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Discussion Starter #1
I've using this site to help jumpstart my business. This place has been wonderful. Words can not express the help I've received. Which brings me to this question. How can I market my shirts? I do custom shirts and am starting my brand on a heatpress machine. I can not afford a website like the ones I've come across and the stores are shopping at the tradeshows (way too expensive) Any ideas? Anyone? Please Help!:eek:
 

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I was always taught to start with the Four P's, product, price, place and promotion ;)
 
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Hi Anthony, if you are starting your own line of t-shirts with your own unique designs, then one thing you'll want to think about is WHO will be buying these t-shirts.

You may want to think about this part before you go any further. Who is your target market for your designs.

After you have that, then you'll need to come up with creative ways on how to REACH that target market. Some of it is going to cost money :) Advertising and marketing a business costs money.

Once you have your target market figured out, you may want to figure out how much you have in your budget to spend on marketing and advertising. Even if you have the best t-shirt designs in the world, they will just sit on the shelf if nobody knows about them.

You could consider a website as part of your marketing budget. Many times, they are not as expensive as you might think, and given the returns they can give you, it can be a wise investment in your business. You may want to rethink the idea of a website:
  • A website can make sales and take orders while you are sleeping!
    (I have a little O'Jays wav file that plays when I make a sale in one of my stores. My wife and I will be watching a movie in the other room and she'll just smile)
  • A website can answer lots of questions and be a great follow up to face to face meetings when you try to sell your shirts.
  • A website can generate low cost (or free) sales by making sure your site is search engine friendly and linked well by other sites. There are some people who make the majority of their income from referrals from free natural search engine listings. This doesn't happen overnight, but with time and work, it CAN happen.
  • Insert reasons 4-284 here:)

Once you have your target market, you can reach them by offline advertising (magazines, local events, stores), online advertising (banners on websites they visit, search enigine marketing (Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, natural search engine listings), newsletters, blogs, etc.

How to start is basically think of any and every way you can get your name out there to the people most likely to buy your product or service.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was quoted for a standard website of $1500.00 that includes the shopping chart, e-commerce etc. I've yet to find a provider that will create a site and maintain it for any less. I'm currently attempting to create my own site. (Big Mistake) It takes too much time and it's confusing. Are there any webmaster out there or that you could recommend?
 

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anthony17 said:
Adam your site looks great, who did yours? My site is Warriorsoath.com
Sites aren't that expensive to make. I made both of mine using ImageReady, within Photoshop CS, and set it up with GoLive CS. If you're a Mac guy, iLife has a great site construction package with pre-set templates. As for e-commerce, PayPal is a great way to start, and Google's upcoming system might be very interesting -- especially if it adds value to your Google search engine listing (2 for 1, can't beat that).

In the end, make sure you've got your URL on the shirt tag, and a unique shirt brand name which won't conflict with other similar names on a search (i.e., calling your shirt line "Awesome" will most likely place you on page 12,336 of a Google search:eek:)

I'm starting my own shirt label as well. It's a worry at first, like learning how to ride a motorcycle, but it gets so much easier as the days progress.

Good luck.
 

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I was quoted for a standard website of $1500.00 that includes the shopping chart, e-commerce etc. I've yet to find a provider that will create a site and maintain it for any less.
Try a site with many freelancers like rentacoder.com, elance.com, designoutpost.com.

Hosting and domain name should be $75-$200 per year
Shopping cart ($0 - $200 per year -- $0 being the great free shopping carts like www.cubecart.com)
Having someone install/customize and give you the lowdown on how to use your shopping cart ($100-$300)
Processing payments through PayPal/Google Checkout ($0 per month)

So to actually get up and running, I'd guess you could do it for less than $500 if you shopped around.

But your real concern before you start a website is who is going to be the primary buyer of your products. To paraphrase a "badalouism":

"a good place to start is a business plan."

That will help you identify the different parts of running a business and help you get answers to the challenging questions before you get started.
 

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Rodney said:
Hosting and domain name should be $75-$200 per year
Shopping cart ($0 - $200 per year -- $0 being the great free shopping carts like www.cubecart.com)
Having someone install/customize and give you the lowdown on how to use your shopping cart ($100-$300)
Processing payments through PayPal/Google Checkout ($0 per month)
Making your first sale - Priceless ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you. I am currently working on my website using lunarpages (thanks Rodney) It's working really well. I haven't set up the shopping cart yet. Again Thanks Much!
 

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Hey rodney,
How do you put that wav on your site to play when you make a sale?
I need that so I can stay off the computer. My site just launched about 2 weeks ago and I am religiously checking email.
Tara
 

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How do you put that wav on your site to play when you make a sale?
It's actually not done on my website, it's triggered via the program that I use to check email (Outlook). What email program do you use? That way, I can help you with instructions for your specific program (if it's available).
 

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I use outlook.
Cool.

Go to Tools menu > Rules and Alerts > Create a New Rule

If you have an email address that your order confirmations come from, you can use that as the trigger. Check the "from people or distribution list" box . Down in the lower box that says "Edit the Rule Description", click on the FROM link and add the email address that your orders come from (you can also use a subject line or anything else unique to that email).

Click Next > Check the "Play a Sound" box and down in the lower box that say "Edit the Rule Description" and click on sound and browse your computer for a wav file that you would like to play when the order comes in.

Click next and next and save it and you should be all set.
 

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Not sure if this will help, but we setup a web site through Sam's club, if you have a membership it's like $15 dollars a month and it includes a shopping cart feature, you would have to setup payments through paypal or get a credit merchant account which would be extra. They have some layout designs you can choose from and adding dept's and products is pretty straight forward.
 

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There are many shopping cart software products out there.

volusion.com
monstercommerce.com

Just to name a few. Obviously there are many out there these are just two that I have recently come across.

Did anybody else notice this:
cracksmokingshirts.com
nerdyshirts.com
bustedtees.com

It appears that they all have the same shopping cart software. It is called Sun Shop I believe.

But anyways I would def recommend having a shopping cart software instead of hiring a programmer/web designer to create it for you as it will be much less expensive.
 

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digitalninja said:
Did anybody else notice this:
cracksmokingshirts.com
nerdyshirts.com
bustedtees.com

It appears that they all have the same shopping cart software. It is called Sun Shop I believe.
Uh? I don't think so. CrackSmokingShirts is quite a bit different visably to begin with, and all 3 vary significantly in the way they are coded. I highly doubt they are running the same setup.
 
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