Custom T-Shirt Fulfillment in Canada (Drop-Shipping & More)
Because of all the interest in DTG and shirt fulfillment we’ve decided to turn this into more of a guide. Hopefully it helps!
When people discuss DTG and T-shirt fulfillment they are talking about one of two things –
- They want a single shirt for themselves, or a small amount of shirts for a bachelorette party or small event – essentially a one time order for themselves, a project or as a gift
- OR – They are talking about acting as a RESELLER and sending orders to a T-shirt shop to print and ship T-shirts on their behalf on an ongoing basis
For those wondering about #1 and want to simply place a smaller size one time T-shirt order with us – this is easy – just click the “Design Now” link to the right and get to it.
For those interested in an on going fulfillment center for their business, event, organization or store – Read on!
The Canadian “Printing-on-Demand” Struggle
Printing on demand and t-shirt fulfilment is something Canadians have struggled in sourcing for a long time – it’s hard to find T-shirt fulfillment in Canada!
In the US there are many T-shirt printers who are able to handle on demand printing, but if Canadians use these as their shirt printing option they are often hit with surprise costs that appear like customs and expensive delivery.
It doesn’t make sense to pay more – and you should always calculate on TOTAL delivered costs in Canadian dollars – not what the invoice may show at first glance.
Beyond the actual unexpected additional cost to doing business outside Canada, supporting Canadian business is better for everyone – it pays to think local.
Why is there a gap in Canadian DTG suppliers?
Honestly this is a tricky question – but a few reasons stand out.
- For someone investing in a DTG business for growth / scale – the american marketplace is a much bigger target
- Canada seems to always get slower releases of state-of-the-art equipment – so it needs to be imported (which we’ve had to do – it’s challenging but possible – but we’ll discuss that more later)
- The low Canadian dollar makes start-up difficult
- People aren’t aware of the opportunity and how good it can be
Number 4 rings the most true for us.. people are asking more and more for reselling options – and we think the present simple hasn’t had time to catch up to the future.
In struggle lies opportunity!
How T-shirt Printing on Demand works
Before we get into pricing – which we feel is way less important than the work-flow and product / print quality you’ll want – let’s explain the nature of DTG printing.
- Shirts printed with us are done through the latest direct to garment machines (DTG for short) that print color-fast ink.
- Prints will last the life of the T-shirt if done with good equipment – which is an essential improvement on earlier machines without pre-treatment, where early versions had issues with washouts.
- The technology has advanced leaps and bounds , and is rated for 100’s of washes and beyond; meeting or exceeding industry standards set by screenprinting with plastisol or waterbased inks.
- DTG prints feel super soft – and not “plastic-y” at all like transfers or vinyl
Basically – your customers, members, employees, or partners will love the quality. DTG shirts today look and feel amazing.
As a screen-printing company – we hate to say it but feels softer than a screen-print.
DTG ink is also more eco-sensitive and eco-friendly than older ink options and has a softer feel to the touch. There is no need to use PVC inks, and because there are no screens and minimal set-up is actually less expensive for the buyer than a traditional screen-printing set-up on low volumes which means you can offer your clients better prices.
Emulsions, washout chemicals, screen-set up, waste from positives are all avoided here – which makes it great for small orders.
Work Flow and Automation
If you’re going to be setting this up properly – to make money reselling while you sleep – the next most important thing becomes the workflow options and how a DTG supplier can integrate into your business, association, school, store or project.
All the benefits of DTG can be worth nothing if it’s taking up too much of your time and attention to run and co-ordinate – and many people lack the space or human resources to have orders packed, stored, and shipped regularly – so that’s where a good process comes in.
We find the work-flow to any ongoing shirt fulfillment relationship between us and our reseller clients is also very important, and you should find one that is a minimal management system – one that works while you sleep.
Early systems involved partners outsourcing DTG to write-up and collect order details for each new sale, with delivery addresses and more, where now we have integration options that remove that problem.
Even if you can find alternate, cheaper options for the actual print but don’t come with a system – you’re working countless hours a week at less than minimum wage – and you will face bottlenecks as you grow or get busy with orders.
What the Future of Canadian Drop Shipping Holds
Because we feel T-shirt fulfillment this is an untapped market that needs a solution – we’re now offering a single T-shirt printing service with fixed rates and an easy to navigate pricing structure, as well as reseller tools you can use to build and grow your business.
Here’s the deal – Our 24 shirt minimum still remains on Screenprinted orders – but for small orders, single t-shirt printing – we now offer a Canada Wide quick and easy solution.
**for Resellers and drop-shippers – this means that ordering in bulk and doing warehousing could still be your most cost effective option depending on volume – but you can now test small design runs, or fulfill as shirts are ordered without inventory investment**
What can you expect to pay to have orders fulfilled by a Shirt Printing Company?
Due to the nature of these integrations and integrating into different systems many providers prefer to quote on a case-by-case basis. Client needs, volumes and integration complexity are different from business to business.
Some clients are requesting details on FBA amazon fulfillment, T-shirt fulfillment for shopify within Canada while others still are looking for entire ecommerce white-label single shirt and ordering solutions from scratch – which all are possible, but your rate per shirt will depend on volume, how often shirts are printed and shipped, artwork specs and other variables.
Limitations of Printing on Demand
While this technology is amazing for automatic school order fulfillment; eCommerce options for associations or clubs that need products year after year, construction unions and more – it’s not for everyone.
It would be best to seek a consult or quote from a Canadian company doing DTG to discuss in more detail how shipping works, how integration to your existing website or platform works, or how creating a white-label website for you can work.
Ultimately the DTG printing and drop shipping landscape in Canada is just getting started – which means there are amazing opportunities at your fingertips to start something ahead of your competition.
We see it starting and we want to be on the edge of this space as it progresses – helping resellers move their products.
If you are considering DTG T-shirt dropshipping and fulfillment for your project – reach out to discuss details – maybe we can help. Plus, we just like hearing about which projects we can help with to know more about our future clients!
For clients who would make good partners – We want our clients to think of our shop as though it is your shop – in terms of great quality, consistent turnaround and great service. That’s something you’ll want to find with whoever you end up working with – because having a partner is better than having a service.
Let us handling the printing, product and logistics so you can focus on what your best at – whether it’s marketing, organization or running the day-to-day of your project.
UPLOAD YOUR ARTWORK & ORDER NOW!
Our printed shirt design studio makes it fast and simple to order your custom shirts.
Just select your product / colours and get your estimate.
Easy as can be and hassle free!
Placing an order doesn't need to be stressful!
Online business being what it is, we know that as a smart customer you need to check us out.
We’re always looking for ways to build trust with new potential customers who are looking to place their first order.
It’s possible you’re local to us and have seen our team in person, but since we service all of Canada there’s a chance we won’t have the opportunity to meet you… but we still want to show that we are experts who process orders securely and efficiently.
Here's how we build trust at the Ottawa Custom Clothing team:
- We’ve got a photo of our actual shop with our company banner and a cute dog. (Hey we actually exist!)
- When we take photo’s of shirt orders we throw an Ottawa Custom Clothing card on them so you know our shop actually handled and printed the order.
- We have a whole wack of positive reviews from customers on different review websites (in fact most of our business is from local referrals).
- We are shared and liked by companies and non-profits who’ve used us in the past on facebook.
- We do our best to talk the talk. We write out ordering guides on the website and other useful information to help you place a good order.
- And – best of all – you can hop on the phone and chat with us. Nothing beats hearing from a real person 🙂
More than anything we are shirt printers and embroiderers focused on our craft.
We want to use our skill and knowledge to help as many Canadians as possible receive cool custom shirts, uniforms, sportswear and whatever other apparel they might be looking for. We are excited and passionate to be a guiding force in how our country looks and what clothing they wear.
At the end of the day the first order is the hardest to give the go-ahead on for customers, once we get through that then we can grow together!
If there’s any questions you have about placing an order we’d be happy to help!