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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I agree with Jim55912 about the time spent with smaller 'walk-in' customers, but in the early months and years they will probably be a necessity.
Maybe so, but you must be certain that in the end you make money on those 18 shirts.

I find that most of the requests that I get for very small orders are from folks that have already looked online. Some even have a design that they did on one of the big online t-shirt websites.

The largest seller of custom shirts online has a link to a quick price calculator at the bottom of their home page. I would recommend using this to figure your prices. Add 2.00 per shirt to whatever the site calculates.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

I must be doing it wrong. How much do you charge for 18 black shirts with two colors on the front?
Maybe you are. :)

I believe that he meant that he could make more money in a shorter amount of time.

Just from my dealings with printers and being a "middle man" for a little while, I know that the time it takes to print 18 black shirts with 2 colors is quite minimal, but the profit per shirt (and per minute) will be MUCH higher than if it were 1800 black shirts with 2 colors.

It would seem to me that a printer would make more money from 100 orders of 18 black shirts with 2 colors than if they had 1 order of 1800 black shirts with 2 colors...and not just more...MUCH, MUCH more!
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

I find that the 18pc jobs are some of the best money makers.
In screen printing terms 18pc jobs are a pain and are not really appropriate for the process. Whilst fine for digital production methods they are as labour intensive as much larger jobs, and can be a distraction. They should be priced accordingly.

Garment screen printing is primarily a mass production method and is best treated as such.

Having said that, sometimes the small jobs are a necessary evil. I certainly wouldn't turn down a large customer who occasionally needed a few shirts for a trade show or such like. Equally I am happy to entertain new business, school or club customers with a small (20pc+) order. Many come back regularly, and once the screen is on the shelf half the job is done. The only criteria I apply is that the initial contact occurs via email - I find it eliminates most 'casual' enquiries that often lead nowhere.

Where I really draw the line is with 'social' jobs, such as bachelor parties and family reunions. They take longer to sell than they do to print and there is never any repeat business. You can repeatedly explain that screen printing does not allow for any variation of design, only to get a final order a week later with a different name on each shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Time to print is so small as to be insignificant.

First you deal with the client, if you are lucky it takes less than an hour.

Next you receive his art via email, a .jpg that he claims is all he has... you spend 20 minutes cleaning it up.

Then you send him a proof... he provides valuable feedback and makes changes.

Upon art approval you order the 18 shirts. 43 seconds after you place the order for his shirts he calls to add one more, a youth XS. Now you have to explain why the screens you made for his order simply won't fit on a youth XS.... he don't get it. Trouble is, the youth XS is for his bosses new grand kid.

It goes on. You need to calculate ALL of your cost and ALL of your time.

These same things can happen on an order for 1000 shirts, but at least with 1000 you have some meat on the bone.

Most any auto press will print 1000 two color in 2 to 3 hours.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Maybe you are. :)

I believe that he meant that he could make more money in a shorter amount of time.

Just from my dealings with printers and being a "middle man" for a little while, I know that the time it takes to print 18 black shirts with 2 colors is quite minimal, but the profit per shirt (and per minute) will be MUCH higher than if it were 1800 black shirts with 2 colors.

It would seem to me that a printer would make more money from 100 orders of 18 black shirts with 2 colors than if they had 1 order of 1800 black shirts with 2 colors...and not just more...MUCH, MUCH more!
Factor in 25 mins to coat, burn, dry, tape each screen. And 10 mins to set up the job. And 10+ mins to break the job down.
Don't even get me started on how long it takes to sell 100 jobs!

The 1800 shirt job can be done in the morning, and another can be done in the afternoon. The same press and operator may be able to print 20 18 shirt jobs in the same time.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Time to print is so small as to be insignificant.

First you deal with the client, if you are lucky it takes less than an hour.

Next you receive his art via email, a .jpg that he claims is all he has... you spend 20 minutes cleaning it up.

Then you send him a proof... he provides valuable feedback and makes changes.

Upon art approval you order the 18 shirts. 43 seconds after you place the order for his shirts he calls to add one more, a youth XS. Now you have to explain why the screens you made for his order simply won't fit on a youth XS.... he don't get it. Trouble is, the youth XS is for his bosses new grand kid.

It goes on. You need to calculate ALL of your cost and ALL of your time.

These same things can happen on an order for 1000 shirts, but at least with 1000 you have some meat on the bone.

Most any auto press will print 1000 two color in 2 to 3 hours.
All good points, but you also charge for cleaning up the artwork, which SHOULD be profit. You make profit on 100 different orders for 18 shirts, or 1 time with the one 1000 order. :)

And if you've got an auot, that's nice, not everyone does. But, then you've got the cost of the auto (thousands), so you're still not making as much per shirt as the guy on the 6/6 manual.

You already said that the time to print is insignificant. It takes no time at all to print 18 shirts on a manual. But, you've made profit on the artwork 100 times, and more per shirt 100 times.

Any shop running a manual should make more per hr doing 100 orders of 18 shirts than continually doing orders of 1800 shirts/order.

I will note that most shops around here have mininums of 24. But, run the numbers (including the cost of an auto if you prefer using an auto), and you'll see.

If a printer was *continually* busy, they would make more money from constant small orders, than constant big orders. That is, finishing small order after small order, as opposed to big order after big order.

Are the smaller orders more trouble? Yeah, they can be. As a broker, I've had to deal with bad artwork, and customers that don't understand the print process or how everything works. But, from a strictly financial standpoint, if you run the numbers and see how much you'd be getting per hour, how much profit you make per shirt, and what your operating costs are, many smaller orders will beat the big orders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

And if you've got an auot, that's nice, not everyone does. But, then you've got the cost of the auto (thousands), so you're still not making as much per shirt as the guy on the 6/6 manual.
If your pickup costs more than your press you have it backwards.

At 50 dozen an hour our auto spits out an average of 800 dollars an hour. Now, we don't run it around the clock... wish we did.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

In a 10 hour day...how many jobs can you realistically do? One man with nothing but film in hand?
20 jobs is probably an over estimation, which only goes to further prove the point. You could physically print them, but then how long does it take to make and reclaim the screens.
Realistically 100 18 shirt jobs is a hard weeks work for a small shop.

I'd rather have one 1800 job and take the rest of the week off!
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

You need to look at how much you are making an hour.

So on a manual, once I'm set up, I can print upto 230 an hour. White shirt back shoulder print. Make maybe 2.50 per shirt - $575 per hour. White ink and it drops to $250 per hour. Add extra colours and it drops even further.

An auto at 600 per hour gives me $1500 an hour, once set up.

So, how many 24 shirt jobs can you burn and set up in an hour and how many can you do in an hour?

Or look at it over a day's work.

It all depends on your own setup time and print speed. Also the complexity of the job, in terms of underbase, registration and number of colours.

There's no way I could turnaround enough 24 shirt jobs to match manual print speed, but that's my shop. Saying that, I do make a good amount on 24 shirt jobs so they are worthwhile. If you're not then perhaps you should raise your price so that they do make the time you spend worthwhile.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Factor in 25 mins to coat, burn, dry, tape each screen. And 10 mins to set up the job. And 10+ mins to break the job down.
Don't even get me started on how long it takes to sell 100 jobs!.
I'm confused. You don't charge set up fees? :)

You're making money by coating, burning, drying, and taping those screens. Or at least you SHOULD be! ;)

I'd rather be able to charge set up fees 100 times, than 1 time. But that's just me. :) You could make $5,000 just on the set up of 100 jobs of 18 with 2 colors. And that's before you printed anything.

You're still getting paid for your time.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Of course, just be sure to include all of the hours, not just hours on the press.
Exactly, because the time it takes you to do all of the set up work should be time that you're getting paid for. Whether it's art, screens, or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Exactly, because the time it takes you to do all of the set up work should be time that you're getting paid for. Whether it's art, screens, or both.
I understand. I have never been able to crank the price up high enough to cover all of this time. If you can work for 8 hours on pre-press and bill 50 bucks an hour, more power to you. It just never seemed to work for me.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

Of course, just be sure to include all of the hours, not just hours on the press.
I agree - you need to compare how much you make in 1 hour on screen and setup charges compared to 1 hour of actual printing. Then you can see which is more worth your while. Lots of small jobs or bigger jobs.

I understand someone can make 5k on setup - but I believe the profit margin on setup per hour is less than it is for printing per hour for my shop. Therefore, I should be printing more and focusing on bigger jobs to maximize my potential profit and trying to do as little setup per hour, since i make more per hour in printing than i do if i just did an hour of setup. Other shops may be different and their print speed may be slower so they make more on smaller jobs.

Of course, life is not perfect and some
days I'll have nothing but one 12 shirt job - but at least I'm printing & making money!

Basically, you just need to look at your overall profit for both types of jobs and work out the per hour profit to see which pays better for you.

I know that I'll make less than $575 (my max hourly printing profit) per hour on a 24 shirt job, (maybe around $177) which would take about an hour or more.
 

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Re: Retail Location VS. Warehouse Location

You could make $5,000 just on the set up of 100 jobs of 18 with 2 colors. And that's before you printed anything.
You could do, and I am sure there will be many, many printers who will be telling me that this is the only way they work.

I usually find that it is the total price that gets the sale, and is not really relevant if you include it in your pricing or you add it on at the end. I am sure that most printers who do charge it end up knocking it of at the death. If you are charging $50 set-up on a 18 shirt job then you are effectively adding nearly $3 a shirt. It could be the amount that makes or breaks the deal. More often than not the guy down the road with the DTG machine wont be charging set-up fees. Most of us realise that a basic level of artwork has to be included in the price.

IMO You are far better offering an all inclusive price with no hidden extras. Customers like transparency and it gives them less option to negotiate the price.

The price is the price. It doesn,t matter how you get there.
 
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