For the last few years, there’s been a hot and trendy home based business item called “Custom T-shirts Business“. This interesting business item has been so loved and tried out by many usually who love designing something or have handful skills in designing stuff, or just pure love in fashion and T-shirts design as to monetize their passion and skills to make money online from home.
This custom T-shirts also known as “Print On Demand T-Shirts” has been really booming and loved by shoppers worldwide for the creative designs and the uniqueness that there’s only one in the world specially made for them. There are no shops anywhere else that sell the same and it’s just customizablely creative to people, that makes this custom T-Shirts industry so beloved.
Along with this great popularity, it’s brought out lots of designing and selling opportunities for normal people just like me and you with creative design ideas and style concepts in your head, as well as professional designers since shoppers want something more customizable and exclusively unique to them like they are hardly able to find the ones from regular clothing shops full of pretty regular stuffs made by bulk production.
We’re here today getting into all about Custom T-Shirts Business and How and Where to Make Money with this home based business!
Ready? Let’s get into it now!
What is Custom T-Shirts Business? (Print On Demand T-shirts)
It’s a business where individual designers or anybody with great idea of print designs on T-Shirts can make money online designing. When a design is sold via a print on demand marketplace, the designer gets paid by the printing company for the design that keeps its ownership and intellectual property belonging to the designer who created it.
Every production, printing and shipping work is done by the company, designers are only to focus on graphic and design creation and some promotion to let people out there know you have great designs and awesome printed T-Shirts. The income of a designer is totally depending on how nice, unique or meaningful of your printing designs are. If a designer has quality designs plus good promotional channels to sell them well, it can grow a seriously great home based business that earns you lucrative income, according to bunch of successful custom T-Shirts designers and stay home moms and dads who make print designs for it.
Do I Have To Have a Professional Design or Graphic Skill?
I understand many of you probably think this is not something for you just because you don’t know anything about designing and graphic.
That being said, my answer is:
“No, I bet you don’t have to, to make money with this because I could do it and did it even without single inch of knowledge on Photoshop or Illustrator and with no other basic knowledge on other graphic tools.”
I without knowing even worse than most of you, made quite nice T-Shirt graphics and have seen some people really love my works.
The most of custom T-Shirts print on demand sites(POD fulfillment companies) you would work with to design and make money, have their own on-site drag & drop design tool within the sites that helps even beginners able to create awesome T-Shirt graphics. Plus it also offers lots of free to paid graphic vectors for you to use in your design, so just drag it and drop onto it. That’s all done then.
Even more, actually a T-shirt without too much of graphic can also be nice, having some awesome texts and phrases that look cool. (Typography) For my experience, creating nice looking text graphics wasn’t too tough, just using the on-site text design tool with lots of font styles or other free typography creation tools online.
Not being handy with design tools cannot stop you to make awesome creatives as long as great design ideas right in your head with help of the easy design tool. For the deeper expertise and skills, you can just slowly learn while your business is being on the go.
So How Does It Work & Make Money From it?
- All your designs you create in a print on demand site will be marketed with either your own price set or default prices according to each print on demand site policy.
- For the most of print on demand sites have their own marketplace within site, your designs will be automatically posted in their market and it starts promoting to shoppers shopping in the site after your launch of a T-shirt design.
- To boost your sale, most of people there, are promoting their own designs in other promotion channels, such as Social Media, E-Commerce retail sites, their own website or blog to reach out to more potential shoppers out there.
- When a T-shirt that you made is sold, you will share profit out of the sale with the print on demand site for certain percentage accordingly. Choosing a site that allows you highest commission (profit share) would be always a great benefit for you considering your final income.
- Pays are usually sent via Paypal and wire transfer upon payout request and tax form should be filled up and submitted before the first withdrawal.
How Do I Start Custom T-Shirts Business?
There’re a few different methods of starting in Custom T-Shirts Business though, we are here with the focus on using a Print-On-Demand site to kick off selling your designs.
The first step you should take on, is choosing a print on demand site you would like to work with.
You will be offered the most of it from there in order to design your T-Shirt graphics, such as a designer/seller dashboard, easy on-site design tool, your own mini shop to showcase and sell, sales report/analytics, a knowledge center with learning materials etc.
Choose a site that can benefit you the most with high royalty rates(for your designs) or commission on sale. And also consider other factors about design tool functionality, marketing support (some sites support to promote your designs on Amazon or other retail shopping sites on their end), overall reputation of a site, customer responses and how easy or fit to you the entire design process is.
Second, set a niche of your designs that you love to design in or most salable to shoppers.
Finding a specific niche that you most focus in creating your designs is one most important step before launching your designs.
Just choosing what you love or are most passionate about can be a good idea though, considering some popular niches that people really love to shop and spend money on is not a bad idea for better sale and better money for you.
Some example popular niches:
Reference: Best Custom T-Shirt Niches
- Jobs (Occupations)
- Pat Lovers
Third, start designing based on your chosen niche.
Now it’s time to prepare designing your awesome artworks. First of all, you’d need your mini shop that you showcase your T-Shirts for customers. On your dashboard or profile page, you would find “launch your shop” button or similar based on each site, and create your shop there before launching your first T-Shirt. Decorating your shop in the way expressing as close to as your niche would be awesome.
Then start your first T-Shirt design! If struggling with no idea to come up, having a reference on others’ works is a good way to get inspired. I don’t mean copying it, but just get some reference from them for another new creation of your own.
You could also use free designs/vectors and graphic texts right from the site. If not satisfied with them, there’re free vectors or CC images on the internet where you can discover nice quality graphics or vectors freely usable for commercial purposes.
Pixabay.com is one example of free CC image sites or search on the internet with the keywords “free CC images” , “free vectors“. You might discover some which are good.
For free text graphic tools to create your awesome text graphics(typography) for free, CoolText.com was what I really loved using to make cool printing texts and phrases when I was engaged in this business :). It’s just for free and you can create badass texts just with it.
As well, Fiverr.com and Upwork.com are places for you to reach out to professional graphic designers and buy from them as economy as at $5 per graphic.
Last, launch your custom T-Shirts and market it!
When done with your design, the next step you should do is filling up product description and other info about your designs and products. The most important thing on this process is “Well Written Description”. What I mean is that “Product Description” is a really fundamentally key point that can even decide how well your sales is going to be.
As it’s listed on Site Marketplace and possibly indexed on google or other major search engines, putting right keywords in the description can really help get organic traffic from search engines as well as the site marketplace. Set your focus keywords to target people who the most potentially want your T-Shirts and optimize it as best as possible for better exposure. Don’t forget this simple rule: “Wider Exposure, Higher Potential for Sale”
Additionally, you’d need to promote your T-shirts with your awesome design on other places too for widening your sales channels. Social media is a ever green great place for your promotion. Use Facebook Sell & Buy public groups and Pinterest group boards in fashion niche. Pinterest is especially great for selling something visual, and lots of women users that are passionate about fashion.
Using paid ads is also a way how to promote, like Facebook paid ad. However I don’t really recommend this method to those who are not very knowledgeable how to promote in Facebook paid ads. It’s risky and costly if your outcome (out of your ads) is not satisfying as much as you spend on it.
When a sale is made, it’s none of what you need to do further. The fulfillment site will do all the follow-up jobs from producing and packaging to shipping to the customer. Then your commission is credited to your account after the grace period.
Does It Only Print On T-Shirts? Any Other Items Able to Sell?
There’re a few items more than only T-Shirt. Most custom T-Shirt printing fulfillment sites also offer Mug cup, Pillow, Phone case, Blanket, Shoe(Canvas, Sneakers etc), Hoodie, Dress, Tank top printing services and some more depending on each site. You’d usually get pretty wide selection to choosing print on demand items to sell from the most of fulfillment sites.
Most Famous Print On Demand Fulfillment Sites That Let You Design and Sell T-Shirts
Most well known custom T-shirts Print On Demand site that has a number of successful 6 figure $ earning designers. Along with the fact, there’re tons of tips and strategy resources of making money with TeeSpring out there on the internet and Youtube.
Merch By Amazon
The fact this is run by Amazon put this site in great credibility. Your designed T-Shirts being listed on its E-Commerce marketplace “Amazon” is a wonderful benefit to you.
Another of the tops. Wide print one demand products options more than 100+ different printable items is the best thing why you should choose SpreadShirt for your custom T-shirts business. As another good thing of SpreadShirt is that they are quite supportable for promoting your designs, using their own sales channels including their on-site marketplace where 50,000 daily visitors visit.
Variety of printable items in your options to choose. But no freedom in pricing your items is a downside. (The commission(Margin per T-shirt is also quite low like $2 to $4 per piece)
What I like the most about this site is that it offers human model T-shirt mockup while most of other sites don’t. Human model wearing a cloth can make visually better promotional effect to shoppers and leading to better sales. But the bad side of this site is about its high prices overall that wuld probably affect its sales for some way.
What’s the best of theirs is, above all, the quality of their print using DTG(Direct To Garment) printing technology. Printed T-Shirts made though this advanced printing method tend to be clearer and bolder in its printed graphic on it. This makes customers happy with their quality of T-shirts and other printed products and its good customer responses can give better effect for your promotion of T-shirts made by TeeFury.
This is a place like for more professional designers’ community than the most of other sites listed here. They have flat rate price and you decide what your profit is on top of that. The site layout and design is decent and an artistic feel that makes it look professionally artistic.
Design By Humans
Similar feel to Society 6. this is a professional designers’ marketplace for selling their designs in the form of many different kinds of items. Their allowing oversized and all-over-printed graphic printing on T-shirts is what I love the most. That looks truly great with a big print on tee if nice design imposed.
To be honest, I don’t actually know what’s good about this site. Quality of their printing? Well… Price of their T-shirts? Well.. Their shipping speed?? huh.. It’s told a little horribly slow and lots of customer complaints. I just put this in this list it’s anyhow well known to people.
The last but not least, Threadless is thought one of the best custom T-Shirts design community and marketplace. This has kind of unique system in how it allows new designs in the site that every new submitted design newly created has to be voted well by other community members of the site to finally launch it for sale. That could frustrate some hot tempered people like me though, on the other hand, that’s kind of assurance for customers to trust in that custom T-Shirt marketplace and the quality of artworks there, meaning your designs can look professionally quality to them once yours is approved to put on the marketplace.
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