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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible?

I've been trying to work out if I could compete with local screen printers on price by using plastisol transfers. I'm still not sure as I am yet to get any local quotes to compare but thought I'd share some of my results : Indirect Screen Printing Quote . What do these prices look like to the screen printers here?

I am comparing the prices from 5 transfer suppliers by working out how many designs I can gang together on one sheet (all the suppliers seem to use a different size sheet and have different price breaks) and choosing the cheapest supplier for the particular job. It's a bit of a complicated process but I have designed it in such a way as to guarantee at least a certain amount of profit per job.

Are the prices I have come up with in the right ballpark?

Is anybody out there managing to compete with screen printers using plastisol transfers?
 

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I can't speak on Europe pricing, but your biggest obstacle will be time. How long will your jobs take when you have to wait for your transfers versus a screen printer who can have them done as soon as a day?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thats a good point, rush jobs would be out of the question. A quick search online leads me to believe most screen printers have a 1 to 2 week turnaround so it should be do-able within that timeframe, afterall once the transfers are in it wouldn't take long to press them. I have considered getting the kit and doing it myself but don't really have the room and don't want to deal with all the mess. Plus if it is viable to do it this way it would be a lot less work :)

I suppose one benefit of doing it this way would be for repeat orders, all of the transfer companies have minimums and I'm pricing in another 5% transfers in case I make an error with the press so I'd have quite a few left over after most small-medium size jobs (eg. chest logos). If a repeat order came in and I had enough transfers left over I could bang them out quicker than any screen printer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats right, but if I can compete on price and still extract a healthy profit then it's win/win. The customer gets an affordable high quality screen printed garment and I get paid. It does add another step in the production but thats the price to pay for being able to gang the designs and save on production costs and (hopefully) be able to compete without getting covered in ink. I guess I could sub the work out to a screen printer and just concentrate on bringing in customers but I don't see there being much profit there and it's not like I could undercut the competition and sub the work out to them, I can't imagine I'd be in business long.
 

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Thats right, but if I can compete on price and still extract a healthy profit then it's win/win. The customer gets an affordable high quality screen printed garment and I get paid. It does add another step in the production but thats the price to pay for being able to gang the designs and save on production costs and (hopefully) be able to compete without getting covered in ink. I guess I could sub the work out to a screen printer and just concentrate on bringing in customers but I don't see there being much profit there and it's not like I could undercut the competition and sub the work out to them, I can't imagine I'd be in business long.
I am not sure what you mean by the "gang the designs" but I think plastisol transfers expires in about 6 months (depending on many variables like ink thickness, storage, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Design is the key, people pay for good design, not whether it is screenprinted etc.
I agree design is important but to me the quality of the finished product is just as important. Although thats not the only reason I'm considering this method, price is also a major factor and screen printing is the only way to keep the costs at a reasonable level (when dealing with quantity). With smaller orders and simple designs I'd use vinyl where possible.
 

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I am not sure what you mean by the "gang the designs" but I think plastisol transfers expires in about 6 months (depending on many variables like ink thickness, storage, etc).
I would be mainly be targeting companies wanting shirts with their logo on, by "gang the designs" I mean I could probably fit 20 - 40 on one transfer sheet (depending on the size) so I could keep the costs down.

About 15 years ago I had a summer job where I'd heat press stock plastisol transfers to order, they were just stored under the press in drawers, I know some of them were at least 5 years old. I read a thread on here the other day where somebody found one they purchased in the 70's and applied it without issue so I'm not really concerned about them expiring, but if they did I'd just throw them away, there would be no financial loss.

What do you think about the pricing? I'd like to be in line with the average price and have room to decrease the price if necessary.
 

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I can't comment on the pricing as I live in the Philippines.

Your experience with plastisol transfers is a little more reassuring. I wanted to try plastisol transfers but was told what I just posted - that I can't keep them for long. I did take the supplier's word because he is not trying to make me buy anything and discouraging me from buying more than I may need (3 months I think).
 

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The reason why I am interested about plastisol transfers is that I am not a volume printer. Instead of printing say 36 shirts, I can print 48 or 60 transfers. He adviced me to print only about 3 inventory as plastisol transfers have an expiry. It may be more than 6 months but some, he says, expires 6 months. I may have interpreted it wrongly, but that does not seem like any sales talk to convince me to buy more. Could he be referring to the paper?

Anyway, 5 years is good news to me. Any good plastisol transfer "how to" sites to refer me to?
 

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I'm not sure about ganging up different images on 1 sheet. I've tried samples from 2 different suppliers (yet to make a full order due to costs), but both stated set up costs depending on the image in question and based upon colours.

Similar to screen printing where screens are set up per colour, the same applies to plastisol. So usually a full colour design is £20.00 per colour (£80.00)., whereas a one colour design would be £20.00. It's a one of fee to make template like a screen for screen printing.

Therefore, on a small order of say 10 full colour design t-shirts for a company this would be out of the question. Subbing out plastisol is only going to work on the larger orders...I guess some companies might let you off paying set up costs if you had big orders, but i wouldn't suggest plastisol is a viable option for low runs.

If however, you have a company that doesn't charge set up costs then your onto a winner, but those i've come across all do...
 
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