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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any thoughts on market saturation? It's somewhat daunting to see all the various t-shirt stores online. I realize that the internet is a great deal larger in terms of potential customers versus a brick-and-mortar store which is only catering to local shoppers plus tourists/visitors. However, the sheer number of online stores is a bit staggering at times. Do any of you think consider that certain types are over-saturated, say, such as political or adult humor, etc?
 

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I still come across new shirt sites every day. Yes, there’s a ton of sites out there! I have bookmarked over 300 tee shirt sites, this does not include Café’ Press “type” sites.

There’s a constant cycle of new sites/businesses coming online and ones making their way off. There’s also the factor that this industry lends itself to an inexpensive start-up cost w/ absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. You have people in school selling a few shirts a week, and they’re totally content w/ that. You have people with good size businesses and it’s basically a second “job” or a financially rewarding hobby for them. Then you have the full time businesses or corporations going after millions.

To me that’s a pretty unique and fun mix! Not too many industries have such a demographically diverse ownership of the market place. Seeing that new businesses are successful can be one argument that the market is not saturated. However, even in an over saturated market, there are always those who will be successful at entering and staying in that market.
 

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To me that’s a pretty unique and fun mix! Not too many industries have such a demographically diverse ownership of the market place. Seeing that new businesses are successful can be one argument that the market is not saturated. However, even in an over saturated market, there are always those who will be successful at entering and staying in that market.
I've gotta agree with CoolHandLuke on this one. I see dozens of new t-shirt sites everyday and I've been working with t-shirt website since 1996. While the number of t-shirt sites in the marketplace has grown, there are still opportunities for originality and success.

I think the Wall Street Journal article last year sparked another "wave" of t-shirt sellers, but I think that's only added to the mix. Competition is part of capitalism, and while not everyone will have success, I think more sellers equals more creativity and hopefully motivates others to push hard to get ahead.

I am also a bit selfish as a t-shirt junkie / t-shirt consumer. The more people selling cool t-shirts the better. I'm always on the lookout for the next addition to my collection :)
 

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Rodney is right on! It actually was the WSJ article that started TeeRAVEL, although our business model was first tested three years ago.

I owned a successful marketing firm that provided marketing services to the accounting industry and sold that company when Quickbooks etc, started to become mainstream. Started an illustrated tourist information map company and sold that company too out of stupidity.

I was looking for a cool industry to enter and stumbled across the WSJ article during my research and it made perfect sense to give the business model another shot. The tee shirt industry has everything going for it. Including the competition! Sure it would be nice to enter an industry with no competition, but where’s the fun and reward in that!

For an industry that was first conceived in the early 70’s… it’s a baby right now compared to where it’s going! T-Shirt Forums will see a steady increase in posts for the next ten years, at least!

There’s still plenty of niches to be filled!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think part of my wariness is that I cannot seem to wrap my mind correctly around the enormity of the Internet's population. Yeah, I saw that WSJ article as well. Very thought-provoking stuff.
 

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Hey Honeyflip,

I would start with what you really like doing. Test it out and see what happens. If it doesn’t work… adjust something or everything and see if it’s still something you want to run with.

You can talk about something FOREVER! Once you actually do it… there's silence!


Go for it!
 

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I think part of my wariness is that I cannot seem to wrap my mind correctly around the enormity of the Internet's population.
It's really quite amazing when you think about it. The internet's population is the world's population (or a very large microcosm of it).

For me, it shows how connected we all are. For any interest or niche you have, there is almost surely someone (more likely 1000's of someones) who have the same EXACT interest.

eBay is a good testiment to that. You can find just about anything on ebay, and even the weirdest stuff in the back of your closest has someone waiting to buy it somewhere in the world.

And as coolhandluke said, we're still in the infant stages of it all :D
(btw, cool hand luke is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time :) )
 

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hey guys i love to see that article in the WSJ that ye are talking about. I very intrigued after reading down through the post. is the a link somewhere on there website to that particular article?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're right - I bow to your superior intelligences (Rodney and CoolHandLuke). Actually, I just realized that I have never seen a single person ever wear a t-shirt from BustedTees, Threadless, T-Shirt Hell or any of the sites run by people on this forum. I live in a fairly populated area of coastal CA, near a university, plenty of tourists, etc. So, hmm...that's intriguing.

Yeah, I'm going to go for it. My site is about 85% built and I have about 5 designs printed up. I just need to finish the site and do a little back-end integration. Once it's up, I'll be looking for some brutal feedback...

As far as the article, if you google: "wall street journal" t-shirt internet, it's the very first hit that comes up.
 

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also my friends the true beauty of this biz, is that from a creative standpoint, you can really offer something to almost ANYBODY! think about the hundreds of issues that people are passionate about, and design a tee-shirt for them! weather its pop music lovers, hip-hoppers, animal fanatics (and i use that term respectfully) skateboarders, motorcycle enthusiasts, car fanatics, computer heads, sports, and on and on and on. thats why the tee-shirt to my knowledge is the number one item in sales today when it comes to lesiure apparell.
 
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