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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am in the process of starting my POD tshirt business with Printful. I have ordered sample tshirts and put some of them through a test wash cycle.

1 out of 2 washed shirts came out with significant damage (print peeled off in several places revealing the fabric) and the other one came out absolutely fine, no damage whatsoever.

I washed on cold, and tumble dried on medium. I am aware that they recommend tumble drying on low, however, realistically I am assuming that a lot of end-customers will just throw it with their normal washing on whatever settings they normally use (even if I emphasise the washing instructions in the product listing).

Printful support was very nice, they said it was fulfilment error and issued a priority reshipment straight away, but I wonder how common this issue is and how to deal with it.

Those of you who run your own POD tshirt business, how often do you get customer complains re print quality after wash and how do you deal with it?

Thanks
 

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Welcome to the wonderful world of POD.

A certain amount of this is inescapable, and the companies generally make good on replacing defective prints. But, still, I gave up on selling POD/DTG via my own shops because I didn't like the idea of poop being shipped to my customers, nor of having to deal with it on the slim margins of a POD business (by which I mean the extra customer service and worry, as the printer eats the cost, not me).

A friend who operates an Etsy shop using POD had a customer post a review a week ago that included a photo of a shirt with the art peeling off. Not exactly what you want other potential customers to see. To be clear, he generally gets great reviews, and he is right on top of the customer service when something goes wrong, but I just don't need the ulcer 馃槓

I still sell on POD marketplaces: Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, TeePublic etc, as it is all on those companies to deal with the customers and any quality issues, and that reflects on them, not directly on my brand or designs. And with the exception of Amazon, where you can look for the data if you want to see it, you never even know if an item was returned/replaced. No ulcer.

All that said, most of my stuff has always been stuff I screen print myself. I see every product with my own eyes before I put it in a mailer and send it off to my customer. That's not an option for everyone.

One final thought. Every place of every kind is understaffed these days, so mistakes are more likely to happen. The amount of pretreatment and ink applied is supposed to vary depending on the nature of the fabric, else the print comes off. Human error, insufficient maintenance, lack of quality inspection staff ... lots that can go wrong. And given that they are printing millions of one-of-a-kind orders, it's not like they can afford to play around and print test shirts until they get it perfect. One and done, and out the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the wonderful world of POD.

A certain amount of this is inescapable, and the companies generally make good on replacing defective prints. But, still, I gave up on selling POD/DTG via my own shops because I didn't like the idea of poop being shipped to my customers, nor of having to deal with it on the slim margins of a POD business (by which I mean the extra customer service and worry, as the printer eats the cost, not me).

A friend who operates an Etsy shop using POD had a customer post a review a week ago that included a photo of a shirt with the art peeling off. Not exactly what you want other potential customers to see. To be clear, he generally gets great reviews, and he is right on top of the customer service when something goes wrong, but I just don't need the ulcer 馃槓

I still sell on POD marketplaces: Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, TeePublic etc, as it is all on those companies to deal with the customers and any quality issues, and that reflects on them, not directly on my brand or designs. And with the exception of Amazon, where you can look for the data if you want to see it, you never even know if an item was returned/replaced. No ulcer.

All that said, most of my stuff has always been stuff I screen print myself. I see every product with my own eyes before I put it in a mailer and send it off to my customer. That's not an option for everyone.

One final thought. Every place of every kind is understaffed these days, so mistakes are more likely to happen. The amount of pretreatment and ink applied is supposed to vary depending on the nature of the fabric, else the print comes off. Human error, insufficient maintenance, lack of quality inspection staff ... lots that can go wrong. And given that they are printing millions of one-of-a-kind orders, it's not like they can afford to play around and print test shirts until they get it perfect. One and done, and out the door.
Thank you for your reply! I definitely see your point, not having full control of the final product is definitely the downside of this business model. What happened to your friends sound like a nightmare as well!
Ahh well, I guess I'll just have to see how it goes and address any issues as they arise...
Any more thoughts and tips would be welcome though! :)
 

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Hello, I am in the process of starting my POD tshirt business with Printful. I have ordered sample tshirts and put some of them through a test wash cycle.

1 out of 2 washed shirts came out with significant damage (print peeled off in several places revealing the fabric) and the other one came out absolutely fine, no damage whatsoever.

I washed on cold, and tumble dried on medium. I am aware that they recommend tumble drying on low, however, realistically I am assuming that a lot of end-customers will just throw it with their normal washing on whatever settings they normally use (even if I emphasise the washing instructions in the product listing).

Printful support was very nice, they said it was fulfilment error and issued a priority reshipment straight away, but I wonder how common this issue is and how to deal with it.

Those of you who run your own POD tshirt business, how often do you get customer complains re print quality after wash and how do you deal with it?

Thanks
Last Christmas I tried Printful, orders placed on Black Friday got delivered in February of the following year.
 
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