Selling T-Shirts From Printful


#1

Is selling T-shirts a smart thing to do? I have about 4k followers on Instagram and I want to sell T-shirts using drop shipping services like Printful. Would this be a good/profitable idea? What would be the best way to advertise T-Shirts?


#2

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but having 4k followers on one account is not likely to help you have any meaningful sales. I would recommend reading the forum and learning about spamming, drop shipping, printing etc.


#3

What wortime said.
I’ve tried before with a 20k account, passionate niche, good engagement.
The traffic from that account alone wasn’t enough.

THINGS TO TRY OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD:

  1. Instagram influencers (smallish money hole…best chance of ad profit at a low budget imho)
  2. Grow your page with f/uf slash any other methods.
  • Install facebook pixel on your store… youtube it if you don’t know what the hell that is.
  • post kinda regular ads for products on your feed (after you’ve hit 15k followers) once every couple of days.
  • Collect pixel data through ongoing clicks to your ads.
  • Remarket via facebook/instagram ads.

Feel free to ask questions.
It would be quicker for you to google any terms that you don’t understand. This post was to give you a couple of ideas.

The reason I left FB ads off the table was because I assumed you might not have a lot of starting capital…
If you don’t have a regular, significant, amount of cash… FB will castrate :hocho: you no questions asked apart from where they’ll send the bill to.


#4

Well what I don’t understand is the point of having a lot of followers but with no engagement. My followers are pretty niche specific and I have a pretty good engagement. But the IG isn’t for the advertising, that’s my personal page.

I’m trying to figure out the best way overall to advertise tshirts.


#5

As a professional, as an agency, as an owner, as a former micro influencer and now influencer, I hear this a lot. I hear this all the time.

I would say half my old customers had this attitude and thought that by paying me $100 a month, they could sell $2k in T shirts.

If your goal here is to not learn to grow your account, or find new methods to spread that reach, then your only option is to reach out to an agency in that specializes in your niche and get paid/sponsored posts.

Micro influencers in my area get thousands in free meals/stays/product if they do it properly.

Honestly, drop shipping t shirts from a 4k account is not going to do anything for you other than frustrate you to death.


#6

So you think I should wait until I grow a little bigger? What would be a good number to start off at? I basically want to sell merch as my brand, not just to get money. I have a comedy page where I make funny videos and I want to grow as a brand.


#7

You need to figure out how much you want to make and how can you convert that reach into sales before you worry about monetizing.

If you are simply trying to grow as a brand, I would offer the shirts on the side. Your post basically said to all of us that you intended it as a significant source of income.

If you are a content creator with good content, work on increasing your following until you have the reach and the shirt sales are at least on parity with cost. Otherwise you are going to end up with a product that is too expensive to sell. Can you drop ship 4 shirts a day? That’s going to be very hard with a 4k account.

Perhaps someone else will weigh in here. but to be honest, this topic has been covered and the gurus that do this are all in level 2 or 3. There’s a lot of real knowledge there.

What I would focus on here on mpsocial is how to grow that page, so that you become a brand yourself. Once YOU are the brand, the sales will come naturally.


#8

I see, you sound very knowledgable, I appreciate your input so much :smiley:


#9

I only sound knowledgeable, but I do know enough to talk about it.

I was just watching a flat earther documentary the other day. If you have 4k followers in that niche, sure, you can get money via patreon and sell some shirts because they are true fanatics and hold certain beliefs. If you have 4k followers and 4k real likes and comments per post, you would have a bigger account naturally, as well as you would have no problem converting at least a decent percentage into sales.

When you have a smaller page, a common mistake is to start selling. No one likes to be sold to. You need to figure out how to do it indirectly until you can do it without turning away the people that follow you.

Again, that knowledge is in level 2 and 3.


#10

A short term strategy while you work on everything is to get some T-shirts made and wear them in every photo and video. Don’t talk about them, unless you do it without pitching, or have mastered the art of pitching.

IMO that’s the best way to grow in that niche, although I know squat about it. I’d be interested to hear what others have to say.


#11

So basically free advertising. Wear my own merch?


#12

Absolutely. That’s where I would start.

While you learn about that, I would stick around and learn how to increase your reach/following.


#13

Yes, this is the best forum I’ve been on pertaining to social media marketing. Where has this been all my life haha.


#14

Just to expand on what wortime has basically already talked about.
I don’t know how much experience you have doing this…
Either do as the venerable wor said and become the brand young apprentice - which is what you do if this is your personal account or an account featuring yourself etc.
OR

  1. Pick a niche, get followers from pages within that niche (if you can find a niche page that posts relatively extreme content all the better) - i.e a page that never makes jokes directed at itself/audience to start… audiences that aren’t self-aware typically attract more passionate members.
    Definitely, think of a few more passion indicators before going out to look - the above was the first thing I thought of.

  2. scrape relevant content and post it - or create it!

(All the while you’re sneakily learning from the likes/comments of each post so that you can create some boss t-shirt designs that resonate with your audience.)

  1. Make those shirts.

  2. Profit.

This WILL NOT happen overnight.
The context of your question feels like I can safely say it’ll take at least a year before you start seeing sales from the one IG page. (hint…make more if you have the $$$) - look into sub-niches as well. In fact, if you’re actively involved a niche use your brain to think up sub-niches :brain: = :+1:

Work fast, smart, hard and wait. - Be committed and you’ll beat 95% of your competitors.

Either way; an audience that you amass is a great investment. With automation, most of the work for the first few thousand followers happens before you begin… once things are growing etc you can back burner it and think about other projects to support your income - either by expanding the number of accounts you have or whatever else.


#15

Solid advice!


#16

I have a 44K account for my own brand selling shirts. It’s not enough to live off of. It’s side money. The problem with shirts is that you can only profit as much as you print. So, say you profit $20 per shirt on a $30 shirt after fees, shipping and cost of making the shirt. If you print 100 of a design (which is hard to sell ALL of them), you’ll make $2,000. That’s a lot of work for $2,000. Now, people use Printful (or whoever) to sell shirts, thinking they’ll avoid the cost of printing, shipping, etc, but Printful costs $15 per shirt, so now your profit is $15, meaning you’ll have to sell 133 shirts to profit $2,000.

I actually make more money wholesaling to stores than I do selling on my site.

So just continue to build your account for now.


#17

If you sell Tshirts at 30$ you will need a freaking hot audience. Otherwise you wont convert.


#18

Hoodies are $45
Longsleeve Tees are $40
New Design Tees, Limited Edition and Exclusive Collabs are $30
Older designs on sale are $10-$20
Random single sizes left are $5-$10

I also have a different brand where I sell all tees at $20.

Both are in skate/surf niche. I do free shipping on all orders (send everything First Class Postage).


#19

And how many customers have you had?


#20

I average 200-300 orders per year for the last 6 years.

My best selling item (a hat) has sold 431 times (if you count wholesale orders). Zumiez copied it.

Starting the cheaper brand is my attempt at scaling.

Again, I make more money wholesaling than direct to consumer off my site.