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In general, do you think it would be better to have one online shop with a variety of designs or many shops/storefronts, each with a specific focus? It seems that multiple shops would give more opportunities for different kinds of advertising, but maybe not. (Let's say that you have a bunch of t-shirts and are doing the fulfillment yourself, for example.)

And what about the idea of have your own umbrella store with substores (each with a different domain)? Sort of having them semi-obviously affiliated with each other.

I'm not looking for anything specific here, just any thoughts that anyone feels like sharing on this idea.

learning learning learning,
:)
Kristen
 

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Hi Kristen,

I decided to attemp this last year, spliting up a single shop into three.
I had started with just a racing shop for go karters at
http://www.cafepress.com/gokarttees

after getting several request from teams for personal shirts i decided to split off another shop for team designs at
http://www.racer-tees.com
last year i did over fifty teams

in an attempt to get more teams in from the auto racers I started a new site at http://www.cafeshops.com/hanksracin

Then i though I would use my main web site to bring them in all together in one place adding in extras like wallpapers and photo's. then a game room and chat and forum and so on.
this is at http://www.gokart-tees.com
I'm thinking i will need to change to something more general to match all three of the shops, but for now i'll keep it.

It has worked out somewhat well. I found that the team design were not selling well as to the image size and pricing so i went to a minimal fee with free graphics hoping to make up the difference in the sales bonus but that didn't help with the image size. So i started up an account at zazzle. This worked out real well. I sell more team designs there than in the cafepress. I defaulted all the designs into cafepress because they have a larger product base. I started adding in other designs into zazzle a few weeks ago to see if they would sell any better than the cafepress shirts. No answers as to that yet. At least now i feel i can test new ideas in one shop and see if it works there then bring it in in the other shops and see if it works there. So that I think can be one advantage with having several shops. I also feel it gives me a larger playing field in a highly competiteve racing design market.

I've gotton and missed out on several request by dealers and companies wanting designs and shirts to sell at the tracks because the cafepress and the zazzle shirts simply cost to much even at thier bulk. I had start an account at 99 dogs in hopes to remidy this but simply felll flat with them.
there image size is just way to small and hardly ever answered emails, i also could not find a phne number to call them anywhere on thier site.
I checked out some local shirt makers, but they all wanted my to purchase blank shirts and ship them in ... to much work i thought.
So.. i've been looking at mojo and i seen a new string come up with another company called spread shirts and now, Rodney has come up with this forum, thankfully, and just in time also. So hopefully i can get some more information here as to the best place to take yet another shop for dealers and companies.

anyway, I hope this helps or is somewhat an answer to your question. It's all been a massive amount of work on my end trying to keep up with it all. many long long nights and weekends. I guess it's just what you want to accomplish with a design field you want to work in and how far you want to take it. Maybe I'm being to extreme in it, but one thing is for sure. I'll find out one way or another. :)

Jock
oh.. i also have another one http://www.blueridgepictures.com
:)
 

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Here are my thoughts...

Try selling the t-shirts through your shop first - I believe you are already doing this. If you see something selling really well which gets a lot of interest then I would branch that section off to a new website. You don't have to have one or the other, keep the products on your main site as well. Keep an eye on your log files, and learn what is popular for you. Do some research, have a look at what is out there now. Who are the competitors for that type of product?

What I'm trying to get at is test the waters first like what Jock said about his team t-shirts. He started selling lots of those so had the initiative to start up a new website for it. I've sort of done something similar with my business... in fact it's how most of my subsidiaries branch off.

Adam
 

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mtn910 said:
I've gotton and missed out on several request by dealers and companies wanting designs and shirts to sell at the tracks because the cafepress and the zazzle shirts simply cost to much even at thier bulk. I had start an account at 99 dogs in hopes to remidy this but simply felll flat with them.
One quick note on this.

If you have a company or dealer that wants to buy from you in bulk, you should definitely look into getting your designs screen printed.

Just google for "screen printing" and you should find some good companies.

Most will provide the shirts and printing for one low price. Since screen printing is designed for bulk orders, you'll often find that you have more room for markup.

It would just be a matter of finding out which design(s) the company wanted to buy and in what quantities. Then you get the quote from the printing company. Get payment from the company wanting to buy your designs. Place the order with the printing company and have the shirts drop shipped to the buyer's location.

If you need more info on this, just let me know.
 

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foxvox said:
In general, do you think it would be better to have one online shop with a variety of designs or many shops/storefronts, each with a specific focus? It seems that multiple shops would give more opportunities for different kinds of advertising, but maybe not. (Let's say that you have a bunch of t-shirts and are doing the fulfillment yourself, for example.)

My first reaction to the question would be to separate the products into different stores, especially if the themes are very different.

For example, if you are marketing artistic t-shirts AND "attitude"/funny t-shirt saying, I would say that you are better of with 2 distinct stores (the site design itself should be different for those 2 different customer types).

Your advertising dollars and marketing efforts will be better targeted with stores that have a specific focus.

However, if you have the money and want to create a unified "brand" (like a ChoiceShirts.com type store), then having the varied design types in the same store can also be of benefit (showing you are sort of a "one stop shop" for t-shirt designs).

I guess it depends on the situation and budget :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone! Excellent input! Given me a lot to mull over. I like the idea of testing things out, say, at my cafepress shop, and then maybe moving to screen printing with the more popular designs. I'm still not sure about one or many though, many good points here, I guess it also depends on where I think I'm going and what I want to put energy into, etc.

BLAH! LOL,
:)
Kristen
 

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I think the main question is in promoting, I think the more shops you have the more areas you need to promote in, which could be good if you can find resources to do that, directories and such. Are you promoting your shops offline as well Kristen? Curious, something I've been thinking about but being in another country I think I need the actual product here to 'go local' that might take me abit of time. :)
 
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