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What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

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Old July 12th, 2019 Jul 12, 2019 7:05:21 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

You've got a great new client, but they want to supply their own t-shirts and garments for screen printing. This is actually risky – but it's a common occurrence since customers believe they're saving money by supplying their own t-shirts. So, what should you do? Mike Chong from Merch Monster talks through the expensive lessons he's learned from printing on customer-supplied t-shirts and garments:

  1. Physically inspect the garments. If you can't do this, at least get the specific manufacturer and style number so you can inspect the garments.
  2. Get a complete account of what your client will supply. Whether this is an invoice from a wholesaler or a simple list, be sure the customer supplies you with a written and documented count of everything they'll provide.
  3. Watch out for polyblend garments. Some expensive (Adidas, Nike, etc.) brands use aggressive dyes. Even if you use a bleed blocker, you may still encounter dye migration. Be sure you're familiar with the garment or have experience with it.
  4. Have the customer make intake easier – or pay for the time it takes to intake garments. Unfolding, unpacking, organizing the garments into separate jobs...either make the customer pay for this service or have them do it.
  5. Don't print on t-shirts and garments that have already been worn. "Even if they've been washed, it's just gross. No one wants that."
  6. Mitigate your risk. There are a lot of unknowns and variables to control in screen printing. When you don't control the garments, you need to mitigate the risk by doing your own due diligence.
  7. Turn away jobs that aren't a slam dunk. If you're on the fence about a job or think customer supplied garments might cause a problem, don't hesitate to do what's best. A misprinted job on customer supplied garments leaves you liable for a lot of damage!

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=130mwgRJtV0
 
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Old July 12th, 2019 Jul 12, 2019 7:44:24 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

Don't do it. Never, ever. T's are what, a buck or 2 but they will give you the cheapest crap they can find.

If you do take that risk then all, ALL, misprints are on them and then you can fire them. It will happen. Good luck and don't do it.

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Old July 13th, 2019 Jul 13, 2019 6:27:57 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

That's like bringing your own food in a restaurant for them to cook.
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Old July 14th, 2019 Jul 14, 2019 7:02:20 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

Quote:
Originally Posted by proworlded
That's like bringing your own food in a restaurant for them to cook.

I have used that saying for years and I am still surprised how people look at me when I say it. It's the look of your crazy I would never do that- yet the can't seem to connect the dots- bring in your own shirts is the same thing.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago Sep 16, 2019 2:32:22 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

We charge a 75˘ per piece Garment Charge for customer supplied garments and we tell them that the generally accepted industry standard on print errors is 2-5% (which we cover on the garments that we supply, but not on customer supplied garments.)

Then if I decide to give them a break on part of the Garment Charge or if I rectify a printing error - it is all in the realm of good customer relations (which I usually do anyway.)
 
Old 3 Weeks Ago Sep 16, 2019 3:15:18 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

No means no. You might lose an order but in the long run it won't cost you. If you take the time to explain to the customer what possible problems could occur they should take your advice, if not are they really worth it and are they really someone you want do provide a service to. I have a very limited supply chain for everything and it's my choice but I get a price that I'm comfortable with. Putting another way it's my job to get the customer to want to do business with me and to trust me to make them happy with what I provide. When the customer wants to interfere with production and costs then you better look at what your charging because a satisfied customer wouldn't all of a sudden change if they were happy before.
 
Old 3 Weeks Ago Sep 16, 2019 4:44:27 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

I would strongly advise against it if there are any problems or issues it is your fault, no matter what you charge it will always be too much (in their opinion). Just be nice and professional of course let them know it's a company policy and printing may not produce the same results as when you are working on items that you are used to.
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Sep 22, 2019 7:57:53 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

I agree its typically a no no for me as well. However when they insist I tell them to order or bring extra shirts due to the potential for errors because Im not replacing any shirts that may get damaged. With those order I take extra precaution to avoid the errors.
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Sep 22, 2019 10:20:16 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

We just don't go there any more. For one, they are cutting you out on the spiff for the shirt. Then there are misprints, then there is the quality of the stuff brought to you. Being close to Los Angeles whenever we get supplied garments they are almost always from DTLA and almost always seconds. We will put HTV, Rhinestones on them or embroider them but that is about it. We also find that if they bring 50 shirts they won't all be the same brand or even material.

One more thing about customer supplied shirts. If they buy them retail they may have a treatment on them that you won't have wholesale. They may have Teflon or starch on them which may complicate things.

Just me, we are busy enough we don't need that aggravation.
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Old 1 Week Ago Sep 24, 2019 9:39:04 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

We just visited another shop and they don't upcharge t's, they just make their print costs higher. That way it doesn't matter who buys the shirts.
 
Old 1 Week Ago Sep 24, 2019 12:01:11 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

I would like to say in the end it is the same thing but it isn't. Just upping printing charges doesn't take into account the higher cost of anything but the standard standard guy shirt. We take a different look at it, we price on value, not as a commodity. When you price as a commodity you lose pricing power and give it to your customers. We price on value and we do not get every order but we get the profitable orders and leave the unprofitable ones to our competition.
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Old 1 Week Ago Sep 25, 2019 1:11:23 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

I only ever do it for trade only customers, min 100 pieces, usually for embroiderers, but also some sign shops. Only if they supply genuine imprint brands, with a slight over run for misprints. All artwork supplied 'camera ready'.



I find there are a couple of benifits for me.

Firstly, I charge them my regular print price, without giving any trade discount/wholesale pricing. They get to make the mark up on the garment plus whatever they need to add on top.
Secondly, I don't have to deal with the end user or prepare artwork, which more than compensates for the loss of mark-up on the garment.
 
Old 9 Hours Ago Oct 7, 2019 7:37:21 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

We've stopped accepting customer supplied garments. When we began screen printing we had a policy of no price break - so if you bring it in, we still charge you for the shirt. Then we added a customer "sign-off" sheet saying we weren't responsible for damages. Then over time when you're dealing with previously customized shirts that someone wants their name added to ($50-60 retail item brought in new) it finally dawned on us that the loss would be much greater than any potential profit, so it goes in the "It's just not worth it" category, if only for the added stress of such jobs. We no longer do one-offs and we no longer take in supplied garments. We provide a service for customers that we can both benefit from - we make a profit and the customer gets the decorated garments they want in a timely fashion.

I'm also amazed at how many people come in asking us to REMOVE decoration and put something else on, or put vinyl over screen print, or remove embroidery stitches, etc. NO!
 
Old 51 Minutes Ago Oct 7, 2019 4:38:28 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What To Know: Screen Printing On Customer Supplied T-shirts

Quote:
Originally Posted by abetterimage
I'm also amazed at how many people come in asking us to REMOVE decoration and put something else on, or put vinyl over screen print, or remove embroidery stitches, etc. NO!
Yuppers. We just don't do it. We can offer a patch to go over it but advise that it will look like what it is and that usually ends that.
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