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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm flattered yet still confused by an "order" I received yesterday. The hubby went to pick up shirts for me and the guy who works behind the counter started talking to him and handed him 50 black Canvas 3001C shirts and said, "I'd like your wife to print some shirts for my band." Of all the people that come into that place to pick up shirts and he wants ME to do them??? COOL!!! Which makes me NOT want to blow this business deal even more!

Since he's already given me the shirts and knows darn well how much they cost (about $2.69 and he may even get a discount on top of that), how much should I charge him? It's a VERY simple, 2 color print. It's just red text with a white stroke around the text. My husband thought he overheard him saying something about $1-2 per shirt but that sounds crazy to me. $100 for printing 50 shirts??? I don't think that's worth it but my hubby could have been wrong.

My question is, what would you charge for someone who's in the shirt biz and has already given you the shirts? I know he's going to be reselling them at his gigs so I'd like him to make a little $$$ too. I do 1 color shirts for a friend's band and charge him $9/shirt. That's why the whole "$1-2" thing sounded nuts! Thanks, in advance!
 

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Depending on the guy and how well of a business acquintance he is. I would say somewhere between $3 and $5 to at least make it worth your while. Factors to consider would be your screen time prep and clean up and the artwork. Is the artwork ready to go or will you have to spend time making something you can print? a 2 color 50 shirt job I usaully charge $7(I am using a cheaper shirt) plus 75 cents a color so minus the $2 (usually what I am paying) for the shirt that leaves $5.75 so how good of a deal do you want to make the guy. Definetly get the price settled before you print them so there is no hard feelings.
 

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Honestly the price your husband said is not to far off. I woukd say under 3 bucks or 2 bucks plus a screen charges. Sounds like a simple job underbase and red on top. 50 shirts front print only should only take about an hour. And you didnt have to invest into buying the shirts. Also depends on what equipment your working with, if your flash curing or running a conveyor i know this may feel like it could take longer. But on one hand this guy is in a place that sells shirts and impressing him with fair price and good work can go long way. Just my two cents.
 

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I'd agree with Rene on this one--once you start getting close to a case of shirts more than a dollar a color is pretty distasteful to the average 'middleman'. Plus, if you're taking an order from someone who works at a wholesaler, you know for a fact that they know most, if not all of your competition. If you're confident you can do a good job in a reasonable amount of time, 150$ inclusive (films, screens, etc.) shouldn't be hard to make some money on. Canvas makes nice stuff too, it should print easily.

Standard 'contract' stuff should be aired before you do anything though--no changes or adds once price is quoted, and no replacements for a screw up or two--but you know, don't screw up anyway. :)
 

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Sometimes it is just best to say no....I think if you get 5 jobs that come your way with garments supplied and you lose 4 of them you are still ahead with just keeping the one....Do a spreadsheet and make some calculations....See where you end up just keeping 1 out of 5......Then with the free time you have go out and sell...You make more per hour on orders you sell than on order you just print....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your input, guys. You've all given me something to think about. I think we agreed on $3.25 each which includes setup fees. He has a specialty color of ink he wants to use too which weighs into the equation. I just want to make it worth my time and at this point, I'm not quite as efficient as I'd like to be so even though I'm printing up a lot of shirts, I know this job is going to take me forever. I'm not in a position to turn down a job right now though so I'll do whatever I've got to do.

On a side note...So, if the image is just a 2 color text print, red with a white stroke around it, you're suggesting I lay down a "wider" white underbase since it's going on a black tee and stamp the red on top?
 

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Sometimes it is just best to say no....I think if you get 5 jobs that come your way with garments supplied and you lose 4 of them you are still ahead with just keeping the one....Do a spreadsheet and make some calculations....See where you end up just keeping 1 out of 5......Then with the free time you have go out and sell...You make more per hour on orders you sell than on order you just print....
I'm so jealous of Royce--he must get retail customers who waste far less of his time than the ones I ever see. :) Three bucks a pop for fifty cake two colors contract is gravy to me--barely an hour of work. Although he does have an excellent point, if you're already really busy with orders you're getting retail print costs, as well as a markup on blanks for, it would be silly to take *any* contract work--but then I'd think you probably wouldn't be asking this question...
 

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I'm so jealous of Royce--he must get retail customers who waste far less of his time than the ones I ever see. :) Three bucks a pop for fifty cake two colors contract is gravy to me--barely an hour of work. Although he does have an excellent point, if you're already really busy with orders you're getting retail print costs, as well as a markup on blanks for, it would be silly to take *any* contract work--but then I'd think you probably wouldn't be asking this question...
On what planet is this a 1 hour job?......

By the time you quote, get the order, collect a deposit, piss around until you get good artwork, burn screens, quality check tees, run the job, clean up, clean the screens, quality check the shirts, fold and pack the shirts, invoice, deliver shirts, collect money, etc., etc...

The reason some folks will think this is good job is they do not keep very good track of your time.....I have been at this a very long time and I can tell you that there are very few jobs that take less than 60 minutes of administration time....Throw in another hour of production time and you have at least 2 hours....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On what planet is this a 1 hour job?......

By the time you quote, get the order, collect a deposit, piss around until you get good artwork, burn screens, quality check tees, run the job, clean up, clean the screens, quality check the shirts, fold and pack the shirts, invoice, deliver shirts, collect money, etc., etc...

The reason some folks will think this is good job is they do not keep very good track of your time.....I have been at this a very long time and I can tell you that there are very few jobs that take less than 60 minutes of administration time....Throw in another hour of production time and you have at least 2 hours....
~Wow, it's as if you're watching me work! That's just it; how do you put a price on your time? No one knows how long all the things you listed take and hardly anyone even considers it. I just feel bad passing the buck along to my customer because I'm not as efficient as I could be. When I saw "1 hour", I thought to myself, 'Self: someday you'll be able to knock out 50 shirts in 1 hour!'
 

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I would say just lay a bigger white and red on top with enough to make a good outline. Makes registration so much easier. An hour worth of work is what i consider the time actually spent setting up and pulling squeegee. I dont usually take the time i spend dealing with customers into consideration. I think if i did that i would go nuts, cuz i have some impatient customers. Half my work is contract and some are my jobs. So when i see 50 shirts only printing on one sidewithout a flip i think cake. But that comes from my equipment i know with equipment i had years ago i would dread 50 shirts. Just always considr what you feel your printing is worh and be reasonable. Its aways easier to go down in price try and raise your price.
 

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On what planet is this a 1 hour job?......

By the time you quote, get the order, collect a deposit, piss around until you get good artwork, burn screens, quality check tees, run the job, clean up, clean the screens, quality check the shirts, fold and pack the shirts, invoice, deliver shirts, collect money, etc., etc...

The reason some folks will think this is good job is they do not keep very good track of your time.....I have been at this a very long time and I can tell you that there are very few jobs that take less than 60 minutes of administration time....Throw in another hour of production time and you have at least 2 hours....
Sorry about that, I should have said "on the production side, this is a one hour job."

I guess my point was--contract prices mean you have good art, you have good shirts, you are not wasting my time with BS. Someone working at a t-shirt wholesaler knows the routine. If they don't, they don't get contract prices. Shirt issues are the customers issue in contract jobs. There shouldn't be any deposit--anyone who doesn't have terms with you is paying up front in full before the ink hits the film. I also should have clarified-- I'm running an auto, and I'm leaving out time for databases, taxes, letting the customer annoy you, etc. I'm in production, I make the money, I don't count it. :)

To me that's the difference between contract and retail--If someone needs to hold your hand, you're paying twice that, if not more.
 
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