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hello guys ive been trying to start my own t-shirt business and been reading and watching plenty of video's lately, unfortunately as much as i read more i get more confused :confused:, so ill give it another try and maybe you guys can help.
So as i was saying in the topic i am a beginner i use to work in a place and we used decals and heat press but now i want to start my own business with a DTG printer, i am looking for a DTG witch will be easy to use, fast, and with the best value for money, i also want to know whats the average cost for a printing t-shirt with a DTG printer, i really hope you guys can help me figure those things out.
 

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There is no exact answer. What kind of budget do you have? Do you want to print on dark garments (white ink)? How many pieces do you expect to print daily, monthly? Who is you customer? Is print quality or print speed more important?

Print costs can range between $.25 for white shirts to $6.00+ for large hi res prints on dark shirts.
 

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We printed some jobs today where the cost per print was $2.10 for the blank, $0.13 for the ink and about $0.50 in labor total each. So under $3 out the door.

We also are about to print some jobs today where the cost per print will be $3.00 for the blank, $1 for pretreat, about $0.50 for pretreat labor, $4.75 for ink and another $1 for labor for printing and curing. So about $10.25 out the door.
 

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I was replying to this thread earlier and got called away.
As a beginner myself (a little over a year experience) I will say the single most important factor in picking a printer is the support. After you have some experience, understand the main concept of how a dtg works, you may want to change printers based on your experience and what you are looking for specifically. Quantity/quality/speed....etc
There are others that will argue speed, maintenance, print quality, etc. but as a beginner the worst thing you can do is buy a printer and have nobody to call WHEN issues arise, not IF they arise, WHEN.
Now you get what you pay for. You find a great price on eBay... You get no support and a great price on a piece of trash.

Cost of shirts. Well first the blank quality will determine the bulk of the cost. A blank white gildan can be found for under $2. And far cheaper in bulk. But a tri blend next level can be $7. The printing cost is pretty fixed for light and or dark shirts. Pending the logo size. Treefox laid out pretreat and ink cost pretty good. So add that to see actual cost. As far as labor and all the other factors (electric, rent, utilities, marketing...etc) that depends on how big or small you go. I'm in my garage, I have far less overhead than a store.

Factor in ruined shirts. You will ruin ALOT. Just because you are learning. The positive is, no more buying micro fiber at autozone to wash your car haha.

Starting a business...tons of advice here. Mine is just understand the shirts won't sell themselves. It's easy and fun to design and make them, but selling them beyond a few to your buddies is a different animal.
If you have just a few ideas in your head it may be cheaper to sub out the work. Get the shirts made and see if they actually sell. If not your out a few hundred bucks. If you buy a printer, print your designs, then find out they dont sell your out Thousands.
These tips are only my opinion. But I think the insight may help
 

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It sounds like you might not be ready to jump into DTG.I am on my second DTG and have a store front. If you are going to do darks you will need $18k to $30k. Cheap and easy for DTG will get you a questionable unit. If you do buy go to the vendor for training otherwise you will drown with issues. If you are not printing something every day maintenence will increase. Also you will need 15 to 20 shirts a week just to make payments unless you pay cash. You will need to have temp and humidity stabilized for your unit. Manual pre treatment can be tricky to master. In a lot of cases buying a used unit may be buying some other person's problem.
 

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The Best Advice I can give you is Please Please go see the different model printers in Action before dropping even a single dime. Bring your own art work and run/demo the machine for at least an hour hands on. The sales folks can say a lot of stuff but I promise you the printer will never lie to you! Don't be fooled into basing a purchase on price tag, more expensive is not always better, base it on the machines capability, reliability. In an hour demo you should witness how the ink reset functions, the frequency and the waste ink during such functions on the Epson modified! pay close attention to the time involved... note any ink flow problems and or head cleans, do a few nozzle checks in your demo time and compare all the machines your interested in the same way.. theres differences that you will learn very quickly :) If a vendor isn't willing to give you an hours time demo letting you work hands on Run away very fast because they don't have much faith in there machine, there basically waiving the surrender flag vs competition.. Doing your homework in this fashion the printer will sell itself...

Check to see if the printer model your interested in is Manufactured by the seller. I personally believe you will be in much better hands dealing with a company that manufactures there machine because they know it inside out and will take great pride in there name. A reseller can drop what there selling at anytime and move to what they believe is the next latest greatest printer.

There are so many variables if your considering Epson based modified printers, for example 3 companies using the same base model print engine can work very differently. they use different methods in there electronics, different drive transports, different rip software etc etc.

You will get a lot of advice from endusers whom are familiar with there specific brand printer its good but not broad enough. There are advances in technology frequently, test every model you can hands on. Again schedule some demos and go actually test drive the printer and it will be very easy to find your mate based on your needs! never ever buy a printer based on videos or sales talk, its a big purchase and your hard earned $ deserves to be represented in the best possible light.. P.s most rip software has ink cost calculators built in to see your cost based on your art in the different resolutions... best of luck :)
 

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Don't do it. You will hate yourself in the end. Spend the money on a versacamm and you can do shirts, banners, decals, vehicle graphics and wraps, rhinestones and more.

You will also have the support of a well funded company that cares about you rather than a small distributor that forgets you exist after the purchase. You will also produce a superior product over dtg plus you will be able to do garments the dtg can't like sports uniforms which are high value and profit dollars compared to tshirts.

Others will have a different opinion but I speak from experience in all that I have said.
 

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Regarding Shirts-The vinyl print cut is a heavy feel "like your wearing a banner on your shirt that cant breath" You will have a big sweaty spot :) Sorta like duct tape on a shirt :) If it has a lot of open area or small text its ok, vinyl is a great fit for sports jerseys for lettering and names, you can order these along with printcut transfers without the investment of the machine. I would opt to invest in screen print equiptment or plastisol transfers before that, consider the cost of Machine, ink,vinyl, cut time, weeding, etc.. I Personally think print cut vinyl has a very generic look and feel on a shirt compared to dtg, screen print, screen print transfers. there's a method of decorating out there for everyone just consider what your customer will wear, the cost, labor time involved to get it produced. One offs dtg all day, large orders, screen... :)
 

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A solid print will feel the same regardless of dtg/screen/vinyl. The big difference will be cost. Your cost on a solid dtg print of 12x12 will exceed that of either other method and will not hold up as well and will take longer to produce.

Add to that you can't do poly garments like all sports uniforms which is where a lot of money is.

Plus you can do all the other stuff I mentioned. Ya you can order it out but that increases your cost. A versacamm will pay for itself in just a few jobs.
 

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That's what's great about the forums everyone has there own opinion, methods and beliefs. I think printcut would be the fashion retail choice if that were the case and it doesn't appear to be :) I think Epson and Brother would be selling printcut, vinyl, and machine, accessories but instead they focus on dtg machines and sublimation.. im pretty sure they researched the market well :)
 

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With dtg your not limited to what you can print. From photos to vector from one color to millions of colors. Anything you can see can be printed. Your only limited to what you can print on. Dtg print will feel lighter compared to a screen print or vinyl and it will only get softer after each wash. And now with newer brands of pretreat and inks the washability is even greater.
 

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Plastisol transfers are great, screen printing in a box. For full color prints on light garments the versacamm beats the dtg printers all day long. Dark garments are the problem.

The real question is what do you want to focus on. A DTG printer is a one trick pony. The wide format solvent (versacamm in our case) does so much more that we get extra bang for the buck.

If all you are doing is t-shirts, do screen printing and skip DTG. It is a PITA to keep going under any circumstance. Some do well with it but a beginner should probably source everything.

Let me separate that out,
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A beginner should source everything
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Why? Because you will learn along the way and then decide what to bring in house.

We just did 1100 shirts with the Versacamm combined on 2 orders. It beat the DTG hands down which we had done the same order (one of them) twice before. The other order was a softball league which we could not have done without the versacamm or sourcing it at a higher cost to someplace like Stahls.

What ever your choice, don't fall in love with something until you live it.
 

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Definitely a lot of different variables. With light or white colored shirts the print will have the same feel as the garment with dtg if no underbase is needed on light shirts. In my case about 80-90% of my customers want black shirts or another dark color. I know many people who have a versacamm that got a dtg printer because they couldn't fulfill certain orders. The same could go the other way around. Both products would be great to have.
 

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Binki.

What dtg printer do you operate? This could be your source of displeasure, all dtgs are not created equal.

If there is such a large market for printcut im all for it. I could convert a standard Epson A3 or any Epson for that matter to ecosolvent printer in an hour and at a fraction of the rolands cost, just need the ink profile-the ink is much cheaper third party :). just need a cutter.. I just don't see the same demand for that process on shirts.. Any company that manufactures dtgs would be all over eco solvent conversions if there was a good market in the shirt transfers because its simple to convert, production would be non stop (and much cheaper than dtg conversions) and everyone would be selling eco-solv ink and vinyl :)
 

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Vinyl will not be good for quality printing.

We for example offer cut-out transfers only for sportswear and workwear.

9 out of 10 customers will like the feel of DTG print better than vinyl. Also Vinl also limits you on many designs hat just can't be done this way.
 
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