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I run my own label nothing big but its a fun way to make extra $ on the side. From hats to jackets, lots of t-shirts.
I started with Merchline a while back, which at the time, would print, store and ship everything for me. I would just get a check at the end of the month.
Not handling your own stock has good and bad sides, it's not as simple as "one is better than the other". I have done both and I prefer storing it myself.
First thing is that POD services, while perhaps is a good way to start due to no upfront investment (other than your time) is needed, it gets limited pretty quick. If you are only going to do 50 shirts then this might do, but if you plan to expand and add embellishments most POD services can't help.
I ship on custom boxes, all my garments have woven or satin labels, none of them display manufacturer (or printer's) brand on them, I can also provided different products made by different manufacturers that were not available with POD services (usually only t-shirts), like wallets, keychains, jackets, etc.
And also, I always wonder "would I pay money for this if I saw it at a store." POD services are often more expensive per unit and quality wise fall short of what you can do with a real garment manufacturer. Merchline was great, eventually I convinced them to sewn my woven lables on t-shirts but they would still ship on their custom Merchline packaging and my clients would get Merchline promo flyers and stickers with purchase.
So, it depends how far in you want to go with branding, working with a garment manufacturer will give you more control.
Here's some of my own stuff:
- I'm using shopify now and I do everything, takes me a few minutes in the evening to prepare orders, post picks em up the next morningMiguex
- where's my QBN schwag bag??!
(dope stuff btw) :)PonyBoy
- Thanks! A good thing of POD services is I could respond "I have nothing on me, need to order online" hahaMiguex
- Miguex, do you mind sharing where you get your hats from? I'm tired of these generic stocks that I've been seeing?cbass99
- cbass! yeah man, I get them made right here in SD just using yupoong blanks most of the time, they are better than new era (although NE owns them now)Miguex
- ok thanks man! i appreciate it. i've been using OTTO and a few others. I'll check out Yupoong and nice gear btw!cbass99
- thanks man! email if you want me to put you in touch w my printer/ embroiderMiguex
- very coolprophetone
Stock would be silly.
We do POD vinyl among other things.
Stock can get damaged in so many ways.
It's an added cost to maintain stock.
If he is using 3rd party fulfillment, no need for stock.
What is your clients' goal by moving to an inventory model?
There are definitely savings buying your own shirts and stocking but you need to calculate the costs of unsold inventory, running out of stock, stocking multiple sizes, getting stuck with a design that just won't sell.... so many ways to hemorrhage cash when stocking your own inventory -- not even counting the cost for a 3rd party distributor
unless he's been in the biz and knows his sales well, it's a much bigger risk since you're putting all the money up front.
shellie knows a lot about this