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Whats up everyone..
Im just a young guy with a lot of original funny ideas for tee shirts targeted to college students and such... I was wondering how should I get started? I have about 2500 to start... Is that even enough? I have hundreds of designs and slogans. Some insight would be appreciated or a push in the right direction

Web hosting?
Printing? (do it my self or send them somewhere)?
Paypal?
How do I go about registering a company name? web addy?
how many designs to start off with?

any advice would be helpful

Thanks a lot

~B
 

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We just started our business with exactly the same situation you're in - there are some serious limitations to not having enough starting capital, although $2500 can get you off the ground - it'll be the restocking and inventory issues down the line that will throw a real wrench into things without enough money.

Anyway, I can answer any questions you might have, or if you'd prefer, hit me up via email - ptees(at)ptees.com
 

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I don't really have a good webhost to recommend. I'm currently using a friend who gives me a deal... you might try www.serverseed.com, they've been recommended to me once or twice.

If you're going to print yourself, your only resonably cheap option would be heat transfer. Normally, this only works on light shirts, but you can order plastisol transfers that will work for dark shirts. If you have someone else printing them, you won't make as much money in the long run, but you will be able to start out with a smaller investment. You will also have to keep stock most likely, if you have someone screen print them, which also requires that you guess ahead of time what colors/sizes people will want (wheras with heat transfer, you can do it on demand; even plastisol transfers can be done on demand to some extent, but you will have to order thr transfers in a moderate bulk (~24 minimum if you want a resonable price) ahead of time.)

Paypal is good. Lowest transaction fees I saw for small businesses (Still ends up taking out about $1.50 per shirt, though).

To register a business, talk to your local government (or look up info about the process online). It will probably involve filling out a fairly simple business restration form and getting a sales tax license. Your local department of Revenue would probably be the best place to check.

To register a website domain, you simply buy one from a registrar such as www.godaddy.com (there are several). Supposedly search egines will like you better if you register for a decent chunck of time (5 years instead of 1 year). Its pretty cheap, ~$10 per year.

How many designs can really vary. If your designs are very orginal (esp. graphical), you could potentially start with very few (under 10). I'd suggest trying to aim for about 20 and add more as you can; this also definately depends on printing method - if you're having someone else screen print them for you and stock them yourself, you will want to do fewer designs to start with than if you go with another option.
 

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Web hosting?
I would reccomend ewisp.net . $30 / year for a huge package, and so far I have had 100% up time.

Printing? (do it my self or send them somewhere)?
The cheapest way to go is inkjet heat transfers, but if you want to print colored shirts, you'll need to either get shirts screen printed, have plasticol transfers printed, or buy a vinyl cutter. Plasticol tranfers, inkjet heat transfers, and vinyl will require a heat press.

Paypal is shopping cart is OK. The limitations with paypal cart is that the shopping cart does not integrate well into your site, and shipping calulations are only based on total cost of order, or you specify shipping based on an amount for each item. You cant specify shipping based on wieght, or number of items in the cart, unless you price all of your items the same.

Paypal as a credit card acceptor is good. Their prices are cheap, it works, it accepts tons of different payment methods, and people feel secure using it.

How do I go about registering a company name? web addy?
I wouldn't register a company name to start out with.

You must register a domain though. FInd the cheapest company you can, and use them. (should cost $5-$10)

how many designs to start off with?
As many as you can afford. If your using inkjet transfers, or vinyl I would suggest 15-20. If your screen printing or using plasticol transfers, as manty as you can afford. From my experience, people like to shop around your site. They don't like just choosing between 3 or 4 designs.
 
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