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The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Shirts Online

The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Shirts Online

The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Shirts Online

Selling shirts can be a great way to get started with your e-commerce business. It's important that you avoid these mistakes.

Keyword(s): selling shirts


A nice, comfy T-shirt is the staple of any clothing wardrobe. But it might come as a surprise to some that this American classic is relatively young as far as history goes. The earliest instances of T-shirt-wearing began in the late 1800s.

People love T-shirts, which makes selling shirts a no-brainer of a business opportunity. Thanks to modern DTF printing technology, you can print your design in record-breaking time. But not so fast, because before you begin selling apparel, there are a few things to keep in mind.

As you prepare your apparel e-commerce site, let's look at a couple of do's and don'ts of selling shirts online.

Do: Find a Reliable Supplier of Your DTF Supplies

Assuming you want to maintain a consistent line of apparel designs, you will need a supplier. While it might be cheap to order gear in bulk from Alibaba, you put yourself at risk of dealing with questionable sellers. The ink and powder you purchase might be far below your standards.

Partner with a reliable company that provides all the high-quality supplies you need. Every good business finds reliable partners with whom they can create long-term relationships.

These relationships can be incredibly valuable to you for more than just supply purposes. They can be a source of knowledge, such as how to properly do screenprinting.

Don't: Use Copyrighted Designs

Copyright laws protect intellectual property from theft and can be quite extensive. They can include everything from specific images and characters to designs. Copyright laws restrict usage to the copyright holder for long periods of time.

It goes without saying that you should never use a copyrighted image in your apparel designs. Selling apparel with copyrighted images puts you at risk of lawsuit or other legal action.

As a general rule of thumb, don't use an image if you're not sure whether it is copyrighted or not. It's better not to risk it than to find a cease-and-desist letter in your mailbox next week.

Do: Promote Yourself on as Many Websites as Possible

What's great about running an e-commerce startup these days is that you have so many options. There are quite literally dozens of websites that allow you to create a virtual storefront to sell your gear. If you do not have the budget for a website, or for infrastructure, this is a great way to get your feet wet.

Set up a shop on as many websites as you can. This expands your audience and ensures you get more purchases. There are so many options that you are guaranteed to find one that suits you.

Don't: Under or Oversell

Times are getting tough, with inflation on the rise and job security in peril. The unfortunate result of this is that people have less money to spend.

When they have to decide between purchasing food and a T-shirt, food will come first. Even if they do have a few dollars left over for splurging, they'll be much more judicious in spending them.

It's a difficult game to price your products competitively. You don't want to sell them for too cheap, as this could take a bite out of your profits.

But sell them for too much, and you quickly turn off interested customers. Far too many startups price their products prohibitively high, which bites them in the end.

The best thing you can do is perform market research. Take a page out of your competitors' books. Base your prices on them, with consideration for your specific circumstances and needs.

Do: Find Your Niche

Selling to a niche audience can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have a much smaller audience than if you were to sell to the general populace. But on the other hand, you can secure a very loyal fan base that will gladly purchase all your products.

If you are trying to sell T-shirts in general, then you can disregard this advice. But if you have any sort of niche, throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. Focus your energies on catering to that audience and no one else.

One of the benefits of selling to niche audiences is that it's often hard for them to find the things they want. When you sell to a niche, you give them options they didn't have before. You may discover that there is quite a large, untapped customer base out there dying to spend money on your particular apparel e-commerce.

Don't: Focus on Selling T-Shirts

When people go to a merch shop, they expect to have a wide variety of options. So when they enter your shop, they may love your designs, but wish they could have found a buckle with the same design.

Broaden your horizons to include other types of merch. These can be stickers, buttons, or anything else you would like to sell. Customers get a better variety to choose from and may add more to their carts.

Do: Rock Your Brand

Don't be one of those people who promote one brand while using another. Your fans will see this, and lose faith in your product. If you don't want to wear it, why should they?

It only makes sense that you should wear the T-shirts that you make. Not only does this show your customers that you are invested in it, but it promotes your brand everywhere you go. For all you know, someone at the grocery store might see it and go purchase their own when they get home.

Find Your DTF Supplies With DTF Transfer Zone

Selling shirts online can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience. However, like any business venture, there are some pitfalls that you should avoid. Keep the above list in mind as you begin your journey into apparel e-commerce.

DTF Transfer Zone knows the value of a good print. Check out our online designer tool and make apparel designs that speak to you.