Teemill Updates

Customer Problem? You must be doing well!

Someday, if you’re successful with Teemill, a customer will reach out and get in touch with you with a problem. It might be something simple like a size change, or something dramatic like a damaged product or refund request.

It’s our job to take great care of it. That’s part of the deal with Teemill: Factored in to the pricing structure is the cost of handling returns, exchanges, calls and emails all day in a busy customer care team. We do this every day, and we’re quite good at it. Let us talk you through what you need to do to resolve customer issues.

But I want no problems, ever!

Firstly, stats. In the e-commerce fashion world, return rates of 20-40% are common. That means 20-40% of all product most companies send out comes back for some reason. Returns, exchanges, problems – it’s part of the game. The only way to get no issues, is not to play.

At Teemill our return rate is very low (in single-digits) largely due to the optimisation of our shops, size chart advice and photography.

The point is, zero returns, exchanges and issues is not possible: If you’re selling, you will encounter a return, exchange, refund etc: It will happen: It’s totally normal.

It might be a question from a customer about the product’s manufacturing provenance, the fit and feel, or it might be an expression of disappointment or a request for a refund or exchange.

Whatever the issue is, we’ll sort it the same working day.

Exchanges are free in the UK, refunds are part of our customer service policy, and we often go above and beyond to make sure your customers are happy.
Every problem or question is a great opportunity to build a customer for life: Our full-time customer care team understands, and we love resolving customer issues and getting amazing reactions out of them: Particularly on social media!


This service costs you nothing – we’ll deal with all your customer issues the same day. So how do you make it happen? Simple…

Let us know immediately.

If you’ve got a customer who needs attention, let us know immediately. Our hello@teemill.co.uk account is a catch-all for any issue to do with customers. You can also call us on 01983 409790 to tell us about an issue too.

Or on twitter, tag us with @teemillstore

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VAT registered? Teemill VAT invoicing

Value-added tax is a UK-specific sales tax. Big companies in the UK are often VAT registered, and can get the VAT due on top of royalties too. This blog is for accounts-literate financial professionals: If you’re not VAT registered, or don’t know what that is, this blog is not for you!

At Teemill, the customer transaction is between their bank and ours, and we pay you royalties on each sale. Royalties are paid exclusive of VAT automatically, but if you’re VAT registered you can get the VAT due on top of your royalties too.

VAT Registered Example

For example, if a white t-shirt that retails for £20 and costs us £10 inc VAT to make, there’s £10 profit including VAT to split 50:50:  £5 for us and £5 for you.

As royalties are paid exclusive of VAT, our system will automatically pay you the £5 ex.VAT above: Therefore the standard payment will be £4.17. If you’re VAT registered you can claim back the VAT due on your royalties (e.g. the £0.83 balance from your earnings, from the VAT man.)

All royalty payments are made automatically at the end of the month. If you’re VAT registered, you can then claim back your VAT by advising your accounts team to do the following:

  • • Send a VAT invoice including your total royalties paid for the month PLUS VAT due on those royalties

and

  • • A statement that shows this invoice as well as the payment of ex.VAT royalties made by our system at the end of the month to pay@teemill.co.uk.

 

This will show a balance of the VAT due on royalties you have earned.

All royalty payments are made each month, automatically by our system. We also make VAT balance payments (each Friday) for the VAT amount due, bringing your VAT balance to zero.

Hey presto, VAT-registered companies accounting with Teemill, made simple.

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What’s the difference between DTG and Screenprinting?

This article is a comparison between screen printing and DTG (digital direct to garment  printing). Our bulk factory screen prints for some of Europe’s biggest brands, yet for all but a few of the top Teemill sellers, your on-demand fulfillment will be via DTG. How do the two print methods compare?

Firstly, lets talk over the reasons there are different print methods in the first place. Screen printing is a low cost, high quality way to print high volumes of shirts where the design on each product is the same. It costs very little in ink and time per print. However, the set up costs to cut the lithographic screens, mix the inks and process the art is seriously time intensive. It can take hours to set up for a job. It’s only really suitable where you’re printing 50 or more tees of the same design. The average order size for screenprinting at our factory is around 2000 units, for example.

Compare that to Teemill print on demand fulfillment, where the customer gets a free online store and sells their designs online. We print each order one at a time and ship the same day with your branding. Doing setup on each order just wouldn’t be viable.

Digital printing is different to screen printing, in that the print head prints directly onto the fabric like a paper printer. Screen printing machines put one colour down at a time.

That means that there’s almost no set up – in fact, our technology automates all this. So we can print on demand, and in as many colours as we like!

Teemill Digital Printing
2 Colour Screenprint

Print quality comparison

The look, feel and capability of the print differs with each technique. Screen printing produces thick, punchy block colours which are slightly more vibrant and saturated.

The blacks are blacker, the whites are really bright, whereas with digital printing the inks are mixed differently and have slightly less pop. But digital has many advantages.

Screenprinting is limited to block vector graphics with a limited number of colours, and the artwork is much harder to prepare. DTG in comparison is a breeze, you can upload a simple jpeg photo and get the print out in full colour.

Washability

The print wash-care of both methods should really be comparable, especially when you follow the wash-care instructions – wash cool, hang dry. However, our feeling is that screen print inks have the edge in long-life wash-care scenarios, but only just.

 

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How to Increase Sales in Winter

Selling t-shirts is obviously part of the growth strategy for any successful Teemill store. But there’s a ridiculously obvious way that you can double profit and increase sales when you would think t-shirts are least likely to sell.

During Spring and Summer, t-shirts sell like hotcakes and there’s no better way to increase revenues by getting some amazing designs, choosing the right colours (like White, where you can make double your money at Teemill) and then pushing hard on the marketing.

In Winter, it can sometimes feel like you’re not getting any traction. Is it really the case that great brands hibernate, waiting for Spring?

The answer lies in merchandising. As a salesman, you’d never sell an umbrella on a beach in July. But if you were a brolly seller in a rainstorm, you’re winning.

You can keep the demand for your brand up, the sales and customers buzzing by showing them the right product at the right time. When the weather closes in, change up your store and products to reflect demand, and pick warmer products – sweats, hoodies – for Winter.

Sell sweats and hoodies with Teemill

Our award-winning products include blank organic cotton hoodies, made to the same high quality standards and in modern, fashionable shapes. To design on a hoody or sweater, choose the product tab at the product design tab and navigate to Men’s or Women’s sweats. The rest of the process is the same.

As sweats and hoodies can command a higher price, our philosophy of shared profit means that we also pay higher earnings to you for sweat and hoody sales.

Not only can you continue to make money in Winter, you can actually increase earnings by selling products in season for greater profit.

Take Action

  • Design hoodies and sweats into your collection now!

 

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How to choose a Brand Name

You’re ready to start up a brand but you don’t know what to call it? It’s a common sticking point but these 5 steps will help you find a name you can build a business around.

Before you can build a Teemill store and connect to our print-on-demand factory, you need a name. And unlike your URL and logo, which can be changed fairly easily, your name has some fundamental links to your products that make it very difficult indeed to change later. This is also true if you have any documentation, bank accounts, trademarks or social media accounts. A re-brand is a breeze. A rename is a nightmare. If you want to build a successful brand on Teemill with a free print-on-demand factory pass, our advice is simple: Work on a good brand name – and stick with it.

Luckily, when you know how, it’s easier than it sounds.

1. Discover your Key Word

Firstly, we must remember we’re in 2017 and you’re a new brand. That means you are likely to do almost all your marketing on the internet – as you’re new, you’ll need new customers to be able to find you, using search engines.

The format for a search engine is to type the right words in for what we’re looking for. New brands have an amazing advantage over the old school high street names in that we can pick brand names closer to the internet search terms that the next generation of customers are looking for.

Start with a word-cloud to write down all the words relevant to your brand and products. Experiment, and try to build a name around some of them.

If you want search results from people who’ve never heard of you but are interested in your brand themes, avoid abbreviating beyond recognition. A brand called “BVHC” is meaningless to a new customer, even if it means a lot to the creator.

2. Keep it punchy.

Brand names often start longer and get shorter, and more punchy as the brand matures. Like the sound of Woodcutter Apparel Co? Try shortening to Woodcutter.

In “the social network” Sean Parker, of Napster, tells Zuckerberg – “hey one more thing… lose the “the.” And in that moment, The Facebook became Facebook.

A lot of junk is put around the brand to try and make it sound better – the reality is that great brand names are simple, and confident. Mercedes. Nike. Ferrari. Just one word, if you can. Keep the name simple – let the imagery and designs do the talking.

3. Laughter fades. Meaning lasts.

The temptation is to be clever with a brand name, which is cool – but don’t joke. Joke brand names lack the trust, authenticity and longevity that growing businesses need to keep customers coming back time after time.

Unless you’re looking to build a flash in the pan, avoid a joke name. A name that’s clever is cool, but often the best brands are something simple, neutral and authentic.

Land Rover is a great example. Well Hung Signs is not.

5. Names arent everything!

If you’re still struggling, remember, names aren’t everything! Ask yourself what McDonalds really means to you. At the end of the day, it could have just been called Smiths.

Brand names grow as the products develop, along with the logo, identity and colour palette. The name stays consistent in 99% of cases.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is to pick one – and make sure that nobody else has trademarked it already. It’s your responsibility to check that and you will end up in hot water if you haven’t taken steps to make sure your name is not infringing someone’s intellectual property.

We already check your name against other Teemill stores: We recommend searching thoroughly online and if you’re in the UK, you can use the very handy IPO Trademark Search Tool.

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