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Why does it cost so much to have someone DTG a t-shirt? Right now I'm being charged anywhere from $25 - $35 per t-shirt.

Once in awhile I need a shirt DTG'd from the designs on my site because my transfer supplier runs out of that design. I go ahead and DTG it for the customer just to make them happy, but the cost is killing me.
 

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Thomas,

Well there are several reason why the cost of a single shirt is more, but here are a couple of them:
- The cost of the printer... the owners need to get a ROI on their purchasing of a printer.
- Different brands and colors of shirts will print differently. Some companies will require testing to be done if they have not printed on that specific type / color of shirt. This is time consuming and requires additional shirts to be ordered.
- Some customers are very color specific and this can be time consuming.
- Printing on to dark shirts uses significantly more ink and the shirt has to be pretreated... this increases the costs and labor expense.

You might want to contact some more dtg printers that specialize in contract printing. It sounds more like to me that you are purchasing the shirts from a retail company (i.e. Cafe Press, Zazzle,...) and not a wholesale / contract company (i.e. ContractDTG.com,...).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the advice. Will be contacting some of these people on Monday.

Wish I did have a DTG printer. Would love to find a application where the visitors to my t-shirt site could make their own t-shirt. I think my sales would greatly increase. I get about 1,000 unique visitors a day to my site.
 

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Why does it cost so much to have someone DTG a t-shirt?
As the late Jerry Bower used to say, "profit is not a 4 letter word". While it sounds like you are being charged a bit higher than some other companies would charge, you don't expect to work for nothing and neither does anyone else. It takes a lot of shirts printed to make up the $12K+ cost of the printer plus the supplies and maintenance they need. You also don't indicate what kind of shirt, shirt color, elaborate design and/or exact colors needed. All those add up very quickly...
 

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It's because the machine costs $15K+, the ink is expensive, and the seller wants to make a profit.

If you want to gross $15k by selling $25 shirts then you have to sell 600pcs.
At $14, as previously mentioned, you have to sell 1,072pcs
At 2-for-$20, the number becomes 1,500 units.

What do YOU think it should cost? What would YOU charge to DTG a one-off for someone if you had a $650/mo DTG lease to pay for?

That big bucks lease can add $6 to the cost of a shirt if you only do 100pcs a month, but it is just 65¢ if you do 1000pcs/mo. Maybe your DTG guy is a low volume producer. He's gotta cover his overhead!

Lotsa volume can offset a lower price, but if your volume is low AND your price is low you'll be selling your machine soon on eBay.
 

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$650 a month for payments LMFAO you got terrible financial advice
It more like $230 a month.....

Ink cost are high only on dark shirts...

Anyone can buy a DTG, same cost as my insurance rate for car LOL.. magic word is can you print 5 shirts a day at $15? If you do that, you can make a nice net profit for 10min work

Oh hate to burst bubble but $15 to make outta $25? Unless your using high end shirt and a dark one with high ink coverage of white ink... that is a good way to scare someone...

Plenty of people on here who do contract DTG from $5.50 to $8 something (including garment)
 

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Guess What I would not even get out of bed for $8 per shirt including the shirt. To do a large print 12 x 16 on a dark shirt uses about $4 ink, pretreatment, paper. Per print you have to allow 50c per print for running costs averaging 120 shirts per day to cover Machine maintenence, insurance, power etc etc. So there is $4.50 no shirt yet. A T shirt costs $2.30 landed on your door for a quality T. So there is $6.80. You still have to insure the art work is all correct and set at the correct size and ppi etc. (95% of customer have no idea about art work so you have to do all this for them) This is another 10-15mins in most cases as they also want text added and a mock up emailed to them. You have to do them a invoice and print it out. This is time and money as well. Then print the shirt cure it (more time). I dot know how most print but we change every 3500 shirts prints a New print head, capping station, pump assemble, head cable ect so we do not get down time when we are busy but this is 1/2 a day gone every 4 weeks.(we do on average 1000 per week). The there is some wastage on cleaning etc. All of this has to be factored into it. You will aso need rerurn on your investment and also a hourly rate which we base on a 10 hour day and normaly work 12-14 over 6 days but 10 hours actually production (15 per hour average). No way I would work for $1.20 per shirt x 120 per 10 hour day thats only $144. per day afetr costs so you are on $14.40 per hour less tax, and super. which would end up bieng $11.50p/h (bugger that) if you do 10 hours work with 8 in actually print time. We work on 1 shirt $20 per print as they will not get a full colour screen print for under that on a single shirt including screens etc. and then it goes down form there. I think that anyone who is getting a single print done must be expecting to pay for it. It is like getting a custom job done. If you get more than one of the same you would expect it all to come down in price as there is only 1 set up and less head cleans etc. You are there to make money and do a good job. Cheap and nasty in my books can and will lead to poor quality jobs or garmets and then lead to a shut down business. There is alot that goes into printing a shirt and running a sucessfull DTG printing business, and all needs to be factored into your costs to ensure you are not working for less than a Burger chain pays per hour, and you would expect good money in return for the risk you have taken also the time and money you have spent for your total set up. Which is more than 15k if you have set up properly let me tell you. You have to factor into your set up costs not just a DTG printer but The computers we have 3 1 desing and 2 print, Heat presses 3, Pretreat room, Air con, Ventalation, Power upgrades, Work benches, Storage and packing areas, Software, Office supplies, Clothing racks, Hangers, Stationary, Phone, Web site, Advertising, Room, Shed or Shop area Good enough for printing. etc etc. To do it right and get a good consentnat result day in and day out you need a proper controlled setup run as a business with plains in place. I work on around $50 per hour. The average trade wage here is around $30-$35 per hour in an average trade job, This costs the employer $45 per hour after super and work cover.
 

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10 to 15 min to redo artwork? wow...
It takes me 3 min in photoshop to tweek worse crap people send me...
Setting up a print take 10sec .. I mean printing shirt takes 1 Min for white garment and 2 Min for Dark
Heat is 45 sec or 3 Min dark so, production should take 3 to 5min Max at a net profit of 4 to 15 bucks a shirt, depending how greedy you are
Dark shirts is different breed, and yes those need to be pretreated, dried, ect. Those should cost more but to an extent,
It the outrageous charges for light shirts which makes me turn my head,... I completely agree with charging $15 for singles and ain;t disclaiming that at all..

This thread is speaking of "Contract" price which is based on a certain number of garments being done..
Shirt cost ofcourse will change price but I use Anvil or Gildan garment which cost around a buck

Yes there is maintance cost on a machine, electricity "$3 an hour" worker cost "$8 to $12" an hour but it really depends on the businesses structure on how you charge for certain jobs.
Certain people work alone, pay no rent, have machine with low maintance ect.

I just think certain people in certain industries inflate cost of certain things way to high, I have been in many types of businesses over the years and have seen some outrageous pricing which makes certain industries go downwards where "Wal mart" takes a huge share of the market due to people not being able to afford service for so called professionals

Wal-Mart has taken over food industry, Pharmacy, Electronics, Fabrics, Photo

Don't be surprised when they start printing single shirts for $4 or making custom sign jobs, it is bound to happen..

Times are tough and if someone can get the same quality work done for half price, who are they gonna go to? You Mr. Laugh at joke, or Min. Wage James who will do same job for a lot less?

You mae desceion
 

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I know what you mean : )
I actually make that point about doing dark garment due to extra wear and tear it may cause on machine and it does cost alot for ink.
My main point was that for contract prices it just seem outrageous, however contract prices do also need to have consideration of min. orders to make it profitable in the end...
People do have to consider over head like machine payments,rent,electricity, time ect. but I just find it that certain people take advantage of these things to an extent
Wasn't try to flame on you with my comment : )
 

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... Dark garment in my mind means the following:

You need to use white ink on it which means pretreatment and quadruple ink cost due to white ink in factor, darker garments cost 75% more.. meaning if a white shirt cost $1.20 than a Dark will cost $2.05
Light color garment like pastels, greys, ect. can be printed with nice quality, without use of white ink and higher cost of garment
 

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Sean

Couple of points. Assuming equipment cost of 20K with 0 interest lease for 3 years you are looking at $555 per month. Add interest and you are easily at $600+. Unless you do a 60 mos lease or finance. Who wants to be paying for a machine that long. Not I.

Also, I'm curious up there in Maine, do you make any cash? After you pay all bills, what is your take home? Seems like you just want to give away product. Are you in business to make a profit?

If someone wants to charge $30.00 per shirt - who cares? You don't have to pay it. You can shop at Wall Mart instead just like you said. High Price doesn't always mean better quality but you might have noticed while traversing through life that more times than not low price = cheap. Either cheap in service or cheap in quality. It's really all relative.

I just find it funny that you are on here saying that people are charging way too much. Well I guess it depends on what market YOU want to be in.
 

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I pay very little interest because I go direct with main company who gives out loans
Yes I make money, if you think my prices are low, well there are plenty of people on here who charge same and hmm they aren't from Maine... darn

I own most of the machines and pay zero rent because we sold our old shop....

I was not only one who said 25 is outrageous for a contract print cost
I've been in business for 8 years, have wet my foot in many markets and I base My pricing on a wholesale bases and I do volume work, not some BS jobs

Oh I also work alone because i paid top dollar for my machines to do work of employees who I don;t pay
I loose plenty of jobs with prices I have, so i wouldn't point fingers that i am a low baller of any kind, I do more contract work
 

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Mate if you can pre treat and print a dark garmet 12 x 16 in 2 mins you are the best around. and to cure a white shirt in 45 sec. We always do a double ink lay with a white shirt to get the good quality. This is what im talking about to do it properly. We look for any inperfections in the art work and I have a graphic designer who works for me and has been using photoshop for years and 3 mins to open up a template put the art work in adjust all fix it up and then send a mock upout to the customer then save etc under 3mins what a load of crap. Yes 3 mis to cure a dark shirt but 45sec for a white LOL. Try 2 mins to do it. properly. We always suggest to customers the best outcome for them not just print what they give us and grab the money and run. Remember you have to dowlaod the image deal with the customer as well and include all of this time in the art work set up. If you waste 20 mins a day and do not charge it onto jobs over a year it is alot of money. I agree white shirts should be cheaper than dark we charge $20 for a single and 5-50 is only $7 for the print only. We must be doing something right as we are always busy and have alot of orders always and never had a complaint yet in 2 years. It is all about structure and setting up porperly with the right equipment for the job and giving the customer a good service. If you see the art work we get in here there is no way you could sort it out in 3 mins with total customer satisfaction with a mock up proof emailed to customer with approval from them ready to print. In most cases there will be changes again in 60% of the mock ups. The customers over here have a habit of changing there minds. I Mean we get there so called art work in WORD and it is crap. 80% of it we have to satrt again. Mate if you are doing taht good and can cure in that time for whites I will be ahppy to come over and spend a few days checking out your set up and swapping some ideas.
 

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I can cure properly in 45 sec with inks I use and washes just fine
Printing twice.. Make no sense because you just jack ink level up
Dark's take longer to do and I ain't debating that at all, I am debating white shirts...
Yes 3 min. Because I get art ready to print, I don't design for client and if I did than I charge more for that

Is there something people are missing when I said contract pricing... It means Print is ready to go for a certain price, if art is not given than, will obviously cost more but 3 mins to sometimes tweak colors ect. before printing..

I give great customer and most jobs go like this.. I was 20 shirts, here is art, sizes how much and here is address ... I deal alot with emails and expect client to have everything all set
 
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