Switch From Screen Printing to OKI White Toner-Case Study

Increase Profits by Switching From Screen Printing to OKI White Toner Transfer

Ronnie Warner, owner of ENG Clothing and Customs, is active military and does garment decoration on the side. He started getting into garment decoration about four years ago with screen printing. He started by just screen printing for personal use and for friends. Ronnie made the switch from screen printing to OKI white toner transfer and took the time to discuss his experience with us!

About two years ago, he turned his screen printing hobby into a business. When he eventually retires from the military, his garment decoration business will become his full-time job.

After screen printing for a while, he became aware of the many issues and shortcomings of the process. In January of 2021, Ronnie invested in an OKI 8432WT to expand his business’s capabilities.

Drawbacks of Screen Printing

While screen printed garments are high quality and durable, there are many limitations with the process. First and foremost, screen printing can be time consuming and have high set up costs.  A screen needs to be created for each color in a design. With each screen or color, the cost to produce a shirt increases. 

Due to this, screen printers require minimum order quantities to accept a job. Ronnie had a minimum order quantity of 10 shirts. With the set-up costs, he wasn’t making much profit and the process was too tedious and not cost effective. Screen printing is best for large runs of the same design.

Ronnie also found it difficult to accurately color match. It’s important when working with business logos and other items that need to be a specific color. In screen printing, you must purchase inks and then mix them to get your desired color.

Screen printing

Deciding on an OKI White Toner Printer

Ronnie didn’t take the decision of buying a white toner printer lightly. He did extensive research and ended up extremely happy with his decision.

Research and Samples

Ronnie did a lot of his own research on capabilities of white toner via YouTube and Facebook groups. He ordered some sample transfers to press and be able to see the results of the transfer and the quality.

ROI and Profit Margins

While doing his research, Ronnie calculated the cost of screen printing and the cost of white toner transfer. He estimated the different profit margins he could make and predicted the ROI that a white toner printer would bring him.

You can print transfers and store them until needed which means you can fill orders quicker. Therefore, you can accept more orders, thus increasing efficiency, sales, and profits.

Customer Service

When he initially began his research phase, he didn’t know whether he wanted an OKI or the competition. However, Ronnie believes in buying into a company, so customer service is extremely important.

Ronnie contacted StitchIt International, an OKI dealer, for more information about the OKI line of white toner printers and had a fantastic experience with them. They spent a lot of time discussing his options, broke all the facts and figures down for him and ultimately spent enough time working with Ronnie so that he made the best decision for his business. When he had problems with his printer, StitchIt spent as long as it took on the phone to assist.

On-Site Warranty

The 2-year onsite warranty was also a major selling point for Ronnie. He appreciated that OKI sends a technician to his home to fix his printer when issues arise. With competitors, he would have to ship his OKI printer off to a service center and wait for it to be returned.

Purchasing the OKI 8432WT

Ronnie utilized financing through a third-party to purchase his printer and had a great experience with them. It was simple and his payments are affordable. He’s able to pay more than his required payment every month and therefore will be able to pay his printer off prior to the loan terms while still turning a great profit for his side business.

He chose the OKI 8432WT because it printed in the size he needed, and it gave him the option to print a true black. He’s very happy with his decision and purchase. The OKI 8432WT does everything he needs and then some.  Once implementing the OKI 8432WT into his business he gained 22 customers within 2 weeks that are now recurring customers.

Implementing OKI White Toner into His Business

As with any new decoration method, there is often a learning curve. Ronnie experienced a slight learning curve with the white toner printer. He ruined some sheets of transfer paper before he got it right.

However, he doesn’t attribute those issues to the OKI 8432WT. He believes it was his old heat press. Once he nailed down the pressure and temperatures with his heat press, he was successful with his prints. Now, he keeps a notebook and takes notes on the material of the garment, the temperature and pressure any time he does a project with a different fabric make up.

He mostly makes t-shirts, hoodies, and other clothing. Most of the projects are done on cotton garments. He intends to one day expand into making hats as well.

Ronnie's OKI Setup

Profit with an OKI 8432WT

During March of 2021, only 8 days into the month, he had already made enough money to make his payment on the printer, buy more blank garments, and order more paper. After all that he still had profit! That means the rest of the sales for the month of March will be pure profit for him.

Ronnie profits about $1,000-$2,000 in a month with his OKI 8432WT using it only for his side business. With screen printing, he would make anywhere from $500-$1,000 per month but it required more time per shirt than with the OKI. His profit margins with the OKI 8432WT are much higher compared to screen printing.

OKI Potential Profit Guide

End of Screen Printing for ENG Clothing and Customs

Screen printing wasn’t a profitable venture for Ronnie. Investing in his 8432WT opened his eyes to the ease of use and profitability of white toner transfers. It didn’t make sense for him to continue screen printing. The OKI was faster, more customizable, and much more profitable than screen printing. So Ronnie made the full switch from screen printing to OKI white toner transfer.

Therefore, he stopped using his screen printing equipment and started using the OKI for the majority of his projects. He sold his screen printing equipment and moved to solely working with his OKI. Occasionally he will do some sublimation projects, but the OKI is his workhorse.

Potential for Business Growth with the OKI 8432WT

Things are going so well with Ronnie’s business since investing in the OKI that he plans to purchase another heat press so he can handle higher production levels. As mentioned previously, he wants to do hats too, so eventually he will need to invest in a hat heat press.

He has an Etsy shop and a Facebook page for his business, but he told us the majority of his business comes from word of mouth. He’s experienced rapid growth since investing in the OKI and once he pays the financing off, he’ll have a high ROI and be able to invest more money into his business once he retires from the military and can give it his full attention.

OKI Comparison

Can an OKI White Toner Printer Help Grow Your Business?

OKI white toner printers open new revenue streams. You can transfer to any fabric and even hard surfaces. Which OKI digital transfer printer is right for you depends on your goals. There are many things to consider such as:

  • Are you currently in the decorative apparel space? If so, do you use vinyl? Sublimation?
  • Are you looking to be able to decorate 2X and 3X T shirts?
  • Are you looking to be able to print on any fabric?
  • Do you have any budget constraints?
  • Do you need a true black?

For more information on which printer is right for you, we can connect you with a dealer that will be able to answer all your questions and provide support in your decision-making process.

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