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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, i am hoping someone can help me, i run an embroidery and promotional business in Australia and am thinking about getting a pad printer as i live in small town and alot of customers do not want to order the required minimums when i outsource items as they are usually 500+ which is alot for small town. They ask me for smaller orders up to 100 which buy the time i get the item and then send to printer i have spent alot in postage. i was thinking manual pad printer as it will only be used on small orders larger orders i would still outsource. is it woth the time and effort and money. all comments will be appreciated.
 

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No.. still looking into.. I got a mug press (for free sorta of) just too many projects.

debating pad printer or vinyl cutter..or both..
Carla/Pat

I know you didn't ask for my opinion but.....we looked at pad printing about a year and a half ago and opted to pass because of the limited uses in your business model, that said a vinyl cutter or even better a printer/cutter would add a ton of possibilities to your business, while a vinyl cutter can produce cut vinyl decals, numbers, text, etc a printer/cutter opens up a whole 'nuther world of possibilities.

Vinyl is a very lucrative business and printed vinyl even more so, everything from printed full color banners, signage, full color vehicle graphics, full color single layer decals, even printed heat applied vinyl for garments...posters, the list is really huge, personally I don't think there is one piece of equipment that can add more to your sales potential then a printer/cutter.

Our Roland makes us more money than any DTG job ever has, and as I've stated here on TSF before if I had to keep just one piece of equipment the Roland would stay and the DTG would be gone, and I'd have no regrets.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for all the comments, i brought a vinyl cutter last year best decision ever. i would love a printer cutter as well but where i work part time the boss does signs,banners etc, so if i need transfers he prints them for me. so you wouldnt buy a DTG IYF graphics cause i have looked into that as another option other than pad printing.
thanks for your comments i appreciate them
 

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I have a pad printer that I have never used. Not only did it come without instructions, but the instructions on the website leave out a lot of important information. Bought it from All American. Anyhow another reason I've never used it is because I can't find blanks for it that don't require huge quantity purchases. That's one reason why when you are outsourcing your work they require large purchases, usually 150 or more.
 

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t so you wouldnt buy a DTG IYF graphics cause i have looked into that as another option other than pad printing.
Oh I'm not saying that at all, we moved from printed vinyl shirts to DTG and as far as tee shirts go it was the best move we could have made....but to own a DTG you need to have the business/customers/orders to justify the expense of not only buying the printer but owning a DTG printer.

My point was that if I had to get rid of a piece of equipment from our shop and the choice was between our Roland and our T-Jet2 the t-Jet2 would be long gone and the Roland would stay, the reason for this is merely from a profit perspective because vinyl and printed vinyl for us has a much higher profit margin then DTG printed shirts.

But it all adds to the bottom line at the end of the month...and in the case of my post above I had forgotten that Pat/Carla (FatKat) had moved into a retail location with a landlord that does vinyl and they had agreed to not get into the vinyl business.....

Hope this helps.
 

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...smaller orders up to 100...
Not worth the time

...i was thinking manual pad printer as it will only be used on small orders larger orders i would still outsource....
Now that really defeats the purpose of a pad printer.

There is no money in this game. All the work is in setup.

You need to get an image, burn a negative, burn a plate, set up the ink. By the time you print 100 you will have spent several hours and for what? $20 in profit?

Keep in mind everything you print on the printer needs a holder for it. Each item has its own holder and you have to pay for that. Even 2 different pens use 2 different holders.

So spend $1400 or more on a pad printer and then do jobs for $50 with a profit of maybe $20 on each. Not a good turnaround.

Now you know why the minimums are so high.
 

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I have a pad printer that I have never used. Not only did it come without instructions, but the instructions on the website leave out a lot of important information. Bought it from All American. Anyhow another reason I've never used it is because I can't find blanks for it that don't require huge quantity purchases. That's one reason why when you are outsourcing your work they requ uire large purchases, usually 150 or more.
Loretta-

you really need to get a hold of AA this is unacceptable and to find blanks again something they should point you into the right direction.

what kind of pad printer is it?? was it the basic model?
 

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Loretta-

you really need to get a hold of AA this is unacceptable and to find blanks again something they should point you into the right direction.

what kind of pad printer is it?? was it the basic model?
I did try calling them. They used to have a forum that I got some good details from but that closed down. Whoever wrote the instructions isn't a natural born English speaker and the instructions don't make sense. They have some on their website, but again the information I need is too vague to use.

Yes I bought the heavy duty basic manual printer I think it was the 100 or something like that. They have a sister company that sells blanks but again we're talking huge quantities of 250 and more. I can't afford that just to learn the process on.

What I need to know is how to mix the ink.
 

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binki is right, it may not be such a moneymaker if you only have small orders, especialy in the beggining.
setup and cleanup is the most work, the actual printing is the easy part.

BUT - establish what profit you want from a minimum order of a 100 pieces; if you are happy with a $60 profit for 2 hours of work, and the local market can support this, than it's perfect.
were you able to sell them with that profit when outsourceing?
once the setup is ready, you cand manualy print 100 pens in less than 10 minutes.

and you can very easily make a jig to hold the pens with double sided tape, corrugated plastic and virtually anything solid, you are not supposed to buy expensive equipment.

good luck!


(and i also i agree that a vinyl cutter is the best piece of equipment you can get; we also had that dilema 2 years ago - vinyl cutter, or a pad printer - we made the right choice and went for a vinyl cutter).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
its it worth it though to buy a pad printer if this is the third job i have lost in last 2 months because they didn't want the minimun order requirements or they have there own product to print on . if you start small and the quality is good maybe the larger orders will follow
what does everybody think. i am not sure which way to go.
 

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its it worth it though to buy a pad printer if this is the third job i have lost in last 2 months because they didn't want the minimun order requirements or they have there own product to print on . if you start small and the quality is good maybe the larger orders will follow
what does everybody think. i am not sure which way to go.
The majority of the work is in the set-up. The plates are very expensive and can only be used once. By that I mean you can stamp about 5000 images per plate, but you cannot reclaim the plate like you can with a screen print screen.

And you have to have a mold for each different item that you print on. The mold material is expensive but you could use clay and harden it into the mold shape you need.

The inks are also expensive and are only usable on certain products. Each different kind of ink is for different substrates. There are also a lot of foul smelling dangerous chemicals involved. Once you fill your ink cup the ink is only good for 12 hours and any remainder has to be discarded. It cannot be reused like plastisol ink can.

A cheap set up will run you close to $1,500. If you want to get a pad printer that will print more than one color you can expect to pay at least $3,500 for the printer.

Is it worth it? No. Not unless you are going to be doing it all the time. And if they expect you to buy the substrates you will have to purchase minimums of at least 150. I really regret getting my pad printer. It has sat collecting dust for several years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi sorry to ask another question as i have also been looking into DTG as well but can't afford , but my question is if pad printing is not the way to go would i be better of trading in my roland gx-24 cutter for a printer/cutter so i can do stickers etc for the small orders i am losing instead of the pad printer?????
 

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Hi sorry to ask another question as i have also been looking into DTG as well but can't afford , but my question is if pad printing is not the way to go would i be better of trading in my roland gx-24 cutter for a printer/cutter so i can do stickers etc for the small orders i am losing instead of the pad printer?????
No. If you want to do stickers you would need a printer/cutter like a versicamm and those sell for around $12,000. If you want stickers you can get them printed from Stahls ID Direct (see vendor's directory). Keep your cutter. You can also get some sign vinyl or pressure adhesive vinyl and cut out that stuff and use it to stick to things.

Or you could try this place Coffee Mugs, Promotional Products, Shot Glasses, Wine Glasses, Beer Mugs, Tote Bags, Champagne Glasses, Wedding Favors , Sports Bottles, T-shirts, Promotional Pens, Personalized Glassware, they do pad printing, have nice products and they don't have high minimums. I think they start at 50 pieces. Plus you can buy blanks from them too, though you still have the minimums. I was going to sub out some wine glasses for a friend of mine who only wanted 2 for a wedding present, but the minimum was 12 and she didn't want or need that many. Minimums are a pain.

The pic I'm including is a 1 1/2" x 1" deer head that I cut out for a customer on sign vinyl.
 

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