Start a Side Business with an OKI White Toner Printer – Case Study

Start a Side Business

Have you been tossing around the idea to start a side business? Are you interested in starting your own custom apparel or goods business, but you’re not quite ready to jump headfirst? 

There are many people who use OKI white toner printers to start a small custom apparel side business but aren’t to the point that they could quit their day jobs and work for themselves.

Affordable Textile Printer for Entrepreneurs

With the way things have gone in the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are looking for a way to earn extra income outside of their day jobs. Garment printing with OKI white toner printers is an affordable way to get started. OKI white toner printers range in price from around $3,000-$13,000 depending on the model you choose to invest in.

The OKI 711WT retails at $3,565. The 8432WT retails at $7,240. The 9541WT retails at $13,649. Many OKI dealers offer promotional pricing and affordable financing. Some people often find the income made with an OKI will allow them to pay off their financing earlier than required.

OKI Printers

What Would You Need to Start a Side Business?

There isn’t a whole lot that you need to get started. Once you have made the decision on which OKI white toner printer model to invest in, there’s only 4 other required items to get started. Once you have them all, you can start making and selling your own custom apparel and hard goods.

First, you’ll need a RIP software to control your white toner and colors. However, this often doesn’t have to be an additional purchase. Many dealers include a RIP software with the printer.

Secondly, you will need to get a good quality heat press. For the transfers to properly adhere to garments and hard surfaces, you will need a heat press that can provide consistent heat and pressure.

Third, you will need to purchase laser heat transfer paper. Many papers have specific intended uses so when purchasing your paper be sure to consider what you’ll be transferring to. For example, there are specific papers for light garments, dark garments, and hard surfaces.

Last, but not least, you will need the products you intend to decorate. Whether that be t-shirts, wood plaques, photo panels, sweatshirts.

What do you need to start a side business?

How Much Money Can You Make with an OKI?

Business owners can easily earn money with an OKI white toner printer. With low running costs and no maintenance cycles, you will be able to see ROI sooner with an OKI white toner printer.

You can print a page of logos or a full color, photographic-quality transfer. Digital transfer printing with white toner technology opens doors to new profit opportunities that would otherwise be impossible with screen printing, heat vinyl or sublimation.

Print and press customized designs to the widest variety of textiles including cotton, blends, polyester, and even hard goods. You can start, or even expand, a profitable decorating business with personalized products.

Profit margins range depending on what you are printing and what substrate you are pressing to. For more details about profit margins and for examples, download our OKI White Toner Profit Guide. If you’re not interested in selling custom goods, check out this blog about how to make money simply selling transfers!

Side Business Case Study: Marc with Raines Prints

Marc Raines with Raines Prints has a full time job as a FedEx driver and a part time job as a garment decorator. He began his side business with heat transfer vinyl, then moved to sublimation. Marc really wanted to be able to decorate dark garments that weren’t 100% polyester.

He began his research into other garment decoration methods via a multitude of Facebook groups and user forums. After researching different methods, he chose white toner transfer as the next step for his small custom apparel side business. Upon reading reviews, he determined OKI white toner printers to be superior to the competition’s and purchased an OKI pro8432WT.

Learning the White Toner Transfer Process

Between trips on the road, Marc was able to get the printer set up and teach himself how to use the OKI Pro8432WT printer and RIP software he purchased in October of 2020. YouTube was a valuable resource for Marc during his learning period. 

As well as the communities he found in Facebook groups. He estimated it only took him about 6 hours to get the printer setup, learn the process, and have his first successful transfer.

Shortly after Marc figured out how to use the printer and create successful transfers, it was time to teach the whole family. He has taught his wife and plans to teach his daughter as well. 

Successful Small Side Business

Marc estimates that he and his family put in 20 hours a week with their side business using both heat transfer vinyl and their OKI 8432WT. They mostly make t-shirts, hoodies, and hats and sell them using their Facebook page.

Marc estimates that by working with his OKI, he brings in another $800-900 of income to his family a month. Marc also believes that if he keeps making this much per month, he will be able to pay off his OKI 8432WT prior to the financing terms. He eventually wants to turn his side business into his full-time business.

Examples of Raines Prints Work

OKI White Toner Prevails Over Other Decoration Methods

While Marc previously used vinyl and sublimation, he told us he rarely uses sublimation anymore. He uses his OKI for the majority of his projects. In the beginning he had some issues with mostly white prints, but with FOREVER TransferRIP software he used the raster and micro-mask features to fix it.

He prefers the OKI because of the ability to decorate cottons and dark colored garments. He still does use vinyl for simple designs with few colors but doesn’t use his sublimation printer much anymore. The OKI was better for him because white toner printing minimizes the time it takes to decorate. He doesn’t have to weed, the designs look neater and cleaner, and they have a better feel than vinyl.

Which OKI White Toner Printer is Right for You?

OKI’s three models of white toner printers range in print size capability, resolution, print speeds and more. Therefore, determining which OKI white toner digital transfer printer is for you, depends on your situation and goals.

Are you starting a small business? Do you already have a small business, but are looking to expand capabilities and offerings? Do you have a business and need a high production-level printer? What do you intend to make?

Each of these questions contribute to the decision of which model to purchase. The decision  is based on the size of items you want to decorate, the amount of money you are willing to invest and how many prints you intend to run. For a full comparison of OKI white toner printer models, check out our comparison page.

The OKI 711WT is a great entry level printer for someone just getting started with creating custom goods. An OKI 8432 is a great option for decorators looking for larger, higher definition prints. The 9541WT is OKI’s production workhorse- It has the largest print size, higher print speeds and high-resolution prints.

OKI Printer Comparison

Get Started with Your Side Business

If you’re interested in starting your own side business in apparel decoration, fill out the contact form below. We will connect you with an OKI dealer that can help you decide which OKI is best for you and your business goals and get you started!

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