First it was direct to garment printing, then white toner transfer printers, now it’s the DTF Printer (direct to file) that is changing the custom t-shirt business.
The reasons that everyone is talking about DTF transfer printers are simple:
And all that makes commercial DTF printers the perfect machine for equipment financing.
What is a Direct to Film printer?
Quick explanation here because if this article caught your attention, you probably already know. For this explanation we’re going to using more commercial roll to roll printers as examples.
“DTF” stands for direct to film.
DTF printers use liquid inkjet technology to reproduce a digital image on a special transfer film called “pet film”. The inkjet approach is the same kind of technology that many large format printers and direct to garment printers use.
Once the ink is applied to the film, an adhesive (hot-melt) powder is applied to the still-wet ink. Anything powder that doesn’t stick to the ink is shaken off.
The film + dtf powder is heated to form a permanent bond, that takes place in a tunnel dryer on roll to roll DTF machines.
In the end, you get a stable transfer you can apply to fabric with a quick heat press (no curing oven needed)
Why these printers are so popular
Because a commercial direct to film printer is roll to roll, you can print hundreds of the same or different images at a time.
That makes it which makes is VERY efficient. Especially if your selling wholesale transfers to other custom t-shirt businesses or retailers.
But since you can now make a LOT of transfers so quickly it will also cost you less in labor vs. other technologies.
And because the supplies are so cost effective, you can add margin to every sale, retail or wholesale.
- DTF Powder – an adhesive powder that commercial direct to film printers use
- PET Film – film printing is basically what dtf printers do!
- DTF Inks – much like DTG inks, this is a liquid ink used for inkjet heads
Unlike a DTG Printer, a commercial direct to film transfer printer produces heat transfers you can wholesale. That’s a VERY profitable business model.
And since it takes up less space that high volume dtg printers, dtf printing is perfect for a small business with a small space.
These are the same reasons that DTF printer financing makes so much sense!
Financing a DTF Printer – Sample Numbers
Even a cursory look at the numbers when you consider financing a dtf printer will make it obvious on why you, and companies providing equipment loans, should be interested.
Regular surveys of custom t-shirt printing businesses over the past 5 years show that the average profit on a short run custom job is between $10 and $15 per shirt.
Because those surveys and ROI calculations have been based on different transfer technologies, we can conservatively estimate on the higher side – $15.00 GP per shirt.
Of course, every business is different. And those of you that are producing high volume transfers for big brands or focusing on wholesale won’t see these numbers. But the fundamentals at the core of that calculation are the same:
And we’re going to add a new consideration here – LOW COST OF EQUIPMENT.
How much is a DTF Transfer Printer?
You can find a wide range of pricing and options for commercial roll to roll dtf printers. But a full equipped printer with dryer and automatic powder applicator costs between about $15,000 and $36,000 USD.
We’ll use $24,000 as our example. CLEARLY this is a simplified calculation designed to give you a relative idea what your return might be. You can work with us here at Adia Capital to help with more specific calculations for your individual business.
In this scenario if you sold 200 shirts per/month it would take you 8 months to pay yourself back for the purchase of the equipment.
You’ll have to live on something, so at least double that number to 16 months if you dedicate ½ of your profits to replenishing that $24K.
DTF Printer Financing – Cashflow Machine
Financing your new direct to film printer paints a much different picture. A picture that shows clearly why many online t-shirt businesses are jumping on board.
Currently, payments for a $24,000 dtf printer are about $550.00 with good credit and 2+ years in business.
Now you still have access to all of that cash you would have invested in purchasing the printer outright. Use it to invest in marketing, advertising, personnel or design work.
Invest in something that will that will help your business GROW.
Because you can easily start making money the first or second month your printer is up and running!
Here are those numbers:
Direct to Film printer cost per month: $550.00
GP per shirt: $15.00
$550.00 divided by $15.00 profit per shirt = 37 shirts.
That’s correct – using our $15.00 gross profit per shirt estimate you only need to sell 37 shirts each month to break even on your purchase.
If you only dedicated ½ of your profits to your loan payment it would be 74 shirts to break even.
In any case, selling 200 shirts for $15GP each earns you $3K.
How to get Financing for a Commercial DTF Printer
There are 3 primary ways to secure financing for commercial equipment like this:
- They almost always pull your personal credit for the loan. Your consumer bank normally doesn’t separate your BUSINESS from you personally.
- A banker is limited to offering you only their bank’s loan products. Large financial institutions lack the flexibility to shop for the best deal for your business.
- They may or may not pull your personal credit.
- They may or may NOT shop your loan to find you the best deal.
One real advantage this house financing company might have over your local bank is that they KNOW the equipment – and that makes approvals easier and faster.
That’s the flexibility provide you with the best loan and terms options. Adia has dealt with dozens of financial institutions over the past 20 years and developed strong relationships with them.
Which translates into a unique ability to SHOP your loan to multiple finance sources in order to get you the best deal for your individual circumstances.
DTF Printer finance brokers like Adia have the relationships with lenders you need get the best financing deal.
Commercial Only and Soft Pulls
If you have your 2+ years in business it’s very important to leave your personal credit out of any business financing decisions if possible.
Adia has the capability of doing a credit check and estimating the ability for you to get a commercial loan without impacting your credit score. We understand that your business is your business and developing strong credit for it will pay off for you in the long run.
Knowledge and Experience
Just like the house-financing companies for most printer dealers and manufacturers, Adia Capital has decades of experience IN the customization business. In fact, that’s where we got our start – actually running screen printing and embroidery shops and selling the equipment.
And we’ve financed at least as many direct to garment printers, uv printers, large format and sign printing equipment, engravers and CNCs as any house finance brand.