By Kimi Clark
So you've thought of it: Taking your design ideas and putting them out there for everyone to see.
But you have questions.
- Does it cost a lot of money to get started?
- Do I have to use my own designs?
- Can I set my own prices?
- Where will I sell my T-Shirts?
- How much money can I earn?
Well, you're in luck, we have answers!
Below you'll find 10 companies that can help you make money by designing T-Shirts online.
Partnering with Tee Spring is like crowdfunding with T-Shirts! It's 100% free to design your shirt. Simply use the online designer to create your product by either uploading your design 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, your website, or your favorite social media networks. Your customers won't be charged unless your campaign reaches the tipping point. Once your campaign ends, shirts are printed and sent out, and you'll be sent a check for the profit.
There are many factors when figuring exactly how much you can earn with Tee Spring, and it varies depending on everything, from the text and design you use to your choice of t-shirt. Just so you can get an idea of possible earnings with Tee Spring, you can start with a basic shirt that costs $5.75 and add a design and text for a total cost of $7.40 per shirt. You can choose your retail price but say you opt to sell your shirts for $12.00 each and have a goal of selling 50 shirts. That would give you a profit of $229. Of course, the more shirts you sell, the higher your profit.
Wondering if you can really make money using Tee Spring? See how Benny Hsu made $100,000 in five months using this t-shirt selling platform!
You can join Zazzle as a designer 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 designs for sale. Zazzle has a large selection of products: T-Shirts, coffee mugs, wall art, office supplies, electronics accessories, and much, much more! Even pillows and jewelry!
There are no upfront costs, and you set your royalty rates yourself that can be anywhere from 5% to 99%. Zazzle produces the products and ships everything directly to the customer.
Don't have killer design skills? Become a Zazzle Associate! Link and share your favorite shops and items made by others, and you can still earn a commission!
At Zazzle, t-shirts are priced a little higher right out of the gate, but you can still make a decent profit — plus there isn't a minimum amount you have to sell.
Again, there are many variables here. An example would be, you can create a simple design, and the t-shirt will run you $19.95, then you set the percentage of your royalty rate. So if you choose a 20% royalty rate, your shirt will sell for $23.95, earning you a profit of $4.55 per shirt after the 24 cent transaction fee (which only applies when your royalty rate is set at 20% or above). Sell 50 shirts, earn about $227.
Spreadshirt allows you to upload a design to the Marketplace and sell to the Spreadshirt audience or open your own online shop for FREE and sell your designs directly to your target audience. You set your own commissions. At Spreadshirt, accounts are free forever, and you control your profit margin.
With over 150 products for you to choose from, there's sure to be something for everyone!
If you have mad design skills, you can create your own designs and earn anywhere from $1.50 and more on each design sold (which means another creator purchases and uses your design on their product).
You can also create tees, either with your designs or the designs of others. I created a simple t-shirt that cost $14.20, then added a design for $4.50, so the cost to make the shirt was $18.70. At that point, you tack on your commission — whatever amount you'd like based on your design and what you think you can earn. I would stick around the same pricing as the other sites to stay competitive, so I chose a commission of $4.00 per shirt, bringing the selling price up to $22.70. Selling 50 shirts would net me a profit of 200 dollars.
See your artwork on t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, and bumper stickers. You can sell in the Cafepress Marketplace for free or set up your own branded online shop to sell on your website for around $5-$10 a month, depending on the options you choose.
Big brands are using Cafe Press; you'll find the likes of ABC, Paramount, Sprout, and National Geographic among the shop owners.
Cafepress also offers crowdfunded custom t-shirts and apparel through their platform, Tfund. There are no upfront costs; just design your product, create your campaign, set a goal, and sell t-shirts! Spread the word via email and social media, and once you reach your goal, collect your profits.
Selling through Tfund allows you to set your own pricing as well, and the more you sell, the more you make. Prices vary to create a shirt depending on your design and text, but I created a simple shirt with text and a graphic and listed it for $20. You can earn profit even with as few as 10 shirts ($63.10). Selling 50 shirts would net a whopping $410! (And remember, that's on a $20 shirt!) This is a great option if you're looking to crowdfund.
Blue Cotton has 20 years of experience and guarantees their quality, which is nice to hear nowadays. They are a custom print t-shirt shop that has an amazing design studio. For the most part, individuals order shirts for personal use or to have stock on hand, like in a physical storefront. While they don't offer an online store option for you to sell your shirts, they do offer campaigns as a way for you to make money.
With campaigns, there is no risk and no inventory. You design the t-shirts, set the price, add a description, and set your goal. Then get to work at sharing your campaign on your social media channels, on your blog or website, in emails, and with friends and family. When your campaign in over, your customers will receive their shirts, and you'll receive a nice check (or PayPal deposit) with the profits.
Printful gives you the benefits of running a store without all the hassle. There are no minimum purchases, monthly fees, or inventory. If you already have a store or are planning on opening one, this is an excellent choice as you can connect it with Printful. They integrate with Shopify, Amazon, Storenvy, Woo Commerce, and more. That being said, if you don't have a store or aren't planning on having one, then this won't be an option for you. T-Shirt prices start at $9.99. They also have a whole lineup of items you can put your designs on including leggings, pillows, posters, tote bags, cell phone cases, and more.
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 $15, so if you sell them for $25, you're earning $10 bucks on every single shirt. That's not too bad! There are no minimums, no shipping fees, and they handle inventory and customer care.
A Global Marketplace for Independent Artists, at Redbubble, you create and upload your designs to sell on 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 for delivery, and providing customer service. With no monthly fees and free sign up, it's another great way to get started earning money online 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 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 $2.00-$8.00 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 get to choose what you like and what to carry in your store. You earn a generous 31% commission on sales of your own merchandise and 11% on existing TeePublic designs. So even if you're not a designer, you can make money online selling t-shirts!
Even though Society 6 is for primarily 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 as a way 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 set price. So you will still earn a profit, but it will be a commission that is paid on their base price that varies depending on the product. For example, t-shirts earn a profit of $2.40, tank tops $2.20, and long sleeve shirts $2.80. 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.
Hopefully, these companies that can help you make money by designing t-shirts online. Do you know of any other good t-shirt designing resources? Let us know in the comments.
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Originally published May 28, 2015. Content updated July 3, 2017.
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