Online Business Ideas

How to sell print on demand t-shirts

How to sell print on demand t-shirts

How to start your active print on demand t-shirts business online. There’s a difference between passive print on demand and active print on demand. With the active print on demand websites:

  • You are going to create your own website or use Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Shopify and social media to promote your products.
  • You are going to bring your own traffic or customers and you’re going to handle the customer service.

With print on demand, you don’t pay for the cost of the product until after you’ve actually sold it, so there’s no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself. As such, it continues to become a popular business model in the world of ecommerce.

Plus with print-on-demand services, everything after the sale, from digital printing to order fulfillment and shipping, is handled by your supplier.

A major additional benefit of print on demand is that once you’ve set everything up, it takes only a few clicks to fulfill an order after you’ve made a sale.

The print on-demand industry shows no signs of slowing down. There’s ongoing demand for unique products and personalization options for today’s consumers.

On demand printing companies

There are a number of print on demand companies that are built to receive, process and ship your own custom-designed.

You may choose to use one of these companies or several of them for different products:

  • Printful allows you to sell over 80 styles of t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops and more. They also have products such as wall art, mugs, pillows, totes, hats, leggings, phone cases, dresses, skirts and more. Printul also comes equipped with a mockup generator which you can use to create product images.
  • Merchify has a range of t-shirt styles, iPhone cases, iPad cases, mouse pads, laptop skins, mugs and more.
  • Print Aura allows dropshippers to add their designs to t-shirts, tote bags, phone cases, mugs, posters, aprons and more.
  • Printify offers several t-shirt styles, hoodies, iPhone and Samsung phone cases, mugs, wall decals, and journals.
  • Teelaunch has a variety of t-shirt styles, purses, bags, android phone cases, beach towels, beer steins, cutting boards, dog bowls, shower curtains and more.
  • Pillow Profits is a great tool for selling custom printed shoes and home decor products.

Why sell graphic t-shirts online

The market for original t-shirt designs online has grown significantly within the last couple of years. If you are looking for a new online business venture, consider starting a t-shirt business.

Choose a profitable niche

Before starting an online clothing business, analyze the market and pick a niche. Choose your target audience and think about what kind of designs they might like.

Even though selling the most popular products can be a good strategy for launching an online clothing store, standing out is more important.

Targeting a niche market will give you a better chance of making money online. The audience in a given niche may be smaller, but there will usually be more conversions.

How to create custom clothing designs

When you choose to sell t-shirts via print-on-demand, you’ll be required to create your own designs or purchase them from a designer. If you have graphic design skills, you can make your own products using tools like Photoshop or Affinity.

Some choose to purchase and modify graphics from Fiverr or Creative Market or Graphic River. Note that if you choose to go down this route, you’ll need to pay for a commercial license to sell these designs, even if they’ve been modified.

However, combining purchased designs with catchy slogans can be an easy way to sell online for those with limited graphic design skills. You’ll likely only need to know how to crop graphics, alter colours and position text. You can limit your overhead on this by using free design tools such as Canva and Adobe Express.

You may also choose to hire a freelance graphic designer to design your t-shirts. The downside to doing this is that it can be hard to find an affordable designer who creates designs that sell well – but it’s not impossible. You’ll want to explore the designers available for hire on Upwork or Freelancer. Rates can vary between designers – but keep in mind that cheaper isn’t usually better.

There are lots of talented designers, so you should be able to find someone to bring your idea to life. The really tricky part is figuring out what you want to design in the first place.

This will depend on your target audience for the product, but you can find design inspiration on:

You can look for content, messaging, or styles that already resonate with your target audience to brainstorm ideas worth pursuing. Just be sure you’re not infringing on anyone else’s work. Social media is also a great place to litmus test your ideas.

Price your t-shirts

Before you start your t-shirt business, it’s necessary to find out the production costs of printing a t-shirt. It is important to determine the price of products.

Strategies for maximizing profit and sales

  • Overview of pricing strategies for t-shirt businesses, including cost-plus pricing and value-based pricing
  • Strategies for setting prices that are competitive while maximizing profit margins
  • Tips for using promotions and discounts to drive sales

Learn from the competition

To get a better idea of what the cases look like in real life, check out the Reviews tab for product listings and view “Reviews with Photos.” Be sure to read the reviews as well, to see what others are saying about the product.

  • Overview of successful t-shirt businesses and their strategies for growth and success
  • Case studies of businesses that have overcome challenges and achieved long-term success
  • Lessons and takeaways that can be applied to your own t-shirt business

Marketing your t-shirts online

If you’re getting into print on demand, you’ll come across different marketplaces to sell your custom designs on. For example, Etsy, eBay and Amazon offer print on demand services when you create a store on their platforms.

How to stand out from the competition

  • Overview of digital marketing channels for promoting your t-shirt business
  • Strategies for building an online brand and cultivating a following on social media
  • Tips for optimizing product listings and using SEO to drive traffic to your store

Print on demand tips

Using a print-on-demand service might be easier than managing your own inventory, but there are some considerations unique to this approach that you should be aware of. Luckily, for most of these challenges you’ll face, there are creative solutions.

Here are some of the best print on demand tips to help you out.

  • Always order samples

Product quality assurance is essential when you’re using print-on-demand services to sell online.

You want to ensure your physical product looks and feels as you intended, and the best way to do that is to be your own customer, so you can experience first-hand what it’s like to receive your products.

  • Using free shipping

Free shipping is still a great sales sweetener, even if you can only offer it for specific regions, and provides customers with one more incentive to buy.

Conditional free shipping (e.g., “Get free shipping when you spend $35 or more”) encourages customers to add more to their cart to reach the threshold and usually helps you achieve a better total shipping rate by shipping everything together.

You can use free shipping to justify longer wait times. Many consumers will wait a bit longer for an order if they know it will save them money on shipping.

Business model

The print-on-demand business model allows entrepreneurs to create and sell unique products without having to purchase bulk inventory. While some suppliers will provide guidelines on how to price your products, they’re often not sustainable for running ads. When running a print-on-demand t-shirt business, you want to factor in retail value as well as your marketing expenses to price each product appropriately.

Legal and regulatory considerations for t-shirt businesses: Staying compliant and protected

  • Overview of legal and regulatory considerations for t-shirt businesses, including copyright and trademark laws, privacy and data protection, and tax regulations
  • Tips for staying compliant with relevant laws and regulations
  • Strategies for protecting your business and minimizing legal risk

Print on demand pros and cons

Print on demand is a business model that allows products to be printed and manufactured only when an order is placed, which offers some advantages and disadvantages.


  • No inventory management: Since products are only manufactured when orders are placed, there is no need to manage or store inventory, which can reduce costs and minimize waste.
  • Low startup costs: The print-on-demand model can be relatively low-cost to set up compared to traditional manufacturing, as it eliminates the need to invest in large-scale production facilities or inventory.
  • Product customization: Print on demand allows for greater customization of products, as designs can be printed on a variety of products, including clothing, phone cases, mugs, and more.
  • Flexibility: The print-on-demand model is very flexible, allowing for rapid changes in product offerings or design updates without the need to dispose of existing inventory.
  • Global reach: Print-on-demand companies can offer products to customers all over the world, as they do not need to maintain a local inventory in each market.


  • Higher product costs: The cost per unit of a print-on-demand product may be higher than if the product were manufactured in bulk due to the cost of individual production.
  • Limited control over the production process: Print-on-demand companies often do not have control over the entire production process, which can result in lower quality or longer production times.
  • Limited product selection: The product selection available through print-on-demand companies may be limited compared to traditional manufacturing due to the equipment and materials used.
  • Dependence on third-party vendors: Print-on-demand companies often rely on third-party vendors for printing and manufacturing, which can introduce additional costs and risks.
  • Limited branding opportunities: Print-on-demand companies often do not allow for customization beyond the design itself, which can limit opportunities for branding and customer experience.

Overall, the print-on-demand model can be a cost-effective and flexible way to bring custom products to market. However, it is important to consider the potential limitations and disadvantages of the model, such as higher product costs and limited control over the production process.


In conclusion, print on demand is a business model that allows products to be printed and manufactured only when an order is placed. This model offers a number of advantages, including lower startup costs, product customization, and greater flexibility in managing inventory and product offerings. It also allows for a global reach, enabling companies to offer products to customers around the world without maintaining local inventory in each market.

However, there are also some potential disadvantages to the print-on-demand model, such as higher product costs, limited control over the production process, limited product selection, dependence on third-party vendors, and limited branding opportunities.

Overall, print on demand can be a good option for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to bring custom products to market without investing in large-scale production facilities or managing inventory. It can also be a way for artists and designers to monetize their work and offer unique products to a global audience. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of the print-on-demand model and consider the specific needs and goals of your business before pursuing this strategy.

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3 thoughts on “How to sell print on demand t-shirts

  1. Teresita Guridi says:

    The turnaround period for these custom made t-shirts appears impressive.
    I won’t need to wait long to rock my personalized design. Custom T Shirts design your own.

  2. Registro says:

    Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

  3. En says:

    Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

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