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Which way to go?

1344 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sben763
Hi all.

UK newbie here after some advice.

I've been selling designs through print on demand sites for a couple of years now (Cafe Press, Spreadshirt, Zazzle, Shirtcity, Mysoti - yes i spread myself thinly) with varying levels of success. BTW - apron designs are a very good seller at Mothers/Fathers Day & Christmas times :eek:)
Anyway, aside from those pocket-money-commission designs, I've been building concepts for an apparel brand which i plan to sell online. I have a stand alone website (which i think will be easier to advertise/promote) & sales will be driven through a link to a bigcartel/storenvy shop which will handle the orders.
Now, my questions are:
What are your thoughts re quality/pricing? Should i keep all costs at the absolute minimum & jump in with the hundreds of $10 t-shirt brands already out there, or would i be right to try & set myself apart from the hoards by going with quality print on premium garments & pricing them accordingly?
The main question I have is do i get a screenprinter to do the job, pay a higher price per unit for the print/garment & make a smaller profit, or do I buy the machinery & gear to do the job, so a higher initial outlay (which I'll only recoup through time) but low print cost per unit (with a steep learning curve for production too i should imagine).
Any 'been there, done that' experienced advice for any stage of the process would be appreciated.
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You need to find someone willing to walk though the process to see if screen printing is something you can and want to do. The US is full of barely used equipment cause people jump in head first without doing any due diligence. Maybe find a few day course. You tube has many great videos. If your needing short runs your profit will be very low if you hire out the printing. There are a lot of variables you need to work out space needed, cost, learning curve.
If you want to start doing the printing yourself, you should practice first doing prints using those wooden print screens, and once you get the hang out it, then go out and buy a high priced machine.
I am not sure where you live, but a lot of cities have classes you can take to learn the process of screen printing.
Or you might be able to find a local screen printer that can show you the ropes.
Price it at the prevailing market price or maybe just a little lower. I'd go with a lower price line first - unless I am confident with my designs. There is also no reason why you can't test the market with a premium shirt or 2 then proceed accordingly. You can offer a special promo or introductory price. Or put less popular designs on sale later.

Sub out first and consider screen printing later. Concentrate on designing as that seems to be your forte.
Thanks all for your feedback. It's really all about the brand. With funds being tight as they are I 'm now leaning towards subbing the print out for at least the first few runs. I suppose it makes sense to see if the brand actually has legs. If the answer is yes then maybe that's the time to roll my sleeves up & get ink on my hands. I still don't want to go for cheapest base tees tho. What are peoples fave tees. From my research it seems there's no getting away from AA if you want quality.
If you are promoting a brand and want to show quality AA is a great choice. Ring spun would be a must if I were promoting a brand. IMO they give better quality prints due to the smoother surface.
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