Why I Use Spreadshirt

 

I get asked a lot why I decided to choose Spreadshirt as my POD (Print On Demand) company. The truth is they were not my first choice but that’s only because I had never heard of them. I first started at Cafepress, which I’m sure everyone knows about, but was highly dissatisfied with how my store looked, customization options at that time and most of all the printing. After only a few washes my test shirts were starting to fade in to that vintage look.

Eventually I stumbled across Spreadshirt while working on a Logo for an Open Source Project. I had to email Spreadshirts custom support department regarding some design measurements and the response I received was beyond what I had expected. I toyed around with the Spreadshirt system and realized they offered a more “personal branding” platform. For $10 a month you can remove the Spreadshirt banners, get your own designer and more. Unlike other places such as Zazzle who is a WELL known POD now. I contacted them to see if the huge banner across the top of every shop I visited, that said “Zazzle”, could be removed and was told simply in 2 short sentences “no”. Now granted this is a cosmetic issue for me, not a product quality issue, as I still use Zazzle for printing my stamps and etc. They are really good at what they do. It just wasn’t right for me.

After testing the waters with Spreadshirt I moved everything over and have been with them ever since. Like any company there are going to be up and downs. My biggest complaints with Spreadshirt is:

  • Base Pricing
  • 3 color limitation with Flex & Flock

and a few other smaller issues that are more of a personal preference.

This gets me to their printing method which was another reason why I’m with them. Flex and flock are in my opinion superior to most POD printing these days. It’s basically like having vinyl that you see every day on signs while driving around heat pressed on to a shirt. It has a slight gloss and can last a lot longer than a digital printing. It’s soft and flexable as well. Does it last forever? No. My first shirt I ordered with Spreadshirt as a test shirt almost 4 years ago now has a nice vintage look but that’s after it being washed 2x a week x 52 weeks x 4 years, equals something like 416 washes. That’s a lot and you also have to factor in wear time.

Spreadshirt also offers Flock which is similar to flex but the key element here is that it’s raised and fluffy. It’s great for those unique girl products. They offer other specialty printing as well like Writable flex and provide a dry erase marker with each order, glitter flex, glow in the dark flex and more.

Customization is another thing they offer. You can have a custom layout to match your own site, if you own one, or just to give it that unique look. As I said before for $10 you can upgrade and remove the “powered by spreadshirt” banners and get other perks as well.

Spreadshirt handles it all from printing the products (1 at a time), the shopping cart system, collecting payments, sending out shipping invoices to you and the customer, shipping by USPS or UPS and handling all customer support such as returns, sizing issues and etc.

If you are considering using Spreadshirt or any POD for that matter, I recommend you do one thing, Order a shirt from them first. It tells a lot about a company. While Spreadshirt may not be right for you, it is for me and this is why I wanted to share my experience and reasoning behind using Spreadshirt.

About Tommy White 165 Articles
Tommy White is a Graphic Designer, Web Designer / Developer, IT Director and more, including Foodie Fanatic. "I enjoy helping others in times of need and live steadfast to the motto of paying it forward".

17 Comments

  1. Hey Tommy, thanks for the compliments (and the criticism). I would love to see a picture of your 416-wash shirt. Send it along! I really like the way your shop is going, too.

  2. I read the article about customization. So your site NekkidTees.com is a total different site? Im asking because I thought when you set up your shop it will say for example Nekkidtees.spreadhirt.com instead of just NekkidTees. Did you have to get anything copyrighted as well as the name NekkidTees?

    • Yes NekkidTees.com is it’s on site which links off to nekkidtees.spreadshirt.com. I made sure both look and function the same so that it doesn’t confuse customers and that the navigation always remains the same. As for copyrighting I would suggest going over to CopyRight.gov and reading up. It’s straight forward and tells you what you can do, need to do and or should be doing.

      • Does spreadshirt.com have an option to change the url from [example:nekkidtee.spreadshirt.com to nekkidtees.com]? or is building a total different site and linking it in the only option?

        • Currently there is no way to do it other than using an IFRAME, which I don’t like doing. A lot of the top sites that use Spreadshirt do it that way. I prefer making my site look exactly like http://www.NekkidTees.com that way the user never really notices they switch sites. It’s been brought up several times about allowing us to edit records in order for the .spreadshirt.com site to route to our own domain but so far it’s not been brought up again.

  3. Hei Tommy,
    Thank you for this very helpful blog. I recently joined Spreadshirt and I’m excited about their print quality and customization features. My main problem has been the approval process to vector art, specially the minimum of .06 inches rule… It’s been very stressful and time consuming trying to adapt my designs. I’m actually almost giving up Flex and Flock even though I originally create my designs in Illustrator.

  4. Tommy.
    Thanks for sharing. I have a few joomla sites online but my php skills arent as great as i would like them to be. Would yu happen to knw where I can find a joomla extension/script to integrate spreadshirt and joomla?
    Thanka again.

    • Hi Dennis,

      To my knowledge there is no extension that integrates Spreadshirt in to Joomla. The way most people do it is through iframes which is bad for a lot of reasons. The best way to do it is just make your hosted joomla site the way you want it to look and then duplicate it for the Spreadshirt shop (hosted by Spreadshirt). The problem with this, and it’s a big one, is that people will be leaving your site. On the plus side if both sites look identical then most times no one will even know the difference. I always get asked how I integrated mine and the truth is I just did it how I mentioned above.

      I know that’s probably not the answer you were looking for but I hope it helps.

      • Can you recommend the best solution around this? I am selling other things besides t-shirts in my shop and I can’t really have people leave the site for another shopping cart. What would you do? or do you know of any other POD that would allow you to sell through your own shopping cart.

        Thanks

        ” The problem with this, and it’s a big one, is that people will be leaving your site”

        • The way I have mine set up is that it looks as if you never leave my site. Other than that a lot of users use iframes and have good success even though I wouldn’t recommend it. I am not sure of any other PODs that allow you to run applications for checkout services from your own site πŸ™

  5. Are all of the shirts in your store flex print? Have you tried Spreadshirts print-on-demand or any of the other providers out there?

    • Yes I only offer the flex. While the color options (numbers) are limited I love the look and feel along with the durability. I have tried their DTG which is nice but on dark colors I didn’t like it at the time. It may be better now since they are expanding and always testing new products. Before going to Spreadshirt the only other provider I used was Cafepress.

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