So you are interested in selling your designs. Well then, you have a few options available to you. You could sell your designs outright to certain companies perhaps even work freelance. You could start your own printing company if you had the money. You could buy T-shirts wholesale and resell them online. But more than likely you are interested in starting your own online T-shirt shop through a “Print on Demand” service.
The first step is choosing the company that you want to sell through. I have reviewed the ones that you see in the alphabetized list further below.
There are many companies to choose from and the most popular and most famous is not the best. Cafepress for lack of a better word “SUCKS”. They treat their shopkeepers like crap. To learn more on why not to choose Cafepress please read the article entitled “The Reasons Why CafePress Sucks.” as the list of complaints is way too long to post here.
Print on Demand T-shirt Companies:
(* denotes Tee Fetch’s Preference.)
- Cafepress – If you respect yourself you will not choose Cafepress. Infamous for ripping off the shopkeeper and low grade printing. They are only popular for being the first basically. The only reason they are on this list is because people will be asking about them.
- Comboutique - For non U.S. Residents, a scaled down Printfection. Better quality than Cafepress. Very limited.
- E-shirt – Formally “ArtApart.com”. Have been around about the same time as CafePress. Average quality. Perhaps better than average marketing options. They brag some shopkeepers make over $4K a month.
- MySoti – Has a ways to grow yet. Very limited. Decent digital printing.
- *Printfection – One of the best for digital Prints. The third most popular P.O.D. site and a far improvement over CafePress. The base prices are much to be desired but that is universal with all P.O.D.’s. Send giveaways to loyal customers. Private branding and labeling.
- *RedBubble – (Updated) BEST CHOICE. One of the growing companies that will hopefully dethrone CafePress. This is more of a real artists community as opposed to conglomerate fascism. Only Digital Printing but their quality is just as good if not better than Printfection’s. This is your best bet for a Print on Demand service.
- Shirtcity – Like Spreadshirt they offer plot printing which is better than digital. Definitely better than CafePress. The website has some glitchy and unfinished parts when I explored it. Their “affiliate” section for example.
- Skreened – The activists’ company that makes sure their apparel is made sweatshop free. They are charitable. Digital print.
- *Spreadshirt – The base prices are a little cheaper than the others out there. For your own shop it would take an extreme amount of time to get things set up. You can sell other’s designs within your own shop if you want to add to your inventory. $100 for 3 premium shops that allows you to upload 20 vector designs per day. Their market place is a complete and total mess. To get designs and products seen in the marketplace people would have to find them towards the end of a shuffled digital and vector shared keyword set of everyone’s designs. To climb the list you would need to have your design sell more than those that are already on top. A very daunting task. Designing in vector is tricky and certain requirements must be fulfilled to ensure the design can be printed. Their site and shopkeeper shops navigation as well as customization leaves lots to be desired. People spam the same design many times in the marketplace just as a different color making their marketplace less desirable. Product quality is their main focus. If you have an external site as the driving force of sales and want to sell plot printed tees then Spreadshirt is your 2nd choice.
- T-Shirt Monster – Canadian. Does not seem bad as far as digital prints. Customer customization of products is a plus. This site seems geared more towards those wanting to buy their own products rather than selling them.
- Wordans – A promising new company from Canada, less crowded than others for the moment such as Zazzle, Printfection, CafePress, and Spreadshirt. Having them host your second shop just to test them out and expand your market would not be a bad idea. I would not open my first shop with them though.
- *Zazzle – The 4th best (updated)for digital prints and a higher chance of being found if you optimize your shop via search engines. Second most popular P.O.D. site.
The next step is to optimize your shop for the search engines. Go to the starter SEO tutorial to learn the “Meta Tag” basics.