Have you thought about making money from your design ideas or catchy slogans that you put on your own T-shirts and then sell online?
Selling and designing T-shirts for a profit sounds easy enough, but you have questions!
- Does it cost a lot of money to get started?
- How much money do T-shirt designers make?
- Do I have to use my own designs?
- Can I set my own prices?
- Where will I sell my tees?
Well, you’re in luck; we have your answers!
Here are 15 companies that can help you make money by designing and selling T-shirts online.
Don’t have money to invest in a business, no problem! Teespring is a free platform where you can design and sell your T-shirts for money.
Simply use their online design tool to create your product by either uploading your own graphic designs or using clip art from the site. You’ll have to set a sales goal or tipping point, which is the minimum you need to sell in order to have your shirts printed. Then share your campaign via email, blog, or social media accounts. Your customers won’t be charged unless your campaign reaches the tipping point. Once your campaign ends, shirts will be printed and sent out, and you’ll be paid via PayPal or Payoneer.
There are many factors to consider when figuring out how much you can make with Teespring. You’ll need to think about the text and design you use and your choice of shirt.
So you can get an idea of your possible earnings with Teespring, you can start with a basic shirt and add a design and text for a total cost of $10 per shirt. You can choose your retail price, let’s say $20 each, and have a goal of selling 50 shirts. That would give you a profit of $500. Of course, the more shirts you sell, the higher your profit.
With Teespring, you can also design and sell hoodies, tank tops, leggings, bags, phone and tablet cases, posters, coffee mugs, hats, and more!
Wondering if you can really make money using Teespring? See how Benny Hsu made $100,000 in five months using this T-shirt-selling platform!
Spreadshop makes it easy for users to make money designing T-shirts and other custom apparel and goods. You can choose to sell your products on their online marketplace or your own website.
The Spreadshop platform includes everything you need to run your store – including a custom domain, marketing and analytics, and automatic fulfillment of your orders. With Spreadshirt, you can launch your shop for free and control your profit margin. They have over 200 customizable products you can sell, and they allow you to accept payments online via PayPal and credit card.
You can join Zazzle as a creator and upload and sell your artwork on T-shirts and many other products. Open a FREE designer store (you even get to choose your store name), select a product to add your design to, and post your creations for sale. Zazzle has a large selection of products: T-Shirts, coffee mugs, wall art, office supplies, electronics accessories, and much more! Even pillows and jewelry!
Creators can download the free Adobe Photoshop Design to Print plugin to make money with their designs and streamline their workflow. There are no upfront costs, and you set your royalty rates yourself, which can be anywhere from 5%-99%. Zazzle produces the products and ships everything directly to your customers.
On CafePress, you can set up shop for free and see your artwork on T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, bumper stickers, and more. Big brands are using CafePress; you’ll find the likes of ABC, Paramount, Sprout, and National Geographic among the shop owners.
With CafePress, you decide how much to markup your items. For example, if a T-shirt costs $18, and you add a $5 markup, the total cost of the item will be $23, and you’ll make a $5 profit. You can also earn monthly bonuses based on your sales. Like other print-on-demand platforms, CafePress handles payments and shipping items to your customers.
Teemill is a sustainable print-on-demand company that allows you to launch your online store for free. All their products are organic, and they use renewable energy to run their operations. With Teemill, you can sell your own T-shirt designs, stickers, tote bags, puzzles, and art prints using their platform, or you can use one of their many integrations to sell on sites like Instagram and YouTube. They also offer a wide variety of tutorials and marketing tools to help you promote your products. After you’ve designed your item, you’ll decide how much to markup your item, thus how much you’ll earn. Teemill is a UK-based company, but they ship worldwide, and many of their sellers are based in the US.
Printful gives you the benefits of running your own T-shirt business without all the hassle. There are no minimum purchases, monthly fees, or inventory. They integrate with 23 different platforms, including Shopify, Amazon, Storenvy, Squarespace, WooCommerce, TikTok, and more. That being said, if you don’t have a store or aren’t planning on having one, this won’t be an option for you. They also have a whole lineup of items you can design, including leggings, pillows, posters, tote bags, cell phone cases, and more. Printful has two options for getting started, their free plan and their pro plan which is $49 a month.
At Threadless, you make art, and they’ll do the rest! You can open your completely customizable artist shop for free and sell anywhere in the world. You set your prices and earn a profit on anything over the base cost of the merchandise. T-shirts and tanks have a base cost of $17.50, so if you sell them for $27.50, you’re earning $10 bucks on every single shirt. That’s not too bad! There are no minimums and no shipping fees, and they handle inventory and customer care.
At Redbubble, you create and upload your designs to sell on high-quality T-shirts, vinyl stickers, posters, device cases, and more. They give you total control of what you sell your art for; just add your margin to their base price and list your products. Most artists earn an average of 17%, but it’s totally up to you to decide. Redbubble does all the heavy lifting, including handling the sale transactions, coordinating the printing, arranging the delivery, and providing customer service. With no monthly fees and free sign-up, it’s another great way to start making money online by designing T-shirts.
TeePublic is a good option, even if you’re not an artist or designer per se. You can make money with this T-shirt company in two ways. First, you can create your own designs and upload them to products for your store. This earns you a set price commission that varies depending on the product but ranges from $3-$5 on shirts, tanks, and hoodies.
Second, you can become a partner and have a merch store. This is a neat option because you can feature shirts with designs from other artists. You can choose what you like and what to carry in your store. You earn an 11% commission on existing TeePublic designs and an additional $3-$5 on sales of your own merchandise. So even if you’re not a designer, you can make money online selling T-shirts!
Even though Society6 is primarily for selling art prints, you can add T-shirts to the mix once you have uploaded your design for a print. We wanted to include it here because many people who design T-shirts are artists, so this could be a viable option to sell your artwork on many different items, including T-shirts.
One thing that might be considered a downfall is that although you can set your own prices on your art prints, the rest of the products — such as T-shirts, travel mugs, and throw pillows — have a fixed price. Society6 pays a 10% commission that is paid on their base price, so the amount varies depending on the product. Still, with no minimums and no cost to sign up, it might be worth a try if you’re an artist. You simply share your unique creator link with friends, family, and followers through email or on your favorite social media platforms and get a cut of their purchase profits.
With Printify, you can design anything from T-shirts and leggings to accessories and décor. They have over 300 products you can customize with your art and sell. Printify works by connecting to your existing e-commerce store or online marketplace, so you’ll need to have that in place to start selling. They integrate with eBay, Etsy, Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, and more!
Printify is totally free to use; all you need to do is pay for the base price of your product once an item sells, and you can charge whatever you want for the retail price. T-shirts start at around $8, though the costs vary depending on which printer you use. Printify contracts with printers all over the world, so be sure to find one in your area for the fastest shipping.
Gelato is a print-on-demand company that is capable of producing just about any print product. T-shirts are a top product, but you can also use the company to design and sell notebooks, wall art, stationery, and more. They stand out as a greener option for printing if you are environmentally minded. Gelato participates in the UN Global Compact, which means they create sustainably and ethically produced products.
They are a global company that prints in 33 countries worldwide and ships to over 170, so you’re bound to find something in your area. Basic T-shirts start at $8.24, and then you set your retail price. To start selling, you’ll need to set up your e-commerce website or online marketplace profile on Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, or Squarespace, and then Gelato will handle the rest.
TPOP is a European-based option for print-on-demand services, though they offer shipping worldwide. They integrate with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, so you’ll want to have your account on one of those platforms in place before you get started. This company is another option for greener products. They offer eco-friendly products and printing processes and a carbon-neutral delivery service.
Despite being a dropshipping company, TPOP offers completely customized branding for all your orders, including branded packaging, shipping slips, and a thank-you note – all for no additional charge! Their T-shirt prices start at about $12.22, and then you can sell for however much you want.
Gooten is another print-on-demand company that exclusively connects to your existing e-commerce platforms. You can use them to sell your custom designs on Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, Big Commerce, and more.
While Gooten’s seller reviews are mostly positive and say the company offers competitive pricing, they do not list prices on their website upfront. That said, they offer over 150 products you can customize with your designs, and you can set your own commissions.
Teelaunch is a super fun site that will let you create just about anything! In addition to offering traditional printing services for products like T-shirts and hoodies, they also offer laser etching, which you can use on products like bamboo cutting boards. T-shirts start at about $9 to create, and you can set your own retail prices.
Teelaunch integrates with your Etsy or Shopify store, and the platform offers many resources to do so easily.
Tips for Selling Your T-Shirts
Once you’ve chosen a T-shirt-selling platform and designed your merchandise, it’s time to get the word out about your products. While there are many ways to market your T-shirt business, your first strategy should be incorporating SEO.
Don’t worry; this isn’t complicated. All you need to do is incorporate the right keywords into your product descriptions so that when potential customers are searching for a specific niche, they can find your item. For instance, if you’re selling a T-shirt with an image of a dog on it, you should include the breed of dog and words like pets or puppy in your description. The more descriptive you can be, the better.
After you have your product descriptions written out, you’ll want to spread the word about your products on sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. You should write engaging descriptions for your social media posts that hone in on your target audience. For instance, if you’re selling T-shirts for kids, you’ll want to use keywords like children, boys, girls, babies, and toddlers.
If you have a small marketing budget, you can also use paid Google, Pinterest, TikTok, or Facebook ads to reach potential customers. Just know that there is a lot that goes into running a successful ad campaign, so learn the ropes before plopping down your hard-earned cash.
Lastly, be sure that you’re using email marketing to stay in touch with your customers. With email marketing, you need to use a service to send out bulk mailings so that you’re in compliance with CAN-SPAM laws. Here is a list of free email marketing providers for business owners who are just getting started.
Designing and selling T-shirts online is a great way to make money if you have a flair for creativity! In many cases, you can start for free, and it’s an excellent passive-income option. You create your design once and sell it over and over again. And all with no shipping, inventory management, big investment, or stress!
But that doesn’t mean that selling T-shirts is easy. You’ll need to turn out professional-looking designs, promote your products regularly, and set goals for your business. It will take some time and dedication, but many people make excellent money selling T-shirts online; maybe you’re next!
Need help getting started with your online T-shirt business? Grab our free business plan template here and set your T-shirt-selling business up for success!
Originally published May 28, 2015. Content updated February 2023.