Is it Worth It to Order Custom T-Shirts Online?

custom t-shirt embroidery machine

As the costs of DTG (direct-to-garment) printing equipment has lowered, the marketplace has been flooded with custom t-shirt shops.  But is it really worth ordering custom t-shirts online? And how do you find the best custom t-shirt printing in a sea of options?

Here’s a quick look at the value of custom t-shirts, including what to look for if you want the best custom t-shirts.

How Much are Custom T-shirts Online?

Pricing on custom t-shirts varies widely–from just a couple of dollars per shirt to much more. So what’s up with the huge differences in costs of custom t-shirts online?

The major factors in t-shirt costs fall under two categories: printing technique and the shirts themselves.

First, a quick look at the shirts themselves. The material you print on matters when it comes to getting quality custom t-shirts. If you want something soft, with a great shape, that holds up to washing, accepts custom ink printing well, and that your customers will love, it costs more than a cheap, low-quality t-shirt.

You can also get specialty fabrics for custom t-shirt printing, like organic cotton or quick-drying, more athletic material. These things cost more for each piece, but might better fit your branding.

Secondly, printing techniques, inks and machinery vary widely.

Lots of printers just use direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, since the equipment costs continue to go down. Think of DTG printing as a home inkjet printer. It does well for a one-off print job, but overall screen printing offers the best quality and ink choice.

DTG printing uses inks just for their machines, like the toner in your color printer. Screen printing, on the other hand, has options like:

  • Textured printing
  • Glitter printing
  • Glow-in the dark
  • Neon inks

These kinds of fun options fit specific brands and designs well. You have virtually limitless ink options with screen printing! And the inks used are usually plastisol, the tried-and-true, holds-up-for-the-life-of-the-shirt option on the market.

Why Should You Order Custom T-shirts Online?

Alright, so that’s what some of the costs are. But is it worth it? Why should you order custom t-shirts online?

The biggest reasons are, of course, the ROI and the look. Custom t-shirts can help:

  • Make your team look great and unified
  • Increase team spirit
  • Project your brand, like a walking billboard!
  • Include your customers and supporters as your brand ambassadors
  • Promote your brand and
  • Make you money!

Your t-shirt design can be as unique as your company, and definitely worth the cost!

How Can I Save $ on Custom T-shirts?

Okay, so if custom t-shirts cost a bit, but it ultimately can promote your brand and make you lots of money (like this guy who made millions by giving away t-shirts!), are there any legit ways to save a few bucks on printing costs?

How can you save money on custom t-shirts?

There are certainly ways to cut corners without sabotaging your t-shirt campaign. A few ideas include:

  • Printing with fewer colors
  • Printing on only one side of the shirt
  • Ordering in bulk, to save costs on each piece
  • Opting for neutral-gender sizing
  • Avoiding specialty (more expensive) inks
  • Drop shipping to avoid keeping inventory and shipping to your own facility

These are just a few ideas. When you work with our in-house design team, we also specialize in helping you meet your budget needs, not just your design needs.

Should You Use a Local T-shirt Printer?

When you want the best custom t-shirts online, you should actually work with a USA-based, local t-shirt printer. Why?

For one, when you work with someone local, even though they’re online, you can speak to an actual person. When you order through a big site, like Etsy or Amazon, you might not get to talk to a person. You do not get the level of personal customer care and attention to detail with big online retailers.

Why does customer service matter in t-shirt design? 

Because a real, local printer, cares about your project. They want your project to work for you. They can offer advice about thousands of options on materials and inks, so that your vision comes to life fully. 

Ordering online can involve guesswork and trial-and-error. 

Ordering from a print shop, like ours in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, takes out the guesswork.

So contact T-Shirt Labs, Your Local Tampa T-Shirt Printer and let us walk you through your project. We will help you ensure your custom t-shirts are worth it!

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