First time to have shirts printed and you just don’t know how to choose the best custom band merch printer? It might seem realllly simple because they’re just tees but it gets difficult because you care about the outcome of your t-shirts deeply. They’re like your babies! If you’re a musician, it could be your first custom band merch for your first tour and you really want the t-shirts to look gorgeous. If you’re an entrepreneur, maybe you’re selling shirts for a business and therefore cannot afford any imperfection. Now choosing a custom band merch t-shirt company isn’t that easy because you will sell these tees and therefore need to impress people.
Now, you need to relax a little. If you still have enough time, you can find your perfect match. Just like in dating, there are no hard rules but only some tips and tricks on how to find “the one” for you.
Here are some tips when choosing the company to print your custom t-shirts and custom band merch:
#1 FIND THE T-SHIRT PRINTING COMPANIES NEAR YOU
Location is of course one of the biggest factors in choosing the company to do t-shirt printing, or heck, any kind of product at all. Not only will you be supporting local businesses, it will also be much easier for you to make your order, check your order, and complain if necessary. You want to be able to see the shirts up close and make arguments if necessary on the design if necessary. Imagine the horror when you have already paid thousands of dollars and they don’t deliver. What can you do? Give them a call or email? The nearer the t-shirt printing company, the better. You cannot go long-distance with this one unless you already have experience with the custom band merch printer or you’ve done your research.
If you’re looking for a custom merch maker in LA, we are your crew!
#2 DETERMINE THE T-SHIRT PRINTING METHOD THAT YOU WANT
If you have polyester shirts and you want to do dye sublimation, of course it doesn’t only make sense that the t-shirt printing company that you choose has this option, the shirts they made with the specific t-shirt printing method should also be really good. Go to their office to check some samples but don’t stop there…go ahead and ask those clients of their experience with the shirts (how are they after a few washings?) and their experience with the t-shirt printing company (did they deliver on time? Are there no added fees, etc)
#3 CONSIDER THE VOLUME OF ORDER
I know the tips above are more for huge volume orders because they seem a little more on the “paranoid” side. After all, you really can’t afford to mess up with thousands of tees and tens of thousands of dollars. But if you’re only going to print a few pieces, you can relax a little bit. Also, ask the company if they can handle huge volume orders. There are so many good t-shirt printing companies that make really good tees. The question would be if they can take your order with the deadline you have.
#4 CONSIDER YOUR TIMELINE
Again, this is similar to your volume of order. When do you need your shirts and can they truly accommodate your order if you need them by a certain date? You gotta make sure they can! If you’re on a tight deadline, your whole life depends on them especially if it’s for a one-time corporate event or sports event…or anything really. Who wants late shirts?! You ask them if they can do rush orders and if you’re on a really tight deadline, it’s better to pay a little more to ensure you really get your t-shirts on time. Make sure it’s written on your contract especially for large volume orders.
#5 ASK YOUR PRINTER IF THEY GIVE SAMPLE PRINTS
If you’re planning to do the digital t-shirt printing method, this isn’t really too necessary. It will just cost you $50 or so. However, if you’re planning to do screen printing (as usually the case for large volume orders), and you are an organization, a brand, or anything that requires shirts to be 100% perfect or else it will be a disaster, then it’s better to ask the t-shirt company if they can give you sample t-shirt prints. First, they will just tell you that they can provide a digital print of your artwork. Since you need to see a sample of the shirt you want with the t-shirt printing method of your choice (like screen printing), you have to have that exactly or else what’s the point? Usually, t-shirt printing companies charge $50-100 or more for this because they have to make the artwork on the screen prints (which is no easy job, by the way) as well as the other things needed for the initial set up. The reason you cannot ask a FREE sample print because this kind of offer can be abused. Imagine if many people would ask for a free sample and none of them would want to push through with their orders.
#6 CHECK THEIR PORTFOLIO
A company portfolio shows you not only how good they are but how long they’ve been in business. Check the t-shirts on their website but also, ask if you can see those samples in their office so you can see them up close, noting every detail. Now of course, these t-shirt printing companies would show off their good stuff but try to hide the bad stuff with all their might. So the next thing to do is…
#7 CHECK FOR REVIEWS ONLINE
Check the t-shirt company’s Yelp, B2B, Google Places, TrustPilot, Facebook Page, and more. You may also just Google the company and you just might discover a feedback that might help you decide whether to go with the t-shirt printing company or find another one. But the thing is, you should also take this with a grain of salt. Sometimes, there are also bad customers. However, if the detail seems so clear (in other words, the customer might not be lying) and you see a lot of these bad reviews, it’s much better to move on to your next choice.
#8 CONTACT THEIR PREVIOUS CLIENTS
And to continue on your quest as a detective to find the best custom band merch t-shirt printing company, make sure you contact one or two previous clients. Whatever reviews you see online could just be paid or fabricated, the portfolio on their website were carefully chosen to make sure you only see their greatness. The last step is to contact one or two of their previous clients and really investigate if they’re a reliable company that’s not a pain in the neck to deal with. Of course, you have to thank these people immensely and even give them a simple gift for their generosity. Looking for the best supplier for your t-shirts is no easy feat especially if it’s your first time and this is a surefire way to gauge if the company is right for you.
#9 CHOOSE THE ONE WITH GOOD PAYMENT TERMS
How much do they need in advance before they produce a single tee? How much is their sample t-shirt? Can you pay half now then half when everything’s done so you only have 50% of the risk? The worst case scenario is you have thousands of badly printed tees and you can’t even get half of your money! Try to negotiate if you really like the t-shirt company yet they require full payment on the get go.
#10 CHOOSE A T-SHIRT PRINTING COMPANY THAT DOESN’T JUST DO TEES.
Now you’re thinking…but I need to hire the experts and the expert do only what they do best. Erase that notion. There are so many good custom band merch t-shirt printing companies that also offer great packaging, distribution services, and other add-ons. For our company, we also make posters, buttons, patches, custom packaging and more. We offer a one-stop solution for artists and entrepreneurs who want the whole package. Not one of them was disappointed in our t-shirts! We made shirts for John Lennon and other big wigs, so we can assure you, it doesn’t follow at all. In fact, it’s the better option because you can have all your stuff made in one place. They’re also less likely to give you crap because you can be their long-term customer since they have more to offer than tees.
We understand trying a new t-shirt printer could be a little scary especially if it’s your first time to have shirts printed or if you have a big project. You make sure you make the right choice. We here at Unified can assure you that we won’t treat your t-shirt order as just another project. We treat each order as if they’re really ours. We rush with our clients’ deadlines, we get very meticulous with every detail, and we make sure you’d be very impressed you’d come back to us for your t-shirt printing needs. We have been in the business for more than a decade and we have printed hundreds of thousands of tees. If you want to know more about our custom band merch t-shirt printing service, visit our website.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.