You may want to start a t-shirt business without having to learn about screen printing. This is entirely possible with a concept called drop shipping and print on demand companies. In this article we’ll show you what it takes to become a drop shipper.
What is drop shipping?
Drop shipping is when a retailer sells a product that they do not have in stock. The retailer has another company fulfill the order. In this case we are talking about t-shirt drop shippers. A t-shirt drop shipper sells a shirt then has another company print and ship the shirt to the customer.
The benefit of drop shipping is that the seller takes the profit and hands off the fulfillment to another company. The other company does all of the work. They print it. They ship it. They hold the raw materials in stock at their location. This can be perfect for some t-shirt companies who are low on space or money. The retailer can sell their designs without having any of the overhead costs.
This does not mean that the retailer has nothing to do. They still have to create the designs, sell the shirts, market the shirts, and build the store. The retailer does not get off scot free from having to do work. The retailer is taking a significant portion of the work and outsourcing it to someone else.
How does drop shipping work?
Because we are talking about t-shirts it should be noted that there are a lot of companies that focus on drop shipping t-shirts. These companies have become very advanced. They have developed programs that integrate with many of the major website platforms on the market. Therefore a lot of the work is taken away.
A design is first uploaded into their system. Then the retailer can choose which products they want their design to be printed on. It can be t-shirts, but it could also very well be hats or pillows. Then the retailer imports those items into their website and prices them. Once the products are imported onto the site the retailer can start selling them.
The retailer is in business. It is possible to take orders and make income.
Once a sale has been made the retailer forwards the information of the sale to the drop shipper. This will include the item and the address that it needs to be shipped to. At this point the retailer will pay the drop shipper for the product and the shipping. The difference between what the retailer originally received and what the drop shipper charges the retailer is profit. The drop shipper will create the item and send the package to the customer. It’s that simple.
Why is drop shipping good?
It can take a large investment to get a retail business started. That’s not true with drop shipping. It’s just not necessary to have a lot of money to open. The designs just need to be uploaded onto the drop shippers website and the retailer needs to sell them. There is no stock required for this business. No storage. The drop shipping companies do the printing and shipping. This business can be run from anywhere. No need for a physical store or a warehouse. If lots of sales are made the business will easily scale.
What are the downsides of drop shipping?
Retailers do not have control over the products or the shipping. This has all been outsourced. Which means that products may not get shipped out right away. Products may not be printed with the same quality that the retailer would have printed them. The printer may not be reliable. The printer may also get backed up with a lot of other orders causing extensive delays.
To make it worse, there may be customer service issues. Since retailers don’t have these products at their beck and call they can’t answer questions that customers may have. Returns and exchanges may be an issue as well.
It is important to find a reliable print on demand company. This can make life easier. With a reliable printer a retailer won’t have to worry about orders going out in a timely manner or that garments won’t be printed correctly. Deal only with printers who have fair pricing and policies. At the end of the day retailers need to make money from this venture.
The Final Word on Drop shipping
What is awesome about drop shipping is the quick start and minimal investment. Retailers can add a store to their enterprise without having to worry about affecting other portions of their business. There is a lot of opportunity with a drop shipping business.