Pricing Bed Pillow Cases for Dye Sublimation

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By Steve This is a pricing blog I thought would be easy. “Nobody sells pillow cases for the bedroom”, I said. WOW! Was I wrong! E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y sells these things. Not everybody does it with sublimation but some do. Maybe there is more of a market here than I thought.     Are you making them? There is nothing easier to make – it’s just a piece of polyester fabric. Of course, you may have some limitations due to your heat press size but that is easily overcome by just offering designs that fit in your heat press or let Conde press them for you (they offer this service for a small fee).     Conde offers a total of one bedroom style pillowcase (after all, how many do you need?). 5001 DyeTrans Pillow Case 20.5x30” $7.36* Moisture wicking, breathable performance fabric. 100% Polyester *Significant price break for 10 or more units.     If we apply our beloved 600% rule for markup, the retail price would be over $40 each. Well, that probably isn’t going to work, especially since the online companies are offering them for way less. This means we will have to base our retail price off what others are doing and then decide if it is worth it or not to offer the product. Here’s what I found online:     Walmart............................ 20x30”......... $16.22 .......Blend............ Not sublimation York................................. 30x21.5”....... $21.99 .......Poly.............. Sublimation Snapmade......................... 20x30” .........$17.99 .......Blend............ Not sublimation Mailpix.com...................... 21.5x30”...... $25.00 .......Blend........... Not sublimation Artscow.com..................... 20x30” ........$11.99 ........Poly............. Probably not sublimation Ink Garden........................ 20x30”......... $21.99 .......Poly............. Sublimation Snapfish............................ 20x30”......... $24.99 .......Blend........... Not sublimation That’s So Cute Boutique...... 20x30”........ $18.00 .......Cotton......... Not sublimation Customized Girl..................20x30”........ $15.97 ........Blend.......... Not sublimation Personal Creations.............. 21x30”....... $24.99 ........Unknown..... Not sublimation (2/29.99) Personalization Mall........... 20x31”....... $18.95 .........Both............ Not sublimation, name only Gifts for You Now................ 20x30”...... $28.98 .........Unknown.... Embroidered, name only Walgreens........................... 20x30”....... $19.99 ........Blend........... Not sublimation     Looking at the average prices, we find: Those doing sublimation: 21.99 Those doing something else: 20.28 Average of all dealers: 21.14     Does this leave any question in your mind as to what you should be charging for your bedroom style pillowcases? To me, it screams $21.99. This is about a 300% markup – not bad in many circles and especially since these will likely sell in quantities of two. Unlike Personal Creations above however, I wouldn’t cut a deal as deep as they have. The lowest I think I would go would be 2/$39.95. That’s selling the second one for about half price but it is still just shy of a 300% markup and $25.50 in your pocket for a few minutes work. Of course, you are free to price your products any way you want. This is never intended to tell you what to charge or to set a price, just to inform you of what others are doing.     Some things to consider:   1. Sublimation imprinting is superior to all other forms. ..........a. It does not change the “hand” or feel of the fabric. ..........b. It can be washed and dried innumerable times without fading. ..........c. Sublimation actually dyes the fibers of material for a permanent image. ..........d. The Polyester fabric will breathe better than cotton or a blend. .........e. Polyester wicks away moisture making it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. ..........f. Does require 100% Polyester which some people still see as a negative but Polyester won’t shrink, doesn’t require ironing, won’t hold wrinkles and wears better than cotton. 2. There are two other basic processes used to make these products. You should understand how they compare with sublimation: ..........a. Heat transfer has been around for decades. It varies in quality from very good to terrible but even at its best, it: ....................i. Changes the “hand” or feel of the fabric and in many cases, would make it uncomfortable to sleep on. ....................ii. It will eventually wash out or at least fade with washings. ....................iii. Unlike sublimation, this process does not dye the fibers but lays on top of them making it less durable than sublimation. ....................iv. Can be used on 100% cotton or cotton blends which people think they want but these hold moisture and are less enjoyable to sleep on. ..........b. Direct print which is commonly used, actually prints an image on top of the fabric using ink. ....................i. Changes the “hand” or feel of the fabric. ....................ii. It will eventually wash out or at least fade with washings. ....................iii. Unlike sublimation, this process does not dye the fibers but lays on top of them making it less durable than sublimation. ....................iv. May introduce toxic dyes or chemicals causing allergies or other reactions. ....................v. Can be used on 100% cotton or cotton blends which people think they want but these hold moisture and are less enjoyable to sleep on.     As you can see, sublimation is the only method that actually dyes the fabric with a non-toxic dye (the same basic dyes pillow manufacturers use to make their pillows) and offers the most durable of all imprints while not changing the way the fabric feels. To be fair, some printing and transfer techniques are very good and are certainly suitable for this application but none outshine sublimation.