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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am very interested in starting a small business doing dye sub producing custom t-shirts other accessories for the paintball world as well as other local sports teams

I am starting to get a good handle on the pros and cons of dye sub so my question is really one that is more to the meat of the matter, which of these 2 printers is likely to be more suitable for me and give me the most during my startup

The initial cost of the c88 is obviously much lower but then u must get cartridges (low yield) or a bulk system (high price) and then on top of that theres the concern of the heads I used to be a business machines consultant and epson heads were always a headache for me constantly having to instruct or clean heads for people

The ricoh is obviously a much higher investment but thats all i know about them is there printing costs higher or lower than a c88 (cart and bulk system) do they also suffer from head issues ?

I will likely run the printer weekly but not daily when it is run it will likely be for a large run compared to hobby standards but small in the grand scheme of things

SO which of these do you feel is the best bang for the buck for someone just starting out

Side note how are those ebay heat presses for a guy starting out cheap looking to upgrade if and when i make some coin
 

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While I can only give you my opinion, as someone who has gone the Epson route in Dye-Sub before, if I was doing it today I'd buy the Ricoh, I really think it's a better system then refillable carts or a CIS system, there are a lot of folks here on TSF that are using the Ricoh with very little problems.

BTW - Dealers are not allowed to post prices in the open forum, only via PM.

JMHO
 

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unfortunately I don't think dealers can self promote and post all pricing...you need to go to their site.

As to your basic question..the C88+ is old technology and is going away..the Epsons are prone to clog when using sublimation ink and not used every day. And cost for a C88+..around $100 plus $75 each for 4 carts...you have an investment of $400... the Ricoh e3300 WITH sublimation ink is around the same price and you will not have the issues you get with Epsons...BTY..the newer Epsons have 5 carts (two black) ..so that increases cost ..the carts for the e3300 are about $60 each..less ink perhaps but last longer since you don't waste ink in head cleaning like you will do with Epsons.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
edited out the dealer comments and thanks for the help guys can anyone reccomend a decent press that compares to ebay pricing basically I would like to stay sub 500 in cdn money

Also the 3300 mentions that it can do long banners as well using the attachment I am guessing this is via rolled paper and this interests me as much as i love large format I am more likely to do long prints than long and wide also seems that buying something buy the roll could save u some cash as well
 

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First I would suggest that you outsource your printing to one of the several folks on this forum that will print the sheets for you in which you can then press to the substrate of your choice. This will reduce your start up cost and get a better handle on whether your sales can cover your expenses. You are targeting a market (paintball) that has virtually disappeared in the last 2 years. Paintball used to be over 90% of our business - currently it is less then 10%. If you are a custom apparel company that relys on paintball you can not survive with the sport where it is today and there is nothing to indicate the sport will turn around again in the near future. No matter what market you go after the real trick is sales and marketing - When we started years back we actually made nothing and outsourced everything. We set a goal where when we hit a specific number of custom jerseys sold per month we would bring it in-house. To be successful you need to sell then make it. You make it first hoping people will buy it you will in most cases fail.
 

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First I would suggest that you outsource your printing to one of the several folks on this forum that will print the sheets for you in which you can then press to the substrate of your choice. This will reduce your start up cost and get a better handle on whether your sales can cover your expenses. You are targeting a market (paintball) that has virtually disappeared in the last 2 years. Paintball used to be over 90% of our business - currently it is less then 10%. If you are a custom apparel company that relys on paintball you can not survive with the sport where it is today and there is nothing to indicate the sport will turn around again in the near future. No matter what market you go after the real trick is sales and marketing - When we started years back we actually made nothing and outsourced everything. We set a goal where when we hit a specific number of custom jerseys sold per month we would bring it in-house. To be successful you need to sell then make it. You make it first hoping people will buy it you will in most cases fail.
This sounds like very sound advice mark and I appreciate the input. I am the field manager of a paintball field so hitting my target audience will never be an issue as well we host the cxbl and I have very close ties to many of the teams. But I fully understand where u are coming from I have been playing this game for 26 yrs and it has its ups and downs thats for sure, currently here in southern ontario we are seeing an upswing with the fold of the axbl and other influences that might be slowing things down in the states we are getting the opposite here with many big name pros coming north of the border to play cxbl.

I hadn't considered outsourcing the printing and may be a very viable option for getting this started and make the money to pay for the printer. Is there a section specifically with users offering this service? I am however not just approaching this as a business but also from a hobby standpoint I would imagine its a lot like vinyl and can be a love hate relationship that will sometimes barely buy u a beer and other days u are eating at the keg but I am okay with that. I am not the type to have a narrow vision when it comes to target markets either. A friend is currently starting an all girl snowboard line of clothing and she is equally as eager for me to get a printer and I have a lot of friends who are in positions to help promote me but I know that quick turn around times and custom is going to be key for me so living without a printer for any length of time may be a hinderance for me as well

I do however seriously appreciate your input and hope that others who are starting out find this post to read what you have posted as it is great advice
 
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