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How can I increase my sales???

 
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 7:11:12 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy How can I increase my sales???

My husband I sell from a Flea Market and we mainly do specialty work. Local Advertising in newspapers, TV and Radio are way too expensive and we do have some regular customers but not enough for paying the rent on our booth and travel expenses. I have a website now and still nothing has come from that yet and it's been up for almost 30 days. Should we have t-shirts already printed for customers to choose from and if so how to know what the customers would buy and what sizes?? We are still very new to this and we are thinking about traveling with this also in the near future. When we can aford to buy a trailer to travel with to festivales and car shows. We have had a few large orders but they are too far apart to replenish our inventory like we should. We are both on Soc Sec. and trying to get started here is very dificult and stressful when it comes to finding money to keep the house hold going and keep up the inventory. Any suggestions here for a couple that is starting out and need all the help and freebies we can get to get this off the ground?
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 8:19:40 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Exactly what type of work do you do? What type of printing? One of the key components to any business is marketing and advertising. You might have the best shirts in the world, but if nobody knows... you're not going to sell any. My first suggestion is that you add your web address to your signature on your emails, on this and other forums, your business cards, etc. Have you narrowed down your target market? Can you define your ideal client? Exactly what type of business are you in? The answers to these questions will help you concentrate your marketing strategy.

The best type of marketing IMO is referral marketing. It's slow but very effective and cheap! I love the book "The Referral of a Lifetime" by Tim Templeton, it's an easy read, and has some great ideas. I would recommend you start there.
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 10:06:04 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

We do custom tee-shirt transfers. We take photos scan photos and we have art that the customer can choose from. We have a computer and the printer and press right there so customers can watch. Which they love and are fascinated watching. We just need more exposure and I have gone thru Website pros for my website. I have a simple name for people to remember "cewinn graphics" and I have printed at least 1000 brochures that are out there and even listed on the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia website for even more exposure. I am planning on contacting Bed & breakfast locations which we have at least 100 within a 50 mile radious of us where Northern Virginia people come down to shop and vacation. I have purchased magnets for Business cards and give those out to customers besides handing out brochures with their orders. In my brochures I have my prices and all my information, email, phone number, and website. So I think that I have my bases covered but still aren't getting the response that I'd love to be getting. I am hoping that some car shows that we are planning to attend soon will generate even more business. People love their cars, motorcycles, pets and children on t-shirts. I need a inexspensive way to draw people in to the Flea Market and buyers. I am afraid that I am going to have to break down and advertise in the local newspapers and that is very costly. When budgets are tight it really makes it difficult to buy local advertising.
We use an HP 750 printer with re-manufactured ink which is working better than the HP branded ink, and customers seem to be very happy with the end product, plus I am in the process of trying out the IronAll paper from NewMilford.
Any help from others out there would be greatly appreciated.
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 10:14:05 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

I think the key is to get out and start making people connections if possible.

Here are some threads where members shared how they were able to get business. If you read through them, you'll find some great tips on how to get more sales:

https://www.t-shirtforums.com/heat-pr...ers/t5101.html

https://www.t-shirtforums.com/general...on/t14662.html
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 10:19:42 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

I would suggest having pre made designs on your website and maybe even in your store. I haven't looked at your site yet, but you should set up your website for people to purchase whatever design they like and then you make the shirt and ship it out. When I first started, I didn't even keep shirts in inventory! When someone ordered a shirt, I just went out shopping and bought a t-shirt, took it home and printed the design on it. All I kept for inventory was transfer paper and made sure I always had ink for printer.

You said you had a weblink on a vacation site or something? That is great. But is that the only site you have a link on? You will need to build up a strong link base with other sites to really get going online. What about Search engine work on your site?

There are so many things for you to do with advertising your store online.... but you are off to a good start because you are here on these forums. This place is the industry leader for t-shirts. I have been on this forum for almost 2 years and it is the best place for information. Just ask any question you have. Someone here will answer it for you.
Plus read all you can here.

And now that I have given you advice about your website. I had better go look at it!
****EDIT****I cant find your website!

Good luck,
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Old April 4th, 2007 Apr 4, 2007 10:44:37 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

I found your website and got to take a look around.
Dont take anything the wrong way here....
Is your website suppose to a photo album? I am on dial up internet, and your pages never finished loading the whole time I look at it. You should really consider making a page for your website to put all those photographs on. Your homepage should only have the most basic information on it, but deliver that information in a way that makes the person want to keep going further.
I see you have talent in computer graphic software. Why not use that talent to make some t-shirt designs and offer those on your website.
Use paypal.com to collect payments. They even have a shopping cart. Or use a shopping cart from cubecart.com
When I viewed your website, I didnt see one product for sale. I know you want to do the custom t-shirts, and you can, but for your website, you really need to have something for people to purchase, otherwise, your website is only a site ABOUT your business. You want it to become an extension of your business that is making you money as well!

If you need any help You can email me by going to my website and getting my address or just send me a private message. Or just post to this thread!
I will be glad to help you more with it!
Thomas
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 7:51:17 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

I had (have) the same issue: website, but no sales. So here's what I decided to do:

I listed over 20 different items on eBay for 1-2 weeks. Some were auctions, some Buy-It-Now, some were single listsings, some multiple. At any rate, at the close of yesterday, which was 2 weeks, I sold 27 shirts on eBay!

I purposely didn't mention my personal website at all in the listing, just to gauge customer interest in the products. The response was overwhelming. I've recived great feedback on what I've shipped already & anticipate the others will do the same. I've gotten inquiries on the auctions that have already ended & inquiries for more items from customers who won auctions.

This is where my master plan kicks in! ;-)
  1. For all of the post-auction inquiries I've gotten, I refer them to my website to buy direct from me! No more eBay fees & headaches!
  2. I paid about $80 in eBay listing fees, that I'm just writing off as "advertising expenses". That's $80 well spent . . . but $80 I'll also avoid with direct sales.
  3. This week I'm going to re-list some of the same items BUT with a $0.00 auction price. I'm actually going to make the listings an advertisement REDIRECTING buyers to my website. Because they bought before & will be looking for me again, they'll automatically browse my new listings & see the link to my webstore!
  4. I offered my new eBay customers the 2 following deals:
    1. Send me a photo of yourself modeling your shirt, if i use it on my website, I'll give you store credit for 1 free shirt!
    2. For every NEW customer that mentions that you refered them, I'll credit you with 10% of the total purchase price of their 1st order. The offer is limited to the 1st purchase only & they have to mention you UP FRONT!
I know that's a lot. But, It's working so far. I'll know in a couple weeks if the dummy eBay listings are effective.
 
Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 9:04:28 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Websites work if the content is such that when doing a serch for certian words people find the web they are looking for because you used the wording on your site. Also be sure you use your car or truck fro advertising. I get calls from people that have seen my red suv around town. I even had a guy follow me till I puleed into a parking lot so he could talk to me.
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 9:07:52 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Most of your marketing plan sounds great, except for:

Quote:
This week I'm going to re-list some of the same items BUT with a $0.00 auction price. I'm actually going to make the listings an advertisement REDIRECTING buyers to my website. Because they bought before & will be looking for me again, they'll automatically browse my new listings & see the link to my webstore!
eBay will likely close down your auction and possibly your account if you get caught doing this. They specifically don't allow those type auctions.
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 9:31:40 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Quote:
Originally Posted by badalou
Websites work if the content is such that when doing a serch for certian words people find the web they are looking for because you used the wording on your site. Also be sure you use your car or truck fro advertising. I get calls from people that have seen my red suv around town. I even had a guy follow me till I puleed into a parking lot so he could talk to me.
How do you do magnetic auto signs, Lou? Do are you printing them first on the C88?
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 9:57:26 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Question Re: How can I increase my sales???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
eBay will likely close down your auction and possibly your account if you get caught doing this. They specifically don't allow those type auctions.
After reading their policies, you are correct Rodney. thank you. But, I see the $0.00 listings all the time. And, more commonly, I've seen where they'll auction a "document" for like $1.00 that has more information on accessing another external site. Is that forbidden too OR just a way around the rule?
 
Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 10:24:51 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
How do you do magnetic auto signs, Lou? Do are you printing them first on the C88?
They sell magnet sheets that you can cut it with your plotter, then you put a layer of the vinyl outline on top of it. It's kind of like DTG, where the magnet is the underbase print.
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 1:12:07 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vtec44
They sell magnet sheets that you can cut it with your plotter, then you put a layer of the vinyl outline on top of it. It's kind of like DTG, where the magnet is the underbase print.
Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 1:15:34 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

Quote:
Originally Posted by aamon17
After reading their policies, you are correct Rodney. thank you. But, I see the $0.00 listings all the time. And, more commonly, I've seen where they'll auction a "document" for like $1.00 that has more information on accessing another external site. Is that forbidden too OR just a way around the rule?
I think the $0 auctions may be forbidden too, and there are probably many that are closed down that you never see.

As far as the auctions for .01 cent, you'd have to read closer on their policies to see if that's allowed. I think those sellers are selling "information" (like a list of wholesalers for electronics), I don't think they are trying to circumvent selling of a physical product. Many are "fly by night" sellers that aren't too worried about being banned.

My main point being if you want to stay in good standing with eBay, I'd make sure you ask them before doing anything that might be a "gray area".
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Old April 9th, 2007 Apr 9, 2007 2:31:41 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can I increase my sales???

I have been selling at a flea market for 4 years now and the most important thing I've found is to make it look like you have a lot of inventory even if you don't. Spread things out if you have to and always alternate your stock. If you only have a few samples nobody will look. The biggest mistake people make is to not have enough product showing or to not have it displayed properly. Some friends of ours who have done markets for 25 yrs bought a failing sock business. They cut inventory, raised the prices, and made a killing just by rearranging and making it look neat and orderly. With new merchandise you aren't competing with the yard sale dealers, you are competing with WalMart K-Mart and Target. So it has to look clean and bright and grab their attention or they just walk on by then go buy from the mart store.
 






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