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How to Sell T-Shirts With Print On Demand

11 min read

In our modern world, side hustles are a common way to make some additional cash. The economy remains turbulent, and many people have sought additional streams of income to supplement their 9-to-5 job.

If you’re looking for an additional income stream, then one popular way is by selling products online. The world of ecommerce is vast, ever-changing, and always interesting. More specifically, selling t-shirts with print on demand is a simple way to start diversifying your income.

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What Is Print On Demand?

Print on demand is exactly what it sounds like—a business process that creates a product as soon as a customer orders it. This is a very popular way to operate for sellers, since there’s less waste involved, and lower upfront costs to get started.

How Does Print On Demand Work?

Now that you have a great idea for a shirt or have created an awesome new design, you need to find a way to get it printed. There are a number of great companies to choose from out there. You are going to want to consider a few things when you are choosing your company to work with. Evaluate how easy their service is to use for you personally, look at the profit margin and make sure it fits your projected budget. Remember your work is likely to sit alongside other artists. Think about choosing a company that you feel does a good job with getting your products in front of customers.

When you get your first order for a t-shirt, the company you choose will print the design on a blank t-shirt and send it to your customer. The great thing about on-demand is you own the design, and you usually don’t have to pay for the service or t-shirts until an order is placed.

You can pick which t-shirts the designs are printed on, create original designs, and have additional customization options for shoppers.

As a result, there’s no need to buy a large amount of inventory upfront. Additionally, you don’t have to put the designs on the shirts yourself, and once you create a design, you can sit back and let your side hustle run itself.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling T-shirts With Print On Demand?

Like with everything, there are pros and cons to any business model. Here are some things to consider about selling t-shirts with print on demand before setting up your shop.

Pros:

  • Less risk: Since you won’t need to design and order your product ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about wasting money.
  • Mostly hands-off: Once you create a product, you don’t have to invest a lot of time in keeping your business running.
  • Less stress: You won’t need to coordinate with your supplier or shipping company. The only thing you need to do is to create a design and respond to customers’ questions.

Cons:

  • Less profit: Buying in bulk costs more upfront, but in the long run, it saves money since each unit costs less. Since print on demand is made to order, your profit margins will be lower.
  • No control over shipping: Since a third-party manages shipping, you have little to no say in how much it costs or how long it will take to reach your customer. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that it will be harder to customize your packaging.
  • Graphic design: Graphics will play a large part in whether or not your customer will be interested in your t-shirt. As a result, graphic design skills will be needed.

What are the Best Print On Demand Platforms for Selling T-shirts Online?

Due to the popularity of printing on demand, there are now multiple platforms that allow you to sell t-shirts online. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Bonfire

Bonfire is another popular print-on-demand platform but what sets the company apart from its competitors is that it allows users to raise money for a cause. Additionally, Bonfires offers worldwide shipping, so anyone can buy your t-shirts.

It’s important to note that Bonfire uses campaigns. So, instead of a customer buying a shirt whenever they want to, they can only buy it during a campaign. Once a campaign ends, Bonfire will print and ship your products. You can create and relaunch multiple campaigns.

Although campaigns can be viewed as a negative thing, it helps you save money since your t-shirts will be produced in bulk. So, not only do you decrease waste, but you also have more money in your pocket at the end of the campaign.

Ecwid

Ecwid is an ecommerce platform that makes selling online easier. We help you grow your own store from scratch, and you can sync your store to your website, social media accounts, and more.

Additionally, we offer a free plan to those who want to dip their toes into the world of eCommerce. We offer transparent pricing with different plans that will suit different customers and their needs.

For those looking to enter the markets of eCommerce, start selling online, and try out the benefits of print-on-demand services, look no further.

Printful

Printful is a cross-platform (including Ecwid) app that simplifies the whole process of printing on demand. Not only do they offer customized t-shirts, but they also allow you to customize other products as well.

Like most print-on-demand platforms, Printful only charges you once a sale is made. So, while there are no upfront startup costs, but Shopify will automatically take a portion of the sale for themselves once you start making sales.

Although it’s hard to give a specific number, it’s a known fact that Shopify takes a large part of your profit, so make sure to do further research on which company you would like to work with.

Things to Consider When Researching a Print On Demand Company

Does the company offer customized t-shirts?

Since you want to learn more about selling t-shirts with print on demand, you need to make sure you only compare websites that allow you to create graphic t-shirts.

Some print-on-demand companies only specialize in certain types of merchandise, such as stickers, hoodies, phone cases, and more.

Double-check that t-shirts are an available product.

Price margin

There’s no point in starting a business if you’re not going to be making a profit, right? And not only making a profit but making enough profit that it’s worth the time and effort to get started.

Ensure that you look at the print-on-demand company’s pricing tiers (if any) or how much shipping costs. It’s also worth checking out if the company will take a fixed percentage of the sale.

Some companies are not as transparent with this as others. If you have any questions, contact their customer service.

Customer experience

If adding customized notes and packaging sounds appealing to you, then you’ll want to make sure that your print-on-demand company offers customization.

Some things to consider would be if customization costs extra, what sort of customization experience is offered (ex. Do you have pre-selected options or can you include completely customized material), and any additional customization fees.

How easy would it be to change your inventory?

The best print on demand companies offer a wide variety of stock that customers could customize. In your case, you would want to make sure that the company has a wide selection of blank t-shirts (such as different cuts, sizes, colors, and more).

Additionally, consider how easy it would be to transfer your design from one t-shirt to another. Will there be an extra fee? Would you have to go through a complicated process to duplicate your design?

Don’t overlook this step — this is a crucial thing to consider when comparing printing on-demand companies.

Customer service

If you’ve ever had terrible customer service, then you’ll know just how invaluable customer support is.

Since you’re likely just starting out in the realm of eCommerce, you will need a company to guide you through the process. The best companies will make everything user-friendly, but if something goes wrong or not as planned, then bmake sure the company offers quality customer service.

This will save you many headaches down the road, and help maintain the reputation of your own company and brand.

Boost Sales With Print On Demand!

All in all, starting a side hustle takes some research upfront. There are many important things to consider, basics to know, and designs to create. After finding your niche, creating a design, and choosing a print-on-demand company, you’re ready to start selling.

However, selling t-shirts with print on demand isn’t very complicated and will become simple once you get the hang of it. Don’t let decision paralysis get in the way and good luck!

Do you want to learn more about the print-on-demand business?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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