The Wayback Machine: Let’s Revisit Some Posts

One of the things that’s both weird and fun about writing a blog for a number of years is the fact that, over time,  you forget some of what you’ve written.  The focus is more on the next post to be written,  not on the ones that are already done.   Since the SubliStuff blog has been around since 2010,  there are now eight years of posts,  and today I wanted to point out a few that I thought were worth reading again.

In 2010 I wrote a post entitled “5 Reasons Not To Buy a Sublimation System“.  The intent was to do a tongue in cheek post that would really highlight reasons why a sublimation system would make a good addition to a shop.   In 2017,   I updated the post from 2010.   If you’re on the fence about adding sublimation to your shop, for whatever reason,  either of these posts may be helpful.

One of the topics I write about often is finding your market for sublimated goods.   In May of 2017,  I offered 5 tips for finding your sublimation market.   I think my favorite tip from that post was about showcasing what you love.  Hobbies are a great place to find a new sublimation market.

Another tips post,  this one titled “Six Tips for Successfully Sublimating Several Substrates” (yes, I do like alliteration,  why do you ask) gave tips on how to get the most from your sublimation blanks.  As with many posts about sublimation,  this one dealt with the idea that you will screw up and that’s part of the process.  Make your peace with mistakes, everyone encounters them at some point.

In 2014,  the tips I gave had to do with customer service and how to provide the best to your customers.   One of the things I’ve learned over the years, and shared in that post,  was the fact that sometimes customers just need to vent.   It’s never fun to be yelled at,  but sometimes that’s what needs to happen to get the customer to a place where they can talk calmly about the situation.

At EnMart,  we’ve always been dedicated to education,  and try to share our knowledge on this blog and at the trade shows we attend.  We’re always willing to teach others about sublimation and how to be successful with sublimated goods,  but there are some things we can’t teach.   In 2016,  I wrote a post that touched on those things.

Finally,  in 2012,  I wrote a post on decoration intimidation.  It’s something we’ve seen again and again over the years,  a customer either buys a sublimation system and is too scared to use it,  or finds the whole process so intimidating,  they can’t even buy a system at all.   The post was an effort to soothe some fears and perhaps help people to see that trying a new decoration technique isn’t as intimidating as it may seem.  Getting past the fear can open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Don’t Sell on Price, Sell on Value

We all know that sublimation isn’t always the cheapest way to decorate an item.  There are costs associated with purchasing blanks and purchasing inks and paper and printers and all the rest,  so sublimated items can’t be sold as cheaply as items decorated by other methods.   The other side of that coin, however, is that sublimated items are dishwasher and microwave safe in a lot of cases,  and the decorations that are added to the garments or the hard goods may often outlast the goods themselves.   Still, despite the fact that sublimation may offer brighter, more vibrant color and more durability,  your customers may ask you why the guy who does inkjet transfers down the street can imprint 12 mugs for less than you charge,  or why shirts from the kiosk guy in the mall are priced more cheaply than the shirts you offer.

Let’s face it,  there’s always going to be someone who will offer to create goods for a cheaper price.  It’s easy to get caught up in a sort of bidding war,  but that’s not the way to approach this problem.   The best way to get a fair price for what you sell is to educate your customers.    Explain what sublimation is and the value of a sublimated good.   Show them that while they may be paying a little more for the items they’re buying,  they’re also getting more value too.   Make the following points:

  • Sublimation ink dyes poly fabric – so there will be no transfer film or rough feel to designs on garments
  • Sublimated hard goods can be both microwaved and washed in a dishwasher
  • Sublimated designs start out vibrant and are more resistant to fading if not consistently exposed to direct sun
  • Sublimated designs will often outlast the garment or item to which they were applied
  • Sublimation offers a wider range of decoration possibilities

I’m sure there are more reasons than these.  What explanation or education do you offer your customer to help them see the value of the sublimated goods you sell?  If you’d care to share your answer,  please leave it in the comments.