sublimation sales

Keys to Driving More Apparel Sublimation Sales

Rich Foltz is the wide format digital sales director for Coastal Business Supplies, a distributor of sublimation equipment and supplies, as well as heat press equipment and supplies. See www.coastalbusiness.com for more information

Sublimation printing is a very diverse business, as there is an incredibly wide range of products available for you to produce. So, the big question is: how can you make sublimation work for your business and guarantee growing sales at the same time?

If you own a company that primarily offers printed T-shirts and apparel, then you might want to consider offering other wearable products that you can promote to your current customer base. Think socks, arm sleeves, headbands, flip flops, backpacks. The options are endless and will prove successful if you choose to offer products that already interest your customers. 

For example, if you already print shirts for a local restaurant, offer a selection of sublimatable products that a restaurant may want. If your market is team sports, then add some sublimatable items that look great with the team logo. If your customer base is primarily made up of schools, then encourage teachers or coordinators to set up fundraisers using the apparel products you create. The schools will benefit from the fundraisers, and your business will feel the impact too. You might notice parents, other school district staff members, or even the students themselves begin to approach you for their own apparel needs. When you’re ready, switch things up. There are many other sublimatable items beyond wearables that you can make and sell to those same apparel customers.

Going bigger is also going to get you more sales and increase profits for your business. If your business is growing, it may be time for your equipment to grow. In the sublimation production world, there is a widely-acknowledged perception that “larger” means “more expensive." For instance, take a regular T-shirt that you plan to embellish with a sublimated design. If your image ends up covering an 11-inch X 17-inch area, maybe that shirt can sell for $14.95. If you cover the entire front or back (or both) of the T-shirt with your design, then that shirt could bring in $40-plus once you add your production costs to the pricing. Small desktop printers require expensive ink and paper costs regularly, where large format printers will have much, much lower consumable costs.

The initial investment of a wide format printer is more, of course, but the money may be worth it if you can justify the costs with your current or projected production volumes. By investing in larger or more capable equipment, you will be able to produce many more items, both in terms of quantity and complexity. Instead of only printing T-shirts or basic apparel, you’ll have the means to create team jerseys with personalized names and numbers, customized blankets and fashion-forward towels, fabric banners, and eye-catching spirit wear. 

With sublimation production, the only limit is your imagination. Look into the other items that you can sell and then go BIG so you can sell BIG!