How to Use a T-Shirt Design Printer In Your Business

The obvious answer is, of course, to print custom t-shirt designs with it!

But just OWNING a T-Shirt design printer, like the G4 digital t-shirt printer, doesn’t explain how to really integrate it into your business. Or make it give you a healthy return on your investment.

So here are a few ways just ONE great example, a real business, that has used a t-shirt design printer… or TWO… to grow.

Selling YOUR T-Shirt Designs

First Amendment Tees in Eerie, PA had a pretty good business going service their local community with screen printing.

They had a 4 color manual press and made the kinds of things would expect from a locally-focused shop, including:

All of the things you would normally expect.

But when they added a digital t-shirt printer from ColDesi they were able to convert their attitude, creativity, and online marketing skills to make the FAT-TEE brand their own.

A great example of using your existing walk-in or local retail business plus a new t-shirt printer, to launch an online brand.

Selling to OTHER T-Shirt Designers

Mark Biletnikoff, President/Owner of FAT-TEEs decided that just one or 2 digital printers wasn’t enough. As he added more capacity to print, he started focusing on printing for wholesale.

How that might work for you, if you already have a custom apparel business, promotional products or even local gift store is in one of 2 ways:

#1: You can offer your designs digital printed on t-shirts for THEM to sell

#2: You can print their branded designs

That second idea spawned That’s where Mark leverages both his digital t-shirt design printers and his existing screen-printing equipment to decorate clothing for other and BIGGER, brands.

Wholesale T-Shirt Printing Examples

One example would be a large commercial embroidery shop that gets an order for 1,000 embroidered hats from a large customer who ALSO asks them about printed shirts.

That embroidery business would then call YOU to fulfill that order.

You make less than if you sold directly, but you’re getting larger orders and only having to deal with one customer at a time.

Another customer might be direct to a regional brand.

Imagine that “Texas Teeees” was a popular brand of apparel in that part of the country, but they have either been importing shirts and want to make a change, or maybe they’ve grown so much their internal production can’t keep up.

In that case they might call you and make a long term contract for you fulfilling all of their orders for one or more garment.

You would get an order from “Texas Teeees” and ship it directly to their retail outlets OR their online customers.

Remember, when you are wholesaling in this way you are NOT building your brand. You’re building someone else’s. So you will package your shipments like you’re that company, not yours. does both.

Here’s a great interview with Mark Biletnikoff about how HE uses a t-shirt design printer to power his businesses:

Build It Yourself Online Design Stores

The last option for how to use a T-Shirt design printer in your business is to create an online designer style ecommerce store. This is an on-demand printing approach.

Almost every national, page 1 of Google search custom t-shirt printing business is an example of an online designer like this one:

In this case, you would set up a website designed for consumers to either upload their own images for you to print, or to actually put together their own design using elements from your website.

Your customer would choose a shirt type and color, then upload their own graphic, choose a quantity and hit the order button.

One thing to keep in mind that may not be apparent – consumers rarely know what will look good on a shirt. You may get a file that’s too small, picture that’s too grainy, or even something that violates copyright or trademark laws.

So for the customer the process looks very simple, but you might have some unexpected work to do in the background.

On-Demand Store Profitability

The real attraction to this model is the low touch with customers and the profits per shirt.

Ideally, you’ll just take orders that people enter online themselves, print them on your t-shirt printer, and ship. Typically, NEVER having to get on the phone or an online chat to make the job happen.

That alone saves labor costs and avoids some headaches. Also, the typical on-demand order for very low quantities is very high.

If you were using a screen printing set up to produce orders of 36 or above, for example, you might be happy making $4-$6 per shirt.

But because you’re using a digital design printer, and possibly taking an order for just ONE shirt at a time  you can charge much more. Our customers report selling shirts for $20-$35 depending on the quantity, design and the market they’re in.

So $15-$20 in profit is realistic.

What T-Shirt Design Printer to Buy

You do have some options for adding a t-shirt design printing machine to your business, but here’s a short demonstration of the process on how to print a t-shirt design using the DTG G4 – the same one used in the businesses above!



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