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Hi folks,The more I research the more complicated it seems to get,so I'll just start at the beginning. Of course, I have some great ideas for t-shirts, I really believe in(and who doesn't?).My question is this,should I go with something like cafepress or do my own thing(website).I feel my own website would be the way to go(obviously). But after searching around I don't think I know enough to get things going,on my own,right away, but I do know some friends that could help me a little. Cafe press has thier shirts at 8.99('value t-shirt')and the next one up is 13.99(how different is the quality?),which I think is a little high(for me to make a profit off of),
but they take care of everything,hence the markup.Which brings me to this do I start with cafepress and sell stuff and gradually move to my own site or should I should I do my own thing and grind it out and learn as I go(has anyone done this and how did it go?) I know this is a business decision I have to make myself, but I'd like to hear from other peoples experiences and people who know. Sorry if this is a little long winded,I'll shortem up next time Thanks so much...Kevin
 

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Hey Kevin,

I can't speak on behalf of Cafe press or any of those other websites, but I can offer you insight on the route.

It depends what you want to do, where you want to go with it, and what your budget looks like. If you have start-up money then you would be best to start grinding it out now and learning from your mistakes now rather then later.
 

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Agreed. If you can afford an initial invesment, you can get started doing heat transfer for somewhere between $200 and $2000. Another option would contacting a local printer and having them make the shirts to sell; this is kind of an 'in-between' option.
 

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for starters I would buy a heat press, and some inkje transfers. You could start out printing on white shirts only with the press. If you are successfull, you could move onto plasticol transfers, and eventually learn to screen print yourself. Thats the route I would take If I were You. You could start out with a heat press and transfers for about $600-$800
 

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You can search some older posts of mine for more details, but the basic recommendations for that would be: Epson printer with Durabrite or Magic Mix inks, Transjet II/Magic Jet paper, and for the most part any kind of heat press (Hix is popular, and I'd avoid Geo Knight).
 

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I am just starting out too and still trying to decide on a path. Why not get plastisol transfers? They seem to be just as cheap as inkjet and you don't have to buy the printer and inks. Also isn't it a better quality of transfer, somewhere between screen printing and inkjet transfers?
 

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Advantages to each. Plastisol you will have to buy in moderate bulk and you are limited in how many colors you can use (same as screenprinting, more colors cost more money). On the plus side, it should give a little better quality and also the ability to transfer on to dark shirts.

The only other thing that I can think of that you might be talking about 'better transfers' would be vinyl flock which can be applied with a heat press as well. Inkjet transfers are quite good quality if you use good inks and papers (on light shirts, anyway).
 
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