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In researching, I've found that I cannot purchase blank items if I am not a printer
This is incorrect. Anyone can purchase blank t-shirts from places like cheapestees.com, blankshirts.com, etc.

To get true wholesale pricing, you will need a resale license (sellers permit) from your state. Then you can contact companies like sanmar.com, alphashirt.com, etc and buy the blanks wholesale.

The thing is, you don't really need to buy blanks and then send them to a printer (unless you're sure that your printer can't get the style you want). In my opinion, it's just adding one unnecessary step to the process, since your printer is already setup with a wholesale account at most places. They can buy the blanks and handle the printing all in one step. This also helps in the case of misprints, because a printer who is supplying the blanks will usually get enough to cover misprints, whereas, if you buy the blanks and there is a misprint, you may be short on your order. Misprints happen.

hen I read a post somewhere here that it's expensive to have a one-stop-shop, if you will. It's best to go direct and find you own suppliers.
I don't think this is true at all. I actually believe the opposite. I think it's much easier to find a good screen printer/embroiderer to work with and use them for all your needs (sourcing blanks, priting shirts, relabeling the shirts, etc). A lot of time people get cought up trying to source suppliers/vendors/printers that they take an extra long time to get the shirts printed up.

I prefer to just go to my printer, say "hey, can you get me some of these t-shirts I saw. I want to put this design on them". He'll say, "yep, let me setup a wholesale account with them (if he doesn't already have the wholesale account setup), and I'll get you the pricing in a bit".

Sometimes there is a few bucks to be saved by sourcing your own wholesale garments, but after you add shipping/misprints/etc, I'm not sure it's always worth it.
 
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