When Judy posted a previous blog post titled, “Plastisol Transfers … This Surprising Alternative to Screen Printing Allows Anyone to Start a T-shirt Business From Home“, we received a few e-mails from people wanting to know the BIGGEST advantage to using screen printed transfers.
Some people felt there really was no difference in cost when buying screen printed transfers versus getting the design screen printed onto a shirt.
In fact, I got the following question from a guy named Rod…
I don’t really understand how plastisol transfers are better than actual printed shirts. Unless you purchase the plastisol transfers in bulk the price is about the same. The ONLY advantage I’ve seen is that you won’t have a printed garment laying around having not sold.”
Take a look at my response below … you’re in for a surprise!
Hi Rod. Thanks for your comment.
In my opinion, screen printing trumps all other methods in terms of ‘quality’ for t-shirts. For all intended purposes, it’s the best way to get shirts made, especially when buying in bulk.
The next best method for getting quality shirts made is gonna be plastisol transfers. No other method outside screen printing trumps ‘plastisol transfers’.
This method is the ONLY method that gets you closest to a screen print quality shirt (keep in mind, this method is NOT the same as printing your own transfers from a home computer).
One of the reasons for this post was to make the case that screen printed or plastisol transfers is an affordable option to get into the t-shirt business. All without having to spend over $10,000+ dollars to get started.
There isn’t an extensive amount of learning involved with screen printed transfers compared to learning how to screen print. Plus, with transfers, you can do this in a spare bedroom, kitchen table, sunroom or garage.
You are correct in saying that you must purchase plastisol transfers in bulk to get a good price, but the pricing is not exactly the same.
Here’s how screen printed transfers work to your advantage…
Take a look at this pricing chart of just one of the many vendors that make screen printed transfers:
In the pricing chart above, the pricing shown are for custom screen printed transfers being put onto large jumbo sheets measuring 25 inches x 38 inches. In the first column, the pricing for 100 sheets is $2.81 for a single color design.
But because these are jumbo sheets, depending on the size of your design, you can get up to 6 standard shirt size designs onto just ONE jumbo sheet. Broken down, each design on one jumbo sheet is only costing you .47 cents each.
But since you get 100 sheets with 6 designs on each sheet, you essentially end up with 600 transfers for just $281 bucks.
But here’s how it gets even better … let’s say you have 6 different designs, and let’s say each of the 6 designs are blue (the same color). Guess what??? You can put each of the 6 designs onto the jumbo sheet and get one hundred sheets made for the same $281 bucks.
Now you have 6 totally different designs and you have 100 each. Now convince me you can get that from a screen printed for $281.00?
You’ll spend more than that getting 100 t-shirts printed up with 1 color through a local screen printer … The shirts would probably be really cheap and they’re all pre-printed onto shirts that might or might not sell. But at least with the screen printed transfer, you 6 totally different designs.
If you get creative and think things through when coming up with your designs, you can get a whole lot more for your dollar, for practically the same money.
Look further down the list and you can get 500 sheets printed up for $1.65 per sheet for a total of $825 bucks. With 6 designs on one sheet, your cost per transfer in this example costs you about .28 cents each. In this scenario, you walk away with 3,000 transfers. If you had 6 different designs on a sheet, you get 500 transfers of each of the 6 designs.
Now tell me how this doesn’t work out in your favor?
$281 bucks is a small price to pay to walk away with 100 of 6 different designs each. You just don’t lose at all.
Now if you’re only buying 12 transfers, then the pricing model makes no sense at all… Just like it wouldn’t if all you were buying were 12 tees from a local screen printer. The fees would be outrageous for just 12 tees.
Hope this makes sense and thanks for your feedback…
It’s questions like yours that help me elaborate more on how this process works and benefits the end user.
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