I Tried Selling T Shirts Online To Make Money

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sell t shirts online

Since everyone else here shares posts about how to effortlessly make $100,000/day, I figured I’d tell a slightly different story.

When I first heard about Merch by Amazon, I thought “Wow, a no-risk way to start a T-Shirt company! Everybody buys T-shirts! This is amazing! I thought I’d start selling t shirts online to make money!”

(Read through my whole story, you will save yourself some headaches if you decide to sell t shirts online)

27 years later, my invitation to the program finally came through. Finally, I can make money selling shirts. To summarize, Amazon Merch was not the answer, but Teespring is the key to selling shirts online.

Can you make money selling t shirts online?

TLDR: Yes, it is possible.

All you need is Facebook for traffic and Teespring as the t-shirt selling platform. You don’t need a website or any of those other things and you don’t need months to learn how to set up campaigns. You can turn the traffic on and off instantly. If your campaign is profitable let it run, if not turn it off. No waiting weeks or months for the traffic.

You can do this type of business part-time, full-time or even occasionally whenever you need some extra cash. I do this business part-time and make hundreds of dollars to over $1000 per week whenever I have time to launch campaigns. If you want to see the type of money that it’s possible to make selling t-shirts then be sure to check out the free preview videos in the course below.

After completing this course you will also be able to do affiliate marketing the easy way. And that is selling t-shirts as an affiliate with Teespring and Facebook.

sell t shirts online

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COURSE INFO

How it works…

Learn how to use Teespring to sell and deliver the t-shirts. Simply set up a short, 7-10 day, campaigns in Teespring. Then drive traffic to those campaigns with inexpensive Facebook ads. Don’t worry, this course will show you how to get cheap clicks and you can get started with just $5 to $10 per day in ad spend. The whole business is simply setting up t-shirt campaigns and driving traffic to them.

It’s Fast and Easy….

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COURSE INFO

Here’s my story before learning about TeeSpring

Let me start from the beginning, learn about my mistakes so that you won’t make it. Being the least artistic person on the planet and having never used a single piece of graphic design software other than MS Paint, I decided to give Fiverr and Upwork a try (so much for the ‘no risk’ part) to find T shirt designs to use to sell. My plan was to get a cool design then sell it on Amazon Merch.

I wrote up descriptions for 3 design ideas, drew some really terrible mockups in MS Paint, picked out some existing T-shirt examples to show the style I was looking for, and made sure to include all the technical details so there was no room for misunderstandings (I’d heard communication on Fiverr was a big issue).

I decided I’d spend $50 on each platform to see which one was a better value. The designs were pretty simple and should’ve been doable in less than 15 minutes even for a novice designer.

Buying Designs on Fiverr

On Fiverr, I put up 2 jobs for $15 and 1 for $20. I figured the higher prices would help me stand out from all the cheapskates trying to get $5 designs. Instead, I was inundated with offers from people who hadn’t bothered to look at my design specs and were clearly sending the same copy/pasted, broken-English spam to every job listing in the category.

I spent an hour looking through their profiles to figure out who had the best portfolio and the best English skills. To make a long story short, everything I got back was either complete crap or clearly stolen from existing T-Shirts.

One of them even ripped off everything from an example T-Shirt I’d included (for style guidance), all they did was move the text and change the color.

I asked the one designer who showed some promise to make a couple revisions, but what I got back was worse every time. None of the designs I got back from Fiverr were usable.

I closed the jobs just to get them to leave me alone, but then the designers kept spamming me for positive feedback. I deactivated the Fiverr account and never looked back. The thought of using that website again still makes me shudder.
Total profit: -$50.00

Upwork T Shirt Designs

Upwork was a much better experience even though it didn’t really work out in the end (more on that later). The average job price is much higher so I only put up 2 jobs for $25 each.

The majority of people on Upwork seem to be native English speakers, so it was easy to find people who understood what I was looking for and to have revisions done. There were still a few people who were obviously spamming their copy/paste offer to everyone, but they were a small minority.

Both the designs I requested came out better than I expected, although my expectations were pretty low after Fiverr. It was clear the person I hired actually had some degree of creativity/originality and knew how to use design software. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate into sales.

Amazon Submission

I submitted both shirts to Amazon and one of them was almost immediately rejected because it was related to Harambe (Harambe for President). Oops. I thought I’d done my research — there were TONS of other Merch by Amazon Harambe shirts at the time — but it turns out that shirts related to any tragedy are banned.

how not to start a t-shirt company

The content policy lists it as “Human Tragedy”, so that + the massive number of existing Harambe merch shirts led me to believe they literally meant human. Apparently not… Oh well. I submitted it to RedBubble and TeePublic instead.

I promoted it a little bit but it was a pretty overused meme already, so nothing got much traction. In the end, it sold 1 unit on RedBubble, netting me $4.13.

Total profit: -$20.87

The other one was much easier to promote because it was related to a gaming niche that only has a few existing T-Shirts, all of which are pretty plain. My shirt was at the top of a 12,000 user subreddit for a full day.

I also linked the picture (but not the Amazon link, so it wasn’t obvious) in any related thread I could find on gaming subreddits and forums, which got a decent amount of upvotes and universally positive reactions.

In the end, that earned me a whopping 2 sales on RedBubble ($7.45 return) and 1 sale on Amazon ($7.68).

Total profit: -$9.87

In the end, the only T-Shirt I had that sold more than 3 units was the piece of crap that I made myself and put zero effort into. It was nothing but a stupid, overused meme in black text on a white shirt.

Amazingly, no one was selling it on Amazon. It averages 4 per month, which is far more than any of the designs I’d paid for and put a lot of thought into. So far it’s made me about $75.

Total cost of “professionally” designed T-Shirts: $100
Total return on “professionally” designed T-Shirts: $19.26

Profit: -$80.74

Total cost of crappy, self-made meme T-Shirt: $0
Total return on crappy, self-made meme T-Shirt: $75

Profit: $75

How to make money selling t shirts

I guess technically I’m only out $5.74, but I still consider the overall T-Shirt venture to be an $80 loss since my efforts to create quality designs were a complete failure.

If you have more time, patience, and creativity than me, you could probably get some profitable shirts out of Upwork, but that level of micro management is more than I’m willing to deal with when the potential rewards are relatively low.

Maybe once my crappy meme shirt sells a few hundred units I’ll invest that into Upwork, but for now… well… actually my Merch account is paused. Lessons learned, so for now a friend recommended this Udemy class on how to make money by selling t shirts online. You can check it out here if you want, it’s only 12 bucks so I signed up for it. Back to the drawing board!

Can you make money selling t shirts online?

Yes, it is possible.

All you need is Facebook for traffic and Teespring as the t-shirt selling platform. You don’t need a website or any of those other things and you don’t need months to learn how to set up campaigns. You can turn the traffic on and off instantly. If your campaign is profitable let it run, if not turn it off. No waiting weeks or months for the traffic.

You can do this type of business part-time, full-time or even occasionally whenever you need some extra cash. I do this business part-time and make hundreds of dollars to over $1000 per week whenever I have time to launch campaigns. If you want to see the type of money that it’s possible to make selling t-shirts then be sure to check out the free preview videos in the course below.

After completing this course you will also be able to do affiliate marketing the easy way. And that is selling t-shirts as an affiliate with Teespring and Facebook.

sell t shirts online

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COURSE INFO

How it works…

Learn how to use Teespring to sell and deliver the t-shirts. Simply set up a short, 7-10 day, campaigns in Teespring. Then drive traffic to those campaigns with inexpensive Facebook ads. Don’t worry, this course will show you how to get cheap clicks and you can get started with just $5 to $10 per day in ad spend. The whole business is simply setting up t-shirt campaigns and driving traffic to them.

It’s Fast and Easy….

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