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Custom Screen Printed Transfers & More

How To Sell More Custom Apparel: The Good, Better, Best Pricing Model for Apparel Decorators

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Hey Friends, Dave here with Transfer Express, and today, I want to help you sell more apparel to happy customers using what I call, the “good / better / best” model for custom apparel decorators. Over the last decade in the industry, I’ve seen this method help customers make the right choice for their budget, all while simplifying the sales pitch for you as a decorator- Ready to dive in? Let’s get to it!

As a custom decorator, you’re likely to service a wide range of clients, most of which couldn't name a t-shirt brand other than Fruit of the Loom or Hanes. Let’s face it, for many of our customers, Bella+Canvas or Next Level is completely unknown- throw in Tultex, Port and Company or District and now they’re completely lost.

That’s why for customers who don’t have a specific garment already in mind, I like to break it down to the good / better / best model, simplifying the choices for your customer.

Essentially, this product selection model puts the power in your customers hands and makes you look like the apparel decorating pro that you are. It’s broken down into 3 options by budget, so in some cases, showing the pricing difference can help upsell your customers who were dead set on the cheapest option.

For t-shirts for example, I’ll pick 3, popular t-shirt options for each segment. For good, I’m looking for a blank I can trust, something that’s going to give me a good printing surface and be the most budget minded option. For many shops this is the Gildan 5000, the Port & Company Core Cotton PC54, or the Hanes 5280.

You can set the bar as low or as high as you would like, but keep your core audience in mind. If say, you work with a lot of community organizations on shoestring budgets, these lower cost options are great for a baseline. But, if you work with retail brands or bands and musicians, you might consider bumping this up to a slightly higher quality baseline. You know your customers better than I do.

Of course, you don’t have to worry about just one tier, but three! Our good options are the lowest tier, the most inexpensive blanks, but maybe not the nicest fit or feel.

That’s where our better option comes in. This is where you can work in some more fashion-forward garments. Maybe start to see some fitted options or less boxy-style tees. This tier is definitely a step up in terms of fit, but also price. Here is where I usually pitch the District brands, or Tultex- the fashion fits but still on a budget. Next for the best tier, I reserve for the Bella + Canvas, Next Level, Comfort Colors or name brand options like Champion. Sometimes, even depending on customers, you can include those sustainable Allmade tees here or made in the USA options.

Now, I like to keep a select stock on hand of these specific t-shirts for customers of mine to touch and feel, or in some cases to try on. If you have a wholesale account at Sanmar or S&S, you may have a small budget they give you for free for samples. This is a perfect opportunity to use that.

What are you selling the most of? Or what are the common styles? T-shirts are probably a given but selecting 3 hoodies or sweatshirts might be a good call, too. That way you can have a similar pitch for you customer.

Regardless, listening to your customers' needs and giving them a simplified menu of options can help you close more sales. It's much less complicated and easier for them to pick when you narrow it down for them based on your experience vs giving them a catalog of thousands of options to choose from that's just going to confuse them more.

In the apparel printing industry, our customers need to trust us. They’re essentially giving us money with an idea, and we are trusted to bring that idea to life. By showing your expertise and listening to your customers up front, you can build that trust and help your business grow.

Have any tips of your own? Maybe you want to share your good/better/best apparel options?

Be sure to subscribe to the Transfer Express YouTube page to stay up to date on all of the helpful t-shirt printing tips, tricks, inspiration and education that we’re dropping every single week. Until next time, I’m Dave, happy pressing!

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