Teespring, is a fairly new custom t-shirt printing site. They take the orders for you, print the t-shirts and ship them out to your buyers.
So How Does Teespring Work?
- You set up an account, design a t-shirt and upload your design.
- You choose the garment (t-shirt, hoodie, etc) and set the price you want to sell at
- You set a goal for t-shirts to sell (this is your campaign). No t-shirts are printed or sold by Teespring unless this goal is reached.
- The higher the goal you set, the cheaper the clothes for you, assuming you reach the goal.
- If the goal is reached and when campaign ends, Teespring handle all the physical parts of the orders – so printing, packaging and shipping.
- You get paid the profit. Basically sale price, minus whatever you pay Teespring.
It is actually a very clever business model.
You don’t pay ANYTHING to Teespring upfront anyway, and you only end up paying them after you’ve made a profit on your t-shirt sales.
It’s also great for them because they only effectively have to work on bulk orders and only when they have orders guaranteed.
So in theory, it is very easy to make money from Teespring
In reality though, it isn’t.
You do still have some cost – between your time and money, driving traffic to the t-shirt campaign in the first place. If for example you run Facebook PPC ads to your campaign, there is still a cost there. And if your campaign doesn’t get activated, you’ve made a loss.
Buy you don’t really know what does and doesn’t work or why
One of the best examples is sports team t-shirts which seem to be all over Teespring at the minute.
There are so many of them, a couple of them have sold a few hundred, while plenty have sold 0. It isn’t easy to analyse what is and isn’t working. We don’t know who started which campaigns, who promoted which campaigns, how they were promoted.
For example, we could have 2 t-shirts with identical design, but one of them is white and one of them is black. Say the white one sells 500 and the black one doesn’t even reach 10. For an outsider looking in, it would be logical to assume that people generally preferred the look of the white one.
But for all we know, someone was advertising the white one heavily and for whatever reason chose to ignore the black one. Or maybe the chief of a sports team’s fan club saw the white one and got all the members to jump on it as well. Maybe the chief dude didn’t even see the black one or know it existed. It’s possible.
So how can you make money consistently with Teespring?
You can have a few one-off hits, a few bits of luck here and there.
But to turn something like Teespring into a regular, consistent and steady income source (which if your campaigns work, will definitely happen!) you basically need to build a brand! Build a following or a community.
People have affinity to buying from a brand or community because they’re already bought into it. If you’re some unknown entity, for all you know they might just take a peek to see what’s on offer and leave it at that. If you’re a brand, you’ve got people familiar with you and ready to buy.
I have seen someone with a very active Facebook page of over 10,000 fans have successful campaigns again and again and again. Because his Facebook page is his brand, he is in a market with a very passionate user base and so selling most things supporting that particular cause becomes super simple.
So bottom line – yes, you can make money from Teespring. But it is certainly not a simple case of just uploading a design, driving cold PPC traffic to it and hoping it’ll work. At least not if you want it to consistently work.
I’m working on a couple of ideas for Teespring with 3 of the Facebook pages I manage. I will keep you guys posted as I have updates.