How to Design and Sell T-shirts Online – Step-by-Step

sell t-shirt designs

This guide will teach us how to sell t-shirt designs online using print on demand and dropshipping services. You can start your t-shirt business online and grow without managing inventory. 

T-shirts have been popular and a staple wardrobe product for years. By 2025, the global customized t-shirt market will exceed $10 billion. 

T-shirts make an artistic canvas to showcase creativity. Creativity is not limited to art but also includes motivational messages, humor, science, fandom, corporate, and so on. There is still a market for originality and unique design products that can even turn into vintage treasures. 

By the end of this guide, you will have everything you need to sell t-shirt designs online in India. So let’s get started. 

What is an online t-shirt business?

online t-shirt business

An online t-shirt business is an eCommerce store where you sell t-shirts directly to your customers. Unlike any traditional business model where you stock inventory and rent a place. Designing and selling t-shirts online can help you start a business without large investments and left-over inventory risk. 



Here are a few advantages of selling t-shirts online:

  • No rent, maintenance, and additional employees are required to manage your business 
  • Your online store is open to shop 24/7 
  • The risk of investment and unsold inventory is minimal
  • Easy to test and sell t-shirt designs online

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is a business model in which a third-party supplier prints products on demand for your online store. No fee or payment is required until you order with the print on demand supplier. 

Print on demand enables you to create a brand. Design and sell t-shirts online without any investment or managing inventory and shipping hassles. It is a popular eCommerce business model due to its low start-up cost and no entry barrier. 

Print-on-demand is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 26.1% by 2030. Sell t-shirts online with a reliable supplier and watch your brand grow. 


Is selling t-shirts online profitable?

Selling t-shirts is profitable with the appropriate plan. The margins differ but with effective manufacturing and strategic marketing, a solid profit is possible. It’s all about offering new designs and capitalizing on current trends.


Design and sell t-shirts online in 6 steps

When you design and sell t-shirts online, you must consider the competition in eCommerce. To ensure your brand stands out from the crowd, find high-quality t-shirt suppliers, create unique designs, and use different marketing strategies to promote them. 


Starting an online business may be intimidating if you are a first-time entrepreneur. However, fret not; we have listed everything you need to sell t-shirts successfully.


1. Choose a profitable niche and build a business strategy

how to find niche

Thorough research on your target market, demographics, and design taste is important before you start your t-shirt business. To succeed in this oversaturated industry, set clear and precise goals. 


Analyze the market trends and choose a niche that includes your passion and profitability. Selling popular things that are already trending may seem an easy entry, however, differentiating it in the crowded market may be challenging in the long term. 


Tapping a niche market will boost your sales, as conversions for a specific niche are comparatively higher, though the audience may be smaller. 


However, positive data analysis does not guarantee your T-shirts will generate sales. Instead, use the information to create a business plan, a detailed proposal that can help you build your small firm.


A great strategy can help your brand grow and thrive by directing its future actions. It will also improve your brand’s reputation, allowing you to find additional investment or resources and hire more people. People want to know you understand what you’re doing before they get involved.

Here are a few things to consider in your t-shirt business plan: 


Niche – This is a specific industry segment you’re aiming for. Identify an issue that your product can answer. Some T-shirts are “simply for fun.” Others have a defined goal: solving a problem consumers may be experiencing.


Competitor research: Analyze your competition and learn from them.


Mission, history, and business purposes: Consider why you started your online T-shirt business and what you want to accomplish.


Market dynamics: Analyze data to find out your target audience and whom to promote T-shirts to.


Product description: Select the kind of T-shirt you want to manufacture, whether graphic, business, or bespoke.


Business structure: Create an organized system for your business to help management, tracking, and decision-making.


Marketing strategy: Set the marketing cost and outline the promotional methods you want to use.


Legal papers: Prepare the necessary papers and documents to legally establish your small business and obtain the necessary licenses and approvals. 


Business accounting: Set up a system for tracking finances, including balances, cash flows, profits, revenues, and losses.


2. Find suppliers and sample their products

While selecting a supplier, look out for the following criteria:


Quality of Products

To make your designs stand out, ensure the quality of products is high. Low-quality products are not sustainable for a long-term business. 


Once you have a list of suppliers, study their products and order a few samples. When you receive the samples, determine the product and service quality to understand the supplier’s reliability. 

Consider what products you wish to sell later; try to get an overview of the quality in the market. 


Fulfillment Time

Thanks to services like Amazon Prime, customers expect fast shipping when shopping online.

So, if delivery is slow or products must be delivered on time, it will be tough to build a great brand reputation and attract repeat business from satisfied customers.


So, while choosing a vendor, it is vital to consider the usual shipping time. Customers should receive what they ordered within a week after placing an order.


Products and Shipping Price

Quality and delivery speed are key to a company’s success, but the costs may be even more important.

Choosing a supplier with high product and shipping prices could result in lower margins (less profit per sale). This may block your company’s growth because you will have fewer funds to invest in advertising.


3. Create designs for your T-shirts

In many ways, a T-shirt serves as an artistic canvas for expression. Designing a product can be as basic or complex as you want, based on your skill level and personal goals. Here are a few alternatives to help you build your designs:


DIY – Do It Yourself 

Artists can utilize software to make pictures and drawings. Free tools like Canva simplify creating graphic designs with transparent PNG files, downloading fonts, and building upon free templates.


You may even begin sketching designs with non-digital tools for design and printing methods. 


Discover the bestselling designs and categories.

If you’re having trouble coming up with t-shirt design ideas, consider what’s popular and is selling well on graphic t-shirt marketplaces like:


Options include ZazzleRedbubble, and SnorgTees.


Another research suggestion is to check Google Trends to understand what topics people are interested in. Use popular topics as inspirations for your t-shirt designs.


Hire designers, artists, and illustrators

It’s fine if you’re not interested in designing T-shirts. You can always engage someone to help you carry out your concept.  


There are several approaches to finding and hiring the ideal visual strategists. Here are a few ideas to help spark your search:


Instagram:  Browse hashtags to find accounts from artists worldwide. Begin following people whose art you appreciate. Reach out to the accounts whose styles you like.

Freelance platforms: Many creative individuals enter the self-employed workforce by establishing their own consulting business. Advisable, Upwork, Fiverr, and 99Designs are all platforms that can help you find talent.



Instead of employing a designer, you can use pre-made designs for your t-shirt business. This technique reduces upfront costs but also means that other businesses are likely to carry your designs, making it more difficult for your e-commerce brand to stand apart. Explore the following t-shirt design marketplaces:


T shirt Factory offers many vector illustrations, from old-school to graffiti designs.

Creative Market contains over three million graphics and layouts.

Graphic River provides royalty-free PSD vectors and icon collections.


Remember that you may need a business license for your designs before using them on T-shirts.


4. Create product mockups

Once you completed your designs, the following step in your t-shirt business is to create mockup images.

Mockups allow you and your customers to see how the finished design will look when printed on a t-shirt.

Instead of manufacturing a sample shirt, you could give your customers a digital glimpse of what it will look like.


Mockups can be created with online software or an image editor like Adobe Photoshop.

T-shirt mockup templates for Photoshop have several layers that allow you to adjust the shirt’s color and add your own design that blends with the shirt’s creases, folds, and contours.


Some web-based mockup tools allow you to make similar pictures without downloading Photoshop. 



If you don’t like the notion of generating digital mockups, you may always get sample shirts and photograph them.

5. Set up an online store to sell custom t-shirts online

When you are satisfied in your product idea, you will be ready to market and sell it. Even if you sell T-shirts in a physical retail place, setting up an e-commerce shop and getting a domain name will allow you to broaden your business’s reach and interact with customers worldwide.


You’ll need to build a few basics.

  • Selecting e-commerce software. 

You may consider your e-commerce platform your company’s headquarters. It will serve as a central hub where you can control your operations. When selecting technology, it is important to select a solution that provides a great end-user experience while providing your company with a solid technological foundation for growth. 


For example, you should look for integration partners so that you may start automating activities in your firm right away. As your T-shirt empire expands, your software must be able to keep up.

  • Creating a secure and compliant basis. 

Cybersecurity, risk, and compliance are popular subjects right now. Businesses of all sizes may be vulnerable to breaches, so make sure you have your bases covered when conducting business with customers online.


It is a good idea for all firms to consult with a legal team to determine their security and compliance needs. From there, you can tailor your technology to your specifications.

  • Determining your shipment destinations.

Your e-commerce store will work with your fulfillment providers. As a result, before deciding on your website design, you should consider where you will ship. Knowing your shipping locations will help you understand your legal, regulatory, and tax obligations.


  • Develop your payment infrastructure. 

After knowing where to accept buyers and send your product, you may create your online payment system and set up your profit margins.


The idea is to make it as simple and convenient as possible for customers to complete their purchases. Your payment system should also be compatible with the software you use for accounting and capable of collecting region-specific sales taxes.


Your e-commerce software should allow credit cards and other forms of payment on your website. 

6. Generate your first T-shirt sales

With your business plan in place, you’ll be ready to begin producing revenue from the product you’ve worked so hard to create. Here are some basic yet powerful techniques to jumpstart your customer acquisition:


Engage with social media celebrities or influencers
To execute a successful campaign, you must first define your objectives, identify important influencers, and agree on a partnership structure. Instead of using advertisements, focus your partnership on creating meaningful content.


Organize a giveaway or contest
Hosting a contest is one approach to increase the visibility of your T-shirts. You can launch a social media campaign with your preferred influencer or use your own channels. 


Launch retargeting campaigns
When people visit your store, you’ll face the unavoidable: shoppers will explore your product catalogs, possibly add a few items to the cart, and then leave without buying from you. Retargeting advertising on networks such as Instagram can help you re-engage that shopper. 


Publish multimedia material.
People spend far more time online than in the past. Digital material and multimedia are one approach to reaching potential shoppers. Who says your T-shirt store can’t offer multimedia experiences such as podcasts, mobile apps, engaging articles, and artwork? People enjoy engaging digital experiences.


Create a brand newsletter
People who visit your shop may not be prepared to make an order right away. Creating a regular newsletter (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) is one strategy to keep people interested. In addition to informing subscribers about promotional offers, send relevant, engaging material. 


Steps to ensure the success of your t-shirt business

To ensure your small business’s success, follow these steps:


  • Market knowledge and planning: Begin with detailed market research, a business plan, and concrete business goals. 


  • Find a niche: Understanding your niche, target customers, and trends will help you position your business effectively.


  • Design and setup of an e-commerce store: You can design your own T-shirt store website using professional tools or hiring a designer. 


  • Product and price: Select your production plans, such as print-on-demand, dropshipping, or bulk manufacturing. Emphasizing fabric quality, create a competitive pricing plan to ensure profitability.


  • Logistics and customer satisfaction: Develop a scalable shipping plan and implement effective customer service processes. Use client input to improve your offers.


  • Market strategy: Use SEO, social media marketing like Instagram, Facebook marketing, content advertising, and email marketing to increase brand visibility and sales.

Design and sell T-shirts Online Using Printchester

Printchester print on demand website in india

Printchester is the most reliable print-on-demand company in India. It stands for product quality and customer service. It also offers all the tools you need to start an online custom t-shirt business, like:



AND all the above tools are FREE and inbuilt. 


Printchester is the ideal platform for starting and growing your online business. Their products have competitive pricing. However, you only receive the product mentioned in our product descriptions. Every product is created keeping your brand in mind. 

Sign up for an account with Printchester and experience a hassle-free print-on-demand service


Start your t-shirt business today.

Creating and selling t-shirts online has never been easier. A t-shirt store can be an excellent e-commerce venture for new entrepreneurs, regardless of the niche you choose to serve or the ambition you set for your quality and designs.

Printchester can help you get started and stay within budget. Connect your store with Printchester in minutes and create a catalog that customers will adore.


Frequently Asked Questions

Before you sell, research your target market and competitors. Create creative designs that appeal to your target demographic. Consider the durability and quality of your supplies, as they can be important differentiators.

You can start a T-shirt business from home with no upfront investment. Consider dropshipping or print-on-demand T-shirt services, which minimize upfront inventory and manufacturing costs, allowing you to start with a little investment. Use Printchester to start your t-shirt business without money.

Printful, Printify, and Printchester print-on-demand companies rank highest in quality, pricing, and customer support. You can find the full list of the finest print-on-demand companies here.

Starting a t-shirt business involves a small investment. Print-on-demand services provide product manufacture and shipping, and vendors are only charged for products that are sold. This means lower administrative costs and less chance of overstocking.

Several factors, including your selected niche, production processes, pricing, and marketing strategy determine the amount you make from selling t-shirts.

Here are various methods for promoting and marketing your t-shirt store.

  • Use social media marketing techniques, such as Facebook advertisements and Instagram.
  • Conduct A/B testing for optimum results.
  • Optimize your product listings to get organic leads.
  • Sell, analyze, and optimize your marketing strategies.

If you want to establish a t-shirt business with no upfront expenditure, set up a Shopify store and incorporate a print-on-demand app like Printchester.

Typically, selling t-shirts online does not require a business license. You may require a resale license to buy apparel from a distributor that does not charge sales tax. For more information, contact the revenue or finance agency.

Shopify and Woocommerce are the greatest print-on-demand systems for selling t-shirts online. They are the giants of e-commerce that effortlessly link with various print-on-demand providers to streamline order processing.

Here are five important considerations when selecting the best t-shirt supplier.

  • Order a sample to examine the product’s quality and gain firsthand experience with their services.
  • Check to see if the product quality is consistent with your brand.
  • Take note of their fulfillment time to ensure client satisfaction.
  • Talk with their customer support to understand how it works.
  • Read their terms and conditions, refunds, and replacement policies.

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