How to Sell t-shirts online and make money

Sell t-shirts and make money

Selling t-shirts online is one beginner-friendly way to start making money online.

Making money part may actually take time.

You need to invest in this business model like in any other your time, money, and effort. Yes, I did say it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy t-shirts, you don’t have to buy printers, colors, or any other equipment. You don’t have to store anything. You don’t have to pack or ship anything…doesn’t it already sounds good?

What you have to do is know your market, stay up to trends, design great stuff, and drive traffic to your store.

When I say drive traffic I mean real people. Real people use forums, social media and see ads.

No bots, no fake likes will buy your products. Traffic is not the same thing as buyers.

Traffic is not the same thing as buyers.

To attract buyers you need to put yourself out there, you have to engage with people on social media and post cool ads and updates about your products.

Research and inspiration

Before you start creating and uploading designs on print on demand(P.O.D) t-shirt platforms you need to know what people are looking for.

It is a good idea to keep in mind that you want to sell something special, not something they can buy from Walmart.

I choose to put here most dated videos on the topic. hopefully they help.

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. No need to be uber artistic or too original.

Just take a look at t-shirts sold on Amazon, eBay, Etsy.

You may want to search for print-on-demand sites for ideas.

Here are a few:






Take a look at what people like on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Pinterest for more inspiration. Keep in mind holidays and shipping times, be on time.

Narrow down your market. 

Research your audience on Facebook.

Use these videos to guide you.

Learning & creating

If you already know how to use Photoshop and illustrator or other similar tools then just create designs. If you don’t have a clue about these or other tools or how to use them I suggest signing up for two months’ free membership at skillshare to learn basic designing skills.

Hiring designer

There is a service called Fiverr and you can buy t-shirt designs there for quite cheap.

Upload your designs

Uploading your designs is the easiest part unless the platform is buggy for me Teechip, Cafepress and Zazzle gave a terrible user experience. On the other hand, there are platforms like Spreadshirt(shop) and Teespring, which are great if you can drive traffic there via social media or paid ads.

A most beneficial way to go is to try Amazon merch, Redbubble, and Society6, these platforms have buyers on them, who are already looking for special and customized products to buy.

Optimizing for search engines

The first step was to find design inspiration& ideas for the t-shirts you create. After uploading your designs to the Print-on-demand service you will want to go back and edit Titles, descriptions, tags to make your listing to be easily found by customers in both print-on-demand services and in search engines like Google.

You will also want to have your store be niche-specific. You can have multiple stores on many of these platforms, but it will involve a lot of work unless you hire someone to do that for you.

What I recommend is to start with one service, create a profile & shop, make them both look nice, professional and stand out and focus on the quality of designs. Titles, tags, and descriptions are also important.

Sharing on Social media

Sharing on social media, advertising, or telling your peers are all good ways to promote your new store. 

Make sure that you do this part. Remember to share often and it is almost always a good idea to have a page for your store separately from your personal profile, this way you will be able to have different projects without annoying your friends.

In this video Eric Lesser talks about building Audience before selling t-shirts to them.


This is not one time job. You have probably heard “Build it and they will come” well.. nowadays you have to keep up to date with trends and add new products and designs to your store, not to mention sharing your creations with others.

Is selling t-shirts free?

Yes and no. you may not invest money, but you will need to invest your time especially if you don’t have skills yet.

On the other hand, you could buy designs with commercial use for print on demand sites and just upload and wish for the best or you can go to Fiverr and hire a designer to do it for you.

Is selling t-shirts easy?

Yes and no. If you have some skills then it will be easier and faster and you will probably see success faster than if you don’t have skills or money to invest. If you start from scratch it will take time to figure things out and to see some success.

What advice I can give you?

  • Practicing is the key.
  • Life-long learning and never giving up.
  • Keep in mind that by doing your research you are more likely to send yourself to success than flying blind.
  • Focus on research, quality designs
  • Have proper titles and descriptions setup
  • Add more designs with time
  • Share what you add
  • Understand that even this ‘Selling t-shirts online’ may sound easy and that anyone could do that, not many will do it..and many who will are most likely quit.

If you are beginner, learner and creative like me then sure learn what you need and do what you want. If you wan to make less work and more money then outsource some tasks the more the better.

Here is one of my favorite Youtubers in Print on demand industry


Benefits of selling t-shirts online like this and are:

  • You don’t have to buy in bulk and print them yourself.
  • You don’t need to ship them out.
  • You don’t need to pay upfront (unless you do ads or other advanced stuff)
  • You can do it for very cheap

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