How to start a T-shirt business with no money in 5 easy steps

How to start a T shirt business with no money
Are you worried about the investment needed to start a T-shirt business? In this guide, we will show you how to start a T-shirt business with no money!

Let me guess. You want to start a T-shirt business. But, you are still worried about the upfront money needed for it. Right?

No worries! In this guide, we will show you how to start a T-shirt business with no money! Trust us, if you follow these 5 easy steps, you can launch your own apparel business with no investment. You will be able to wear that entrepreneur hat in no time.

Before we jump into the steps, let me introduce you to the T-Shirt business opportunities.

No doubt that the clothing line is one of the most popular niches for budding eCommerce ventures. Many early entrepreneurs visit websites like Google and Reddit every day. They browse these websites to find how to sell T-shirts online.

Thanks to print-on-demand platforms like Printful and Printify.

And also dropshipping platforms like Spocket. Today, these platforms make these dreams very easy to realize.

But, if you analyze this niche carefully, you will find that the clothing niche is really very saturated today. It is not easy to mark your presence in such an over-saturated eCommerce niche. So, what will a clever entrepreneur do?

He will choose a smaller niche and focus on it. For example, instead of ways to sell T-Shirts in general, he will focus on selling polo shirts. Inspired?

Great! Keep reading this guide.

In this guide, we will show you how you can start selling T-Shirts from home. In fact, we will tell you how to start a T-shirt business with no money in five easy steps.

Please note some of the links in this article are our affiliate links. If you follow these links and complete a buy at our partner websites, we will receive a small commission!

How to start a T-shirt business with no money

Is the t-shirt printing a good business?

T-shirts belong to a high demand niche in the garment category of eCommerce business. Everyday many people buy T-shirts online. And an equally high number of entrepreneurs try to promote and sell their designs.

If you do a simple check with Google Trends, you will find that the trend is really, really high. And what does this graph tell you? 

It tells you that there is a high demand for this product. And as we explained in our article on what to sell online, this is always good for you – the entrepreneur.

If you want to check the trends yourself, follow these steps.

  1. Head over to Google Trends.
  2. Search for the phrase T-Shirts
  3. Set your target geography.
  4. Adjust the timeframe. 
  5. Hit enter.

We searched for the worldwide trend for the last five years and this is the graph that we found.

T Shirt Demand

The result looks promising. It shows that the trend is high and definitely stable.

Now that we have validated the demand of this eCommerce niche, let us move forward. Let us show you the steps to start a T-shirt business without any money.

Tips on How to start a T-shirt business with no money

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Find a T-shirt niche

As we said, T-shirts belong to a very saturated category. Also, you will face stiff competition from established clothing brands. Even leading market players like amazon, decathlon, and others will also pose a challenge to your online store.

You must also consider the established retail outlets including malls as your competitor. I did not include the competition from other solo entrepreneurs intentionally!

So before looking for steps on how to start a T-shirt business with no money, find out your niche.

If you really want to succeed in selling T-shirts, you must focus on a smaller niche. Do not try to be a jack of all trades! Instead, focus on smaller niches like T-shirts for nurses. Or, polo shirts. Minimalist T-shirt designs.

You can even target the T-shirt demand for some particular age or gender. You got the idea. Correct?

Finding out a niche does not cost you money. Use free tools like Google Trends and UberSuggest to research your niche. Filter these based on the search volume. You must always target a smaller niche with steady and moderate demand.

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Dropshipping

In an earlier article we explained what is dropshipping. In fact, there are many dropshipping platforms you can use for free. Below is a list of well known dropshipping supplier lists you can start with:

  1. Spocket
  2. Oberlo
  3. Worldwidebrand
  4. Aliexpress
  5. Salehoo
  6. Modalyst

Most of these platforms seamlessly integrate with leading eCommerce platforms. Create a free or trial account in these platforms. Check the products. Add it to your store and try to sell them for profit.

But be cautious here. Check the feedback of individual suppliers. Read their reviews.

For example, we created a free account with Spocket and navigated the platform. We found the suppliers are individually vetted for performance.

This information can be very useful to you. Use your own judgement.

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Sell Custom T-shirts

If you can create your own design, go for it. You can use free designing tools like Gravit and create your designs. After you create a unique design head over to print-on-demand platforms like Printful and Printify.

The prerequisite here is that you must own a great design for your T-shirt.

Both Printful and Printify are efficient print-on-demand platforms and very easy to use. Both have an online designer to design your products and generate attractive mockups. You can use these mockups as product photographs in your online store.

You can start selling a print-on-demand T-shirt for free. Follow these simple steps –

  • Create a free account in Printful or Printify.
  • Upload your design and create the mockup.
  • Upload product photos in your online shop.
  • Integrate these platforms with your online shop.
  • If your customer buys a T-shirt in your store, you order it in Printful or Printify.
  • The print-on-demand platform will create a T-shirt and ship it to your customer.
  • Printful or Printify will charge you a base cost of the T-shirt.
  • You will make a profit based on the markup you set in your store.

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Dropshipping vs Print-On-Demand

Both dropshipping and print-on-demand has their own advantage. If you plan properly, you cannot go wrong with either.

But, we found that print-on-demand is better than dropshipping if you want to build a brand for your T-shirt business. Let’s see why.

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Branding

Though T-shirts is a saturated eCommerce niche, remember that it is not always easy to find a superior quality T-shirt with unique designs.

So the way out when you plan to sell T-shirts online is to add a unique touch of your brand to the products you want to sell. This can be in the form of both design and quality.

In dropshipping, you are limited by what your supplier stocks. But with print-on-demand, sky is the limit!

Bottom line is, if you want to succeed in this eCommerce niche, you have to establish a solid brand value for your products. Your customers should be able to uniquely identify your brand.

Dropshipping platforms like Spocket allows you to send branded invoices. Print-on-demand suppliers like Printful also let you brand your product in many ways.

For example – you can brand your packaging stickers. You can add inside labels to T-Shirts. You may send pack-ins. You can include custom packing slip messages for a better unboxing experience. Make use of these strategies for free.

A word of caution. Always check the product quality before you ship it to your customers. In other words, quality control is a must when you start a T-shirt business. If you use dropshipping platforms like Spocket, order samples. If you use print-on-demand suppliers, order and test the final product before listing them.

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Promotion Strategies

T-shirts are an ageless product! What I mean is your target consumers can be of any age. Generally, men, women, and kids belonging to any age group wear this apparel.

But you must be aware that your customers are style-conscious. They will be looking for something unique for their T-shirt collection. And as an entrepreneur, you will have to promote your products to your target audience. An effective marketing strategy will be the key to your success.

While most marketing strategies need money, there are few which are absolutely free. For example, you can apply social media marketing for free. Because of the demography of your target customers, solid social media marketing can be a key.

Try to reach out to influential bloggers who can review your T-shirt for free in exchange for a product.

Also, search engine optimization is crucial for the success of your store. There are many free tutorials available online. Read them and put in place strategies to optimize your online store for search engines.

How to start a T shirt business with no money

How to start a T-shirt business with no money: Final Thoughts

In this guide, we have discussed key strategies on how to start a T-shirt business with no money

But let us stress again that the T-shirt is a very saturated eCommerce niche. If you plan to start a T-shirt business, never forget to focus on a niche. In later articles, we will share detailed eCommerce niche research reports to help you in choosing a niche.

If you can find an interesting niche, focus on it. There are many free tools to assist you. Use these tools and free marketing strategies to start selling T-shirts without money.

Let me reiterate, print-on-demand is a better approach to establish your brand. With dropshipping, chances are your competitor is also selling the same product! And from the same supplier!

We are sure that this guide will help you to create a solid T-shirt business plan for your shop. Now that you know how to start selling T-shirts with no money, focus on your plan. Plan to maximize your T-shirt business profit. Share your experiences with us.

If you found this article on how to start selling T-shirts with no money helpful – please feel free to share it among your tribe.

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