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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In about 6 months, I will be getting my tax refund. Based on past experience, and some math I did, it will be several thousand dollars. I can probably spare about $500 of that to buy a press and some supplies. In the meantime, here is my plan, and some questions.

I will use cafepress basic ( free ) shops as my supplier.
I will either drop ship to customers, or order as I go, and ship from my location. I won't link sales to cafepress directly, all orders will go through me. I may order some samples at cost, when I have the extra money.
I am trying to find a functional host ( free or low annual cost ) for my active domain, so that I can set up the product images and order information on the website.

A few questions:
1) What are some good quality domain hosting services for low cost or free?
2) Until I get my website up and running, what are some ways, aside from having actual samples, to advertise my products?
3) If and when I order samples from cafepress, how and where can I sell or advertise the samples?
Please critique my strategies, advise on my questions, and offer general tips as you are able.
thanks,
Mike
 

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The major drawback I see is using a retail site like cafepress for fulfillment is you can do it more economically using one of the many dtg contract printers out there (many of them on this site).

This is especially true if you want to do your own shipping. Using cafepress to print items you will ship yourself means your products will cost $4.95 (or whatever they charge for shipping) more than they should.

Find a local dtg printer instead. You'll probably get better quality, no shipping, and much faster turnaround.

As for web hosting, look at Big Cartel - Simple shopping cart for artists, designers, bands, record labels, jewelry, crafters
 

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I agree with that. I went with Spreadshirt and it leaves you very inflexible on price in term of the t-shirt itself, shipping and any discount (which I think are important when starting out).

I would go with a local printer and have them handle that side (which is what I'll be doing from now).
 

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A few questions:
1) What are some good quality domain hosting services for low cost or free?
2) Until I get my website up and running, what are some ways, aside from having actual samples, to advertise my products?
3) If and when I order samples from cafepress, how and where can I sell or advertise the samples?
Please critique my strategies, advise on my questions, and offer general tips as you are able.
thanks,
Mike
Hello Mike,

1)I always been a fan of hostgator, it's easy to use and love how you can install scripts (wordpress, oscommerce, etc.) with a couple clicks using the cpanel. You can try using the hatching plan which is $8.95 a month if you pay per month and can go as low as $4.95., plus you can use "month4penny" coupon and get your first month for just 1 cent :D. I'm in no way affiliated with hostgator just in love with it lol. For domain check out godaddy and also look for coupon codes that will bring the domain price down to around $7. I used to host with bigcartel which i found that a wordpress theme + shopping cart plugin is way better look into that also and you can host multiple sites for 1 price.

2)I don't recommend going through cafepress which it will be too expensive and your profits will be low unless your selling your t shirts super expensive ;). I would rather just invest screen printed t shirts. Go to craigslist find a deal. Start off with a brandable design buy 24 shirts you can probly get them for around $5 each. I mean brandable which people will know it's your brand. Save your profits rinse and repeat.

3) And the advertising part is my favorite. There are endless ways to advertise. Facebook, twitter, myspace, youtube, go to fiverr.com and find the guys offering "advertising" gigs buy a couple and that should help you get exposure and good way to start off and attract potential customers from day 1.

Reply to this thread if you need more help.

Damn,my first post and it was a long a*s one lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am wondering if I should just wait the five or six months, learning as much as I can, from here and other sources, until I get the tax money, then buy the press, and some starting supplies, and then start advertising and selling. It would be less complicated. On the other hand, fall and winter selling, ( halloween, christmas, etc..) is among the most lucrative, if the product and design are good quality. This is not as easy as I thought, but at least I am learning, and also becoming more patient. Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am wondering if I should just wait the five or six months, learning as much as I can, from here and other sources, until I get the tax money, then buy the press, and some starting supplies, and then start advertising and selling. It would be less complicated. On the other hand, fall and winter selling, ( halloween, christmas, etc..) is among the most lucrative, if the product and design are good quality. This is not as easy as I thought, but at least I am learning, and also becoming more patient. Any advice? I don't want to procrastinate, but I want to do things right way, in the most effective and financially savvy way possible.
 

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You can outsource the screen making process to another screen shop or supplier in the beginning. Should help you get started it without purchasing a paper printer, software, & exposure unit
 

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I agree with the other posters, outsourcing to Cafepress is not cost effective at all. The options are to

1. upload all of your designs to a POD like Cafepress and let them fulfill for you. There is a low monthly fee. You don't have to worry about hosting or shipping the order to the customer.

2. Create and maintain your own ecommerce site. Find a contract printer to print your orders. You ship.

3. Create and maintain your own ecommerce site. Find a contract printer that will print your orders AND provide fulfillment.
 
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