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Smartest Path To Take Right Now

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Old 1 Week Ago May 10, 2019 7:43:21 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Smartest Path To Take Right Now

Hello everyone,

I am new to the apparel business industry. My question is since my designs are of cars and quite complex what is the best method to start out? I prefer screen printing, but the designs I was told would be better to print direct to garment. Also the local print shop wanted 18$ a shirt direct to garment which leaves me with almost no margins. tee spring wanted about 16.50. I am just quite lost and not sure where to start. I wouldn't mind screen printing my own shirts, but as half of the designs for my store are complex car designs with many colors. I hope to have a quality product but at least net 8$ a sale.
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Old 1 Week Ago May 13, 2019 10:14:22 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Smartest Path To Take Right Now

I would make sure your designs will sell first. Lower your risk and go with the local print shop. Try to sell them at $25-30 first and see how it goes. After 1-2mo, try selling at $20.

From there you'll know if you have a business and how better to proceed.

You can also look into heat transfers to get your cost lower if you buy a bunch from someone like FM expressions.
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Old 1 Week Ago May 13, 2019 7:38:07 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Smartest Path To Take Right Now

Thanks for the insight. I worry that direct to garment shirts may not hold up very well and give my brand a bad name to start? What do you think about that? Is dtg that fragile?

Old 1 Week Ago May 13, 2019 8:21:49 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Smartest Path To Take Right Now

@Printavo made good suggestions about testing the market before trying to price and source for profit. It is cheaper to lose a bit of money testing the market than to lose a whole bunch of money on inventory that can't be sold.

Your designs could be screen printed; it just wouldn't be affordable at extremely low volumes. The more colors/screens required by your design, the larger your order quantity needs to be to keep the per unit cost down. Assuming your designs are essentially full color, that's a minimum of 5 screens (white underbase, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), or 8 if doing Hexachrome seps with an underbase.

The thing with DTG is that the per unit cost is the same for the first print as it is for the millionth, and it doesn't matter how many colors there are. But these prints will be expensive compared to a decent sized order of screen prints (or screen printed transfers). And the shirts will smell like a dead cat marinated in salty vinegar ... until they are washed (an inescapable part of the process caused by the pretreatment).

There are POD fulfillment houses (Printful, Printify, CustomCat, etc) that can print and ship the shirt direct to your customer for less than your local shop quoted. Just be sure to specify a good quality ringspun shirt for the blank. DTG looks like a$$ on cheap, coarse, low-end shirts.

EDIT: DTG is not overly fragile. But it does not have the "pop" of screen printing. It is best to preview your art and/or gamut test it against the CMYK color space (design and save as RGB). This gives a truer representation of what the actual print will look like ... something to consider when making your mockups (if you use mockups).
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