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One frustrating step away from Expanding my DTG printing business- Need HELP

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FLTechGuy

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Feb 23, 2015
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I currently have a decent side business making shirts and selling them but it needs to get with the times on the technology front.

I have one thing holding me back from taking this further and that is an online order management system where each person can log on to their own dashboard, upload what they want printed on the item they select along with the size and color, they can resize the image to the print area on the screen showing the item they want, name it and then submit it, it would then create a mockup of what the image would look like on the product selected and place it in a design area, it would save it.

They can then go in click on the item, the size and color and then it ask then for the address to ship to, and then bill them in the final screen and then that would submit it to a queue where I can pull up the artwork and print it. They could log in at any point in the future and order that same image placed on an item. Once the item is completed the system would send them out a tracking number via email

i am thinking there has to be some off the shelf solution but I do not know what this would be called or referred to.

This is the one thing holding me back from taking the side business to the next level. I am hoping someone knows of something that would work.
 

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Odysseus M Jones

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I have one thing holding me back from taking this further and that is an online order management system where each person can log on to their own dashboard, upload what they want printed on the item they select along with the size and color, they can resize the image to the print area on the screen showing the item they want, name it and then submit it, it would then create a mockup of what the image would look like on the product selected and place it in a design area, it would save it.

They can then go in click on the item, the size and color and then it ask then for the address to ship to, and then bill them in the final screen and then that would submit it to a queue where I can pull up the artwork and print it. They could log in at any point in the future and order that same image placed on an item. Once the item is completed the system would send them out a tracking number via email
That sounds like a very cool way to order.

Do you know of anyone doing it? Your competitors or some other kind of print on demand business?

@Ing are you aware of such an order interface?
 

Ing

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The business I try to work with seems to have similar.
But that stucks at the connection of my shopify shop with their service. shirt-king. de
So I just try to have some designs at spreadshirt and do some google ads. Again I stuck with google ads.
Well Im some frustrating steps from giving up...
 

tonibob

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Hi @FLTechGuy ,

You can use payment platform as Magento which is very popular and great product. Here is a link of Wordpress theme which incorporates Magento 2.
Have a look at it as it might be what you are looking for.

Best,
Pete
 

Kid

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But you are aware of teespring.com, printful.com, printify.com and myriad of others ?
 

hameedhudeen

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I saw in a YouTube video about this software:

It is for screen printing though. You might check if it is good to go with DTG as well.
 
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FLTechGuy

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But you are aware of teespring.com, printful.com, printify.com and myriad of others ?
Yes, I am very aware of them. There is plenty of opportunity out there and I know a lot of their strengths and weaknesses.
 
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FLTechGuy

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Hi @FLTechGuy ,

You can use payment platform as Magento which is very popular and great product. Here is a link of Wordpress theme which incorporates Magento 2.
Have a look at it as it might be what you are looking for.

Best,
Pete
Thank you, I really had hoped this was it. I took a look this is close but I would be printing for other people so more along the lines of what printful, printify, Gooten, and other B2B DTG print providers do so it does not seem to have those features. This seems more aimed at the retail side of things and B2C
 

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FLTechGuy

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I saw in a YouTube video about this software:

It is for screen printing though. You might check if it is good to go with DTG as well.
Thank you, this is is very close but it does not seem to have a way for clients to upload artwork, put on an item and then select where it is shipping to and pay for it. It is more designed for an order quote system.
 
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FLTechGuy

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FLTechGuy

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Sorry for my delay in getting back I did not get any notifications that replies were posted.
 

Ronak

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I did try that search I was coming up empty handed


Most people fail to go beyond just the first page of a single google search. I'm always surprised when people talk about how a given solution doesn't exist when a couple of google searches shows it not to be so.

My response is a bit tongue in cheek here, but here's my point: are you willing to spend a full week/month doing nothing but looking for your solution? That sort of effort and persistence will pay off for you in your business, even while the "experts" claim its impossible.

It's arduous, frustrating, and time consuming, but will be worth it in the end.

I have lost count of the times someone has said something is impossible, even the so called experts, only to find the exact thing I was looking for because I was willing to turn over every rock. He who is willing to make the most calls, wins.

On another note, I'm also surprised how critical of a success factor it is to find the right resources, software, etc. On the surface, doesn't seem like a big deal whether you use vendor a or vendor b for any given service, but in reality, finding or not finding the right solution can be the difference between failure and great success.

Good luck!
 

Ronak

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Another possibility:

Do you know of any existing businesses that do what you're trying to do (other screen printers that use the kind of software you're looking for?
 
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FLTechGuy

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Most people fail to go beyond just the first page of a single google search. I'm always surprised when people talk about how a given solution doesn't exist when a couple of google searches shows it not to be so.

My response is a bit tongue in cheek here, but here's my point: are you willing to spend a full week/month doing nothing but looking for your solution? That sort of effort and persistence will pay off for you in your business, even while the "experts" claim its impossible.

It's arduous, frustrating, and time consuming, but will be worth it in the end.

I have lost count of the times someone has said something is impossible, even the so called experts, only to find the exact thing I was looking for because I was willing to turn over every rock. He who is willing to make the most calls, wins.

On another note, I'm also surprised how critical of a success factor it is to find the right resources, software, etc. On the surface, doesn't seem like a big deal whether you use vendor a or vendor b for any given service, but in reality, finding or not finding the right solution can be the difference between failure and great success.

Good luck!
Thank you point taken and understood. I did use that same search several weeks ago. The one you found I had not seen before and I am going to contact them. It was on the 6th page of Google's results for the same search term so if you got it on the second page then its my detected location playing into the results is my best guess. It was buried between results for shopify, sellbrite and other ecom platforms ,and 7 sponsored results.

I know it is not impossible but it has just been frustrating I have called at least 10 different vendors, sent several emails and spent two weeks searching various search terms and ran out of ideas while making little headway. It was very time consuming all while still trying to run my business and work FT. I talked to my product blank suppliers to see if they had any ideas; they did not. I went to a forum dedicated towards t-shirt printing and the like. All the suggested solutions from that forum were solutions to setup a store like customink which is not what I was looking for. I also posted here as well hoping to find an off the shelf software solution. My guess is most of it is probably custom programmed but I have that small hope that somewhere this has to be already available without going down the road of hiring programmers. Maybe the one you posted will be it.
 
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FLTechGuy

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Feb 23, 2015
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Another possibility:

Do you know of any existing businesses that do what you're trying to do (other screen printers that use the kind of software you're looking for?

Gearbubble has their own"dropship" dashboard as they call it
Gooten has their own interface as well

Both of these work by uploading an image and placing it on the product you want (shirt, sweater, etc) and choose all the sizes (if applicable) and colors (if applicable) you want to offer it in. You then name the item and then you can resize the image on the product to fit in the printable area displayed on the product chosen it then saves this (it must create and save a file in the background to use for printing). At a later point you can then you can go in at any point click on the product you want click on the size and color and then enter where you want it shipped to. You then click finish it tells you the total and the person enters there credit card info, paypal etc and pays for it. It then goes into the print queue. when it is done some of these sites automatically updated the tracking info with Etsy, Amazon, Ebay etc. other ones it has to be done manually by the buyer.

The people buying the items are people who own Amazon or Etsy stores and are having me produce the products for them to send to their customers. So I in essence would be the Gooten, Printify, Printful, Custom Cat and the people buying from me are store owners running POD store fronts that need someone to produce the items and ship them direct to their customers.

There are other ways this works as well but it is dependent on another software for example:
Several interface with Shopify such as Custom Cat, Printful, Printify where you create the products ahead of time in a shopify store (it does not have to be open to public) you then go in under shopify search for the product with the design desired, select the variants such as size and color and then add a customer manually, save the order as a draft order and then process it in the print companies shopify app but I really do not want to have it setup like that as that requires the customer to have Shopify which is an extra cost.
 

Ronak

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Thank you point taken and understood. I did use that same search several weeks ago. The one you found I had not seen before and I am going to contact them. It was on the 6th page of Google's results for the same search term so if you got it on the second page then its my detected location playing into the results is my best guess. It was buried between results for shopify, sellbrite and other ecom platforms ,and 7 sponsored results.

I know it is not impossible but it has just been frustrating I have called at least 10 different vendors, sent several emails and spent two weeks searching various search terms and ran out of ideas while making little headway. It was very time consuming all while still trying to run my business and work FT. I talked to my product blank suppliers to see if they had any ideas; they did not. I went to a forum dedicated towards t-shirt printing and the like. All the suggested solutions from that forum were solutions to setup a store like customink which is not what I was looking for. I also posted here as well hoping to find an off the shelf software solution. My guess is most of it is probably custom programmed but I have that small hope that somewhere this has to be already available without going down the road of hiring programmers. Maybe the one you posted will be it.

Good on you, most people might try 3-4 possibilities and move on. 10 is a good start. The real answer is: contact 50-100+. I realize that's difficult when you're trying to run the day to day, but if that is the ONE thing that will make all the difference, the effort will be worth it, even if it slows you down temporarily. This is another reason why there's so much emphasis out there to get out of the day to day, so you can focus on the $1000-1MM/hour work that will really move the needle.

BTW, I didn't use the same search term as before, it was slightly different. All the more reason to have a systematic approach to it-- key out 10-15 search terms on a spreadsheet, then get on google and search each term, covering at least 5-8 pages for each term. That should yield you over 100 prospects, most of which will be garbage. You might get 10 worth exploring, 7 will not call you back, you will have to keep trying until they respond.

Probably exaggerating there, but it's not different than sales prospecting, which is so backwards when you think about it and consider all the hoops you have to jump through for the privilege of giving someone your money.

And hey, maybe there isn't an exact solution, and you uncover a real need for your market. New businesses are often spawned from the inconvenience of not finding the right solution despite a huge need. Of course, these opportunities also come at the most inconvenient times and force you to make a decision to focus on a new business instead of the original one.
 

Kid

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So you try to make backend service so someone could open thing "like" the printful?
 

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ADHDan

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Fancy product designer doesn't seem to support individual client logins.
If you find a WordPress plugin that you like the look of other than the client login part then you could restrict that to members only with a membership tool or a content locker, depending on what your needs are.

You could find a self-hosted option on CodeCanyon but as you say, some haven't been updated for a while. Plus it can be a bit hit and miss with getting something that works and isn't full of bugs.
 
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FLTechGuy

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Feb 23, 2015
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Good on you, most people might try 3-4 possibilities and move on. 10 is a good start. The real answer is: contact 50-100+. I realize that's difficult when you're trying to run the day to day, but if that is the ONE thing that will make all the difference, the effort will be worth it, even if it slows you down temporarily. This is another reason why there's so much emphasis out there to get out of the day to day, so you can focus on the $1000-1MM/hour work that will really move the needle.

BTW, I didn't use the same search term as before, it was slightly different. All the more reason to have a systematic approach to it-- key out 10-15 search terms on a spreadsheet, then get on google and search each term, covering at least 5-8 pages for each term. That should yield you over 100 prospects, most of which will be garbage. You might get 10 worth exploring, 7 will not call you back, you will have to keep trying until they respond.

Probably exaggerating there, but it's not different than sales prospecting, which is so backwards when you think about it and consider all the hoops you have to jump through for the privilege of giving someone your money.

And hey, maybe there isn't an exact solution, and you uncover a real need for your market. New businesses are often spawned from the inconvenience of not finding the right solution despite a huge need. Of course, these opportunities also come at the most inconvenient times and force you to make a decision to focus on a new business instead of the original one.

I did get ahold of several companies, they all fell short of the requirements. They are all designed for people who are directly servicing customers like CustomInk and other customer facing online design software. None of them have integrations with marketplaces like I need. Only one is willing to potentially do that integration but they are talking at a price tag of $40k approximately to develop the solution. One company came close but would need to make modifications to their existing product as it is not targeted for B2B2C. They want $12k upfront for the year. So it looks like now I am going to go to web development companies and see what it would cost to have this made as it seems it is the only other feasible option. I am guessing though I am looking at a minimum of $25k and up.

In the meantime I am going to have to find a way to temporarily run this without this software which is really going to limit my offering to the market but if I can generate enough business then I may be able to hire a development company to build this entire thing.

Thank you for your help and suggestions
 

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