Premium Printing

Most retail lines understand the value in premium garments over basics and will thusly charge accordingly (think hoodies over tees, etc).  Why is this not so with printing?  We all know that it requires more work and costs more to produce a full color print over a single color print and most of us charge accordingly (I hope).  That said, I typically see wholesalers selling their tees at a consistent price regardless of the printing/embellishment.  I assume this is done in an effort to simplify things for the retailers.  Fair enough.  The problem, based on my experience working with wholesalers, is that they demand (or eventually will demand) some sort of flat rate pricing structure, ostensibly based on averages, from their decorators.  Flat rate or program pricing structures are not intrinsically problematic, it’s the data (or lack thereof) and/or false projections on which the averages and pricing are derived that is problematic.  Ultimately the flat rate pricing structure always seem to skew in favor of the wholesaler and cuts into the decorator’s margin.  I personally do everything I can to stay away from flat rate or program pricing for this very reason.

One favorite customer of mine, whom has a rather sophisticated understanding of apparel decoration and operates with a very high level of integrity, opts not to squeeze their decorators and rather sells tees which incorporate high end printing techniques at a premium and as a “premium”.  They proudly label these tees with a sticker reading “Premium Print” drawing attention to and defining the value in the embellishment.  I love it.

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