Full Version: T-Shirts - yeah or neah??

From: joyce (JLADY) [#1]
 29 Mar 2006

Do you guys sell t-shirts as part of your promotional products?

I know a large majority of our customers do order t-shirts (not sure where they all get them from, probably most get them here in town, there are tons of t shirt shops here, as I am sure they are all over).

I am assuming if I put a t shirt out as a sample I will get requests.

Is this something I will want to compete with? And if so, should I find a local vendor to do the work or find a PPAI/ASI vendor by one of the search engines (we are going to go with SAGE).

From: Patty (PDI) [#2]
 29 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#1] 29 Mar 2006

I would try to buy wholesale locally. My screenprinters love that I come in with the art all ready to go.

The ASI providers have some steep minimums that maybe 2% of my t-shirt orders would meet.


From: Bieb (HABIEB) [#3]
 29 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#1] 29 Mar 2006

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH... Find a local screen printer and setup and arrangement with them. I actually have 4 screen printers that I use, and a large embroiderer. I am talking to a customer right now for 70-100 t-shirts for their church. I buy my shirts from Virginia T's (virginiats.com) or NES (nesclothing.com) or Broder (broderbros.com) and I bring them and the artwork to my screen printer (or have the shirts shipped direct) and they complete them and I run pick them up. I started buying my own shirts when the one printer I use most said to me, "You should buy the shirts and deliver them or ship direct to me, this way I don't need to charge you a markup on ordering the shirts". Made perfect sense to me.

So I vote, go for it.


From: joyce (JLADY) [#4]
 29 Mar 2006
To: Bieb (HABIEB) [#3] 29 Mar 2006

I am assuming I will get a lot of requests for small amounts of t-shirts. What do you suggest as a minimum to work with??

From: Bieb (HABIEB) [#5]
 29 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#4] 29 Mar 2006

Joyce, I tell them I will do as little as my screen printer will do. **BUT** they always get charged the screen setup charge, I don't always add $$ to the screen charge. So if my printer charges $25 for a one color screen and the customer wants 5 shirts (I will charge alittle extra on the low number of T-shirts) I tell them the shirts will cost X (let's say for $10 for this example) then the screen charge of $25, so their actual cost per shirt is $15.00. I explain if they do more shirts obviously the per shirt cost gets lower since you are spreading out the screen charge. I have learned that some people are willing to spend the extra money for a short run (sorta like an exclusive shirt). I also make custom mini helmets for teams and individuals, if you were to contact me and order say 12 helmets I might charge 25-30 depending on the amount of my time to apply the decals and such, but if you call and only want 1 or 2, price is going to be somewhere around $50-55 plus shipping. I have had probably 12 requests for 1 or 2 helmets and only one guy balked at that price. Alot of people understand that 1 or 2 is much more expensive than 12 or 24 or whatever number.

Find the screen printer that you like, go visit them all, see which one is willing to work with you, which one is open to showing and explaining their operation, and get a feel for if they will go around you directly to your customers. The one screen printer I use, she told me up front, I will never go after your customers directly, I don't have time to put a sales person out there, I would much rather deal with companies that are re-selling, they can do all the leg work for correct artwork, etc.

Best of luck now that you are in the T-shirt business, and don't forget sweatshirts. Also, find that embroiderer (dress shirts, golf shirts and hats)


My motto, which I have seen on this forum before is to never tell a customer I can't do an item. If I dont have a source already, I will find one quickly. I can't stand to leave money on the table, or let a competitor get a foot in with a customer.

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