If you have ordered custom shirts before, I am sure you have heard the the term minimum order. This is one of the most difficult issues when it comes to custom screen printed apparel but it’s also one of the most crucial. The minimum order is only in place to make the price per shirt a reasonable amount.
Just like many aspects of this business, the minimum order is variable based on what is involved with a specific order. For some orders we may have a minimum of 12 or 24 shirts required and on others we may need as many as 72 shirts. What determines those minimums are the costs involved to get everything in place and ready for the first shirt to be printed. The higher our costs, the higher the minimum order will be. Below are a few of the aspects that figure into our costs:
- Design Time
- Purchasing the Blank Apparel
- Shipping and Handling of the blank apparel
- Separations and Film
- Screen Preparation (emulsion, tape, labor)
- Press Registration (the more colors the longer and more expensive this process is)
- Repeat previous two steps for each print location (front and back)
- Print the shirts
As you can see above there is quite a bit of work that goes into the process of custom screen printing shirts. Many of these costs are the same whether we print 1 shirt, 10 shirts, or 100 shirts. Before the first shirt is printed, an average order will have $200.00 in hard costs. That does not include the blank shirt cost, the actual printing, or our overhead costs. If you needed just 1 shirt we need to charge over $200 for that 1 shirt just to cover our costs. If you need 100 shirts then just $2/shirt will cover those same costs and therefore with the cost of the blank shirt, printing costs, and our overhead we can print your order for a reasonable $7-$8 per shirt.