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Cafe Press - You design it, they sell it for you

Merkin Man

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Jul 25, 2007
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Its a good question. I have had a product line in mind for a couple years now that I have considered using CafePress for - I think I'm just always a little skeptical when it comes to deals over the internet. I have asked around before if anyone had any experience working with CafePress and received little feedback.

The two issues I would have with them is pricing (could I find someone locally to do it cheaper?) and rights - who owns the rights to my work?

I do think, regardless of who you use to print, money can be made here with a well marketed product. Mine, for example, would exclusively target 18-25 year olds - and I would likely promote my line at colleges, concerts, etc.
 

LightHouse

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Not fastlane, and their product quality is crap. I do apparal for my clients, as well as other advertising media (signs, decals, etc). If you are developing a shirt line or otherwise look up the NYTIMEs article on the guys with the "life is good" clothing line. it will be insipration, they got the money together to make 80 shirts and went out and sold them on the street, they were a hit. Most of my clients tdo the same, they will buy a stack of shirts that are good quaility and market and sell them themselves. Cafepress is the junk of the industry.
 

Z5 FILMS

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Aug 13, 2007
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Not fastlane, and their product quality is crap. I do apparal for my clients, as well as other advertising media (signs, decals, etc). If you are developing a shirt line or otherwise look up the NYTIMEs article on the guys with the "life is good" clothing line. it will be insipration, they got the money together to make 80 shirts and went out and sold them on the street, they were a hit. Most of my clients tdo the same, they will buy a stack of shirts that are good quaility and market and sell them themselves. Cafepress is the junk of the industry.
+1 Cafe Press is garbage. Getting shirts printed locally will be more expensive, but the quality will be way better.

I saw the story about "life is good" on some show on MSNBC the other day. Good story.
 

LightHouse

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+1 Cafe Press is garbage. Getting shirts printed locally will be more expensive, but the quality will be way better.

I saw the story about "life is good" on some show on MSNBC the other day. Good story.

Depeneds on where you go really. Ive found the best vendors in my areas and i get shirts done for good prices and very very good quality, i do it the same price local as i do all over the US. most online places may be a buck or two cheaper but thats becasue of the low grade product they are putting out.
 

LightHouse

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CarrieW

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I bought a book from there. it was pretty expensive to order but it was the only place I could get it from... (it was a series of fore trading manuals I think I paid 149bucks for it to be printed)

The quality could be better the printing is a bit fuzzy but it works for me.

I have no clue about the quality of their other products.
 
OP
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Elliott

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Jan 18, 2008
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The quality is really low, even for mugs and whatever else? I really like the idea that you don't have to mess around with anything, you put in the idea, they do everything else.

Is there a place like this that will do a better job of it?

Or... maybe this is a good niche for an entrepreneur, eh?
 

LightHouse

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The quality is really low, even for mugs and whatever else? I really like the idea that you don't have to mess around with anything, you put in the idea, they do everything else.

Is there a place like this that will do a better job of it?

Or... maybe this is a good niche for an entrepreneur, eh?
Mugs you cannot really mess up, but i mean comeon, this is slowlane stuff. you are going to make a small percentage and not learn anything. It sorta sounds like you are just trying to make a few bucks quick without having to work. thats fine if you only wanna make a few dollars.

not a good niche since as you can see its filled. people that dont care dont want will goto cafe press and wait for monthes for sales. others will tae their idea, have it made, and actually make real money and learn and grow with it, So you really have to decide.
 

Z5 FILMS

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Aug 13, 2007
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Depeneds on where you go really. Ive found the best vendors in my areas and i get shirts done for good prices and very very good quality, i do it the same price local as i do all over the US. most online places may be a buck or two cheaper but thats becasue of the low grade product they are putting out.

Yeah. I'm just saying if you get it printed locally, you can pick the brand of tshirts, choose the weight of the tshirt, you can inspect the quality of their work, do they just do 1 pass, do they do 2 passes, etc.
 

bosco

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Dec 31, 2007
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I'm going to play devils advocate here.... To the ney sayers, how is this slowlane? If they buy a heat press, get high quality transfers made by the gross and get a highschool kid or their grandmother to press the shirts, you cut out the middleman, maximizing returns by cutting markup on labor and mterials. You will also protect your design/concept and have full control over the product.
Said with love...
Bosco
 

LightHouse

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I'm going to play devils advocate here.... To the ney sayers, how is this slowlane? If they buy a heat press, get high quality transfers made by the gross and get a highschool kid or their grandmother to press the shirts, you cut out the middleman, maximizing returns by cutting markup on labor and mterials. You will also protect your design/concept and have full control over the product.
Said with love...
Bosco

Maybe its me but that didnt make a whole lot of sense to me nor did it seem to relate to this thread. The fellow was asking if he should put his designs on that sit and let someone else sell them for him and receive a small percentage. That = slowlane
 

LightHouse

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If you are doing Shirts here is the supplier I use when I buy shirts.

https://www.broderbros.com/cgi-bin/broderliv/webbro/bro-index.w

Take the design to a local screen print company and save the mark up on the shirts. Mugs would be a different story

Typically to get a good wholesale rate you do have to be an established business to get an account. i use S&S i might check them out but i primarily use S&S as it is close to my printers shops.
 

rcardin

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Oct 30, 2007
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Pretty easy as I set an account up as rick's embroidery. Used my home address and never had a problem. I know the Art teacher down the hall gets better rates than I do because he does more business with them but even with my account I can get shirts for much less than retail. I will have to look up S&S. Are they a local company to you?
 

LightHouse

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No they are local to a couple of my speciality printers. you can flub them though you have to have a reseller ID and tax info. I just got their new catolog and they are putting together alot of sportswear. Are you in the industry or do you just use them when you need them?
 

rcardin

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Oct 30, 2007
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My sister does custom embroidery on the side. I use them if I want any special shirts done for my business or NASCAR races. My buddy down the hall does a lot of shirts for school districts so I have a basic knowledge of the industry.
 

bosco

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Dec 31, 2007
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This is slightly off topic so I appologise in advance... Being that we are talking shirts though here goes...

Does anyone have a heat transfer designer/manufacturer they could recommend?
 

LightHouse

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My sister does custom embroidery on the side. I use them if I want any special shirts done for my business or NASCAR races. My buddy down the hall does a lot of shirts for school districts so I have a basic knowledge of the industry.
Got ya i do it in the addition to my main signage and graphics business. We do alot of motorsports work as well.

This is slightly off topic so I appologise in advance... Being that we are talking shirts though here goes...

Does anyone have a heat transfer designer/manufacturer they could recommend?
Why do you want to do heat transfer in specific?
 

PEERless

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I had a CafePress account in college. My design was clever, but my only customers were my girlfriend and myself. The margins were too low to really motivate me to get out and promote.

It's a clever service, but it didn't work well for me. I'm sure another business model could make great use of it.
 

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