I know it’s never the right time but…actually, now it’s the time to sell T-shirts to your fans.
You probably heard about Teespring campaigns and selling T-shirts online. Well, of course, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this page reading this post. If you didn’t hear about this, no worries, there’s no better time to start than now.
Selling design T-shirt and custom apparel has become a trend in the last few years, mostly because the concept of crowdsourcing T-shirts. This concept is similar to Kickstarter projects where the seller (you) needs to pre-sell the product in order to be manufactured. Basically, you had to come up with the T-shirt design and pre-sell 10 products so that the printing company can fund the manufacturing process.
That is old news today! Now, it’s even easier to start because you don’t need to pre-sell and ‘crowdsource’ your T-shirts. As soon as you sell one product (most) manufacturers print it and send it to your customer. This business evolved from the crowdsource model to the drop-ship model which makes it a low-cost business. By low-cost I mean, that you skip a couple Starbucks coffees and you can start up your business. And now, besides Teespring we have a bunch of great companies all over the world and in every country that will help you grow your business. We have Moteefe in the UK, Vesteer in Brazil, Jack of all Threads in India, Teechip and Represent in the USA, just to name a few trustworthy drop-shipping T-shirt companies.
This is a great opportunity for both designers and entrepreneurs to start a t-shirt business and an online store. Even celebrities like Floyd Mayweather jumped on this chance and sold a hell of a lot of t-shirts with represent.com. Moreover, you don’t need to have experience with this business model because it’s so dead simple to start.
Actually, it takes 3 steps to take off the ground a business like this. It’s easy to start but don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work that pays off. While technology allows you to design, to print and to ship your t-shirts very easily, building a business needs perseverance. This is not a get rich quick business scheme. The ones who think it’s a fast way to money, are the ones who fail first.
If you want to see how I started out go through this Slideshare deck:
If you want to know more about the 3 step method then read this ebook.
Anyways, I’m here to tell you what are the benefits of starting a design t-shirt business. So, without further ado here the top 10 benefits of launching your t-shirt brand.
(#4 is my favorite)
Benefit #1 - No upfront costs
If you started a business in the past you know that it comes with some start-up costs. If not, you should know that any start-up comes with a cost, obviously besides energy and time. The brick and mortar businesses include upfront costs such as renting a place, filing for a company, raw materials, inventory, storage etc. Even if you are starting an online based business you still have some costs (although much lower costs than a brick and mortar business) like hosting for a website, domain name, content management platform etc. However, launching a t-shirt campaign with Teespring or any of the above-mentioned companies costs ZERO, that’s with a 0. You just need to upload a design, if you don’t have one just create it on the spot with their photo editor. As soon as you launch a campaign you’ll get a personalized URL with your design, hosted for free. Awesome!
Now, all you have to do is let your followers know that you created a cool t-shirt. Here, usually comes the excuse ”I don’t have a following, I am not Beyonce, you know? People don’t follow me”. Let me tell you, secretly you DO have a following! I’m pretty sure you have at least 200 contacts on your email account, you have another 200 friends on Facebook, you probably use Instagram, too, and maybe Twitter and Pinterest. There you go, no more excuses to test out your t-shirt design.
Benefit #2 – No inventory costs and problems
The second benefit in this business model is that you don’t have to deal with inventory and stock. That’s right, the drop-shipper handles this, too. Basically, when you create a campaign you select the type of products (t- shirts, hoodies, women’s, men’s, unisex, kids, baby’s, bags, hats, caps etc.) and colors you want your products to be sold. Your selection of products will show up on the personalized URL sales page so that your customers can choose the style they want. That’s all you have to do regarding the inventory part. For you, the vendor, there are no costs affiliated at all.
Benefit #3 – No printing required on your behalf
Moreover, you don’t have to deal with printing, either. Let’s look at what we have until now: no upfront costs, free hosting, no inventory troubles and NO PRINTING! How cool is that? And we didn’t even make it to half of the list. Of course, the quality of the print is reflected by your t-shirt design quality. Make sure that you upload a high-quality .PNG or .EPS file so that the printing company can offer quality, as well. All the above-mentioned companies use more than one technology to print on garments such as screen printing, digital printing, direct-to-garment or heat transfer. The quality depends on two things: the t-shirt (provided by the company) and the design (provided by you). Make sure you do your part well and select a printing company that has high-quality products and come up with a trendy design.
Benefit #4 – You can work from anywhere
Now, this is where it gets interesting. If you wanted a workplace that allows you to work from the comfort of your home or your favorite coffee place then this is the work for you. Essentially, you need a laptop and internet connection to do this work. On one hand, you have to keep in touch with your supplier (drop-shipping company) and on the other hand, you have to keep in touch with your customers. Neither of these two relationships is necessary because you set up your t-shirt campaigns or shop and you are done. Plus, drop-shippers offer customer support to the buyers. However, I strongly suggest staying in touch with both, especially with your customers. Follow up with them after purchase, ask them for feedback, send a thank you email or offer them a discount on the next purchase. It’s not hard work. You can do it from anywhere.
Benefit #5 – No paperwork hassles
This one closely connects to benefit #6. As you are just the middle man or liaison you don’t need to tackle the paperwork that a company should. Matter of fact you don’t even need to file for a company. How cool is that? Okay, if you are a US citizen you have to report your revenue in case you make more than $600/month. There might be other reports you may need to do depending which country you live in. Yet, there is no need to open an ‘official company’ and do accounting and other boring paperwork.
Benefit #6 – No invoicing headaches
Do you imagine how much trouble is to send a t-shirt to the other part of the world? Can you imagine that the product has to go through several state/country borders and customs which require the correct invoicing and lot more other paperwork?
No worries for you, though! Since you are sort of a mediator between the supplier and the customer, the dropshipper handles the invoicing and all the necessary paperwork for you.
Benefit #7 – No customer support problems
As I said it before, drop-shipping companies offer customer support, so if you are not obliged to keep in touch with your buyers but I strongly recommend the opposite. For example, it was a fulfilling moment for both me and my customers when I asked them to send me selfies with their newest t-shirt. Afterward, I posted the selfies on my Facebook page which created a nice interaction between me and my customers who are on the other side of the world and probably I will never meet in person. Happy customer = Happy seller
Benefit #8 – No need to pack your products
You probably realized until now that you don’t even need to touch the products because the drop shipper handles the production, the warehousing, the paperwork and the packaging, too. So, kick back and relax.
Benefit #9 – No need to ship your products
The last step is to send the product the customer which…you guessed it right…is shipped by the supplier, as well. These companies have their own network or work with distribution companies that are reliable. Another problem ticked off! Shall we continue?
Benefit #10 – Free hosting your T-shirt store
Lastly, we know that these companies let us use their website to store our T-shirt design on a personalized URL. But some of them like Teespring let you open T-shirt storefronts where you can store all of your designs. One can customize the storefront by uploading a logo and adding a description. And it’s all for FREE.
That was kind of a long benefit list. Let’s try and recap it. Firstly, you only need to do 3 things to get started: select a niche, create a design and let the world know. We also know that there are no upfront costs, no printing costs, no printing, no packaging and handling costs associated with this business model. We also know
there is no need to file for any legal type of entity and we don’t need to worry about accounting and invoicing either. You can work from anywhere with a laptop and a connection. You can sell t-shirts worldwide. Just choose a country!
One thing left to do! And it only depends on you…
Create a t-shirt design and present it to your followers!