Fall is here which means most of you are already preparing for the winter holidays. Pre-planning and staying one step ahead has become even more important this year as we all face the reality of global shipping delays, and worldwide shortages of t-shirts and fleece wear. However, please know there are ways to keep serving your customers, even if their favorite style or color of shirt is sold out. Here are some tips on how to find the in-stock items you need.
Be Open to Offering Alternatives
- Buy from several garment suppliers or have orders shipped from different facilities.
- Introduce your customers to the concept of “mixing and matching.” Even if you can’t find 100 polo shirts in the same shade for the entire company, maybe you can print complementary shades of the usual corporate color. Or do men’s shirts in one shade and style, women’s in another. Explain the situation and have fun brainstorming with your customer.
- Some suppliers, such as SanMar, have a “What’s in Stock” section on their website. Many suppliers update their online stock offering daily.
- When it comes to ordering custom transfers, check the daily-updated transfer ordering speeds at Transfer Express.
- Use Easy Prints. Easy Prints are design layouts you create in the Easy View online designer using the fonts, clip art and templates. A one-color Easy Prints order ships in just 1 day versus 3 days for your provided art; a two-color Easy Prints order ships in 2 days versus 5 for your provided art. Save time and get your order faster with Easy Prints!
Change Your Ordering Style
- Be willing to incur higher shipping costs. You might not have the luxury of grouping orders together over a longer period of time. You may or may not be able to pass these along to your customer.
- Act quickly. Items placed in your checkout might not be there 2 or 3 hours or several days later.
- Buy what you need, when you need it. Don’t be a hoarder. If you are 100% sure you will need those shirts in the near future, by all means purchase them. But don’t stock up just for the sake of stocking up, prepping for orders you don’t even have. Remember what happened with the toilet paper?
- Your suppliers want to help you. Everyone is in the same boat. Talk to them.
- The promo market and the imprinted sportswear market is built by people who know how to hustle–working hard and fast to get the job done. No matter what it takes. It may be that you have to spend a little more time and effort to put together your orders, but by remaining flexible and finding solutions you will find a way.
Don’t Fall Victim to Misinformation
Recently, so many of the online forums and industry Facebook groups are full of strangers talking about their most recent “horrible” experiences in trying to find stock or order custom transfers. Let the complainers complain. As you already know, everything you read online isn’t necessarily true–we’ve probably all learned that the hard way at one point in time. Instead of bombarding yourself with negative information that may or may not even be true, go straight to your trusted sources. Suppliers are working around the clock to bring you the products you need to succeed. Reach out to the companies you know and trust.