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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very new in this tshirt business and needed help with some questions. I have already read through a lot of threads and still had some questions that I could not find answers to. I would greatly appreciate if some one can respond.

1. I started into this business few weeks ago. Hence, do I need to go through the "cafe press, zazzle etc route to begin with? If yes, what kind of sales do I need to see before I jump into contacting retailers and wholesalers?

2. If that is not required, then I would like to focus on retailers/wholesalers right away. I have my designs but was not sure how many designs is enough to start selling to a retailer or wholesaler? Also do I need to have samples of all my designs or one is enough. Will retailers look at photographs of designs and make out an order?

3. Some of threads spoke about using a sales rep for sell products. From what I understand sales rep take 15% commision. Is that commision for the first order only or for every repeat order that I would get from the buyer? I am assuming that is something that needs to be negotiated while making our contract. What is the industry trend for something like that?

Again, thank you so much in advance for responding to my questions. It is greatly appreciated.
 

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do I need to go through the "cafe press, zazzle etc route to begin with?
No.

I have my designs but was not sure how many designs is enough to start selling to a retailer or wholesaler?
One if it's the right design. Preferably more like 4-6.

Also do I need to have samples of all my designs or one is enough.
You'll need at least one finished sample that shows fabric quality, print quality, finishing, etc. But if your prints aren't significantly different (e.g. all pigment prints, not one discharge, one dye, one foil, etc.) it shouldn't really matter.

You just need to be careful that you still come across as professional and reliable; you don't want the retailer thinking you can't (or won't) fulfill orders, and not being able to (or committed enough to) produce samples is sometimes seen as a bad sign.

If you coupled a lack of samples with things like Vistaprint business cards, you could be dead in the water (then again, those are a deal breaker on their own anyway).

Is that commision for the first order only or for every repeat order that I would get from the buyer?
Generally subsequent too.

I am assuming that is something that needs to be negotiated while making our contract.
Yes. Also, unless you're rich and/or famous you're not likely to get a rep for a new company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much Solmu for responding. This helps me out tremendously. I have about 10 years of retail management experience and I am counting on that to help me out with this new venture.
 

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I have about 10 years of retail management experience and I am counting on that to help me out with this new venture.
Excellent. I imagine it'll be quite easy to come across professionally, reassure buyers you understand them/their needs, etc. then. With that experience behind you I wouldn't be afraid to trust your instincts. If buyers keep giving you the same feedback you'll want to listen, but the assumed wisdom of the industry isn't always right. In other words it's good to know the standards of the new venture, but at the same time don't be afraid to make the leaps on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually had a follow up question with regards to when to contact retailers for order for their Christmas or summer collections. I am assuming I am late to hit retailers with Christmas orders. Usually which months are considered ideal for contacting retailers/wholesalers?

Also, as we all know the economy is struggling. Has the t-shirt industry seen a big reduction in production?

Again, thanks for the vote of confidence earlier. I am going to do my best and give it all I got.
 
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