I need some input from screen printers and other various printing companies. I am starting a small local printing business with a few friends. We are starting very, very small with pins for local bands, expanding to screen printing and beyond as we grow. We are in the very beginning stages of this and are basically just doing all of the research. I wanted to consult you guys with the aspect of the business that I've taken on.

I am dealing with the website and checkout process. I've researched a bit and found a few e-commerce programs that could work but I'd like to know what you guys do as far as checkout/invoice processes with your companies. I know from getting things printed with certain companies that an invoice is sent over through email and that I had to pay via credit card on the phone. I would like to be able to have a quick checkout process right on the site with the ability to choose the quantity of pins they want.

Is it smart to even do something like that or is it better to invoice the customer? If so, what is the best way to have them pay the invoice? I'd like to stay away from phone orders for now since it's just a start up and I'd like to be able to have them pay via credit card.

Any and all help that you can provide is greatly appreciated. If what I'm trying to explain makes no sense or you need more details, please let me know. If you're a business owner and would like to discuss this via email feel free to contact me at andrew.cilley(@)gmail.com.

Thanks again guys!
  • jonkruse

    I don't know of many screen printers that get their orders through a traditional e-commerce store. Most people want to have at least some interaction before spending a couple hundred on printing.

    Everyone that I have worked with have sent invoices over email.

    check out harvest(i think website is getharvst.com) and freshbooks.
  • Obscure

    jonkruse said:I don't know of many screen printers that get their orders through a traditional e-commerce store. Most people want to have at least some interaction before spending a couple hundred on printing.

    Everyone that I have worked with have sent invoices over email.

    check out harvest(i think website is getharvst.com) and freshbooks.

    This.

    There was an awesome company called Mega Merch that set up deals on big cartel and load of brands, bands and kids wanting to start up paid for a hell of a lot of printing this way. They couldn't actually print or keep up with the amount of orders they got. They are no more and a lot of people didn't get their money back. Just write a nice invoice template. deal with your emails on a personal level. It really is the best way.
  • perfectevolution

    For Invoices and Estimates, I use Freshbooks and love it.
  • treycook

    I could potentially develop a website that would generate invoices and email them over for you, and anything related. But yeah, from my experience being in a band and working with printers, everything is just handled by email and PDFs.

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