In this day and age, it seems like everyone is looking for a side hustle. And for good reason–side hustles can be a great way to make some extra money, without having to give up too much of your time. If you’re looking for a side hustle that doesn’t require a lot of start-up money, a great option for you is to sell t-shirts for money.
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about starting and running a successful t-shirt business. We’ll cover topics like where to sell your shirts, how to come up with design ideas, and how much to charge for your shirts. So, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been selling t-shirts for a while, this guide has something for you.
By the way, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Thanks for the support!
Table of Contents
Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business
What does it mean to start your own t-shirt business? It means that you’ll be selling t-shirts that you’ve designed yourself or that other people have designed for you. This can be a great way to express your creativity, and it also allows you to control the entire process, from start to finish.
There are a few different ways to go about starting your own t-shirt business. You could create a website or an online store, or you could sell your shirts through other platforms, like Etsy or Amazon. You could also choose to sell them in person, by setting up a stand at a local flea market or trade show.
No matter which route you choose (and we’ll go over each of these methods), the important thing to remember is that you need to make sure your shirts are unique and of high quality. If you can do that, then you’re well on your way to starting a successful t-shirt business.
What You Need to Get Started
Before you can start selling t-shirts, there are a few things you need to figure out so that you can run your business effectively. Here are some of the most important things to consider and questions to ask:
- What kind of shirts will you sell?
- How many designs or t-shirt ideas will you have?
- Who will design your shirts?
- Where will you sell your shirts?
- How much do you plan to charge for your shirts?
- What kind of marketing strategy will you use?
- What kind of shipping and fulfillment process will you use?
Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions.
What Kind of Shirts Will You Sell?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what kind of shirts you’ll be selling. This is an important question because it will help you determine the type of designs you’ll need, as well as the type of customer you’ll be targeting.
There are a few different types of shirts you could sell:
If you’re not sure which type of shirt to sell, then t-shirts are a good place to start. They’re versatile and can be worn by men, women, and children. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive to produce, so you won’t have to charge as much for them as you would for more expensive items like polos or hoodies.
Along with thinking about the types of t-shirts, you also need to consider your design style.
Do you want to create funny shirts? Clever slogans? Eye-catching designs? Or maybe you want to stick with a more classic look?
The type of designs you create will also help you to determine your target market. If you’re targeting young adults, for example, then you’ll want to create designs that are relevant to them. If you’re targeting a more general audience, then you can be a bit more versatile with your designs.
How Many Designs Will You Have?
Another thing you need to think about is how many designs you’ll have. This will help you determine how much work you need to put into designing new shirts and how often you need to update your inventory.
It’s a good idea to start with a few solid designs that you can keep in stock for a while. That way, you won’t have to spend as much time designing new shirts, and you’ll be able to focus on marketing and selling your shirts instead.
Once you start making sales, you can then start creating new designs to keep your inventory fresh. Just make sure that you don’t overwhelm your customers with too many choices, or they may get overwhelmed and not buy anything at all. It’s better to have a few great designs than to have a ton of designs that no one wants to buy. Not only are fewer designs easier to keep track of, but they also make your business look more professional and more established.
Who Will Design Your Shirts?
The next question you need to ask yourself is who will be designing your t-shirts. This is an important question because the person who designs your shirts will have a major impact on the look and feel of your business.
If you’re not a graphic designer or don’t know how to design t-shirts, then you’ll need to find someone who can help you create designs that are both unique and on-brand. This could be a friend, family member, or even a freelance designer that you hire specifically for this project.
If you don’t want to work with a freelance graphic designer on a t-shirt design, you could work with a t-shirt printing company that offers design services. You can use their shirt idea or come up with your own to design and sell.
Just make sure that whoever you work with understands your vision and can create designs that fit your brand and target market.
Where Will You Sell Your Shirts?
The next question you need to ask yourself is where you will sell your shirts. This is an important question because it will help you determine how much effort you need to put into marketing your business.
There are a few different places you could sell your shirts:
Let’s take a look at each of these options in more detail.
Selling your shirts online is a great option because it allows you to reach a larger audience. Plus, it’s relatively easy to set up an online shop, and there are several platforms that you can use, such as Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon.
However, you’ll need to put in some effort to market your shop and attract customers. You can do this by creating a website, creating social media profiles, and writing blog posts about your shirts.
Let’s look at some of these platforms in-depth.
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create an online shop for your online t-shirt store. It’s simple to use, and there are a ton of templates and design options to choose from. Plus, Shopify also offers a lot of features that will help you sell t-shirts online, such as payment processing, shipping options, and order tracking, all within your own online store.
You can start using a Shopify online store for free, but there is a fee if you want to use the more advanced features. It works best for people who:
- understand a little web design
- want to start an online store quickly
- don’t want to worry about the technical aspects of setting up a website
Etsy is a platform that allows you to sell handmade and vintage items. It’s a great option for selling t-shirts because there are already a lot of people selling shirts on Etsy. This means that you’ll have to compete with a lot of other businesses, but it also means that you’ll have a built-in audience for making money online.
To be successful on Etsy, you’ll need to create attractive listings and market your shop well. It’s also important to follow Etsy’s rules and regulations and to make sure that your shirts are of good quality. Etsy works best for shirt sellers who:
- want to sell online to a niche audience
- are creative and can create attractive listings showcasing their t-shirt side business
- want to use a platform that has a lot of features and tools to show your own shirt designs
Amazon is another great option for selling t-shirts online. It’s a well-known and popular platform, and it has a large audience of buyers. Plus, Amazon offers a lot of features that will help you sell your shirts, such as payment processing, shipping options, and order tracking.
However, Amazon doesn’t offer as many design options as Shopify or an Etsy online store. It also requires more work to set up than Shopify. Amazon works best for t-shirt sellers who:
- want to sell to a large audience
- want to use a platform that has a lot of features and tools
- are comfortable using a third-party platform
Instagram is a great place to sell t-shirts, especially if you have a large following. You can create a post about your shirt, and people can purchase it directly from Instagram.
However, you’ll need to make sure that your account is set up for business and that you have a good shopping process in place. You’ll also need to make sure that your followers are interested in buying t-shirts. Instagram works best for t-shirt sellers who:
- have either a large following or a niche following (niche is always better)
- want to sell directly to customers
- aren’t interested in setting up a website (easier to get started)
Facebook Marketplace is another option for selling t-shirts. It’s a popular platform, and it allows you to reach a lot of people. However, it’s important to note that Facebook Marketplace isn’t as well-known as other platforms, such as Amazon or eBay, especially when it comes to selling t-shirts. Facebook Marketplace tends to work better for people flipping products like shoes or electronics.
To be successful on Facebook Marketplace, you’ll need to make sure that your listings are eye-catching and that you’re actively promoting your shop. Facebook Marketplace also works best for people who:
- want to sell to a large audience
- aren’t interested in setting up a website
- want to use a platform that is easy to use
Print on Demand Service
Print on demand (POD) services are a great option for people who want to sell t-shirts but don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up their own website or online store. These services allow you to create and sell shirts without worrying about inventory or shipping.
The downside to using a POD service is that you’ll usually have to pay a commission on each shirt that you sell. You’ll also likely have to create a merch account. The good thing about print on demand is that you won’t have to spend money on upfront costs to sell products. However, print-on-demand services usually have a limited selection of designs to choose from. Print-on-demand services work best for people who:
- want to focus on selling shirts and don’t want to worry about the technical aspects of setting up a website or online store
- want access to a large selection of designs
- don’t want to worry about shipping or inventory
Offline selling is another option, and it can be a great way to reach your target audience. You can sell your shirts at local events, or you can set up a stall in a busy area.
However, it’s important to note that offline selling can be more difficult than online selling. You’ll need to make sure that you have a good inventory, and you’ll need to be able to attract customers.
When selling offline, you also have a lot of different “platforms” you can use to sell and make money with a t-shirt side hustle.
Flea markets are a great place to sell your shirts. They’re usually busy, and they offer a lot of traffic. Plus, you can usually find flea markets in most major cities.
The downside to flea markets is that they can be competitive. You’ll need to make sure that your shirts are attractive and that you’re offering a good price. The best way to get started selling t-shirts at flea markets is to do some research and find a few that are in your area. You’ll likely have to pay an upfront cost to get a specific stall but it can be worth it if you make a lot of sales.
Craft fairs are another great option for selling your shirts. They offer a more relaxed environment, and they usually have a smaller audience than flea markets. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your goals.
The upside to craft fairs is that they’re a good place to start if you’re new to selling t-shirts. The downside is that you might not make as many sales as you would at a flea market.
The best way to get started selling t-shirts at craft fairs is to find a few in your area and attend them. This will help you get a feel for the environment and the people who attend. You can also look for craft fairs online.
Trade shows can be a great place to sell your shirts. They’re usually attended by people in your industry, so it can be a good place to network and make connections.
The downside to trade shows is that they can be expensive to attend. You’ll need to make sure that you have a booth and that you’re offering something of value to attendees.
One thing to keep in mind is that trade shows are usually geared towards a specific industry. If you’re not selling shirts to that industry, you might have a harder time making sales.
Street fairs are similar to craft fairs in that they offer a more relaxed environment. They’re usually smaller than other events, and they usually have a lower attendance rate.
The upside to street fairs is that they’re a great place to start if you’re new to selling t-shirts. The downside is that you might not make as many sales as you would at a flea market or a trade show.
However, street fairs are different than craft fairs in that they’re usually attended by people who are looking for unique products. If you have a shirt that’s different than what other people are selling, you might be able to make a sale.
Local Events (Parades, Festivals, etc.)
Most cities have local events where they invite local businesses to set up a booth and sell their products. These events can be a great place to start selling your shirts.
The downside to local events is that they’re usually small, and you might not make as many sales as you would at a trade show or a street fair.
However, the advantage to local events is that they’re usually free to attend, and you can find them in most major cities.
Another thing to keep in mind is that local events are a great place to network. If you’re able to make connections with people who are attending the event, you might be able to get some orders from them.
T-Shirt Store Front
If you have the capital and want to sell your t-shirts out of a brick-and-mortar storefront, you can always open your own t-shirt store. This can be a great option if you have a lot of designs or you want to sell other types of clothing as well.
The downside to having your own store is that you’ll need to invest a lot of money upfront. You’ll also need to make sure that you have the space to house your store, and you’ll need to hire someone to run it.
The upside to having your own store is that you’ll have more control over the products that you sell, and you’ll be able to make more money per shirt.
How Much to Charge for Your Shirts
How much you should charge for your shirts depends on a few factors, including how much you’re spending to produce them and how many you’re selling.
A good rule of thumb is to price your shirts at two to three times the cost of production. This will help cover your costs and make a profit.
Keep in mind that you might be able to charge more for your shirts if they’re of high quality or if they’re unique.
Marketing Your T-Shirts
There are several ways to market your t-shirts. The best way to get started is to figure out which method you want to start with and then invest time and money into it.
Below are a few methods that you can use to market your t-shirts.
If you have a website, you can use it to sell your shirts. You can create a page on your website that showcases your designs, or you can use an e-commerce platform to sell them directly.
If you’re selling at a craft fair, trade show, or street fair, you can also give people your website address so they can buy shirts online.
Social media channels are a great way to promote your shirts. You can post photos of your shirts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and you can use hashtags to attract attention.
You can also run paid ads on other accounts that promote your products online. Make sure you study your target audience so you can create successful campaign ads that will appeal to the right audience.
You can also run print ads in magazines and newspapers. This is a great way to reach people who aren’t on social media. Make sure you choose a magazine or newspaper that your target audience reads. For example, if you sell dog lovers t-shirts, you might want to run ads in a magazine that covers dog and pet culture so that you can get more sales and higher profit margins.
You can also send direct mail to people who might be interested in your shirts. This is a great way to reach people who aren’t on social or don’t read magazines or newspapers. However, it’s a bit more difficult to advertise to a specific population segment with direct mail than say online ads. Plus, not everyone likes to receive direct mail. They would rather buy things at an online marketplace or through social media accounts.
Email marketing is a great way to reach people who have already shown interest in your products. You can send them an email with a link to your website or an e-commerce platform where they can buy your shirts.
With email marketing, however, you need to first build up an email list so that you have people to email. If you don’t have your own email list, you could always pay to advertise in the email list of someone else.
Shipping and Fulfillment
Once you’ve sold a shirt, you need to make sure it gets shipped to the customer. This means you’ll need to invest in a good shipping and fulfillment system.
There are a few different shipping services that you can use when selling t-shirts online. The one you choose will depend on the size of your business and how many shirts you’re selling.
Here are a few of the most popular shipping and fulfillment systems:
Choosing the Right System
When it comes to shipping and fulfillment, you need to choose the system that’s right for your business. If you’re just starting out with little money and you’re only selling a few shirts, you might want to use a service like Shipstation or SendOwl. These services are affordable with lower shipping fees and easy to use.
If you’re selling more shirts, you might want to consider using a shipping and fulfillment service like UPS or FedEx. These services have more features and are more reliable than Shipstation or SendOwl. However, they’re also more expensive and have a slightly steeper learning curve.
If you’re selling a lot of shirts, you might want to consider using a shipping and fulfillment service like DHL or USPS. These services are the most reliable and have the lowest prices. However, they’re also the most difficult to use.
There are a lot of different ways to sell t-shirts for money. You can choose the method that’s best for you and your business. Just make sure you invest time and money into it so you can be successful.
To sum it up, to start selling t-shirts for money, one must:
- Choose a selling method
- Create t-shirt designs that appeal to the target audience
- Promote the shirts through various channels, such as social media, print ads, and email marketing
- Make sure the shirts are shipped and fulfilled properly
Doing these things will help increase the chances of success when selling t-shirts for money. And with a little hard work and dedication, anyone can be successful in this business.
FAQ – Sell T-Shirts for Money
How can I decide on a t-shirt design?
There are a few things to keep in mind when designing t-shirts. First, you need to make sure the design is something that people will want to wear. Second, you need to make sure the design is unique and different from what other people are selling. Third, you need to make sure the design is high quality and won’t come off when the t-shirt is washed. Finally, you need to make sure the design is something that can be printed on a t-shirt.
How much should I charge for my t-shirts?
There isn’t a set price for t-shirts, but you should charge enough to cover your costs and make a profit. You’ll also need to take into account how much it will cost to print the t-shirts.
Where can I sell my t-shirts?
There are several places where you can sell your t-shirts. Some popular options include online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, and trade shows.
What are the most important things to keep in mind when selling t-shirts?
There are a few things to keep in mind when selling t-shirts. First, you need to make sure you have custom designs that people will want to buy. Second, you need to make sure you have a good price point. Third, you need to make sure you have a good distribution strategy. Finally, you need to make sure you have a good marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of selling t-shirts?
There are several benefits to selling t-shirts. First, t-shirts are a popular item, so there is a lot of potential for sales. Second, t-shirts are relatively inexpensive to produce, so you can make a profit without charging a lot for your shirts. Third, t-shirts are easy to transport and store, so you can sell them anywhere. Fourth, t-shirts are a versatile item, so you can use them for promotional purposes or to generate income. Finally, t-shirts are popular with a wide range of people, so you can appeal to a large audience.
Are there any risks associated with selling t-shirts?
There is always some inherent risk associated with any business venture. However, if you take the time to do your research and put in the hard work, the risks can be greatly minimized. With that said, there are a few specific risks that are associated with selling t-shirts. One of the main risks is that you may not sell as many shirts as you anticipated, which could lead to losses. Additionally, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition in the t-shirt selling industry, so you may need to invest in marketing and advertising to be successful. Finally, there is always the risk of copyright infringement if you are not careful about the designs you choose to create.