T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to this forum but have read it quite extensively over the month. I have a few concerns that I am looking for a few opinions on from the pros. I have read all the Screen Print vs Heat Transfer posts so I am not just asking this being lazy.--So heres my deal I am sick of making everyone else rich and getting walked all over. Recently laid off again as a professional graphic designer I am fed up working for the man so I started thinking of the jobs I really enjoyed doing and it was screen printing. So now here I am wanting to start my own shirt business like a lot of others. I have experience screen printing and using heat transfer materials printed on a versa cam using heat transfer material not Plastisol. To me it seems screen printing is the best way to go but the Plastisol heat press seems wonderful with less clean up and work etc. Now my market is to sell to fundraisers and that sort of thing with the many connections I have, but I figure since I am a designer I should also have my own line/web store. So here are a few of my concerns I am looking for opinions on:

If you have an online T-Shirt store using only transfers how can it be profitable?----If you have a design you think will sell that is 4 colors there are minimum amount of Transfers you must order going way over the cost of the shirt. Now suppose you only sell one shirt you are then stuck with the transfer you paid for, losing money right?

How can you be sure a design will sell? Do you sell the shirt then order the transfers? Or do you order the transfers all at once?

With this being thought of my new idea was to purchase a 4 color screen print kit from Ryonet and a Heat press as well so every time I have a new design I will screen print it my self onto the transfer paper and stock a dozen or so and wait for the sale then press the design out per order. Is this how others do it that have a web front store? It just does not seem cost effective to run a store using only transfers unless you are guaranteed a big order? Am I wrong? I would like to do only transfers but I am trying to do things right from the get go as I want to succeed and take in as many profits as possible. I have never printed on transfer paper either is that a whole new thing to master or is that pretty much just screen print on it than good to go? Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,328 Posts
CM, having a web store is the same as having a Mail Order Store.

Basically, you wait until you have enough orders to fill the order. This is why you see disclaimers that say, please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

You have some good ideas, and honestly the best way to get started is to just start.

The question is in one of two ways. Do you have a complete set of equipment to either screen print and/or use transfers (including t-shirts, transfers, artwork, heat press).

and the second, do you have someone that does have the euipment to make the t-shirts for you.

We also have to consider your question, do we lose money making 4 or 5 shirts, when you only sell one? My answer goes back to my original, and wait til you have enough orders.

Also do you have the transfers or are you going to have custom transfers made for you? You can simply buy blank tranfers and print them with your Ink Jet printer (also use a heat press to press them).

Hope this helps, feel free to contact me with any more questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
CM, having a web store is the same as having a Mail Order Store.

Basically, you wait until you have enough orders to fill the order. This is why you see disclaimers that say, please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

You have some good ideas, and honestly the best way to get started is to just start.

The question is in one of two ways. Do you have a complete set of equipment to either screen print and/or use transfers (including t-shirts, transfers, artwork, heat press).

and the second, do you have someone that does have the euipment to make the t-shirts for you.

We also have to consider your question, do we lose money making 4 or 5 shirts, when you only sell one? My answer goes back to my original, and wait til you have enough orders.

Also do you have the transfers or are you going to have custom transfers made for you? You can simply buy blank tranfers and print them with your Ink Jet printer (also use a heat press to press them).

Hope this helps, feel free to contact me with any more questions.
Thanks for the advice:
I plan to buy a 4 color kit from Ryonet to start as well as a heat press. I am in the process of making the space in my home for an office and writing up my business plan as well as creating my web site. I have a local wholesale shirt company I plan to buy my shirts from and/or get them online. As for the transfers I am now considering that I will be screen printing them myself using Plastsol ink not ink jet being although I may love my designs I am being realistic and know not all of my designs will be hot sellers. I may not even sell any so I don't see how I can wait till orders are high enough then ship. I am trying to figure out how to give the best service overall, down to the single shirt sales. If I order the transfers online theres a minimum that I will lose money on. The T-Shirt sales I get online are not going to be my main source of profit as it is not my intended market but an added bonus to express my creativity to the world. However I would like it to be a profit and not a loss. I have used ink jet transfers before and the quality just does not compare to the screen print. I imagine the Plastisol transfers look as good. Any experience screen printing them on transfer paper? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,328 Posts
No, I have no experience screen printing transfers. Are you planning on selling those transfers online, and then letting the customers iron or heat press them on themselves? If not, and you're planning on selling the t-shirts, then screen print directly to the t-shirts. Why waste a step. Screen Printing is far better than transfers.

If you're planning on selling the transfers, and allowing others to heat press them, then by all means, screen print your design to transfer paper.

Do I understand your plan?

Also, you really don't need a business plan unless you're getting a loan. Right now, unless you have been in the business for a few years, you probably won't get a loan due to the economy. If that's the case, you can probably work a part time job to afford to buy the 4 color press, and heat press.

Instead of printing at home, you might want to consider renting industrial shop space which normally has running water. As we found out in another thread, ink and emulsion and be really bad for your plumbing, not to mention the damage to yourselves if using your tub to make screens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,328 Posts
wow i would think doing the single shirts with screen printed transfers that you do your self would be more expensive than just using a inkjet to print the transfers.
That's true cause you can buy a pack of transfers and keep them around until you get your next customer.

I'm wondering if he thinks you have to throw the rest away. They last a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
No, I have no experience screen printing transfers. Are you planning on selling those transfers online, and then letting the customers iron or heat press them on themselves? If not, and you're planning on selling the t-shirts, then screen print directly to the t-shirts. Why waste a step. Screen Printing is far better than transfers.

If you're planning on selling the transfers, and allowing others to heat press them, then by all means, screen print your design to transfer paper.

Do I understand your plan?

Also, you really don't need a business plan unless you're getting a loan. Right now, unless you have been in the business for a few years, you probably won't get a loan due to the economy. If that's the case, you can probably work a part time job to afford to buy the 4 color press, and heat press.

Instead of printing at home, you might want to consider renting industrial shop space which normally has running water. As we found out in another thread, ink and emulsion and be really bad for your plumbing, not to mention the damage to yourselves if using your tub to make screens.
No I was planning on transferring them to shirts. The reason for putting them on transfers is so I can do a run of the design to transfer sheets and just apply the transfers per order that way I do not have to keep the screen or redo the screen for 1 shirt. As for the shop I own a duplex and I was converting one side to a business so I will not be using the tub. But will be perchasing or buliding a wash out booth. But that has me wondering now that you said the ink and emulsion is bad for the plumbing. I guess I now have something else to research about as this is something I would like to start from home first. I have the money for the 4 color kit now I am just at the stage where I do not want to make a wrong decision and purchase the wrong things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
CM,

If you are planning to screen print for other groups as your business and are just looking for a way to sell your own designs on the web as a side thing, then I would think printing them to transfer paper and pressing them later would be ideal. Transfer paper costs like 20 cents each, so you can easily print up 100 of your design and see how well they sell. If you are looking to buy a press just to do transfers, then don't waste your money, just find a good company that will give you a good price on custom transfers. I personally wouldn't use inkjet transfers unless you are planning to only press them to white shirts. I know others will disagree, but I don't feel the quality there is even close to screen printed (my opinion).

Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,328 Posts
Kind of saying the same thing I am CP, but I'm not sure if he's selling the whole completed t-shirt with the design on it, or if he's selling just the transfer.

If he's selling the whole completed t-shirt with design, he doesn't need to screen print to the transfer than press the transfer to the t-shirt. He might have the process confused.

If he reads this, he needs to do one or the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Kind of saying the same thing I am CP, but I'm not sure if he's selling the whole completed t-shirt with the design on it, or if he's selling just the transfer.

If he's selling the whole completed t-shirt with design, he doesn't need to screen print to the transfer than press the transfer to the t-shirt. He might have the process confused.

If he reads this, he needs to do one or the other.
I am looking at selling the whole completed shirt. I am thinking to screen print to the transfer and store the transfers until I get an order. Then pressing the shirt. Instead of either screen printing a bunch of shirts and having them on stock waiting for the sale or screen printing when I get the sale. Being it is too costly to order transfers already made hoping they will sell. Is there a better way than this? Since I am starting up and not having a store front I am trying to cut costs. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
If you're thinking of making your own screen-printed transfers, you should research getting a vacuum pallet for the transfer sheets to stay in place. Vastex makes a good version, this is not budget pricing but it's good quality and well-designed.
Also when you're just starting out, you can outsource your screens and exposure with folks like American Screen Supply.
Cheers!
-b
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top