Saturday, June 27, 2009

When the web doesn't work

You may be able to find anything on the internet, but it's no guarantee you'll find the right thing for you on the internet when you start searching. T-shirts are confusing at first since there are many different types and prices, but it's also a low-market business and requires a certain amount of knowledge of the brands and price points to make a decision about what type of shirt to buy. Personally I have run out of phone time to discuss these points with customers and it is not profitable to have low prices and keep an employee on board who can answer questions about shirts often just to help people figure out what they want. With this in mind I have decided to offer t-shirt consulting for a fee to offset the cost and to reduce the headaches that occur from spending a large amount of time discussing shirts that may/not result in a sale to offset the time spent. Basically I or an employee can answer blank t-shirt questions from 10a.m. until 12pm for $15 per 15 minutes. Simple enough, but in this way we can concentrate on our customers problems without worrying about making a sale. I'll post a phone number later. Email me at: if you would like to setup a call back time and we can reach you and talk t-shirts.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How many t-shirts can you fit in that box? International shipping for t-shirts

18 adult sized standard fit t-shirts can fit into a large flat rate box. The flat rate international box cost approximately $55 to ship to Australia, so you can assume that the best deal on regular t-shirts for shipping is $3 USD/ea, not counting any import taxes or duties that other countries charge on cotton made in the USA and elsewhere t-shirts. Some brands weigh less, that means they cost less to ship, but if you aren't saving three dollars a shirt then it isn't worth it to ship them from the United States. This is why cheap t-shirts are the worse for shipping internationally and we discourage this practice. If you are ordering the more expensive items then it may be worth the hassle.

Penny pinchers beware, you may like the price, but by the time it gets to you it won't be that cheap. We also don't encourage custom printing since the added potential problems with doing custom work aren't easily resolvable when they occur.

I am working on getting cheaper international shipping prices for tshirts through Fed-ex so that I can compete by exporting more blank t-shirts and take advantage of the weak dollar. At least with Fed-Ex you can track a package and they are responsible for getting the package to the door of the purchaser, but the paperwork may be worse and the cost are generally more than the unreliable post office in each separate country.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Organic Farmers Market Certified Edible

I've stayed away from trying to sell shirts at Farmers Markets, but of late I've visited a few of these and have started thinking these may be a fun place to test market my bamboo / organic local-made t-shirt line. This is similar to how a golfer needs to play the circuit to stay on top of my game.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No time left for you

No time left for you, I got no time...

My advisor in Screenprinting when I was pursuing my general degree at the University consistently advised me to go to my suppliers catalogues for information about what to do and how to do it. I thought he sucked and just didn't know anything, but basically he indicated that the newest information and more recent techniques are learned through the products on the market. The school didn't much in the way of facilities or supplies for screen printing to begin with and most books on the subject were out-dated. Once out of school I learned through my Guru of screenprinting about tradeshows and all of the valuable resources available through the suppliers directly.

Now as I field questions I see that my job is to organize the products and information for novices to understand enough to get their job done by posting and publishing screen printing information on my websites. I like web design for this purpose, but it's not very easy to get everything in the right place to answer everybody's questions and by the end of each day I tend to think people don't read the website anyway. My first question is usually, "have you been to the website?". Which is obvious that they have or they wouldn't have gotten my phone number. The newest trend is with smart phones many calls I get are from people with small screens, but they find the phone number and make a call to ask questions instead of using their phone. I hardly have time to solve the art problems that arise with custom printing to give good phone estimates with all of the interuptions from people who did not look at the website enough to make a few simple decisions before trying to get a quote, so at this point I am going to force all phone calls to voice-mail and spend my time trying to better organize the website with FAQ and gadgets. Here is the new format for custom t-shirt printing and my blank t-shirt website here: . Post any suggestions as to what you think would make it easier to get the information you need by leaving a comment here or sending an email to:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cranked out some samples today

Photos of new samples attached randomly in this post.

Waiting to the last minute to complete jobs is not the best policy, but I have been reworking my pallets and doing much of the prep work myself to keep the ship afloat. I created a template screen with grid lines vertically and horizontally separated by an inch" in both directions creating a grid. Then I printed water based acrylic ink through the screen onto the pallets to identify if any of the platens were out of whack. Lo and behold I could find about a 1/3rd inch difference from the main / control platen.

This explained the problem that is compounded if I register a print on one pallet that is off in one direction by 1/3rd of an inch and then printed in a round-robin fashion as is standard then when I hit a pallet off by 1/3rd inch in another direction I could be off as much as 2/3rd of an inch. Not good. Now that I have identified the bad pallets I can either trim the edges to make them square or re-attach the brackets to attempt to straighten them in place. I suggest making this type of screen for repeated use just to keep an eye on things. The new screen made centering the design much easier too.

Once these arrangements were done I quickly pumped out sample t-shirts for several custom jobs, like a 1, 2, 3, attached.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate actions

Given the state of the economy I have launched a serious mark-down strategy with basic white t-shirts. This has increased business, but at what cost? Shipping cost are restrictive because the cheaper the shirts get the more expensive the shipping cost look as a percentage compared to each tshirt. They don't get any lighter the more shirts people buy, but higher weights do get cheaper and easier to ship. With the inexpensive business model I can't offer free shipping, so I've capped the shipping cost off at $75 as a maximum.