The right number of t shirts may depend on a number of factors. You should consider:
- What is the purpose and audience?
- Are they for profit or giveaway?
- Is it for a niche or broad interest?
- How many people can you reach with this product?
- And will they still be useful beyond a certain date?
As a rule, you don’t want to leave yourself holding excess inventory. That said, if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to order enough to get an idea of what sizes are popular. See our page on Choosing a Size Breakdown for more on this. One cost effective way to do this is by ordering more t shirts, but with fewer print colours/positions. This way you can increase your initial stock count without increasing your budget.
Stocking for an Event
If you’re ordering t shirts for an event, you’ll want to consider what happens once the event is over. Will it be easy to clear any remaining inventory? Without previous event sales data, it’s tricky to estimate a reliable number for an event. Some suggest enough for 5-10% of total attendees, but a number of variables could affect this. For example, the price you will be selling at will have an impact. Or if there will be other merch vendors present at the same event.
If you won’t have a pre-order system in place, you could use social media to help gauge interest. Though this is only effective once you’ve built up a following.
Getting a One-Off Sample
Unfortunately, we cannot offer one-off samples of your final product. More info below.
You may want to see an example of your final product before committing to a bulk order. However, this kind of one-off sampling is not suited to screen printing. Most of the cost, time and labor involved in screen printing is the setup process. Once set up, printing that one t shirt itself only takes a few seconds. This is why our minimum order starts at 25 items.
You will have an opportunity to check how your final product should look before production. We create accurate visual proofs for every order, free of charge. These demos will come with artwork dimensions and positioning specifications. We will email these to you to sign off or modify, to ensure your order will be just right.
Sample Our Printing
The best way to see examples of our screen printing, is by ordering a screen printed t shirt from our sample store. This will allow you to see the quality of our printing, along with an opportunity to try out a product.
You can also add on a blank sample of your choice at a low cost. This is a good way to check out a few product options.
Once you’ve purchased a sample store product, you can also reclaim £10 off your next screen printing order.
Consider Size Breakdown First
Often, you would probably start with a total quantity. Then figure out the size breakdown. But in certain circumstances it might be helpful to do the opposite. We have another page for information on choosing your size breakdown. Say you have an idea of how you’d like to split the sizes by ratio. Consider what minimum amount of stock you’d like to hold for your ‘least’ popular size.
For example, is only starting with 5 XL t shirts enough? If not, scale up your size breakdown until you are comfortable with the minimums for each size. This will reveal an approximate order total.
Our Recommendation for Startups
Our t shirt printing deals are a great way to get started for a brand. We feel 50 t shirts strikes a good balance between low quantity and cost per unit. They provide you with enough inventory to get a more accurate idea of what sizes are popular. Meanwhile, it reduces the risk of leaving yourself with too much stock. If you feel more confident about the numbers, our 100 t shirt offer will see the cost per unit drop even further.
Doing Pre-Orders? Always Add Extras
One rule we insist on for choosing quantities is that you should not only order enough to fulfil pre-orders. Screen printing is a complex and sometimes unpredictable process. Therefore, we have an allowance for underages. If you only order the exact quantity you need for fulfilment, that is one disappointed customer per misprint.
To avoid this, we highly recommend ordering overages. This should be a couple extra, for each product and size that you are offering via pre-order.