No matter how much we deny it, but we have all dreamt of starting our own business empire out of almost anything—lemonade stands, year-end garage sales, shady pyramid schemes, grandma’s secret recipe and of course—Selling clothes.
There used to be this one person in school who used to sell tees and bandanas outside the gym with the most hip designs, badass quotes about life and what not. We all have tried (and probably failed) to build our cool-tee-sales empire.
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Come to think of it, selling t-shirts online to make money is probably the most intriguing business idea. It’s just as serious to be called a real business and you can get famous in the ‘hood for becoming the connoisseur of good stuff.
Kicking off new shirt-selling biz is not a bad idea at all. In fact, there are more and more people young entrepreneurs using the power of the internet in selling t-shirts to make money.
Many e-commerce websites began from selling their stuff on behemoths like Amazon and ended up setting their own shops.
Have a design, logo, train of thought or even a meme in your head? It will sell like hotcakes if put on some Round Necks and Polos. We are going to walk you through the nitty-gritty of selling t-shirts online to make money.
You don’t have to spend anything—just keep your head in the game and your stock would be going off shelves. Here’s a write-up to knit and print your t-shirt empire, pack it up and deliver some extra money into your bank account.
Selling T-Shirts Online—is it Profitable?
Yes, multi-millionaire corps like H&M and Forever 21 are capping huge profits. But if we think of selling t-shirts online ourselves, we can salvage good money from it if we’ve got our strategy right.
You might’ve heard of many t-shirt sellers that plunged into the ground before they could even stand up. But it isn’t because of slow business or that the demand for t-shirts mysteriously plummeted—it’s because the sellers didn’t get it right.
You must’ve heard of websites like Zazzle and Redbubble—the ones which got famous by selling t-shirts online and made big money in the process. This business expedition would work on the quality of content on the tee, its design and a tad bit of luck.
Selling t-shirts online can help you earn up to $5,000 every year. We are talking about this in case it’s going by the side. If you are very determined to sell t-shirts as a main source of income to make money, then you can cover all fours and earn in four figures each month.
But a full-fledged cannonball into a load of freshly printed tees might not be the best choice for your bread and butter. Sure, you will get there, but you would have to invest some money on the way. What we are talking about will give you an idea of selling t-shirts online without investing money.
8 Places to Design & Sell T-Shirts Online
1. Merch by Amazon
Are you sucked into the business of selling T-shirts online to make money? This should be enough to satisfy you, after all, it is Amazon.
The e-commerce giant sells your designs to millions of customers throughout the globe under its own tag. There is no upfront cost of investment at all. The amount of web traffic that Amazon withholds every second is astronomical, so don’t worry about customers not coming in.
All you have to do is upload your artwork, put a price tag on it, and wait for Amazon to print it and sell it. With Amazon Prime shipping your designs real quick, your tees will sell in a jiffy. You’ll earn a royalty for the shirts you sell.
Merch by Amazon is GREAT, but your designs can only be considered with an Invitation. Get on the waiting list, get your designs approved once you get in and watch that money flow!
If your idea of selling t-shirts online was to open your own e-store then SpreadShop should be your fix. Designing merchandise on SpreadShop is a cakewalk. Believe us when we say that is all you have to worry about.
Create your own store with SpreadShop and they’ll take care of everything from production to payment. Your design won’t just be restricted to tees, with tank tops, hoodies, tote bags and mugs also in contention to witness your design’s glitz.
The best part is that it costs nothing. Spend nothing and rake up the profits. Designing is easy too! Give SpreadShop a visit and you won’t be disappointed.
CafePress is like a miniature Etsy, and if you feel that your designs can make it on anything, you should put them on CafePress. You can design your own t-shirts for your own purchase, but it works better for the sellers.
Trending designs work well on CafePress, for your designs are sold across a variety of products from tees to phone covers and laptop skins, mugs, etc. CafePress’ portal presents you a royalty for every product of yours that sells.
Their website has good traffic flow as well, and boy, those meme-designs sell like anything.
The concept of TeeSpring is simple and backs your aspirations of selling t-shirts online to make money perfectly. All you have to do is use their handy designer to customize your own tee, set your price and goals.
Once you have enough pre-orders, your tee will be manufactured and shipped to customers. You get to keep all the profit on your t-shirt sales. The website is accessible throughout the globe, so if you believe in getting enough pre-orders, your design can earn you big.
We aren’t gonna lie—Threadless had us at their killer website layout. Just like SpreadShop, you get to craft your own virtual storefront to sell your designs.
There is an ongoing contest as well in which you’d have to submit your designs. The best designs get selected and printed on tees. The victorious designers get a cash prize and also make money selling t-shirts online.
Even if you are looking for a fresh upgrade in your closet, pick a couple of tees from Threadless. They’re lovely!
If you are looking for an easy T-Shirt designing software (for you aren’t fond of graphic designing), SellMyTees has easy plans just for you. There is a paid plan along with a free one.
The free one, however, is more than enough to open a tidy shop with 20 designs. If your mission to sell t-shirts online takes a good flight, you can upgrade to the premium plan.
This one’s for the real artists—for the most top-notch pieces of art are sold here on stuff like tees and bags (a few of many). If you are looking to earn big and you know a thing or two about designing (pardon us for being honest—we meant if you are really good), Redbubble should be your true calling.
8. DIY with a Website
If you wish to go through all the steps of selling t-shirts online to make money, you can make your own website, get your stock ready, do the hard work and ship the stuff by yourself. However, we’d advise that you try other mediums if you are just kicking off.
Three-Step Guide to Selling T-Shirts Online to Make Money
Now that the money-talk is done with, let’s learn how to sell some killer tops to people online.
I. Think of Killer Graphic Designs
If you want to get into the tee-biz, get a crystal clear idea of what you want to put on the tees. The reason why millions of t-shirt companies are selling (and succeeding) in the online market is because of what their shirts look like.
Gone are the days when customers looked for quality of fabric before buying a given tee. In this buyer’s market, customers presume that they are going to get the good stuff in terms of quality. It is the designs that sell tees more than anything else.
You must’ve seen weird stuff being sold like hot cakes—memes, quotes, distorted images, dictionary excerpts and what not. Remember this golden advice: There is a fine line between sleazy and stupid.
Something as dumb as “Daddy’s Girl” written in glitter can rack up thousands of dollars in sales. A thoughtful quote about life, however, (Dalai Lama/Gandhi) might not even make to the e-shelves.
It is very crucial to have a rock-solid idea in your head before you start selling t-shirts online. We understand that there is no big-money investment to start with, but you don’t want to hurt your credibility by starting on the wrong foot.
PRO TEE-P: If you have made a list of killer design ideas, brainstorm over it with your pals and gals. Simply asking “would you buy it or not?” would get you easy feedback from people close to you.
II. Get those Graphics Designed
This is where many people give up—there’s a killer idea in your head. You can imagine the stunning design on a simple tee and it looks luscious in your mind.
But I’m not a graphic designer. What do I do?
In most cases, this is a very basic reason why people drop their dream of selling t-shirts online to make money. A little investment would be needed after all, and you can start by getting a graphic designer.
You can Hire a Graphic Designer from Fiverr for as little as $30 and s/he will be more than happy to peep inside your head by sketching those designs in your head on a computer screen.
Don’t hesitate on paying a tad more though—the better your designs are, the more famous your tees become. And the more fame they gather, the more sales you generate.
In this age of minimalism, simple designs are preferred more. You don’t need a graphic designer for the most and you can Learn Graphics Designing with SkillShare by the time.
PRO TEE-P: You are making these t-shirts for your customers—NOT FOR YOURSELF. Go for graphics that appeal to your target group’s taste & make sure that your target group is dense enough.
III. Where do I Sell the Tees?
You can sell your tees on multiple platforms, and all of them nearly follow the same procedure as Amazon Merch Program. Our top pick would be Amazon Merch, but people often complain about the invite-only process and its shenanigans.
- CafePress is a website where your designs not only sell on tees but on nearly every piece of cloth that exists. Accessories like Aprons, Bags, Hats, Scarves, Car stuff and even Neck Ties are sold on CafePress, so if you have a design in mind, CafePress should be a good place to start.
- SpreadShop is the best place to craft easy designs on t-shirts and sell them like crazy. The platform is famous for its innovative designs that are not just restricted to tees. You can design baby-clothes, accessories and home décor goodies as well. We found this Trippy Cat tee that we couldn’t help but order for ourselves.
- Redbubble portrays itself as a website that has awesome products designed by Independent artists. This is a dreamland for all those t-shirt designs in your head. If your designs are cool (and we know that they are), put ‘em on fabric with Redbubble.
- Zazzle is well known for selling your own custom stuff. Emboss your design on almost anything and everything which includes clothing and accessories alongside invitation cards, stationary, yada-yada-yada.
In our opinion, Amazon Merch Program is the best place to sell your stuff. But to get there, you need some experience in the tee-industry. Hence, you can start with the others.
You are now equipped with the knowledge and it’s time to start selling T-shirts online. Rack up those wads of cash and lead the change in fashion around you!