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  1.  (2956.1)
    Hi!

    I'm a graphic designer/Illustrator/Cartoonist from Melbourne, Australia, and I'm about to launch my website.

    As well as print works, I'm interested in selling limited edition T-Shirts, But i don't really know much about the ragtrade, so before i start I'd like to try and figure out what you guys want from an online T-Shirt store. I've written a little survey, and if you can spare a few minutes, i'd appreciate if you could take a look. Click Here to take survey (I'll post the results here once i get a decent number of responses...)

    I've gotten mixed messages from other designers and cartoonists i've spoken to, some swear that selling shirts is a great way to supplement their income. and others complain they can't move them once they get them. Does anyone have any horror stories or tips about selling shirts online?
    •  
      CommentAuthorzoem
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2008
     (2956.2)
    I am no expert, but I'd suggest parterning with someone who does a lot of work - ordering, printing, stocking, selling and shipping. The guy from overcompensating does lots of this, as do the Penny Arcade guys. They have the distribution network, you have the art.

    I 'm not sure what kind of art you are doing, so neither of those venues may be right for you, but I'm certain there are others.
  2.  (2956.3)
    Do penny-arcade do distribution? i know dumbrella (overcompensating) does, but i wasn't aware it was a company you could buy into. i thought you had to be invited in.

    I know of a few companies who do distribution, like bigcartel.com. But i was under the impression they took big cuts of profits.

    Does anyone have an opinion about self distribution vs. paying to be distributed?
    •  
      CommentAuthorglukkake
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2008 edited
     (2956.4)
    You have to really dedicate a lot of time towards self distribution.

    As an illustrator, I designed a few t-shirts, had them printed up (and I ordered quite a lot) and was going to self distribute. It worked for about a month or few, and then I just didn't have the time to promote myself because I had other work to focus on. I've maybe broken even on what I've sold for the past 18 months. The time I sold best (as in, not just to my friends) were when I had worked an indie comic convention in NYC. However, I had friends who already bought a table and allowed me to join them for free so long as I helped them sell their shirts too. If I had to drop the money for a table by my lonesome, I wouldn't have made much of a profit.

    If you don't already have a big presence on the web nor the time to set that up, selling shirts is a rough affair and you will sit on boxes for a while. If you're OK with the time and effort to start up, then you can totally do it on your own. Personally, I think that starting off with a distributor is a good idea, take the cut in profit, then start selling on your site when you start to see a steady trend of rising traffic. Distributors mean you don't have to worry about doing the work for shipping out stuff, they have an established customer base and many of them work the conventions to sell your stuff out of their own pocket.

    edited because I sometimes suck at spelling/putting down the right words.
  3.  (2956.5)
    that's really helpful! thanks glukkake!