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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've had trouble pulling up Cafepress sites from time to time. often i can click on a CP store and it never sends it to the link. not as often, but still frighteningly frequent, it times out.

i asked friends and family to give it a try on several different CP stores, with similar findings.

what's with that? and does that spook any one else that the sell is most likely lost? most my target audience does not have the attention span to wait or try again.

#2: speaking of audience, mine are much easier to convince a color or more vintage styles on. i know expanding to such is in CP's plans, but does anyone know how soon?

from a company standpoint, i prefer CP. but the quality and styling makes me lean more towards Spreadshirt.
 

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Yeah, Cafe Press is seriosuly weak in terms of options for colors, and options for different t-shirt manufacturers etc.

We were discussing it in another thread, and though they've just introduced black, it seems other darker colors may be a ways away. There was mention of a sort of cranberry color being added soon, which is good news. I think it's really hard for them to make adjustments to print on this stuff...it's new territory, so it doesn't seem like they'll have a bunch of color options anytime soon.:(

The other unfortunate thing is that printing on the black, and likely any other dark stuff that comes out in the future, is really expensive, about 18.99 a shirt.:eek:

So, do you have a store, or were you just thinking about one?

Also, could you put a link to one of the stores that is giving you the technical problems? I'd be interested to see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, Swing.

my site's not online yet. i want all my ducks in a row, first. in fact, several of the design factors are dependant on whether or not i wanna stick with just white T's.

it's the CP hangtime that's my biggest concern, and it's not limited to any particular store. i've got another page open right now, timing out on http://www.cafepress.com/

and if Spreadshirt had the marketing, exposure, bonus program, ease of use... i wouldn't be posting this thread at all. but they don't. and i don't have the capital or inventory room to put into even a 1/4 of my designs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i just spent all night browsing CP stores (and Spreadshirt stores), and i keep coming back to how little a plain white shirt with color attracts me. most of the shirts look cheap.

then there's the fact that a lot of my shirts are plays on words. if someone want to forego my design and just upload the same text on a Make Your Own at CP, they're only paying my base cost. that puts any profit into their pockets instead of mine--where i'd rather it be. at least Spreadshirt upcharges for text/image uploads, making my ideas competitive, if nothing else.

better yet, finding capital & keeping inventory may be back in the mix.
 

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I agree about the weak Cafe Press colors. There seems to be no perfect option sometimes. If you could raise the capitol, I'd try some screen printing. Also, check out Print Mojo! They have high quality screen printing and a big selection of many different shirt brands.
 

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I haven't had the timeout problems you've experienced with CafePress, although I know that they sometimes have server maintenance that they post in their forums in advance (some maintenance is unscheduled).

For years, all cafepress had were white and ash gray t-shirts, and they sold just fine. Even though it may not seem cool to you, white is actually one of the top sold t-shirt colors (next to black).

I wouldn't count on a timeline for them adding a full color range. I love cafepress and have used them since they opened years ago, but they do a LOT of research and testing before putting a new product to market. They just recently added black after years, and they will be adding red soon.

Their printing process is a bit different than spreadshirt (direct to garment printing at cafepress versus vinyl flex heat pressed printing at spreadshirt), which is probably why they still don't have the full range of colors.

If your designs fit with spreadshirt's printing method, it may be a better option for you. I wouldn't pick any service based on the marketing it does for you, since the marketing of your shop should primarily be *your* concern. Any sales you get from a fulfillment company should be a bonus, but it's really up to you to drive sales to your shop.

I wouldn't worry about customers just circumventing you and printing it themselves. First they'd have to know how to create a graphic and then have the desire to do it all themselves (this would be a very small portion of customers).

I use almost all of the major fulfillment companies (cafepress, spreadshirt, zazzle, printmojo, I do my own order fulfillment for some of my t-shirts, etc), and they all have different benefits and drawbacks. Different ones work for different business needs.

Hope this helps some :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
it is a help. thanks Rodney.

i know you're right about marketing yourself. i just made some quick assumptions with the CP site's FAQs and such that they are proactive in some of the mktg efforts. i need to keep reminding myself how that does not equate to more sales. the best marketing in the world can do little for poor designs, and a few key visits can drive more people to you site even w/o mass mktg.

thanks again.
 

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withwords said:
then there's the fact that a lot of my shirts are plays on words. if someone want to forego my design and just upload the same text
I have a similar problem. I am not a real artist - I do layout and design. One thing you might try is buying a clip-art package. I have one that only cost about $25 with 300,000 pictures and photos. I use them to add graphics to my "word" shirts, so they don't have a plain text look.

You would be surprised what you can do with some fancy borders and accent pictures instead of having to start from scratch.

And don't forget digital photos. I have a picture of a porta-potty that I took during road construction on my street and I already have 4-5 smart-alec taglines for it that I am developing.

hope that helps.
 
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