T-Shirt Forums banner

profitable P.O.D's & retail

1442 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  retrac

I am close to setting up a P.O.D site and finalizing product decisions & prices for the consumer.

It's looking like, if I can successfully get some marketing going along with some traffic & sales, the per shirt profit isn't too bad considering I'm letting another company do most of the work.

However, if I wanted to try to get my product into retail stores, taking into consideration the typical wholesale cost being half of what a retail store would be selling your shirts for, it doesn't seem feasible via P.O.D, unless I chose the crappiest quality T's (which I don't want to do), and even then it's looking pretty brutal.

Is it then safe to say that most people with P.O.D shops/ecommerce sites sell 100% just on their websites and not in retail?

Then also, if I wanted to still try to get my stuff in stores, I'm thinking the only way would be to do sort of a pseudo on demand, where I shop my stuff around with a linesheet and a few samples, and then if a store wanted to carry my product, I then would have a local printer make a larger batch for me, which would bring my cost per shirt down lower than what I'm paying my P.O.D. Which, then if I did that, I would need to make sure that they are printed the same way or very very close to how they are printed at my P.O.D, same t-shirt brand etc.

Any words of advice much appreciated.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Sounds to me like you have a pretty good handle on the whole situation.

You can always find a printer who uses the same technique as what your POD shirts are printed with in order to get a match.

You should be able to find out what method is used to print your shirts as they are right now. Then just look for a local printer.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Some Fulfillment companies will print on pretty good quality shirts and even ship for you direct which prevents the double shipping cost problem when they print ship to you then you ship to customer ( typically adding 5 dollars to the product off the bat)
Look for POD service that uses higher end brand shirts etc
What price point are you looking at to make it a viable exercise for you.

  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks for the replies. Yeah, definitely 20vk @ making sure the 2nd printer uses the same technique. Glad to hear that it appears I have a handle on the situation :).

limey, Yeah I pretty much have all that figured out, the price point is anywhere from $9-16 per shirt depending on quality, I'm just comparing that to the standard wholesale cost that people on here have said is typically half of what it will sell for retail (unless that's not accurate). So the numbers just don't add up to be able to have a cost of say $15 per shirt, then if I want to sell it for $30 retail, that's obviously 0 profit. So yeah it's just getting that cost per shirt down to as much as possible I guess. Whichever way you dice it, and whether it's being sold direct or in retail. Seems like unless you have your cost per shirt pretty low, you're going to be making a weak profit in retail, or it's not really an option at all.

I'm sure others on here have been in this same predicament. I mean, selling them all direct would be best case scenario, just seems that retail offers you some built in marketing / brand building if they are stores a lot of people are going to.
See less See more
Yep I feel your pain .
To counter I have a 2 pronged approach
Build your own brands and sell direct to the GP
Price point varies on printing method but pretty high end shirts (I my opinion, lava wash fitted private label style) I can print conventionally for 8.00 all in sell for 20-25 depending on design
High end DTG print off side printing I can sell for $35-40 in some cases but typically again 25 all in cost $14 for shirt ink pre treat etc etc
That was first prong( in case you missed it ;) )
Second is to sell higher volume lower profit at wholesale prices say $13 a pop cost to me $9 all in dtg printing but not so large or sophisticated most likely customers art work
If you can knock one out every 3 mins you will be in good shape
Knock on all the doors of all the businesses
I purchased a DTG machine because it was not economically viable to have 2 sets of different Hands on fulfilling order with 2 lots of shipping to as well
Look around however as I feel some people here may well have options for you to pursue.
Keep positive as you will get to where you want to be you just have to juggle things to get the results

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
POD sites are price structured for retail sale, not wholesale. So if you intend to use POD sites as your retail portal, you need to consider that a separate business model from your wholesale accounts. As you mentioned, you can find a local print shop who can replicate the print method (and print quality) of the POD site. Or better yet, maybe the print shop can exceed the print quality of the POD site. The higher priority is to have the best quality possible for your wholesale accounts. As you grow your business, you can move the retail side over to your own e-commerce site. At that point, you can bring the two business models together and have more consistent quality, price points, etc.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
limey, Yea sounds about right. That's a good option of obtaining a DTG machine, might look into that down the road.

kimura-mma, Thanks. Good to know I'm on the right track, starting to visualize my options pretty well.

Thx again for the weigh in's.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.