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Discussion Starter #1
What's up guys? Probably the wrong post to ask this question but here it goes. I would like to just try to purchase the equipment (press/stencils), order a few cases of blank t's and then print out some catchy/funny sayings I have been thinking of for awhile. Can I just start with that or am I being naive? What does a good press cost? Thank you all again for any help forthcoming!!
 

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While you can start with that, I'd recommend getting your designs screen printed if you are not really sure yet if this business is for you or not. If you tees don't sell, you'll only be stuck with tees instead of tees and equipment.

Also it's really a good idea to make at least a basic business plan, as in, how much money are you going to spend, and on what, what you are going to sell, who are you going to sell it to (what kind of customer) how you will market the shirts to that customer, where you will sell the shirts, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
By screen printing you mean take whatever idea's I have for the shirts to a printer who will make the shirts for me and then see how I do from there? Do I find a screen printer online or are they readily available in most cities? Thanks again.
 

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Also, I do not have any graphics for my shirt's I just have sayings/words. Does that make a difference?
Doesn't matter.. they can print pretty much anything you want. The smaller the size of the print and the fewer number of colours, the cheaper it will be.

You can either take your shirts to them or purchase the blank shirts directly from them.

You can find them online or under the yellow pages in the "Screen Printing" section. Personally I prefer using a local company because you can go talk to them in person about your ideas and they can advise you accordingly. You will also save on shipping charges.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will print maybe 10-15 shirts of each idea (4-5), then set up an ebay account or try to find a local merchant who will allow me to sell my shirts in his/her store. I will also give a few shirts free to friends to hopefully start some buzz. Any other idea's as far as selling my product? You have been most helpful, if you get annoyed with me just tell me to beat it!!
 

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If it's ok with you, I'm gonna edit your equation a bit:

(Blank T's + Heat Press + Printer + Pigmented Ink + Transfer Paper + Catchy Phrases) + (Capital X 3) + (a Good Business Plan + Marketing + Networking) + (40 Hour Work Week X 0.5) = Selling T's . . ....... maybe
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My equation (thank you for your imput), was related to what are the bare essentials that I will need just to see if my idea's would be accepted by the general public. Something to do so I can get my feet wet without jumping all the way into a business. I want to try some of my idea's out and see if they will sell, if that turns out successful then I would (maybe), take the next step.
 

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haha I understand, just giving you a long term equation of what you'll be looking at for starting up a new business adventure.

Basically, all you need is a printer, a heat press, some transfer paper, and some shirts. I have been recommended the Epson c120, numerous heat presses (Hix, HotTronix, Phoenix Phire, and the SunIE heat press for a cheapy), and JPSS transfer paper for white shirts. This is basically what I'm going to start with to give it a go. Hope that helps!
 

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No.... dont go to a screen printer for several different designs in small quantities. You go to a custom plastisol printer that makes your transfers via gang sheets. All you need is a heatpress, blank tees and proper artwork. If you find you have a hot selling design then you contract a screen printer, print quantity, reduce cost and increase profit.

Go take a look at Ace Transfers for custom plastisol transfers. Look at the gang sheets and pricing for one color designs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you. I do not have any designs whatsoever. I just have (what I think) are some funny saying, quote's, snippets, what have you. I really just want to see how people will respond to my sense of humor. So I need a heatpress, blank t's, and whatever it is (stencil?), that puts the words onto the shirt? Sorry I am so ignorant to all of this.
 

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I will print maybe 10-15 shirts of each idea (4-5)
As the others have mentioned, 10-15 is not the best qty for screen printing. If you can up that to 25 or more, then screen printing should be ok.

Yes, you can do heat press, yes, you can get into that whole thing.. but realistically speaking, if you just want to get your feet wet without jumping in, screen printing is the best because, as I said before, if you decide you don't want to do this after all, you will not be stuck with equipment.
 

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So I looked at on of the web sites recommended, Ace Transfers. I am having some difficult naviagting the sight since I do not have a firm grasp on the vocabulary. Is it possible to contact a company, tell them what I want each shirt to read, how many I want and then have them ship it to me? You said 25 shirts is the minimum to make it work, is that 25 of each idea (four or five)? Thanks again.
 

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Stuck with equipment is not the right ideology. You can sell a heatpress quite easily on e-bay, craigslist or right here on this forum. The best way to test the waters with a quality print, 4-5 designs in multiples of 10-15 is plastisol transfers and gang sheets. You dont have to stock all those blank tees and can print on demand. The prints are pro and the only equipment is an easily sold heatpress.
 

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I would also caution giving friends shirts to test the waters. Friends love to get free clothes however rarely do they bring you business :) You can easily lose money by giving your product away for free. Maybe give them a deal, some kind of discount, but I would not give them away.
 

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I wanted to put this out to you guys, it was in a private email to me, which made me think it was maybe a bit shady.

Hi, I saw your post. If you send me your email address I can send you links where you can get t-shirts for between 1-2 dollars and transfers as low as .40 each. I'll include a link for some free software to design t-shirts too and some other things. If you want to print anything that has a little better look I can print it for you on my DTG printer. I do this for some other companies now. No setup charge like a screen printer but on bigger runs a screen printer can be a little cheaper per shirt but they charge extra for every color and can't do good quality graphics.
 

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So score a heat press, plastisol transfers??, gang sheets and some plain t's and I am ready to get started? Do I just stencil out the saying/slogan/quote or whatever I have onto one of these items and then press that onto a t? Thanks again.
 

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I wanted to put this out to you guys, it was in a private email to me, which made me think it was maybe a bit shady.

Hi, I saw your post. If you send me your email address I can send you links where you can get t-shirts for between 1-2 dollars and transfers as low as .40 each. I'll include a link for some free software to design t-shirts too and some other things. If you want to print anything that has a little better look I can print it for you on my DTG printer. I do this for some other companies now. No setup charge like a screen printer but on bigger runs a screen printer can be a little cheaper per shirt but they charge extra for every color and can't do good quality graphics.
They probably sent it to you via PM because we don't allow members to solicit sales or offer their services in the forum threads.

All the info mentioned in the PM can be found here in the forums as well with a little searching :)

So score a heat press, plastisol transfers??, gang sheets and some plain t's and I am ready to get started? Do I just stencil out the saying/slogan/quote or whatever I have onto one of these items and then press that onto a t? Thanks again.
When you read up on plastisol transfers, you'll get a better idea of how they work and how they are made:

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/t-shirt-crossover-diary-heat-press-newbie/t13204.html

You don't make them yourself, you get a company to make them for you.

I don't think "stencils" will be part of your t-shirt making process at all. Or maybe it's just a terminology confusion kinda thing.
 

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For transfers, you're not really using a stencil. You print an image onto a paper, cut around your image (so you're not printing the whole paper), and press that onto a shirt. I suggest looking up some threads on this forum under the Heat Pressing Discussion part:

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t37985.html

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t48532.html

Heat Press and Heat Transfers - T-Shirt Forums

T-Shirt Crossover - diary of a heat press newbie - T-Shirt Forums
 

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Thank you. I do not have any designs whatsoever. I just have (what I think) are some funny saying, quote's, snippets, what have you. I really just want to see how people will respond to my sense of humor. So I need a heatpress, blank t's, and whatever it is (stencil?), that puts the words onto the shirt? Sorry I am so ignorant to all of this.
When people say "designs", that equals "slogan", "quotes", "sayings" or basically "whatever you want to put on your t-shirt"

There are many ways you can put slogans/quotes/sayings on t-shirts:


  • Screen Printing
  • Plastisol Transfers
  • Inkjet Transfers
  • Vinyl Transfers
  • Direct to Garment printing
You don't have to print them yourself, you can just outsource the printing to someone who is already setup with the right equipment.

If you want to do it yourself, you need to research each of those methods, check out the pros/cons/investment costs of each, and decide how you want to move forward:

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t37985.html

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t48532.html#post286215

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t57379.html

If you're just "testing", the outsourcing the printing can be a good way to go. That way you don't have to open up wholesale accounts at blank t-shirt wholesalers or have to worry about learning a printing process.

You just design and send your designs (quotes/slogans/etc) to the printer. They deliver you finished t-shirts that you can sell however you want to.

You can read more about staring a t-shirt company here:
start related topics at T-Shirt Forums

Keep in mind, that even with slogans or words, to get them printed, you will usually have to put those words into a graphics program. Screen Printers, DTG printers, Heat transfer folks print from graphic files, not from desktop software like Microsoft Word.

So you'll need to type those words/quotes/sayings you want into a graphics program like photoshop/paint shop pro/etc and save it as a graphics file and send that to a printer (or use that graphic file to print it yourself depending on which route you select)
 
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