One of the questions that we frequently get asked is this: once you’ve purchased your supplies and are set up to sublimate, where can you sell what you make? Say, for the sake of argument, that you’ve purchased your Epson Workforce 1100 package, or your Ricoh 7000 printer, and you’ve gotten some ink and some paper and some assorted blanks. You’re all set to create some wonderful custom sublimated merchandise, now you just figure out who might want to buy what you have to sell. So how, exactly, do you do that?
One way would be to target a market for which you have a passion. Create products you can sell to skateboarders or sailors, mommies or mountaineers, whatever your particular passion may be. Chances are that if you already have a passion for this particular activity or group, you’ll already have found places where you can connect with people who will want to purchase your products.
Another way to find your market is to look at what you already do and see how sublimation can fit in. If you’re a photographer, sublimation offers yet more ways to display your work. If you already run an embroidery business, sublimation can increase the range of garments you can offer, and also give you additional products you can use to augment your sales. If you run a gift or souvenir shop, sublimation gives you a great way to create your own custom products that could be unique to your shop.
Schools are another great market for sublimated goods. Most kids and a lot of parents will wear or use something that shows allegiance to their school. Just keep in mind that creating items for the college or fraternity/sorority markets will most likely require licensing from the organization for which you want to create items. Anytime you are going to use an organization’s logo on items you plan to sell, you would be wise to check in advance regarding licensing. If you are interested in the school market, you should attend this webinar from Sawgrass Ink on June 15.
If you or anyone you know plays organized sports or has a child who does so, you already know that sports teams are a great market for sublimated goods. First of all there are team shirts, hats, wristbands, towels and other items of apparel. Second there are trophies, plaques and other commemorative items. There is a also a market for clothing and other items with logos from national sports teams. Again, as in the case of schools, if this is market you want to pursue you would be wise to investigate licensing rules and regulations.
Finally, an obvious market for sublimated products would be corporations. Businesses both large and small hand out corporate swag on a daily basis. Whether it’s a coffee mug, a polo with a company logo, a lanyard at a trade show, or a frizbee at a customer appreciation day, a great many businesses are constantly in need of items embellished with the corporate logo. If you have a storefront, you can offer your services to local businesses. Local television and radio stations are often particularly in need of corporate swag. If you prefer to operate online, you could differentiate yourself by specializing in swag for a particular business grouping, like doctors or accountants.
Finding a market for sublimated products isn’t really hard, since the products are so varied and can be useful in so many different situations. If you do a little research and also look at the things you’re already doing, it is likely you can find easily find several markets for your sublimated goods.