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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been crunching numbers trying to figure out a good amount to charge for my shirts. What methods does everyone here use to calculate their prices?

a.) Cost Estimating Software

b.) Used Formulas and Excel to figure out the cost of running the business on a monthly basis

c.) Downloaded/Created a Very Simple Amount, without figuring out expenses


d.) Just took one from someone else's website


I have been sitting in front of Excel trying to figure it out, so I was wondering if you could also let me know if I'm doing this right. Thanks!

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Here's my formulas:

Based on a 100 Shirt order, 1 color, 1 side

I Print 50 Shirts an Hour (Don't hate, I use a flash curer for drying!)

It Takes 6 Hours to set up the job, including retensioning, adding the stencil, adding the image, cleaning, etc (everything except printing)

The Cost of the shirt is $3.00

Let's say I only work 10 hours in the month, because let's say this is my only job.

Say I want to pay myself $10.00 an hour for labor

And say my total expenses for the month are $300.00 (including everything from a percantage of my house rent, electricity, 800 fee, inks, emulsion, etc)

and I want a markup of 50%.

This Gives Me:

$100.00 a month for labor (10 Hours X $10.00/hr)

$400.00 a month for total expenses ($100[labor] + $300[expenses])

$40.00 an hour to cover expenses
($400[total expenses] divided by 10 hours a month that I work)

8 hours TOTAL Time to print (2 hours for printing plus 6 hours for setup)

$300.00 for shirts (100 shirts times $3.00 a shirt)

$320.00 for cost of expenses ($40[Total cost to cover expenses for the month) multiplied by 8 Total hours to print)

$620.00 TOTAL Costs ($300.00[shirts] plus $320.00[Expenses])

Which is $6.20 a shirt to cover all expenses

and $9.30 Price (with the 50% markup)

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As you can see, there's a lot of things I need to do to bring the cost of my shirts down, including printing quicker, doing the setup quicker, paying myself less labor, and working more a month.

I just want to make sure I'm doing this math correctly, and if it is correct, hopefully this will help others understand how to figure out their own costs, expenses, and the amount you should charge your customers. :D
 

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You need to know your costs but that doesn't tell you what you should charge, that tells you if you're making a profit. Doing market research tells you what to charge. Within each market there will be an acceptable range of prices, its up to you to decide where in that range you want to be and that will usually be determined by your experience level and customer base. Often people are given the advice to charge enough to cover their costs, this is backwards; you need to lower your costs so that you can make a profit at the prices you want (or need) to charge. If it costs you $8 to make a shirt that routinely sells for $8.50; you're going to go broke in a quick way because you can neither afford to sell it for $8.50 nor can you sell it for $12 (you won't build repeat business). Sometimes the only way to get your costs down is by getting your sales up meaning that in the between time you have to suck it up and not make money until you build a customer base.
 

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We print on different brands of shirts, for our cheapest shirt, we take our cost [not including labour] and double it, that's how much we charge. For the more expensive brands, we take that cost and add the profit from the cheaper shirt, and that's what we charge, since everything is the same aside from shirt cost. We also check that against local and national competition.

What you have looks pretty through, remember to consider the cost of stencils, cleaning supplies though. Also if you order extra shirt in case you screw one or two while printing, make sure to consider that. Over time you get a better idea of what to charge.
 

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Well... looking at what you call your "expenses" ... they seem to be very conservative figures. Including your house rent makes me assume you are working out of your house, which is fine... but still if your only working 10 hours a month screen printing.. then you MUST have some other source of income. maybe. But for 100 dollars a month... why do you want to do this? Love of the Art? If so I commend you. But if you are planning on making this a real business venture you just have to look at the raw expenses of running the business... which for all I know you have... but your figures do seem a little low.

You should just come up with:

A setup price per screen ( we charge $30 per screen)
this would cover labor, emulsion, burning, washing out, etc.
An art charge ( we charge $45 per hour)
this would cover your labor in preparing the art,.. or cost of sending it out to be done
A print price ( we base ours on a chart depending on quantity ordered and how many colors)
this would cover raw labor, electric for dryer/flash, ink, etc.

you say your price is $9.30.. well is that for one color or six? did the person order 3 shirts or 3 dozen shirts?
all of these things should be the deciding factor in your pricing. not the average of how much money you need to be operational divided by # of shirts.

just let each individual charge cover all expenses plus profit
you're bottom line price per shirt should reflect the order being made,.. not your business cost,

price makes profit,. not profit makes price


Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well... looking at what you call your "expenses" ... they seem to be very conservative figures. Including your house rent makes me assume you are working out of your house, which is fine... but still if your only working 10 hours a month screen printing.. then you MUST have some other source of income. maybe. But for 100 dollars a month... why do you want to do this? Love of the Art? If so I commend you. But if you are planning on making this a real business venture you just have to look at the raw expenses of running the business... which for all I know you have... but your figures do seem a little low.
These figures are low for a couple of reason:

1) Right now I am just starting out in my house. Rent and Utilities are currently paid for by my other full-time job. So I'm just showing the bare minimum of what I would have to pay, and so these "expenses" more reflect the cost of buying inks, emulsions, transparency paper, and so on, as stated before.

2) I wanted to give a bare-bone breakdown of how this works, to show others how they would factor in their own costs. Of course these figures aren't going to be precisely for everyone, but rather a way of showing the math involved in including your expenses into the cost of your prints.

What I wanted to do was show the simplest way of figuring this out. Of course this is just one order in one month, and I plan on doing a lot more volume than that. These numbers will flex when I factor in the cost of doing say 20 of these exact orders over the span of a month. This is just a simple way of showing how the math is done.

You should just come up with:

A setup price per screen ( we charge $30 per screen)
this would cover labor, emulsion, burning, washing out, etc.
An art charge ( we charge $45 per hour)
this would cover your labor in preparing the art,.. or cost of sending it out to be done
A print price ( we base ours on a chart depending on quantity ordered and how many colors)
this would cover raw labor, electric for dryer/flash, ink, etc.
The reason I am doing it this way, is because I want to have an all-inclusive way of billing, so that I can show people online what their cost will be without them having to factor in multiple charges. Some people have multiple charges, and some people have all-inclusive pricing. This is just the way I would like to have my shop run, aside from the art charge which will always be seperate.

How did you come up with your "price chart"? I noticed you mentioned that you had one, but where do you get the numbers for charging your shirts? That's the question at hand. It's easy to say what a price would be, but I'm trying to figure out exact costs. Did you just pull a random price chart from a random website, or did you have software calculate the cost of your prints? How did you come about this chart?

you say your price is $9.30.. well is that for one color or six? did the person order 3 shirts or 3 dozen shirts?
all of these things should be the deciding factor in your pricing. not the average of how much money you need to be operational divided by # of shirts.
If you would have carefully read the post, you would see it clearly states 100 Shirts, 1 Color, 1-Sided at the very beginning.
just let each individual charge cover all expenses plus profit
you're bottom line price per shirt should reflect the order being made,.. not your business cost,

price makes profit,. not profit makes price
I agree with profit does not make price, but I don't want individual charges for my business. This is more of a self made matrix to see what the cost would be to cover my expenses for the shirts. I wouldn't necassarily charge $9.30, that is just the price with a 50% markup. As stated, it would be $6.20 for the shirt cost to cover my expenses, the point I was really getting at.

Good Luck
Thanks for the input! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Get your set-up tie waaay down. Get your volume waaay up. Pay yourself more than 10.00/hr labor. The numbers will work if you work them.
Thanks! This is currently what I'm striving to do, it's just so hard screen printing out of an apartment. Once I move into a house with a garage, I definently plan on bringing my setup times down.
 

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I have never used a screen press in my life, but does it really take 6 hours for set up/clean up for 2 hours of printing. I'm going through the steps in my head just from what I've read and seen and this seems high even for a beginner. But again I've never done it so what do I know. Is this the normal set up times for a one color screen?
 

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I have never used a screen press in my life, but does it really take 6 hours for set up/clean up for 2 hours of printing. I'm going through the steps in my head just from what I've read and seen and this seems high even for a beginner. But again I've never done it so what do I know. Is this the normal set up times for a one color screen?
That is just his set up time. Everyone has different set up times. While we can set up a 6 color print in 5 minutes, some companies need a hour. It all depends on equipment & experience.

Although I agree 6 hours for set up is long, you need to take into consideration he is a new printer, without proper equipment, and not in an industrial shop. This isn't about how much he makes, it is about how he is calculating his costs and retail prices.

You have a good start, but an easier way might be to just figure your blank tshirt cost, your printing cost, and mark up everything by 50% (since 50% is your desired mark up). Once you have the formula down, make a chart which tells you how much it costs per color, per piece.
 

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lets see, to start i print 12 white tshirts one location and one color for 7 bucks a shirt. that includes everything. if you were to print 100 i would say you should be looking at 5 bucks or under. if you email me at [email protected] i will forward you my price list so you have something to go buy on monday when i get back into my shop. just remember i am a professional printer so i can lower my prices because i have the equipment to print faster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have never used a screen press in my life, but does it really take 6 hours for set up/clean up for 2 hours of printing. I'm going through the steps in my head just from what I've read and seen and this seems high even for a beginner. But again I've never done it so what do I know. Is this the normal set up times for a one color screen?
Katie said it correctly. This is just my setup and the numbers were more to show how to come about them, and how you would plug in your own numbers. As mentioned, I don't have professional equipment and I'm doing this in my home. I have to expose the emulsion in my closet and rinse everything out in our bathtub, not the quickest or best way of doing things. But it works for now. . :)
 
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