Saturday, February 5, 2011

Made to order vs. ready to ship

This is something that worried me for days when I started my online store.  Should I have clothes in several different sizes, ready to ship?  Or should I only make a sample and offer the rest as made to order?
In the end, it came down to a matter of cost.  I simply couldn't afford to keep making clothes in different sizes, not knowing when or if they would sell.  Not to mention it would take up so much time, I wouldn't be able to offer as many designs.

Some designers believe that everything should be ready to ship.  The argument is that buyers don't want to wait, they want immediate gratification. There are other good things about making clothes ready to ship, such as being able to take them to craft shows or stores, and not having to worry as much about tailoring to specific measurements.

I see the benefits to both sides, and in the future I would love to be able to offer a design in several sizes, but as for right now, I'm just not convinced it would be worthwhile.

When should you offer ready to ship designs?  
-If the product is something that has been selling well, or recently featured somewhere high profile, go ahead and make multiples.
-If you plan to sell at craft shows, trunk shows, or in stores, you'd better have multiple sizes and variations available.
-If you have the time and resources, it's probably best to have items already made.

When should you offer made to order items?
-If your product is highly customizable
-If your product is labor or cost intensive
-If you're unsure how well your products will sell. 

I still sometimes worry that my clothes aren't selling as well as my other items because I don't have them ready to ship, or whether other variables come into play as well (such as the fear people have of buying clothes online-- more on this at a later date.)

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the matter.  

1 comment:

  1. I can def agree with your thought process...this is why the majority of my work is made to order....I actually find that the majority of my sales are custom orders.