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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking around to find the right printer and I am having a hard time. Is there an up to date list of vendors who screen print? I've been googling and its been pretty much worthless for me so far.

It's been a hassle to even find a handful of printers who use Alstyle 1701. No less, only one has a price chart. Their prices are way too high, so still on the look out.

Thanks.

Unrelated: printers, please put up a price charts. Its a huge hassle to fill out forms and send artwork when just trying to ballpark price items.
 

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@Taseden its kind of hard to put up a price chart because prices varies a lot based on different things and sometimes its hard for customers to understand what they are getting charged for. I my self use a form and email my customers back. it easier like that because I can explain what they are getting charged and why. also some designs are really simple and some will take more work
 

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Unrelated: printers, please put up a price charts. Its a huge hassle to fill out forms and send artwork when just trying to ballpark price items.
I don't put up a price chart because my prices change - supply and demand. Most my customers would have no idea which of the 3 print processes they should use that we offer, so it's best for me to tell them. Emails or phone calls also offer a route for dialogue and for me to open up communication. Better for sales and for me to explain why you shouldn't compare price with price. Not all prints are equal. Not for a long way.

Also, you can just email most companies with your artwork for a quick rough quote - it's REALLY not a huge hassle. Would take about 1 minute per enquiry to type what you want, copy it then paste to each supplier and attach your image. Or even bcc all the printers and send just 1, 1 minute email.

You obviously know how many colours you need, because you are using price charts, so why not pick up a phone and say "how much is a 3 colour print on a light shirt for 50 shirts in 1 print location"?

Not having a dig at you personally, but it seems like people have a general aversion to actually communicating with other people these days. It used to be the only way of getting a price. Just seems a shame, because great things and huge opportunities can come from picking up the phone or firing an email and having a chat, rather than just looking up an online pricing chart.
 

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Rich, I get what you're saying, but I for one have had a VERY hard time over the years getting printers to respond to emails, or even return phone calls for quotes.

One company I finally got to answer the phone after leaving 2 voicemails over 2 week period. When I finally got them on the phone, I gave them the particulars of order and they told me that they'd call me back with a quote, and it's been about 2 months now.

Several of the companies that I could NEVER get a return phone call from, took several days just to respond via email for quotes. This was just recently. But, over the years, the results have been about the same...spotty at best.

Recently I ended up going with a new printer that had their prices posted on their website. Not only did they have their print prices, they had their shirt prices listed as well. Since they only do water based printing, it was easy to figure out how much I'd be charged.

Once I looked at their prices (which were great), I shot them an email with a couple of questions that I had and got a response in less than 30 minutes. We emailed back and forth for a little bit, then talked on the phone.

Then they got my business for a substantial order on American Apparel (which they only marked up 50 cents more than I could get them for from TSC).

I picked the shirts up a couple of weeks ago, was very impressed with their work, and ordered 8 more designs and a substantial quantity of each. They got my business because I didn't have to kill them to let me know what their prices were. Then when I needed more information, they had great communication by getting back to me quickly. They weren't even the cheapest printer I contacted, but because of the ease of everything I was more confident doing business with them, than with the others that made finding out prices more difficult, even if they were cheaper.

I talked with them about their online price list, and their great communication, and they say that having their pricing online has increased their business drastically. If they hadn't had their prices online, I may not have bothered asking for a quote because I was so tired of printers taking an eternity getting back to me.

There are several printers here that I contacted as well. Some of them got back to me quickly with a price list, and some have yet to respond.

As someone that's been dealing with printers for years as a customer, I don't think the vast majority of printers realize the customer's point of view much. I've seen printers complain on the forums for years about customers looking for cheap printing, or the cheapest printer they can find. But when a customer has never done business with a company, price is going to be a great determining factor on whether to do business with someone. Printers want us to give them our money, hope that they do a great job, and if they don't do a great job, hope that they can make it right by fixing problems if they arise, all while not seriously considering how much more they charge than someone else. A printer may do great work and charge more than someone else. But, if you've got poor communication BEFORE I give you my money, I'm not going to take the chance that you're going to do right by me once you've got my money in hand. But, I could go on and on about all the stuff that printers do that they don't think drives customers away...

But, to the OP, Rodney (the founder of these forums) has put together a listing of screen printers. If you look at the left menu pane of the forums, the very last category listing is "T-shirt Sites" and the very last link there is "Printer Listings". Click that link, and that should get you started at least on finding a screen printer in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rich, I get what you're saying, but I for one have had a VERY hard time over the years getting printers to respond to emails, or even return phone calls for quotes.

One company I finally got to answer the phone after leaving 2 voicemails over 2 week period. When I finally got them on the phone, I gave them the particulars of order and they told me that they'd call me back with a quote, and it's been about 2 months now.

Several of the companies that I could NEVER get a return phone call from, took several days just to respond via email for quotes. This was just recently. But, over the years, the results have been about the same...spotty at best.

Recently I ended up going with a new printer that had their prices posted on their website. Not only did they have their print prices, they had their shirt prices listed as well. Since they only do water based printing, it was easy to figure out how much I'd be charged.

Once I looked at their prices (which were great), I shot them an email with a couple of questions that I had and got a response in less than 30 minutes. We emailed back and forth for a little bit, then talked on the phone.

Then they got my business for a substantial order on American Apparel (which they only marked up 50 cents more than I could get them for from TSC).

I picked the shirts up a couple of weeks ago, was very impressed with their work, and ordered 8 more designs and a substantial quantity of each. They got my business because I didn't have to kill them to let me know what their prices were. Then when I needed more information, they had great communication by getting back to me quickly. They weren't even the cheapest printer I contacted, but because of the ease of everything I was more confident doing business with them, than with the others that made finding out prices more difficult, even if they were cheaper.

I talked with them about their online price list, and their great communication, and they say that having their pricing online has increased their business drastically. If they hadn't had their prices online, I may not have bothered asking for a quote because I was so tired of printers taking an eternity getting back to me.

There are several printers here that I contacted as well. Some of them got back to me quickly with a price list, and some have yet to respond.

As someone that's been dealing with printers for years as a customer, I don't think the vast majority of printers realize the customer's point of view much. I've seen printers complain on the forums for years about customers looking for cheap printing, or the cheapest printer they can find. But when a customer has never done business with a company, price is going to be a great determining factor on whether to do business with someone. Printers want us to give them our money, hope that they do a great job, and if they don't do a great job, hope that they can make it right by fixing problems if they arise, all while not seriously considering how much more they charge than someone else. A printer may do great work and charge more than someone else. But, if you've got poor communication BEFORE I give you my money, I'm not going to take the chance that you're going to do right by me once you've got my money in hand. But, I could go on and on about all the stuff that printers do that they don't think drives customers away...

But, to the OP, Rodney (the founder of these forums) has put together a listing of screen printers. If you look at the left menu pane of the forums, the very last category listing is "T-shirt Sites" and the very last link there is "Printer Listings". Click that link, and that should get you started at least on finding a screen printer in your area.
Agreed. Well put.

Also thanks for the heads up on the list here. However, I checked it out and it pretty much misses all but a few local printers in my area (Silicon Valley).

I'm just trying to find a printer who can print on Alstyle 1701/1701R who has decent prices. Any recommendations?
 

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A printer who doesn't respond is probably not the ideal printer to go for printing - it doesn't matter whether they display their prices or not. At some point you are going to have to communicate with them. That's when it matters.

Please don't forget that I totally understand a custoner's perspective. I am one, after all. I have to buy supplies, (just like a customer of mine does for their shop), and I have to buy other things too. Just last week, I was shopping for reverse osmosis systems.

Did I not contact the companies who did not display a price? Of course not! I hit up every company and then made my decision to go to stage 2 with the guys who responded.

So I'm not sure it is entirely fair to suggest that screen print companies may have forgotten or lost touch with what it is to be a customer, because we all are customers. But I do still stand by what I said that people seem to have lost the ability to communicate and that is causing a major stumbling block when it comes to research and making a decision. This is true in both directions, but I have recognized it more from my customers as a person offering a service, than I have of the businesses I contact as a customer.

I still think if you want to find the best company for you, then you are only doing half a job by only contacting the companies that display their prices. You may well loose out on a gem of a printer for the sake of not sending an email or picking up the phone.

I'm glad you found your perfect match for your business, though.
 

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So I'm not sure it is entirely fair to suggest that screen print companies may have forgotten or lost touch with what it is to be a customer, because we all are customers. But I do still stand by what I said that people seem to have lost the ability to communicate and that is causing a major stumbling block when it comes to research and making a decision. This is true in both directions, but I have recognized it more from my customers as a person offering a service, than I have of the businesses I contact as a customer.
I'm just giving my experience in the real world and on these forums. I've never seen a group of industry professionals rail against their customers like I've seen screen printers do, and I've been involved in several industries and professions in my life.

Part of it that perplexes me is because I know that screen printers are customers, also, just as you said. But, when it comes to their own customers, it's like they forget what it's like to have to shop for something.

Also, I never said that I only contact the companies with online pricing, and I'm not sure that I didn't make that clear earlier. I just found it interesting that the ones that did have their online pricing were much more ready and had much better communication than those that didn't.

I will have to admit that as a customer of several different kinds of vendors related to my business(blanks, hats, screen printing, embroidery, plastisol transfers, sticker, posters, buttons, wristbands, packaging, etc.) I find it MUCH easier when I can go to a company's website and know how much they charge for their product or service.

I know that not everyone does business that way, so when they don't have their pricing online, I think the least they could do would be to respond to inquiries in a timely manner. And I've found that most of the ones that I've contacted regarding pricing that don't have their pricing online, are also very slow to even respond to pricing inquiries. But, again, that's just my experience.

So, for me, when it's not there, I've been turned off of trying to go through the trouble of finding out, especially when there are so many competitors that WILL have their pricing online.

Again, it's not always that way in my experience. I contacted the company that printed the T-shirtforums Extravaganza shirts this year, Forward Printing, who are also active members of the forum. I asked for a contract price list, provided all of the necessary documentation, and they VERY quickly emailed their price list back to me.

So there's an example of a company that didn't have their online pricing, but responded in a timely manner to my inquiry. But, from a customer perspective the faster you can know the price, the more quickly you can decide if you want to go forward with a particular company.

Sorry so long. But, with all of this I'm just trying to say that if a company isn't going to post their prices online, they should at the very least be quick to respond to pricing inquiries. And in my years of experience with screen printers, most of the ones that don't post their pricing online, also drag their feet to respond to my inquiries regarding price.
 

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I agree - we don't post prices online, but at the very least, try to get back to the customer within an hour of an enquiry to at least let them know we received their enquiry.

As a customer, a 24 hour response is acceptable for me. Anything less than that and I'm well happy. I'll wait for upto a week, since I am having something custom manufactured, I'm not buying a loaf of bread.

It's funny that you mentioned the industry aspect. I sent off enquiries to a bunch of companies over the last week in a specific manufacturing industry (everything from base material manufacturers & supplier, through to industry forum pm's all the way to end manufacturing companies of that original product), and I only got 1 response back (in Italian) in total.

I'm still waiting, in the hope that I'll get a trickle of replies, but I'm not hopeful.

Other industries are just well on it and you get responses from everyone within 24 hours.

It seems that some industries are more responsive than others.

As to the print industry being against their customers, I don't know what to say. It's your experience, so I can't tell you you are wrong. But I do know of many people who care greatly about their work and customers.

I don't know if the fact that the industry has recently opened up a lot to the public, (in terms of new shops springing up offering unsustainable prices compared to a legit business), the price of cotton soared, online print stores got big and the recession also hit has anything to do with it or not - but I know I've been through a hell of a tough time in the last 2 years. Not that that is a reason, but it may have something to do with it.

I'm just thankful we seem to be out the roughest patch. Maybe in a few months time I'll be able to afford a web designer to do-over my website ;)
 

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