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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Ordering T-Shirts in Bulk: Pitfalls and Pointers

Ordering t-shirts in bulk is a strategy that can save money regardless of the purpose and increase probability if you intend to resell. Oftentimes customers may not be aware of the savings possibilities if they order more t-shirts than less. It makes sense to only order the t-shirts you need if it’s for a one-time event or if the design has any specific date or is redesigned annually. However if it’s a design that remains static over time or it’s a signature piece in a clothing line collection, bulk is the way to order.

The price per unit decreases as the number of shirts goes up. It’s easier for screen printers to pass on the savings in quantity once the costs associated with press and art setup are absorbed.

Another benefit is consistency in the run. Most screen printers recycle their screens after a job is completed unless there is a contract on file and the exact design is reordered frequently. There is always the possibility when setting up new screens, something could be altered. Another possibility is the shirt product may be inconsistent because t-shirt manufactures often use a variety of sources to sew their t-shirts. If you order in bulk, these possibilities are basically eradicated.

Saving time is another benefit of buying printed t-shirts in bulk. Each time you order one-off t-shirts, the ordering process is still a requirement and you may have to go through customer service checks and proofs. If you’re using a screen printer that doesn’t offer free shipping, the costs for shipping can really add up.

T-Shirts are also a great marketing asset. Keeping plenty of branded t-shirts in stock for giveaways are far more memorable than a business card or refrigerator magnet. And, when ordering in bulk, the cost per item makes it far more reasonable as a giveaway than you might think.

If you intend to resell, you should not order in bulk if you don’t feel confident the item will sell. If it’s a new design, you should do some market research to gauge the reaction. Even asking well trusted friends what they think of the new design is better than investing heavily on the front side only to have the garment end up on the discount rack.

For resell or giveaway, it’s important to consider the quality of the apparel product you choose. Going for the cheapest product may not be the way to entice sales or make the recipient feel they’ve been given something of value. Comfort is critical. Even the best design will hang in the closet if the garment is scratchy, ill-fitting, or an objectionable color.

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