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or do they make you buy theirs?

A lot of shops won't let you use your own(that you buy yourself) they want to sell you theirs for about 2X the amount I can get them for off the internet.

The printer I will begin with lets me buy the shirts and bring them in.
 

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Most printers will let you supply the shirts. Just be aware that they need to make money, just like you do, and will make up for the lost revenue on shirts by charging more to print. It is unlikely that you will save much money by supplying the shirts.
 

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I have never encountered this. The printing prices have always been the same whether I supply the shirts or not. Also, it saves LOTS of $$$$!!!!!!!

I hope whatever printer you are using, they do great work. Because I think it is a little shady to charge a customer extra on printing just because you can't make money buy selling them your shirts.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I have never encountered this. The printing prices have always been the same whether I supply the shirts or not. Also, it saves LOTS of $$$$!!!!!!!

I hope whatever printer you are using, they do great work. Because I think it is a little shady to charge a customer extra on printing just because you can't make money buy selling them your shirts.
If that is really the case....it may explain why you have used 4 different screen printers....the first 3 went out of business. Screenprinters that stay in business need to make a certain amount of money per hour that they are operating their machinery. The cost of the shirts, plus whatever markup they get, is all figured into the equation. This isn't shady, or even unfair, it is just the way it works.

Your mechanic does essentially the same thing. He supplies the parts, with a mark up, and then charges labor to install them.

I am a screen printer....but I only print my own stuff. I do occasionally print for friends and allow them to supply the shirts. I can tell you that there is no money to be made by charging someone $1 per shirt to print. As a screen printer you will quickly go out of business if you follow this model.

If you have a printer that will do this for you....that's cool. Just don't expect them to continue to do it. As they get more experience, and realize that they aren't making any money, they will either stop doing it.....or go out of business. All that said......there are new screen printers opening a shop every day. They are hungry for work.....and want the practice.....if you can keep finding one of them to print your shirts there is nothing wrong with that.
 

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No, all printers that I have used have been in business at least 25 years and are still thriving. The company that I now use started in 1980. And they gladly let me supply my own shirts, and do not charge extra on the printing. They have had this policy from day one! Their name is Screen Art. You can check them out at www.goscreenart.com. Yes, they sell shirts, and I'm pretty sure they make a fair amount of money doing so, but also have no problem giving me the same great deal on printing when I supply the shirts. So, yes, I do expect them to keep doing this, since they have done it for over 25 years and still manage to stay in business!

Over the years my focus has changed, and I'm selling to a completely different market than I did when I first started getting shirts printed. This is why I have used different printers. I have used different printers because I had to find the quality that I wanted and the right "fit" for my business. It is not an indictment of those particular companies, all still in business over 25 years, as much as it is for me finding what works best for me.

Also, as a side note...my mechanic lets me supply the parts and only charges me labor. He also doesn't hike up the price on the labor!

Once others have a chance to see this thread, I think you may be surprised at how many printers don't charge extra on printing, just because you supply your own shirts.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
No, all printers that I have used have been in business at least 25 years and are still thriving. The company that I now use started in 1980. And they gladly let me supply my own shirts, and do not charge extra on the printing. They have had this policy from day one! Their name is Screen Art. You can check them out at www.goscreenart.com. Yes, they sell shirts, and I'm pretty sure they make a fair amount of money doing so, but also have no problem giving me the same great deal on printing when I supply the shirts. So, yes, I do expect them to keep doing this, since they have done it for over 25 years and still manage to stay in business!

Over the years my focus has changed, and I'm selling to a completely different market than I did when I first started getting shirts printed. This is why I have used different printers. I have used different printers because I had to find the quality that I wanted and the right "fit" for my business. It is not an indictment of those particular companies, all still in business over 25 years, as much as it is for me finding what works best for me.

Also, as a side note...my mechanic lets me supply the parts and only charges me labor. He also doesn't hike up the price on the labor!

Once others have a chance to see this thread, I think you may be surprised at how many printers don't charge extra on printing, just because you supply your own shirts.
I'm not trying to be argumentative.....good for you if you are happy with your printer. After looking at their "specials" pricing I can see how they are staying in business. Good for them. If you noticed...it is $2.50 per shirt, for 288 shirts. White shirt....one color print. It goes to $3.50 a shirt for 144 pieces. The shirts they are using are approx. $1.25 each in volume. That means in a 144 piece order they are making over $2.00 a unit to print. I'd be willing to bet that the price is substantially higher for a run of 36 shirts.

If you don't mind me asking....what are you paying for screen charges, and printing per unit? I'm sure you know what you are doing....but many people have no idea how the screen printing business actually works. There are art charges, film charges, screen charges, print charges. For every color in a design these charges go up. Printing them on a dark shirt also makes the charges go up.

I think this is an interesting thread....maybe more people will post what their actual costs are.
 

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No worries, I didn't take it as argumentative.;) Discussion is good. That's what the forums are for.

You're right. That's how they're staying in business. They get alot of their business from the local university and other schools. They don't care about finding shirts wholesale, then getting them printed. They just see shirts are "this" much and "this" is how much it costs to get them printed.

There are no screen charges. Art charges are $35, but I do my own camera ready art now, with the separations. So I pay no art charges. Just to give you an idea. I just got a few shirts printed that I wanted to just see how the design looked on the shirts. I got a dozen of them printed up. I supplied my own shirts. I did the artwork and color separations. The design had 4 colors on white shirts, so no need to put down a white base for a dark shirt. I paid a total of $51. $4.25/shirt for 4 colors on only 12 shirts. Excellent quality. If I had wanted it on more shirts, of course the price per shirt would have gone down dramatically.

I agree that lots of people that get items screen printed don't know much about it, or even want to. They just want what they want, printed on whatever they want, and just go on about their business. But when you are in the business of getting things printed, you need to know all about it, and how to make the most of it.

Also, I just did a random survey. I called 25 of the 60 business listed in my local (Nashville area) BellSouth yellowpages under screen printing. Of the 25 only 1 said they charge more for printing if I brought in my own shirts.;)
 

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I am using a local screenprinter. We got our own shirts from Alternative Apparel. He is charging us $20/screen (but 2 images to a screen) $20/for each image (they needed to be scanned and tweaked) I payed $10 each for samples of the 6 designs we are doing. Then $2/per shirt for image on front logo on back of neckline.
Perhaps I am being overcharged, but I looked at doing the whole thing through other printers and I liked this set up better. I am also in Metro NY which includes a surcharge no matter what :p .

We are starting with 200 shirts.... And most of all I dont mind paying more for someone I am comfortable with. He sees our vision and is helping us realize it.
 

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I can't speak for others only myself.... I refuse to print on Customer provided shirts for one main reason.... and it has nothing to do with shirt markup... It is because things can and do go wrong from time to time and a shirt is ruined.

Many shirts (Duckhead for example) have price tags attached that are double what the stores actually sell them for sometimes more... Mess one of these up and a customer will try to get you to pay the tag price.... have had it happen more then once.... Also If they bring you some close-out shirt you may not even be able to find a replacement... Its just BAD BUSINESS no matter how you slice it if your getting a dollar or two a print on a couple dozen shirts then have to spend 10.00 in gas trying to locate a replacement shirt well it doesnt take a math genius to see the results..

Its all a numbers game anyway.. As stated in a previous post it requires so much a shirt to keep a shop open we can call it shirt markup or we can call it setup charges or we can call it screen charges we can list it on their reciept in any number of creative ways but the bottom line is well the bottom line it requires so much a shirt to pay the bills on time and keep the front door open...

We have a simple pricing system that our customers like they dont have to bring a calculator along to figure up all the charges.. Give them a price list for one color print per shirt period.... everything included... two color prints per shirt everything included.... etc.
Seems to be working because we stay busy.....

Like I said at the begining I can only speak for my own shop....
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
No worries, I didn't take it as argumentative.;) Discussion is good. That's what the forums are for.

You're right. That's how they're staying in business. They get alot of their business from the local university and other schools. They don't care about finding shirts wholesale, then getting them printed. They just see shirts are "this" much and "this" is how much it costs to get them printed.

There are no screen charges. Art charges are $35, but I do my own camera ready art now, with the separations. So I pay no art charges. Just to give you an idea. I just got a few shirts printed that I wanted to just see how the design looked on the shirts. I got a dozen of them printed up. I supplied my own shirts. I did the artwork and color separations. The design had 4 colors on white shirts, so no need to put down a white base for a dark shirt. I paid a total of $51. $4.25/shirt for 4 colors on only 12 shirts. Excellent quality. If I had wanted it on more shirts, of course the price per shirt would have gone down dramatically.

I agree that lots of people that get items screen printed don't know much about it, or even want to. They just want what they want, printed on whatever they want, and just go on about their business. But when you are in the business of getting things printed, you need to know all about it, and how to make the most of it.

Also, I just did a random survey. I called 25 of the 60 business listed in my local (Nashville area) BellSouth yellowpages under screen printing. Of the 25 only 1 said they charge more for printing if I brought in my own shirts.;)
It's all good.....if you're happy, I'm happy. OK....now call 25 restaurants and ask them if you can bring in your own steak.

At the VERY LEAST your print jobs go to the back of the pack. Why would a printer choose to print your shirts for little profit.....if he has other work where he is making twice the profit.

Your price for the 4 color shirts obviously doesn't include screen charges. Any printer that burns 4 screens....to print 12 shirts.......for a total of $51.....is insane. You are either leaving something out of the equation......or you live in an alternate universe. I think putting this kind of information out here is a disservce to new people. Screen charges for that 4 color job would be at least $80 in virtually any shop in america. So before you even start you are at almost $7 a shirt on a 12 shirt order......BEFORE printing.

The only possiblility is that they are using direct to shirt ink jet printing. Those machines cost BIG money and don't have the quality of "real" screen printing yet.
 

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We aren't talking about steak! We are talking about screen printers allowing customers to supply their own shirts. You don't think this happens that much. Look at the different shirts people on this forum use to print on. American Apparel, ProClub, Alternative Apparel, Royal Apparel, just to name a FEW. You think screen printers carry these brands? If so, VERY few.

Now, I think you might be trying to be argumentative.:( Steaks?!!! What?!!Why don't you ask me if my print jobs go to the back, instead of assuming they do. They don't. No matter how many I order, 12 or 1,200. They have 2 week turnaround on ALL jobs. That is for every customer. Don't believe me? Call them.

I'm not doing a disservice to anyone. You haven't been here long enough to know whether I am or not. You go read just a FEW of my 300 posts and I think you will quickly see that I am here to help anybody, whenever, and however I can and I don't just throw out info, without being able to back it up.

Like I said, if you have a problem with what I'm saying, call them and ask them for a quote and see what they say. I gave the url, the phone number is listed on the website. Otherwise you need to check yourself, before you start talking about someone doing a disservice, when you don't have clue about my situation.

As I have said before on other threads, the place I found is great. Great prices, great service, great quality. Are all places like this? NO! And I never said they were. Different companies do business different ways. Do prices vary across the country and in different markets. Of course. For all types of businesses and screen printing is no exception.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
We aren't talking about steak! We are talking about screen printers allowing customers to supply their own shirts. You don't think this happens that much. Look at the different shirts people on this forum use to print on. American Apparel, ProClub, Alternative Apparel, Royal Apparel, just to name a FEW. You think screen printers carry these brands? If so, VERY few.

Now, I think you might be trying to be argumentative.:( Steaks?!!! What?!!Why don't you ask me if my print jobs go to the back, instead of assuming they do. They don't. No matter how many I order, 12 or 1,200. They have 2 week turnaround on ALL jobs. That is for every customer. Don't believe me? Call them.

I'm not doing a disservice to anyone. You haven't been here long enough to know whether I am or not. You go read just a FEW of my 300 posts and I think you will quickly see that I am here to help anybody, whenever, and however I can and I don't just throw out info, without being able to back it up.

Like I said, if you have a problem with what I'm saying, call them and ask them for a quote and see what they say. I gave the url, the phone number is listed on the website. Otherwise you need to check yourself, before you start talking about someone doing a disservice, when you don't have clue about my situation.
I did call.....their price for printing on a 4 color design is higher than $4.25 per shirt on a 12 shirt order (I didn't ask what the actual price would be)......and they do charge screen charges.

No offense....I'm sure you are a nice guy.....but your information IS wrong....and it IS misleading. Not saying this is done on purpose.....may be an oversight, or a misunderstanding on the bill. The lady I spoke with was very pleasant and was quite amused at the suggestion that would do 12, 4 color shirts, for $51.00.

They do however print on supplied shirts.

The reason this is important to me isn't to prove you wrong....or be a jerk. It would be unforunate for other newbies to walk into a shop in Nevada, or Ohio, or New York and be surprised that printers charge screen charges. Or to believe you can get a 4 color, 12 shirt run, done for $51.

Like the lady I spoke to said....."if we were doing that, we would be out of business very quickly".
 

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I don't know who you spoke to or if you really called. I don't know you anymore than I know any other person on some forum on the internet. But I do know how much I paid. And I have the receipt. That's all that matters to me. Like I said before, anyone here reading anything that I have posted in the past knows that I am only here to help and be helped. And you shouldn't just throw out "a disservice to new people" without knowing where I'm coming from and what I'm about.

I never said that printers don't charge screen charges. Some do, some don't. I said that the printer I used doesn't.

Maybe they cut me a deal, because I'm a loyal customer.:) I don't know. What I do know for a fact, is that it doesn't matter whether you are a longtime loyal customer with a large order or a new customer with a run of 12 shirts, they let you bring your own shirts and there is a 2 week turnaround for EVERYBODY, and they don't charge extra ANYTHING for you supplying your shirts.

The question the original poster had (and our reason for responding) was: "do printers let you bring your own shirts?". The answer is an emphatic: YES!!! Some (like mine) even do it without charging extra! That was the point of the thread, and you got your answer straight from the horses mouth.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I don't know who you spoke to or if you really called. I don't know you anymore than I know any other person on some forum on the internet. But I do know how much I paid. And I have the receipt. That's all that matters to me. Like I said before, anyone here reading anything that I have posted in the past knows that I am only here to help and be helped. And you shouldn't just throw out "a disservice to new people" without knowing where I'm coming from and what I'm about.

I never said that printers don't charge screen charges. Some do, some don't. I said that the printer I used doesn't.
I believe the gal I spoke with was Kim. She couldn't have been any nicer....I can see why you like working with them. I'm not questioning your desire, or ability, to help others here on these boards. Maybe they were running a special that day.....or you are a family friend......but the point is that isn't their normal pricing.

Believe me, all screen printers charge screen charges....in one way or another. Just because someone gives an all inclusive price doesn't mean the screens aren't being accounted for in that price. It takes a fair amount of time to wash a screen....coat a screen.....wait for it to dry.....burn the screen.....wait for it to dry....print with it......and then reclaim it. All of that labor needs to be accounted for, and charged for.

Anyway....Good luck with your business.
 

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Well, I figure I'll speak out here...being a screenprinting company ourselves, we let people bring in any amount of shirts they want. Sometimes they feel they can get the shirts cheaper at their local discounter or just have some unique pieces they want printed. Thats fine, and we keep our prices the same as for any other person that comes in to buy shirts, as long as the job is straightforward and simple. The more complex and difficult it is, the more the art charge or print charge, etc.

All that being said, we can more often than not get customers shirts for cheaper than they would be able to buy them discounted at the local store. I don't know what everyone else is charging, but at our cheapest shirt (Lofteez) we're looking at $2.15 for whites and $2.96 for darks.

Let the discussion continue....
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I don't know who you spoke to or if you really called. I don't know you anymore than I know any other person on some forum on the internet. But I do know how much I paid. And I have the receipt. That's all that matters to me. Like I said before, anyone here reading anything that I have posted in the past knows that I am only here to help and be helped. And you shouldn't just throw out "a disservice to new people" without knowing where I'm coming from and what I'm about.

I never said that printers don't charge screen charges. Some do, some don't. I said that the printer I used doesn't.

Maybe they cut me a deal, because I'm a loyal customer.:) I don't know. What I do know for a fact, is that it doesn't matter whether you are a longtime loyal customer with a large order or a new customer with a run of 12 shirts, they let you bring your own shirts and there is a 2 week turnaround for EVERYBODY, and they don't charge extra ANYTHING for you supplying your shirts.

The question the original poster had (and our reason for responding) was: "do printers let you bring your own shirts?". The answer is an emphatic: YES!!! Some (like mine) even do it without charging extra! That was the point of the thread, and you got your answer straight from the horses mouth.
To be clear....I never said printers didn't allow you to bring in your own shirts. I said it was unlikely that they charged the same for printing. I didn't ask what their policy was in that regard.

I know that the majority of printers DO charge differently for printing on supplied shirts. Whether yours does, or not, isn't the issue. If they don't, I would respectfully suggest that they should. It is generally a bad policy to insist that your business partners make no money, or to resent the money they do make. Without them, and their excellent service, you don't have a business.
 

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Yes, Kim is very nice. Everyone there is that way. That is one of the BIG reasons that I am a loyal customer.

jay allen said:
Believe me, all screen printers charge screen charges....in one way or another. Just because someone gives an all inclusive price doesn't mean the screens aren't being accounted for in that price. It takes a fair amount of time to wash a screen....coat a screen.....wait for it to dry.....burn the screen.....wait for it to dry....print with it......and then reclaim it. All of that labor needs to be accounted for, and charged for.
If that makes you feel better to call them screen charges, that's fine. I know they need to make a profit, and that they need to pay for the utilities they use, wages, insurance, etc. So, everything they charge could be called "wage charges", "utility charges", etc. My point is there are some companies that will break down all of the charges for you, and let you see how much EACH thing involved with printing your shirts cost. When you are able to line those things up side-byside (art charges, screen charges, color changes, print charges, number of colors, etc.) and company "A" has a price for all of those things and the company "B" doesn't have some of those things listed (screen charges, for instance) and company "B" is still cheaper BY FAR than company "A", I think it's fair to say that company "B" doesn't have any screen charges. Does company "B" still need to make a profit. Certainly. It's just that company "B" is able to make more money because they have more business. Partly because they have great customer service (Like Kim at Screen Art). And partly because they are able to offer great quality at a better price by not charging for certain things.

For instance. When I get my site up and running, I will be shipping my shirts in custom printed boxes. I will not be charging anymore for my shirts than I do now, when I sell them to people face-to-face. Will this eat into my profits? Of course. Will it give my items a higher perceived value? I hope so. Right now, I give my products to customers in custom printed bags. I didn't go up on my price. Lots of people think that if you have things like that then "the customer is paying for it somewhere", when that is not always necessarily the case. This seems to be the viewpoint you have about screen charges. Am I still making a profit from my shirts. Absolutely. But, I still want my customers to know that they are getting a product with excellent quality, and value-added-services, and still know that they are getting those things at a great price. Could I charge more for my products and pass those costs along to my customers. Yes. But I believe if I offer excellent products at excellent prices, with value-added-services with higher perceived value, that I will gain loyal customers and continually add new ones. This is obviously Screen Arts' philosophy as well. I have said a few times before on this forum. They are BY FAR the best quality around my area, the best service (including Kim), and the best price. That's why they don't have to charge screen charges and why they have been around since 1980 and still growing. Because you can come in with a run of 12 shirts and be treated like the university with 12,000.

Also, I don't know how you can say that the "MAJORITY" of printers charge differently for printing on supplies shirts when you don't know "ALL" of the printers in order to make that statement. Maybe the majority that YOU know do this. But I think it would be hard to know if the majority of ALL printers did this.

I don't think think not paying more for printing on my own shirts is insisting the printer to not make any money. I actually think that it is smart of them to be able to offer such a thing AND still be able to make money, and even thrive! That's the kind of company I LOVE doing business with.

BG Concepts, thanks for chiming in! I'm sure you could probably do better on prices than most of your customers.:) "Most" customers probably aren't like the ones on this forum that want their designs on specific shirts, such as AA. Also, they probably don't have a resale number or tax id that allows them to get shirts at wholesale pricing like you do. Lots of people here are able to get the same, if not better pricing on the shirts that most screen printers have.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
Yes, Kim is very nice. Everyone there is that way. That is one of the BIG reasons that I am a loyal customer.



If that makes you feel better to call them screen charges, that's fine. I know they need to make a profit, and that they need to pay for the utilities they use, wages, insurance, etc. So, everything they charge could be called "wage charges", "utility charges", etc. My point is there are some companies that will break down all of the charges for you, and let you see how much EACH thing involved with printing your shirts cost. When you are able to line those things up side-byside (art charges, screen charges, color changes, print charges, number of colors, etc.) and company "A" has a price for all of those things and the company "B" doesn't have some of those things listed (screen charges, for instance) and company "B" is still cheaper BY FAR than company "A", I think it's fair to say that company "B" doesn't have any screen charges. Does company "B" still need to make a profit. Certainly. It's just that company "B" is able to make more money because they have more business. Partly because they have great customer service (Like Kim at Screen Art). And partly because they are able to offer great quality at a better price by not charging for certain things.

For instance. When I get my site up and running, I will be shipping my shirts in custom printed boxes. I will not be charging anymore for my shirts than I do now, when I sell them to people face-to-face. Will this eat into my profits? Of course. Will it give my items a higher perceived value? I hope so. Right now, I give my products to customers in custom printed bags. I didn't go up on my price. Lots of people think that if you have things like that then "the customer is paying for it somewhere", when that is not always necessarily the case. This seems to be the viewpoint you have about screen charges. Am I still making a profit from my shirts. Absolutely. But, I still want my customers to know that they are getting a product with excellent quality, and value-added-services, and still know that they are getting those things at a great price. Could I charge more for my products and pass those costs along to my customers. Yes. But I believe if I offer excellent products at excellent prices, with value-added-services with higher perceived value, that I will gain loyal customers and continually add new ones. This is obviously Screen Arts' philosophy as well. I have said a few times before on this forum. They are BY FAR the best quality around my area, the best service (including Kim), and the best price. That's why they don't have to charge screen charges and why they have been around since 1980 and still growing. Because you can come in with a run of 12 shirts and be treated like the university with 12,000.

Also, I don't know how you can say that the "MAJORITY" of printers charge differently for printing on supplies shirts when you don't know "ALL" of the printers in order to make that statement. Maybe the majority that YOU know do this. But I think it would be hard to know if the majority of ALL printers did this.

I don't think think not paying more for printing on my own shirts is insisting the printer to not make any money. I actually think that it is smart of them to be able to offer such a thing AND still be able to make money, and even thrive! That's the kind of company I LOVE doing business with.

BG Concepts, thanks for chiming in! I'm sure you could probably do better on prices than most of your customers.:) "Most" customers probably aren't like the ones on this forum that want their designs on specific shirts, such as AA. Also, they probably don't have a resale number or tax id that allows them to get shirts at wholesale pricing like you do. Lots of people here are able to get the same, if not better pricing on the shirts that most screen printers have.
I would encourage you to go to a screenprintes message board and pose this same question. I think you would get some insight into how the screen printing business actually works. Your volume, volume, volume theory doesn't really hold up when printing a 12 piece order. If you asked 1,000 screen printers to print 12 4 color shirts for $51......I don't believe you would find a single one willing to do it.
 

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Again, not the point...the point is the question the OP had: "Does your screenprinter let you bring in your own shirts?". That's the point. I already conceded that the could have given me that price BECAUSE I'm a loyal customer and they aren't worried about having to earn my repeat business. But the fact remains about THE point I was trying to make. There are screen printers that let you bring your own shirts and don't charge ANYTHING extra for doing so. One just posted! (BG Concepts)

For some reason, this concept is hard for you to grasp. I'm sorry.
 
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