T-shirts create a viable business opportunity due to their popularity. New entrepreneurs can sell them online and bypass much of the expense of starting the business at a physical location. An online store also makes it possible for the owner to reach a larger number of customers and begin earning profits in a shorter amount of time. Business owners can choose from a variety of online selling venues, ranging from personal websites to auction sites. Success depends on the owner’s ability to create designs that appeal to target customers and advertise them effectively.
Sell T-shirts on Your Website
Identify your target customer. It is more cost-effective to focus on a specific group of people instead of attempting to satisfy a general market. For instance, you could design T-shirts for babies, teenage fans of a music group or middle-aged men who enjoy fishing.
Determine a design style from a variety of design techniques for T-shirts. These include iron-on transfers, appliqué, tie-dye and silk-screening. The technique you select determines the equipment and supplies you need.
Locate suppliers. Although you can purchase supplies from craft stores, it is best to purchase them from wholesalers who provide considerable discounts when you purchase the items in bulk quantities.
Create designs and apply them to the T-shirts. Take clear pictures of the T-shirts to use online. Take pictures of the front and back of each shirt so customers get a better idea of what they look like. If possible, have someone model the shirts.
Create a website for your T-shirt business, complete with a shopping cart. Post the pictures to the site, along with accurate descriptions. Include information such as the available sizes and colors and the type of fabric.
Advertise your business with as many resources as possible. For instance, create a blog, post in forums designed for people in your target group, register on social networking sites and post updates and pictures of your design. You could also advertise locally. For instance, you could distribute your business cards, post flyers around your neighborhood that contain your website address and place an ad in the local newspaper.
Alternative Internet Venues
List your T-shirts on auction sites such as eBay and Bidz.com. The advantages of selling through an auction site include the possibility of earning more than the original price you set and displaying your products to more potential customers.
Create a free store at an online marketplace, such as Etsy, Supermarket and 1000 Markets. These sites also list items from each store in a general marketplace for shoppers. The companies provide their services for a percentage of each sale.
Sell T-shirts through a T-shirt fulfillment service if you wish to avoid having to stock inventory. T-shirt fulfillment companies allow members to design T-shirts with the company’s software or upload their own design and place mock samples of the shirts on a free shop page. When a customer makes a purchase, the company produces the shirt and mails it for a percentage of the sale.
- "Starting an Online Business for Dummies"; Greg Holden; Wiley-IEEE, 2010
- "101 Internet Businesses You Can Start from Home: How to Choose and Build Your Own Successful E-Business"; Susan Sweeney; Maximum Press, 2010
Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.