The custom made t-shirt business became fashionable relatively long ago, so it has already over-saturated a lot. In addition, we must add the extra difficulty of competing against very important brands.
However, many people still see in the personalized shirts a great business opportunity … Is it really like that? In this article we are going to make a quick review of this topic. Do not lose detail!
What do you need to sell personalized shirts?
Given that the situation in which we find ourselves is that there are many brands selling T-shirts, and a multitude of individuals or small businesses (both online and offline) that have jumped on the bandwagon of this business, there is one element that is essential: The creativity.
That’s the first thing you need to sell personalized shirts, because to be able to pass in front of your direct competitors and be able to make money with a business of this type, you will have to devise ways to take it out of the ordinary. In addition, you will need creativity to be able to transform the desire of your client into a shirt. It is not an easy task.
Apart from creativity, which is somewhat abstract, you will also need the shirts . Generally, the shirts that are used are cotton, although you can look for other materials and can also be useful. In addition, you will need the tools to make the prints. For prints, machines that can have a fairly high price are used. In addition, you will need the dyes that these machines use.
Finally, you will have to face all the associated difficulties that do not necessarily have to do with logistics . I’m thinking, for example, of having to set up an online store, try to get good positions in Google, move your project on social networks, etc. You will need, therefore, to have knowledge in these fields, or to have in your team someone who has an idea of how to approach those aspects.
What investment do I need to start?
The investment you will need depends on a thousand and one factors. Are you going to sell online or offline? Do you plan to register the brand and open a company? Do you plan to buy the machinery, or make the orders and then sell them at an extra cost?
It is very difficult to determine the investment you will need, since depending on how you approach the business, the investment will be greater or lesser.
In any case, I’m going to point out some prices , so you get to the idea of how much it can cost you to set up your business of personalized shirts, and, later, adding or eliminating the elements that you consider appropriate, you get the approximate price that you go to have to pay to start a business of this type:
T-shirts : dollar 1 per unit.
Machine for printing the t-shirts: dollar 5000
Online store: dollar 50
Self-employed fee: dollar 250 per month.
These four elements are the basics when talking about the business of personalized t-shirts. The price of the shirts depends on the quantity purchased, but the price of dollar 1 per unit can easily be reached. The machines for printing or printing T-shirts usually have a price of about dollar 5000 when they are good. Of course, you will find much cheaper machines, but their results are disastrous, unprofessional, and they break down right away.
Another option is not to buy the machinery, but then you will have to go to someone who does have it to make the shirts. This implies that the profit margin is much lower, and, in addition, you depend on a third person to fulfill the orders that your customers make.
As for the online store, it will depend on your technical knowledge , but it’s the cheapest. You can set up an online store for less than dollar 20 per month (for hosting and domain expenses), but I have put dollar 50 because you will always require some extra expense, either paying a designer or some programmer for small details that you just can not solve.
Finally, the autonomous fee , which must be paid in Spain to be able to work on their own. Of course, if instead of self-employed you want to start a business, the price is much higher. It is preferable to start as a freelancer, and, if the business prospers, take the step to the company.
Is it a profitable business?
As in everything, it depends. Regarding the investment, as I mentioned above, you can start the business with relatively low expenses, but in a market as saturated as that of personalized shirts, it is quite difficult that you can make a hole without a major investment.
So that your online store (and I say online because it is the most viable option) allows you to obtain benefits, it is likely that you will have to make a greater investment, both in advertising, as in SEO, as in SEM, as in improving the website.
In this sense, the investment can be very high to obtain more than doubtful income.
That is why I would not contemplate the option of setting up a custom t-shirt company. In fact, and even if it’s paradoxical, I think a t-shirt shop would be much more profitable. No more Without the customization. The investment would be greatly reduced, since you could establish a few designs, and print them without buying the machinery.
Another option would be to offer an intermediary service, either by selling the shirts wholesale (a relatively simple business) or, if you have capital, buying the machine and dedicating yourself to making the impressions of those who have thrown themselves into the precipice of setting up a store of personalized shirts.
Those three options seem more viable to me than setting up a custom shirt sales business in itself, since the difficulties are many , especially if you do not have experience in the sector.
In any case, the final decision is yours. I limit myself to point out that it requires a too high investment if you want to have the opportunity to compete in a market as competitive as that of personalized t-shirts.