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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang,

We are thinking about offering free shipping on all of our shirts, but we're not sure how we can do it without taking a major hit. Is first class mail really that much cheaper than priority mail? Right now, we ship everything priority and charge 4 dollars shipping/handling.

I also understand that with first class mail, you would need to purchase your own shipping supplies. We currently get all of our supplies free from USPS but would be more than happy to pick up our own supplies if it proves to be cost effective.

Did a quick websearch and found this for shipping t-shirts:

http://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-5617&ref=1551

This is not an endorsement for that site. In fact, I've never dealt with them before. What I would like to know is if anyone else ships with Polyolefin Mailers, and if so, do you find them effective for shipping?

I recall reading a thread on this topic a few days ago but can't seem to find it right now. Someone in that thread something to the effect of: "each shirt will cost approx one dollar to ship via first class". Can this be confirmed? If it can, it really seems like first class mail and polyolefin mailers may be the way to go. That is, if shipping isn't too slow.

Thanks for any info.

Chris
 

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:moved to the "T-Shirt Selling" forum:

You can get shipping rates from www.usps.com . A t-shirt weighs about a half a pound (unless it's a heavier weight XL or above size).

I would stay away from free shipping offers unless you can include the shipping price in the price of the t-shirt. Priority Mail is the best way to send a shirt using USPS because of the free delivery confirmation, better handling and speed of delivery (plus the free shipping supplies).
 

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As a point of reference, I just got a t-shirt from threadless that was shipped first class mail.

The package weighed 10 oz and cost $2.57 to ship. Those bags that you linked to look similar to the tyvek bag provided by usps priority mail (just a different material type). .18 cents per package doesn't seem like a bad price at all.

I'm not sure the slower delivery time and the lack of tracking would be worth it, but that's just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the info. I think I'm gonna hold off for now since it would require revising hundreds of ebay listings.

Down the road I think I will incorporate the shipping charges into the price of the shirts and offer "free" shipping, but that can wait. Just trying to find a way to get a leg up on the competition. heheheh...

Peace,
Chris
 

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If you use first class, you can get a reduced price electronic rate for DC of
$.13 per package, but you have to use a printing service like stamps.com. This service is free through Pitney Bowes (sp?) if you use paypal. For future reference, you may want to purchase a small scale and some of those bags. You may be able to save about $1-$1.50 on shipping for one t-shirt order if you decide to offer fs in the future.
 

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I recently ordered a t-shirt and S&H charges were $5.99. After 5 days I started looking to track, was not available. I received the shirt (ladies Amer. Apparel) on the 10th day. It was shipped First Class in a tyvek bag at a cost of $1.29. I was not impressed with the charges for an item shipped First Class. I know, for me, I will be shipping Priority Mail for the tracking and speed.
As a customer, I would have been much happier with my purchase had they used Priority Mail.
Just my thoughts.
 

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I don't really care how it is shipped; I'd prefer to wait an extra two or three days and save a few bucks, generally. However, I do get pretty miffed when someone charges significantly more for shipping than the actual cost of shipping (such as DFras mentioned).
 

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If you are selling on ebay, it is better not to offer free shipping. You will pay more money for the listing, and customers will be scared away by higher prices. With ebay, it is best to charge more for shipping and less for the shirt. You will make more money that way, since ebay does not include the shipping price in their final value fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input. It is hard to decide which way to go, but based on sales trends, I think I'm going to keep things the way they are.

People don't seem to mind paying a few extra bucks for shipping if you keep the cost of your shirts at a reasonable rate.

Thanks again,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Twinge said:
Your shirts are already on the very low end of the t-shirt spectrum in terms of cost, so offering free shipping as well would probably not be a good idea at all IMO.
Our prices are fairly inexpensive, but if you browse ebay, you will see many people selling shirts for six dollars or less. I'm really just trying to compete in a very crowded market. From time to time I see someone selling a t-shirt on ebay for over 15 dollars and have to wonder how they are selling any shirts at all.

The website is a whole different beast and once we are able to get away from the "cart" site and away from heat transfers, we plan on introducing a new price structure. Even then, we only plan on raising prices by a dollar or two across the board.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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We just put our new shirt site online...we were thinking of adding shipping into the cost of the shirt, but we decided against it, although I've seen a lot of european sites doing this. Makes me think the shirt is too expensive though, I like shipping and the shirt cost seperate. Rock.

-nik
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Twinge said:
Well, the average that I've seen is about $15-16. Some go for $10, some go for $25, most go about $14-18.
That does sound about right for websites, it's much tougher to sell at those escalated prices on ebay. I am currently able to sell shirts at the current price because we use Hanes Heavyweight T-Shirts. No complaints so far, but I would only contemplate selling shirts for $15 if we were to switch to Hanes Beefy Tee's.

Take care,
Chris
 

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I sell on eBay for $16 per t-shirt. Not selling a ton, but it is t-shirts for a very specific market, so I don't think my audience is too big. But nobody has complained about the cost - it is higher quality Ts than Hanes or Fruit of the Loom, and I think people realize that you pay for the quality. And some of the Ts have 6 color screenprinting on it, so I need to ask more than somebody having one color screenprinting on one side of the T-shirt. Anyway, just wanted to say that it is possible to ask more on eBay, if you offer the quality.
Michelle
 

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regarding Ebay>>do you just sell one at a time? How does one get away with that if they sell more than one? Just one bid per shirt? I assume you cannot link to the homepage?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
mothertongues said:
I sell on eBay for $16 per t-shirt. Not selling a ton, but it is t-shirts for a very specific market, so I don't think my audience is too big. But nobody has complained about the cost - it is higher quality Ts than Hanes or Fruit of the Loom, and I think people realize that you pay for the quality. And some of the Ts have 6 color screenprinting on it, so I need to ask more than somebody having one color screenprinting on one side of the T-shirt. Anyway, just wanted to say that it is possible to ask more on eBay, if you offer the quality.
Michelle
In a circumstance like that, I can see selling shirts for that much, but to sell a standard Hanes/FoTL shirt with a heat transfer applied seems very steep. Especially when the majority of merchants on eBay are selling shirts for far less.

If someone can get away with selling a heat transferred shirt for $15, then I say more power to them. What I've noticed though, is by keeping prices on the lower end of the spectrum on eBay, I am experiencing plenty of return customers. Not sure if that would be the case if I were to increase the prices by too much.

Of course, I've only been doing this for 3 months, so I have plenty to learn and this is all just what I've personally experienced. Your mileage may vary.


Cheers,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #18
joelmon said:
regarding Ebay>>do you just sell one at a time? How does one get away with that if they sell more than one? Just one bid per shirt? I assume you cannot link to the homepage?
I personally have an ebay store where I can sell multiple quantities of shirts at a fixed price. Not sure if that's how everyone else does it, but it's been a very productive method thus far.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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As far as linking back to your website, I've heard it mixed. Some people have had auctions removed because they link back to their website selling the same product, others have done it for a long time with no troubles.
 
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