Call it green, dough, smackers or moolah, we all want to save money when we can.
Saving on supply orders will ultimately mean more money in your pocket. When your print shop is a business, rather than an expensive hobby, you learn how to tweak your inventory to create the most money long term. Shipping costs from your apparel distributor can seriously affect your business. Many screen printers try to avoid shipping costs at every chance possible. Unless you have a rush order, there is no reason to pay for shipping on top of all of your other expenses.
Alpha Broder is one of the main apparel distributors that many screen printers use. They are known for their wide range of items and quality products that mean more money in your pocket. However much we love Alpha Broder, we still want to save money where we can. Check out these 5 ways to save big on Alpha Broder orders this year:
Bundle To Reach Free Shipping Minimum
We know that you want to fill orders as quickly as possible, but sometimes waiting to order your apparel is best when trying to avoid shipping costs. Bundling your Alpha Broder apparel order will help your shop run more efficiently. Most print shops can get free shipping if they order at least $200 in merchandise. Sending out orders every day that don’t hit the free shipping minimum is a killer on your productivity and bottom line.
We recommend holding off any order until you have reached the free shipping minimum. If you’re a larger shop, this may mean that you wait until the following day to place an order. If you’re a smaller shop, it may mean that you only order products once a week. Knowing the timeline that works for you (and your customers) is crucial to avoiding shipping costs. If customers can’t wait until you place your order, consider adding a rush fee to help recoup your shipping costs. Remember that being upfront with customers on when your order day is will help the process along as well and help customers know the timeline of their order.
Use the FlexExpress Shipping Option
Alpha Broder provides a solution for those shops that don’t meet the free shipping minimum. The FlexExpress shipping option is available when you order up to 5 boxes of product. You choose the FedEx location nearest your shop for easy pickup. While FlexExpress isn’t free, the fees are quite reasonable if your FedEx location is close by.
You’ll pay $5.99 for orders with a product value over $50.00 and $9.99 for product values less than $50.00. FlexExpress is only available for those orders sourced from one warehouse. If your order pulls garments from two different distribution centers, FlexExpress is not available. You’ll also need a valid credit card on account for FlexExpress shipping as COD orders are not eligible. If you don’t pick up your order at your FedEx location within 5 days of delivery, FedEx returns the order to Alpha Broder.
Know Your Nearest Distribution Center
There are a total of 10 Alpha Broder distribution centers around the country. These warehouses are strategically located so to get you product quickly and efficiently. Some print shops located in the same metroplex as a distribution center may want to choose to pick their order rather than have it shipped.
This is a great option if you are in a rush or if you want to cut out shipping costs completely. Customers like yourself can pick up orders at the distribution center nearest you. Your order will be ready after 2 hours of placement and can be paid for using cash, credit cards or other account terms. Simply choose “Customer Pickup” when placing your order.
- Seattle, Washington
- Fresno, California
- Orlando, Florida
- Denver, Colorado
- Kansas City, Kansas
- Dallas, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- Middleboro, Massachusettes
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Atlanta, Georgia
*Note, there is another Canadian distribution center located in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Drop shipment orders cannot be picked up at Distribution Centers.
Know Product Inventory
As with many of the top apparel distributors, Alpha Broder has real-time inventory counts on its site. This means that what they have in stock is listed on the site for your convenience. If you have a large order, this information can be quite helpful during the ordering process. If Alpha Broder doesn’t have enough of a certain garment, you can quickly change it to an item that they have stocked. This means that you can also give better estimates to customers when you know what type of garment is available. Securing a client order only to find out that Alpha Broder is low on that style type will waste your time and money. Be proactive in this process so that you don’t have to chase customers down afterwards to confirm a substitute in garment or product.
Remember that real-time inventory includes only those products that are sold. If you place a product in your shopping cart but don’t check out, those same products will be reported as available to other customers. The only way to secure that your product is available is to purchase the order. Another thing to consider is that your order may be supplied by multiple distribution centers across the country. This can affect FlexExpress shipments that don’t allow split orders where products are coming from two different warehouse locations.
Negotiate With Your Rep
Many shops have a direct rep when it comes to ordering through Alpha Broder. Don’t be afraid to contact your rep and tell them your concerns about product and shipping costs. Establishing and investing in a good relationship with your rep will give you more clout and may improve your shipping rate. We all know that we aren’t supposed to play favorites, but your rep is more likely to give you discounts if they like you as a person. Treat them kindly and you should get the same in return.
Even if your rep can’t get you free shipping on all of your orders, you may be able to score a discounted shipping rate with them in the meantime. Even a slight discount can help your bottom line when every penny counts. Other options to have save money on apparel include being loyal with your orders. If your purchase history shows that you have been ordering from Alpha Broder consistently over the past year, they may be more willing to help you out on price.
If you ever have a large order (over 500 pieces), don’t be afraid to contact your Alpha Broder rep directly. Large orders are good for both your print shop and the distributor. This is where knowing your rep well and having a good history with them will come into play. Not only should you receive free shipping on such a large order, but you can also score major discounts on products since your product count is so high.
Create Better Ordering Systems
We all know that time = money. You lose precious time when you order multiple projects in one order. The time that it takes to locate and divide the order into different print jobs wastes money. Make it easy for your shop to receive shipments by ordering one order per box. This way you won’t have to spend any time dividing the order and can get right to printing.
Another way to create better-ordering systems is to keep the confusion to a bare minimum. This means that you shouldn’t order two jobs that are the same style number, manufacturer, or color in the same shipment. This creates chaos on the receiving end and not only wastes your time but can also waste products and materials when you accidentally print on the wrong garment. Putting in extra thought during the order process will help in the long run on the receiving end of your shop.
Any way that you can save money on getting garments to your shop will no doubt help your business grow. Meeting free shipping minimums as well as utilizing Alpha Broder’s FlexExpress shipping option can greatly reduce or eliminate your shipping costs. Picking up your orders at the warehouse in your city is also another way to save on Alpha Broder orders. Taking advantage of real-time inventory data on the Alpha Broder website can help you suggest certain products that are in stock to customers. Having a good relationship with your Alpha Broder sales rep and creating better ordering systems in your shop are also good tips for saving green. Consider these 6 ways to save big on Alpha Broder orders this year.