Is there a T-shirt fulfillment API?
September 15, 2008 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Is there an automated way to have t-shirts printed and shipped? I'm writing a program that will allow users to have their custom designs printed (a la spreadshirt). Is there any API out there that I could give the image and address and payment, and have it take care of that fulfillment?

My friends are already expressing an interest in buying some of these designs I'm talking about, but I don't have any scalable way to take their stuff (order info, design image, payment, shipment info), and instantly turn it into a fulfilled order. I don't want to be another Threadless or Zazzle. I just want my users to have this feature.

I know of APIs that just dispatch the user to one of these sites. I want to get a callback, and be able to know when users have ordered a shirt, so I can reflect the fact that they bought a shirt on the site. I'm offering users some extra functionality when they've bought a shirt.
posted by racecar to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wonder if you could use an on-demand service that would embed the address info, shipping info, and design into an EPS or PDF to print.

Is there a script in the program that would keep an auto-tally of designs that are available and how many people ordered them? I guess I don't know whether it's like Spreadshirt in the way that it's customizable in that there are 100 or so possible options or if people can upload their own work, like threadless, for voting by a community and then application to sell from you company. It could be cool, like Digg for shopping, but activated by sales rather than link-throughs. I guess I am more about marketing that way, it might not be your cup of tea.

OK, back to the question. The other answer might be to create an automated printing script that put the info: Order/Design/Payment/Shipping and printed them on a sticker sheet with die-cut elements for each part of the order procedure. You can very like get stickers that already have your FedEx or USPS shipping number on them, which is one less thing to worry about if you are using standard rates of shipping (so you would need to code large orders manually), then you would have to fulfill boxing manually unless the system also included a script to activate a stencil machine or other t-shirt printer to print and bake the shirt. This sounds incredibly complicated. If you do it, you should patent it, then get it on How It's Made.
posted by parmanparman at 3:56 PM on September 15, 2008

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