Selling T-shirts Online To Make Money

assorted-color clothes hanging on rod


Selling T-shirts Online To Make Money

There are a lot of business players in the online t-shirt business. If you want to have a competitive advantage in this field, you need to have unique designs and a strong niche that will separate your business from others. You also have to carefully plan your sales platform, supply chain process, production method, marketing strategies, and delivery stages. 

Here’s an ultimate guide on selling t-shirts online to make money.

Find Your Niche And Target Audience

You’re not the only one trying to enter this playing field. If you want to be successful in this area, you have to start your business by asking this question: who is going to buy your t-shirts? If the answer is “everyone”, you’re going to struggle to compete. 

Having a broad target audience is dangerous, and you’ll end up targeting no one. The best way to tailor and set up your operations properly is to narrow down your audience and find a product niche. The tighter the better. Once you get some followers and make some money, you can then set you sights on expanding.

Here are the things that you can consider when doing so. 

Define your interests and passion

It is you who will mainly run your t-shirt business. Therefore, you need to find a niche that you are most passionate about. This way, it will be easier for you to understand and connect with the people you’re marketing your product to. This is also a great way to find your audience’s pain points. Your findings will help you generate the best product ideas that will address these problems. 

Study your competitors

It is essential to research your possible competitors. Take note of their history, strategies, and strengths and weaknesses to be able to gain a better picture of finding your position in the same market. 

Identify a problem

Every successful product or service comes from a distinct problem. Once you have identified this concern, you can then incorporate this to your product feature and marketing strategy. You may also maximize the power of the digital world. Research and learn what the local and global trends in this niche product to be able to find the primary gap in the market. 

Create Eye-Catching Designs

graphic tshirt design

The number one reason for customers to buy a t-shirt is its design. No matter how good your operations are, your t-shirts won’t sell if they do not have attractive and eye-catching designs. This feature will also be the one that will set your product apart from other sellers. 

“Create a strong image for your business straight out. Pick your color scheme, design, logo, your business message, and so forth. Having a strong professional brand is going to allow consumers to trust in your business and encourage them to invest in you. Hire a graphic designer if you don’t have a clue about this sort of thing. You need to invest in your business for others to invest in you,” shares Mike Sheety, Director of That Shirt. 

Aside from being attractive, your designs should be original. You may notice that there are popular t-shirts that show famous TV characters and quotes. In fact, the market loves these things! However, you have to be very careful when employing this strategy. Some are not free to use. For example, Disney and Marvel are very strict when it comes to companies using their trademarks without proper permission. This can get you into serious trouble. 

If you’re not the type of person who is good in brainstorming original designs, then you may try the following strategies: 

Use a free mock-up generator

A mock-up generator transforms your draft designs into real photos. This helps come up with product lifestyle shots. 

Hire a freelance designer

If you’re planning to be more hands-on with the operations, instead of being the brains behind the creative aspect of t-shirt building, then it is best if you hire a freelance designer. This does not mean that they will dictate what kinds of designs will work for you. What you have to do is to tell them what elements and types of designs you are envisioning. From here, they will turn this idea into a tangible one. 

Work directly with wholesalers

Many custom printing wholesalers have in-house graphic teams. These individuals are the ones responsible for creating designs for free in exchange for having them as your supplier for your bulk orders. 

Crowdsource ideas

One of the cheapest ways to come up with the best design is to ask your audience directly. You may do this through physical surveys or sensing from your social media followers. Ask for their advice on what kinds of designs they will be interested in. Once you have enough input, then you can start drafting your final t-shirt product. 

Choose Which Type Of T-Shirt Business To Focus On

tshirts on display

There are various traditional and non-traditional types when it comes to selling T-shirts. It’s either you use established online sites or build your business from the ground up. 

E-commerce Sites

Different e-commerce platforms have their control over the marketing and sales process of their sites. The owners get a cut from the selling price as a way to profit. The only problem with this type of business avenue is that you have many competitors around you. The users have to decide among many products that they sometimes pick the first one that catches their eyes. Hence, the way you present your product online is a vital component of making that sale. 

Another problem with e-commerce sites is that you have no control over their delivery process. Admit it or not, there will always be operations lapses. If the delivery of your product gets disrupted, the tendency is your buyer will return. 

T-Shirt Sales Sites

There are tons of websites that allow you to create and sell customized t-shirts. What’s unique about these websites is that you can still sell your products online without having any inventory. The catch is, you have to design everything from scratch or outsource designers. Listed below are the best platforms to make money from t-shirt selling. 


Teespring is probably the most popular and well-known custom t-shirt websites out there. It is both an e-commerce and crowdfunding platform for products like this. You start by designing your t-shirt on the site. Teespring has a design section within its mainframe where you are presented with a blank image of a t-shirt. On the right and left panels, a wide range of design options are placed. 

If you don’t want to start from scratch, you also have the option to use your own artwork. It can drag and drop the designs and other features wherever you want. With this feature, it will only take you minutes to design a t-shirt. 

After designing, you then come up with your own pricing system. Teespring will first charge you with a commission. It’s the base price of the shirt composed of the cost of making it and shipping it. From there, you get the final selling price. The standard values of the shirts set by the organization are as follows: 

  • Plain and basic t-shirt with no design: $5.75 per unit
  • Same t-shirt with mini clip art: $7.67 per unit
  • Same t-shirt with your own design: $13.75 per unit

For example, you’re trying to sell a t-shirt with one piece of the mini clip art, and you want to sell it for $20. Then, your total profit will be $12.33.

Once you have set everything, then the final step is to set up your own campaign. The campaign requires an exciting title and an eye-catching description of it. Aside from this, you all have to come up with the best strategy and length of the campaign depending on your goals and objectives. The range of campaigns can range from three to 21 days. 


Spreadshirt is known for its excellence in creating and selling custom t-shirts. It is also popular for its fast and accurate delivery and quality products. There are two techniques on how you can earn money through Spreadshirt. 

The first one focuses on Design Price. What’s good about this platform is that it allows you to upload your own designs and make money out of it. If a user feels an attraction towards your work, then he or she can avail it depending on your price. The maximum amount you can get from this is $15. Remember, however, that this serves a passive income strategy. You don’t have to work to earn continually. All you have to do is upload your best work and wait for your takers. 

The second strategy is through Shop Product Markups. This is the same as how other online t-shirt sites work. Once you sell your t-shirt, you add your intended markup to these products. Once the buyers purchase these t-shirts, then you will be able to receive the product markups you have established. 

Remember, however, that you won’t be able to receive your commissions on the day of the sale. Payments from the website are made every 15th of each month. They also have a rule that you need to have a minimum of $10 inside your Spreadshirt account before you can withdraw your earnings. 

You may also visit this article to know how to make money on Redbubble through t-shirt printing. 

Create Your Own Website

Add to cart button

While it is great to enter the market of e-commerce and t-shirt websites, it is also an excellent idea to create your own selling website. Engaging in this strategy has its pros and cons. Here are the following: 


  1. More Control: Unlike other platforms, you have the power to customize your products up to the last detail. You also have complete control when it comes to branding, pricing, product descriptions, and photos. 
  2. More Product Lines: If you want to expand your business and grow your product lines, you are open to doing so if you have your own website. Basically, you can partner with other products to your existing t-shirts. 
  3. Higher Sales Margin: Since t-shirt selling platforms and e-commerce sites are the ones who are producing and shipping your product, they most likely have the bulk of the total sale. If you want to increase your sales margin, then this is your moment to do so. You only have to remember that this will require more effort and time from you. 
  4. Multiple Sales Channels: If you want to expand your reach, you don’t have to limit yourself in just selling on the website. You also have the freedom to use this avenue to promote some of your social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram. You can also use this to showcase your other online blogs, podcasts, and vlogs. 


  1. More Responsibility: Since you’re working from end to end of the operations, there would be more responsibility for you. You will have to think from the creation of the design to the nature of your website (in terms of user interface and layout) to the delivery and payment scheme of your business. 
  2. Higher Operation Costs: There will be additional operation costs: maintenance of an e-commerce software platform, sourcing of own t-shirt raw products, purchasing a web domain, managing order fulfillment, shipping the delivery, and advertising. 

Market Your Business and Selling T-shirts Online To Make Money

If you want your product to be sustainable and attract customers, you have to build your brand and market your business correctly. Here are some of the elements you should focus on: 

  • Pricing: Price is one of the biggest drivers when it comes to a shopper’s purchase. Make sure that you know the basics of coming up with the most attractive prices. 
  • Packaging: Coming up with a creative strategy is vital when it comes to establishing the brand identity of a new product. If your packaging catches the eye of your customers, they will most likely interact with your brand more. 
  • Additional Sales Channels: Once you have established your brand’s foundation, ensure that you send your brand message across via different social media channels. Post pictures and push sell your products to attain brand retention. 


To be ahead of your competition, you need to know your market very well to be able to attain authenticity. Make sure that the designs that you will create will resonate with your target audience and speak the truth. These will be the secrets to your success. 

If you want to know more about this endeavor, you may check out Nick Logan’s T-Shirt Business: How To Work From Home Starting Your Own Online Business In A Popular Teespring Niche. 

T-Shirt Business: How To Work From Home Starting Your Own Online Business In A Popular Teespring Niche!

Buy a copy now from AMAZON.COM

You may also check out these best books for starting an online business.

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.