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Discussion Starter #1
For the initial phase of selling merch I was thinking of going as follows:
Open a Cafepress account to get the shirts made.
Open a MySpace account to use as my initial Front Page, to jump off the marketing with.
Start selling shirts out of my digital trunk!
Im looking to get some input from people who have used cafepress or one of the other like companies. Does this seem feasable?
I want to get going on this asnap. Initially I thought about getting a webpage & I will eventually, but myspace should do the trick for the time being shoudnt it?
Admittedly there is no initial out of pocket expense with my strategy, which is part of the beauty.
I realize that it wont show in any search engines either, but ill be marketing other avenues while getting the real page built in the mean time.
What else should I be thinking about?
S.
 

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If you start will be successful and you will move to your own site, you should to start from the beginning - promote your site, optimize in search engines etc.

So, possible to make a web site now will be better for future.
 

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You could always try Hi5, just remember that it depends on how much you plan to sell your t-shirts for. Not all teenagers have a lot of cash to spare. Good luck with it and it sounds like a decent idea, I'm thinking of doing the same myself. What kind of designs are you focusing on?

Nick.

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I guess my next question then would be, how do the people with Just a cafepress site do? Can you optimize a CP site so that it will come up on searches?
Im not looking to sell directly from myspace. It will be a multi tiered thing. But I figured I would use myspace as the initial front page, then have it link into the cafepress stores.
I plan to do lots of sticker advertising, as well as marking up my truck, so I need to have ONE website to direct people to. I figured myspace is easy to remember & then from there I can direct them where I like...
Or should I just get a proper site & go with that?
S.
 

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how do the people with Just a cafepress site do? Can you optimize a CP site so that it will come up on searches?
There are lots of people with just a cafepress site that do just fine. You can optimize a cafepress site to come up in search engines (cafepress has done most of the work for you by having clean urls and relevant titles).

I think instead of promoting a myspace URL, I would suggest promoting your OWN domain name. Like if your company is called sharp21, you should register sharp21.com (or another easy to remember name) and direct people there.

I think some of the best sellers on CafePress have a separate site that they use to direct traffic to their cafepress store. It could be a blog, it could be just their own domain name with related information on their company, more customized pages, and a CPSHOP installation.
 

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as long as you have a place that you're directing traffic to, where you can actually make a sale... I don't think it matters whether that's a cafepress site or if its your own website it just needs to be a place where you can monetize your web traffic. As mentioned, myspace can not do that, but myspace can generate a buzz for your line and traffic to your site.

the only thing this strategy will cost you is time, so why not?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Time I have in spades!
I think ill register the website & start with that... No sense building up all kinds of hype & potential clientelle to one site, only to switch it up on them when it starts going well... I will use the myspace to generate traffic over to the domain.
But dont worry! Ill have plenty of questions pertaining to setting up the site!
And just for the record, its The Titan T-Shirt Co...
S.
 

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Hey there Sharp,

I agree with what everyone says on this thread, but also would like to mention that myspace is a GREAT form of free advertising. It all depends on your marketing strategy.

I would not market your myspace as your main front page unless you are very good with css and can customize your myspace page to be suitable. I think both a TGP (traffic generating page), and a myspace page is a great start.

Like I said, it all depends on your marketing strategy, and who your target market is.
 

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Just a hint - I also will use myspace and some other blogs for promotion my main web site.
But only as ADDITIONAL web place.

Waiting for results...
 

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I think your DESIGNS is the most important thing.

All other stuff like websites, other promo and advertising, marketing, manufacturing, selling, a budget and so on..... are extremely important and a MUST HAVE as part of your overall start up business/concept master plan, but with out the saleble DESIGNS....... silent night.

Your Designs is what peeps will want from you and that is what you deliver.

Often new artists venture off into spending all kinds of money setting everything up only to find that their designd dont sell.

Do test markets for your designs to see what type of response you get from the consummer, Cafe press, Ebay and places like it are good selling venues to test market your stuff.... price points etc...

DO NOT do test markets in forums where you are simply asking for opinions, cause peeps like to be nice and tell you they like it..but would they buy it ?

But do go ahead and get the ball rolling and register your domain and other low cost asset elements with enough room to expand. Plan for now, 1 year and 5 year down the road is a good idea.

My post is not intended to discourage you. :)

thats all for me.... sorry for the long post fella. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey guys good advice
I was intending to use myspace, forums etc as supplemental advertising. A way to get the word out & get people to the site. But the site will be the key feature.
And Lucy of course the designs need to be tight, but instead of getting hung up on having the perfect design like I used to think you needed, Im gonna put up everything I got & see what sticks.
If I can keep putting out 2-4 new designs every week, then obviously not all will hit, but it wont be for lack of trying!
S.
 

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LucyRoberts said:
I think your DESIGNS is the most important thing.
That really isn't true at all. Clearly they're very important, but they're not the most important thing.

Companies that don't have the finishing touches on their product are a dime a dozen, and they're not going to find their market. You can have the best designs in the world, but you won't make a single sale if no-one knows you're there.

Conversely, even a crappy design can sell if everything else is perfect, because we all know there are people out there with no taste. Or a sucker you can convince that you have the next greatest thing. If you want to be truly successful you clearly need both, but the most important thing is the business façade.

People will buy anything if they know they can buy it.
 

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LucyRoberts said:
I think your DESIGNS is the most important thing.

All other stuff like websites, other promo and advertising, marketing, manufacturing, selling, a budget and so on..... are extremely important and a MUST HAVE as part of your overall start up business/concept master plan, but with out the saleble DESIGNS....... silent night.. :D
hey Solmu, I thing you missed a few lines of my post. :) look above.

Oh well, it happens to me too.
 

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LucyRoberts said:
hey Solmu, I thing you missed a few lines of my post. :) look above.
No, I didn't.

Your contention: Designs are most important, other things are also very important.

My contention: Designs are also very important, but other things are more important.

Clearly different.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thats the train of thought I was on as well...
I think the company is more an exercise in marketing than it is an exercise in design...
And im gonna market the shirts right onto their backs!
S.
 

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What do people think about trying to build a sense of community around their products/business? I'm thinking about trying to promote small start-up streetwear/urban brands but trying to build a community feeling. Obviously, this forum is a great example and it's taken time to build. But open conversation about something we all have an interest in and enjoy working on makes a big difference. I guess I could juts use a forum but does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to be another facless website..the big companies seem to be blank in my eyes. Nothing there but dollar signs. Heh, i'll stop before i get too anti-capitalist.

Nick.
 

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Okay so you want to promote streetwear/ urban brands. What's your gimmick?
If you promote brands that follow the sneaker circuit then you can find people on myspace that customize and buy sneakers. You can post at myspace everytime that you have a new product for sale and direct them to your site. Once on the site you can blog and have a forum like www.hypebeast.com

So again I ask what is your gimmick? Will you focus on asian wear (Japan has some of the best denim), rap wear (you will have to know your music), bling(products that promote the american dream), exclusives ( brands like Bape, Ice Cream, Stussy, etc)?
 
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