Tim is making big money in the t-shirt business... Recently, a national retail chain asked to place his tees in a few of their stores in Denver and Colorado Springs and if they do well there, they want to try some in Texas and a few other places.
Tim prints his own tees from home using a printer… Now no one has an excuse about why they can’t get started in the biz… Tim proves that national retail chains will place your tees in their stores if you have what they want.
Tim has been a longtime follower of TshirtRiches and he submitted the following step-by-step process outlining how he made his tees at home (photos included) — he landed a big order from a fire department that needs tees ASAP!!!
The city forgot to order shirts for a firefighters convention to be held here this weekend (back in June). The marketing department remembered that I can do shirts overnight if needed. I received an order for 139 shirts yesterday, and I received the graphics last night at 9 PM.
I ordered the shirts yesterday at 4PM (Gildan, ash color, they will be here today) and have been printing the transfers since last night. The front is a pocket logo and the back is a full 11 x 15 sized graphic.
They need them by Thursday evening. I told them no problem. I could never do this if I only relied on custom transfers I had to order.
Finished the shirts this AM and delivered them. Billed $1439.50 for 139 shirts. (I lost a few in production-bad pressing. I always figure a 1-2% loss).
There were 6 different types of shirts ordered: Gildan Ultra, Ash/Gidan Sport Gray Sleeveless/Gildan Youth/Anvil Ladies Tank Top, Ash. I don’t recommend the Sport Gray as they are too dark and I had to adjust the colors in the file they sent me. Yellow will not show up. I also do not recommend any ribbed shirts as it will not transfer right.
The printers I use are the Epson WF1100. It’s a wide format and will print up to 13″ wide. It is the one that is highly recommended for this type of printing as there are many companies that sell the refillable inks for this printer. I have another WF1100 I use for sublimation printing. If one breaks down, I can switch inks and continue printing.
I use a no-name press I got off Ebay for about $350.00. It has served me well and I don’t know if I’ll every buy a real expensive one. Don’t know if it is needed. I started out small, with minimal expense and have grown from there just as you advertise everyone can do.
Expenses were as follows:
- Shirts-$387.93 (free freight)
- Transfers- I use red grid. I has vivid colors and transfers nice in a hot peel. If you have trouble with the transfer not completely transferring, you can cold peel and it will completely transfer. I buy the 11 x 17 in quantities of 500 and that comes to about .80 ea for a total of $128.00
- Ink-I use a high heat pigmented ink I purchase in 120-240 ml bottles and use refillable cartridges. DO NOT use the pigmented ink that comes with the printer or you can purchase that is not high-heat. This ink will transfer great and look good, but will split and look bad after a wash or two. I learned this the hard way and cost me quite a bit when I had to redo all the shirts. The ink probably cost me $10-15.00.
Profit was about $913.00 for a day and a half work. The hardest part is the trimming of the printouts. We try to cut as much waste off as we can to make the best looking shirt, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
It took about 9 hours of continuous printing just for the back transfers and about 1.5 hours for the front after I ganged them.
I included a pic of the Care Instructions I put on all the shirts that are ordered.
For my own line of shirts I have a drop tag that includes the care instructions.
There is a lot of info to share on this type of business and on business itself, as you know. I probably had a leg up as I have had a few successful businesses in the past. I am also a retired Detective Sergeant from Massachusetts and just wanted a part-time business to keep me busy. We go to Corpus Christi, Texas for the winter for 6 months and I take my presses and some shirts with me as I get orders over the internet and phone and just ship them out.
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