March 31, 2020
How to Start a T-Shirt Business

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Hey all, it’s Jessica with Oberlo, and today
I’m going to take you step-by-step through the process of setting up your very own online
t-shirt business. Sure, a t-shirt business isn’t likely to
be the next Uber, or AirBNB. But, it’s still a totally viable way to
make money online. Why? Well, for a start, t-shirt businesses don’t
require a lot of up-front investment. You also don’t need to be a marketing whiz
for your t-shirt business to thrive. All you need is a laptop, a few bucks, and
some motivation. With that, you can set up a fully functioning
online t-shirt business in an hour or less. Another great reason to start an online t-shirt
business is because, well, it’s a start. You’ll learn more from actually starting
a business than you ever could from blogs, articles, or podcasts. A t-shirt business is a fantastic starting
point. Plus, once you’re up and running, you can
always expand into other types of apparel, or start another online venture altogether. Alright, ready to start selling t-shirts? Great. Let’s talk about the… Three main ways to start an online t-shirt
business. All of these are great business models — but,
there’s one in particular that’s easiest to get started. Let’s take a quick look at each, before
diving deeper into our preferred method. Business Model Number 1: Start a new brand. This is the most difficult way to build a
t-shirt business, because, for the most part, you’ll have to do everything yourself. You’ll need to: Create the t-shirt designs from scratch, or
hire designers, Source t-shirts, and guess how many of each
size and color you’ll need, Pay another business to print them,
Store your t-shirts somewhere, Take product photos,
Create an ecommerce website, Phew! That’s a lot to take on. Especially if you’re just starting out. But, then there’s… Business Model Number 2: Use a print-on-demand
service. This business model is much easier if you’re
just getting started. You still have to create the t-shirt designs,
set up your ecommerce store, and market your products. But a print-on-demand service will fulfill
your orders. This means that when a customer orders a t-shirt
from your store, the print-on-demand service will receive the order, print the t-shirt
and send it to the customer for you. Awesome, right? I know what you’re thinking, “What’s
the catch?” Well, the downside to print-on-demand services
is that margins can be small — so, it can be difficult to turn a profit. To give some perspective, a standard men’s
printed t-shirt might cost $12.95, plus $3-4 shipping. This means that if you sell your t-shirts
for $20 each, you’ll only make about $3-$4. You still have to pay for your t-shirt designer,
website fees, Facebook ads, and so on. “Okay, okay Jessica, so what can I do?” Well, you may want to consider… Business Model Number 3: Dropshipping With dropshipping, you choose pre-designed
t-shirts from a supplier, and simply add them to your store. There are tons of t-shirt designs to choose
from, and what’s more, dropshipping has all of the fulfillment benefits of a print-on-demand
service. Your supplier will take care of printing,
storing, and shipping your t-shirts. But, the best part? These t-shirts cost almost half the price
of print-on-demand t-shirts. [Insert Oberlo Supply video searching ‘t-shirts’
and showing the $8 shirts from ePacket.] That means that, with dropshipping, your profit
margins will be much bigger. So, how do you create your dropshipping t-shirt
business? Well, that’s where we come in. All of this is extremely easy to do with Shopify
and Oberlo. If you don’t know, Shopify is a complete
ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize products, customize your
storefront, accept credit card payments, track orders, and more — all with a few clicks
of your mouse. And then there’s us: Oberlo. Oberlo is a free app that allows you to easily
import dropshipping products from suppliers directly into your Shopify store. It really is as simple as that. So, are you excited to get your t-shirt business
up and running? Let’s get started! First, let’s head over to…
… and sign up for a free trial. We’ll show you how easy it is to get your
t-shirt business up and running with Oberlo. To start, we’ll type our email into the
box and click ‘Get Started.’ Then, we’ll choose a password, and add the
name of our store. And don’t worry, you can easily change your
store name later. As you can see, it just takes a few minutes
to create your store. Shopify then wants to know if we’re already
selling something. In this case, I’m going to select, “I’m
not selling products yet.” Shopify also wants to know our current revenue,
so I’ll select, “I’m just getting started.” We’re not setting up this store for a client,
so I’ll leave the checkbox blank, and click, ‘Next.’ Now, we’ll just fill out our details and
click, “Enter my store.” Now that our store’s been created, we find
ourselves in the Shopify admin dashboard. Think of this dashboard as the control center
for all of your business operations. Now, let’s dive straight into adding t-shirts
to our store with Oberlo. The first thing we’ll do is head to the
Shopify app store. To do this, we’ll click on the apps tab
on the left-hand sidebar. Oberlo will show up as a featured app, so
in this case we don’t actually need to click, ‘Visit the Shopify App Store.’ Instead, we can just click ‘Oberlo,’ and
it’ll open in a new tab. Then, click ‘Get,’ and Shopify will ask
you if you want to install Oberlo on your Shopify store. Just click, ‘Install App.’ Then, we’ll be taken to our new Oberlo dashboard. This is where you’ll find and manage the
products that you add to your store. Alright… So, let’s add a t-shirt to our Shopify store. Inside Oberlo, click on “Search Products,”
and punch “tshirts” into the search field. You can set a filter to look specifically
at men’s or women’s t-shirts by adjusting the “category.” This search pulls up thousands of t-shirt
options. Alright, let’s do a more specific search
for t-shirts we can add to our store. I’m going to search ‘unicorn t-shirts.’ Okay, I really like this first unicorn flower
t-shirt, and I can see that they’re only $3.90 each, with shipping to America costing
$5.99, for a total cost of $9.89 per t-shirt. Here I can see the sizes and colors available. I’m going to add this t-shirt to my import
list. We can also scroll down to view related products
and add them to our import list as well. Okay, now that I’ve selected a t-shirt,
I’m going to click ‘Import List’ at the top of the page. Here I can edit the details that show up on
my store. So, I’m going to go ahead and change the
name, and then add the t-shirt to my home page collection. You can always change these options later,
so I’m going to leave the rest blank for now. Next, I’m going to click on the description
tab, and edit the product description. And the next tab allows me to choose which
variants of the t-shirt I’ll add to my store. In this case, I’ll select small, medium,
large, and XL. We can also set the price of our t-shirt. You can see here that Oberlo shows a recommended
price, so let’s use that for now. Here at the top, Oberlo gives us the option
of auto updating the product’s price. I’m going to turn this on. Then we can go in and adjust the price manually
if we want to. Lastly, we’re going to visit the images
tab and select the pictures that we want to showcase on our store. Okay, now that we’ve configured this t-shirt
for our store, we need to click ‘Push to Shop’ for it to be sent to our Shopify storefront. And, we’re done! Now that we’ve added a t-shirt to our store,
we need to head back over to our Shopify admin dashboard to quickly… Set up our payments and shipping rates. To set up payments, we’ll click ‘Settings’
in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Then we’ll click ‘Payment Providers.’ Now, for our users in the UK, US, and Canada,
our Shopify store is automatically set up with Shopify payments, which allows us to
accept payments from all major credit cards instantly. All we have to do is click, ‘Complete Account
Setup,’ and fill in the necessary information. And for users outside of the UK, US, and Canada,
don’t worry — Shopify is integrated with over 70 different payment partners, so there
are plenty of hassle free options available. What’s more, as soon as we open our Shopify
store, we’ll automatically be set up with a Paypal Express Checkout account. Then, as soon as a customer users Paypal Express
Checkout to buy one of our t-shirts, Paypal will send us an email that contains
a link, and instructions on how to setup our account and claim our funds. Alright, now let’s… Set up our shipping rates. Let’s go back to Settings, and then click
‘Shipping.’ Now, it’s entirely up to you how you want
to set up your shipping rates. You may want to set a standard shipping cost,
offer free shipping, or build the cost of shipping into the price of your shirt. For now, we’ll show you a safe and easy
way to set up your shipping rates so that they match the shipping rates that your supplier
will charge you. Here you can see that we have two shipping
zones set up: One is domestic, and the other is the rest of the world. If we want to add or subtract countries from
these lists, all we have to do is click the edit button on the right-hand-side. Now, we just want to edit our U.S. shipping
rates. So, let’s go ahead and click ‘edit.’ Alright, we want to match our shipping rates
to our supplier’s, so let’s delete heavy good shipping rates, as we aren’t shipping
any heavy goods. Next we need to find out how much our supplier
charges for shipping. So, let’s head back to Oberlo, click on
‘My Products’ to find our t-shirt, and click through to the product page. Here, we can click on the shipping information
to find out more. And, we can see that shipping to the U.S.
costs up to $3. Alright, our website is looking pretty bare,
because we’ve only added one product to our store so far. So, I’m going to head back and add a few
more t-shirts. Okay, now that we have some more t-shirts
on our store, we can easily start customizing our theme by clicking on the elements in the
left-side bar. We can add photos, edit the text, or scroll
to the bottom and remove the section altogether, by clicking ‘Remove Section.’ Let’s keep it simple for now, and remove
the Slideshow section We’ll change the ‘Featured Collection’
title, to ‘Favorites.’ And then we’ll add a banner image to our
store, and change the heading and text. Take some time to explore the theme customization
options to make sure your store looks great. Okay, let’s save our changes by clicking
the ‘Save’ button in the top-right-hand corner of our screen. Now that our store is starting to come together,
we might like to add an About Page. We can do this by heading back to our Shopify
admin dashboard, and clicking on ‘Pages.’ Here, we can add a page and begin to customize
it. If you’d like more help with this, we’ve
linked to another video below featuring “9 Simple Tips for Creating a Killer ‘About
Us’ Page for Your Store.” Adding blog posts is also easy. Simply, click on ‘Blog Posts,’ and then
‘Create Blog Post.’ Okay, let’s take a look at your store’s
domain. Click ‘Domains’ in the sidebar. Now, all new stores start with a ‘’
address as a way to log in and store our content safely. However, it’ll look much more professional
if you get your own custom ‘.com’ address. You can do this very easily by clicking the
‘Buy a New Domain’ button, and searching for a domain that you like. Or, if you already have a domain registered,
you can connect it to your Shopify store, by clicking ‘Connect Existing Domain.’ When you’re ready to launch, you just need
to remove the password protection and your store will go live to the public. You can do this by clicking ‘Preferences,’
and then ‘Disable Password.’ And there you go! Just like that, you’re all set up with your
own fully-functioning, dropshipping t-shirt business. Now, when a customer orders a t-shirt from
your store, an order is automatically sent to your supplier who will ship it to your
customer. That’s it! Well done for sticking with me. Did you stuck on any of these steps? Let me know how I can help in the comments
section below. Thanks for watching, and if you liked this
video, be sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on the notification bell for more
advice on growing your ecommerce business. Until next time, learn often, market better
and sell more.

100 thoughts on “How to Start a T-Shirt Business

  1. Great video, thank you! I am setting up my store, can I add Printful AND Oberlo to my website, so dropship AND POD?

  2. Thanks for your video , very useful step by step guide. I may have to go back several time to really digest all this info since just starting on this business.
    Question do i bring traffic to my e-store ?.
    Any particular recommendations?

    Thank you !

  3. When I clicked "get" to get Oberlo, it did NOT open a new web page for me of the actual Oberlo site. I stayed in Shopify, using the Shopify app for Oberlo, which is NOT THE SAME and made your whole webinar rather confusing. Now, Oberlo has kicked me out, and wants a username and password to get back in, which of course I don't have because I signed up through Shopify and not Oberlo!

  4. Hi Jessica, love your video, I live in Papua New Guinea. Could I also sell items using Oberlo dropping shipping?

  5. H ello my shopify friend I love products what do you think. and could you please give some hints. Thank you

  6. Be careful dropshipping t-shirts from china, products are usually smaller in size, meaning ordering
    a large tee will mean it's a medium size, you are going to get a lot of customer complaints!

  7. Can you make a video talking about which products to choose? I bet a store selling T-shirts would have to compete with thousands of other stores in Facebook Ads. Also, could you also tell us more about running efficient Facebook Ads?

  8. Its not working here in Nigeria.
    I tried it by following your step by clicking on Apps by the left hand side, and then I clicked on Oberlo app and it opened but not showing anything for to click on. It was blank. So what should I do?

  9. How is Oberlo and PayPal making their money in this process? I'm assuming it's a non mentioned fee taken out of the profit made.

  10. Thank you Jessica for sharing these valuable tips! But dropshipping ready made T-shirts doesn't allow the customers to request for custom design, such as printing their own names, own logo and so on, which is something that POD can offer. Every method and business model has its own share of pros and cons I guess πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Jessica Great Video but it doesn't cover cost effective and fast ways to market that get results. Maybe there should be a comprehensive video solely on marketing and how to get fast results!

  12. Hi Jessica your shipping segment on this video was a little sketchy ie not enough details. Do you have a link to a shipping video or article that goes into more comprehensive detail?

  13. this works..

    at first I kinda failed but didnt give up. started to figured out how and what went wrong and started fixking problems.

  14. Hi, i'm Val Lobato from france, my question is this one, who will deliver my orders if i go directly by oberlo and not for aliexpress, how to know who is the supplier. Thanks

  15. Hi Jessica, you said if I already have an existing domain I could just connect it, even if this domain is not registered with Shopify but another web hosting website I can still just connect it. For example if my domain is on word press, do I still just connect. Thanx J.

  16. Hi Jessica. Thanks! How are people going to find my store once it is set up? How do I know which tshirts are best sellers? How do I get traffic?

  17. How do I set shipping rates if I want to export t-shirts worldwide? I plan to include the cost of shipping within the price of the product. But I'm afraid that shipping products to certain countries could result in a loss, because shipping sometimes costs as much as $50!

  18. Hi there, oberlo people.
    I've tried making my very first online store work without succes.
    My thoughts went towards something easier like T-shirts.
    However if I where to start over should the T-shirt store take over the store (New domain and setup)?
    My number 1 problem is that My Facebook account(for the webside) didn't work and where shunt down right away!
    Should I start over to Get a funktional Facebook page?
    Long question sorry!

  19. Great video, regarding to the shipping to South Africa. I do not trust the standard shipping to SA postal. How can I change to courier (fastest shipping) by door to door? Will that ripped off the price for customers to order?

  20. Hey! I just wanted to know how to contact the suppliers, and about the product packaging? and what if we choose different suppliers how does the order then go to our customer, as different packages?

  21. hi, really confused with the payment gateway, can I use only one payment gateway available in my country other than PayPal because don't want to use Paypal for its payment pending issue?

  22. Oberlo is a great app for drop shipping but I believe you should use an app like TeeLaunch to start up your T-Shirt business. It is a print on demand model that is shipped way faster to the customer because it is made in the US. A little more expensive but more reliable.

  23. Hi Jessica, Is there any way you are able to send the order directly to your customer with your own unique brand packaging instead of the supplier sending it straight to your customer when drop shipping?

  24. Hey Jessica wonderful video very quick practical and easy to setup. I have a concern that is for how long will the customer be mine, from what I understand that the goods are shipped by vendor direct to customer. which means I have provided him with all the details of my buyers, when he ships he will put his own biz card and share information with the client which i may be not be aware off probably if he has website the client can go on it and check that the Tee or any products he ordered were sold to him @ X + Y which means he has paid a lot more than available. This may make me lose the client forever.
    So in short I do all the marketing get the client to buy the product and then lose out to the vendor so what's my safety net of all the efforts taken ????
    Any suggestions to safeguard my interest?

  25. Amazing Video:) Is it so easy to open a eshop Guys?:) is out there any more analytic(not very much:)) video tutorial about shopify set up?

  26. With dropshipping with oberlo when someone buys from our store does the info automatically get sent to aliexpress so we don’t have to do anything? Or do we have to then go onto the ad on aliexpress and fill it in outselfs with their details?

  27. ok this was a very good video i am not worried about shipping times from china as everything in the world pretty much comes from china or is made in china have a look around your house folks . ok now that the store is setup with ali express and oberlo you said it is live to the public but there is just one thing missing you have to market your shopify store to get orders which means you will need to spend money on paid ads which means that money will have to be now factored into the price of the tshirt or am i missing something here please correct me if im wrong .

  28. Great video. My question: how do you calculate how long it would take for product to be delivered? For example, We have Estimated Shipping dates on Oberlo (4-19 days) and we have estimated shipping dates with USPS (1-2 days) at the customer check out. Do we add those two together to figure out how long it would actually take for a product to get to the purchaser? Thank you

  29. Hello madam,first take my grettings,How are you madam??hope you are doing well.madam actually i wanna know something from you..i'm completely begginer..i wanna do T-shirt business in online,,,how can i start it?please give a clear direction..please..i'll be grateful to you madam..

  30. I'm looking to start a t-shirt company, I'm interested in the second business model (print on demand), specifically because I've been creating my own designs. I've already seen how the cost of the printer/supplier would affect my pricing and profit margins. Do you have any other tips and/or cautions on this business model that you didn't mention in the video?

  31. Who owns the copyright of those design ? am I allowed to sell t-shirt with that design listed on oberlo ? What If someone sue my business for copyright infirement ?

  32. Hi Jessia! I am an absolute "newby" , BUT, incredibly determined with a great "Niche"! (I hope) I'm rather "stuck" with some of the smaller details. Could you by chance help me through this? Forever greatful! Once up and running, I believe i'll b fine.

  33. I was super excited when I started watching this, but at exactly 9 minutes into the video it shows that shipping is $5.99 to the US (which I can live with), but shipping takes 10-21 days. What customer would be happy waiting all that time?

  34. Hello, I froze my Shopify account a few weeks ago and now when I am trying to add a new product to the store, the inventory shows 0. Is that caused by my account suspension? Thanks, Olivia

  35. Hello Jessica, I froze my Shopify account a few weeks ago and now when I am trying to add a new product to the store, the inventory shows 0. Is that caused by my account suspension? Thanks, Olivia

  36. I have a question about the packaging! When you say oberlo will automatically ship the product then how does the customer receive the package. Do we have an option to address our brand on it and show so trust to the customers?

  37. Hii i want to know one thing that if i add a product to my store then i have to contact with the vendor or not regarding fulfilment

  38. I bought a domain. Do I need to have somebody design that website or when I enter my domain name to my shopify account, will it automatically take them to shopify website with the products I am selling?

  39. Hi I watched your video and clicked on getting stated with setting up a free trial for 14 days. how long does it take to set up a store with Shopify? so far its been over 3+ hours and it still has this spending wheel that reads Β "Sit tight, we're creating your store!" I am still waiting for the next step. Also someone asked this question 3 month ago & I would like to know the answer to this question as well? – "Who owns the copyright of those design ? am I allowed to sell t-shirt with that design listed on oberlo ? What If someone sue my business for copyright infirement ?"

  40. This lady is the best instructor about this. Love you Jessica. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘.

  41. Hello Jessica. Thank you very much for this informative video, helped me get started. However, I have my own designs and was wondering. if Oberlo had a way to upload your own designs onto a t-shirt of your choice? Please let me know, thanks.

  42. Yeah, but doesn’t the customer have to wait longer, because the T-shirt is coming from somewhere out of the country (30 days)?

  43. Jess! Thanks for your reply and congrats for your vlog! U R good!! I have other questions!! You have mentioned that business model #2 the POD is not as profitable… I have a lot of desire in this by having my own design.
    Heard many times that Shopify with Printfull is the way to go for T-shirt business.
    Have I missed something you meant or what would you suggest as a profitable POD ?

  44. Hello, can I do "Print on demand" on Shopperfy as well? I will have my own design and trying to figure things out to start the business.

  45. Dear Jessica
    Would you tell me in specific do I need to pay for the supplier before I sell these products or I need to pay before selling them ?

  46. Nice video. Its nice that you show, instead of only talking about steps how to start etc. I wanna ask about taxes and if customer buys a T-shirt does the money goes to your Paypal account or how it works?

  47. Dear Jessica or anyone

    can you tell me do I need to set my shipping to rest of the world ? or do I need to do it locally

  48. can i sell t-shirt in my already setup shopify store with products that i import from aliexpress if i put in under fashion category?

  49. Thanks for this information please I am trying to create an online T-shirt store how much would it cost me to get started ? Lastly I would appreciate if you can create one for me please

  50. how do you customize your own shirts or like create a new design other than the ones on orbelo, and do I have to worry about copyright if I do use the shirt design on orbelo

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