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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’d posted this in another forum but only received one response. As I need to make a decision asap on this I’d greatly appreciate this community’s input.

After four years of dealing with fulfillment and stocking nightmares and thousands of trips to the Post Office, I'm happily transitioning my shop to concentrate on brick and mortar retailers and flash sale sites for the time being. Having sold to 36 countries I don't want to lose the ability to find and serve customers around the world, so I need to choose the right print on demand/fulfillment service. My profits will be a fraction of direct sales, but perhaps it will bring a wider audience than we had in the long run.

Having spent four years massaging and cultivating a brand identity with a loyal following, I'm concerned that this will appear to be a step backwards. As my customers are graphic designers and other people in the industry, many prefer silk screened shirts. Am I cheapening the brand by going this route? Not that I have a choice. Keeping even a handful of sizes in stock of a mere 12 designs is something I simply can’t continue to do.

I'm wondering if anyone could give me some advice about which service would allow us to have our own shop, free of "you might also like" images from dozens of competitors. Are there any that allow you a seamless operation with a fully branded shop that does not get lost in a sea of others? Are there any that would allow me to continue to use my current site for ordering? That would be having my cake and eating it too. Or is that wishful thinking?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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i take it that you do your own screen printing already? can you continue doing things if you switched to plastisol transfers? or is that just a lateral move? i don't know enough about fulfillment services to help in any way, but to me it's one of those, 'i may not have much control over the product, but at least i'm making less money.'

maybe i'm not understanding your business. how do you produce shirts now? and how is changing the method of production going to help when you say you're going to be making a fraction of the profit? i guess i'm a little confused as to what you do, how you do it, and what you plan on doing that's different and how it's going to be a better situation for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ryan. I've been silk screening via a variety of area vendors for years. My main issue is I simply can't afford to keep sufficient stock in all designs and sizes at all times. I will still be silk screening for retailers and flash sale sites, but want to get out of the stocking and fulfillment business for the time being. I need to get back to my design practice and the shop's myriad details took up far too much time.

Picking the right process among POD vendors is critical with my very picky audience of designers. They know quality printing and I want to keep them happy.
 

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you have a lot of questions that makes me think that this one may be over my head. me being so awesome, i hate to admit that... but, that's just another thing that makes me so great. go figure, huh?

so, you're doing one thing, but you want to put it aside for awhile to do another. kind of like being married, but that cute little red-head with the big butt keeps eyeing you at work. gotcha. (this is a lot easier for me when i can put it in terms i can understand.) you just can't suspend operations, that would hurt your core business. it just take up too much of your time. and your customers know quality.

is there a middle ground here, something that reduces your workload, doesn't kill profits as bad as a fulfillment service might (i'm assuming this would be the case as it just seems logical in my mind), yet keeps the quality to the high standard your established customers demand? again, is plastisol transfers out of the question? you have to keep a stock of blank shirts, of course, but would eliminating the bulk of the labour and expense be a happy medium?

am i understanding correctly when i ask if your goal is to put your brand in retail shops, but the weights and anchors of your ongoing business is preventing that until they come up with a 32 hour day?
 
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