Ben Perkins of AndCollar.com discussed with us how to produce low-cost best dress shirt that will not only keep you comfortable but won’t break the bank. Here’s what he had to say about it.
Let’s begin with the basics: how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 circumstances?
We are doing very well, and our circumstances have been very fortunate for us.
Tell us about yourself, your job, how AndCollar.com came to be.
I’m the co-founder of AndCollar.com, a clothing company located in Lexington, KY. The business was started with my two sisters because we were tired of dealing with the high prices and lack of product options at other men’s clothing stores locally.
After about 10 months, AndCollar.com has grown to serve customers across the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and Australia.
What are your sources for materials? Where do you get them? How much do they cost?
We use two vendors for our apparel – one for our tees (Bella+Canvas) and another for everything else (Next Level Apparel). Both companies offer wholesale pricing based on order size which allows us to create custom, low-cost clothing for our customers.
Here’s a quick example: we recently took the time to price out some of our most popular items and here is what we found:
$9.99 and $13.99 per unit on cotton/polyester blend Next Level Apparel tees. Customers spend $69.95 for a three-piece suit made from Next Level with free shipping in sizes S-XL. Which is produced in less than 14 days (and often times much sooner). We just received an order of custom hoodies with zippers. Those were only $11.07 each and we created them within five business days along with free shipping!
For all of our products, we use the same two vendors. That provide us with a resource for quick and affordable production.
In regards to clothing selection, what do you currently offer? What are your plans for expanding the line?
We have an ever-expanding product line because we’re always working towards having more exciting things to sell. We started off by offering cotton tees and hoodies in men’s and women’s. Cuts but recently added dress shirts, suits, sweaters, jogging pants, shorts, custom ties, socks. Even AndCollar underwear! These items were designed to make a statement at a fraction of the price found elsewhere.
To meet demand from our customers, we also offer expedited service which allows us to create custom products in four business days or less.
What are the best sellers? Why do you think they are so popular?
Our hoodies have been our most popular items since their release back in April. We just introduced them with zippers and that has really taken off as well! Our other big sellers include our suits, cotton tees, socks, and underwear.
People love what we’re doing because it gives them the opportunity to purchase high-quality clothing. At an affordable price without sacrificing style. Most of our styles are offered under $40 which makes it easy for men, women, college students… anyone! To make things even sweeter, all expedited service orders receive free shipping within the United States.
What distinguishes AndCollar.com from the competition?
It’s an easy answer: customer experience. We’re not only here to help people look good by offering low-cost, custom apparel but we want them to feel even better about their purchase. With our vibrant community and show the world that they support small businesses.
We include a handwritten thank you note inside each order from one of our co-founders. And post pictures of customers on social media so everyone can see how AndCollar is changing the way customers shop.
Every order helps us reach new customers which allow us to create more products and lower prices… it’s a great cycle!
What is your response time, delivery time on orders? Describe your customer service policy.
Most orders are shipped within three business days or less. Customers have the option to upgrade their order to expedited service. In exchange for a nominal fee which guarantees a two-business-day delivery.
If an order is placed on a weekend, it’s processed on the following business day and shipped within three days of placing the order. On our website, we offer real-time tracking which makes it easy for customers to follow along with their package once it has been sent out!
Regarding customer service, we get emails and messages from people almost every minute! We do our best to respond quickly and help resolve any issues that may arise… even if they occur during off-hours. Individuals who experience problems of any kind will be taken care of; we stand behind our products and services 100%.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your company, and how are you handling it?
The virus and its aftermath have not had any effect on AndCollar and we’re working towards keeping it that way.
We’re well aware of the precautions and take every necessary action to keep our customers and employees safe and healthy. We also offer expedited service if anyone would like to receive their order sooner than the standard three-business-day window!
What is your payment policy?
Is there a minimum purchase required? Do you cut off orders when they reach a certain quantity? And do you use a shopping cart provider for online purchases?
Our payment policy is straightforward:
For each item, buyers pay a flat fee which includes everything from production and shipping to handling and taxes… no extra fees attached. Our customers can order as many or few items as they’d like and our pricing stays the same.
We accept PayPal and all major credit cards and send customers tracking information immediately after an order has been placed and also include a note with each shipment which includes the customer’s name and thank them for their purchase.
What are your top five most successful products? Why do you think people buy these products?
Our hoodies and suits have been extremely popular because of our slim fit style and higher quality cotton that is used in production. You can feel the difference when wearing one vs another t-shirt brand! We use more durable materials but keep the price low thanks to our unique business model… it’s a win-win and we’re thankful for the support.
Do you have a loyalty program and what does it entail? Have you had success with this program?
We do and it has been extremely popular. Our points system was designed to encourage and reward our customers and incentivize them to shop more often and refer family and friends who may be interested in getting custom clothes, too. Every order earns one point and when 100 points are reached (which is equivalent to $100 spent) the customer receives a coupon for 10% off their next order!
It’s worked really well so far and both new and existing customers have taken advantage of this easy promotion. We love seeing familiar names and hearing about new creations on social media or through email thanks to referrals made by the community we’ve built on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We offer FREE shipping and fast turnaround times and ALWAYS offer free exchanges and returns.
You can also get a $50 bonus added to your account for referring a friend and when the person you refer makes their first purchase, both parties will receive an additional 10% off!
Our clothing options are really diverse, too… there’s something for everyone in our line-up of casual wear while our suits and shirts are perfect for formal wear. Once someone tries us, we become part of their personal wardrobe forever!
What were the most difficult choices you had to make, and what did you learn from them?
Our first collection.
That was a really tough decision. We knew that we had a product that people would love, but what was going to work for each of us as a family living under one roof? What colors were going to be best? How many pieces should we have in our first collection?
After about 2 months of deliberation and making samples for ourselves, we finally decided on a dress shirt for men with collar stays along with pocket squares and bowties. It’s been a great success so far!
What is your favorite part about running AndCollar.com? I’d have to say it’s seeing how my sisters blossom from being shy girls from small-town Kentucky into ladies that will go afterlife – and business – with a confidence that is inspiring. I’ve never been so proud of anything or anyone before.
Where do you see the company in five years? Wherever God takes it! We have spoken to many clothing manufacturers from India and China, which are eager to work with small companies like us. We may very well be able to make dress shirts for men at an unbeatable price while still producing high-quality material and letting our customers design their own dress shirts.
We do plan on hiring local employees in Lexington, KY (our hometown) to work on marketing, social media management, photography, etc.
What are your rivals? What steps will you take to stay in the game after everyone else has been eliminated?
Our biggest rival is dress shirt companies that sell dress shirts for men with traditional collars. We’re able to keep our prices low by only selling dress shirts with stays (collar stays or dress shirt stays) and pocket squares or bowties instead of dress shirts, dress pants, belts, etc.
We plan on staying in the game by continuing to focus on making quality material at an affordable cost. Our goal is to make every man look his best for little money.
What do you wish consumers knew about your business?
As a consumer myself, I know how frustrating it can be to order clothes online and get them shipped elsewhere only to find out they don’t fit right – even if the size tags inside seem like they fit. We want you to know that we will take care of you.
If your dress shirt or bowtie doesn’t fit, we’ll refund the purchase and send a new dress shirt with collar stays at no extra charge – even if it’s our fault!
We also have free domestic shipping on orders over $75 as well as free returns.
We are happy to announce that we have solved the expensive dress shirt problem. Throughout this blog post, you’ve read about how COVID-19 is affecting our world in general and what it means for your clothes budget specifically. Now, Ben Perkins of AndCollar.com has shared his thoughts on how to produce low-cost clothing (that will not only keep you comfortable but won’t break the bank). You can find out more information by clicking here or calling us at 1-888-555-5555 if you want help with your business today!
AUTHOR BiO: I am Faraz Ahmad, a qualified blogger and web developer. Here on SNOWTICA, you can have an idea of my expertise. You can also visit services for more information. I love to write a blog on various topics, like health, Technology, Business, Travel, Lifestyle, sports, Food, Finance, etc. For more information contact here.