Last Updated on July 2, 2020 by John Zakaria
Today I wanted to talk about a question that I recently received over on my Facebook inbox message, I got a message from “Henry” and he writes “I’m trying to sell t-shirts online, but I have not enough knowledge, can you please give me good advice…would gladly appreciate your help”. Great so I really like that question and thank you very much first of all for reaching out and asking me, I’m glad and I’m excited to be able to help you as best as I can. I tried to collect all secrets about how to Start Your T-Shirt Business in 2018 & Beyond so that they become really useful sources for you.
Now when it comes to starting a t-shirt business Henry, I don’t have much knowledge as far as the information online, but what I can share with you is how you can actually start your own t-shirt business online, I can explain the steps on how you can bring that brand, that business on the Internet.
I’m going to walk you through a really quick step-by-step process on how you can get your t-shirt up and going successfully on line now…this is for those who want to make money on the internet looking for some additional ways to generate revenue while you’re still working your full time job, you want to be able to sell t-shirts which is a great business model to do right now.
How To Start Your T-Shirt Business!
Let’s talk about getting started so I got just some initial thoughts, some research and some questions that I really want you to ask yourself before you start your t-shirt business…
So number one: Do you have time to dedicate to this business?
- Alright because this is a business and you are about to put yourself out there and you want to make sure that you are really ready to dedicate your time to your new t-shirt business.
So number two: are you joining it as a hobby just because you want to make a little bit of extra money or you just got some cool designs or is this really a new business for you
Think about that for a second like:
- What do I see for my t-shirt business in the future?
- Do I see myself selling a million shirts or just selling a couple shirts just for fun?
- So really think about your vision and really what you want to come out of your t-shirt business.
And number three: How You Will Ship The T-shirts
- Are you shipping the t-shirts yourself?
- Are you about to go and buy inventory or you want to stock up on your shirts?
If you are looking to do e-commerce and sell T-shirts for whatever reason, there are some strategies and methods that I can advise you on.
One, I would say that I understand if you were trying to go wholesale, buy T-shirts from a wholesaler, print them yourself or whatever, and then keep the largest margin, But I’m against that for several reasons Because, one, it means that you’re limited to the market that you can either deal with locally or that you have to absorb shipping logistics and shipping costs.
If you’re doing any other type of business, all of that for selling the shirts for a very minimal amount of money is taking away time from your other business.
So, I recommend that if you’re doing any other business, any other side hustle, do not print your own T-shirts and buy them wholesale. Just go through an online vendor.
Let them keep the bulk of the profits and you make like, 1.50$ or $2 a shirt.
It’s fine because it means zero costs to you, zero work, and zero of your time. So, I would argue that the margin that they’re keeping is you buying back your time. So, that’s what I would recommend.
If you have your own website, I would say, find a way to do the URL redirect and do something like shirts or store and then, push people from your dot com to your store. The reason I recommend that is you’ll have better tracking metrics. It might be easier for people to remember and to get to you. It might be better for you for linking that up on your website.
Obviously, if you’re on YouTube, like me, then, using the YouTube info cards and annotations are associated with your website, your dot com.
So, that’s going to make it easier for you to link out to that.
So, those are my recommendations with regard to utilizing an online store, e-commerce platform, as a third-party for selling your T-shirts or you know, apparel accessories online.
So let’s talk about your design:
Because to me that’s what’s most important. Your design is what’s gonna seLl the shirt, your design is what’s going to get people excited when they see it on social media, when they see other people with it, that’s the first thing they see, they like and then they go want to buy it.
Your design is very important so, there are some questions that I want you to ask yourself when you are coming up with a design and you’re thinking about your t-shirt business:
- So what is the audience that you’re trying to target?
- Are you going for Christian audience? are you going for people that love fires? are you going for like a motivational shirts? are you going for funny quotes? like what are you going for your t-shirt business.
I also want you to think about something that you can bring to the marketplace that maybe other people aren’t bringing. I mean it’s already gonna be you….you already bringing yourself, but what are you bringing to the table that nobody else is doing, what can you bring To this t-shirt marketplace that nobody’s doing so think about that.
So when you’re looking to design your shirts, you might want to go and find yourself a graphic designer. I know you like “John, how about a graphic designer”, I got you.
You can look on social media, word-of-mouth, friends, family, Google, all of those are great resources for you to find a great graphic designer, there are also freelance graphic design websites like Fiverr.
So when you’re looking for your graphic designer, here are top five questions that I want you to ask your graphic designers when you find them:
So number one: what type of designer are you?
- You might see a graphic designer online and they might be really great at like logos or other stuff and they may not specialize in t-shirts So find out if they’re really good with t-shirts or not because you don’t want to get somebody who may not be as excited about t-shirts or who really doesn’t specialize in deisgning a great t-shirt design.
Number two: You want to ask to see some of their designs
Number three: You want to check the scene with their prices
- You just started a business so you want to make sure that you’re not spending a ton of money on designs because you may not even use that design in the future, but we’ll get to that later.
Number four: How long would a turnaround time be
- The normal time is 2 to 3 days unless it’s an extensive project.
Number five: Everybody asks me there’s plenty to copyright for my t-shirt
- You want to make sure that you get a copyright from your designer, pay the extra, some designs come with packages when the designers design them for you, make sure you get your design copyright so that nobody steals your design.
This is over five… don’t worry about that. I also want you to ask if you can get a deal, if you can get let’s say two or three designs. See if they’ll work out a deal for you, you always want to try to get a deal.
And next, see if you can get a t-shirt markup. when I got my t-shirts design, my designer sent me a picture of a woman with my t-shirt design on it, it was the craziest thing seeing my vision come to life so you really want to see if your designer can send you something like that or if they could get the t-shirt printed for you which I got as well so you will be able to see your design other than just sending it to you in a file format.
So you want to make sure that you’re passionate about your brand, your t-shirt and what you’re about to bring to your customers.
Also, I recommend that if you’re going to do something that’s text-based or that is an icon or a logo that you take the Adobe Illustrator EPS file and you upload it.
Websites That Do Wholesale VS T-Shirt Distributors:
I know you got that great design now, but you got to actually go out and find the t-shirts to get that design printed on so, let’s talk about finding a website that does wholesale VS a T-Shirt distributor.
Now so number one if you find a t-shirt distributor which is just a company who actually sells a wholesale shirts, sometimes you do need like: a tax ID number or some form of indication that you have a business…sometimes you don’t.
So when you find your company and you find somebody that you really want to work with, I want you to focus on these questions, you need to go in there with some Authority, you are a business, this is your company, you are ready to win so you go in there with authority and you act like you already been selling a million t-shirts.
Number one: What t-shirt brands do you have?
- So you want to ask them “hey what brands do you have?”
- What can you offer me?
Number two: You want to ask them “how much it’s going to cost per shirt?”
- So each shirt has a cost to it so when you’re talking to them, you’re like: “hey, if I want to get a dozen shirts which is 12, how much is it gonna cost me?”
Number three: You want to ask them about other different materials that the shirts come
- So when they say hey we do have American Apparel, we do have Nike…ask them so you want to make sure, ask them about the kind of material that the shirts are….alright.
And number four: So when you’re thinking about the vision for your t-shirt company, think about the kind of sizes that you want to have
- So you want to ask them how much is it going to cost me per shirt for a larger size. If you want to do 2x, if you want to do 3x and 4x….those are going to cost you a little bit more so make sure you ask them how much those larger sizes are going to cost you. Also, think about the kind of fit that you want your customers to have.
So there are some companies who will give you a discount if you get like second quality shirts. If you are on a budget, that is also an option for you.
If you want to do second quality, you want to ask them if you can get a sample of their shirts… If they say “hey, you can get these great Gilded shirts” then, reply to them “hey, can you send me one just so I can see it or I’m not in Chicago so I can’t go up to the store to check it out” so they have to send me something, but if they are local to you, go to the store touch it, pull it, do all that stuff and see because you want to make sure that you’re sending your customers really good quality.
How to Find a Good Printer For Your T-shirt Designs:
Now, We’re going to talk about how to get your t-shirts printed. Now You maybe like “well John, what do you mean by printed?
Well, after you find your t-shirts, you got to get the design printed on your t-shirts and you really want to find a great printer that’s gonna make your design look great.
So first let’s talk about how to find a good printer:
Google is always a good resource. I always say Google is a great “t-shirt printer” in your area.
You can also try social media, your friends, your family “he,y does anybody know a really great t-shirt printer” and of course because you found a t-shirt wholesaler or distributor sometimes they are also printers or they know a really good printer so you want to ask them for their recommendations too.
When you find a printer after you search on Google, here are the top five things I want you to ask them because I really want you to go in there with great resources sounding like you know what you’re talking about and not just going in there and being like “hey, can you print my shirts” I really want you to go in there and have the information that you need so here are the top five questions that I want you to ask your new t-shirt printer.
So number one: What kind of printing do you do
- There are different types of printing: there is a screen printing and there’s also digital printing. Those are kind of the top two right now.
- And you definitely want to make sure you see some examples of their work.
Number two: You want to ask them how much is it going to cost you per shirt
- So when you go in there, you want to just say “okay cool, I have 12 dozen of small to extra large, how much is it gonna cost me for each shirt” and based on your budget, you can kind of determine it.
Number three: You want to really make sure that you look at examples
- See their work, see what they’ve done, see if you can find reviews on them and see what people are saying about their work after they leave that is very important because you want to make sure that your customers are getting great quality work because they don’t know your printer, they don’t know your t-shirt wholesaler, all they know is you so everything from your shirt is going to be a representation of you.
Number four: How long is it going to take them to get your shirts back to you
- So ask the printers: how long it’s going to take them to get your work to you, what is their turnaround time and if that works for you great….if it doesn’t, try to find somebody else or try to ask them if they can move a little faster based on what you need.
And number five: I want you to make sure you ask your printer what kind of policy they have for misprints or if they do something wrong
- You just want to ask them “okay hey if I have any faulty issues, I have a customer that comes back and says something is wrong with my design, will you count me for that, Would you do something about that”…just make sure all bases are covered.
If you still have questions about selling shirts online, then, go ahead and leave those in the comments section. I’ll try to answer as many of them as I can.