T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How easy is it to setup and run a T-Shirt store online? I've thought about it for my local community several times, but always think shipping will kill my profits. Why buy a shirt online for $12 plus shipping when you can get it at a local store for just $12?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
Shipping prices aren't that high, I can ship from the UK cheaper than that.

If the price is the factor in whether you make a purchase or not then you have to have another selling point. Generally it will be the originality; you can't buy your t-shirts anywhere else. T-shirts that spark impulsive buying can charge high prices and make a very good profit. Another thing is shipping prices don't eat into profits; they are an extra charge that the customers bares.

Good luck with your store. BTW it is very easy with to set one up with the buy and sell services that are around.


Adam
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,698 Posts
subnet_rx said:
How easy is it to setup and run a T-Shirt store online? I've thought about it for my local community several times, but always think shipping will kill my profits. Why buy a shirt online for $12 plus shipping when you can get it at a local store for just $12?
Hi subnet_rx, welcome to the forums! :)

One thing to remember about shipping is that almost all online shoppers are used to paying shipping to get the products to their doorstep. So shipping should never cut into your profits as long as you're charging enough to the customer.

As far as why would someone buy a t-shirt from your local community site instead of buying from a local offline store, there are a few factors there:

  • Originality - ideally, the designs you sell on your site would be something the person could get no where else. That gets rid of the cost factor when there is no "comparison shopping" available.
  • Loyalty buyers - if you already have a site with a steady flow of loyal vistiors, you'll find that a good number of them will buy from your site to help support your efforts in running the site. Some may think of it as a better than just a "donation" since they are getting something cool in return
  • Convenience - more and more people are choosing to shop online rather than stand in lines in local stores and malls. No salespeople to talk to, no parking to deal with, just point click, and a shirt shows up a few days later :)

With sites like www.cafepress.com and www.spreadshirt.com that allow for an instant online store setup and no fees, you can find it pretty easy to test the waters.

If your store starts taking off or you want to offer screen printed items, services like www.printmojo.com can help you open a shop and allow you to buy in bulk to get a lower product price.

Hope this helps :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I think that people who are really into buying t-shirts, are also aware of what seems to be in 'every' store, whether online or off. So I guess I'm seconding Adam's 'uniqueness' point.

What really interests YOU about t-shirts? If you don't have your own designs, you can do what threadless.com does and hold competitions for OTHERS designs, or something like that. You'd still get the uniqueness, but wouldn't have to design things yourself.

I think there are ways to do anything - just don't let the rocks in the road stop you - just go around them!

:)
Kristen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
subnet_rx said:
How easy is it to setup and run a T-Shirt store online? I've thought about it for my local community several times, but always think shipping will kill my profits. Why buy a shirt online for $12 plus shipping when you can get it at a local store for just $12?
As far as cost to set up the store it's not that bad. I have about $750 in my buisiness so far for materials to print with. Most of the money I made selling previous hobbies on Ebay. The site is from Zen Cart(free) with about a days worth of configuring and accepts credit cards through a free paypal buisiness acount. It is parked on a $15 a month server.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
subnet_rx said:
How easy is it to setup and run a T-Shirt store online? I've thought about it for my local community several times, but always think shipping will kill my profits. Why buy a shirt online for $12 plus shipping when you can get it at a local store for just $12?
Hi Subnet,

I agree with what Rodney said. However, maybe this may make you think a bit more.

Setting up an online store should serve two (2) purposes. First is to sell your product(s). You can display your products, have a shopping cart, and offer the convenience of customers paying you by check or through an online merchant account.

The second purpose would be to use your online store as a catalog. Use it to display your custom printed products to your local businesses and in your community. Keep your local customers up to date on your pricing, new products, etc..

Setting up an online store is relatively easy and free. Shopping carts are free and using Paypal, at no cost to operate...except for the Paypal fee charged per sale.

Shipping is usually paid for by the customer and generally runs about $4.00 for up to two (2) shirts, using USPS Priority Mail. Shipping costs should not be a problem.

The only difficulty that you may encounter is the actual shirts and other associated products (sweats, totes, aprons, tiles, clocks, decals, etc...).

It can be quite expensive if you have your products pre-printed. Lots of money tied up in inventory which you hope will sell. One alternative is to use the various fulfillment companies such as Cafepress and others listed in the fulfillment folder, where they will fill your orders as received. Depending on your point of view, base prices can be a bit on the high side which could result in a smaller profit per piece.

The other choices you have are, you could print them yourself. This would not only increase your profit per item but you would control your own quality. The drawback to this is the cost to start up. Heat press $450+, inks $50, Epson printer $60+, transfer paper $15+-.

Another choice is to find other fulfillment services that would offer you quality, service and better pricing. Generally speaking, these other services may not be as sophisticated in their setup as others, but could offer better pricing, quality control, delivery, wider selection of products, etc...

In a nutshell, setting up an online store should be cost free to you. Running it, your cost should be free, just the use of your time, depending on how you decide to get your products.

Hope this helped answer your questions.

Fred
Melbourne FL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
thanks for all your replies. This is all very good information and I'm getting close to opening up my own store. An added bonus is a friend just opened a screenprinting company, so I have at least one advantage going for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
How easy is it to setup and run a T-Shirt store online? I've thought about it for my local community several times, but always think shipping will kill my profits. Why buy a shirt online for $12 plus shipping when you can get it at a local store for just $12?

Because I hate all the crap that is force feed to me at stores. I would much rather help out my buddies online that make incredible shirts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Because I hate all the crap that is force feed to me at stores. I would much rather help out my buddies online that make incredible shirts.
You replied to 2005 post & didn't reply to newest one. not fair:D

@msaleem, better compare USPS and UPS (via local store). i wouldn't check anywhere online for that much weight.

NiL
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top