Finding a good T-Shirt-printing supplier

Finding a good T-Shirt-printing supplier is not that simple. At first, I thought I would to set up my shop with Zazzle. They are big in the market and many people sell their own design through them; they seem to have a good reputation. They have a great website for setting up your own shop, lots of online support, and good tool to design the T-Shirts. It looked fine to me. However, just to be sure, I ordered some samples of my T-Shirts to check how my designed would come up on the T-Shirt and what the customer experience would be.

How did it go?  Well, here are the results.

My Tests

In this test, I wanted to check 3 things:

  • Delivery time to Australia

The delivery should not be too long. In T-Shirt printing, it takes some time to manufacture as it has to be specially printed for the customer; it’s not coming from a shelf in warehouse ready to be shipped out. Then, there is the delivery time itself. The overall time between the order and reception of the parcel must be reasonable. If a customer is purchasing the T-shirt as a present for a special occasion such as a birthday, the T-Shirt has to be delivered relatively quickly.

  • T-Shirt quality

The base T-Shirt has to be of good quality. What’s the point of printing a good design on a poor quality shirt that will not last more than couple of washes or feel cheap? I ordered different models to compare.

  • The printing quality

This is very important, the print has to look great. That’s what I’m selling: great looking designed T-Shirt. There are different technologies and qualities and it’s difficult to assess based on the information available on the website. Also, there are different techniques for printing on white T-Shirt, and on dark coloured T-Shirt. With dark colour, a layer of white has to be printed first; it’s more complex and good equipment is required. I placed an order for 3 different T-Shirt colours: white, light brown and dark blue.

My test with Zazzle

I organised my first test with Zazzle. I uploaded my designs on the website and placed my first order. The result was very disappointing as you will see below:

Firstly, the delivery time to Australia was a big issue. I placed my order on the 15 August. The day following my order, I received an email saying that my T-Shirts were printed and shipped. I thought, very efficient, I was impressed. The site stated to expect delivery to Australia within 5 to 12 business days. However, two weeks later, I still hadn’t received anything. I kept checking the mail day after day. After three weeks I really thought the parcel was lost. I wrote to Zazzle who told me that they can’t track the parcel, and I should wait one more week before they could ‘assist further’. Finally, on the 9 September (26 days after placing my order!), I received the T-Shirts. Four weeks is way too long. That was really disappointing.

I eagerly opened the parcel to see if it was worth the wait. The T-Shirt quality was good, that’s a good point. However, the printing was very disappointing. It looked like a cheap printed T-Shirt. The texts and lines were blurry. The colours had very limited gradients; for example, the Koalas had only three shades of grey and looked fairly ugly.

Close-up of my Koalas printed by Zazzle, a disappointing result.

Close-up of my Koalas printed by Zazzle, a disappointing result.

My impression as a customer was terrible. I waited 4 long weeks for three cheap looking T-Shirts that I won’t wear. I don’t want my customers to experience this; I want them to be happy and proud of what they bought from my online shop.

So I went back searching for a different supplier.

My test with T-Shirt Printing Australia

Finally, after searching different websites and checking reviews, I decided to try ‘T-Shirt Printing Australia’ http://tshirtprinting.com.au/. I did the same test, ordered 3 shirts with different models, colours and designs.

This time the delivery to Australia took 9 days, as stated in the website when I placed my order. I placed the order on the 11 September; I received it the next week, on the 19 September. That’s so much better!

Also, the parcel was neatly wrapped, and had a washing-instruction flyer was with the T-Shirt. That’s quite nice actually.

The most impressive though, was the print quality; it was great!  It was looking exactly like I intended it to be. The lines and text were clear and precise. The colours had smooth gradients. Great print quality.

The T-Shirt quality was good too actually. I tried the ‘Slim Fit’ and ‘Surf Style’. The fabric of the ‘Slim Fit’ is thicker, the ‘Surf Style’ is smoother. I like both of them and I’ll be happy to wear them.

Close-up of my Koalas printed T-Shirt Printing Australia shirt, the quality is great.

Close-up of my Koalas printed T-Shirt Printing Australia shirt, the quality is great.

In conclusion, as a customer, I was happy with my experience with Printing T-Shirt Australia. I’ll be opening my online shop with them soon.

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