Money-making ideas selling t-shirts

Make money selling t-shirts

Selling shirts to commercial enterprises is one way to make money

Have you ever thought about making extra money selling printed t-shirts? Maybe you’ve even thought of going into the t-shirt business with your own line. On the other hand, the thought of doing this may not have occurred to you, but it might be a natural add-on to something you already do.

Selling your art or designs on t-shirts

Direct-to-garment printing opens up shirt printing to full color and photographic reproduction. Maybe you are a graphic artist or photographer, perhaps still going to school, and people keep saying they wish they could buy your creations on a t-shirt. Wearing t-shirts satisfies a need people have to be associated with cool stuff (i.e., your creative work.) T-shirts help your branding and get your name out there. They can also generate income.

Seminar leader or author

Maybe you are a seminar leader, author, or other group leader and see the brilliance in creating t-shirts for promotional value. Shirts could carry your slogan, book cover photo, or other important message out into the world. They could spread your message and attract new clients or customers. The fact that someone wears it creates a walking testimonial for you. Depending on your circumstances, shirts could be sold or included in the entrance fee as a promotional item.

Festivals, farmers markets, and art shows

If mingling is in your blood and you like to chat with strangers, you could set up shop in a local farmers market or art show and sell your wares. If you hone in on a popular cause, political message, or trend, you could be selling shirts like hotcakes and have a good time as well.

Traffic, traffic, traffic

Perhaps you are a social networking guru adept at creating websites and attracting Internet traffic. You would be in a great position to offer shirts for sale. We have several young entrepreneurs doing this by partnering with graphic artists and designing their own clothing line. You could sell shirts with designs you create, or if you found a reliable supplier (hint, hint) you could set up your own business fielding orders for original design shirts.

Location, location, location

Some people are sitting on a cash cow and don’t realize it. Your job or affiliations with groups may put you in a hub of activity where with little effort you could offer t-shirts for sale. By knowing or having access to groups of people, you could sell t-shirts either on a retail basis (psst, wanna buy a shirt?) or on a wholesale basis (psst, wanna buy a bunch of shirts?) At the wholesale level, you would be more like a representative for the shirt company. Take a look around your life and imagine the possibilities you may not have considered. There’s great supplemental income opportunity here.


Sometimes you may want to make money for an organization, and t-shirts are a great way to raise funds. If your organization doesn’t have enough capital to afford the wholesale costs of the shirts and the printing, you can look into corporate sponsorship. We have worked with many clients who have gone this route with great success. Well-designed event shirts (such as this) do quite well because people like to show their support for the cause. Sponsor logos appear on the back of the shirt or sometimes on the sleeve.

Finder’s Fees

Do you know people who purchase printed t-shirts in bulk? Some printing companies will pay finder’s fees to you if you bring them a new customer who places a large order. It might be as simple as you overhearing someone asking “Does anyone here know a good shirt printer?” and you say, “Yeah.” This is sporadic, not like becoming a shirt rep as a part-time job, but it can still be like finding a nice chunk of change on the sidewalk or getting lucky in a lottery.

Creativity On!

If you have an interest in any of these methods, we would be happy to consult with you at no cost and answer your questions. We can help you decide if any of these money-making opportunities are right for you. If you already have ideas for shirts, we’ll be happy to advise you on printing methods, costs, and logistics of getting your shirts to market.

This entry was posted in Creativity On, Embroidery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Money-making ideas selling t-shirts

  1. Tris Legacy says:


    This is quite interesting to me – I have lots of sayings that I have thought about printing on tee-shirts for sale.

    Is this your business? I would like more information.



    • Joshua Bagby says:

      Hi, Tris. Our business is embroidery and garment printing. We embroider and/or print garments for people based on their designs and artwork. We primarily work at the wholesale level, supplying products for retailers, corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. We do not get involved in how they market and sell their garments. We would be happy to answer any of your specific questions. Check our “Fast Facts page under About for our contact info.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *