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[Anajet] High ink cost and wholesale pricing

 
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Old November 15th, 2009 Nov 15, 2009 9:12:37 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default High ink cost and wholesale pricing

We are about a month into owning our SPRINT, and are finding the ink costs to be astronomical. We’re wondering if anyone out there has had this same experience.

We were told by Anajet (and it’s posted on their website; see http://www.anajet.com/fin.html ) the ink costs for a white shirt would be about $.60/shirt, and for a black shirt with white base and color on top about $2.25, which would be acceptable. Additionally we were told that those cartridges should last anywhere from 150-200 shirts.

However, we blew through the first set of four white cartridges very quickly. At best we only got about 45 shirts, including errors (you’ve gotta love the learning curve!). But of course this included the initial ink charges to get the machine going for the first time, which were numerous. We also, had been mistakenly printing white ink at “Heavy 2”. While struggling with the humidity (the 45-55% range doesn’t work well at all. So much for the “operating range” of 45-85%!) we also had to do MANY head cleans and a few ink purges of several white channels.

All that had been dealt with by the time we installed our second set of white cartridges. We now use “Medium 2” as a standard setting for white. We maintain a humidity level of 60%-70% at all times, and combined with daily printing and weekly maintenance have reduced our need for so many nozzle checks and print purges.

This would lead me to believe that our white ink cartridges would, from then on, last considerably longer. When the new cartridges were installed, I weighed them and the spent ones each on a postal scale. New ones weigh in at 7 ounces, while spent ones weigh between 3-3.5 ounces. Translation: at best we get four ounces of ink for $84. This fact alone is infuriating.

As of today we have printed 45 shirts on the new set of cartridges, and they weigh about 4 ounces each. In essence, I’ve used 3 ounces from them and got 45 shirts, so using this average, I will only be able to get 60 shirts (15 shirts per ounce) from the full set. This translates to a cost of $5.60 each, not including the color layer if used!!! ($84 x 4 cartridges = $336/60 shirts = $5.60)

At this rate I don’t see how wholesaling shirts using white ink is even possible. This is extremely upsetting considering that 1) Anajet represents that wholesaling black shirts is possible, 2) Wholesale was part of my original business model, and 3) It is very unrealistic to expect every possible customer to be happy using a white or natural colored shirt (this is also a problem since we are doing our own original designs and many of them work best or were designed for black shirts).

I am looking for other Anajet owners’ experiences with these cost and pricing issues. Any suggestions as to how to keep your white ink costs down (while still being able to print with it, obviously) would be very much appreciated; i.e, alternative ink sources, different settings that still yield good results, etc.

Thanks, Jason
 
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Old November 16th, 2009 Nov 16, 2009 6:03:02 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

I can say that printing CMYK only, the $.60 per shirt average is accurate. I did a job of around 1,200 shirts in the spring, and was real close to that, including the head cleans. I printed with a Vivid 2 setting.

Using white ink has been more expensive, but I've been getting more than 60 shirts out of a set of 4 cartridges. I usually print with a Medium 3 setting using the "Speed" option. I have a current job that uses a smoke effect, and the "Super Fine" option with a Medium 2 works better for that one. The smoke areas use a very light ink drop, and I get a little banding unless I bump the coverage. The Heavy 2 setting that AnaJet suggests has only worked for me when I get perfect nozzles from my white, which doesn't happen that often. And it doesn't put down enough white ink for my tastes.

I would think that you wouldn't want to sell a black shirt for less than $9 if you're doing a full front print. The pirate design that AnaJet has, uses about $2.50, but notice that it doesn't cover that much of the shirt. The shirt color shows through for most of the print area. So you may be using $5 of ink if you're printing a solid area that is covering most of the shirt. Also, using the content box is helpful when printing darker colors. Ian did a nice study on this that he posted on the AnaJet forums.

I hope this helps. It's hard to quanify ink costs when we all print different designs with different coverages, so doing your own study of costs will be most beneficial to you. Then set your prices accordingly. I've said this many times on these forums, I've been profitable every month that I've owned my AnaJet. Is the ink expensive? Definitely, but DTG shouldn't be sold side by side with screen printing. DTG is it's own market, and if you fill your art with color, the customer won't mind spending a little extra.
 
Old November 16th, 2009 Nov 16, 2009 8:15:15 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

So approximately how many shirts do you get from a set of 4 cartridges (with say, a 10 x 10 image that does not utilize 100% white coverage)?
 
 
Old November 16th, 2009 Nov 16, 2009 2:39:27 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Hi, I'm an AnaJet Sprint customer and have also experienced a significant difference in what I planned for ink usage and what I'm actually experiencing. I wonder if AnaJet can publish a more current/accurate estimate and/or lower the price of their ink. Everyone who starts a DTG-based business does so based on fundamental spreadsheet analysis with assumptions provided by their vendor.
 
Old November 16th, 2009 Nov 16, 2009 8:21:39 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Over the last 2 years the average is pretty accurate, but I have control over what I print. I make suggestions and steer clients to purchase something that is affordable for them and profitable to me. Jason is doing the right thing by measuring his ink usage. Average is just that, and if you are doing "wholesale" you cannot rely on average.... You need to know your cost in materials AND time. Printing white ink is time consuming. Ask yourself how many shirts per hour can you print? How much ink can you use in that time? Without the mark-up of the garment, How much money do you need to charge to pay yourself, the note on your equipment, any and all overhead? The cost to do a job is directly related to the size and coverage....very similar to what embroiderers have to deal with. One must learn that in the preparation of artwork, you have some control on the satisfaction of the client and the profitability of the job. Learn what the settings do and how you can effect the quality and the cost and time to run the job.

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Old November 17th, 2009 Nov 17, 2009 3:07:27 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Doing darks on Anajet is more like $4 average plus pretreatment, I had noticed this, and everyone I talked to said same. The $2.50 garbage they pulled that right outta their well we wont get into that.
As for 60 cents for lights, give me a break, closer to $1 to $1.20, but depends on design to.
I know that on my new machine, ink cost is cheap than Anajet and I still see average ink cost to be about 80 cents, these are real world cost, and I do work for all types of people.

Just remember, Anajet prob. made 9 grand selling you machine but they are make another 50bux for every cart. they sell to ya, so sounds like they made close to 400bux in a month : )

As for doing wholesale darks, dont bother cost of production,ink ect. you'll loose money
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Old November 17th, 2009 Nov 17, 2009 3:32:15 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbigjack50
As for 60 cents for lights, give me a break, closer to $1 to $1.20, but depends on design to.
I'm going to suggest that you use the "in my experience" qualifier in your future posts. Those of us that have been around here for awhile are very familiar with your distaste for anything AnaJet. That's ok, and I'm glad you're doing well with your Brother, but you just aren't correct regarding the average ink costs.

It may be true that "in your experience" your costs were that high. Like I said in my previous post (in not so many words), this whole discussion hinges on the size of the design, the amount of coverage, and the amount of ink being laid down. You may have had ink costs that high, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us don't.

I did 1,200 shirts of the same design, printed Medium Vivid 2, and my ink cost was between $.60-$.75. My image was 7.2" wide by 12.5" tall and was a mixture of text and a child's crayon drawing. It was full coverage, but the crayon stroke was lighter than a spot color would be.

I'll play by the same rules...this was "my experience", which happened to match AnaJet's estimates.
 
Old November 17th, 2009 Nov 17, 2009 4:57:07 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

[quote=23spiderman;595201]I'm going to suggest that you use the "in my experience" qualifier in your future posts. Those of us that have been around here"


Sorry Sean but I been here longer than you, I have had that machine longer than you and I also have printed more diverse kinda shirts than you.
I also have come to my conclusion of know many people that said same thing about there ink cost.
Not just me but oh 20 or more people so I think basing on a statistic of 20 plus versus 2 aint gonna give same results now is it.

I also came to conclusion based on ink cost, not machine.
I stated also a true fact about the ink hell I lied your right, it cost they make more than I stated prob because they charge 20 bucks more for there white even though really cost than 5 bux more.

This ink cart. over price thing aint just with Anajet, all ink cart are a scam end of story, how companies make there money.
Giving this guy a true view on things as I original bought my machine for wholesale and only do wholesale.

Giving him real world facts, not sugar coated advice
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Old November 17th, 2009 Nov 17, 2009 8:48:34 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Hey BigJack, Be nice now. It looks to me as if you both joined the same month there......

Average is average. If one shop prints large bold, high coverage prints, their "average" will be higher. If another prints kid clothing or dog sweaters, theirs will be lower. Obviously, some one had to come up with a figure. When I joined this brotherhood, The only MFG that published was USPIT. I would go to trade booths and check out all the vendors. I checked here and other forums. There is more than enough info out there to understand that: 1) image size matters 2) settings matter, 3) artwork matters and 4) knowlege on how the process works matters. If I look back to the begining, yes I ruined more shirts, yes I used a lot of ink. Did I make a good decision getting this printer? Yes. I may not have felt that way sometimes, but as you can see from my membership, I was here 6 months before I even bought. I was comfortable with the fact that this printer could do what I needed it to do.

Now... back to the subject. Wholesale. You're taking a t-shirt (1.50 to 3) and embelishing it for a price that your customer will resale for a profit. It's easy to recieve 25 shirts, use .45 of ink/pe shirt and spend less than an hour...and charge 3 to 4 bucks a print. This is decent money. Now do this on dark shirts... suddenly you are using 4 times the ink, and printing half as fast. Your "wholesale" customer is looking at price point. He doesn't want to pay you 4X ink and 2X your labor and you certainly don't want to work for less. If you sell retail and take a $3 piece of fabric and sell it for $15-20 you are in a much better place. Jason, If you are going to sell wholesale, you need to quantify your costs. If there is an "average" or 3 levels of average(large, medium and small print?) and some kind of hourly throughput goals, this in my oppinion is how I would approach that. I totally agree, that ink cost is a big factor, but speed may be more important. "How many shirts, with this size print can I print per hour?" "Am I covering the ink cost and my wages?"

Ian
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Old November 17th, 2009 Nov 17, 2009 10:21:23 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Oh Ian you always got a way with word and I love ya for that : )
Yea my apologizes we did come here at the same time, I wore he came on in 2009, must of been thinking of someone else, my apologizes Sean2 Ha.

I get what your saying Ian about "average" price but come on, are we gonna believe what the manufacturer says about average ink cost....
You think manufacturers are honest? I say this about "all" companies, no particular one, and like I said these companies will sel there machines at cost, jut so they can sell you ink to you after for a lifetime.
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Old November 18th, 2009 Nov 18, 2009 6:08:09 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

Having printed thousands of shirts and dealt with folks who have printed hundreds of thousands of shirts I can testify that the average light garment on an Espson based direct to garment printer uses .5-2 ml of ink (you will need to apply your per ml cost of ink to get cost). The same design on a dark garment will use 8-12 times that amount - typically in the 10-20 ml range - more if there is a lot of white areas showing (again apply your per ml pricing - which is 1/1000 of liter pricing - or, if you use a cartridge that has 100 ml of ink in it and it costs $80 - your ml cost is 80 cents - you get the idea). Add to this the cost of pre-treatment - based on about $100 per liter for pre-treatment - the average full front coverage of Dupont pre-treatment, when properly applied is about 25 cents (if your pre-treatment cost $50/gal - divide by 2, if it is $200/gal - multiply by 2).

I am assuming one main thing here, which I think is defendable, a garment with a given image on it that looks the same and is printed with similar type printers (in this case Epson based direct to garment printers) - will take very close to the same amount of ink & pre-treatment to generate the same output. You can do the math from here.
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Old November 18th, 2009 Nov 18, 2009 6:23:51 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

What was average image size? 10x12 is way to small i have always found out to be "average print size"
Maybe good for kids clothe but I see more of image need to be about 11x14 or 12 by 14

You also need to put in factor that, in past year I see me using twice as many 2xl garments than I did previous year, possibly factoring, American get fatter dilemma haha..
Try to put a 10x12 image on an XL or 2XL .. will look like a chest print.

Another way I view how most companies that sell ink in "Cart" mislead by there ink per page cost as they factor it is 5 or 10 percent ink coverage.
Simpler real world proof is.. Roland Printer company mentions average ink about 30cent per sq ft and it reality its more like 50cents using there inks as most thing you print will have 60 to 80 percent coverage.
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Old November 18th, 2009 Nov 18, 2009 6:28:06 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

My example would cover a wide gamut of image coverages. The most I have ever seen used on a light garment was a full 12" x 18" copy of a poster - virtually no white shirt showing - consumed a little less than 3 ml of ink. Same image printed on a black shirt used about 25 ml of ink. Thus my wide range of consumption rates. I am highly confident in the 8-12 times multiplier for light to dark garments.
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Old November 18th, 2009 Nov 18, 2009 8:50:30 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

A lot of the RIPs / drivers in the dtg market will allow the user to see exactly how much CMYK and White ink used for a specific design. However, this does not take into account ink that is lost during a cleaning cycle or when the firmware tells the printer to spit ink out of all the ink channels in the maintenance station. I agree with Don's numbers that you will use approximately 8 to 12 times the amount of white ink as you do with CMYK ink on Epson printers. For the printers that use a higher viscosity inks (i.e. Kornit & Brother), the ratio is lower because they are able to have more pigment and less carrier solution.

There is some great information above. It all shows that in the end, you need to run your own tests to determine what you target market / customers have for an average design. Don't really on the numbers posted by anyone else.

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Old November 19th, 2009 Nov 19, 2009 7:16:10 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: High ink cost and wholesale pricing

The amount of ink used on a specific print is important. Another important thing, and I don't think it's been discussed here yet, is how much each ounce or milliliter of ink costs and how that can affect your profitability.

The Anajet cartridges hold 110 ml of ink. The price for CMYK colors is $64 for each Anajet cartridge. Those who have printers using bulk ink bottle systems can get 250 ml of ink, more then double the amount, for close to that same $64 price. Because you pay more then double for your ink you will always have a disadvantage compared to your competitors who buy ink in bulk containers.

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