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I have been getting a few orders here and there but I have been losing a lot of bids because I have to price my service higher than screen printers. Is there any advice someone that's using plastisols can give me.
 

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It's hard to get around the fact that, all things being equal, it's cheaper to screen print directly than doing it with transfers.

You could:

1. Sell the benefits of transfers by telling your customers there would be no upcharge like there is in screenprinting if they needed a few extra garments after the initial order has been delivered.

2. Instead of using transfers, find a contract screenprinter instead.

3. Of course, you could always buy equipment and start printing yourself.
 

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Hi Splathead, I was under the impression that plastisol transfers are screenprinted designs that are made onto transfer paper. I guess not since it appears tyetshirt is not printing directly onto tees and only prints to paper. So what's the difference from a screenprinter's perspective of printing on transfers vs printing directly?
 

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Screen printing is cheaper but it may not make you more money.......

I did shirts for an event over the weekend.....Client ordered 60 shirts, however, I ordered 150 transfers.....I delivered the 60 shirts.....And just a few hours later I get a call saying they need more shirts....Using the extra transfers, I pressed 90 more shirts and delivered them....

This kind of scenario is not possible if you are outsourcing screen printing....And even if you do it yourself, you may not be able to respond as quickly as I did....

If your client is just looking at price, the will usually go with screen printing.....But if you explain the flexibility of transfers, you can win them over....It just takes some sales skills.....
 

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Hi Splathead, I was under the impression that plastisol transfers are screenprinted designs that are made onto transfer paper. I guess not since it appears tyetshirt is not printing directly onto tees and only prints to paper. So what's the difference from a screenprinter's perspective of printing on transfers vs printing directly?
You are correct; plastisol transfers are screenprinted directly on to transfer paper instead of the garment.

If I understand tyetshirt correctly, he purchases his plastisol transfers after he gets an order. He does not screen print himself.

Screenprinting on paper does take some skills and has slightly different procedures, but it's similar to printing directly on the garment.
 

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To me, shipping of the transfers is what kills you against a local screen printer. Here's my question though. Is it worth it to 'compete' against them? I was considering doing shirts for our church's VBS because I thought I could save them (US) some money and make a little while I was doing it. Then they told me that they get them for $3 a shirt. Well, I can't compare to that. Even doing 600, I would only be saving them .10 or so doing it at cost! No thanks!

So what do you do? Me, I look for people who want 10-40 shirts. Most Screen printers in my area don't like those people. I don't get the big orders, but I'm not doing this full time so I don't want the big orders. I want those 40 shirts that I can make $3-$4+ a shirt on. I'd rather make $160 doing 40 shirts than $160 doing 400 shirts.

I also agree that the biggest selling point is being able to print more shirts later. Transfers are much cheaper than getting a shirt invested in it too. You could have two payments... one for the transfers and another at time of delivery of printed shirts. This frees up the person from HAVING to sell all those shirts. Eventually I would love to get into screen printing my own stuff because I love the idea of being able to do anything. Right now though I don't have the time to learn or the money to invest in it, but mostly it's a time thing.
 

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On smaller orders I tell them the benefits of being able to quickly and affordably add and reorder. I always buy extras and eat the cost for a while knowing they will re-order. This helps keep the cost per shirt down, thus usually winning the order. I also explain to them that my prices are all inclusive and nothing will be added or a surprise like those evil screenprinters! lol Seriously people hate to think they are paying extra (screen fees, set up) even though I wrap all that up into one price and they seem to like it.

On bigger orders I have a good contract printer on hand. You will never make as much per piece as a printer, but think about this, you don't have huge overhead or high equipment costs, you most likely are working by yourself so you don't have several employees to pay. To be competitive in screen printing, you have to really have a handle on it and have some expensive nice equipment to really be efficient and compete with the big boys.
 

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The plastisol transfers that are screen printed on the transfer paper are they the same to use for foil? Press the transfer onto the shirt, then place the foil onto the printed transfer and the foil adheres to the plastisol? I do not have space or equipment to burn screens anymore, but want to do foils using the transfer sheets ...My question is, should any screen printer be able to print on the transfer for foil or is it a specialty printer?
 

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Its all a numbers game...bottom line. screen printing wins when it comes to large orders 40 or more usually. I left screen printing 3 yrs ago and started heat transfer screen printing last year. Yeah, I said heat transfer "screen printing". I do not tell my customers how the image gets on the shirt. I play up the points I need or want to get the sale ex: Low volume orders, no screen set up fees, fast turnaround. I know where I live most of the traditional screen shops are still only offering 5-7 day turnarounds after artwork approval and wont touch anything under 36 pieces. I get most orders out in 2-3 days for 1-2 color jobs. I have low overhead as I work from home, which has its challenges.

I cant compete on price head to head on anything under 50 pieces. Like Doc said find the clients who need small orders screen printers wont touch. Id rather have 3-4 smaller profit clients than one large profit customer

Spring brought with it softball/baseball youth leagues....I have killed it here, not to toot my own horn. Being professional, quick turnaround and being able. with NO problem, to outfit a kid who joins late, switches teams/leagues during season because of using heat transfers.
No traditional screen printing is not the same as transfers. some good, some great and some not so much. I have less time with set up, clean up and disposal now. Transfers have their market as does traditional screen printing.
 
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