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We have a e-commerce retail shop that sells anywhere from, let's say 150 to 400 tees a month. There's about 20 designs people can buy. In addition, we do custom bulk t-shirt jobs, usually from 50 to 500 t-shirts, for clients to the tune of roughly, say, 300 extra tees per month.

For several years we've been using a Hotronix press and buying plastisol transfers from one of the big guys with no problems.

My multi-tiered questions are at what point, if any, should we consider investing in screen printing equipment, and what would the potential benefits and downsides be there? I assume it wouldn't really be feasible to print individual orders via screen printing (or would it?)

Does it make sense, both financially and labor-wise, to do bulk orders of 50 to 500 on a press or via screen printing, and at (ballpark) what number of tees per month?

If it makes more sense to screen print via bulk, how should we get started with the transition? There's SO many "start screen printing" things out there that it's been really hard to separate the wheat from the chaffe, especially since we've already got a business established.

Thanks SO much guys!
 

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From my own personal experience, with a much much smaller production setup, I would recommend sticking with transfers, of your customers are happy with the products.

Much easier to use. Less prep work. Less equipment and supplies. Less headaches if the emulsion, screens, ink, curing, etc is not right.

Also, why pay a few employees to complete the whole setup and then for them to make the tees?

What you are currently doing is letting someone else worry about all those headaches, while keeping your employees busy and not worrying about the printing process.

I'm sure others will have their reason as to why doing it in-house is better, but as long as your customers are happy with your products, I wouldnt make the switch.
I went the other way - I started with a printing setup and within a few tries I knew I was wasting more time than I ever wanted to and switched to transfers. Much easier as long as you have the proper equipment which I'm locating at the moment.

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