How to Choose Shirts and Garments for Screen Printing

How to Choose Shirts and Garments for Screen Printing


– Hey, my name is Mike. I’m the owner of Merch
Monster in Oakland, California and today we’re gonna talk about selecting garments to
sell to your customers. Now, if you look at all
the product catalogs that are available to you, and we source from five
or six different vendors, there’s thousands of SKUs, and you don’t want
to show your customer thousands of SKUs because
you’ll confuse them. It’s called
“Analysis Paralysis.” So what we’ve done is
we’ve paired down our product selection into
categories to make it much easier for our
customers to pick the garments that they want,
and for us to recommend them the garments that are
best fit for them after we do an evaluation
of their needs in the customer intake process. We’ve segmented our sell
sheet into three categories: good, better, and best. And when I was selecting the
products for those categories, I have a couple criteria
that I always follow. The first one is, obviously, “What is the quality
of the product?” “Do I like the product?” “Is it something that
I would recommend to “my best friend, or my mom?” Or something like that. The second one is “What is the available
selection of styles “for that product line?” So “How many colors
does it come in?” “Does it come in five colors
or does it come in 50 colors?” 50 obviously being more ideal, and “What is availability?” “Is this something that’s
just sold in one warehouse?” “Or do they have it
in many warehouses?” “If it’s out of stock,
locally, can I still get it “somewhere else?” “Is it available in a
warehouse that’s close to me?” We have five different vendors
that are within one day ship from us, I want
to make sure that I can get my product within
one business day because my vendors need
to move at the same speed that I do. Some real world examples
of how this works is, on the low end, we’re
primarily aligned with Port & Company, which has
a high number of colors and, if they’re out of stock,
I can always substitute Gildan or I could
substitute a Hanes shirt. In the mid-level, we mostly
buy from house brands like Tultex or District ’cause they provide a
really good combination of value for the dollar. And then, on the high-end,
we’re either selling American Apparel, a imported
version, or Bella Canvas. So this an an example
of our sell sheet. And, going across the top, we
have product quality types, so from good to best, and we also have garment types, so short sleeve, long sleeve,
tank top, sweatshirt, etc. We have this as a
reference guide for our customer service people,
so that they can find a product very quickly. And they say “Johnny’s looking for
an Economical Short
Sleeve tee shirt” they have a product right
here that we always sell that I know will have the
colors that they need, that will most
likely be in stock. Working from a sell
sheet will it much easier for your employees to be able
to find the correct product for your customer quickly,
in the 80% of cases. And also, it’ll make it
for a much more consistent experience for your
production for the printing on the same
garments all the time. It’ll also help you
consolidate your orders within your vendors
if you’re ordering the same products,
so you can meet your free shipping requirements. And the last thing,
consolidating your purchases into a number of SKUs from
a specific manufacturer will also give you a negotiating
leverage with that vendor. So, I’ll give you an example. Previously, when we
were just starting out, we had SKUs that were
all over the place. We sold one of this,
we sold one of that from all these
different manufacturers. This vendor rep used
to come by my shop and say “Hey, how come you
don’t sell our product?” “Why don’t you
sell our product?” “Why don’t you
sell our product?” And I said, “If you give
me a better price across “the board on a
specific set of SKUs, “I’ll sell your product and
consolidate my men with you.” They gave us a
pricing that I wanted, and I gave them the spend, so I kept my part
of the bargain. If you can move all of
your recommended garments and products that you push
into a specific category or manufacturer, then you
can negotiate pretty good discounts from them, if they know that you’re
going to give them the volume. Most jobs come off
this basic sell sheet for 80% of the cases,
and in 20% of the cases, we still have to
go look up and find the specific thing they need. This doesn’t cover weird stuff
like leggings or yoga pants, super specific things that
we don’t sell of the time. You just wanna cover the
most common items people ask for all the time,
whether it’s tee shirts, pull-overs, etc, etc. Reducing the number of
SKUs you sell will make it easier for your team
to sell the SKUs, it’ll reduce confusion
with the customer, it’ll help you save money
by getting discounts on your pricing.

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