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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was talking yesterday to a local screenprinter, and was surprised at his comment that the "kids today" are mostly only interested in wearing a Tshirt a few times before chucking it in favour of a new one. He pointed to one of his Ts on display that was a promo for the band Live (commissioned by their management), which he said was "cheap ****" that would last only a few washes. The design was simply the band's name, pretty small, in their silver logo print style, located towards the top shoulder of the black Tshirt. The screenprinter said it was sold for $30, and that the "kids" bought them up bigtime at the gig, and that none of them expected the Tshirt to last more than a few washes! He was adamant that "that's the way kids are these days."

Is this true in the experience of those forum members who sell a lot of Ts to young markets? If so, maybe I'm worrying far too much about sourcing quality blank Ts and doing good screenprinted designs that last. Maybe cheap blanks and heat transfers are the way to go in today's market, after all? I hate the idea of adding to the throwaway society - this is a mentality that I despise. But I would be very interested to know what experienced Tshirt sellers have observed in today's market. Is this screenprinter I was speaking to on the money, or is he speaking rubbish?

Cheers
 

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I think that couldn't be farther from the truth. Despite the age of the market or the content of the shirt, every consumer wants a quality item. Using the example given, I certainly wouldn't want a $30 shirt that was only going to last a few washes.

Go with a quality shirt, your customers want it and will appreciate it.
 

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I think it all depends on the market. Concert shirts are notoriously expensive just like everything else at an event. When I was young I bought those shirts and they shrank away to oil rags. I wouldnt buy one now...older and wiser I guess.
 

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I think because it was a concert shirt is why it sold so well. No one is going to look at the quality, they'll just buy it up. And despite what this guy says, if you sold a crappy quality shirt from your line I think it would do nothing more than give you a bad rep.

These concert shirt guys know they'll sell tons just because they're at the show and pay $30 just because they have to. I will not buy a shirt for that kind of money unless it is a really good design and high quality.

I know the art director at Big Merch in Los Angeles, I got to sit down to talk to him a little while back. They do tons of band shirts...Audioslave, Disturbed, Korn..just to name a few. He showed me the stuff they did and it wasn't cheap quality.
 

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I think that if the person is going to pay $100 for concert ticket - they will pay $30 for a shirt. But, generally, even the kids today are going to care about quality. Like the other people said - they only paid that much because it was the concert.

I don't think that people would pay that much for a bad shirt from a store. If they do and it gets ruined after a few washes, then don't expect them to come back and buy from you again. I know that I've stopped wearing entire brands of stuff because the quality of the items was just so bad. The way I look at it - if I pay good money for something, I want it to last. Maybe I don't want to wear it anymore and it will just sit in my closet, but I still want it to last and look good in my closet :D;).
 

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...good points guys/dolls.

i think - TeeShirtSamurai - hit bulls-eye.

just to clarify... professional iron-on transfers are HIGH quality just as good as screen printing or better in a lot of cases (depending on the screen printer).

one thing to remember is that in the Imprint Trade Quality and Workmanship is your biggest asset. Here, we often turn away jobs and let clients know off the top we are not the cheapest price. Anyone can make poor quality goods.

One of the ideas behind promoting your band name/brand via t-shirts is to have a cool dude/chicky wear it a lot to clubs etc... to promote the band.
With cheap shirts, your grammy will be wearing it to stain the garage. So what's the point of making t-shirt promotional items ???? ..... so that peeps will wear it over, and over...and over..+++++++++++++++++
 

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I think there are a lot of different market. I'm not sure you could say one statement of what "kids today" want.

For that concert, they are selling the most targeted, most wanted product, of course that's going to sell quickly. They were probably printed on the cheapest shirts because whoever ordered the t-shirts said "I want whatever is cheapest" so they could make the biggest profit margin.

I recently bought a shirt at a concert that was printed on AmericanApparel tees. At a different concert, they used Hanes. At concerts, they care about the design, not the garment.

There are a lot of other quality conscious consumers that look for shirts that are going to last. There's also a whole 'nother market that look for $3 shirts at walmart.

There's room for all types :)
 

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There's also a whole 'nother market that look for $3 shirts at walmart.
I'm working on my High School catolouge right now, Nike/Adidas/HanesBeefyT/Champion the list goes on. Thats how I compete. I don't sell crap. Kid's today are a sophisticated market. They recognize quality and are willing to pay for it. I remember when I was in High School. They had to be "Lee" it didn't matter if they cost X2.
 

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I had a wallmart worldcup brazilian t-shirt (had) my wife ask me how i goin to sell t-shirts if she can buy at wallmart for 3 dollar? The thing is: some people shop at wallmart and some shop at abercrombie. some people shop brand t-shirts at tj max, and others shop for t-shirts that you can`t see on chain stores like macys and others, we have to find a way to fill the gap that is out there. like funny, anti war,vintage,etc
 

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I think there's a schism with "kids today". As always some people are one way, others another - but they seem to be 1) Increasingly environmentally aware, sensitive, concerned, etc., or 2) Increasingly selfish, short sighted, consumerist, etc. The attitudes (one way or the other) seem more extreme.

So yes, the kind of customer you describe who views a t-shirt as highly disposable is definitely out there, but I couldn't say what size of the market they make up.

But more importantly...

Ross B said:
I hate the idea of adding to the throwaway society - this is a mentality that I despise.
...there's this. Personally I agree with you. I also think it would be immoral to compromise on your principles. If you despise the throwaway mentality, don't contribute to it - at that point it's pretty irrelevant whether or not you could get away with a crappier product, because you're not willing to go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agree with your comments, Solmu, on the opposite extremes of the attitudes of today's youth. Just one thing - I was never intending to compromise my values on this issue. That was not the issue for me. I would only ever be interested in offering true value and quality, except in a context where it was so inappropriate as to be stupidly self-righteous and pompous. I put forward the comments of the screenprinter simply to gauge whether in others' views, he was speaking the "truth". And as is usual in life generally, from the comments of those who have responded, it seems that there is no simple answer.

I've been interested in the responses of all - thanks a lot to everyone.
 

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Definitely there are different markets.

I am a wholesaler and sell lot of blank t-shirts.

One market is where kids wear a new white t-shirts one day and throw them away. these t-shirts are never washed. It is a big thing with them, that do not wash a t-shirt and they are wearing a new one every day. They want to look good to their pears. This is what keeps lots of people in business. Even though they are changing t-shirts every day, still they buy brand name t-shirts to look good with their peers. In NY city area Galaxy is the most popular with kids and cost more.

One father came into the warehouse and wanted to buy a whole case of white blank t-shirts. When I asked him why, his answer was the kids want a new t-shirt every day.

This observation was confirm by several different sources. I have schook kids coming every other week or once a month and buying at least one dozen white or black t-shirts.

Then there are mechanics shop and painters, who provide their workers a new shirt(not sure every day) to wear during work. Some of them buy in large quantity and supply t-shirts to other painters and mechanic shops.

Then there is a flea market, where buyers get medium quality t-shirts and put the design on it. There highest seling price is $5/shirt. Naturally, they can not afford high quality t-shirts.

Last is, the printers market. Here the thickness and quality counts. The printed t-shirts are sold between $15 on sale to $25/pcs. Naturally, spending another 20 to 50 cents per shirt has no impact on the bottom line. Also the customer comes back, because of the high quality t-shirts.

Mohammed Shakir
 

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bottom line is you get what you pay for in most cases. except the $30 concert shirt mentioned, those kids don't care about the quality of the garment, they're just looking at the cool screen on the front.
 
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