Are you looking for ways to boost your sublimation business through local sales? If so, you're in luck! In this blog post, we will give you tips that will help you sell more products and grow your business. Sublimation printing is a great way to create unique products that can be sold locally – in person, through advertising, and online. By watching for opportunities to market your products, you can spread the word about your business, and attract new customers.
Here are 11 ways to sell sublimation products locally:
How can you get your product in front of your ideal customer?
Craft Fairs and Festivals
You can participate in local craft fairs or festivals, set up a booth at a trade show, or do pop-up shops at local businesses. This is a great way to connect with potential customers and build relationships with people in your community. Make sure you have a professional setup and plenty of business cards or flyers to promote your products.
Flea markets tend to have larger crowds and regular traffic. You might even be able to reserve a permanent spot as your own, and advertise on the market's website. You'll find more about our best tips for setting up at a flea market, here.
Advertisement is always going to be a great way to get the word out about your sublimation business, and it doesn't necessarily require spending a ton of money.
This could mean taking out a spot in the local paper or school yearbook, or paying for Facebook ads that target customers near you. It can mean posting in small-business promotion threads on local yard sale or community groups.
Let Your Products Do the Talking
It can also be as simple as wearing your own products as you go about your day – always have business cards with you, and be ready to chat about sublimation printing in the grocery store!
Get it Posted – and Not Just Online!
Don't forget to watch for community bulletin boards – these are often found in local shops, schools, or libraries, and are typically covered in flyers and business cards, plus ads for services. Get your business information up there! Print out a photo of a popular item – is the board located in a pet store? Post a photo of personalized dog bandanas! – and attach some business cards, or include tear-off strips with your phone number.
One of the best ways to sell sublimation products is through word-of-mouth recommendations. If you create high-quality products that people love, they will tell their friends and family about you. Make sure you give your customers your business card or a flyer so they can spread the word about your products.
You can give word-of-mouth advertising your own boost on your business page, by sharing photos of completed orders and happy customers.
There are advertising opportunities everywhere so don’t be shy!
Many local shops would be interested in carrying products on consignment – you'll never know if you don't ask! Start with one or two shops, preferably where you already do business.
Boutiques, salons, and gift stores are all great places to start. Maybe your hair stylist has a shelf and would be willing to display a few of your sublimation items.
Think about what would do well in the setting. T-shirts? Tumblers? A jewelry display? Bring in a few of your most popular designs, and see how it goes. You can negotiate the arrangement: how you will split the sales, whether they will pay you up front or after a set time period, and how long the items will remain on display. Make sure that customers will see your branding and business cards!
If you are willing to give this a shot, and can be flexible about terms in the beginning, it could develop into something bigger, and really boost your sales.
Find out the cost of renting a space in a local vendors' mall. These can be a great way to make local sales, especially if you don't have to be there in person – while your customers are browsing, you can be at home, running your sublimation printer and creating more awesome stuff to sell.
The rental fees will often be based on the size of your booth, and you can expect to pay the management company a percentage of your sales every month. This covers the overhead of having a brick-and-mortar store, with utilities, security cameras, and employees to ring up customers. If it's a busy mall, it can be very profitable for you.
Smaller vendor malls or “antique malls” are great, too. And don't limit yourself to one location – consider places within a reasonable driving range, especially in a smaller town where you may be the only sublimation printing business in the area.
Selling Directly to Businesses
Another great way to promote your sublimation business in your community is through fundraisers. You can work with schools, sports teams, or other organizations to create custom products that people will love. This is a great way to give back to the community and raise money for a good cause. It will also get your name out there as a supplier for larger custom orders.
Offer custom merch – a restaurant or local business might be the perfect market for this, especially if you come up with a design that their customers would love. T-shirts, tumblers and mugs are great options for this. Take in a free sample the next time you visit, as a gift, and include your business card.
Yes, these “gifts” can be an investment, but start out with a few here and there, and see what response you get.
Be ready to answer questions about your prices, and have a ball-park figure in your head, because you never know, you may have walked in at just the right moment with exactly what they were looking for!
If you're looking to sell directly to other local businesses, then you might also consider getting into wholesale. This could range from selling finished products to retail shops at a discount, to becoming a distributor of wholesale sublimation supplies.
Wholesale arrangements can be similar to consignment sales, although you can offer items at a greater discount if the store will pay up front, and those businesses may be more likely to place a larger order.
Reach out to local retailers or resellers who might be interested in carrying your products. This is a great way to get your products into stores and to reach a wider audience. Make sure you have a well-designed wholesale price list and order form so that businesses can easily place orders with you.
Become a Supplier
If you have the budget to make an up-front investment, local crafters might be interested in buying sublimation blanks from you. You can order from manufacturers in bulk, to get better pricing, and then resell to other sublimation businesses. They will love the convenience of having a local source for supplies, especially if they don't have to worry about shipping costs. You can charge a price that works for both of you.
Believe it or not, online sales can be local, too! If you want to reach a larger audience, then selling online is the way to go. You can continue to focus on your local customers by selling on social media, through Facebook Marketplace, or by sharing links to your business page. Share event announcements if you will be set up at a show or market. Promote any shops that are offering your items on their shelves. When you get a fundraiser order, post pictures of the finished products, especially if you can snap a photo of the happy customer wearing or using your goods!
In today's world, not all of your friends will live near you – our online friends and family are just as important to us as those who live nearby. Consider this when you think about limiting yourself to local sales. If your concerns about selling online include worrying about the cost and hassle of shipping, look at services like PirateShip (our favorite), which offer great discounts to online sellers.
The internet has expanded the idea of community, and your “neighborhood” might be the groups or message boards where you participate regularly!
If you've created an online store with a platform like Shopify or Etsy, or if you have your own website, promote it to friends and family online. Make sure to take good photos of your products and write compelling product descriptions. Use social media to promote your products and drive traffic to your store, whether it's online or local.
By following these tips, you can successfully sell your sublimation products locally and boost your business! Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.