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Custom Designs Part Three: Selling Your Apparel Strategically With Relevant Events

There's nothing like having a line of people waiting to buy your custom t-shirts and apparel.

There’s nothing like having a line of people waiting to buy your custom t-shirts and apparel. You’ll glean valuable insights from selling at tradeshows, craft shows, or simply setting up in the school entrance.

We’ve been sharing our tried-and-true methods of selling t-shirts with you over the past two weeks. Week one introduced you to the idea of making money for your organization with customized apparel and defining your audience, and in week two we covered selling t-shirts in the online retail space. What if you decide that your audience is most likely to buy on the spot, in person?

First, sit down with your team (or yourself, a team of one!) and determine what events over the course of the year will be important opportunities for you. Trade shows and relevant local events are key, and you’ll want to know in advance when they will be so you can plan accordingly. In some cases this will mean contacting event coordinators to secure a spot. For example, if you are a non-profit perhaps you’ll want to look into “open house” type events at churches nearby. If you provide tutoring services or offer a summer day camp, check out events in your nearby school districts.

One of the drawbacks to an in-person event can be the physical legwork. Yet much of this can be ameliorated if you simply think ahead! Limit the distance that you need to travel. Think through what you will need for the event:

  • What will make an eye-catching display?
  • What action do you want people to take- buy the shirt?  Follow you on Twitter?
  • Will you offer any games, or giveaways?  Keep in mind what you’ll need to carry to and from the car.

The payoffs for these events can be huge, however. Beyond making some cold hard cash, you’ll get to see first hand what excites people about your brand or organization. Take notes, and ask for opinions! You may also make some valuable connections.  Most importantly, people will be able to touch and try on your tees in person.  As wonderful as online retail sites are, it’s virtually impossible to replicate the physical contact of an in-person event.

high fives are necessary after a successful day selling custom apparel

High fives are necessary after a successful day selling custom apparel.