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I think that we need one of these for this post. It was fun and I guess that needed to be said were. Hope we can all keep our cool. Just take care of the customer and remember that we all need to make a livelihood and that each customer is special because they have paid a lot of money for the product and we should make good machines and not make our customers guinea pigs. This market is in its infancy but if it wants to stay the customer should come first. They are good people that have put everything they have into buying a machine. Customers should be educated too, and its their responsibility to learn. I can't tell you how many people have refused training and wish they did get it because they messed their machine up. There can also be lemons too. Not all machines are lemons but if there is a known bug the machine should be upgraded at no additional cost. Just my opinion

With all this said I think that Chuck is a good guy and goes out of his way to help some of the Anajet users and he doesn't have to. I talk to a lot of the people he's tried to help out that somehow ended up in my lap, not by referral. It may seem like he sells the machines but he doesn't. Have yet to test out his shirts, by the way Chuck I need some "hint"
 

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I know I'm new here and I'm still looking at ALL the equipment out there but I do want to say a few things about what I have experienced and what I am seeing. I have NO associations with any of these companies but I have been looking in to them. I have over 20 years experience in design and printing dating back to hand burning screens with a giant camera and xerox prints and amberlith/rubylith film. I have extensive experience in color corrections and inks in the Dye Sub world and sampling on systems that are made for quick prototyping and short runs in that field. Here are some of my experiences in researching DTG so far.

1. You get what you pay for. This is the same no matter where you are. You just want to throw ink on a shirt with a modified desktop printer mounted on rails, you can get by pretty cheap and your product reflects it. If you want a product that will demand more money yielding a higher profit margin, be prepared to invest.

2. Personal experience : Epson likes to screw over it's OEMs. I ran in to this several times in the Dye-Sub market and I have a feeling it's the same here. They are NOTORIOUS for getting a lot of OEM's to buy their equipment, change a chip in the head making it only work with their firmware and refuse to manufacture the ones they did before for the vendors that built equipment around those parts and they leave the customers high and dry. This is an epson problem but it trickles down to the customer and reflects poorly on the companies that probably built and awesome machine around those heads but have no choice but to raise prices just to keep machines running.
3. Know what you plan on doing. Do you want to have a small machine that you can carry on-site to do things? Do you want to make LARGE runs? Do you want to print oversized items? Does speed matter to you? What about multiple surfaces? The one major thing I'm seeing is, every vendor has it's niche. Some look like good solid shirt printers but they are slow. Some look fast but crappy. Some are infinitely versatile in their substrates and product sizes but are really slow. Know what you want your business model to be and look for the printer that best accomplishes that.

4. My experience with Anajet so far. Since this is an Anajet thread, I want to share what I've experienced in trying to make my decision. A. Honesty. In speaking with the sales rep, he has been honest from day one, telling me that the MP5 DID have a lot of problems and that they have spent the time since it came out doing everything they can to rectify that. The MP10 was well received and I haven't seen anything out there that disputes that but the MP5, he admitted, wound up being rushed out to get an "economy" MP10 out and some problems came from it. They have spent a lot of time, man-hours and money to fix the ones that are out there and to improve the 5 to have the dependability of the 10. Hence, the 5i series. I the the Rev. C and 5i are essentially the same. Almost everyone I've spoken with that has the Rev. C or 5i say that it's tremendously improved and would put it against anything on the market. Fast and dependable and quality prints. I'm hoping to see it and several others head to head later this month.

5. Chuck. Chuck IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF ANAJET. He is a PLEASED CUSTOMER who has bought multiple systems from them because he likes their product and he makes money USING IT, not PROMOTING it. I promote products that I have used successfully all the time and have even volunteered to help at shows and online before just because I believed in the product so much. I have spoken with Chuck a few times in my research before I realized it was him on this board and he is INCREDIBLY knowledgeable about the products he uses and he was VERY informative on what I wanted to know about it and was brutally honest about the pros and cons of the equipment. I don't suffer fools well and I don't put up with BS and Chuck offered nothing but the cold hard truth when I talked to him. Just because someone believes in a product and wants to help promote it doesn't always mean they are a shill.

So, the ultimate answer to the OP question is... Have you evaluated EVERYTHING out there you might be able to afford? What do YOU want to accomplish with the printer? Have you evaluated the Total cost of operation of each machine and compared them? Inks? Replaceable Parts? Warranties? Heads? and does the MP5i meet or exceed in those areas in comparison to the other machines? That's what I'm doing right now. I'm looking at everything. If I'm betting my career on something, you know it's not going to be the first thing I'm approved for. It's going to be the one I APPROVE OF.
 

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HI,

Looking through here has made my decision even harder on which machine to buy!

I am looking to start an ecommerce company selling tshirts of our catalogue of Fun designs. I plan to print the tshirts(cotton based) as the order arrives. Initially i'd expect 20-30 orders max a day with a steady rise. I already own a ecommerce business with a large following so have a good audience to get the ball rolling with.

What machine would you guys recommend for me?

What maintenance is involved with the machines?

Is ink expensive and what other consumable parts are on the machines?

Is there anything else i need to know?

Thanks in advance,
fab
 

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HI,

Looking through here has made my decision even harder on which machine to buy!

I am looking to start an ecommerce company selling tshirts of our catalogue of Fun designs. I plan to print the tshirts(cotton based) as the order arrives. Initially i'd expect 20-30 orders max a day with a steady rise. I already own a ecommerce business with a large following so have a good audience to get the ball rolling with.

What machine would you guys recommend for me?

What maintenance is involved with the machines?

Is ink expensive and what other consumable parts are on the machines?

Is there anything else i need to know?

Thanks in advance,
fab
I would not just look at the machines mentioned here. If I was you I would look at the brother gt3 series. It seems that would be a great option for you . I do maintenance each day in less than 10 minutes and about a hour on Friday nights when I do my weekly cleaning. There's no rip program to learn, and brother is making the ink more affordable now, and offering a 0 interest finance program for the summer I believe. I love the 361 we have and don't regret our purchase at all :)
 

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HI,

Looking through here has made my decision even harder on which machine to buy!

I am looking to start an ecommerce company selling tshirts of our catalogue of Fun designs. I plan to print the tshirts(cotton based) as the order arrives. Initially i'd expect 20-30 orders max a day with a steady rise. I already own a ecommerce business with a large following so have a good audience to get the ball rolling with.

What machine would you guys recommend for me?

What maintenance is involved with the machines?

Is ink expensive and what other consumable parts are on the machines?

Is there anything else i need to know?

Thanks in advance,
fab

Attend a show and see the units in action first hand and determine what will suit your needs and work for you. As you can see the forums can be riddled with people from said companies posting as users. Don't believe what you hear or read, unless you see it for yourself.

People who want to sell a ketchup Popsicle to you while your wearing white gloves are not looking out for your best interests.
 

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HI,

Looking through here has made my decision even harder on which machine to buy!

I am looking to start an ecommerce company selling tshirts of our catalogue of Fun designs. I plan to print the tshirts(cotton based) as the order arrives. Initially i'd expect 20-30 orders max a day with a steady rise. I already own a ecommerce business with a large following so have a good audience to get the ball rolling with.

What machine would you guys recommend for me?

What maintenance is involved with the machines?

Is ink expensive and what other consumable parts are on the machines?

Is there anything else i need to know?

Thanks in advance,
fab
YES. There are in fact several more questions you may want to ask.

There is a guide on our site that may help you weed out undesirable factors. It attempts to consolidate the volumes of free advice out there, based on actual customer and tech support interaction. Your criteria may be different from the next owner's.

While many vendors make great printers, you making an investment that will hopefully end up contributing $100K+ in top line annual revenue to your business. At 30 shirts a day, ~800-1000 prints per month, you should expect to gross well over that. So I recommend taking a "total cost of ownership" approach, which it sounds like you are.

  • Expect standard samples that you can see and TOUCH
  • Request a custom print of your top-selling graphic
  • Demand an ink cost study, an ROI calculation and a total cost of ownership estimate (printer, ancillary equipment, ink, supplies, replacement cost of wear items)
  • Understand what the manufacturer's warranty covers and does not cover, how long it lasts, and the cost to renew that warranty
  • Get a candid estimate of ramp-up time and cost. Do you have to attend a training or have an on-site visit? Is there a cost? Can you see online webinars or training sessions?
  • Find out if there are service plans available and consider whether you might need one. It is not a desktop printer.
You can find the guide by doing a Google search for "Top Ten Factors Direct to Garment". It's a PDF.
 

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Fine and dandy, but it's a write up by the company. So to me that screams salesman. If it would have referenced a unbiased write up I could absolutely see the validity. That's what is desired. Not an Anajet, or Kornit provided sales pitch. ~ Just saying.
 

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Fine and dandy, but it's a write up by the company. So to me that screams salesman. If it would have referenced a unbiased write up I could absolutely see the validity. That's what is desired. Not an Anajet, or Kornit provided sales pitch. ~ Just saying.
Well, in order to know which questions to ask, you need to be somewhat immersed in the field, and that means likely either owning a machine or working for a vendor, or both. (I also own a direct to garment printer and these are many of the factors my wife and I were most concerned about.)

Since there is no objective analyst who covers this space, freedom from bias is next to impossible, and you would have to suspect everyone on the T-Shirt Forums - with the exception our our illustrious moderator.

Can we agree that the important thing is to push ALL vendors to prove their concepts through a variety of tough but fair questions, cost studies and samples. That was the goal of writing the paper. I tried my darnedest to think like a potential buyer.

There's a great existing thread on TSF that covers this... I'll try to find it and reference it to this thread.

Maybe we can convince other vendors or their fans who routinely browse the AnaJet forum to weigh in on the validity of the decision factors.

I'd like to make it a better, more useful guide, clearly not skewed toward one printer or the other, and if that means crowdsourcing the piece, let's do it.
 

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I think the best route for any potential purchaser is to do some hard homework, and not be complacent and look for info via a forum. Find some companies that are close to your own model. Contact them personally, see what they're using. I'd bet hand over fist they will gladly give you 10 minutes and tell you what they run, what else is needed for their machines, some consumption figures, maintenance costs, pro's and cons. This is the best way besides going to some shows and seeing first hand the technologies. And you can easily surf the forum to see what some of these guys are doing volume wise and see who's doing what you desire to. Then inquire with them personally where no one can start selling you things. Compile a well made list of your feedback from numerous accounts and then make a well informed decision.
 

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I think the best route for any potential purchaser is to do some hard homework, and not be complacent and look for info via a forum. Find some companies that are close to your own model. Contact them personally, see what they're using. I'd bet hand over fist they will gladly give you 10 minutes and tell you what they run, what else is needed for their machines, some consumption figures, maintenance costs, pro's and cons. This is the best way besides going to some shows and seeing first hand the technologies. And you can easily surf the forum to see what some of these guys are doing volume wise and see who's doing what you desire to. Then inquire with them personally where no one can start selling you things. Compile a well made list of your feedback from numerous accounts and then make a well informed decision.
Joshua I wish every potential DTG owner had this same attitude of doing this level of due diligence.

Going to shows is great if you can afford the travel expenses and going offline for 3+ days. Short of that, you can get samples mailed and see demo videos on YouTube.

Finding someone whose model mirrors yours is awesome, but you may need to look in another county or even state. I tried it myself locally and was more or less rebuffed. Probably because I looked like competition. Shame on me. :)
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I am going to have to do some hard research and get some figures with the available options.

Hopefully i can come back soon with a verdict and then a site i can show you guys ;)
 

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Awesome decision. Find what is best for you. Honestly as I've been shopping around, I haven't found my "perfect" machine for all the ideas I have running through my noggin' so I'm having to see what will help me get started. I've found that I wish I could buy the platen system off one, the printing system off another, the ink system off another and marry them up to each other with some options that I've only seen on dye-sub printers.

I just got my first samples from a company and I'm going to put them through some wash tests and see how they hold up. One of the things about DTG is that you have to be able to show the clients the benefit of paying a little more for a DTG for short-run products vs Heat Transfer prints. Your competitors at regular t-shirt shops will offer them shirts a lot less than you can for short run by offering them paper transfers that wash out pretty quickly and don't look nearly as good.

Good luck digging through it all. I know it's both fun and frustrating trying to decided myself.
 

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I think the best route for any potential purchaser is to do some hard homework, and not be complacent and look for info via a forum. Find some companies that are close to your own model. Contact them personally, see what they're using. I'd bet hand over fist they will gladly give you 10 minutes and tell you what they run, what else is needed for their machines, some consumption figures, maintenance costs, pro's and cons. This is the best way besides going to some shows and seeing first hand the technologies. And you can easily surf the forum to see what some of these guys are doing volume wise and see who's doing what you desire to. Then inquire with them personally where no one can start selling you things. Compile a well made list of your feedback from numerous accounts and then make a well informed decision.

I did the same thing 7 years ago with my first DTG. Its up to you to find the accounts and not let the company give them to you, no matter which company. This business is very different than any other, not your usual industry and its still in the baby stages
 

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anajet mp5 has been out for awhile and they should have solved all the bugs. I own older version of anajet; sprint series. The machine print beautiful but too much issue with printing stop in the middle of the job or require multiple reboot of machine. Printing with white ink is long because it require 2 pass. Sometimes the machine just stop when you print too many tshirt. If you are printing 10-20 daily, then this machine is ok. But if you print more, you will spend most of your time cleaning the head and restarting the machine. I sold mine after 2 years and bought brother gt 381. The quality of the print is good, but maybe Netflix is better. But those difference, customer will not notice. The biggest advantage of brother is reliability. I never have to worry the machine stuck in mid print or nozzle issue. Pretreatment is much easy than anajet.

In this business, you want to spend most of your time printing and marketing your sales. Not dealing with machine issue daily.
 
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