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How to Make Money Selling T Shirts Online

T shirt sales online -

How Much Money Can You Make Selling T Shirts?

It’s the golden question isn’t it? You like the idea of selling apparel, t shirts and sportswear for many reasons. It’s a creative way to make money, it’s fun, it provides you some independence and you can get started on a small budget. But how much money is in it? How much does it cost to make a shirt? What if it’s part time?

How much money can you make with your t shirt business?

Let’s break it down to how much it costs to make a garment, and how much you can sell it for.

What does it cost to make a shirt?

There are going to be 3 major costs:

  1. Blanks
  2. Supplies
  3. Labor

Blanks

By blanks we are talking about the t shirt, sport jersey, tank top, hat or whatever the apparel is you are going to decorate. A standard blank t shirt will usually start at around $1 each and go up to $4. These are going to be cotton, good quality shirts. The price difference will vary on manufacturer, brand, color and cut. So a plain white t shirt might only be $1, where the same shirt in navy blue might be $2. That same shirt in moisture wick sport material might be $4. That is essentially your range. Now you can go even higher than that with specialty brands and cuts, depending on what you want to make. A blank Nike brand is going to cost more than a generic.

Supplies

This is what you are going to put on the garment, the actual material that will create the letters, numbers and logos. Using an example opaque vinyl material, the cost is going to be roughly $11 for a yard of material. If a logo is 5″ x”5 (25 square inches) than a 15″x36″ (540 square inches) piece could hold roughly 20 of those designs. $11 in vinyl / 20 designs = $0.55 per design.

Labor

You have to pay someone to do the work, either yourself or an employee. So we can talk about how long it takes to make a design. We performed a case study on left chest logos. 2 people were able to create 36 shirts in an hour. That includes running the material through the machine, weeding the vinyl, pressing the shirts and applying the transfer to the garment. This cost isn’t going to be a single number, it depends. If you have 2 employees that you pay $10 per hour. That would be $20 in employee cost. That comes out to about $0.55 per shirt in employee costs.

So adding this up we have about $3 going into a shirt if we have a shirt that is around $2, 50 cents in supplies and 50 cents in labor.

Now remember, that is all going to vary based on things like:

  • What is the size of the design?
  • Do you have employees?
  • What type of shirt is used?
  • Multiple colors vs single color?

Considering all of these things, here are some rough estimates of shirt costs:

  • Left Chest Logo T Shirt
    • Shirt $2
    • Supplies $.25
    • Total $2.25
  • Baseball Jersey Shirt
    • Shirt $8
    • Supplies $3
    • Total $11
  • Logo Hat
    • Hat $2
    • Supplies $.40
    • Total $2.40
  • T Shirt Logo Front / Full Back
    • Shirt $2
    • Supplies $2
    • Total $4
  • Full Front Fashion Shirt
    • Shirt $4
    • Supplies $1.50
    • Total $5

How much can you sell apparel for?

This is another golden question, someone asks you to make 20 shirts, how much should you sell them for?  Let’s first just say that there isn’t one single answer. It is going to depend on who you are selling to, how many they order, how much competition there is and how hard the job is to complete. To keep it simple, here are some ranges we here from our customers. These are going to be smaller orders and custom deigns. This isnt an order for 1000 t shirts and 500 hats. These prices are based on selling singles to a few dozen to one customer.

  • Left Chest Logo T Shirt $10-15
  • Baseball Jersey Shirt $20-35
  • Logo Hat – $12-25
  • T Shirt Logo Front / Full back – $15-25
  • Full Front Fashion Shirt – $15-30

How much money could you make selling custom apparel?

The answer is… as much as you want. As a business owner, you control everything. The things you can control are:

  • How many hours a week you work
  • What you sell products for
  • Who you sell to
  • How much money you want to make for your business.

Since you are in control, the sky is the limit. You can run your business from a spare bedroom or open a retail store. You can sell bulk shirts at low prices and be the lowest bidder in town. You can sell high end clothing and only deal with premium shirts. You can do some of both, its your business.

Some Numbers…

If you sell to a little league park. You will sell:

  • Hats, Shirts & Pants for the players
  • Hats and Shirts for the coaches
  • Team support shirts for parents

Based on the numbers above If you sold 20 t shirts, 15 sports jerseys & 25 hats… you would make:

ApparelCost to MakeRetail Price ProfitQuanityTotal Profit
Baseball Hats$2.40$15.0025$375.00
Baseball Jersey$11.00$20.0015$300.00
T Shirts$4.00$18.0020$360.00
Total60$1,035.00

What if you made a deal with the entire league? 

Where are some places that would buy shirts from you?

How much money could you make?

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1. You Don’t Need Experience or Any Special Skill

Most jobs will require you to have years of experience before you can be employable in their field. Luckily, online t-shirt sale does not.

Unlike being a lawyer, dentist, carpenter, or hairstylist, an online t-shirt seller doesn’t need to go to college or receive any training to be in the business.

You also don’t need to submit resumes to anyone before you start your business. All you need to do is decide you want to start selling t-shirts online and make the moves to begin.

2. It Is Easy to Start

Another reason why selling t-shirts online is a good idea is that it is easy to start. Since you can set it up as a dropshipping business, you don’t need much to get started.

You do not need to rent a physical store; neither do you need to employ sales attendants. You can design and sell t-shirts right from the comfort of your home.

There are also several digital platforms available for you to display and sell your t-shirts, for instance, the most popular one Shopify.

Registration with these platforms, promotions, and payments are all hassle-free!

Man with T-Shirt

3. It Doesn’t Stop You from Doing Other Jobs

In this day and age, having just one source of income is a bad idea. More people are starting to see the importance of diversification, as far as earning money is concerned. Especially creating a passive source of income is always a great idea.

Selling t-shirts online is a good side hustle. Not only because it is lucrative but also because it also allows you to do other jobs.

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to hire a sales attendant to sell t-shirts online. You also don’t need to be present in a physical brick-and-mortar store to make a sale. You can actually make sales while you sleep or are busy with other endeavors.

4. You Only Need Little Capital to Start

Like most online businesses, you don’t need an “arm and a leg” to begin. You would need to invest some money, but it’s a minimal amount.

You can create the designs with free tools, e.g. Canva, and sell them on print-on-demand platforms, such as Printify. Here you don’t need to pay anything in advance. The production costs simply get deducted from your selling price. This means you don’t have to pay anything but can only make a profit.

The only thing you might need to invest in is marketing, for instance, ads on social media. This depends on your marketing strategy and you decide on your own how much you want to spend on that. 

5. You Can Switch Up Ideas

Your first set of designs may not be your best, but there’s always room for improvement.

Your first ideas can inspire other ideas. Customer feedback can also help you come up with more mind-blowing designs. The concepts are infinite, and you can explore them for as long as you are in business.

 

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell T-shirts Online

As a first-timer, you probably need to learn how to sell t-shirts without inventory from scratch. Not to worry, I’ll be providing a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

 

1. Do Your Research & Come Up with Ideas

Don’t make the mistake and focus on a certain niche simply because you like it. You need to go for a niche that sells. You will have to go online and find out what’s hot. Is it pictures of rock stars, sports icons, past heroes, motivational quotes, or artistic patterns?

After you have done your research and settled on your niche, you will have to develop unique ideas and pass your message in a catchy manner.

Ideas may seem difficult to come by, but they will come if you keep an open mind. You can also get inspiration from other people’s designs. This doesn’t mean you should bite the ideas of others. It merely means you can take a cue from it.

2. Create Designs

Now that you’ve settled on your design ideas, the next step would be creating the designs. And you can use Canva for this.

Perhaps you haven’t heard of Canva before. Canva is an online graphic design platform that allows you to explore your creativity in so many ways. It has many ready-made layouts and templates that you can begin with. These templates are also flexible, meaning you can add your features to them.

This makes it a great tool for t-shirt print designs of all sorts. You can also use it for your e-books, posters, and other digital designs. On top of that, the basic use is for free. They have paid packages that allow you to access some additional features. However, you can begin with the free package until you start making money from the business.

Of course, if you are more advanced, you could also go for design software such as Adobe Photoshop. This is much pricier but also comes with more features.

Before you use the design ideas in your shop, it is a good idea to validate them. One way to do this is by showing it to close friends or family members and ask for their honest opinions. Honest feedback will give you a clue as to how those in your target market will receive it and whether you need to make some improvements or not.

Extra Tip: You should also make sure that the images or texts in your design are not offensive and do not infringe on anyone’s rights.

4. Upload Your Designs in A Print-On-Demand Shop

When your set of designs is complete, it is time to find a print-on-demand provider. I have worked with Printify before and can highly recommend this platform. There is a wide range of fabrics and different t-shirt styles and colors you can pick from.

For those who don’t know, print-on-demand simply means working with a specific supplier to have your designs printed on white label products after a customer has made a purchase. In this case, t-shirts.

The t-shirts will be sold on a pre-order basis and will carry only your brand.

The concept of print-on-demand dictates that you’re not paying for the t-shirts until an order comes in. This means you won’t have to buy in bulk and keep inventory. This spares you the burden of looking for storage space and having a pile of unsold t-shirts.

Another advantage of print-on-demand services is that the supplier will be the one to handle shipping.

T-shirts on Printify

5. Create Your Shop and Connect to Your Print On-Demand-Shop

You will need a platform to sell your t-shirts, which is where an online shop comes in. Several platforms allow you to create an online shop for free. Two of the most popular ones are Shopify and TeeSpring.

Creating a shop with Shopify is super easy and can literally be done in less than 30 minutes. There are several store templates. All you need to do is pick one and customize fonts, colors, texts, or photos if you like.

If you need help doing so, check out this handy step-by-step Shopify store guide that shows you exactly where you have to click and what you need to pay attention to.

Once this is done, you can easily connect your Shopify store with the Printify platform. With only a few clicks, your designs will appear in your store. If you want to, you can customize the descriptions of your t-shirts. Write something funny or inspirational or talk about the quality of the fabric. Whatever you feel represents your brand and your designs best.

Once your shop is ready and all designs are imported, give it a test run. Order a t-shirt or two for yourself to see if everything runs smoothly – from adding items to the cart, to the payment process, to the delivery. You most certainly don’t want your customers to run into any bugs while trying to order your products. That looks unprofessional and you probably won’t see that customer again.

 

6. Use Social Media to Market and Sell Your T-Shirts

Having an online shop is one thing, but getting people to buy is another. For you to drive traffic to your store, you will need to create some awareness. There are several ways to do so. One of the most popular ones is probably using social media.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are perfect for promoting and selling apparel.

The good news is, creating a social media account is free. However, to boost your posts and reach out to more people, it would be wise to use paid ads. Especially, when you don#t have a big following yet.

Using ads means paying the social media platform to extend the reach of your posts. For instance, if a regular post gets 50 views, a sponsored post could get as many as 100,000 views, depending on your promotional budget. And the more people see your ads, the more people can buy your products.

Sponsored ads will also allow you to target your specific audience. If your target group is young moms between 21 and 34 years, living in the USA, then you can show your ads to this group of people directly. That means you don’t have to waste time and money to show your ads to senior men from Russia if they wouldn’t be interested in your t-shirts anyway.

If you want to learn more about how to advertise on Facebook, check out the linked guide by Hootsuite.

 

How Much Money Can You Make from Selling T-Shirts Online?

I know you don’t like the answer but: It depends. Figures can vary significantly among business owners and are dependent on your design ideas, your online shop, and how efficient your marketing strategy is.

The source of your t-shirts is also a determinant. For instance, if you’re paying $2 per white label t-shirt, and you’re selling the finished product at $10, you’ll be making $8 per tee. Someone else who buys a white label tee of the same quality for $3 from a different source and sells for the same price of $10 per finished product will be making $7 per tee. That’s one dollar less than you.

The factors that would determine how much you can make from selling t-shirts online include:

  • The cost price from your source
  • The quality of your finished product
  • Your retail price
  • Your design ideas
  • How userfriendly and appealing your shop is
  • Your marketing strategy

To still give you a couple of numbers:

Benny Hsu made USD 100,000 in 5 months selling on TeeSpring. Pastor Carlos Rodriguez used Printify and managed to make USD 200,000.

If you look at their t-shirt designs, you will notice that they don’t use any super fancy or artsy designs, but rather simple statements. So you don’t have to be extremely creative. You only have to find messages that wow people so much that they would love to have it on a t-shirt.

Woman in statement t-shirt

How Much Does it Cost to Sell T-Shirts Online?

Investing in an online t-shirt business doesn’t require too much investment:

  • As mentioned before, you can get your designs done for free using tools such as Canva.
  • If you pick a print-on-demand platform, such as Printify, you don’t need to pay anything in advance but only pay for your shirts once someone buys them (and you get to keep the margin obviously).
  • You can get a storefront with Shopify for as little as USD 29 per month.

The only part where you could spend more would be on marketing.  If you go for Facebook ads, you should probably have a bare minimum of at least USD 100 to play around with. Once you’ve learned more about ads, you can optimize them and get more conversions for your money.

This business can be operated from your home or anywhere else, provided you have these devices in hand, which also means you don’t need to have an office or actual store.

As you can see, the cost for selling t-shirts online without inventory is significantly lower than opening a brick and mortar t-shirt store, where you have to pay annual rent, buy sewing and embroidery machines, printing machines, and pay for utilities and staff.

 

Get Your Online T-Shirt Business Off The Ground!

Selling t-shirts online is a great business idea that doesn’t require much investment but can potentially make you lots of profit. You don’t need to have much knowledge. You don’t even need to be super creative or a talented designer. Simple statement t-shirts can be designed by literally anyone using free tools such as Canva.

The combination of a print-on-demand platform, e.g. Printify, and an easy-to-create storefront, for instance with Shopify, makes it possible for anyone to sell t-shirts online without inventory.

Facebook ads or Instagram ads can help you increase your reach a lot and bring more potential customers to your online store.

With the right design ideas, an online t-shirt business can definitely make you a very side income or even generate a full income and beyond.

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This blog post was written by one of Digital Nomad Soul’s content creators. Stay tuned to get more information on the team’s guest writers soon!

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T shirt sales online -

How to Start a T-shirt Business Online

Learning how to start a T-shirt business starts with choosing a strong niche and unique designs that will separate your business from the competition. You’ll need to select a production method, sales platform, and market your business. If you’re successful, you could potentially sell T-shirts online at an average profit of $8 per T-shirt.

Here’s how to start a T-shirt business online in five steps:

1. Find an Opportunity

Finding a niche is critical to having a successful T-shirt business. By nature, T-shirts tend to look pretty similar; it’s not very easy to create a product that stands out. However, that is exactly what you will need to do for shoppers to purchase from your store over other more established brands. In general, the T-shirt business is a saturated market. You need a clear vision of what you want your product to look like, who will buy it, and why it’s needed.

Images of Horse Junkie's T-shirts

The Horse Junkie is a niche T-shirt brand, targeting people who love horses.

2. Create Eye-catching Designs

No matter how you plan to sell your T-shirts, having attractive designs are a must. Eye-catching designs are what will set your products apart from other T-shirt sellers. During the design process, it’s also helpful to choose a particular theme or image for your brand. This can include a set color scheme, fonts, or logo. Anything that will help make your business recognizable.

In addition to being eye-catching, your designs also have to be original. Some popular T-shirts feature famous characters and quotes. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are free to use. Disney, in particular, is very strict against outside companies using their characters or other trademarks. Comic books, superheroes, children’s shows, and literary quotes are all elements that are popular with customers but can get you into some serious trouble if you use them without proper permission.

Inexpensive ways to brainstorm original designs include:

  • Hire a freelance designer: If you’re not artistically inclined or not sure how to start, consider hiring an affordable freelancer; Sites like Fiverr and Upwork help you hire experienced designers for individual projects.
  • Use a free mock-up generator: Tools like Placeit are great for uploading your designs onto real photos so you have product lifestyle shots. Other services, like Printful, let you mock up basic designs.
  • Crowdsource ideas: If you are planning on marketing products to your social media followers, ask them what types of designs they would be most interested in; you’ll get some great input and be confident that your final T-shirt product will be a hit.
  • Work directly with a wholesaler: Many wholesalers that offer custom printing also have in-house graphic teams that will help you create your designs, often for free.

Andrea Sager“Be original and don’t copy others’ designs. A lot of T-shirt designs are covered by federal copyright protection, and new T-shirt sellers think they can print the same designs with no issues. This is certainly not the case. A lot of hard work really does go into designing T-shirts. It’s not as simple as finding popular designs and reprinting them. You have to create your own designs and make sure they’re not infringing on a copyright or trademark.”

– Andrea Sager, Owner, Andrea Sager Law PLLC

3. Choose Your Type of T-shirt Business

There are plenty of traditional and non-traditional options when it comes to selling T-shirts online, and even offline. If you want to start selling right away and for no upfront cost, you can use a site like Teespring or SunFrog to simply create designs and collect profits every time one of your designs sells on their site. Or, if you’re looking to create a full-on T-shirt empire, you can build your own business from the ground up.

Types of Online T-shirt Businesses

T-shirt Sales Sites

T-shirt sales sites are online platforms that let users create custom designs that are then posted for sale on the site. Shoppers purchase products from any number or combination of T-shirt designers. When the order is placed, the site produces the product and fulfills the order. The T-shirt designer sits back and collects a commission each time one of the designs is sold.

Example of Teespring's product page

This is what your product page will look like once it’s live on Teespring.

There are dozens of these sites available online, and they each function slightly differently in terms of requirements as well as how and when T-shirt designers get paid. Some operate more as a crowdfunding operation and only produce your designs once a certain number of pre-orders are made. Others will simply host your designs on your site as long as you want them without any minimum customer requirements.

Popular T-shirt sales sites include:

If you’re selling through one of these sites, there are a lot of steps you get to skip. There are no upfront costs, dealing with in-house production or outsourcing manufacturing, handling shipping, or even navigating ecommerce platforms. You get to keep it simple and skip down to marketing your business.

David Alexander“One great way to start a T-shirt business without the overhead and having to fulfill your orders when you are just starting out is to consider print-on-demand merchandise services. These services provide tools to make it easy to choose from a range of different T-shirts and other apparel and add your designs to your own online store. This means you can spend more time marketing your new business and testing different creations and ideas without committing to bulk-sized orders. The only downside is that the profit margin will be much smaller, but once you have worked out your strategy and have tested designs, it’s easy to then migrate your business model to one that bulk orders designs instead.”

– David Alexander, Designer, Developer & Digital Marketer, Maze Press

Branded Ecommerce Sites

Creating an ecommerce site using a platform like Shopify, Squarespace, or Square is a relatively easy way to sell T-shirts online and have greater control over the website, marketing, and sales process than using a sales site. For a simple ecommerce operation, Shopify is a popular choice. However, there are also a number of free ecommerce website builders available and other subscription ecommerce solutions.

Who Should Sell T-shirts Online With a Branded Ecommerce Site

While sales sites are a great form of passive income, they are limiting in terms of the types of products you can sell, the presentation of your products, packaging, and materials. If you want to have more creative and logistical control over your products, sell a variety of goods, and make higher sales margins (as opposed to passive design commissions), building your own website is a good option. However, it comes with personal investments of both time and money.

Pros of Creating a Website

The advantages of building your own ecommerce site include:

  • More control: Unlike T-shirt sales sites, you can customize your products down to the last detail and have complete control over product descriptions, photos, branding, and pricing.
  • Make higher sales margins: T-shirt sales sites are producing and shipping your product, so they take a higher percentage of the total sale. It’s true that there is less work on your part, but the potential for profits is also smaller because you’re receiving a smaller cut from each sale.
  • Expand product lines: Having your own ecommerce site means you’re not limited to just T-shirts. You can sell anything.
  • Multiple sales channels: You’re not limited to just selling on your website—you can also sell through social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, or even a local market.

Bob Herman “To start a successful T-shirt business, you’ll need to sell and advertise on many channels, including your own site, other marketplaces, and social media sites. Thus, it’s imperative you select a management system to be your hub and central database for your products and processes, which then is extensible or has existing apps or plugins to integrate with other marketplaces and social media sites. Evaluate the various platforms available, such as BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify, and then make your selection and don’t look back!”

– Bob Herman, Co-founder & COO, BloodyToe.co

Cons of Creating a Website

The disadvantages of building your own ecommerce site include:

  • Higher costs: Managing your own site requires using an ecommerce software platform, purchasing a web domain, sourcing your own products, managing shipping and order fulfillment, and any advertising costs.
  • Bigger time commitment: You’ll be responsible for fulfilling all orders, updating your site, providing customer service, and managing your financials.
  • More responsibility: Offering a product to customers is like making a promise; those who buy from you will expect a quality product in a timely manner and friendly, responsive customer service if they have any questions.

Creating a branded ecommerce site to sell your own T-shirts can be a simple process with the right tools. Shopify has an easy-to-use website builder, plus tons of plugins to help source, ship, and create products. With Shopify, you can also expand into social media sales and sell your products in-person with their mobile point-of-sale (POS) app. Shopify has everything you need to start an online T-shirt business at an affordable price. Visit Shopify to get started.

Visit Shopify

Sell T-shirts Through a Personal Blog

If you’ve already got a website or have a large social media following, you can make money selling T-shirts through either option. No matter what topic you blog about, there’s an opportunity to make money through T-shirt sales online. The most successful online T-shirt sellers cater to a specific niche. If your blog has a particular saying, name, or catchphrase, they all make for a fun and unique T-shirt design.

When it comes to how you will actually sell the products on your blog, it depends on what website builder you are using. If your blog is on WordPress, Bigcommerce has a new WordPress integration that makes adding ecommerce a smooth process. You manage the front-end of your site on WordPress like usual, and BigCommerce hosts your catalog, order management, shipping, and payment processing on the back-end. Visit BigCommerce to get started.

Visit Bigcommerce

Info-graphics of BigCommerce's integration with WordPress

Manage your blog on WordPress and let BigCommerce host the rest.

Sell T-shirts Online With Affiliate Marketing

If you are looking to monetize your social media followers instead of selling T-shirts directly through your blog, there are ways to make money with affiliate marketing sales. There are many affiliate marketplaces, but if you have a large social following, the easiest way is through a direct affiliate program with a top-tier online brand. Direct affiliate programs give you the advantage of brand recognition. Many of these programs are free to join and even offer lots of flexibility.

One popular program is Amazon’s influencer program. If you’ve ever seen someone on social media with a link to their own Amazon Store, that’s what this is. Basically, you pick out the products you recommend (in this case, your favorite T-shirts), add them to your store, and earn money through qualified purchases.

Apparel items can earn up to a 7% commission. That’s nowhere near a traditional 50% retail markup, but considering all it takes is adding an Amazon link to your social bio, it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

4. Choose a Production Method

Now that you have your concept and your sales channels ironed out, you’ll need to choose a production method. There are essentially three main options you can choose from: making the T-shirts yourself by buying blanks in bulk and screen printing them; purchasing a large number of your custom T-shirts premade from a wholesaler or manufacturer; or you can use a print-on-demand service that will create and ship custom T-shirts for you as they are ordered.

Each production method has its advantages and disadvantages. Printing the T-shirts yourself will allow for the highest profit per sale, but it is labor-intensive. Purchasing your T-shirts premade from a manufacturer or wholesaler will offer slightly smaller, but still great margins at the risk of having excess products. With both of these options, you are also responsible for shipping orders. Print-on-demand services are the most expensive option, but they require little action from you once it’s properly set up.

In-house Production

Screen printing is the most practical method for creating your own custom T-shirts at scale. Screen printing is a technique that uses a mesh screen to force-transfer ink onto a surface—in this case, T-shirts. Screen printing is the preferred technique because it allows for a vibrant, multicolor, and high-quality end result.

A semi-professional screen printing press costs several thousands of dollars. It’s certainly an investment. However, if you are serious about printing your own designs, doing it yourself will allow for the greatest sales markup. Plus, owning your own equipment means you can expand into new products, change designs, or even create custom orders.

Other than a screen printing press kit with stencils and ink, the next important product you will need to invest in is T-shirts. Since you are purchasing blanks, you can really save by purchasing in bulk for the best prices. Source from a wholesaler or manufacturer to get the lowest prices.

Next, you’ll need a process for shipping orders. As an online T-shirt store owner, you will have to purchase shipping supplies and choose a shipping company. Fulfillment companies like ShipBob make it easy to stock, pack, and ship your shirts at the lowest possible price. It will even store ready-made shirts in its warehouse for you, so you can focus on designing and printing your shirts. Visit ShipBob to speak with a representative.

Visit ShipBob

It’s worth noting that producing your own custom T-shirts to fulfill orders is going to require space. You’ll need to set up a printer, have room for shirts to dry, and you’ll need an area dedicated to packing and shipping orders. Realistically consider your available space (and any potential roommates) before going too far down the in-house production road.

Heat transfer production methods are less expensive than screen printing, especially when it comes to upfront costs. However, the quality and durability of the product come nowhere close to the quality of screen printing. If you are trying to build a brand, it’s better to invest in the higher-quality printing method.

Print-on-Demand Services

Using a print-on-demand service is the same concept as selling your designs on a T-shirt sales site. Instead of hosting your design on a third-party website, print-on-demand services allow you to sell through your own site, keep your individual branding, and maintain appearances of a completely self-contained small business.

These businesses use a technique called drop-shipping, where the retailer passes customer orders through to their supplier, which handles fulfilling the order. Many drop-ship and print-on-demand suppliers will brand the order under the retailer, so customers are none the wiser that their product isn’t coming directly from the retailer.

Print-on-demand services are popular because they allow T-shirt businesses to skip the in-house production and screen printing. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of shipping orders yourself. The downside is that drop-shipping companies typically charge higher rates than traditional wholesalers because they are providing as much service as they are a product.

Printful is a popular print-on-demand service that integrates with most ecommerce platforms, so when customers place an order on your website, the order goes straight to Printful. It then prints your tees, fulfills your orders, and ships them to your customers. If you’re testing out brand concepts or different tee designs, the print-on-demand option lets you do it risk-free. Visit Printful to sign up for free.

Visit Printful

Hassan Alnassir “A convenient way for starting a T-shirt business is to begin with Shopify and add a print-on-demand app to your store. Those drop-shipping companies take care of printing your T-shirt and shipping it directly to the customer when you receive a new order. There are several print-on-demand apps to choose from on Shopify but the most popular ones that you should consider are Printful and Printify.”

– Hassan Alnassir, Founder & Owner, Premium Joy

Buy in Bulk From Manufacturers

Purchasing your custom T-shirts from a wholesaler or manufacturer is the middle-of-the-road option. The cost will be somewhere between printing your own T-shirts and using a drop-ship or print-on-demand company. You won’t have to worry about purchasing a screen printer, but you will still have to ship and fulfill orders yourself.

There are countless suppliers you can purchase custom T-shirts from. Many of them will even have their own art or graphic design department to help you create your designs for free. You can search for companies online via wholesale directories, or visit apparel, gift, or general merchandise trade shows to see each company’s product in person and see their design work for yourself before committing.

5. Market Your Business

Product marketing is essential for the success of your online T-shirt business. It’s also one element of selling T-shirts online that will forever be an ongoing process. There are many different elements that go into marketing a product. You have to consider pricing, paid and unpaid advertising strategies, branding, and sales channels.

Top areas of consideration when marketing your T-shirt business include:

Price Your T-shirts Strategically

Price is one of the biggest factors when it comes to a shopper’s decision to purchase. Our guide on how to price a product walks through basic terminology, such as markups, profit margins, and keystone pricing, if you want to dive into the basics.

One of the most common pricing strategies is psychological pricing. Ever notice how many price tags often end in nine? $9.99, $19.99, and $99.99 are all common promotional prices because they subconsciously tell the brain that you’re getting a good deal. Ending your price in odd numbers, especially nines, indicates a great deal. A $20 price tag and a $19.99 price tag are essentially the same. However, one price is proven to be more effective than the other.

Also, be sure to scope out the prices of your competitors. You don’t need to have the least expensive prices, but you certainly shouldn’t have the most expensive prices either, especially when you are just starting your business. Having a mid-range price point and a high-quality custom product is a great way to build your brand.

Use Creative Packaging

Creative packaging is essential for helping startup retailers stand out and develop their brand identity. Our article on creative packaging ideas outlines different providers, costs, and tips. Simple changes to your packaging, like branded tissue paper or logo stickers, can go a long way. If your packaging is pretty, customers are more likely to share their experience with your product online via an unboxing video or Instagram post.

Taylor Mack “On-brand, attractive product packaging is essential. People choose to buy from small businesses over big-box stores because they want that personal touch and connection. Show your customers you care and stand out from the crowd by putting a little extra time and effort into gift-wrapping your products. Plus, having unique packaging encourages customers to share on social media. Unboxing videos on Instagram are very popular, and can be great word-of-mouth marketing for your small business.”

– Taylor Mack, Online bookstore owner & marketing blogger, Small Biz Refined

Consider Additional T-shirt Sales Channels

Once your business is up and running, consider using additional sales channels as marketing tools. Ideally, you will have a Facebook page for your business. Instead of just posting pictures of your shirts, you can actually create a catalog and sell your products through a Facebook Shop. You can also connect your product catalog and sell through Instagram Feed posts and Stories. If you use any kind of mainstream ecommerce platform, they likely have a tool or plugin to help you manage this.

Another way to advertise your T-shirts is to take them to the street, literally. Participate in local markets, pop-up shops, and community events to help spread awareness of your business. Even though you’re an ecommerce seller, you’re likely to gain a strong fan base of friends and neighbors in your town, which is not a bad way to start.

Start a Subscription Service

One great online marketing strategy is to start a T-shirt-of-the-month club. Platforms like Cratejoy make it easy to run a subscription service providing both a marketplace to find new customers and the software to manage subscriptions. Your customers can subscribe to receive merchandise from you monthly. Visit Cratejoy to start a free 14-day trial today.

Visit Cratejoy

Use High-quality Product Photos

If you’re selling online, having high-quality product photos is a must. Luckily, you don’t need a professional or even fancy equipment to take quality pictures. Our product photo guide even shows you how to take great shots with your iPhone.

Product photos showing the T-shirt in-use

Product photos showing the T-shirt in-use do better since others can imagine themselves wearing the shirts.

Things to Consider Before Starting a T-shirt Business

If you are starting a T-shirt site, or really any kind of retail business, there are other general, yet important elements to consider. Things like having a mapped-out business plan, investing in the right tools, and protecting your business assets are critical to iron out while your business is still small, especially if you want to grow your business.

Build Out a Business Plan

If you’re looking to do anything more than just passively sell designs on T-shirt sales sites, it’s really important to map out an ecommerce business plan. This will cover all of your market research, sales channels, revenue projections, growth ideas, and long-term goals.

Any modern ecommerce business starts out online, but eventually opens brick-and-mortar showrooms or sells products into other retailers. Now is the time to think about where you see the future of your T-shirt business and plan out what is needed to make that happen. If you are looking to take out any business loans or funding, having a business plan is usually a necessary step in the application process.

Invest in Software

We’ve already touched on the importance of having an ecommerce management platform. But you also need to consider how you will accept payments online. There are tons of options when it comes to selecting an ecommerce payment processor or merchant service provider. Many ecommerce platforms even have built-in payment processing.

As an online seller, you will also have to grapple with sales tax. As of 2018, online sellers are responsible for collecting and remitting state sales tax for almost all orders. The specific laws vary by each state and by how big your business is. It’s more important now than ever to invest in high-quality shipping and accounting information. QuickBooks is a popular and trusted accounting software for small businesses.

Pros & Cons of Selling T-shirts Online

Selling T-shirts online can make the process of showcasing your creativity a lucrative one if you manage your resources appropriately. However, many sell T-shirts online as a side hustle in addition to their main source of income, such as blogging or a 9-to-5 job. Whatever your motivation for starting a T-shirt selling business, remaining competitive and keeping expenses low should be on-going priorities.

Pros of Selling Online

  • It’s easy to get started: Using a print-on-demand service typically only requires you to figure out a T-shirt design rather than figuring out logistics and storage. You will also have to market your products, but many print-on-demand services showcase your T-shirts within their entire catalog of designs.
  • Can have low startup costs: If you drop-ship your T-shirts, you can have virtually no startup costs. However, this also means you will make less profit, since drop-shipping providers typically charge more per sale than wholesalers.

Cons of Selling Online

  • In-house costs are high: If you don’t use a drop-shipper and instead order your T-shirt designs in bulk in many different sizes, you’re probably going to spend thousands of dollars on inventory alone. In addition, you’ve got to store the T-shirts and pay your manufacturer for mock-ups and plates.
  • There’s a lot of competition: On Teespring alone, there are more than five million sellers around the globe. You’ll have to market your product well and have an excellent designer to stand out.
A sample of some of the T-shirt designs available on Teespring.

A sample of some of the designs available on Teespring.

Bottom Line

You can get started selling T-shirts online without spending anything upfront. However, you’ll still have to market your product and have a great design to stand out from the sea of other sellers. Designing and selling T-shirts to an already established audience can help shorten the lead time from discovery to sale because you’ll use your own online store.

Источник: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/how-to-start-a-t-shirt-business-online/

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Custom T-Shirt Printing Frequently Asked Questions

At Underground Printing, you can order 1 or 10,000 t-shirts for your group. No matter the quantity, we will be able to fulfill your custom t-shirt needs! We proudly offer a wide variety of custom shirts. Whether that be our soft style t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, or performance tees, we’ve got you covered.

The cost of a custom shirt order will depend on four things: the type of garment you are ordering, how many garments you are ordering, how many print locations you select, and how many colors printed on each location. Our sales managers can work with any budget and will guide you to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck!

Designing custom shirts with Underground Printing is painless! We make the process simple with our easy-to-use Design Studio. Choose from a variety of different templates, upload your own logo or design, or just add text. If you are still having trouble with inspiration, our FREE in-house graphic designers are here to help turn your ideas into a reality.

Ordering custom shirts is very fast and easy. Place your custom shirt order online using our custom design editor. Tell us your due date and we'll make sure they arrive on time (note: not all products are available for orders required in less than 5 business days). Or you can visit one of our locations to place an order in person with one of our experienced sales representatives. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-242-4787 to get started.

Ordering custom shirts for your group is fun and easy with Underground Printing. Our Pop Up Online Store gives you many options and flexibility with group ordering forms. With help from us every step of the way; you create a design, set up an online ordering form, and share with your group. We then process and ship those orders out for you. No inventory required!

Of course! At Underground Printing, we pride ourselves in our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not happy with your purchase then we are not happy. We will do everything on our end to ensure that you are satisfied with our service and your final product.

Источник: https://undergroundshirts.com/pages/custom-t-shirt-printing
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How Much Money Can You Make Selling T Shirts?

It’s the golden question isn’t it? You like the idea of selling apparel, t shirts and sportswear for many reasons. It’s a creative way to make money, it’s fun, it provides you some independence and you can get started on a small budget. But how much money is in it? How much does it cost to make a shirt? What if it’s part time?

How much money can you make with your t shirt business?

Let’s break it down to how much it costs to make a garment, and how much you can sell it for.

What does it cost to make a shirt?

There are going to be 3 major costs:

  1. Blanks
  2. Supplies
  3. Labor

Blanks

By blanks we are talking about the t shirt, sport jersey, tank top, hat or whatever the apparel is you are going to decorate. A standard blank t shirt will usually start at around $1 each and go up to $4. These are going to be cotton, good quality shirts. The price difference will vary on manufacturer, brand, color and cut. So a plain white t shirt might only be $1, where the same shirt in navy blue might be $2. That same shirt in moisture wick sport material might be $4. That is essentially your range. Now you can go even higher than that with specialty brands and cuts, depending on what you want to make. A blank Nike brand is going to cost more than a generic.

Supplies

This is what you are going to put on the garment, the actual material that will create the letters, numbers and logos. Using an example opaque vinyl material, the cost is going to be roughly $11 for a yard of material. If a logo is 5″ x”5 (25 square inches) than a 15″x36″ (540 square inches) piece could hold roughly 20 of those designs. $11 in vinyl / 20 designs = $0.55 per design.

Labor

You have to pay someone to do the work, either yourself or an employee. So we can talk about how long it takes to make a design. We performed a case study on left chest logos. 2 people were able to create 36 shirts in an hour. That includes running the material through the machine, weeding the vinyl, pressing the shirts and applying the transfer to the garment. This cost isn’t going to be a single number, it depends. If you have 2 employees that you pay $10 per hour. That would be $20 in employee cost. That comes out to about $0.55 per shirt in employee costs.

So adding this up we have about $3 going into a shirt if we have a shirt that is around $2, 50 cents in supplies and 50 cents in labor.

Now remember, that is all going to vary based on things like:

  • What is the size of the design?
  • Do you have employees?
  • What type of shirt is used?
  • Multiple colors vs single color?

Considering all of these things, here are some rough estimates of shirt costs:

  • Left Chest Logo T Shirt
    • Shirt $2
    • Supplies $.25
    • Total $2.25
  • Baseball Jersey Shirt
    • Shirt $8
    • Supplies $3
    • Total $11
  • Logo Hat
    • Hat $2
    • Supplies $.40
    • Total $2.40
  • T Shirt Logo Front / Full Back
    • Shirt $2
    • Supplies $2
    • Total $4
  • Full Front Fashion Shirt
    • Shirt $4
    • Supplies $1.50
    • Total $5

How much can you sell apparel for?

This is another golden question, someone asks you to make 20 shirts, how much should you sell them for?  Let’s first just say that there isn’t one single answer. It is going to depend on who you are selling to, how many they order, how much competition there is and how hard the job is to complete. To keep it simple, here are some ranges we here from our customers. These are going to be smaller orders and custom deigns. This isnt an order for 1000 t shirts and 500 hats. These prices are based on selling singles to a few dozen to one customer.

  • Left Chest Logo T Shirt $10-15
  • Baseball Jersey Shirt $20-35
  • Logo Hat – $12-25
  • T Shirt Logo Front / Full back – $15-25
  • Full Front Fashion Shirt – $15-30

How much money could you make selling custom apparel?

The answer is… as much as you want. As a business owner, you control everything. The things you can control are:

  • How many hours a week you work
  • What you sell products for
  • Who you sell to
  • How much money you want to make for your business.

Since you are in control, the sky is the limit. You can run your business from a spare bedroom or open a retail store. You can sell bulk shirts at low prices and be the lowest bidder in town. You can sell high end clothing and only deal with premium shirts. You can do some of both, its your business.

Some Numbers…

If you sell to a little league park. You will sell:

  • Hats, Shirts & Pants for the players
  • Hats and Shirts for the coaches
  • Team support shirts for parents

Based on the numbers above If you sold 20 t shirts, 15 sports jerseys & 25 hats… you would make:

ApparelCost to MakeRetail Price ProfitQuanityTotal Profit
Baseball Hats$2.40$15.0025$375.00
Baseball Jersey$11.00$20.0015$300.00
T Shirts$4.00$18.0020$360.00
Total60$1,035.00

What if you made a deal with the entire league? 

Where are some places that would buy shirts from you?

How much money could you make?

Get your coupon for up to $500 off a Cut n Press

Custom T Shirt System HERE

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Источник: https://colmanandcompany.com/Merchant2/
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About Cottonworld: It all began in the year 1987, when the Lekhraj family, with an established garment export-manufacturing unit, had an idea - to use the excess fabric to make quality cotton shirts. The shirts were put on sale and sold almost immediately. This is at a time when cotton clothing was not even considered fashionable. This prompted them to open their first store with just a few garments on display. The response was tremendous. And Cottonworld was born. Cottonworld became the first store in India dedicated to natural clothing. Set up in a leafy lane in Colaba, Mumbai, the brand is frequented by loyalists since its inception. The brand has now grown and spread its branches throughout the country with over twenty five stores in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Goa, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon. Thus shifting from manufacturing to retail, in this magical little journey.

Our Philosophy: There is a difference between life and living. Life is what you are born with; living is what you make out of it. When you live close to yourself. When you share your soul with nature. When every cell of your body feels alive. When every pore wants to soak in more life. When you live undiluted, unadulterated, unbridled. You know that you have lived well... Because life is just a canvas. And living is the art. Life is inevitable. Living is optional.

Cottonworld is Pure Living.

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Источник: https://cottonworld.net/collections/sale-men-t-shirts

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