I ALREADY HAVE A WEBSTORE (OR I WANT TO BUILD MY OWN) AND DON'T NEED YOU TO BUILD ONE. CAN T-SHIRT STORM INTEGRATE INTO MY EXISTING SITE?
Absolutely! The most elegant solution in this case is for you to build your webstore on Shopify. Once you've done that, then we physically have an actual human person who sits in our offices that will log into your Shopify store every day using a "Staff Account" (we will help you set that up). Your orders will be downloaded every day, printed out and then sent straight to our production department for fulfillment. A similar arrangement can occur if your site is built on another platform like Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce, etc... But the absolute best platform for this type of integration (and in general) is Shopify. However, there ARE some special requirements when creating your products on Shopify in order for us to properly integrate our services. So, if you're just starting out with your Shopify store, don't make a bunch of products until you sign up with us and work with our team to learn exactly how to set up products so that WE can handle the fulfillment. If you've already got a Shopify store set up with products, no worries! We can walk you through the simple steps of adjusting those products so that T-Shirt Storm can handle fulfillment of those items. Call us today to sign up and get going!
WHAT THE HECK IS THE T-SHIRT STORM CHALLENGE?
Periodically, we open our T-Shirt Storm Challenge to a few select new brands. In the T-Shirt Storm Challenge, you pay an upfront cost of $500 and we build you your robust website. Then, you get selling like crazy! If/when you sell 50 shirts within the first 60 days of the site going live, WE GIVE YOU YOUR $500 BACK - in cash! And, if you DON'T reach the goal of 50 shirts in 60 days, you STILL get your $500 back in the form of $500 credit that you can spend on your site however you want - buy shirts for yourself, get samples for a photoshoot, send gifts to your friends - it's up to you! It's a win/win situation that we only open up a few times each year.
HOW DO I MAKE MONEY WITH T-SHIRT STORM?
If we've built your site on our platform, each of the items that's for sale on the webstore that we build for you has a base cost. YOU decide how much the items on your webstore sell for above that base cost, which is the retail price that your customers pay. Then, you keep all of the profit above that base price! The retail price minus the base cost equals your profit. For example the base cost of a premium 3/4 sleeve baseball t-shirt is $18. You decide that that baseball tee will sell for $33 on your site. Your profit on every single baseball tee that you sell is $15! If we build your webstore on OUR platform, then we are receiving all of the funds for your order and then we pay YOU out on the fifteenth of the month for all sales that cleared in the previous month. A sale "clears" five days after we ship it. We can pay out via PayPal or we can send you a check - whichever method you prefer.
If you're one of our Shopify clients (or your webstore is built on another platform like Squarespace, Wix, etc...), then YOU are taking in all of the funds for the total of each order. Then, we simply invoice you for the fulfillment costs of the items that we fulfill, usually once per week. For example, let's say you sell a premium printed 3/4 sleeve baseball t-shirt through your Shopify store on Monday for $33 + $4 of shipping. On Tuesday, you receive $37 from Shopify in your account for that sale. On Friday, after we've printed and shipped that item through your Shopify store, we send you an invoice with a payment link to pay us the $18 fulfillment cost for printing and fulfilling that item. We DON'T need to invoice you for the cost of the shipping, because we shipped that item directly through YOUR Shopify account and your Shopify account was automatically billed for the shipping at the time that we shipped the order. In the case of larger accounts who receive many orders over a short period of time, we invoice and receive payment prior to printing and fulfilling your orders in order to mitigate our risk.
ARE THERE ANY UPFRONT COSTS?
Yes, we are not a free service and we do have a monthly membership fee. Memberships range between $69 for our Brand Fulfillment Package and $99 for our Enterprise Business Fulfillment Package. Also, there are other upfront costs that depend on the development package that you require. If we are building your webstore for you (on our platform or Shopify), the typical cost for us to build your webstore ranges from $300 to $1000. Then, there are materials costs associated with the level of branding that you choose for your products. The FULL branding package includes 500 custom branded neck labels ($75), 500 (2.5 x 5.5) hangtags ($50), and 500 (4x6) flyers ($130) that go on each shirt and/or in each package. You can choose to have all 3 elements of the Branding Package, or any combination of the 3 elements. We suggest doing AT LEAST the interior neck labels as that is the first and most important step in making your t-shirt company look like an actual brand, instead of just someone printing graphics on t-shirts. The monthly membership fee the application of a retail hangtag on each product, and the inclusion of a flyer (content is your choice) into each package - we do not charge an extra per piece price to apply those items. We charge $1 per garment for the application of a custom neck label. The materials cost of the branding package is completely up to your budget, and is reccuring as your materials are depleted, and typically add only about .50 to the hard cost of each product.
So, to summarize, you can get started with us for as little as $69 per month if you already have your designs ready to rock, you have your webstore built and you forego any branding materials. Or, you can get all they way up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs if we are building you a webstore, you're doing all elements of the branding package, and depending on if you require hours of art direction/design and development time. Call us today to discuss what will be best for you! We can give you an idea of startup costs with just a few questions...
ARE THERE ANY MINIMUMS? WHAT HAPPENS IF I ONLY SELL A FEW ITEMS?
No, there are absolutely no minimums. Since we don't print anything until it sells, we have no inventory risk - and neither do you! The individual costs of each item sold pays for us to produce it, and you have zero out-of-pocket expenses for inventory. The number of shirts you sell is directly related to the size/engagement of your audience, and how much effort you put into getting the word out about your webstore and create designs that people want to wear! How much you sell is up to you, but if you sign up with us and you sell ONE item, we will absolutely make sure that it gets produced and shipped to your customer!
IF MY SITE IS BUILT ON YOUR PLATFORM, WHEN AND HOW DO I GET PAID?
We pay out on the fifteenth of the month for all sales that cleared in the previous month. A sale "clears" five days after we ship it. We can pay out via PayPal or we can send you a check - whichever method you prefer.
CAN I TRACK SALES, EARNINGS, CUSTOMERS AND ORDERS?
Of course! If you are a Shopify client (or you have built your own webstore on another platform like Wix, Squarespace, etc) then you always have access to your own site, and since we're using YOUR account to do all order fulfillment, then you always have access to the states of completion of each or your orders! Shopify and other platforms have extremely robust reporting systems so that you can track all sales, traffic, customers, orders etc...
If we've built your webstore on OUR platform, we provide you with private adminstrative login information into the backend of your webstore. There, you can track all sales, earnings, website traffic, customers and orders in realtime. You can also make changes to your webstore/products (Although we DO suggest a quick tutorial with us on how the backend works if you decide you'd like to do any of this). Our system provides you with absolutely 100% transparency, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
ARE THERE ANY LIMITS TO THE NUMBER OF ITEMS I CAN HAVE ON MY WEBSTORE AT ANY GIVEN TIME?
No, there are no limits! You can have as many items on your webstore as you'd like - the sky is the limit and you can really see just how far your imagination can stretch. However, we do suggest that focused and staged rollouts are the best strategy for sales. Launching collections, periodically removing non-selling items, limited edition items and creating a curated offering keeps your webstore fresh. Also, launching new products and collections gives you a good point of contact for your audience and an excuse to reach out to your fanbase with the exciting news!
HOW ARE CUSTOMER SERVICE QUESTIONS HANDLED?
As part of your monthly membership, we handle all customer service requests, and we're very good at it! Having managed our own brand successfully for almost 11 years, we know what it takes to provide GOOD customer service and pride ourselves in our ability to make and keep customers happy. We make sure to include a Contact Us page/form in every webstore build. When a customer uses the Contact form on your webstore, those questions/comments go straight to our customer service department. We respond as YOUR BRAND'S CustomerCare department so even all customer service responses appear as though they are coming straight from your own team.
WHO PAYS FOR SHIPPING/HANDLING AND SALES TAX?
If you have built your own webstore on Shopify (or another platform like Wix, Squarespace, etc) then you are in control of exactly how much you charge your customers for shipping. Those platforms have very sophisticated systems that allow you to select from any number of different shipping options and charges your customers at the time of checkout for whichever shipping option they choose. As we login to your account to fulfill orders, we will be shipping from your account based on the options selected by your customers and your platform of choice will then be charging your account for those shipping costs.
If we build your webstore on OUR platform, then things operate largely the same way: your customer will pay for shipping/handling fees at checkout. Our proprietary cloud-based system is integrated directly to the United States Postal Service via Stamps.com. Your webstore will charge your customer shipping based on the weight and volume of each order in realtime according to current published shipping rates. Shipping fees are calculated once the customer inputs their shipping address in the checkout process. As per current Sate and Federal requirements, sales tax is only charged to customers who are purchasing from the same state in which T-Shirt Storm operates. So, as of October 2018, only residents of the state of California are required to pay sales tax on orders through your webstore.
HOW CUSTOMIZABLE IS MY WEBSTORE?
If you've chosen to have us build your webstore on our platform, we use incredibly robust, enterprise level proprietary webstore building software that is hugely customizable to your vision. While some limitations DO exist, we are supremely confident that we can work with you to develop a truly customized webstore that accurately captures your vision.
I NEED HELP WITH LOGOS AND/OR T-SHIRT DESIGNS. CAN T-SHIRT STORM HELP ME?
Although this is not part of our main business model, we do have experienced and talented designers on staff and we can certainly help you get started with some designs for your webstore if you need assistance out of the gate! Our design services are available at hourly rates, and only require you to have developed some concepts that we can flesh out into finished t-shirt designs for you. However, this option IS VERY EXPENSIVE and can take a good bit of time depending on our schedule and workload. In all honesty, we suggest that you utilize an independet source outside of OUR services for your design and development needs (freelancers, Fiverr, friends/family, professional designers, etc) and let us just be your badass backend production and fulfillment partners.
I HAVE INVENTORY OF SOME ITEMS THAT I'D LIKE TO SELL IN ADDITION TO THE APPAREL YOU OFFER. CAN I DO THAT?
Totally! Many of our clients have physical cd's, hats, beanies, stickers, posters etc. that they'd also like to offer for sale on their new webstore. For a small fulfillment fee per item, we will stock your inventory at our location and fulfill orders for items outside of our printed offering.
HOW DOES T-SHIRT STORM HELP ME PROMOTE MY WEBSTORE?
We at T-Shirt Storm have considerable experience in the apparel industry and will do everything within our ability to assist you on your journey. But, we are VERY busy. And, while we really do enjoy mentorship, our business model just doesn't allow for much time do to that. Everyone's journey is different and, ultimately, the success of your webstore/brand is up to the strength and uniqueness of your messages, concepts, designs, and the effectiveness of your marketing. At T-Shirt Storm, we put a powerful tool in your hands but it is up to YOUR efforts on the outside to make your webstore a success.
We DO know the people who CAN help you: We've partnered with the t-shirt gurus at Teeacher.com, whose online course in developing and launching a t-shirt brand was created by Andrea Lake (an absolute BADASS in the t-shirt business who has sold tens of millions of t-shirts over the years) and Dan Caldwell, one of the original founders of the wildly successful brand TapouT. You should ABSOLUTEY RIGHT NOW go check them out and get plugged into their system and community of people JUST LIKE YOU. They are TRULY amazing people who have a passion for helping t-shirt companies grow, and they really do know their stuff and actually want to help you...Click the image below to check them out: