Printfection posted on their blog today in a discussion that really amounted to bragging about their success in this very volatile economy. As we all know the current economy has left many companies and families struggling to make it to 2009. It is great to hear that in these troubled times that people are doing good but why boast? The post is centered around the POD world vs non-POD world and is suggesting that the POD industry is “rapidly gaining ground winning over new customers.“. Success is great and everyone loves a good story of rags to riches but when everyone is down is it appropriate to brag?
I find it interesting that they claim knowledge over all of the POD world. Previous statements have suggested that Printfection does $1-2 million a year which is great but compared to the larger players its really a drop in the POD bucket. I have often wondered at what size does your business have to be (in any industry) to be able to gauge how a particular industry is doing. Is it at 1, 5, 50, 100, 500 million a year.
I agree that the t-shirt business and POD is probably not hit as hard as other industries because our products are inexpensive and a reasonable alternative to expensive gifts. I can imagine that business is booming for most POD companies but I have wondered if at some point people perceive a $20 personalized t-shirt as too much. While I am not a die hard or regular shopper (or supporter) at Walmart I did have a recent experience that did shock me. Walmart was selling a wide variety of t-shirts for sale at $5-8 and it is nearly impossible to find a shirt for less than $15 (not even including shipping) at Cafepress, Zazzle or Printfection. Will people give up having a unique t-shirt to save a few bucks?
I believe it is the uniqueness that really makes a difference in what people are willing to spend for a t-shirt or other product. I remember as a kid picking out clothes at Mervyns and then showing up at school only to find out that one or more kids had the same clothes and t-shirts. It was awkward and frustrating but with today’s POD technology there is no reason to ever show up to school, work, or life wearing something someone else is wearing. People want to be unique and spending a few extra bucks for a different and fun shirt is worth it.
This is a random rant on my part but in today’s tough times something about the Printfection post just rubbed me the wrong way. I am sure their intentions were good talking about how it is important to grow and change as a company to be successful (AKA: do print on demand vs. screenprinting) but the underlying message was that they are doing well even when the rest of the country is struggling just comes across a little boasty to me.