How to sell t-shirts online

Passive income with custom dropshipping and fulfillment

Sell t-shirts on-demand, dropshipped, with no inventory and no minimums

Imagine. A bright-eyed, willing buyer stumbles upon your store that you set up over the weekend with an easy Shopify account and one of the free themes (no biggie, it took you a few hours). Your visitor makes a purchase at your set price that automatically gets passed along to be printed and shipped, while you get charged for the cost of production. You're left with a comfortable profit margin, without having lifted a finger.

Sound too good to be true? Well it's not. It's a reality, and it's called dropshipping. And you can get in on it, with no upfront costs.

What is dropshipping, and how does it work?

Dropshipping is when a third-party (someone else, like Printful) manages shipping your orders for you, rather than handling the inventory and shipping logistics yourself.

All you're responsible for is putting it together online for people to be able to buy it.

How it works

Each order is printed as soon as an order comes in for it. They're printed one-off and automatically, so you only get charged once an order has already been made. That means the cost of printing will already be covered by the cost the customer paid for, leaving the profit margin in your account.

What you really need to begin

When starting something new, people get afraid and start to worry. It's a normal human reaction. That's when the doubts set in. “I don't have enough money to start a company”, “I don't have time to run an online store”, “I don't know how to program, I could never build an online business”. The list goes on. But in reality, all of these doubts are moot. There are only three things you absolutely need, and they aren't even that hard to come by.

A website/store

These days you don't have to be a programmer to create a website. Every other person and their mother has a blog, for goodness sake! Now there are specialty websites that are created with the sole purpose of helping regular non-technical people like you and me start selling online. These are called ecommerce platforms. Some of them even take care of the hosting (where your store lives - the digital real estate, if you will).

The beautiful thing about using popular ecommerce platforms is that there are hundreds of tools that are built to perfectly work together with them. Including, yes you got it, dropshipping services like Printful! Meaning that they connect it something like a total of 5 clicks (child's play, I tell you).

Shopify image

A design to sell on your t-shirts

One of the things that are inescapable - you will need a design that will be printed on the t-shirts you'll be selling. Now don't say that you don't have any design skills. Take a look at this collection of super simple designs - you could pretty much make them in MS Paint! (though we suggest Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Gimp <-- this one's free).

Mug design

Image source:
A design like this could be made in MS pun intended

The good news is that it's the meaning under what you're selling that sells, not so much the design itself (though it does help if it's awesome, of course). And if that fails? Hire a designer. Here are a whole bunch of ways to do that.

Note: You don't need to have a million designs to launch. Look at the Holstee manifesto - think about it, there's a reason they don't have their one awesome design overcrowded by other, second-class designs. Think quality, not quantity.

A payment gateway

Have you ever used Paypal? Well then you're set.

But for real, if you're looking to start selling online, you have to have a method through which to sell. This isn't difficult. Based on the ecommerce platform you chose and the country you live in because not all options are available everywhere. For example, see Shopify's comprehensive list of available payment gateways by country.

Need some help with these steps? We’ve got you covered!

Impossible? Here are some people that have already done it

Richard portrait

Richard built an online t-shirt store and made $347 in 24 hours with a Shopify store selling Printful products. Read how.

What is Printful. That’s the Jeopardy answer the Daily Double question “What’s the easiest way to start an ecommerce business” - Richard Lazazzera, A Better Lemonade Stand

Liz is the co-founder of Bobo Academy. Last October they hit 1,500 orders on their Shopify store, with fulfillment through Printful.

Tucker built an online store using Printful + Shopify, and made $1,249.90 in 3 weeks. Read how.

“We decided on selling shirts. It’s an easy business model for anyone to wrap their head around, and with the help of services like Printful, getting started is incredibly simple.”

Startup Vitamins started out printing posters with Printful (and still do!), now have over 800 orders per month and have expanded to t-shirts, sweaters, mugs and more.

There are no excuses with dropshipping

Literally the only thing standing in your way from starting up your own online store is your own lack of motivation/fear/prejudices. You require absolutely no upfront money - you only get charged when people buy something from you. That means no lump sums of cash, you don't have to deal with inventory, packaging, or frequent trips to the post office.

We live in a unique moment of history. Where people are learning to buy online, yet the market hasn't yet been set. All the tools are available to set up your own online store to get in on the $1.8 trillion growing industry.

Time is no longer an excuse. You're essentially one weekend away from getting started with your online store.

What are you waiting for?

Accounts are free to create, no credit card required