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Hey everyone! My name is Leia pronounced Lay-uh. I started working on t-shirt sales off and on about 8 months ago through Cafépress; I made a few dollars but nothing worth bragging about.

I found a new site I really liked called Spreadshirt.com and I have really thrown myself into it. I have filed for a tax ID number, created a promotions page, placed ads online everywhere, entered into a million crawlers, and created brochures, windshield ads, business cards, fax ads, etc.

I'm starting to think it would be more fun and more profitable to create the t-shirts myself and sell them on my own. I'm planning to purchase a domain name in the next couple days but I would love feedback on what my next step should be.

Also, does anyone find it better to create and sell t-shirts themselves or use the sites?

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from both fellow newbies and from the pros!

- Leia :p
 

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ShopLeiLeis said:
I'm planning to purchase a domain name in the next couple days but I would love feedback on what my next step should be.
Registering a domain name :)

ShopLeiLeis said:
Also, does anyone find it better to create and sell t-shirts themselves or use the sites?
Some members here use fulfillment sites, some do it themselves, and the occasional odd member does both ;)

Personally I consider online fulfillment services like Spreadshirt a means to an end: i.e. a way of getting some experience in what sells, and generating revenue so that you can start doing your own product (other people view them as a perfectly legimitate end unto themselves, I just don't hold that viewpoint myself).

(that is, if selling t-shirts is what you want to do as your job/a major source of income - if you run a blog and just want to sell a few related shirts on the side for example that is an entirely different matter)

Aaanyway, to cut a longwinded ramble short(er), I think registering a domain is a good idea, and I think developing your own product line is a good idea. This forum is full of information, so most of what you need to get started should be waiting for you here.
 

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Aaanyway, to cut a longwinded ramble short(er), I think registering a domain is a good idea, and I think developing your own product line is a good idea. This forum is full of information, so most of what you need to get started should be waiting for you here.[/quote]

Well it’s not my life dream to sell t-shirts or anything. =) I'm finishing up my degrees so that I can go into advertising which I do a lot with my shop. I'm a full time mom, full time student, & soon to be a military wife.

This is a great creative outlet for me BUT I would like to make some dough while I'm doing it. I figure the $8.00 a yr for a domain isn't that bad. Right now I have to the time to really devote to the shop so I'm trying to get as much done as I can before I no longer have as much time.

Thanks for your response. I'll check out the boards more soon.
 

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Fair enough. Time is the most important asset we have, so it needs to be considered above all others. Getting the shirts printed yourself, etc. will increase profit margins, but it will also take more time. If you currently have the time to try it then it would probably be worth trying to see how short you can get the time investment down to, and if that's a unit of time you'd be willing to spend in future when the other committments are increasing again.

If it would be too much of a time sink, then fulfillment companies will lower your time committment (potentially significantly) at the cost of profit margins. But if you don't have the time to increase your profit margins, it's the only choice available to you.
 

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Hey, Leia :)

Well, I can't be of much help as I'm starting out myself... I've never sold my own tees, just through fulfillment sites (nothing to brag about either) :D But someday I'd like to; I think the beach must be a great place to sell tees!

Anyway, just wanted to say hi, and welcome!
 

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ShopLeiLeis said:
placed ads online everywhere, entered into a million crawlers, and created brochures, windshield ads, business cards, fax ads, etc.


Do you really think it's worth it to promote yourself with windshield ads or fax (spam) ads? The vast majority of these tend to get tossed without a second glance as to their content...
 

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Twinge said:


Do you really think it's worth it to promote yourself with windshield ads or fax (spam) ads? The vast majority of these tend to get tossed without a second glance as to their content...
Honestly it's just fun for me. I'm not expectin to make bank by doin it. I'm a designer and I love to promote. I'm in school majoring in advertising, it's what I do.
 

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Twinge said:
Do you really think it's worth it to promote yourself with windshield ads or fax (spam) ads? The vast majority of these tend to get tossed without a second glance as to their content...
There are so many people out there who don't promote their stuff at all, and wonder why they never get any sales. It's refreshing to see someone who is really going all-out. After some time I am sure she will figure out what advertising methods work best for her. :)
 

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Jasonda said:
There are so many people out there who don't promote their stuff at all, and wonder why they never get any sales. It's refreshing to see someone who is really going all-out. After some time I am sure she will figure out what advertising methods work best for her. :)
Thank you Jasonda! I appreciate the support. I enjoy what I am doing and I'd hate to do nothing and wonder why nothing is happening. :D
 

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Jasonda said:
There are so many people out there who don't promote their stuff at all, and wonder why they never get any sales. It's refreshing to see someone who is really going all-out. After some time I am sure she will figure out what advertising methods work best for her.
True - it's just that those methods especially seem to have both a very low return on investment AND they're very spammy. It's good to promote, I just wouldn't recommend creating a bunch of flyers that will just be thrown away ;)
 

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Twinge said:
True - it's just that those methods especially seem to have both a very low return on investment AND they're very spammy. It's good to promote, I just wouldn't recommend creating a bunch of flyers that will just be thrown away ;)
Everyone has their opinions and I thank you for yours. Like I said I enjoy it so it's not a big deal to me. :eek:
 

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ShopLeiLeis said:
Everyone has their opinions and I thank you for yours. Like I said I enjoy it so it's not a big deal to me. :eek:
Even if you enjoy it, you should still consider Twinge's point.

If they are just being thrown away then you could have fun doing some other kind of more effective advertising. More to the point though, flyering parked cars is an environmental blight. Not only is it a waste of paper, but since they mostly get thrown on the ground by inconsiderate irate motorists, a lot of them get washed down the storm water drains, & etc.
 

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Hi Leia, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums!

I think windshield ads and fliering can be effective if done correctly. Not sure about the fax ads though.

I'm with Jasonda on this one though :):

Jasonda said:
There are so many people out there who don't promote their stuff at all, and wonder why they never get any sales. It's refreshing to see someone who is really going all-out. After some time I am sure she will figure out what advertising methods work best for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Rodney said:
Hi Leia, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums!

I think windshield ads and fliering can be effective if done correctly. Not sure about the fax ads though.

I'm with Jasonda on this one though :):
Thanks.

As for the fax ads, when I was working for a Market Research company we would always get fax ads, and for some reason I'd always kinda glance over them a little before I trashed them. Occasionally one would catch my eye and I'd actually go and check it out. My theory is “if I did it”, what makes me think someone one else might not.

I'm not expecting miracle sales or anything but I like to stay optimistic.
 

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For the people that are bashing my methods of advertising "Why do you care what I do?"

If I'm aware of the risks & I still do it for my own simple pleasures and the possibilities of more sales then what's it to you?

I'm not trying to be rude but why do you care how I chose to advertise? It doesn't affect you.

For those of you who seem to support my advertising decisions I thank you, advertising is advertising and you never know who might see what and what might work unless you try.

- Leia
 

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For the people that are bashing my methods of advertising "Why do you care what I do?"

If I'm aware of the risks & I still do it for my own simple pleasures and the possibilities of more sales then what's it to you?

I'm not trying to be rude but why do you care how I chose to advertise? It doesn't affect you.
Please don't consider other members opinions as "bashing". As I'm sure you are aware, different people will have different opinions on how to do things, and in a forum environment, those different opinions are likely to come out.

It's usually meant in the spirit of "discussion", not to "attack" or bash another user. That's probably why other members "care" (as well as any environmental reasons that may "effect" all of us). We don't do bashing here at t-shirtforums :)

But rather than debate the methods of advertising, it's probably best to move on from that point. Especially since Leia didn't ask for feedback on her advertising methods :)

I will say though, that not all advertising is created equal. Some forms (like email spam) will get negative responses, even with the best intentions.

Leia, if you have any other questions, tips, advice, feel free to post it in the forums :) We're really here to help.
 
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