This is a guest post written by Unified Manufacturing.
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a musician who’s planning on selling band merch is choosing the best supplier for your custom-made t-shirts.
Your t-shirt supplier has a major impact on how you price your t-shirts, what types of t-shirts you sell, and even how quickly you can send them to your fans.
We've rounded up 10 tips to help you with finding the best t-shirt manufacturer that matches your needs.
1. Ask for recommendations
Asking for recommendations from your musician friends will make you have instant trust and connection to that custom merch maker.
You’ll have a confirmation of their services since someone you personally know has used their services. It’s better than just trusting the words of a stranger from the internet.
Plus, you might get a discount or other perks if the merch printer has a good relationship with your friend.
2. Google search for t-shirt printers
Searching for t-shirt printers and manufacturers is another way if you don’t have anyone who can recommend a good one to you.
There are a lot of manufacturers online, so you’ll have a lot of options. The challenge will be to distinguish between the good and bad, or it may be hard to pick just one among the best. So go ahead and view their Trustpilot reviews, their Yelp pages, or even search them on Reddit for feedback.
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3. Visit their website
After compiling a list of potential manufacturers, visit their websites as part of your criteria. Go through their website and determine if you can navigate through it easily. Note if you have any difficulty.
Contact their support team and see how quickly they reply. You don’t want to work with a company that takes ages to get back to you.
4. Scan through their portfolio
Most band merch manufacturer websites have a portfolio page where you can see their past product examples, as well as the artists that they have worked with. It’s good to check this out so that you have a grasp of what they’ve done for other customers and what they might potentially do for your own custom band merch.
5. Read customer reviews
While it’s not always a good thing to trust strangers on the internet, it doesn’t hurt to get some info from them. Reading customer reviews of the merch manufacturers you’ve narrowed down might confirm what you already think of that company.
6. Check customization options
The point of getting custom made t-shirts is the customization. If you pick a manufacturer without knowing if they have a wide array of customization options, it could just be a waste of time, energy, and money before you even place an order.
7. Know their offered minimum order quantity (MOQ)
Minimum order quantity or MOQ, is an important consideration when you order lots of units of the same product. The more units you order above the MOQ, the less you’ll have to pay per unit, which helps you save money on your overall order.
8. Talk to their customer service
Try talking to their customer service staff. When you work with a manufacturer, the services they offer and the products they make are not everything. You also have to evaluate if their staff are professional, efficient, and respectful. This will help create a good relationship with you, which will make you want to work with them again.
9. Place a small order
If you want to check the quality of the shirts for yourself, you can try placing a small order. If you have a list of manufacturers you want to try, you can place an order from all of them. This is a great way to compare t-shirt and print qualities.
This is not a must-do move, though, because most custom merch makers will offer you 100 as the MOQ. But you can still sell those shirts that you’ve ordered, so think of it as a trial and error process.
10. Weigh shirt prices
The last tip is to weigh the prices of the shirts. If you did a small order, then you can compare the prices you’ve paid and determine if the price is worth it for the quality you received.
You can also compare which had more positive feedback or had less MOQ, and if the price you will be paying is worth it.
We hope that you will find the right merch maker for your custom band merch with these 10 tips. If you’re just starting your search for a custom band merch maker, feel free to visit Unified Manufacturing’s website and check out what we offer.
Since 2005, Unified Manufacturing has been a favorite go-to place for major and independent labels, thousands of DIY musicians, and even artists like Stevie Wonder and Ringo Starr when it comes to CD replication, vinyl pressing, cassette tape replication, and t-shirt printing.
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