Profit from direct to garment printing

Untitled-1In the garment decoration industry, printing is by far, still the largest sector. You can print using transfers, film/vinyl, laser paper, screen printing etc. but one of the fastest ways of building a solid business is direct to garment printing. Managing director of Amaya Sales UK, Peter Wright, explains why.

DTG printing has been around now for over 13 years but as only reached its full potential in the last three to four years. Printing techniques are now up to a very acceptable standard with most printers able to produce vibrant quality and excellent wash ability.

The beauty about DTG is that you can achieve a fair price for the products you produce. This is because the sale of these printers is still relatively low, (in comparison to other printing methods) customers are prepared to pay higher prices for a superior product. Because DTG printing is now becoming well known, customers are searching out printers when they want a higher quality printed garment with photo realistic quality and a soft feel.

So the first thing to remember is not to under-price your products, they are printed on a state of the art printer and are in demand as long as you reach the correct market. Direct to garment printing equipment is not cheap but if promoted through the right channels they can provide a quick return on investment and build up to a substantial part of your business.

Finding DTG business

You only have to look around at the amount of people wearing T shirts to know that the market is vast. Try and identify your niche market, there are thousands to think about. Have you a hobby that could involve printed shirts? Car clubs, horse shows, dog shows, bands, keep fit clubs, gyms, sports clubs, just look in the yellow pages and ideas will be falling off the pages.

Do not try and compete with screen printing for numbers over one hundred, they can produce thousands at low cost. Aim your market at the one to one hundred sector i.e. clubs, smaller companies etc. Another niche could be businesses that are exhibiting at shows. They want to show their message loud and clear, DTG printing is an ideal solution.

Use your web site to attract DTG customers, some of our clients are achieving £20 to £30 for a one off T shirt especially if it’s a design of their own. Create your own designs and sell them on the web for around £15 to £20. Many of our customers have set up successful web shops with the likes of eBay and Amazon.

Another simple way of gaining DTG business is to send a T shirt sample with a good design on, to your existing embroidery or printing customers. The results should far out way the cost.

Use your own database and send out an email campaign telling your customers what you can do for them.

So, just think for a minute and work out how much you could make in profits by doing a small amount of marketing. You know how much a T shirt costs and the cost of ink, staff, finance etc. Some of our successful customers have returned their investment within four months.

Below gives you an idea of what you could achieve:

On a white or pale garment you could print a full colour A4 print in around two minutes at an ink cost of about 15p. Say you do one every four minutes that would be 15 shirts produced per hour. A T shirt costs around £1.50 and could sell for between £10 and £15.

At £15 per shirt that would give you £225 revenue less your costs of £24.75 (15 x £1.50 for the T shirts and £2.25 in ink), that’s £200 profit per hour. On dark shirts an A4 full colour print would take around four minutes and cost between 85p and £1.30 in ink. You could charge more for a dark or black shirt say from £15 to £20.  So if you print 10 per hour your revenue would be £200 less your costs of £28 (10 x £1.50 for the T shirt and £13 in ink) that’s £172 profit per hour.

Final thought

Last thought is for you to keep an eye on your running costs. Use the best ink available from a reputable dealer, ideally you have or will purchase a printer with re-fillable cartridges, being able to refill your cartridges will save you hundreds of pounds. Ask your printer supplier how much a litre of ink costs. Maintain your machine up to the supplier’s recommendations, not doing this could cost you dearly in expensive repair bills and lost production.

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