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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and sincerely seeking some advice from the veterans out here to help in starting my T-shirt printing and selling venture.

I'm a graphic designer and have been toying with the idea of starting my own T-shirts label. Hope you ladies and gentlemen out here are able to share your experience and give me some pointers and guidance.

My first decision is to DIY print or to outsource.

As I'm starting out with limited fund. I'd like to have more designs than more quantities. I've searched around and it is rather expensive to print a single design for a small quantity. Now, I'm contemplating if I should invest in a used printer and thus I can print as many design as I like. Read around and seems that heat transfer printing method is more economical for initial investment. I'd need only a heat press and transfer papers. As I'm starting out, I'm trying to minimise the cost in case the venture failed and the loss will not be an ache to the pocket. What will be your advice?

2nd question is.. to design/market T-shirts with theme or without a specific theme. I've surf around and see most sites sell T-shirts revolving a Theme. Funny, Horror, cartoonist.. etc.. is it easier to sell when you have a theme or is it easier to sell a varieties of T-shirts without a specific theme?

3rd question is pricing and quality. Is it more appealing to customers when you have a lower price and okay quality or it is more appealing to customers when you sell a GOOD quality at a higher price? have you guys try to stretch your price and found out the ceiling price?

4th question is a bit sensitive perhaps.. how many t-shirts do your sites sell per month on average? How much can a T-shirt selling site earn?

This will be my first business venture and pardon me if I asked too many questions which appear too simple for veterans.

Appreciate your time taken to read till so far and hope to hear your input and advice soon.

Thanks and Regards
Sarsi
 

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I'm just getting started in this as well, but have been in business (architecture) for myself for a few years now. so take my advice for what it's worth.

In regards to your 2nd question. Marketing is very important. Take this business seriously if you don't want it to fail. Complete a business plan. In it you should narrow it down to really who is your target customer. Then you'll have to go after them. Mearly putting a site on the internet is not going to get your enough sales to be happy, unless you have a great gimick

3rd question also involves knowing your costomer. If you're selling to people in Beverly hills you can get away with charging a little more per tee. However if your going after college students, then a "value" tee is important.

4th question I too am curious. But I do remember reading that some people on this board have made it a full time job, if that gives you any indication.
 

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Well, first you have to decide what aspect of the t-shirt market you want to go after because the advice is going to be different.

A theme is always a good thing because it gives your shirts a story and lets you stand out.

As far as pricing and quality, it depends what you are trying to do. If you are going after the humorous college t-shirt market, then printing on hanes/gildan and charging 15 dollars could be a good option. But, if you want to go after a higher market, then its worth it more to you to print on a nicer blank (sich as American apparel or alternative apparel) and ask for a higher price.

There is no price ceilings or price floors in this game, its all a matter of what the consumer feels your t-shirt is worth to them. Take for example a Trunk Ltd. t-shirt that cost 100 dollars, its printed on a cut and sew double seamed t-shirt, peice dyed, enzyme washed, it has two woven tags and they pay for the rights to use the screens from old band tours.

But, you would be amazed at what some tshirt companies can get away with. I've seen some t-shirt companies charge 40 dollars for a 5 dollar American Apparel t-shirt because it has some light embroiderie. And that to me is not worth it.

Hope that makes sense
 

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Thanks Twin and Rq for the replies. I'm still roughing out to start with limited funds. I wanted to have my own label carrying a varieties of fashion apparel and targeting the high end market. I'm finding some feasible ways to start economically to test the market. Design comes easily for me but getting my hands on printing and the business/marketing aspects take some experience and learning. Though I've read the different kinds of printing but I still do not have any ideas how the output of different printing methods look like. Thanks for the help.
 
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