How to Make Money Selling T-Shirts Online in 2023

DollarBreak is reader-supported, when you sign up through links on this post, we may receive compensation. Disclosure.

Table of Content

The content is for informational purposes only. Conduct your own research and seek advice of a licensed financial advisor. Terms.

How to Make Money Selling T-shirts Online?

Set Up an Etsy Store

Etsy Summary

  • Easy to set up & maintain your store
  • 45+ million active Etsy buyers
  • List your first item for just $0.20
  • Automatic deposits and secure transactions

Etsy is an eCommerce platform where you can sell personalized and niched products. You can pretty much think of this platform as a marketplace. Sellers from all over the world offer unique products and buyers use the search bar to look for special items. 

While there are three types of fees Etsy charges you as a seller, it’s not a large one. And with a market of more than 39 million users worldwide, you can be sure to get the attention of your audience and make up for any fees you have to pay to use the platform.

After all, any eCommerce platform will charge a fee, but not all of them will provide the sort of exposure and reach that Etsy will.

Etsy fees:

Listing fee$0.20
Sale fee5%
Processing fee3% + $0.25 per transaction

Set Up a Shopify Store

shopify logo

Shopify Summary

  • Free 14 day trial period available
  • Build a new website in under 2 hours
  • Over 100 payment gateways supported
  • Over 6000 apps to improve your store

Using Shopify, you can create your own eCommerce website where you can sell your t-shirts. What makes this platform special is that you can design your website in any way you want. It aso offers features to help you gain more customers and sales.

In addition, Shopify offers many different resources to help you build a successful t-shirt business:

  • Free resources: On-demand courses from Shopify Compass enable you to learn at your own speed with. You can also join the Shopify Community forums with other entrepreneurs. You can also find answers to your queries on the Shopify blog or extensive guides.
  • Helpful tools: The drag-and-drop store builder will help you start a stunning online store, even if you have no design or coding skills at all. To create your one-of-a-kind business and brand, simply choose from over 70 customisable and adaptable themes.
  • Smart marketing tools: Use Shopify’s built-in SEO and blog features to drive traffic to your online store. Promote your t-shirts with Google Smart Shopping campaigns, and grow your audience with Facebook and Instagram advertising that are automated.
  • Award-winning support: Contact Shopify customer service by online chat, phone, or email. Support is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can assist you with practically any problem that your t-shirt business may face.

Market Your T-shirt Brand on Social Media

With your store up and running, you’ll need to generate more sales by marketing your brand on social media. Create a social media account and link that to your online store. Then, work on creative visuals of your product and optimize them for posting. 

You can arrange a photoshoot with your t-shirts and come up with an exciting concept. It can also improve the resulting photos if your t-shirts are prepared for the shoot. Make sure these are washed and ironed. 

As for your equipment, you don’t need professional-grade cameras for the shoot. Your phone’s camera, a tripod, and natural lighting will do. Finally, you might want to recruit models or get a mannequin to wear your t-shirts. 

Once you have photos, make sure to edit these based on the image requirements of the social media platform. For example, images for Facebook feeds should have an image ratio of 1.91:1 to 4:5. For Instagram stories, it has to be 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5.

Get Reviews

Customers play an essential role in your business’ success. Before anything else, you would want customers to end up happy with their purchases from your online store. That’s why successful entrepreneurs go the extra mile to make this happen. 

To attract more customers, it’s also crucial to get reviews from satisfied buyers. This helps potential customers gauge how you intend to do business with them. And the better your reviews are, the more likely they’ll buy your products.

Host a Brand Awareness Giveaway

You can host a brand awareness giveaway to get more people interested in your products. One of the widely used platforms for this is social media as it offers a greater audience reach. 

Just make sure to follow the platform’s rules about such events. Social media sites tend to delete events that violate their rules. 

In some cases, these platforms penalize the page or ban it. If you’ve already built up a sizable following, you surely don’t want this to happen. 

Finally, make sure that your giveaway rewards match the effort your audience exerted. If you’re launching a new t-shirt design, it also makes sense to use that as the giveaway. 

Partner With Influencers

Partnering with influencers can also help get your business to wider audiences. They typically have hundreds of thousands of followers on their platforms. 

Most influencers, however, prefer Instagram. That’s a good place to start looking for someone to work with. While you do that, make sure to lay out what you’re looking for in an influencer. 

Are you looking for someone with a high engagement rate? How about the follower count and quality? It also helps to consider an influencer that can relate to your niche and target market. 

Finally, you’ll need to plan the budget. Some influencers might be happy to receive free t-shirts, while others might require payment.

Designing T-shirts

Design T-shirts Yourself

Besides setting up your online store, you can also make money by designing t-shirts. Then, you can sell them through the following:


zazzle logo

Zazzle Summary

  • 3 different ways to earn with Zazzle
  • Earn up to $200 per day as a Designer
  • Decide on your own royalty fee (up to 99%)
  • No fees to join and unlimited uploads

Zazzle is an online marketplace that sells a wide range of customized products. It works with independent designers, allowing them to monetize their designs at no cost. 

Similarly, you can create t-shirt designs and sell these through Zazzle. You only have to create an account and set up an online store to showcase your designs. Once these become available on the Zazzle marketplace, customers can purchase them. 

From there, Zazzle will handle everything. From processing customers’ payments to printing the t-shirt to shipping it to them, you don’t have to worry about anything. After completing the sale, Zazzle sends you payment through check or PayPal. 

What’s good about Zazzle is that you can set your royalty rate. It pretty much represents how much you value your design. While you can set up to 99% royalty, Zazzle suggests setting it between 10% to 15%.


redbubble logo

Redbubble Summary

  • Free to sign up
  • Large marketplace of potential buyers
  • Produces and prints products for you
  • Ships products for you

T-shirt designs are among the artwork you can sell through Redbubble. The platform provides you the opportunity to have your designs added to your t-shirts and sell them seamlessly.

Redbubble has its own marketplace where you can list your products. As such, it will handle all the printing and shopping so you can focus on creating new designs your audience would love.

And because Redbubble has its own marketplace, it doesn’t allow you to integrate it to your own website. Redbubble doesn’t support integration with other eCommerce platforms like Shopify.

As for how much you can earn, you can set a markup percentage. By default, Redbubble sets this to 20% but you can adjust it to higher or lower. 

For example, a t-shirt has a base price of $15 and you added a 20% markup percentage. That adds $3 to the base price, making the retail price $18, with the $3 as your profit. You’ll need to reach $20 earnings to get paid on the 15th of the month. 

Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon also offers a way to sell t-shirts without you having to pay for anything. Basically, you can create designs and upload those to their website. You’ll also have to add a product description and if you offer any variation, such as color. 

Amazon will create a product page of your design so people can see it and place orders. When they do, Amazon will also handle printing, production, and shipping. You’ll get your royalty percentage after the orders are complete. 

To give you an idea of how much you’ll earn, Amazon posted a royalties table based on t-shirt purchase prices:

Purchase price$15.99$17.99$19.99$21.99$23.99$25.99

To start selling t-shirt designs, you can sign in using your Amazon account if you already have them. Otherwise, you can create an account using either your email address or phone number. You’ll also need to set a password and you’re good to go. 


Suppose you already have an Etsy or Shopify store where you’re selling t-shirts. In that case, you can integrate Printful into your online store and lower your upfront costs to zero. 

It’s because Printful is an on-demand printing service that handles printing, shipping, and payment processing when customers order your products. Through this service, you can focus on creating designs and promoting your online store. 

You also have the power to set product prices. Just note that every time a customer orders your product and pays the retail price, Printful automatically deducts transaction charges. These include the product, printing, and shipping fees. 

Whatever is left after Printful takes its cut will be your earnings. Considering that, you can set your retail prices depending on how much you want to make. 

For example, you want to sell a customized t-shirt that costs $14.81 including shipping. If you want to make $6 per shirt, you can sell it at $20.81. You can check out the product catalog to calculate retail prices.


CafePress is among the eCommerce platforms you should check out if you’re looking to make money selling t-shirts online. Since its launch in 1999, the platform has now over two million independent designers. And, you can be one of them through easy steps. 

Through its website, you can create an account using a valid email address and choose your password. The website automatically signs in to your account. From there, click on “Start Selling” at the top right of the dashboard. 

You’ll see 3 ways to make money on CafePress:

  • List your design on the marketplace, lets you upload your design. Then, CafePress will optimize it to appear on various products, such as t-shirts, pillows, and phone cases. Every time a customer purchases products with your design, you’ll get 5% to 10% in royalties. You don’t have to pay anything to start selling. However, CafePress deducts up to $10 from your royalties earnings.  
  • Sell t-shirts by starting your online shop on CafePress. This option has no upfront costs as well and it allows you to choose which items to sell. 
  • Start an online store. For example, you have a blog with dedicated readers. Or, you have a YouTube channel and you want to start selling your channel merch. The choice is ultimately yours.


Teespring, or now Spring, is a free eCommerce platform to help you make money off by creating and selling over 50 different types of items with no initial investment.

Some of the customized products Teespring enables you to sell are:

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Stickers
  • Phone cases
  • Caps
  • Tote bags
  • Home decor

From printing to shipping to client support, Teespring handles it all. 

Teespring is for everyone, including:

  • Businesses hoping to launch their own online business
  • Creators wishing to give fantastic gear to their followers
  • Organizations searching for a simple method to collect cash


TeePublic is another eCommerce platform where you can create an online shop and list your t-shirt designs. It handles printing and shipping whenever a customer orders. You also don’t have to worry about payment processing as it also does this for you. 

What you can do, besides designing t-shirts, is to create your storefront to make it appealing to prospective buyers. 

You’ll also need to promote your store on various channels, such as:

  • Blogs
  • Video-streaming sites
  • Social media

Compared to other platforms where you can design t-shirts for profit, TeePublic also helps you gain your first clients. It places newly uploaded designs on sale for 72 hours. After that, customers can buy these at a regular price. 

Society 6

Designing your t-shirts and selling them online is possible through platforms like Society 6. Here, you can sign up and set up an online shop. Then, you can upload as many designs as you want and choose the products you want to sell, besides t-shirts.

When you launch your online store, make sure to promote it on other platforms. It’s crucial to get as many people to your store as possible. After all, here’s where your earnings start. 

Similar to other platforms on this list, Society 6 will print and ship ordered items to your customers. This feature frees you from worrying about upfront costs for printing and warehousing. 

After orders are fulfilled, you’ll earn 10% of the t-shirt sale. Society 6 sends out payments 30 days after order fulfillment through PayPal.

Hire a T-shirt Designer

You can also sell t-shirts online without needing to come up with designs yourself. After all, you can always hire a t-shirt designer to focus on the creative process for you. That way, you can put your energy into the more operational aspects of your business. 

Freelance designers usually post offers on the gig economy websites like Fiverr and Freelancer. There are also websites that cater to designers only, such as Designhill, Dribble, and DesignCrowd. 

Looking for t-shirt designers is quite easy due to numerous job-search platforms. What makes this task challenging, though, is actually picking the best designer for your business. 

For this, you’ll need to be specific with the niche you want to sell, and communicate that with the candidate. You can also expect hours of looking over portfolios to learn about the designer’s style. 

If you prefer to meet and work with a t-shirt designer in person, you can ask family and friends. You can also check, a platform where you can look for social events for designers near you. 

Just enter a relevant keyword, like “design” and your location. After that, it will generate a list. Take note that some of the search results are online events. You can use the filter option to specify in-person meetings.