January 2, 2019

Taking the Leap Despite Looming Debt, and Figuring It Out As I Go


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    "You have to be willing to jump off the cliff and try to build an airplane on the way down." Is my new favourite quote!! Well done Hiram.

    How do you limit the cost of shipping since you're shipping worldwide?

    Post-edit: Courtland -> Hiram. Sorry for using the wrong name!

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      Good question. This took some tinkering to figure out. Most international shipping costs are about $14.99, though there are some that cost more and some a bit less. Whatever the carrier charges, that's the cost that's passed to the consumer.

      There were a few specific countries that we shipped to that charged more and we didn't on checkout--we just had to take the loss on that and learn from it. :)

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    With physical product companies involving high input-costs, labor and fulfillment, the question of margins is front-and-center.

    I get that there's no perfect metric for performance, bet it "monthly revenues", EBITDA or money in your pocket -- but I think it's important to discuss margins on projects like this. With pure digital / SAAS offerings its often less important as margins can be huge and flexible. But if we don't discuss margins for physical products and maker projects, there's really nothing all that informational about "monthly revenue".

    IMHO, I think it should be an IndieHackers policy that if we're going to discuss revenues, we discuss margins in the same breath.

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      I respect your opinion--but I disagree. Even though software has huge margins, physical products' margins can also vary a lot. It just depends on the product.

      Some products will be at 15% margin, others at 150% margin. It completely depends among a variety of factors. By that logic, everyone should just disclose their margins because there's really no way to say. But as we know, private companies usually don't disclose that information. It's just a matter of preference and how you do things.

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    Hey COurtland. Great job! Really nice to read the story here. And lots of familiar success and stresses! Assuming you're using DTG for the printing? And it must be difficult to fit everything in if you're doing the fulfillment yourself?

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      Hey Neil, thanks for the comment! I'm sure the concerns and stresses are common, but we trudge along through it, right? I'm actually not using DTG for printing, and they're not the typical heavy cotton shirts that are used across most of the shirt market. They're still 100% cotton, but they're ringspun, which makes them much softer while still being durable.

      The equipment takes up a chunk of space, yes, but it's not TOO bad. I guess it could be worse. I have my desk set up, and around it all kinds of different boxes and tools that I need for the workspace. If I was doing DTG then yeah, it would definitely be a huge space hog to have that giant printer in house.

      -Hiram

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        Cool! Yeah, we prefer to use ringspun soft ones, too.

        Assuming you must be using vinyl or similar heat transfers, then? I remember the kit! It can just about work in a small space if you keep the area disciplined, right?! :-)

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          Definitely--gotta keep the area clean and organized. Everyone has their own methods, so honestly do whatever works for you.