T-shirt pricing calculator template

A T-shirt printing business can be a lucrative business. The T-shirt pricing calculator can streamline and automate your quote process and give you valuable leads.

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A T-shirt printing business can be a lucrative business. You can quickly launch this business with an investment requirement that ranges from very little capital up to roughly the equivalent of your monthly car payments for large operations. You can also scale up your business and corresponding income as demand grows. Starting with a small team of just one or two people and a relatively small space for a single printer, you can operate the business and build it up to scale.

ConvertCalculator is here to offer extra help so you can start leveling up your custom apparel business with tools to automate your marketing and sales processes. Meanwhile, we will also provide some tips on how to run your business successfully!

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Two sides to the T-shirt printing business

The T-shirt printing business is one of those businesses that can have two sides to one's operation. That is to say -- you can focus on the so-called B2B or business-to-business side, or you can put your efforts into the B2C or business-to-consumer side.

A B2B T-shirt printing business will focus on selling to another business partner. In this case, a wholesaler company may cater to apparel brands that buy items in bulk, such as offline brick-and-mortar stores. It can also sell to online e-commerce stores that cater to end-consumers. Meanwhile, a B2C business will primarily sell only to end-user consumers and usually in smaller quantities than B2B businesses. Since the ordered quantities are smaller, this type of business may even make custom prints for their customers.

Of course, nothing prevents you from doing both types of business transactions. However, as you will eventually see, each business type may require different strategies.

The main drivers of the t-shirt business are cost and earnings. Calculators are a perfect interactive element that will motivate your potential customers to get started.



Components of a T-shirt printing business

To run a T-shirt printing business, you'll need a handle on its most basic components. You will need these components to start and run the business, regardless of whether it's small- or large-scale. We've deliberately eliminated some others, such as marketing, logistics, and distribution costs; these require a separate, more lengthy, and more in-depth discussion.

To run a T-shirt printing business, you'll need a handle on its most basic components. You will need these components to start and run the business, regardless of whether it's small- or large-scale. We've deliberately eliminated some others, such as marketing, logistics, and distribution costs; these require a separate, more lengthy, and more in-depth discussion.

T-shirts and their quality

You'll be in the business of printing T-shirts, so yes, this is the top consideration. And "quality, quality, quality" will be your mantra. You'll encounter a dizzying array of choices in materials, sizes, fit, quality, and price points, which will vary depending on the quantity you order.

Printing techniques

T-shirt designs and trends come and go. What's hot today might be passé tomorrow. Regardless of the design niche one intends to occupy, you will be printing your T-shirts using any of these main printing techniques.

Screen Printing Screen printing is the oldest of the three techniques and the most labor-intensive. This method requires you to create and use mesh screens to print your T-shirts. The mesh screens themselves have a lifespan that will need replacing eventually.

One advantage to using this technique over other methods is that it is cost-effective when printing in bulk. Thus, it's a good option for larger businesses relying on volume discounts.

The disadvantage to this technique is that it limits your designs to a few colors and allows you to print only simpler designs. Above three or four colors, the process is no longer cost-effective.

Heat Transfer Printing Printing in bulk using heat transfers is an old technique. You may have used an ordinary iron to transfer iron-on "stickers" to a plain T-shirt. That would be similar to this technique, except you'll be using specially designed heat press machines for your business.

You can jumpstart your business by simply submitting your designs to a professional printer. These printers will print your designs on high-quality heat transfer paper, and you can "print" (transfer) the design onto your T-shirts on demand.

Unlike the screen printing technique, the heat transfer technique is appropriate for small batch orders. It does not limit your design or the number of colors you can use. However, the final print is less durable than those produced by the other methods. It requires you to invest in a heat press machine upfront and requires a "do-it-yourself" approach.

Direct-to-Garment Printing Direct-to-garment printing is much like operating your inkjet printer at home but using a T-shirt instead of paper. The print's durability and quality exceeds that of a heat transfer. You are not limited to just three or four colors, however, as in the case of screen printing. Also, there are no setup costs required, unlike the other two methods.

Direct-to-garment printing is especially great for one-off printing with a highly detailed print, but this also means that you can't give volume discounts.

T-shirt designs

Arguably the most crucial ingredient in a T-shirt printing business, the designs you come up with will determine your success. No one wants to wear what everyone else is wearing, and you'll have to come up with a variety of designs. You may have to cater to a niche -- T-shirts for pet lovers, for example -- or go even narrower. T-shirts for pet lovers in the medical profession, anyone?

The thing to remember about designing your T-shirts is that you don't have to do everything yourself. There are a variety of resources you can tap into, such as buying a custom design, hiring an in-house designer, or using the services of freelance designers. Whichever niche and resource you settle on, your T-shirts will have to be unique enough to appeal to your target customers.

Your brand

We mentioned that sooner or later, you will have to identify your niche. We also mentioned earlier that you could concentrate on a B2B model, B2C model, or do both. Whichever direction you go, you will have to create a strong enough brand that stands out in a crowded space.

Once you've chosen your niche or business model, everything -- from your logo to the kind of packaging used to deliver your products -- is a reflection of your brand. Customers nowadays have a lot of choices - both online and offline - and it becomes even more crucial for your brand to stand out.


Large or small, a t-shirt business will have to deal with inventory levels. Surprisingly nowadays, you are not required to stick to the old ways of doing business.

In the past, a T-shirt supplier only had two options. The first was to adopt a buy-and-hold policy, which allows them to take advantage of bulk pricing on blank shirts and outsource the printing to local suppliers. The second was to rely on a print-on-demand model, which reduces inventory and upfront costs. Bulk buying potentially increases your profit margins, while printing on-demand reduces your risks.

Nowadays, not only can you do a balance of both, but the popularity of online commerce simplified the balancing act further. It's now possible not to have any inventory, such as in the case of a dropshipping arrangement! In this type of order fulfillment, whenever an order comes in, the drop shipper will order the items from a third-party supplier, and the order is sent directly to the buyer! In this way, the retailer tacks a mark-up on the third-party suppliers' prices.

Some advantages to the T-shirt printing business

Whatever the scale of one's business, the T-shirt printing business is a rewarding business venture. Profitability is not the only main advantage. There is a lot to like about the trade, and here are some of the other benefits.

Be your own boss! You can operate a T-shirt printing by yourself and still turn a nifty profit. Of course, that means you'll do everything yourself, too! If you go this route, however, no one's going to be breathing down your neck. You won't have to clock in either. If you manage to scale up your operations, you can hire and train more people as needed and be their boss!

You'll only need a small space to start your business! Today's modern T-shirt printing equipment needs very little space. You can quickly start your business in a spare room or a garage or basement. In this case, you won't have to worry about rent or taking out a long-term lease.

You don't need to break the bank! Successful T-shirt entrepreneurs rave about the low start-up costs of running a T-shirt printing business. You can invest in a printer that can amount to a tidy but not a princely sum. However, you can also merely adopt a drop shipping arrangement, which in some cases can cost next to nothing. Coupled with minimal physical space requirements, you can start running your business without taking out a huge loan.

T-shirts will never go out of style! T-shirts are a wardrobe staple. Sure, some design trends have come and gone, but the T-shirt itself is typically trend-proof. Originally worn as an undergarment in the late 19th century, the T-shirt gained wider acceptance as outerwear, and more importantly, the cool factor, in the 1950s.

With such a massive demand, you will be hard put to find a single person who doesn't own at least one T-shirt in their closet. Simply put, this means your business will have almost unlimited potential!

There are plenty of resources to help you start your business! As befitting the popularity of the T-shirt itself, there are plenty of resources to help your business get off to a running start. There are specialty sites devoted to selling T-shirts online. Gone are the days when you had to have a physical store for selling your items - whether in bulk or printed on demand.

Need advice on how to start or improve your T-shirt business? Countless blogs discuss the dos and don'ts of running your business or dispense free advice on ways to improve it.

Not having design skills is no longer a problem, either. If you have the creative skills, you can do the designs yourself, of course. There are alternatives, however.

You can hire a designer or buy eye-catching designs from graphic T-shirt marketplaces. (Yes, there are many of these sites online!) You can even avail yourself of the services of freelancers from popular freelance networks who can do one-off design jobs for you. There are also design-centric communities you can tap for these graphic design jobs.

Don't get hassled with manually submitting quotes!

ConvertCalculator's T-shirt Printing Price Calculator is another resource you can tap to help streamline your business. Get rid of the tedious task of submitting a quote each time you (in real life!) or your website encounter a prospect.

Consider this scenario as a B2C seller of a hip, print-on-demand graphic tees brand. The good news is your website gets plenty of hits and gets flooded with requests for quotations (or RFQs). You can go the difficult way and respond to each request individually, or you can make things easier for yourself by automating the process. Even bulk sellers in a B2B setup will enjoy the benefits of automating this process!

Let's take a look at how ConvertCalculator's T-shirt Printing Price Calculator helps your business by first examining the factors that can affect a T-shirt's price.

Selections in a screen printing cost calculator

Capture lead data to follow up with confidence

Make sure you ask for a lead's name, email and phone first before showing the full cost calculator, so you can follow up with confidence.

T-shirt fabrics, sizes, and types

The fabric's quality of the shirts you're offering is a primary consideration for your T-shirt business. Premium quality items that use more costly materials such as hoodies or moisture-wicking T-shirts are usually more expensive, even in bulk orders. Regular cotton tank tops, meanwhile, should cost less.

Besides the fabric used, T-shirt sizing and type are also important because it matters how much or what material you will need. T-shirt sizes like XL and XXL will cost more, most likely. Meanwhile, premium shirts like a Henley (a T-shirt with buttons) or a Raglan (which uses different fabrics) are usually more expensive than plain T-shirts.


As a general rule, bulk orders generally cost less, but the type of printing technique used will also come into play. As mentioned previously, economies of scale are more viable in screen-printed T-shirts, but not for heat transfer or direct-to-garment (DTG) printed shirts.

Designs and colors

DTG-printed and heat transfer printed shirts can accommodate full-color printing and don't affect the price too much. Screen-printed shirts, however, have limitations, and your chosen design and the number of colors used in that design greatly influence the price.

The artwork used, too, may affect the price. Was the design purchased from an artist? Does it carry royalty fees? Did you hire an expensive designer to create a custom design, or did you buy someone's artwork from a community website? How you arrived at a final design for your custom-printed shirts is also a consideration in the final price of your orders.

Printing and printing techniques

As mentioned, the three usual printing techniques have inherent advantages and disadvantages. Whether you go with one or another, the price of your graphic tees will depend on the printing method used as well. Similarly, having the T-shirt printed on both the front and back will increase your price.

Whether you're the buyer or the seller, the pricing of your T-shirt orders is affected by many details, increasing or lowering those prices. However, we only dealt with those factors that directly influence someone's order.

A final note on T-shirt costing

If you're the buyer, a business' brand equity influences the cost of the items you're buying. Consider, for example, a luxury brand that sells shirts for top dollar and the pirates who sell knock-offs at steep, if illegal, discounted prices.

If you're the seller, factors such as your marketing costs, logistics, and distribution costs affect your prices, too. However, we did not deal with these factors for now and only examined the factors that directly impact a T-shirt's price or its direct costs.

Get help from ConvertCalculator!

We said earlier that a T-shirt printing business is a pretty lucrative business. It's easy to set up, too. However, admittedly, many things need your attention before you get your new business off the ground or if you want to scale up your business.

Here's where ConvertCalculator's T-shirt pricing calculator can lend a hand. And you need all the help you can get to acquire great partner suppliers and repeat customers. ConvertCalculator promises to streamline your quotation process and even give you valuable leads, whether your strategy is to go B2B or B2C.

Consider the following questions a buyer might have:

  • How much does a single T-shirt cost?
  • What if I add another color to my design?
  • What if I purchase 100 T-shirts for my planned event?
  • What if I change from a plain white 100% cotton T-shirt to one of the newer moisture-wicking fabric blends that's great for sports activities?
  • How about if I order a few different sizes?

Now, consider similar questions, but this time from a seller's point of view:

  • How much does it cost to produce a single T-shirt?
  • How much should it be now that the customer added another color?
  • What if the order increases to 100 T-shirts for someone's planned event?
  • What mark-up should I consider for the different T-shirt types in stock?
  • Should I price men's, women's, and children's sizes differently?

As each factor changes, so should the final cost, and you'll probably have to revise your quotation again and again. And here's where ConvertCalculator's T-shirt pricing calculator becomes a valuable tool.

ConvertCalculator's versatile form builder calculator can answer these questions -- and their endless variations -- quickly! And you'll only deal with our DIY drag-and-drop form builder once. When you have a T-shirt pricing calculator set up, it is available to you and your customers whenever similar questions pop up.

Think about it. A potential customer can, on his own, plug in the different factors that affect a T-shirt's cost on his own and get an accurate quotation from you. He can change his mind many times, and you don't have to generate a different price quote each time!

Now, aren't you glad we're around to lend you a hand?

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