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Hello,

I am brand new to your site and let me say that I am really excited to have found this website. I really enjoy reading all of your posts. I am in the process of trying to start my own t-shirt business and have a couple of questions that I hope anyone can give me advice on. The questions are as follows:

1. I will be taking my shirts to a professional screenprinter and would like to know would you recommend buying my own t-shirts in bulk at a discount and then taking them to the screen printer or should I use the shirts the screen printer has even though they are the same shirts.

2. If I go to a screen printer to have him make my graphics the way I tell him to, I know I will pay an art charge but after that does he have a right to my idea or are the rights soley mine since I thought of it I just needed for him to draw it.

3. What would you say is a good mark-up for a shirt. For example if it cost me $4 create a shirt, do you think charging $15.00 is reasonable or should I start low at around $10 or $12 until I get my name out there and then increase my cost with demand. I was thinking the latter but would like your input.

4. How do you all feel about consignment of t-shirts through local shops?

Sorry so long but feel I need all of the input I can get, especially starting fresh.

Thanks-a-million
 

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I will be taking my shirts to a professional screenprinter and would like to know would you recommend buying my own t-shirts in bulk at a discount and then taking them to the screen printer or should I use the shirts the screen printer has even though they are the same shirts.
If it's the same shirt, I wouldn't take the extra step in buying the shirt and taking it to the screen printer. Let them handle it.

2. If I go to a screen printer to have him make my graphics the way I tell him to, I know I will pay an art charge but after that does he have a right to my idea or are the rights soley mine since I thought of it I just needed for him to draw it.
It's yours. But if you want to make double sure, just ask the screen printer directly. They may have a written policy on file that says the same thing. Screen printers generally aren't in the business of selling designs or using other people's designs. They just print what people tell them to.

3. What would you say is a good mark-up for a shirt. For example if it cost me $4 create a shirt, do you think charging $15.00 is reasonable or should I start low at around $10 or $12 until I get my name out there and then increase my cost with demand. I was thinking the latter but would like your input.
Pricing is a interesting thing. There are lots of different opinions on that topic. Pricing low is definitely not always a good idea.

Here's one post:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showpost.php?p=14533&postcount=50

Here's another good recent topic:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=2710&highlight=pricing

:welcome:
 

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As far as the pricing question goes, I think that $15 to $20 should be your aim regardless of how much it costs you to make the shirt. If you are paying too much to create a shirt, then you have to lower your costs and or methods. Not much good ever comes from trying to be the cheapest. Your reputation will be based on that. Your shirts and designs may be thought of as cheap, instead of good quality. You will not be able to support an actual business for long by being the cheapest, and you will not be able to save any money to reinvest in your business either. Go with the market average, which I think is $15 to $20. You can get more depending on your market or location maybe too.

Remember, it might cost you $4 worth of materials to make a shirt, but there are other expenses also, like phone calls, gas, electric, advertising etc.

Now if someone buys a large quantity from you, that's another story.
 

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I'm a bad business man, when I sell to my friends, I usually only charge them like $6 when they go for $15 in my local bike shop. i feel bad charging full price, i always put the homie discount in effect lol. also, my sponsored riders get free T's, but they shred, and they get them name out too.
 

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Rodney said:
It's yours. But if you want to make double sure, just ask the screen printer directly. They may have a written policy on file that says the same thing. Screen printers generally aren't in the business of selling designs or using other people's designs. They just print what people tell them to.
Do most of them have some sort of written policy saying that they wont "steal" your design. Is having them sign a confidentiality agreement of sorts out of line. If it isnt is there a basic form i kind find somehwere?


good questions Tiffany, and its great reading everyone's response.
 

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My printer usually charges me about 7.25.. but it might be cuz it's AA and 3 color..
AmericanApparel (assuming that's the AA you're talking about) is one of the most expensive line of blank tees. So if the blanks are more, the overall cost is going to be more.

Also, your per shirt costs will go down as your quantity goes up. More colors in the design will also increase the screen printing costs.

Do most of them have some sort of written policy saying that they wont "steal" your design. Is having them sign a confidentiality agreement of sorts out of line. If it isnt is there a basic form i kind find somehwere?
I can't speak for "most" of them, but the ones I've worked with have.

I don't even see it as an issue. If you are dealing with a professional, that's the last thing you should worry about.

Screen printers just print t-shirts, they aren't in the business of selling printed designs. I mean, they print shirts for Pepsi, Sony, SF 49ers or whatever.

I can't say that it's never happened in the history of screen printers, but that's like worrying if the people that host your website are going to steal your webpage.

It's not really like a movie industry where you are submitting your idea to them for approval. Think of them more like your computer printer :) They just do what you tell them, when you tell them.

If it makes you feel more comfortable though, you can always just ask them directly if they have something like that on file. It's good to have an open line of communication with your specific printer so it's someone you feel comfortable working with. They are the people printing your t-shirts and if you are in the business of selling t-shirts, you want to make sure you guys are on the same page. If they don't have something on file and you feel like you need one, then you can search google for some type of confidentiality or non disclosure agreement form. There might be free or cheap ones you can pick up.
 
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