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Hi everyone,


i'm just starting my own T-shirt business, and I would like to know what prices distributors expect per T-shirt when they buy between 100 and 200 T-shirts, which would be sold in retail stores for $18,99.

I really have no clue what prices they expect from me

i hope you guys and girls can help me,

thanks,

Sander
 

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Re: selling t-shrit to distributors

fades said:
Hi everyone,


i'm just starting my own T-shirt business, and I would like to know what prices distributors expect per T-shirt when they buy between 100 and 200 T-shirts, which would be sold in retail stores for $18,99.

I really have no clue what prices they expect from me

i hope you guys and girls can help me,

thanks,

Sander
Welcome to the forums, Fades!

Just for clarification, a lot of times distributors aren't necessarily retail stores. Some retail stores own the distributing portion, but some don't. So you don't have to go through a distributor to get your clothes in retail stores.

Typically, retailers would like to make double what they buy your product for. It's not necessarily what they expect to pay, but what they expect to profit. See the difference? Also, the number that they buy (100, 200, 500) doesn't really factor in how much they pay or how much you charge them. Wholesale price is wholesale price. So you have to keep this in mind when you are thinking of a retail price yourself. Let's say you want to put your shirt in some local stores and you have a retail price of $18.99, as you say. The store would pay no more than half of that price ($9.50) to you, so that they could make back their $9.50, plus another $9.50 on top of that.

You have to figure in your costs of producing the shirt and determine if you can make a sufficient profit. Can you buy the shirt, get it embellished (screen printed, heat pressed, relabeled if you wish, etc.) and still only be able to charge $9.50 and make enough money. Of course you could charge the retailer more, but that will of course drive up the cost of the retail price to the customer. So you have to weigh all of those things.

Hope I've been of some help!:D There's alot more that goes into it, but hopefully you get the general idea. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: selling t-shrit to distributors

thanks for your reply.

I still would like to know what price distributors would ask, if a retail store buys these shirts for the $9.50 example you used?

What is the smartest thing to do, go to 100 retail stores or go to 1 dirtibutor that delivers to these 100 retail stores,

I hope you can answer my question,

thanks
 

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Re: selling t-shrit to distributors

If you’re selling to a wholesaler, you’re going to have to figure in their profit too, so you’re looking at probably around 50% of the $9.50 or $4.75 per shirt.

Question is, can you be profitable at that? Obviously it’s easier to sell to one Wholesaler than 100 retailers, but chances are you’re probably going to want to put in some sweat equity and sell to the 100 retailers for an additional $4.75 per shirt.
 

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Re: selling t-shrit to distributors

The apparel industry, along with some other industries, uses what are called sales reps. I guess they are kind of like distributors, but they work for you. There are independent sales reps that sell lots of brands, and there are exclusive ones that sell one particular brand.

Sales reps take clothes from manufacturers and for a commission fee, sell these clothes to retail outlets. They normally have a territory that is assigned to them by the manufacturer if they are exlusive, or they just stick to a certain territory if they are independent. They travel from store to store with samples, trying to get the stores to buy the products that they represent. For their trouble, they get a commission from the sales that they generate. This is usually a percentage of what they have been able to sell. The commission percentage is very negotiable, but is usually somewhere around 15%. If you had a good sales rep that you wanted to be exclusive to your products, you would probably want to pay them more than if they were independent and selling for other companies.

So again, it's not really a set "price" or the number of items sold, but a percentage of what they sell. So to use your example again, if a sales rep sold 100 of your shirts to a retailer at $9.50 a shirt, this retailer now owes you $950. Then you have to turn around and pay your sales rep 15% of this $950, which is $142.50. How and when you pay them is determined by what you were able to negotiate a contract for when you hired them. They are independent contractors. If you like you can make them an employee, and then they would be exclusive.

So to answer your question, it's not what they would charge, but rather what you agree to pay them, and the nature of your relationship that determines what they make.

Now getting a sales rep is another matter altogether. Most reps are very reluctant to take on new lines. This is because they have built up relationships with stores and don't want to mess that up by trying to get them to buy something that isn't going to sell well in the store. But on the other hand, if there is something that they think will sell, they can get a retailer to purchase it and place it in there store BECAUSE of the relationship they have with them. Normally, reps (and retailers) would like to see that there has been some success with the product being able to sell elsewhere before they go out on a limb and try to sell it.

Remember, it is very difficult to get stores to buy your product if it us unproven. So you need to figure out if it will be easier trying to get a seasoned sales rep to take on your product, or trying to get a store to take your product and knock on all those doors yourself, cutting out the middle man.
 

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Hey Comin'OutSwinging, thanks for that detailed answer! There's my new thing learned for today! :)

How do you go about finding/contacting these sales reps?
 

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Rodney said:
Hey Comin'OutSwinging, thanks for that detailed answer! There's my new thing learned for today! :)
Sure, no problem. Glad I can help!:D
Rodney said:
How do you go about finding/contacting these sales reps?
This all depends on how much money you want to spend or if you are willing to do some grunt work and keep your money in your pocket.

First, the money route:
There are services online that allow you to search for sales reps for your given industry. One of them is called RepHunter. Sales reps register with them to be put in their database of reps. RepHunter says they have a network of over 7,000 sales reps in their database covering various industries. They have a couple of different pricing plans, but this service is pretty expensive and I would only recommend it for someone VERY serious about getting a rep, not just doing some inquiring. They have plans that start at $299 for the first month, and $100/month thereafter and you can cancel at anytime. You can also get a 12 month subscription for $1000. Again very expensive for something you can find out with a little work. There is a site called Infomat that has listings of sales reps that you can buy also. Which leads me to the other method...

So, next, the grunt work route:
There have been some inquiring about tradeshows recently in other threads. This is a great way to find sales reps! As I said earlier, many reps represent more than one line of clothing, so they will take all of their lines to a trade show to generate some sales. Infomat sells directories of sales reps, but there is enough info on their site that you can piece together enough to find what you need.

They have listings for all kinds of tradeshows. If you go to their site, click on "calender" on the left. There will be a listing of different categories alphabetized. If you look down at the bottom you will find, what else..."t-shirts!". This will lead you to all sorts of trade shows that include t-shirts. This is where the work comes in. You have to click on each show and go to their individual sites. Try to find the exhibitor lists. Some sites list the individual sales reps within the exhibitor list. The real key is finding an exhibitor list or directory and then finding the reps that are showing those lines listed. The person listed that you find will more than likely be an indepenent rep, and not necessarily and exclusive agent of the company that they are listed under. If it doesn't say, you can just call them and ask.

Hopefully, I've been clear. If not, just ask and I'll try to clear it up as best I can.

Here are the links, if that's okay...The infomat link will take you directly to the trade show listings!

Rephunter.net

Infomat.com
 

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Hopefully, I've been clear. If not, just ask and I'll try to clear it up as best I can.
Man, that was a CRAZY informative post! That's one for the archives for sure. I've got to find a way to highlight these great threads for easy finding.

Thanks again!

there seems to a be a theme for offline success going on here: tradeshows
 

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I pay my rep back east 15%. He does about 6 trade shows a year. What they also expect are lots of samples and because they do shows they also like help in paying for those. depending on the number of lines they carry they divide it up. However my rep will not show my tee shirts but he does my bags. Why, you ask, yes you did I just heard you.. Because these shows have an abundance of tee shirt products and he calls it over kill and the prices are ridiculously low and hard to compete.
 

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Yep.

All sales reps don’t want to take on new lines, especially a lot of the successful reps. They get paid on commission, and would much rather spend their time selling something they “know” that sales, rather than on an unknown commodity.

But, of course, you want a successful rep. But, you have a new line.

You have to make it worth their while. This can be done several ways.

1. Pay higher commissions than they normally get paid. If they are getting paid 15% from their other lines, offer them 25% for getting you your first few orders.

2. Have a product that they want. Is it different or unique? Does their experience tell them that what you have will sell?

3. Even if it will sell, they have to know that you aren’t a fly-by-night operation. Will you stay commited to your company and your products. They don’t want to sell something to people they have relationships with, to find out that because you are a bad business person, you don’t have any merchandise the next month.

These are a few. I have more that I will post later!
 

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Hi everyone
I'll echo it too - thanks a million for the info! We are getting ready to talk to a local rep, and looking for some others to compare services, rates, etc. I worked many years of retail in a music store, and we bought from both reps and individuals. We would tend to trust the sales reps because a good one had the store's success in mind as well - it was a partnership. Also, we were busy and it was faster to get the spiel on the product from the rep.
Not all sales reps are created equal, so it does make sense to interview them as well, see how connected they are, how excited they are about the product.
At any rate, as a buyer, when talking to an independant vendor the most irritating thing was to have them try to sell us something that didn't belong in the store - almost like getting telemarketed. Now that we are on the other side with our shirts and such, we try to remember to think of ourselves as partners with any store or rep. They pick up on that and will reward it.
my two cents worth!
Brian
 
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