How to sell T-shirts online: A quick guide

how to sell tshirts online
(Last Updated On: January 5, 2023)

T-shirts are more than just a piece of garment: it can be a fashion statement to a casual outfit, our own personal storyboards, to uniform attires. So, it’s safe to say that t-shirts are not just a clothing, it’s an emotion.

Selling t-shirts online in India is a business idea that requires less capital to start. It makes for a great first business for new entrepreneurs.

Selling t-shirts is a profitable and affordable business idea that makes for a great first business for new entrepreneurs

However, you will need to do a lot of research before using this idea to start a profitable online business. And, we have done much of that research for you.

In this quick guide, you’ll get to know about every step on how to start a t-shirt business online in India — from finding an idea to acquiring your first customer.

How to sell t-shirts online

Follow these simple steps to start selling t-shirts online and start a profitable eCommerce business:

  1. Decide your niche and audience
  2. Create your designs
  3. Source materials and equipments
  4. Setting up your online t-shirt store

Decide your niche and audience

Finding the niche for your t-shirt business must be your first step — even before thinking about buying supplies.

For example, selling t-shirts for women – this category is too broad. T-shirts for women who like cats – now that’s a specific niche, good for t-shirt branding.

BeBachkodan Instamojo merchant store, sells happiness with t-shirts. Their funky t-shirt designs make you smile.

how to sell tshirts online

Who did BeBachkod target with their tees? They believe that your appearance defines your personality and wants anyone who wants to wear their personality on their sleeve to buy a t-shirt! Read more about their journey – How Bebachkod sells Happiness with t-shirts

Niche is the heart of your business. It defines what your business stands for and who it serves. Decide who you want to sell t-shirts to.

Define your ideal customer. This means, the customer who loves the t-shirts you sell, buys them more than once, and recommends your business.

Everyone can wear a t-shirt. But, you need to narrow down your audience even more to get your business on track. Here are some tips to help you decide on a niche for your t-shirt business.

Search Google Trends for trending topics
google trends
Trending Netflix shows according to Google Trends

Every time a new trend emerges, t-shirts with related designs becomes in-demand. So, keep a look out for what people are searching for on Google. You’ll find an audience who share a similar interest. This interest can be the foundation of your t-shirt business.

Your own interests

Why not start a t-shirt business based on your interests? Make a list of what of you love and find out its potential as a business.

Research on social media

Once you have decided on a target audience, scrounge social media to find out where their interests lie. Join Facebook groups related to your niche and find find out everything about it.

Analyse competitors

When you choose a niche, analyse the competitors. This will help you understand how you will have to stand out. Find a gap in the market- focus on a theme that is not already in the market. This will make your t-shirt brand recognisable.

8 most popular niches for online t-shirt business

  • Pets
  • jobs
  • movies/series
  • jokes
  • lifestyle or hobbies
  • family
  • travel
  • seasonal

Create your designs 

Once you have decided on your niche and audience, it’s time to find and make designs for your t-shirts!

T-shirts are high in-demand in the market. So, you will need to come up with designs and themes that make a statement and attracts customers. For example, Marathikida sells tees that relate to anyone who speaks Marathi.

Sign up here to get your own fully functional online store for free.

sell t-shirts online
Marathikida online store on Instamojo platform

Read on to find out how to find inspiration for t-shirt designs and where to create them.

Finding inspiration for t-shirt designs

It will be easier to find inspiration once you have decided on a niche. Below are a few ways to discover t-shirt graphic designs to put on a shirt.

1. Searching With Pinterest

Pinterest is the best place to find visual inspiration. Just type your niche’s keyword and the word ‘T-shirt’. You will find hundreds of design inspiration.

inspiration for tshirt business
Inspiration for travel t-shirt designs on Pinterest

Pinterest will also help you narrow down your search by displaying popular keywords associated with your initial search. You could also try searching the keywords ‘niche + calligraphy’, ‘niche + quotes’ for design ideas.

2. Searching via Google images

You can find unique t-shirt designs via Google images.Try a combination of different keywords, such as niche + quotes, niche + funny, niche + joke, niche + quotes, niche + slang.


sell engineers t-shirt online
Google search for – t-shirts for developer

Caution: Be careful not to use an artist’s images or copyrighted items to avoid a lawsuit. 

How to get your designs done

How will you get your ideas designed?

If you are familiar with graphic designing, you can design t-shirts using tools such as Canva or Photoshop.

Your other option is to hire a designer. There are a wide variety of tools and communities you can use to find a suitable graphic designer to help with your t-shirt designing. Here are some of them:

Source materials and equipments

To sell t-shirts online, you will obviously need to source plain t-shirts to print your designs. Depending on your business model, you have to buy them either in bulk or partner with a print-on-demand dropshippers. 

A simple Google search will help you find wholesale dealers that sell plain t-shirts in bulk. Here are a few sources:

Order samples from a few places before buying in bulk. And select based on quality.

What equipments are needed to sell t-shirts online? You need to find printing equipments for printing designs on the t-shirts.

printing machine t-shirts
Heat press printer. Source: Indiamart

Other than this, you can also partner with a print-on-demand business to minimise cost of buying the equipment. Find businesses who offer wholesale t-shirt printing in bulk. You can find them online or even near your location (tip- use Google maps).

Setting up your online t-shirt store

The best way to sell t-shirts online is on your own online store. Creating your own eCommerce website to sell t-shirts online is the biggest and most important step you will be taking. It’s when you see all your business ideas and dreams manifesting into reality!

Once you start setting up your online store, you will finally see your business ideas and dreams manifesting into reality

You have your t-shirts designed, printed, and ready to find its customers. It’s time to reach your target audience online. An eCommerce website is the best way to do that.

how to sell t-shirts online
Bebachkod – Instamojo merchant store

With eCommerce platforms like Instamojo, it’s never been easier to setup a fully-functional online store to sell your products online. In a matter of a few hours, you can sign up and start selling t-shirts online.

And, you can start for free!

Watch this short video on how to start your own online store with Instamojo:

Take the first step

The key to start a profitable and sustainable t-shirt business online is to sell unique t-shirts. And these t-shirts should strike a cord with your target audience.

To reach a wide customer base so that your products can be found, having an online store of your own is necessary. You can create a free online store to get started.

Want to see how your online store will look like? Sign up for free on Instamojo and start creating the store of your dreams! 


Start your own online store


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