You go to buy a single custom t-shirt, but find that if you purchased 50 or even 500 it would be much cheaper per product, you may wonder why this is. Surely the price of the print and product isn’t any more expensive?! And surely t-shirts are super cheap anyway?!
What many fail to consider when making these assumptions is the overheads that come with custom t-shirt printing. There are many factors at play that do in fact make it more expensive (per product) to produce a single product vs tens, hundreds or even thousands.
We’re going to outline some of these below:
It takes a t-shirt printer almost as long to setup & administrate a production run for 1 custom t-shirt as it does for 100 or 1000.
Assuming it’s just 1 person involved in the setup and administration of your order, when you split that person’s hourly wage across 100 units, compared to 1 unit, the rate becomes a lot smaller a proportion of the order.
For example if that person was paid £20 an hour, on 1 printed t-shirt 1 hour of their time would be £20. However, across 100 units it would be just 20p per t-shirt. While this is quite a basic example, which doesn’t reflect the true time, people and costs, it illustrates how the savings can add up very quickly.
The setup time accounts for the time spent answering any questions or enquiries via email or phone, the design work for digital mockups (plus any alterations that are needed), the setup of the printers, the loading of your artwork onto the machines (or screens depending on order sizes), and more.
Time Spent Printing
While our printers are fairly autonomous, people are still involved in the process. People have to load t-shirts onto the printer and line them up, alongside monitoring production to ensure everything is running smoothly. When everything is the same on a larger order, it’s far quicker, compared to single t-shirt orders.
There are also people involved in quality control, and people who pick and pack your order. Again this is faster on orders where everything is the same and going to the same place.
As you can tell already there are a fair number of people involved in the printing of t-shirts.
The product and printing itself
We also have to consider the raw materials (inks, t-shirts etc), which get cheaper when you buy larger quantities.
Hopefully, this helps you to better understand why buying larger quantities of custom printed t-shirts works out cheaper per unit, and gives an insight into the processes involved.
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