Let’s face it aside from the design of a t shirt the price of a shirt is going to be the top factor in making a decision to buy a shirt. So how much should a company charge for their shirts, and how much is it costing them to make those shirts?! I personally have felt that up and coming clothing lines should be priced around the $20 range until they can gain customers trust for their products and a strong reputation for themselves. Extras such as custom shirts tags, hang tags and extra packaging should only be bought if you can afford to keep your price down and maybe should be added on down the line as the company grows.
Yesterday the guys over at Dance Party Massacre posted an article about why their garments cost anywhere from $21.95 to $27.95 outlining their process in detail. I thought the article was informative and really got me thinking if my idea of shirts selling for around $20 was a bit too low.
Enter Kyle from Electric Zombie, his shirts range anywhere from $16 to $20 with the majority of his shirts being set at $18. If anyone knows anything about Kyle, he definitely always has something to say and is extremely opinionated in his beliefs. Below is his response to Dance Party Massacre’s breakdown of their costs which was posted earlier on his blog.
So what do you think is a fair price for a tee from an up and coming clothing line? With all this being said people are willing to pay for quality there is no doubt about that, it’s just a tough area when it comes to how much up and coming brands should be charging. I would love to hear any thoughts and comments on the subject! Please leave them in the comments section below!
From Kyle from Electric Zombies Blog:
DPM’s 10 reasons they justify ripping you off
I came across an article that was posted on the net last night from fellow horror brand Dance Party Massacre. It basically did a run down of how/what/why they charge you 28 dollars for a t-shirt, that’s right a T-shirt.
I decided to I suppose “argue” back to why it’s absurd
1. SUPER explanation guys of the difference between hanes and american apparel. Here’s the difference. People can’t go into walmart and buy an American Apparel shirt for the price of fruit of the loom. The fact that you are saying that a blank costs $17 is completely ridiculous. Sure if you walk into an American Apparel store, in where are they located again? Oh yea, thats right. In bigger cities, where people throw their money around as much as you do useless facts. They think that $17 bucks is NOTHING for a shirt. But we’re not talking about Hollywood Heads and Snooty New York city people. We’re talking about 13-30 Year olds here. At least that’s my demographic, I’m not sure how many people like to go to parties where dancing and you happen to get massacred to death while you attend it. But, back to the rant at hand. You can tell a kid all you want til your blue in the face that it’s a high end shirt, still kids don’t care. They want cool designs, on a nice fitting shirt for a great price. End of story. I can tell you this, an American Apparel blank doesn’t COST that kids. A blank shirt doesn’t even cost that. Don’t let them tell you any different. While I won’t sit here and tell you how much things cost me, I can tell you this, it’s not 17 bucks, with me selling shirts at 16, wouldn’t let that make me in the negative after his mega list of costs? with that lets get to number 2. (hehehe)
2. Cost of printing and details huh? Lets talk about that.
cost of printing here’s some fun fact for you kids. The cost of shirts per color. I’m not going to say what I pay per color, but I can say this. A shirt should not go up anymore than 50 cents per color. the funny thing is, I’m looking at their marvelous selection of tees, a majority of them are 1-3 colors. I don’t see any crazy let’s say 8 colors I have. which at times I have sold for 5-8 bucks, AMERICAN APPAREL I might add. Please spare us the violin solo for the price per color.
cut out the american apparel tag. Not sure if you’re paying someone for this, but for the first year of business, I cut every single tag out myself. Shit sucks, but if you send any orders over seas, you need all that info, it’s actually against the law to send/sell a shirt to another country without the specs listed and or tagged. Call me a retard, but what’s the point of printing a tag with that info, when you have a perfectly good default tag right there. I know that my customers could care less what’s on the tag. That isn’t what drives my sales. I will say this, like you. If I could afford to put in custom tags, I would, but. The tag doesn’t make the shirt. To me, ultimately it’s a waste of time, if you aren’t huge, or a big timer, I don’t think anyone is going to mind the American Apparel tag they will most likely cut out anyway.
HEAT TAGS! oh boy, lets get onto those, usually you have to buy anywhere from 1,000-5,000 minimum on those at what, maybe 500 bucks? divide that by said numbers you’re looking at 2-10 cents a pop. Maybe you got a sweet deal somewhere, good, great, who cares?
hang tags! a piece of cardstock paper thats been glossed. 5,000 of those cost about 250, shipping shouldn’t be more than 15 bucks. so again… those hang tags would cost you about 19 cents a piece.
You wanna talk “extras”
how about the fact I made custom printed goodie bags, die-cut stickers, regular stickers, buttons, candy, postcards, hang tags at absolutely NO extra cost. you want to know why? because it probably cost me around 1-2 bucks each. I don’t charge anymore for it because it’s something like that that brings your customer back. I mean what’s 2 bucks?
3. Freelancers, Design?
I’m not going to come out here and start talking what my designers charged, but from the sounds of it you’re getting raped. Oh what a huge dent, this huge burden I have called DPM, you act as if this is your nightmare that you are forced to live with this day after day. Without these freelancers realizing your ideas, they would be out of a job and you would be out of a line/product. These guys deserved to be paid how they see fit, you should be happy that these guys even want to work with you, but after this massive weight on your shoulders they have given you, I would be shocked that they would even want to work with you again, smooth buddy, smooth.
4. Wholesale, don’t even get me started on that.
This is a whole other argument, and really makes NO difference to what you charge your customer, not them. Also you state a little later that you do small runs, of maybe 60 shirts. You must not be working with many stores, because if my calculations are correct, you print sm-lrg, thats 20 per shirt. If a store wants to place an order of 3 in each size thats 9 shirts in style. That’s just 1 store. I don’t know about you, but my stores would clear out your 60 shirt run in minutes, perhaps a better business plan?
5. Freeeee shipping!
That’s the only good perk, but after a bad night of horrible gut wrenching sex the least you could do is spoon with them for a couple of minutes after (metaphorically that is)
6. Small Runs
Were not talking about the reaction to ones bowels after they see your prices, were talking about print amount. You are in no means a huge company? How contradicting is it, while you’re preaching about your costs and how much things cost, wouldn’t you be able to do more and more if you actually had satisfied customers? It makes this entire argument or “STATEMENT” from you complete null and invalid. As I said before, maybe you should rethink your business plan, I mean you aren’t Johnny Cupcakes, The Hundreds, or even a respectable street wear brand to EVEN charge the insane amount of money you do. You want more customers, you want to be able to print more? STOP RIPPING PEOPLE OFF!
7.Defect, you mean that knife eye thing isn’t a defect? It’s your logo? Opppssss MYYY BADDD DAWGGGG. Well if the awesome Mammoth Print shop did such a great job with printing, maybe they’re wouldn’t be defects. They should catch these errors and in turn fix them. I’m not saying all of my shirts are perfect. But the things I think are errors for instance like a color not being exact or the registration is off by a MM, those are defects to me. you charge people for a defect, wow, you’re retarded. Donate it, give it to a homeless dude, but when you do, make sure you know they’re getting a steal with your 28 dollar t-shirt you’re so easily tossing away.
So because your designs suck, you’re taking it out on the customer. Makes no sense. That’s when you put it on sale, SOMETHING. If you end up losing money you are obviously doing something wrong. Actually it’s pretty apparent you are. There’s no need to up a price on everything because you made a mistake by printing such a hideous failure of a design.
Really? never heard of you? The only reason why I have is because Matt Skiff designs for you. Sorry, better jack your shirts up to 40 now. Also, don’t try and shit a shitter and pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Those things you’re handing out and those ads you’re buying all called WRITE OFFS! Taxable write offs. That means when you pay taxes, thats an amount that comes off what you paid.You should look into that.
10. Brand Integrity.
Wow, after this write up, you lost it. The latest trend? Aren’t you still printing foil shirts? Yikes!
Bonus – Those shows you sell at, is also another form of write off. Every expense to expose those shirts and your brand is a write off.
In the End. It comes off as you’re getting emails or complaints about how “awesome” your brand is but they think that the price point is step. So you wrote this agonizing guilt trip to make people buy into your bullshit to pay more. You aren’t an established brand, neither am I. I’m just a semi successful brand giving kids quality, affordable shirts, with cool free shit on the side. You haven’t built yourself up to even justify a price point like that. Let’s be honest. do you really think you are as good, as better, as KNOWN as brands like Johnny Cupcakes, 410BC, Glamour Kills, to even get that kind of money from any kid? Perhaps you should lower your prices, start cracking down on Mammoth for your defects, and maybe start saving receipts. Maybe you should also take a few steps back and look at the big picture. If you’re doing this to make a living, then sir, you better start filling out forms for food stamps, because you’re doing it allllll wrong. I’m not saying my way is the right way, but I haven’t complained, or heard a complaint EVER about how “expensive” my stuff is.
No one wants to hear your excuses, they just want to see results and if I were you, I would too.
Lastly I’m not saying that Dance Party Massacre is a shitty company, I just think they dont need to come up with bs excuses. Just say, I charge what I want to charge because thats what I want to charge.