge before the pay by the millisecond clock starts ticking.

And listen up everybody, they found us through a newspaper story last week. So, get your holiday marketing campaigns going and help these people find you. :)
 
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