One of the most common problems direct to garment printers run into is pricing print jobs properly and making an actual profit. Unlike most companies OmniPrint wants to make sure you get education beyond just operating the printer. A very common method of pricing has been taking the cost of the shirt and the print as the only factors in the cost. You need to make sure that every cost is being covered and you have room for a little negotiation if needed.
The first thing you need to get a solid understanding on is your hourly output on light and dark garments. Once you know that you can do let’s say 15 dark garments and 25 light garments per hour you can figure out how long a print job will take and the hourly labor cost involved. That’s right don’t forget to pay yourself! You also need to remember that in most cases you are pretreating your garments before printing. With our pretreat you are looking at around a quarter per shirt. So to be safe charge at least 50-70 cents per garment to cover the pretreat.
Yet another thing to not forget is the cost of ink used for cleans and maintenance. Because the FreeJet printer uses the “Wet Capping” system any wasted ink is cut down to a minimal amount. Some other machines may use a lot of ink for automated cleans and monthly flushes. You need to get a good idea of how much on average you are wasting so you can cover this in your print job costs. This can be done in a few ways. One would be to add something like 10 cents to each print so round the ink cost up by 10 cents, other printers may require more. Another is a basic set up fee, screen printing will always have a setup fee for film and screens per color. With Direct to garment a basic $5.00 set up fee will help cover maintenance and cleaning solutions. The main thing here is to not forget about this cost and make sure you are covering it.
Lets take a look now on how to price a 15 shirt job on a FreeJet and make a profit.
Black Shirt: $3.00
Ink Cost per print: $0.90 plus $0.10 to cover waste ink, total cost $1.00
Pre treat per shirt $0.50
Labor, 1 hour $15 labor per shirt $1.00
Total cost $5.50 x 3 = $16.50
15 shirts at $16.50 = $247.50 + $5 set up fee $252.50
Using this pricing method will keep you in a good profit margin. It also gives you some room to offer a discount on larger orders. The key is to make sure you have every element covered. Always start off here to give yourself an idea of how much room you have to work with. Remember that you can always say no, whenever you drop your pricing that it can be a downwards spiral that becomes a trend. Chase your profits up not down.