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Discussion Starter #1
Would $15,000 on a sublimation printer and large format heat press be worth it to print all over print T-shirts to sell at festivals every 2 weeks? Has anyone sold at festivals with like 5,000 people in attendance? Target audience would be edm/dubstep festivals.

I was thinking of selling all over print t shirts and hoodies. so my question is.... Anyone have experience selling t-shirts at festivals? How much did you make? How many did you sell? Any advice? I know I'm new guys but any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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Have you gone to this festival and seen if anyone else is selling and what there selling?

Are you going to premake the shirts or make them there when asked for?

Do you everything you need to protect you and your equipment, clothes from the weather?

Are you doing this buy yourself?

Not sure where your located, all the festival, flea markets, and different events here in NY the shirt go for $10. To $40. The hoodies being the high end.

Good luck and do your homework

Dean
L.I.Sport Store

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Festivals can be very hit and miss. People aren't generally there to shop, and tend to buy only what they need - food,drink, sunglasses, sunhats, waterproofs etc.

I have traded at a lot of UK festivals, from 15k to 185k people, selling t-shirts and sunglasses. More than 90% of my revenue came from the selling sunglasses.
A typical 2 day UK festival costs the thick end of £1500 for the booth. I don't know how that would compare with a US festival. When the weather has been right I have made fortunes, but on other occasions I have struggled to break even.

You are unlikely to be the only person there selling t-shirts.
The chances are that your competition will trading at festivals as a lifestyle choice, going from festival to festival, living in the back of the van. They do not need to earn as much as you would probably want to.

As an add on to an existing business then maybe you could make money. If you are making a large investment specifically for the festival scene then I think you could struggle to recoup your capital.

No matter how good your designs are, you will probably be surprised at how little interest people will have in buying.


Please do your homework.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I'll be making the t-shirts at home and selling them fully done at the festival. I was thinking of selling sunglasses and glass pipes as well. I'm looking to build a website to get free advertising at the festival and hopefully build a customer base for online sales too. I would be selling all over print shirts for $30 a piece front and back. Even if I only made $2500 at each festival I would be making $1700 or so profit after hotel, gas, cost of products sold, etc.... And then 3 festivals a month, $5000 a month income
 

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A few things to consider:

1. Expect 3% or less of the attendees to make a purchase.

2. The more festivals you go to that has repeat attendees, the less percentage of attendees you will have to sell to. If this is a festival tour (like Lollapalooza) where you're in a different city each time, then that's good. But if these are festivals all in the general area, then eventually sales will diminish.

If it were me, before i spent $15,000+, I would test the market. Contract out my first production run and see how things sell at the first concert.
 

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If you are selling the official event shirts you can do well. When we do events we want to have the official gear. You will sell 10 times more. If we don't have them then we normally pass.

Bring lots of business cards. You will get residual business from them
 

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Why not have them printed by someone else? Are you thinking of having a booth or walking around like the guys selling pins? I have done it before, hard route to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought about contracting but the shirts are $20 for front and back all over printing. Not a good profit margin. I would be selling from a booth and traveling up to 600 miles to each festival. I would be attending different festivals so I would have different people to sell to each time. Keep the feedback coming guys! I appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you need special permission to print the official t shirts like the dj line ups and festival name?
 

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Yeah I'll be making the t-shirts at home and selling them fully done at the festival. I was thinking of selling sunglasses and glass pipes as well. I'm looking to build a website to get free advertising at the festival and hopefully build a customer base for online sales too. I would be selling all over print shirts for $30 a piece front and back. Even if I only made $2500 at each festival I would be making $1700 or so profit after hotel, gas, cost of products sold, etc.... And then 3 festivals a month, $5000 a month income
You need to work on a business plan and get someone who actually has experience owning a shop help you. You are all over the board and you are asking questions and making assumptions that are very, very basic; things you should know before you even get started.

It's always a huge danger signal when someone starts off asking others if they think it's a good idea for OP to do something, sell something, buy something, because you are assuming that they know more about your situation than you do.

You have a lot of homework to do. You cannot have others giving you numbers, percentages, ideas, and everything else so that you can decide that you're going to pursue a particular path. It's very dangerous and you would likely fail.

Get to know your market. Go to these fairs and festivals. Watch and observe what is being purchased, by who, and for how much. Determine if it's seasonal, regional, or whether it's individuals making single purchases or families making multiple purchases. You need to understand the process and costs involved to set up at a fair/festival. You need to determine if you will have competition.

There are so many things you need to know that only you can determine. I'm frightened that you think that you can get free publicity by setting up a website. Dude, you have no earthly idea how difficult it is to get web traffic to your website; let alone get a decent click-through and conversion rate. Your numbers are pie in the sky as well.

Think about it like this, if what you have proposed above were so doable, there would already be someone there doing it (or likely a large number of someone doing it already). Sorry to be so critical, but there are just a lot of warning signs that you haven't really thought this out other than putting down a bunch of "best case scenario" numbers that will simply never flesh out in the real world. But good luck anyway.
 

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I thought about contracting but the shirts are $20 for front and back all over printing. Not a good profit margin.
Neither is spending $15,000 on a project that may end up not being viable after the first concert.

Bite the bullet the first show, have someone else print your shirts, and see how they sell. That would be my advice.
 

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Do you need special permission to print the official t shirts like the dj line ups and festival name?
Promoter merchandising at EDM concerts is huge. Some of the larger events have e-commerce components to their websites that rival some established t-shirt sites. They'll also have huge selling areas on-site with booth placement a lot better than what other vendors will get. Their goal is to make as much money selling merc as they do selling tickets. Here is merc from the top U.S. shows:

http://merch.electriczoofestival.com/
http://www.ultramerchandise.com/
http://insomniac.fanfire.com/cgi-bi..._medium=link&utm_campaign=ins_oslink_20140605


Doubtful you'll get permission to use the event name or DJ names.

You should visit the websites for the shows you intend on selling at and see how extensive their merc is. They will be your major competition.
 

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EDMTODAY,
Separate your printing business from your marketing business…the two are different. Equipment is only needed for what marketing can sell.
Here is what I suggest: Find a nitch you know, and love. Make sure the nitch has a big population. Research how they buy, their sex, when they buy, how much do they spend, what type items do they buy?
You don’t want to make a product, and have to make a market from ground zero. There is an old saying, “Find a need, and fill it.” Where is the need in the printing business that has not been filled?
When you spend money for equipment to sell at a fair, you may get .20& of the people there to see your goods, and of those only .02% to buy…does that make your cost of Equipment a good investment? Selling nation wide opens the door to millions of people. True only .05% may see you ads, or other means of exposure, and you may sell .02% of them, but that is thousands of customers. That would be the time to invest in equipment. Is there a season on your nitch? Most retails sell mot of their goods from Oct to Jan. the rest of the year they are just trying to break even.
Since your one, or two person company is up against big companies with much cash, you must treat your business as they do, or you will fail…failing in a business means you will only make the same as if you had a job working for others…and if that is the case, working for others is better…you will have no loss of your money.
You have little skill in marketing, spend a few dollars going to school to learn what you need to know. You have two businesses…one that produces goods, and the other that sells the goods.
I hope this helps.
 

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I would have to agree with the above comments, especially the ones recommending developing a business plan. One thing to consider is that the music festival seen is full of very talented artist, and a lot of compeition does exist for the market you are considering entering. (Also from what I am hearing most of the festivals are restricting the selling of pipes to try and keep the cities off of their back.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
why not pay to have a website set up/advertise on google and have people send their designs to be printed through a template online then print and ship them when not at festivals? create an online store of personal designs to sell and give them the ability to design their own. Selling at festivals to make extra money and generate attention to my website while also heavily promoting online
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've heard find what you love and make it a business many times and i absolutely love electronic dance music and dubstep and would love to attend festivals and make money at the same time. If i was to pick up too many online submissions/sales then i would just bail on the festivals and dedicate my time to printing and shipping out custom t shirts instead. by the way guys I've been researching the web and coming back blank so your helping me get a general idea of what to think about. Going to draw up a business plan soon. The reason i want the press and printer is to fulfill online sales when they do come in
 

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Honestly, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are assuming that as soon as you "announce" you're in business, that orders are going to start flowing in and you're going to make thousands of dollars a week. I think you are setting yourself up to fail and you're going to have tens of thousands of dollars in equipment that I'll likely be buying from your for pennies on the dollar in 6mo's to a year.

Why do I think that? Because I've bought a lot of great printing/finishing/binding equipment for the other side of my business from folks that were foolish with their money and front-loaded an idea with nothing to back it up.

I have no idea your background, your age, or your financial position. But from reading these posts, I don't think you have a business background. I would highly encourage you to seek advice on writing your business plan, launching your business, and marketing your business. If your city has an Economic Development Commission or a Small Business Administration office, I would see what services they offer.

I have a lot of equipment that never made the original owner any money at all. Don't be one of those guys. Start small, take orders, and outsource them. You won't make as much, but you won't be putting in the labor either. In the beginning, on something like this, you need to restrict as much risk as possible. Going $15,000 +++ before securing your first order for 1 t-shirt is about as high risk as it gets.

Again, I'm not trying to be a downer here, but I've seen this a lot of times and it almost never ends well for the guy with all the equipment and limited sales. Think this through; throw out all your numbers and reduce all projections by 85%. Then decide if this is still feasible.
 

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Howdy, this is my first post on this board but I have been dropshipping shirts from my website for about a year now which I intent to get put into merch booths at major music festivals in 2016. You can see our designs at ULTRA VULGAR APPAREL - This is where trends begin Officially, they are EDM and music festival themed shirts, but obviously getting these into any live show has proved difficult.

I had a lot of naive aspirations just like you EDM Today. I quickly got a crash course in marketing, and with the dropshipping alone my marketing budget is still higher than my net for shirts. We'll be doing our first vending show on Dec 19 in LA and have been generating a lot of press, so although it might go well, I've already written off the MFG cost and would just be happy if I can break even.

From the little bit of experience I do have selling shirts, I can say that it is a very slow crawl to the point where you can consistently make a decent amount of money doing this. I'm currently debating just hiring a marketing firm to take care of that side for me because the amount of time I spend promoting apparel is a lot more than I bargained for.

And if any veterans have any advice or feedback for me as well I would appreciate that.
 
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