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How to buy t-shirts with prints on the Internet to be satisfied and not to be deceived (part 3)

Hello again! My name is Denis Oleynikov, I am the director and owner of the Internet service ProstoPrint.com (we will advertise in the first paragraph so that some well-wishers would not search for a black cat in a dark room of this cycle of articles hidden PR).

Since printing and selling clothes and souvenirs via the Internet is my main business for the 8th year in a row, some time ago I decided to summarize the experience and knowledge gained and share it with everyone who might be interested. To date, two articles have been written:

"How to buy t-shirts on the Internet ....", part 1 - about ordering clothes over the Internet in general, as well as how to determine how good are the t-shirts, raglans or t-shirts on which the online store prints.
"How to buy t-shirts on the Internet ....", part 2 - what is printing on t-shirts on demand, with the help of what technologies it is carried out and how to “not stepping on a rake” when ordering products printed for you in a single copy .

It's time to continue our not always fun, but always instructive story, and talk about design competitions and selling stock - because there is something about whom ... Because design competitions are probably Threadless and Design by Humans that you know , and selling stock is T-shirts from Lebedev or international T- shirt hooligans from T-Shirt Hell (who, however, could not resist the trends of the time and also took part of their business towards printing on demand).

Threadless has not only made its founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart multi-millionaires ...

... but also successfully went beyond the "clean" Internet business (in the photo - the Threadless store in Chicago).

As a representative of the progressive humanity of the on-demand goods industry, I often have to answer two identical questions:

Why do your T-shirts cost as much as Threadless, because production costs in Russia and Ukraine are much lower? ”- this is often asked by end customers.

Why can't you print my full-color design on a black basis (variations: design with fine details, with a large number of objects, etc.), because Design by Humans can ” - this question is often asked by designers and owners of partner stores on ProstoPrint.com.

In order to answer both questions in one fell swoop, it is necessary to figure out how design contests like the one mentioned by Threadless or its European counterpart laFraise.com still work:

Step 1. Independent designers offer their creations to the jury through the addition of a future T-shirt print to the website of the competition. As a rule, the jury consists of other designers, buyers of existing or potential, as well as the administration of the resource.

At the same time, the “weight” of the votes of the first, second and third varies from one design competition to another, and in many cases there is no democracy at all - the choice is made by the managers of the design competition, only taking into account the voting results.

Step 2. The winners of the competition receive a cash reward, and their prints are printed on a certain model of T-shirts, in a given color scheme in limited edition, and then offered for sale in the online store. For example, lucky authors at Threadless earn $ 2,000 in cash and $ 500 with a commodity voucher on the first print run, as well as $ 500 dollars for each reprint.

Step 3. After the whole print run is sold out, the owners of the design competition decide to withdraw this model from the sale or reprint production.

CIRCULATION! In the previous two paragraphs, we used the word several times, which in essence defines the main advantages that made the business model of Threadless.com popular and successful ... But this same word also has disadvantages, which make Zazzle and CafePress today not Threadless They are the most “fashionable peppers” of Silicon Valley (of those who, in one way or another, print on clothes, of course).

At first, about the benefits. The first and key point is that T-shirts on the sites of design competitions are printed using screen printing technology. The silk screen printing is known to the world for hundreds of years, studied “from head to toe” and is good for many:

a) you can print almost everything : a raster on light and dark, small details and objects, beautiful smooth dies, etc.

b) industrial print quality : when printing with silk screening, the thread of the clothes being sealed is precisely colored (in whole or in part), and not covered with film on top, as in the case of thermoapplication. But, in contrast to the unstable color with direct printing on textiles, prints applied with silk screening can survive more than one hundred washes - subject to the printing technology and the use of high-quality consumables, of course.

c) ample opportunities for special effects : various flocks, glitters, puffs (as if “swelling” paint) - all this can be implemented through screen printing.

d) cheap, productive : printing a single product using the screen printing technology takes paint a few cents, while for making a t-shirt with a fusing film you already need a few dollars. The difference in performance is even more impressive: one qualified automatic silk screening machine operator + one maintenance worker per shift can make as many T-shirts as 30-40 (!!!) people working with thermoapplication.

The second plus of design competitions, which favorably distinguishes them from the services of goods on demand, is the ability to “show the goods face”, that is, in a real photo or in a video. Because design competitions offer for sale already existing, printed T-shirts! After all, we are so clever with you and we understand that for services like ProstoPrint.com or Zazzle.com, the generated product image “assembled” in the designer is normal. A simpler user (but with money!) Will look and look at such a picture and say: “There is not one real photo for the whole site - just one photoshop! Something is not right here, I will go as I go to where the goods, shot by a simple soap box through the left heel, will be shown to me, but certainly not mounting ”.

Real photos on the site designbyhumans.com design contest help sell more.

Finally, the third strength of design competitions is a very simple operational model: take the finished product from the shelf, put it in a bag, send it to. It takes little time to process an order, the probability of error is also significantly less than that of colleagues in the on-demand industry.

And everything seems to be honey and chocolate - but why did the investors from Silicon Valley practically lose their interest in design competitions, why are they lured by webbaths? Let's see what, in principle, can not make the service, working on a competitive model.

1. CANNOT offer the same print, but on a product of a different color or style that differs from that shown in the showcase.

2. CANNOT ensure the stable availability of all sizes during the sale of the product - one size inevitably ends first, then the second, third. ... By the way, you see this situation in the picture above: the Pins T-shirt is sold for less than a month for Design by Humans, and two for women size no longer available. And they will appear only when the company owning the competition decides to reprint (often never).

3. CAN'T change the print, transfer it to another place of the product (for example, from chest to back), add personalization, etc.

4. CANNOT manage working capital as effectively as competing companies from the on-demand segment of goods, because it is prone to old offline trading illnesses: you need to produce and keep in stock the entire circulation, sell leftovers and slow sizes, plus there are always illiquid circulations, which ALL did not guess ...

These are the four main problems that are universal for design competitions and sites for the sale of stock. If any of the sites offers you a solution to one or more of them - this is possible (see the example of T-Shirt Hell below), but you should understand that these will be OTHER products - in appearance, touch, feeling in wear and so on. .d.) Not necessarily worse - although most often this is the case - but certainly others.

On the T-Shirt Hell website, you can order finished articles printed in large quantities (BLACK MARKET) or print on products of various colors and styles (PRINT TO ORDER). The PRINT TO ORDER option appeared less than three years ago, but it is now that it is the main one - progress does not stand still ...

Yes, by the way, I did not mention at all the services that work according to the “sale of stock” model. I correct myself: the sale of stock differs from design competitions only in that decisions on the assortment are made solely by the managers of such services, without interactive and community participation. Stock resources are based on the authority of their owners (Studio Lebedev's shop), on the presence of a large and super-loving audience, who eat practically anything with their favorite symbols (fan-shops of popular music groups) or on the old “shitty shit” world: 100 The most popular prints on the Internet, printed on an inexpensive T-shirt with even cheaper paints and offered for sale at super-dumping prices.

I summarize and at the same time answer two questions voiced by me at the beginning of this article: working with a conscientious design competition or stock product store, you will get an excellent T-shirt with a well-made print, accurate color reproduction, perfect colors, and so on for reasonable money. P. In addition, this T-shirt will be pleasant to wear and will serve more than one hundred washes.

But: the range of such products will always be limited, and if the size you need is over, this is a serious problem. You also can not get a dressing gown with the same picture, but with mother-of-pearl buttons, or to add “Vasya from brotherhood” to the product you like.

That's all for now. In the next publication we will have a tour full of surprises in the world of deliveries and payments - I promise a lot of new and interesting things. For now, as Ivan Demidov used to say in my favorite program “Musoboz”, YET!

PS Let's finish the cooperation proposal: our company has all the necessary technological (its silk-screen production, its own import of B & C foundation products, Continental Clothing, etc.), operating rooms (delivery department, payment processing service, client call center), marketing (almost 15 thousand partners) opportunities for the development and maintenance of design competition. But, unfortunately, there is not enough time, money and other resources to draw, write, run this contest. If you are a developer, and you (might be) interested in taking part in creating such a project on a partnership basis - write to me.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/103601/

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