June 01 2018 (see update below this initial review)
I'm writing this a little pre-maturely, as I have yet to test RocketTees ability to handle more than a few orders (which I'm testing this week through next with hundreds of orders I need out within 10 business days latest).
I will update this review hopefully to a 5 star pending the performance of the vital week ahead with all these real orders going through this app.
I come from a few years selling on various eCommerce platforms, testing out, proving, and trying not just a t-shirt apps for shopify t-shirt fulfilment.
With that said, I'm coming at this from a beat the competition with unique artwork (Which we are really good at) but also pricing. I have not found a better price as of yet, not sure where the other reviews are coming from. Yes, I get the 25 a month, but I am holding out hope that this subscription fee makes up for lack of quality I have found with other larger company apps.
I am holding out hope that the developer (whose business is registered at an address down the road in P.G., Utah USA from where I'm at in Provo, UT) works at this full time and isn't just doing this as a side parallel entrepreneur project, as if he is serious this can go places. I like to support good startups, and this has all the earmarks of a good startup so far, and I know enough and have been in the business long enough to state the same.
I put a lot into the apps I use, esp. newer ones like this with less reviews. I am savvy enough with technical know how to be able to see if the app was a hodge podge or professionally done and so far it shows to be very professional (The app itself). I am holding out hope that the printing process is as professional as the app development and support has been.
1. Customer support is amazing.
I'm a techie myself, so I appreciate the kind of support I've been given, as I give valuable feedback, which feedback has been heard quickly and implemented.
I had some issues with whatever filter the mockup generator was using, but the customer support fixed it quickly and answered my questions and then some. Mockups are high quality PNGs, that are slightly larger than needed (file size), see cons.
3. T-shirt quality.
They updated their t-shirt material, here's hoping to it being consistent.
1. Order Shipment Time.
I'm holding my breath here, as I have had a few issues with orders being a whopping 10 business days out and still no shipment. I was told it was a printer issue, but I'm hoping this is not a reoccurring issue, and I'm hoping this isn't a hodge podge put together operation (i'm crossing my fingers), as I'm depending largely on this working with hundreds of orders over the next few weeks (will help me know if this business and owner is serious about what he is doing, and so far I have the feedback from the owner that such is true).
This is the biggest concern of mine however, is shipment time. I have to see improvements in order to bump my rating up or it will come down and I'll update my review as well pending the experience.
The biggest issue (if it is even an issue) with the mockups so far, besides a glitch of an image effect that rendered fine lines way too fuzzy (fixed by the quick support) is the size of the PNG files. I had to purchase another Shopify app just to convert the png files to jpg and downsize the files, as they add up quickly. Not sure how that can be adjusted, but my home page was over 15 MB before I converted all images to jpg.
I'm OK with new apps working out bugs, only if the app works and shows to be professionally done. I see that this app was not done in some back office in India. I don't care where the owner comes from, what I care about is quality of UI (check), quality of app flow (check), ease of use (check), automation as much as possible (check), and most important, if the actual production of the product matches the quality of the app.
Here's to the next two weeks and the developer and owner making good on our trusting him with hundreds of new orders coming his way.
Aug 06 2018
Update to my experience with using RocketTees.
Please understand my perspective is coming from a seasoned small business owner who is very tech savvy and has consulted hundreds of small businesses in all things tech, online, web apps, apps, digital art, design, UI, etc... Also note, I have high demands for production time, I expect a tee done in a certain amount of time. 7 days for a tee to go to production is not OK with me for some of my platforms I sell on, so I come at this with that expectation.
I've sent almost 2,000 t-shirt orders through Rocketees app in the last two months so far, and I can state unequivocally that Lucas, the owner has been 100% responsive to my every concern, feedback, quality issues (about 2% of orders so far have had issues where I've had to get manual interaction with Lucas's staff through lucas), suggestions for improvement, new material options, etc..
I absolutely am biased when it comes to owners like Lucas, as you can't find the quality of interaction like this in most companies, and that is due to an owner who believes in his own business concepts, ideas, growth, and integrity.
With that said, many challenges come about when the owner is wearing too many hats, and so far, as I've been a small part of this app's growth, I've been very impressed with my extensive background working with numerous entrepreneurs and business owners with Lucas's work, responsiveness, savvyness, and ability to meet the customer's (that's me) demands, questions, positive critiques, etc..
I'm writing this without re-reading my previous review above.
1 - Ownership is 100% engaged in business, responds quickly, and is actively trying to improve his app, and the use experience (that's me). I feel today like I have a partner in this effort to push t-shirt production through our site and other platforms more easily and cost effectively due to Rocketees.
2 - COMPARISON
Let's just be honest, submitting t-shirts is a pain. Nobody, I mean nobody has figured out a really time-effective way to make it easy on the small business owner. I have used various t-shirt production apps (around 10) over the last 1.5 years trying to find something that doesn't cost a crazy amount and makes it easy to just submit a darn t-shirt design without so many hiccups, bugs, and issues. Rocketees has by far been the most simply, no-bugs, app I've used as of yet. It isn't robust at all, i am still dreaming of an all-in-one solution, but as far as user friendliness and non-bugginess (Besides the wierd can't have spaces or hyphens in your file names still at upload), this app has beat any I have used so far.
3 - COST
I can't find a better cost unless I want to make my own t-shirt fulfilment center. Every business owner has to decide where they make their profit, and I was surprised upon finding rocketees the owner was attempting to do it this way, and I was concerned the quality of service and product would be poor due to the same, but i've watched now for two months how the quality and service has been inspiring - even better than the fastest growing printing companies (like theprintful) who charge quite a bit more for the exact same tee I can now get through Rocketees.
Lucas has something special going here and if he can maintain the growth, fine tune the processes with the staff human errors, and keep the same service and pricing while growing... he's gonna be one of the best apps out there.
This is also a con, but not much the app can do about it other than what they did about it with . my suggesting the same. The Gildan tee is a scratchy cheap material. A $6.00 tee (current cost of the tee through app) with flat rate $3.00 shipping, $9.00 out the door Gildan printed and shipped, is unbeatable by any other tee app, and local fulfilment for on demand printing. I've looked for years now.
Lucas has been very receptive of feedback and suggestions. I do come from a lot of user experience background and workign with other platforms and materials, so he was very open to offering us new brands, like the Bella Canvas. He still keeps his price at a very competitive rate for the softer Bella Canvas tees. I have to give him a high five and a little bit of admiration for being willing to tackle a new brand, that is no easy feat, as he offers the same colors, but all on demand, which is very hard to do at his type of rates, yet he did it, and now my clients are happier with the higher quality cotton tees Bella Canvas has to offer, now through his app.
5. PAYMENTS and CUSTOMER FEEDBACK BEFORE FULFILMENT
I don't know if Lucas meant for this to be this way, but if he did, it was genius on his part. The way his app works, is it charges your card for submitted and paid for orders at 1am MST each night. This allows you to have your customer's get a link to their tees, ask for a modification or give feedback if something doesn't look right (like a custom made tee), before some staff you'll never meet, working for Lucas starts making it for you.
Payments go through once a day, so far at 1am MST. This helps me know exactly what time I need to have the orders in that I want processed for the next day. (see also con below).
6. MOVING FORWARDNESS
I can't complain, as this business owner wants to grow and offer more. We asked and got yes or no each time, with an explanation and conversation as to why. I appreciate business like this vs. large production businesses, due to the quality and service difference. Yes the app isn't robust yet, but that so far has been a positive.
1. - FULFILLMENT TIME.
To be completely transparent, I've been on edge for the last few months, just enough to keep me holding my breath, as the promised 3 business day production then shipped to our customers has been met about 60% of the time so far. Where the average time from submission to shipped out to customer has been 5 to 7 days.
However, and that's a big HOWEVER, some of that is my fault, as I've had to learn how the app timing works and how his production process works with the app.
If I have a card payment failure (due to the bank not recognizing it for some reason, or number of transactions during the day from other activities in my business) then I have to wait another 24 hours to submit the orders from that day, which puts all orders from that day an entire business day behind in production. I've had to learn to stay up some nights after big order days, to just make sure the transaction processes correctly to then retire for the night. This has been resolved over time, but was a big frustration for the first month.
But I'm not here to complain as much as just admire the efforts made by Lucas and his staff as I have pushed them to meet what he promised and fix when issues arise, and the responsiveness is just unparalleled in most large businesses, where you are just another expendable customer.
I put this here as i've had to ask the question what type of client do i want, and at what cost savings? I'm transitioning away from the Gildan entirely, which almost made me not try this app at all. The Gildan is cheap, and feels cheap. Lucas added Bella Canvas after my suggesting the same via some research and customer demand. I'm very happy with the Bella Canvas that is now offered. I'm transitioning away from the Gildan, however we do sell quite a few of them, and I don't think he should be rid of them, but just offer better brands, esp. brands like BC whose cotton is much softer due to their process of combing the cotton.
3. GROWTH & FUTURE SUPPORT
I don't know where Lucas is physically. I'm ok with that, but also hesitate. The business address on file in Utah, is a few cities down from where I live and operate out of my own classy home office (convertated garage).
He writes great english replies. I am ok with no phone number to contact him, as that would take all his time (trust me I know and nobody get's my phone number unless necessary) - I get wearing many hats, and my concern is the support as more people use his app (it can literally be viral) and production times increase by 100 fold or so.
So my suggestion is that Lucas only accepts as many new app users as he can product within a week and stays smart as he grows and expands his services. I'm glad we found him, will stick with this app it appears for the future, and grow with his business, hopefully watching his app get better and possible products get more robust, all with his savings.
Lastly, I tend not to leave reviews like this on apps I love, as it is like shooting myself in the foot, but Lucas deserves the transparency and growth he is working hard for. I feel like i have a partner in my t-shirt business, rather than another endless on demand tee fulfillment app.