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Right now at my online t-shirt store: www.radicalrags.com I only carry white t-shirts. I have been thinking for a while now about adding other color shirts, and differents styles (baby doll, ringer, hoodies, etc...) I am curious to find out what styles and colors have sold best on other peoples websites. What about mousepads, and tote bags. Has anyone found that they sell well? Thanks in advance for your responce.

-Jon
 

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From a wholesale point of view what sells well for me are plain t-shirts. I see this also at my online stores. Although if you do have a variation of styles I find that they sell well if they have something a little extra, like navy raglan sleeves - these sell very well for me, ringers etc. Womens tees also sell well and broaden your market. A dash of colour helps when you mostly sell whites. Kids t-shirts, baby t-shirts, creepers are great additions too. They don't sell as well as normal tees but people tend to order them as well as a regular tee, so it pushes up the order total.

I used to sell mousepads they weren't the biggest sellers tbh but I can see them doing better in specialists shops. Never sold a tote bag in my life but never offered them either.
 

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There are some people who just don't wear light shirts, so it is a good idea to offer some darker shirts as well. What I'm going to do is offer everything on the lights first, and then base what I actually get screen printed (or order plastisol for) on the highest sellers and customer requests so I can start offering some darker shirts too.

We won't offer women's styles at start either, but from what I hear it's definately a good idea (even from markets you'd think would be male-dominated, like geek/gamer t-shirts); at least offer the standard baby doll style and potentially some type of tank top as well.
 

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I think I ran a poll once and the numbers came out that the top 3 t-shirt colors were black, white, navy blue (in that order).

I'm not sure how scientific my poll was, but that should give you a general idea.

I agree that adding women's styles is a big plus.
 

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It also heavily depends on your market. A friend of mine runs a nice Geek and Gamer T-shirt website, and he's sold (roughly) 3% on White, 5% on Ash, 20% Navy, 15% Red, and the rest black. Obviously, different types of t-shirts will sell better on different colors, but that shows how heavily tyle can influence color choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your advice. 'Twinge', thats suprusing to me that white t-shirts only account for 3% of your friends business, seeing that the account for 100% of mine.

Do you guys think that people buy shirts based on color, or based on design. Do you think a customer who likes a particular design would not buy a shirt because it only comes in white, or do you think that additional colors are just a bonus that entices the customer to buy more?

Also, has anyone sold white baby doll womens shirts? Do they sell well, or are their other colors that you would reccomend. It seems to me that women would prefer to wear light colors (but what do I know?).

For radicalrags.com , I have been printing all of the shirts with digital heat transfers, becuase it is the most cost effective way. Becuase of this, (...as of the current technology) dark shirts are not an option.

Thanks again guys for your suggestions.

-Jon
 

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I have seen several t-shirt designs that I really like, but didn't purchase because they were on blue shirts and nothing else. I don't really care for black either and probably wouldn't buy a shirt in it either. White is a good color, but some people might not like it because they get dirty really really easy. Yes, 100% of your business may be white, but that is all you offer, maybe your business would double if you had more colors. I believe, the more variety, the better.

L8r,

Kevin
 

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thats suprusing to me that white t-shirts only account for 3% of your friends business, seeing that the account for 100% of mine.
That's probably because that's all you sell :) If you had other colors, it's possible your sales ratio might be different.

Do you guys think that people buy shirts based on color, or based on design.
Both. Sometimes a design only looks good on white, or sometimes a design only looks good on black (or green or blue).

Do you think a customer who likes a particular design would not buy a shirt because it only comes in white
Sure. There are people that won't buy a design because it only comes on white. As another poster mentioned...there are also people that won't buy a design because it only comes in blue or black.

Choice is good, but if you can't offer a choice due to your printing methods, there may not be much you can do in that regard. Some people make up for that by carry lots of design variety.

Personally, I don't buy that many white t-shirts. They get dirty too easily and to me they are a bit plain. I also prefer screen printed t-shirts, so an online store with all white t-shirts sort of says to me that the shirts aren't screen printed.

I could be a minority in that regard. Some people totally prefer dye sublimated shirts or digitally printed shirts. That's just my personal opinion :)
 

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Yeah, I'm doing heat transfer as well, that's why I'm trying to gague the best sellers before I choose which I'll start offering in dark colors. You basically have 3 major options to offer some dark shirts:
1. They do make opaque transfer paper for dark shirts, but this paper WILL transfer the 'white' of the pinrtout too, meaning you can only use this for big block images and you have to cut right to the edge. Also, these transfers don't seem to last as long and start cracking or peeling after several washes.
2. Get some shirts screen printed. You'd probably want to find somewhere local to print them, then you could stock small quantities of darker shirts (try to find someone who can do different shirt sizes/colors in the same run, so then you can print up 12, or whatever the minimum is, in different sizes and such). Alternatively, if you're selling enough and you can work out a deal with the screen printer, you could get a set up to print them partialy on-demand -- you'd collect the orders, and have them all printed every week or two.
3. Plastisol Transfers. With this method, you basically have someone screen print on to a transfer paper, which you can then apply to a shirt with a heat press. The shirt will have the same look, feel (perhaps slightly less hand), and durability of a normal screen print, and you retain some of your on-demand abilities (less hassle with stock when you can still print on the size/color the customer orders - you only have to buy the design in advance, not the design, color, and size). Local printers may be able to do them, otherwise you can buy them online at places like www.silvermountaingraphics.com or www.first-edition.com .

I was originally planning to go with regular screen printing, until I started doing more research into plastisol transfers. They seem like the best solution to me, but YMMV of course.
 
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