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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently we ran some DTG at a cost of $16 per shirt (ink / labour cost ONLY. Shirt was another $6 with freight).

Can anyone give us an idea what kind of volume we'd need to run to get this down to $5 to $7 per shirt ? (ie; 100 shirts, or 500 shirts, etc.)

Plz advise.
 

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That's one of the interesting things about DTG. Unlike screen printing, DTG seems to have fixed costs where the cost per t-shirt doesn't drastically change with higher quantities.

With screen printing, it's pretty common to see more dramatic cost decreases as the quantity printed of the same design increases.

I think depending on the size of the design and the amount of ink used, you might be able to negotiate with a company that does DTG printing to see if you could work out a lower price closer to $7. But unfortunately the ink costs don't really go down the more you print.
 

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With screen printing, it's pretty common to see more dramatic cost decreases as the quantity printed of the same design increases.
Well sort of......If the time and expense to set-up the press and cleanup after the is fully accounted for in the screen or set-up charge, the actual charge for each unit printed is then fairly static.....
 

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Well sort of......If the time and expense to set-up the press and cleanup after the is fully accounted for in the screen or set-up charge, the actual charge for each unit printed is then fairly static.....
Yes, what I meant is that basically screen printers give discounts based on quantity more than DTG printers because the setup costs can be spread out the more the job runs.

So if someone was asking for print pricing with screen printing, there would be normally be price breaks at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 (or somewhere around there :))
 

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On an auto, by myself, I could easily print 500 shirts an hour. Currently with DTG machines on the market you could print 100-150 per hour white shirts, most likely 2 machines. Black shirts with 2 machines more like 40-60 per hour. With as much as you have to do for DTG, I doubt one person could do much more than that. This is why DTG pricing is AND should be higher than screen printing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On an auto, by myself, I could easily print 500 shirts an hour. Currently with DTG machines on the market you could print 100-150 per hour white shirts, most likely 2 machines. Black shirts with 2 machines more like 40-60 per hour. With as much as you have to do for DTG, I doubt one person could do much more than that. This is why DTG pricing is AND should be higher than screen printing.
Jerid

You seem to have explained this to me the best.
I still need some understanding of the pricing model. Can you help me with my questions ?

What do you think I would need to do to get the print costs down to $5, $7, and $10 per shirt ?? (one design is 11 colours, another is 8.)

Any help ?

Steve.

@Rodney: I deeply appreciate what you said and taking the time to say it. Obviously DTG is a new model and the costs are going to be a hard sell at $25 per tee shirt. - Whew!
 

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What do you think I would need to do to get the print costs down to $5, $7, and $10 per shirt ?? (one design is 11 colours, another is 8.)
If you are doing an 8-11 color job with 500 pieces, screen printing would be your best bet. Even then, the cost wouldn't get down to $5. Maybe $7-ish, probably closer to $10

The number of colors in DTG is less important than the *size*/coverage of the design. How big is it on the t-shirt will decide how much total ink it uses. Without DTG printing them yourself, I'm not sure you can get as low as $5-$7 and even then, you might just be covering costs.

People buy t-shrits retail for $25+ all the time. Even simple designs. Check johnnycupcakes.com. It's about the marketing and branding you put behind the designs the draws the demand.
 

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Wow, Jerid those are some strong numbers for number of shirts per hour. What machines are you basing that on, resolution and graphic size.
Pretreat machine used. How many heat presses?
 

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I think the whole process of DTG is too slow to get the price down that low no matter how many shirts you make. In fact the more quantity you have, the less sense it makes to use DTG. The market for them is low quantity with lots of colors.
 

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Wow, Jerid those are some strong numbers for number of shirts per hour. What machines are you basing that on, resolution and graphic size.
Pretreat machine used. How many heat presses?
Randy, it's a generalized number. There are various machines on the market, so it's not really any one machine.

I personally have printed left chest designs on black with the Mod1 at 45 seconds. That's the time it goes in, prints and comes out. I didn't use that number because not everything is going to be left chest. If I used that number, one machine could print 160 shirts an hour on black. So the numbers I used are numbers that I have printed with one machine for an average sized graphic, then I through in some extra's due to newer machines on the market and their "estimated" times. I was giving more of a best cased scenario verses screen printing. But again, these would be 2 machines, not one and I was considering only time for printing. You would need probably 4 heat presses to run 2 machines effectively.

As for how to get prices down to where you need to be, it's a numbers game and it will most likely have to be screen printing, as already mentioned.

The minimum costs for ink, pretreat and time should be higher than the prices you are trying to get down to. So there is a threshold, but it depends on the size of graphic, white ink or not, machines used, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you are doing an 8-11 color job with 500 pieces, screen printing would be your best bet. Even then, the cost wouldn't get down to $5. Maybe $7-ish, probably closer to $10

The number of colors in DTG is less important than the *size*/coverage of the design. How big is it on the t-shirt will decide how much total ink it uses. Without DTG printing them yourself, I'm not sure you can get as low as $5-$7 and even then, you might just be covering costs.

People buy t-shrits retail for $25+ all the time. Even simple designs. Check johnnycupcakes.com. It's about the marketing and branding you put behind the designs the draws the demand.
While I am familiar with the Screen Printing side of things, DTG is tough to sell at $25 per shirt to businesses who often want to resell the shirt.
In terms of the marketing aspect of it, we are utilising 6+ oz. Cotton shirts, but I would need to be able to offer a full two year warranty on the DTG ink to make this even close to working, and the guy would need to price the the shirts at $35+ to make it work. Our 7.4 oz and 8.8 oz shirts would need to be priced in the $60 range and we would need to offer a No Bull 3 year warranty on the entire shirt. Which is easy Peasy to do. The price is pretty high though.

At $10 per shirt in ink charges, we would have about $16.75 in the shirt total with DTG and we would need to get the biz guys to WANT it.

Obviously, this complicates the issue a bit, eh ?

What say ye ??

Thank you Rodney.

Steve
 

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If you are doing an 8-11 color job with 500 pieces, screen printing would be your best bet. Even then, the cost wouldn't get down to $5. Maybe $7-ish, probably closer to $10
Since you said white shirts, if you are talking the 500 piece range, you could probably go with 4-Color-Process (CMYK) Screen Print and get down under $5.00, which would include the shirt. Not an expert in DTG by any means, but that would probably look similar to a DTG print, and CMYK printing is very soft, like DTG.

Good luck!
Nick
 

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but I would need to be able to offer a full two year warranty on the DTG ink to make this even close to working, and the guy would need to price the the shirts at $35+ to make it work. Our 7.4 oz and 8.8 oz shirts would need to be priced in the $60 range and we would need to offer a No Bull 3 year warranty on the entire shirt. Which is easy Peasy to do. The price is pretty high though.
In my opinion, I would not offer a warranty on tshirts. There are way too many variables and I don't know if it's a strong enough selling point to have someone choose you over competition. You might do that now, I don't know, but I think you might be opening up larger issues for you down the road, no matter what method of decorating you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In my opinion, I would not offer a warranty on tshirts. There are way too many variables and I don't know if it's a strong enough selling point to have someone choose you over competition. You might do that now, I don't know, but I think you might be opening up larger issues for you down the road, no matter what method of decorating you choose.
Jerid:

We offer a 100 day warranty now. I feel we would need to offer the customer something to make a DTG sale stick - then have him return.
This is one of the reasons we stay away from 4.4 and 5.4 oz. shirts.

NOTE: I goofed in a previous post: we tend to use dark shirts like Navy and black. I think we've built 3 white shirts this year and one of them is fully embroidered.
 

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I don't think 100 days is a problem, actually I think it's reasonable. To move to a 2-3 year warranty is a bit much. Of course this is my opinion, but I just think you would lose more than you realize. There's no telling what people do to their clothes and there's no way to really know.
 

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Recently we ran some DTG at a cost of $16 per shirt (ink / labour cost ONLY. Shirt was another $6 with freight).
Steve – I don't mean to be rude, but where are you sourcing shirts and labor that you are coming out at those figures?

I understand getting to $6 in ink with DTG IF you are covering front and back on dark garments with full color + white ink.

But that means $10 in Labor? Is that a half-hour per shirt for highly skilled laborer?

And, $6/tee with freight? Are you ordering your shirts one dozen quality shirts at a time, so that each one comes with a $2 freight sticker?

Again, I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to get some sense of where you would get figures like that...
 

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To move to a 2-3 year warranty is a bit much. Of course this is my opinion, but I just think you would lose more than you realize. There's no telling what people do to their clothes and there's no way to really know.
Dude I wish all my pants came with a 2-3 year warranty. I'd return them all. They don't fit anymore. Clearly, they must have shrank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Steve – I don't mean to be rude, but where are you sourcing shirts and labor that you are coming out at those figures?

1) I understand getting to $6 in ink with DTG IF you are covering front and back on dark garments with full color + white ink.

2) But that means $10 in Labor? Is that a half-hour per shirt for highly skilled laborer?

3) And, $6/tee with freight? Are you ordering your shirts one dozen quality shirts at a time, so that each one comes with a $2 freight sticker?

Again, I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to get some sense of where you would get figures like that...
Umbrella.
Plz read your quote above so you can see my answers better. -tnx.

1) Yes. We are printing front and back, on dark shirts mostly and we tend to use a 10" logo on back and a 2" to 4" logo on front, though there are a few exceptions to this. $16 in ink charges is just to ****ing high. - We need a sense of how to get this down by close to half.

2) We sent these DTG's out. Our machine went down and we never used DTG before. I like it a lot, but the cost is too high at this rate. - So the answer to this questions -- I dunno, and that's what I'm trying to figure out.
I also wanna avoid the chore of setting up these on our machines now that we got this method. BUT we gotta be able to sell it to a guy that wants to resell the thing.
- Any help ?

3) $6 broken down; $2.38 for the shirt, $1 for the logo, $2 for freight (sometimes it's half that, though) $.37 margin on the shirt. (we make another margin on the ink work, and There is no freight, or very little anyway, on Blanks sold in Texas, making our margin on the blank around $2).
= $5.75, I rounded the numbers.

Your not being rude. I can't fix this without some help, and you can't help without asking. I'm good.

Thank you BTW.

Steve
 

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Jumping in a bit late but thought I would reply

The most expensive print we have ever done cost $6 in ink and that was for a size 6X black shirt with a 16 x 20 printed image that had a full white underbase. You might just be paying more for ink than you should or your printer resolution is to high. We purchase our inks in 1000ml bottles which has lowered our cost.

If you send me your design file I can rip it and let you know what our cost would be just for comparison...

We do give a volume discount on dtg (10% at 10 shirts and 20% at 20 shirts). If it gets close to 25 shirts we will start to use screen printing (depending on number of colors).
 
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