Dropshipping or E-commerce for Vinyl Printed T-Shirts? Read This Before You Start Selling Online

Dropshipping or E-commerce for Vinyl Printed T-Shirts? Read This Before You Start Selling Online

The pandemic has been both a boon and a bane for those selling crafts. While existing sellers faced some tough times, many got the push they needed to enter the trade.

Custom t-shirts can be an easy point of entry to the crafts business, where you can create unique designs and sell them to your audience. According to a study, the global custom t-shirt market may surpass the $9 billion mark by 2030.

Therefore, vinyl printing t-shirts and selling them online has scope, after all. But should you launch your own e-commerce store or consider dropshipping instead?

Here is the simplification one needs to make the right decision:

Factors To Consider Before You Choose Dropshipping or E-Commerce

The success you make by selling vinyl-printed t-shirts online will depend on this choice. Read on to see which is more appealing.

Inventory, Raw Materials, and Equipment

The basic difference between dropshipping and e-commerce is that the latter requires you to possess an inventory. Also, sellers interested in dropshipping custom t-shirts with vinyl prints need not worry about arranging raw materials or equipment. But online store enthusiasts must choose these carefully as the final product depends on them.

Equipment like a heat press, vinyl cutter, a computer to create the design, a printer, and so on are necessary. Your workload will determine the choices here. You’ll further need Teflon sheets, blank t-shirts, heat transfer vinyl (HTV), print cartridges to run the printer, and more raw materials. But where does one get these?

You can search individually on different websites or consider a one-stop destination like SignWarehouse, Inc. The platform features products from several high-quality HTV brands in various colors and sizes.

SignWarehouse also features various pieces of equipment relevant to vinyl printing and tutorials, so one can create the most desirable products for their vinyl business.

Controlling Print Style and Quality

Quality is of prime importance when selling t-shirts with custom vinyl prints. Because you possess the inventory and equipment, you have better control of the print style and quality of the output in e-commerce. This is an area where it takes the lead.

Notwithstanding, there are plenty of dropshipping websites out there that offer excellent quality. However, you are ultimately dependent on the supplier, which can be a drawback. But at least dead inventory can’t trouble you in this model.

Initial Costs

The only costs to bear while dropshipping vinyl t-shirts are those needed in setting up a store for the products, dropshipping fees, and getting other necessary subscriptions. You’ll need to spend a little on marketing and may or may not choose to get samples for testing.

Setting up an e-commerce store proves to be costlier. There are the inventory and equipment, costs involved in launching the store (hosting, SSL certification, etc.), software to manage inventory, site security, and more such expenses. And you’ll also want to hire a professional marketing agency.

Profit margin

An e-commerce store may be costlier to set up. But printing vinyl t-shirts and selling them directly offers a good profit margin, even though there are production costs involved. You’ll also have to arrange and pay for shipping, so aim to price the products justifiably.

In dropshipping, however, one has to rely on commissions on each sale, which usually range between 20-30% on average. There are payments to make and obvious limitations on pricing, but no production or shipping costs.

So while profits in this mode of selling HTV printed t-shirts are lower, you can make the most out of it with the right strategy.

Brand Building and Competition

Both e-commerce and dropshipping are huge industries today where dealing with custom t-shirts with vinyl prints would involve some severe competition. We wouldn’t compare it. However, there is another aspect to consider.

Running an e-commerce store gives sufficient scope for building a brand name. You can create a strong impression by improving customer interactions and the quality of the online store itself.

This has its perks, including helping you retain customers and expand the range of products you offer. A reliable brand image in dropshipping also has similar benefits, but you will have to work harder for it.

Some of the proven tactics here include creating an arresting logo for your custom vinyl t-shirt store and ensuring a top-notch customer experience.

Figured Out the Right Path Yet?

If not, take a breather since dropshipping and e-commerce are both staying for the future. But to succeed in either, a sound business and marketing plan is paramount. And remember to focus on a long-term vision, while enjoying short-term profits.

Other than dropshipping or e-commerce, there’s another model called print-on-demand that sellers find interesting. But that is a story for another day.