Are you looking for a DTG printer under $1000, then this is exactly the post for you.
DTG printing is one of the most popular printing methods used by small businesses as well as bigger brands. The reason is that it is not only highly profitable but also offers good quality printing on t-shirts.
But what to do if you are just starting up with your business, or if you have a limited budget, i.e. $1000 to $3000 for getting a clothing printer.
In this post, I have mentioned all the options for DTG printers under $1000 and the best alternatives for you. Let’s begin.
What is DTG printing?
DTG or Direct-to-garment is a printing method in which the ink is sprayed onto the garment. Once the ink is soaked into the fibers, the product is ready. The graphics are printed onto the textiles using a modified inkjet technology. The print remains on the surface of a fiber using adhesive bonding.
How much does a DTG printer cost?
Now the biggest question – how much does a DTG printer cost? And can you get a DTG printer for under $1000? The answer to the first one is to be discussed, but for the second question, the answer is Yes, but it’s not worth it.
Only way to get a DTG printer under $1000 is by importing it from an economically cheaper country, provided that you don’t have an additional custom. And even after that, the bigger problem is the quality of parts used. After spending $1000 to $2000, you wouldn’t want to waste half of your time fixing print errors, part defects and more.
Plus you might have a lot of trouble getting your printer serviced, since it won’t be manufactured by a popular brand with worldwide service centers.
Talking about the pricing, DTG printers are very expensive and are only used by those with high volume orders. Here are some of the best DTG printer brand models with price –
- M&R Maverick – $70,000
- Kornit Breeze – $50,000
- Brother GTX Pro – $29,000
- Azon Tex – $15,000
- Summit RT – $12,000
- Epson SureColor F3070 – $50,000
- RICOH Ri 6000 – $30,000
What are the best options for DTG printing under $1000?
While the above-mentioned DTG printers are quite expensive, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to spend that much money. Luckily, there are some really great options for those looking for DTG printing under $1000 –
1. Use sublimation printing method
Sublimation printing method is a popularly growing method that you can use as a perfect alternative to DTG printing. Unlike DTG printers where the ink adheres to the surface, the sublimation method mixes the ink with the fabric providing a better quality printing.
Sublimation printer contains CMYK (4-color) ink for creating multiple combinations. The process is pretty simple. You will first need to print your design on the sublimation paper using a sublimation printer.
Next, put the t-shirt with no design (also known as sublimation blanks) along with the printed design under a heat press machine. Close the heat press based on minutes appearing on the timer and then open the heat transfer machine. At this part, your t-shirt is ready to go.
Basically the design is printed on a special paper (sublimation transfers) and then put above the t-shirt and pressed at an extensive temperature. This causes the design to transfer to the clothing. The best part is, you can use it for printing clothing, mugs, caps and a lot more products.
In most cases, an Epson printer is converted into a sublimation printer using sublimation-inks.
The total cost of this is under $1000 and here is everything you’d need –
- Sublimation blanks
- Sublimation inks
- Sublimation transfer paper
- Sublimation printer
- Heat press machine
2. Use a print on demand dropshipping service
If you don’t want to put any upfront investment, then this is the perfect alternative to DTG printer under $1000.
A print on demand dropshipping service is basically a custom printing service that gives you a free mockup generator. You can use that to design your own products and create a custom catalog. Next every time an order arrives, the print on demand company will fulfill it for you.
For those who don’t know, dropshipping itself is a business model where you can pay on a per order basis. Every time an order arrives, they will automatically fulfill it once you make the payment for a single item.
Obviously the profit margin is slightly lower since you will be re-selling on a per order basis, you can still avail great discounts using bulk purchase if you want.
In case you are selling online, you can simply create the products and migrate them to your store in one click. If you have a brick and mortar store, or selling offline, you can place one order per design to create a physical catalog. Some of the popular print on demand services are Printful, Printify and Gooten.
3. Look for DTG printing service near you
If you are a huge fan of DTG printing but don’t have deep pockets, you can use a DTG printing service for reselling your products. DTG printing services are similar to the print on demand, but they might or might not give you the MOQ as low as 1 unit.
You can use a DTG specific printing service for creating your products and selling them without having to worry about the print quality and fulfillment.
4. Get a refurbished DTG printer
For those who just want a DTG printer under $1000 and no other alternative, you can always look for a refurbished DTG printer. Since the DTG printers are quite expensive, they are built solid, so they don’t break down for a long time. Look for someone who wants to sell their DTG printer.
5. Using a custom clothing manufacturer
Working directly with the manufacturers is good for those who have very specific needs and want a higher profit. While you will have to buy multiple units depending upon MOQ, there are some great options for custom clothing manufacturers. You will need to create a tech pack showcasing your clothing needs for requesting a quote.
Which is the best way to get a DTG printer under $1000?
So that was my take on affordable clothing printing. If you are stuck buying a DTG printer due to the high quality graphics it offers, you should go for a good brand. If you are just starting up, go for a print on demand or a DTG printing service. You will have good control over the design and won’t need to put up huge investment.
If you are making good profits, you can also use a financial service like Klarna or PayPal, this way you will be able to get a high quality DTG printer under $1000 setup cost and make the rest of payment as you grow your business.