Want to Make a Screen Printer Cringe? Ask ‘em “How Much For Shirts?"

They say there’s no such thing as a dumb question… but I bet that most screen printers would disagree. It never fails: as soon as someone finds out that you’re a screen printer or even gets a whiff that you might be able to help them bring their “awesome” t-shirt idea to life, they inevitably ask, 

"How much for shirts?" 

Although you’re sure to get a barrage of dumb follow-up questions, it’s that one that is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for me. It's like finding out someone is a bartender and asking, "How much for a drink?" or asking a car salesman, "How much for a car?" It should be obvious, but let’s discuss why it’s a dumb question. 

Here’s what I need to know before I can give you an idea of how much it’s going to cost “for shirts”:


What does your design look like? How big is it? How many colors does it have? Are you printing in one location or multiple on each shirt? A simple “I’M WITH STUPID” will cost less than a multi-colored, oversized monstrosity with four different print locations.

The type of shirt, or garment in general, will also affect the cost. Do you need a boxy cotton tee? Something that is a lighter blended fabric? Long sleeve, short sleeve, baseball tee? All of these options have a different price tag attached. 


Like Costco, buying in bulk is the key to keeping the cost low. If you come at me with, “IDK, a dozen?” I’m likely to charge you much more per piece for the amount of work it takes just to set the job up than if you were to print 50 or 100+. 


While my specific turnaround times are usually around the two-week mark, there’s always the possibility of rushing it. Oh, you needed these shirts yesterday? Well, prepare to pay the piper for your procrastination, pal. Each day less that I have to do what you’re asking is a money multiplier.

Before you slide into my (or any other printer’s) DMs to drop an unsolicited “How much for shirts?” bomb, gather your specifics - quantity, design complexity, apparel type, ink choices, print locations, and turnaround time. Your screen printer will appreciate the thoroughness, and you’ll dodge the cringe-worthy misstep and retain a bit of credibility. A little preparation goes a long way in avoiding the blistering brand of naivety. Just like when buying a car or ordering a drink, doing some research keeps you from looking like a sucker.

Take a look at our screen printing services and contact us for more information.

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