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How to Organize an Apparel Order

Apparel provides the perfect “win-win” opportunity to make a quick and easy $1,000.

In this quick article, I will explain the easiest way to organize an apparel order.

  1. Pick a theme or popular item. Avoid just printing your logo in white ink on a black shirt. There is nothing compelling about that. Pick something unique like a patriotic design, a zip up , or Summer theme designs. 

  2. Run a preorder. Translation: give members a small time window to order their item. I suggest 7 days. Collect their money up front- that way you do not need to tie up your cashflow holding someone’s order

  3. Market it! Don’t forget to promote it. Simply posting a picture on your facebook business page is not enough. You need to make pre and post class announcements. Get people excited about the new item. “Check out this limited edition patriotic design we’re doing. This is your ONLY chance to get this for the year!”. 

  4. Submit the order. Count your profit! Your margins should be 50-100% depending on your order size.

The last question is: what will you do with the extra money? 

Don't Barter

One question we like to ask all new clients: How do you currently handle apparel?

When a client responds with “a member of the gym prints our apparel….” I know how the statement usually ends: “A member of the gym prints our apparel but they take too long and I don’t feel like a priority”. 

Many gym owners falsely assume that bartering services is a sound business practice. In theory, it sounds great. The client gets a free membership. You get a discount on your apparel. In reality what happens is this: you give away a free membership, the member discounts the apparel slightly and you get put on the back burner because the member feels like they are doing you a favor not realizing that they are getting your full attention and service. It’s not like you limit their membership or when they can train right? 

So when in doubt, work with vendors who view you as a priority. Work with someone who you can hold accountable. The extra $1-3 you are saving is not worth the headache and aggravation of constantly asking your member for a status update. We talk about over complicating the process. This is a perfect example of over complicating the process. Simply work with a vendor that you don’t need to babysit and keep it moving. 


Our clients know one thing. They know the difference between price and cost. 

The inexperienced owner will shop based on price. I’ve heard it all before “this is a commodity. I am going to shop on price”…Ok.  “One of my members print shirts on the side and will cut me a deal”… I know how this is going to end.

One thing the local guy forgot to tell you…. You need to supply them with the finished artwork- that will set you back $100-300.

Then, the local guy forgot to tell you about the set up and screen fees. Another $60-100.

Now, the local guy forgot to tell you the items are out of stock and you’ll need to wait until they arrive back in stock. 

One last thing, the items are back in stock, but your local pal cutting you a deal is super busy and your order takes a back seat for 3-4 weeks because they have “real” clients to work for. 

So 8 weeks later, you pay your invoice for 50 shirts and they “only” cost $10.15. Now, for all the time wasted in this process (5 weeks), if you were the owner, the extra $1-2 per item doesn’t sound so bad.