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Economical printing method for new business like cafepress

1848 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  seopower
Hi All,

I am in the process to start a website for selling personalised printed items like t-shirts, bags, mugs etc.

Actually I want to do as cafe - press is doing, means there is no minimum quantity fixed and it can one only per order or per design. My website is almost ready but I am not able to decide on what printing methos should I use which must be economical to start with.

I know cafe - press uses DTG mostly from Kornit but those machines are out of my budget and cant afford for a startup.

Screen printing is not workable for single orders and I need to print of 100% cotton tshirts, light and dark.

Can heat transfer or china made DTGs be used for these type of work?

Please help!

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just to clarity, you're going to use someone else's business model, which you've almost got a website for, yet have absolutely no way of 'economical' (read: cheap) production? you've certainly put the cart before the horse, eh? :)

dunno. seems plastisol transfers won't be a perfect fit once you break the costs down, assuming your shirts are going to be under $20. screen printing is out. you'd probably want to sublimate mugs, and that's a different process. overall, just for shirts, dtg is the way to go, imo, yet you don't have the money for it. indeed, i can't think of any other way of doing it for what you're wanting. what you're wanting is based on doing high volumes of individual sales and thus required a method to do that economically, and that's why they use dtg.

just my opinion here, but it's best done with dtg machines, else i don't know if i would pursue this particular kind of business for what you're wanting.
DTG or sublimation printing is the only way to do what you're looking for. Cafepress does NOT silkscreen ANYTHING, even their bulk orders. Plastisol heat transfers will cost you about as much as silkscreen, and inkjet heat transfers suffer in quality, so both of those are out.

As Ryan hinted, you really should've put some thought and research into how your business was going to work before setting it up. That's the single biggest/most common mistake I see people do, throw themselves into a business without a clue to how anything works. In this case, you're going into a business where you will see little return for a long time because as the business grows, you'll have to put more and more money into equipment to keep up with the demand, and it's equipment that can set you back days or weeks in production when it breaks down.
i didn't suggest sublimation for the shirts because he wants darks. that and the shirts have to have a high polyester content that some people don't want.

you know, though, besides the production, i would think that zazzle, cafepress, etc., are pretty labour-intensive and expensive sites to merely maintain. are you prepared for that?
Thanks for comments, I can invest required money to buy a DTG machine but since I am starting for the first time so I wanted to start with the minimum possible capital. Also majority of capital costs is due to those expensive DTG printers but still I was looking to cross check, if somehow I can print 100% cotton dark and light tees without using DTG's or silk screens.

I am from Ind ia where there is no other competitor doing same as cafe press but technology is a problem here as al most all DTG's available here are from either US or China, in which US machines are very costly due to duties and taxes the pay to import them. Chinese ones are affordable but not sure about quality and durability with service support.

One such machine is available at Direct to Garment Printer | DTG Printer | T-shirt Printer | Digital Flatbed Printer Manufacturer-Focus Digital , I feel I can start with this cheap one ($1800), then move to Mimaki GP604 etc ($25500), Kornit is still out of range ($65000).

can you guys please share some expert advice about above Chinese printer?
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