DTG Price List Estimator Tool – FREE!


For a more in-depth look at the principles behind creating a custom price list,  check out this link.  Otherwise, keep reading if you just want to use the DTG Price List Estimator Tool!


We often get asked “what should we charge for our printed shirts?”  This is a tough question to answer, due to the extraordinary number of variables involved.  Each business owner will be operating on different fixed monthly expenses (rent, electricity, phone, etc), and production capabilities will be vary depending on factors such as:

  • Number and type(s) of DTG printers you are using
  • Efficiency of the person operating the machine(s)
  • The specific RIP settings, print resolutions, etc used for production
  • Your business model / specific production process setup
Since everyone likes to do things slightly different, it is important to tailor your pricing to your business model rather than simply trying to copy someone else’s prices.  The DTG Price List Estimator tool allows you to adjust a series of variables and personal business data to project a viable price list for your DTG printing services.   Based on your unique overhead, labor and business expenses you can create a price list that is fully adjustable so you can tweak it and dial it in until you are happy.
Below is a series of basic instruction on how to use this simple yet powerful little tool:
  1. Download the DTG Price List Estimator Tool by clicking this download link.
  2. Fill out the top three fields that include:
    1. My Machine Type – the type of machine you are using for this price list.
    2. Price List Type – the type of garments you are currently calculating (usually LIGHTS / DARKS).
    3. Target Net Profit Per Hour – the amount of money you want to earn each hour, after all expenses are accounted for.
  3. CONTROL SAMPLE IMAGES – Most DTG print shops charge a different price for smaller, standard and larger print areas; by running a series of simple tests on selected images, you can provide all the necessary information for the spreadsheet to determine your estimated hourly production rates:
    1. Starting with one of your control images (start with the smaller image and work your way up through all the steps), record the Print Size in the Control Sample grid.
    2. Using the image you selected, print an entire cycle.  If your machine has only one platen, then print the image using your single platen and time yourself from the moment you press the PRINT button on the printer, until the next time you press the PRINT button; this will give you the complete time for one full cycle.  If you are using a machine that allows multiple items to be loaded (like the Neoflex for instance), one full cycle would include 2-3 printed items.  Make sure you time the entire cycle, not just the time when the printer is actually printing!  You have to account for loading / unloading time, as well.
    3. Once your cycle is completed, record the time it took from start to finish (round up to the nearest full minute).  Under “Prints Per Cycle”, you will record how many garments of that size fit in a single cycle – the built in formulas will figure out how long it takes to print each item, and extrapolate that data to create an estimated hourly production rate on the results page.
    4. Input your ink and pretreatment cost as well – this is important!  Most RIP programs will report an estimated ink cost back to you after you RIP a file – make sure you are entering the cost to print ONE item, not a full cycle (even if your machine supports multiple prints per cycle).  It is a good idea to estimate on the higher side when it comes to the ink cost, since you don’t want to wind up selling prints for less than you are paying to produce them!  Your pretreatment cost will have to be approximated as well, but it should be somewhere around .50 for a standard print area (PT only).
  4. SHIFT INFORMATION – Since each one of us is going to have a different shop setup, we need to account for how much money is being spent each month just to pay the bills, and we need to have a realistic idea of how much it costs (per hour) to run our business.  Fill out the Shift Information including:
    1. Daily Working Hours – the number of hours you are usually open for business each day.
    2. Weekly Working Days – the number of days you are usually open for business each week.
    3. Employees Per Shift – the number of employees you typically have on the clock at any given point.
    4. Employee Hourly – the average amount of money you pay to each of your individual employees on an hourly basis.
  5. RECURRING MONTHLY EXPENSES – This is a breakdown of all the regular bills you have to pay each month, whether you print any t-shirts or not.  Fill in the appropriate yellow cells and the spreadsheet will automatically show you the breakdown for “Weekly”, “Workday” and “Hourly” overhead costs.
  6. Once you have entered all of the required information, switch over to the Results Page to view your estimated price list.
  7. While viewing the Results Page, you can edit the yellow strip above the price grid that controls the quantity discounts – this is called the “Price Break Multiplier”.  By changing the number above each quantity break, you are able to easily adjust the amount of discount a client would receive at the different points on the grid.  “1” would be equal to 100% of the “Cost Per” unit price, while “.5″ would be equal to 50% of the “Cost Per” unit price.  You can also INCREASE the price if you want to work that way, by entering any number larger than “1” (for instance, “1.2” would equal 120% of the “Cost Per” unit price).
Once you have input all of your business variables, adjusted your quantity discounts to your liking and run the numbers on all three control sample files, your price list is ready to implement!  Feel free to use it as-is, or adjust it to your liking.  You can easily see how changing a number anywhere on the Inputs page will immediately affect the Results Page, providing you instant feedback on a number of potential changes.  Also, don’t be afraid to go nuts!  If any of the prices in the grid happen to dip below the “ROOT” manufacturing cost (which is the amount of money it would cost you to actually print the item), the cell will turn red to alert you – it wouldn’t do anyone any good to charge your customers less than it actually costs you to print, right?
Enjoy the free tool, and good luck in setting up your new price lists!

4 Responses to DTG Price List Estimator Tool – FREE!

  1. […] $130.25 divided by 9 prints per hour = $14.47 / per print ($6.67 of which is actually NET profit) Of course, this figure does not include the blank garment – this is simply a determination of your actual print cost, including profit.  Using this number as a starting point, you can apply small price breaks at set quantities to attract larger orders – if someone is going to order 100 prints, most print shops don’t mind taking a slightly lower “profit per hour” just to keep the machines busy.  As long as the price you are charging is HIGHER than your root manufacturing cost, then you can at least be confident that you will stay in business. Don’t let the figure above shell-shock you – for the purpose of this article I have intentionally chosen numbers on the high end to demonstrate just how expensive it can be to pursue this method of printing.  Realistically, a small shop with a single DTG printer will not require two paid operators to be standing around working the machine.  Also, the ink cost for most standard size prints on dark garments will be much less than the $3 we plugged in to our example.  For light garments, the numbers would be way different as a result of different production capabilities on lights, considerably lower ink costs, etc; depending on how it is done, DTG printing can be incredibly profitable for a keen business owner.  Some shops might have multiple printers, which will change their production capabilities as well as hourly profit expectations. To make this process easier to understand, we have created a simple yet powerful spreadsheet that can quickly and automatically create a projected price list for your business model.  By plugging in some basic information about your business variables and production capabilities, our spreadsheet will tell you what your running manufacturing cost will be, how much you should sell your printing services for and how much profit you will make on each print.  Additionally, you can easily adjust the price breaks that are given at specific quantity levels, which allows you to create price list estimations across the entire quantity spectrum, automatically.  As you adjust variables throughout the document, the rest of the information dynamically updates to reflect your changes.  If you happen to apply a quantity discount that reduces the cost below your actual root manufacturing cost, the individual cells will turn red to show you where you need to increase your prices. Don’t sell yourself short on your DTG printing business!  Make sure you are charging enough to stay in business, and print smarter not harder.    DOWNLOAD DTG PRICE LIST ESTIMATOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO USE THE DTG PRICE LIST ESTIMATOR […]

  2. […] The Process is SLOW – While we are able to skip the majority of the setup and tear-down process, screen printers have a huge advantage when the ink actually hits the t-shirt; screen printing presses (even the manual variety) are considerably quicker when it comes to actually printing, whereas the process on a DTG printer can take quite some time.  Although white shirts are relatively quick (its not uncommon to knock out 20-50 white shirts per hour, depending on your particular equipment, setup and print resolution), dark shirt printing can be the bane of any DTG print business – realistically, expect to print about 8-15 black shirts per hour under normal circumstances.  The number of prints you get per hour is directly related to the specific print resolution you operate at, so the higher quality you are looking for, the fewer prints per hour you will be able to achieve; printing at the highest resolution on the Neoflex, there are times when oversize images (15″ x 20″ dimensions) are coming off the machine at a rate of about 3 prints per hour….  You need to enter into this business with a practical, realistic view of how long it is going to take you to print some of the more extreme orders – without this realistic understanding, you might price yourself out of business before you even get started (Need help understanding how to properly price DTG printing services?  Learn about our free tools, here). […]

  3. really good things right here, just many thanks

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