Why is the MOQ for Logo Screenprinting on Cosmetic Bottles so High?

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Why is it so expensive to screen print the logo on your cosmetic bottle? Really, why is the MOQ for screenprinting so darn high?!

I have been asking myself this question for quite some time. Screenprinting can make your cosmetic packaging look really professional. If you use labels, more than likely, people aren't taking your brand as seriously as other brands, who use screenprinting. Logo screenprinting is an undeniable aesthetic advantage, and can truly elevate your brand. So why is it such a pain in the butt to get it done?


So I went to a cosmetic bottle screenprinting machine manufacturer in China, and figured it out for you.


Today I'm going to answer this for you, and explore exactly why the screenprinting MOQ (and sometimes price) run so high.


My Journey to China to Peek into Bottle Screenprinting: the S400

I went to a Chinese factory to take a look at the "S400" machine.  It printing width limit is 12cm and it can screenprint on both round and square products.  Square products are very easy to print on with this machine.  Just put the bottle in the middle of the machine and turn it on. That's it. Done. 

The machine is semi-automatic, so it's very good for a small beauty company, and can print about 700-800 products in one hour. That being said, the logo must be the same on all 700-800 products, to print that quickly.

So you're probably thinking, "Wow, that sounds really easy! Why don't I just buy an S400 right now?"

... yeah it's not that easy.

Let me tell you why.

1. Bottle Softness

If the bottle is soft, you can't just throw it on the machine to print. You need to add air to the bottle, to expand it out (increasing the pressure inside the bottle will make the surface more hard), to prevent it from melting or smudging during printing.

2. Different Molds

Different sized bottoms of products must have the same size model to hold them (Each model costs $100-$200). So if you're printing on a bunch of different bottles for your company, you need a new mold to hold each bottle each time.

3. Color Plate (*the most important part*)

To get the logo plate that you want, you first need to make it or get it made by a master. Here's how the master did it when I watched:

First, he put the Autotype 7000 on the top of the plate, followed by photo glue. Then he slipped together inside a very high light machine for about 5 minutes. After that, he washed the plate, and but the remaining water was so dirty. Note that companies who make their own screenprinting molds need to pay a pollution fee. 

Here's what I'm talking about:

Cosmetic Bottle Screenprinting Screen

The most important thing to figure out if you're going to buy one of these screenprinting machines, is how you're going to get the plates made. You could spend money to let another factory make the plate for you. This is what I know: it costs about $100 for the normal plate, but it's more expensive if you want abetter mark. The shipping price will be about $100 for a piece plate like the one in the picture above.


You might be asking yourself, "Why not just buy the S400 and try it myself?" S400s are only a few thousand dollars anyway.

If you have a lots of money and time to waste tinkering with it.. go for it.

But keep in mind: Screenprinting is an art. You will need to train yourself about 3-5 years to be a good printer. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time and money.


Conclusion: Why Cosmetic Bottle Logo Screenprinting is Expensive

So that's it! That's what I have to tell you after going to the screenprinting machine factory myself.  Each logo or printing mark needs it's own individual plate. Each color needs it's own set-up (you can't print multiple colors at once)--that's why it's so expensive to get multiple colors printed on your bottles.

All of these reasons are good reasons why factories have screenprinting MOQs, and those that have low MOQs will have high per bottle prices. Bottle screenprinting takes time, skill, materials, among other things.

If you are new beauty company that just wants to have a small launch or more than one or two products, I'd suggest getting a small batch of cute bottles from a reseller or agent, instead of working directly with a factory, and getting a factory to make you some labels (or DIY!).

Buying a screenprinting machine is not for the faint of heart, and can end up sucking up a LOT of time and money. If you really MUST have screenprinting, be prepared to get told "10,000 units or more only".. or work with us!

Actually.... We recently launched low and no minimum order screen printing.

Yes, there are costs involved, but we really can help. Check out our newest blog about it here or contact us directly today.