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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently using POD companies for my t shirts. I have been researching the heat press end of the t shirt business. The cost of the press is not an issue with me.
But the cost of the heat transfer paper is.
Am I correct in assuming (considering the cost of heat transfer paper) that I CAN NOT make a profit unless I deal in large orders? If I am correct, what would be considered a large enough order on which to make a decent profit.
Note: My shirts are ALL four color.
 

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I don't think that's true at all.

First, you need to understand your market. Small orders are usually more profitable per piece because you don't have people coming to you asking for discounts yet.

Second, you need to understand that not everybody is going to be your customer. Many times, you won't want them to be your customer. If they are trying to hit you up for the cheapest option available, there's no fun (or money) in that.

Now, figure out the cost of your shirt. If it's a 100% Cotton Tee, you might be buying them at $2.79 or higher in small quantities. This is the price you can get adult Gildan Tee's from Hobby Lobby. If you order online at least a dozen, you might find a lesser price, but that's for a later conversation.

A sheet of heat transfer material is likely going to run you between .75 and $1.00. Ink costs will be nominal, call them .25.

So, you have roughly $4.00 in costs. Somebody brings you a custom image/artwork and they want it on a shirt. You charge them $12.99. That's 8.99 in profit per shirt. They want 5 shirts. You cahrge them $10.99. You're still making $6.99 per shirt which is more than double your costs. They want 20 shirts. You charge them $9.99, but your costs for buy shirts has probably dropped a bit if you can get them online.

The point is, you first need to know your costs. Then you need to figure what you can get for a shirt. Custom shirts will sell for higher cost than generic shirts with a stand saying on them from Walmart or Target.

I do small orders and I usually at least double my costs. Every job is different, but pricing doesn't change much. If they want a higher quality shirt, just factor in the extra cost of the shirt and charge for it.

I hope this answers your question. If not, please try to elaborate so we can give you a better answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for all that good information.
Maybe I did not make it clear that I am talking about PRINTED transfer paper.
Is that what you are talking about when you say 75 cents per paper? From what I have been able to find out, it is difficult to purchase the printed transfer paper for less than $6.00 and that is if you purchase quantities of 20 transfers of the same image. My images are all four color.
 

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Thank you for all that good information.
Maybe I did not make it clear that I am talking about PRINTED transfer paper.
Is that what you are talking about when you say 75 cents per paper? From what I have been able to find out, it is difficult to purchase the printed transfer paper for less than $6.00 and that is if you purchase quantities of 20 transfers of the same image. My images are all four color.
He is talking about printing your own on something like JPSS, which is more like $1.60 to $2.00 a square foot. If you are doing plastisol transfers, I am not sure what the costs are, but obviously there would minimum order levels.
 

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Using a preprinted transfer is pricey unless you buy in quantity. Now I am not sure if you are talking about plastisol transfers but I will assume that since you stated it is a four color design so it makes me think it is.

However that is an assumption only. Now like I said if you are using plastisol type transfer then you need to order them in quantity and learn how to gang them as best as possible on a sheet. Meaning can you put more than one on a sheet by adjust position or size etc.

I do not usually do them but there is one design for halloween that we do and we order them in quantity to keep the price down..other wise it would be too expensive.

Now...I would say look at your design and decide if it can be done by a tarnsfer process like laser transfer...or even ink jet.

If you design is solid fills ( no grandients or shades.) I would seriously look at using ICLL and get an OKI 330 dn and do laser.

I have done DTG ( hated it..loved the results hated the process)..dabled in screen print and plastisols transfers...and then stuck with laser transfers.

If the design can be printed on white shirts or light shirts and has solid fills the ICLL paper and laser is a very solid option. I have many shirts that wear well with laser transfers.

However...if you are printing on black shirts than disregard the last 5 paragraphs. Your stuck at the moment with either plastisol or screening...or find a DTG guy but that would be stupid money so really DTG is out.

So what is your design..? What color shirts are you printing on? What exactly are you using for transfers pre printed..plastisol...or...?

Otherwise we are guessing
 

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I don't think that's true at all.

First, you need to understand your market. Small orders are usually more profitable per piece because you don't have people coming to you asking for discounts yet.

Second, you need to understand that not everybody is going to be your customer. Many times, you won't want them to be your customer. If they are trying to hit you up for the cheapest option available, there's no fun (or money) in that.

Now, figure out the cost of your shirt. If it's a 100% Cotton Tee, you might be buying them at $2.79 or higher in small quantities. This is the price you can get adult Gildan Tee's from Hobby Lobby. If you order online at least a dozen, you might find a lesser price, but that's for a later conversation.

A sheet of heat transfer material is likely going to run you between .75 and $1.00. Ink costs will be nominal, call them .25.

So, you have roughly $4.00 in costs. Somebody brings you a custom image/artwork and they want it on a shirt. You charge them $12.99. That's 8.99 in profit per shirt. They want 5 shirts. You cahrge them $10.99. You're still making $6.99 per shirt which is more than double your costs. They want 20 shirts. You charge them $9.99, but your costs for buy shirts has probably dropped a bit if you can get them online.

The point is, you first need to know your costs. Then you need to figure what you can get for a shirt. Custom shirts will sell for higher cost than generic shirts with a stand saying on them from Walmart or Target.

I do small orders and I usually at least double my costs. Every job is different, but pricing doesn't change much. If they want a higher quality shirt, just factor in the extra cost of the shirt and charge for it.

I hope this answers your question. If not, please try to elaborate so we can give you a better answer.
Why don't you look at a small vinyl cutter and a heat press, even a Cricut should do the job. Also buy an Epson XP-620 (or similar), transfer paper for light and dark shirts from a place like Heat Press Nation. And find a local contract screen printer for larger jobs.
 

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Thanks guys. I get what you mean

What I do is have a heat press and vinyl cutter. It is very cheap and simple for 1 or 2 colour designs. And min quantity does not affect me costings


If my customer wants full colour, or an intricate design, I will outsource to a company that does vinyl digital prints and I'll heat press it myself on my own shirts. Their min order is x10. And there's no messing around, pretty much get the vinyl transfers from the mailbox and heat press them on!
 
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