I am going to try and summarize some of the problems which do occur with DTG printing.
Purchasing a DTG Printer
One big problem is purchasing a machine which is designed for hobbyists. I won’t name them but you can figure out who they are by the price. There are distributors and manufacturers who are trying to crash the DTG market by offering a machine which looks competitive because of the low price.
One thing never believe is the amount of production you can get from a lower priced machine. It just isn’t there. When you see the demo the trick is for the sales rep to print a simple left chest design on a white tee. It looks great and you are sucked in by the productivity.
Not included in the demo is that fact that there is a pre treatment process which has to be done before printing the garment. The pre-treatment consists of spraying a pre-treatment on the shirt and then heat pressing it to prepare it for printing. Generally the demo will have all the shirts pretreated before to evade the fact that there is a process which takes time before actual printing. you should contact NWCustom Apparel if you have any serious questions.
Curing and finishing
Once the shirt is printed the design has to be cured. You can do this with a heat press machine or a dryer used for curing screen printed tees. This is all a part of the production cycle.
When you are told 50 pieces per hour don’t believe it. It just won’t happen for the lower priced machines.
You must pay for production
If you want production you must consider spending around $500,000.00 for two top of the line DTG printers. (never buy one) This will get you a machine which pre-treats and prints in one cycle. All that’s left to do is run the shirt through a dryer. Productivity with this machine will give you a 40-60 production for left chest white tees. This is a license to print money.
I will continue to update my thoughts on DTG and this is just a brief summary of my feelings.
Collecting individual checks (which at times bounce), collecting cash (gets misplaced) and trying to collect from members of the group who won’t pony up their money. This is the biggest problem when selling to a group of individuals who want you to do all the work and accept all the responsibility for handling the money.
Also, the group might want their cut of the proceeds after you did all the work. Group sales are a thankless job.
Now there is a solution to this problem.
It’s called on line selling via a custom website. This simple system takes all the problems of selling to groups. These custom websites are often referred to as “Flash Stores.”
A flash store manages the whole project for all individual sales made to group members. No more problems with collection, sizing, and profit sharing. We live in the Seattle Tacoma part of the United States and it seems these tech savy customers want everything to be easy.
A few benefits of a Flash Store will include:
Flash Store design is free
Individuals can control their own personal order.
Funds are collected on line with a credit card
After the store closes the profits are sent to the group.
Easiest fund raiser known
Product can be shipped to buyer
Free delivery to one location
Store is open for a limited time. This pushes members to make a decision.
You can offer brand merchandise (Nike, Cutter & Buck, Eddie Bauer, Ogio)
The real benefit is that the whole store is very simple to set up and manage. The product is selected by the group and they get to order what they want. Because there are no upfront set up charges anyone can set up a store at no money down. Northwest Custom Apparel is the flash store expert.
Groups that have no money can have a serendipitous kick start.
This can also be done by companies who want to give their employees a logo wearable. It is a lot easier because the employees order what they want and the company picks up the tab.