Creating a budget-friendly merchandise order is easier than you might think. You don’t have to reduce the quality of your design or print when ordering custom merchandise. You just need to consider a few key details that can help reduce cost while maintaining your brand’s quality standards.

Whether you plan to sell your custom merch or give it away, it’s important to be mindful of the production costs.  You have more control than you might think. By applying the following tips, you can maximize your profits by minimizing your costs.

Tips for Creating a Budget-Friendly Merch Order

Creating a custom merchandise order for a new or existing brand is a balancing act. On one end, you want high-quality, impactful designs that customers love. On the other end, you likely want to minimize costs, whether your goal is to preserve your budget or maximize your profit margin. The key is to find the perfect middle ground that balances cost and quality.

Reduce the Number of Print Locations

When creating your custom print order, consider limiting the number of print locations on the merchandise. Standard print locations are front or back, but customers can also include things like sleeve prints, inner tag prints, hem prints, etc.

The main reason the cost increases is because each location requires a different set of screens.  In addition, each location requires the shop to handle the goods again (loading the press, unloading the press, sending down the dryer, stacking, etc).  It’s essentially the same amount of work as printing a new order.

So, by reducing the number of print locations, you reduce labor costs and therefore save on your merch order.

Limit the Number of Colors in Each Print

Using fewer ink colors will help keep the cost down on your merchandise order and still pack a design punch! One of the best ways to save on color without sacrificing design is to use the garment’s color as your base. For instance, if your logo is a tiger, you can select an orange shirt and only need to print the black stripes.

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Fewer Designs in More Colorways

Many brands have an abundance of design ideas but a limited budget. Consider narrowing down your designs to the top few, but print them on different colored garments or like-products. If the garment color changes and the ink color stays the same, there is no change in price.

You can also decrease the cost of each piece by ordering a higher quantity. For instance, 48 pieces of the same design cost less than 24 each of two separate designs.

Lastly, consider changing the ink color but not the design. Most Philly printing companies, including Press & Release, only charge a small fee if you change the ink color or the garment and ink color for the same design. This is an easy way to add variety to your merchandise line while keeping costs low.

Minimize Garment Cost

Comparing the brands and styles of the merchandise you are customizing offers the biggest savings opportunity. The cost of the garment accounts for more than half of the cost per piece. So, switching to a less expensive brand or style that still offers quality is an excellent way to cut costs and maximize your profit or budget. For example, consider using Independent Trading Co. SS3000 versus Independent Trading Co. IND5000C.

Stick to One Product Category

When looking to operate on a budget, it’s sometimes best to stick with one product category, such as printed apparel, promotional products, or embroidered merchandise. You can then diversify within that category as opposed to trying to pick items from each product category. To offer a variety of products, you can add low-cost accessory items, like stickers, pins, patches, and so on.

Time to Order Your Custom Merchandise

If you need custom merchandise, we’re here for you! As one of the best custom merchandise printing companies in Philadelphia, Press & Release Printing can help with everything from design to mock-ups to printing. Contact Us today to learn more about our Philly printing company.

Read next: 1-Color Designs: Why Less is Sometimes More