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Hi it's me, Tiffany, one of your newest members. Here is my dilemma:

I plan on placing my first order of t-shirts with my design in July. I will be ordering 100 t-shirts with just one design to start off. I plan on attempting to sell them at a local flea market. This flea market is very well known and brings in thousands of people every weekend. The problem is most vendors sell their t-shirst 3 for $10 or 5 for $20. I plan to sell my t-shirts for $15-20 dollars a shirt. My t-shirts, however, are quality with crazy graphics( I don't like to toot my own horn but I have a very creative mind) and they will also bear my company logo on each one. These other guys t-shirts are cheap in quality and not original on the design. Here are my questions:

1. Would any one care about quality at a flea market since most are there looking for a bargain?

2. Should I bring my price down to $10 to be competitive even though my shirts would fair way better on quality and originality?

3. Should I try a different marketing strategy alltogether on my first sell attempt? If so, are there any recommendations?

My reasoning for starting at a flea market is because I can reach so many people at one time but the one thing I will NOT do is sacrifice my quality because my name is on the line, literally, since my company logo will be on all of my shirts. Plus, I think being quality will set me apart from most and contribute to the success of my business.

I am torn on between where to go and what to do. Please help!!!!!
 

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You need to define your customer base. Having done that - high quality, cool graphics, you should stick with a price that gives you a reasonable profit.

Anyone can buy cheap shirts and sell them, there will always be people who prefer the "deal". You may not sell as many the first time out, but by being consistant you will gain by word of mouth advertising and repeat customers.
Be aware, it will take a bit longer to develop you customer base.
 

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Hi!
I do the flea market .
A vendor selling a shirt 5 for 20.00??? whats on that shirt?
Sounds like something you could get at Walmart.
Remember your selling an excusive item. I would sell at four times cost.
If your stuff sells you can raise the price but variety sells so if you want to
be successful at the flea market keep revolving your designs and people will look for you and will also be looking for your new stuff.
good luck
fred
 

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1. Would any one care about quality at a flea market since most are there looking for a bargain?
A flea market may not be the best marketing opportunity for unique, original t-shirt designs. As you said, flea market sales are usually 3 for $10 bootleg t-shirts.

If you feel your target market may be there, then maybe it's worth a shot.

2. Should I bring my price down to $10 to be competitive even though my shirts would fair way better on quality and originality?
The price shouldn't be determined by your location, but by the value you place on the designs and what you feel your target market will pay for it. Not everyone wants a "cheap" t-shirt. Some people are willing to pay $15-$20+ for a t-shirt design. You just need to figure out if your target market are those people.

3. Should I try a different marketing strategy alltogether on my first sell attempt? If so, are there any recommendations?
That depends. Why did you select the flea market as your selling point? If the flea market visitors are looking for bargains and you aren't selling bargain t-shirts, then it seems like it might not be a targeted advertising opportunity.

Do you have a website? What if someone's not ready to purchase there, can you still give them a flyer to lead them to your website for post flea market sales?

Check out the "Top 10 Reasons Why Businesses Fail" post.

#7 said:
7. Over dependence on a single individual or on a predicted specific event
It might not be a good idea to base your business on the outcome of this flea market.

You may want to research more marketing and selling methods for your t-shirt as a plan B.
 

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It's rare to find people who care about quality over price at a flea market (obviously everyone ideally wants both, but price comes first more often than not - that's fairly true in the world in general, but very true at markets).

As you said your brand is important to you, so don't lower the price. It may not even be worth your while if you do - $10 shirts is all well and good if you're doing wholesale, or maybe internet orders, but when you also have to get up early in the morning and man a stall it's just not worth it.

If the market isn't your only sales outlet, it's not too expensive, and you think there's a reasonable chance that some more discerning viewers will wander through... you might as well give it a shot. But it shouldn't be your only outlet, and if it's a risky venture in your mind that particular option would be best avoided.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will definately be rethinking my decision to go to the flea market. I am going to eventually have a web site for my tees because I think that is one of the best ways to generate revenue but right now but I will most likely try direct selling by going to different venues locally to see how the response is. Wish me luck!
 

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Since people in general want a deal, and it's the main reason they go to a flee market, you could also try the old advertising trick of clearly marking each item at $25 and then SLASH your prices to $15. Now they are saving $10 per shirt! Retail is full of this technique.
 

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I agree with Rodney in that It' the value of the shirt that is placed on it refected by the price and the sales.

When the customer first looks at the shirt ,in five seconds he or she is intrested or not ,if so you talk it up then you have made the sale not the shirt.

The "precieved Value " of the shirt has gone up because of your salesmanship.
and the look of the shirt.
You did not mention what "Flea or swap meet your thinking about.
Here in So Cal i can assure you that New Merchandise is sold alongside old
I sell at the Rose Bowl 40,000. attendance
Long beach 10,000
Pomona Car Meet 60,000
Orange fair grounds Huge!!!
Ventura County Fair
well you get the idea
so it depends where you are. If you go to a local swapmeet well
you may sell less and at 9 to ten dollars a shirt'
But at a event like those above you can sell at 15.00 to 20.
and If you shirts are quaulity stuff you WILL be busy.

Go to the swapmeet web sites i mentioned above and see for yourself
to sell at the bowl is between 30.00 and 250.00
those people are making money!
good luck
and belive me these people bring money.
 

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I have to play devil's advocate here....

I have to question your decision to offer only 1 design, in my years and years of experience in both selling and buying and wearing shirts, the primary focus is 'individualism'. To my way of thinking, most people do not want to be wearing the same thing everyone else is wearing. Picture yourself sitting there at that flea market. Is your shirt so unique, that if you see 5 different people wearing it, you really think more will want to run right over to pay you for the same thing? It's hard to imagine.

Over my many years, and I also have sold many things at flea markets/small fairs and even out local county fair (5 years straight) which is the 2nd or 3rd largest in the state of Ohio. Never did I nor any of my partners ever sell more than 5 or 6 of the same item in a single day, and that's with being at the most popular entry/exit gate where literally 35% of the attendees walk past at least twice over 7 days. This fair draws over 100,00 people every year.

My suggestion? If you must have only one design, get your images printed as transfers, and press them yourself as needed.

Because, if by some chance, that design is a 'dud' as far as marketing goes, then what will you do? I've shown dozens and dozens of ideas to friends and customers over the years, and often got the comment "That would make a great shirt!" But..when I asked "Would you buy it/wear it?" The answer was often..."well, not for me..."
 

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Ggoran,
Right on!

You cannot rely on one item, I sell at least 30 diff images and change them each month the niche is uniqness they can't get a walmart And nobody has my designs in So Cal (not that I Know of anyway!)
But really ,I end up selling no more ofthe 4 or 5 Of the same design that day but I sell 30 to 40 shirts People dont buy at the same time so they do not know whos buying what. Now at Hotrod shows I can sell 20 of the same design and a lot of customers saw somebody else wearing the shirt that dayand then go look for the vendor!.
They blend in amoung big crowds that why I wont do an event less then 10,000
attend so...

Good luck;)

but I do sell 30 to 40 shirts each month
 

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badalou said:
I think if your going to have one item then it should say " I have a tee shirt for everyday of the week. This is todays."
Hey..I love that! I'm going to print that up today, and put it on my new sample all! I can't wait to get to work! Thanks for the great suggestion... ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all of your suggestions and Babalou I like the idea about the tee shirt of the week, I will put that to use.

It sounds as if I should come up with more than one design to start off is that right? Here is my problem with that but maybe you guys will have a solution. I would hate to order hundreds of t-shirts when am not sure what the market is like as of yet. I figured if I just started with one design I could see how well it may or may not sell and go from there. I know my target audience based on my shirt design, it's just that I need to see how well my design will sell.

I definately see your point about buying the same thing someone else has and not giving different options but I am only offering up one right now since I am just starting out. What I have thought about doing is offering that one design and maybe having another 100 shirts printed that offer the same concept but with text only since some people do not like graphics just words. So they would then have two options but same concept.

Option one: My tee with graphic plus my statement that reflects the graphic.
Option two: My tee with strictly text that says the the same thing as my tee with graphic.

I hope I am making sense:)

What do you guys think?
 

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Looks like you have a plan, but once again my question stands...what if they DO NOT sell? What will you do with all of those shirts? Are you doing them all in one size? Assorted sizes? If so..and you order a spread of sizes, and then sell all the L and XL and none of the Smalls or Mediums..what will you do with the shirts?

Can you do the transfer method? Order the designs as transfers and apply on the premises with a heat press? Of get someone in the area to press them for you as needed? That way, you wouldn't have to eat the shirts if the design does not sell as you hope or expect...
 

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I don't mean to hijack the threat, but...

Teeshirtman, I've been thinking about selling at the Rose Bowl sometime in the (probably very distant!) future. What location have you found works best for you? Is it worth it to pay extra for a prime spot? I'm asking because when I go there for shopping, I'm usually too worn out to make it all around the Bowl, so I usually stay near the front/antiques area.

Thanks!
 

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hestonian said:
I don't mean to hijack the threat, but...

Teeshirtman, I've been thinking about selling at the Rose Bowl sometime in the (probably very distant!) future. What location have you found works best for you? Is it worth it to pay extra for a prime spot? I'm asking because when I go there for shopping, I'm usually too worn out to make it all around the Bowl, so I usually stay near the front/antiques area.

Thanks!
Ok...you got me confused on this hijacking thing...if you didn't mean to do it, why did you do it? ;-) This post has nothing to do with this thread, so why not just start a new thread or send Teeshirtman a PM?

Not trying to start something...just askin', as I would really like to know the answer?
 

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How to go broke slowly..... Purchase your specially designed shirts before its sold.

I think the internet is the best thing to do. When you get a sale, you make the shirt....
Try ebay for starting out. Put it out there. If you sell alot, create an ebay store. Selling even more?? Put up a website.

My philosophy in selling....I don't make it until it's sold.
 

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hestonian said:
I don't mean to hijack the threat, but...

Teeshirtman, I've been thinking about selling at the Rose Bowl sometime in the (probably very distant!) future. What location have you found works best for you? Is it worth it to pay extra for a prime spot? I'm asking because when I go there for shopping, I'm usually too worn out to make it all around the Bowl, so I usually stay near the front/antiques area.

Thanks!
Hi!
I just came from the Rose Bowl I did not sell today because I was in another location but I wanted to see the action at 1:30PM.
It was still crowded in all sec, Stay away from the white sec along the fence because all the garage junk shirts are a dime a dozen those guys get shirts from who knows where and you do NOT want to be mixed up in that.
What works for me is the Yellow area for 70 $$$ I break even real early,
If your satisfied with that stay. I knew a guy that made good money and went into the cheaper area and his sales fell off to nothing because he was competing with the garage sale junk. If your in the same area people will look for you because they want to see what new stuff you have.And If you talk to them for a moment it helps the sale .If you want to get into the more expensive areas you must have a proven sales tract that means 450.00 for that sunday.
Good Luck
 
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