How to Make The Most Money On Your T-Shirts


Posted by AllDayShirts on to Printing Business Tips

Making money can sometimes be a tricky business, but thankfully this guide is here to help you. Costing your product can make or break your business, and if you outprice your clothing, then your customers won't buy them, but if you underprice, how do you make any money?

As it stands, the global market for the custom t-shirt printing industry is expected to cross 10 billion USD by 2025, so the merch industry is where to be if you're not already there!

Whether you have a retail store or an online shop, if you've got a home printing business and you're not sure about how to price your clothing merch, then we have you covered. Keep reading to find out how to price t-shirts to make the maximum profit for your business.

Research Your Market

The very first step into any marketing business is to research your target market. If you already have an existing customer base, you can dig a bit into your followers' social media and see what they're liking and sharing. You can also do a bit of research on the internet for surveys that have been completed in the past about the clothing industry that could give you a bit of insight you might not have had before.

For example, a recent survey has shown that most Americans prefer clothing items made and produced in the USA. In fact, the results even show that up to 83% of those surveyed conceded that they would pay up to 20% more for USA products.

Once you've done a fair amount of market research, you can begin to define your audience into buyer personas. These personas are basically a map of the type of people buying your product. First, you want to be as detailed as you can with your buyer personas, and then you want to build your marketing strategy around these buyers. Finally, you'll be marketing directly to them, thus increasing your buyer conversions (when the customer moves from the deciding phase to the purchase phase).

How to Price T-Shirts

Everyone has heard the phrase "You have to spend money to make money," and that couldn't be more true with any business. All companies have expenditures that they need to make before they can start turning a profit. So let's have a look at some of the expenditures you need to consider when pricing clothes. We'll take a deeper look into them here.

Production Expenses

There are many factors to figuring out your production expenses. Costs that can accumulate in this category are blank t-shirts or clothing that you want to print onto. Again, the quality of the clothing will affect the pricing, but remember, your customers will most likely prefer quality over price.

Your printing supplies will also come into play here, depending on the type of printing method you're using. Different printing methods will have different overhead pricing. For example, you need to work in the increased electricity bill if you're using a heat press method.

In the beginning, you should also potentially factor in costs of setup, equipment, software, etc. These are usually referred to as fixed expenses. You also have variable expenses, which will fluctuate depending on how much you use them. Examples of this would be ink for your printing, water, as well as electricity. All these prices change depending on how they're used.


Another expenditure is any labor - if you're hiring staff, you will need to factor their wages into your costs. Finally, don't forget to include any designers you use if you're not doing the designs yourself. Chances are, if you're still a relatively small printing business, this cost won't be too high for you just yet.

Packaging Costs

Your business doesn't just end when the customer has made a purchase; you still need to send them their products. With this, you will have to factor in any t-shirt packaging costs like boxes, tissue paper, and marketing inserts. Additionally, small things like adding a personal touch such as a thank you card can make all the difference to the buyer and might be that little edge you need to keep your customers coming back.

Don't forget to also factor in the costs of shipping your products to you.

Selling Expenses

If you're marketing your product, this is where those costs fall under. Your advertising costs will include any Facebook ads, marketplace fees, as well as any fees charged to you from credit card companies if your shop allows card payments.

Formulate a Stellar Pricing Strategy

When you're pricing t-shirts, you have to consider the human element of marketing. Marketing to people adds a level of human emotion into purchasing, and one has to consider this when working on your pricing. If there was no emotion attached to purchases, we could pop all our info into an equation, and hey presto, we'd have a price. Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. People who feel strongly about an item will most likely pay more, whereas if someone feels negative towards your product, they might not be so willing to part with their hard-earned money.

Some good tips to get you going with your pricing strategy are:

Buy in Bulk

Offer discounts if customers buy more than one of the same items. For example, most outlets selling blank t-shirts will have reduced pricing when you purchase certain quantities. If we take a look here, you can see that purchasing your t-shirts in bulk (over $69) gets reduced shipping costs. The savings you make here will go into your profit, so keep an eye out for great deals like that.

Market Research

No, you're not done yet with researching. Have a look at some of your competitors and see what they're pricing their apparel at. By doing this, you don't fall prey to pricing yourself out of the market, and you gather some further research for your buyer personas.

Employ Psychology

A simple trick of setting your pricing is to look into how psychology and human behavior fit in. As we discussed before, people come with their own emotions, and we can play on that a little with our pricing structure. If you round your pricing down from zero, customers who are just scanning for pricing are more likely to purchase if there is some perceived discount.

For example, if you price your t-shirt at $29 instead of $30, the customer will have perceived a bigger discount than just $1.

Profit Margins

Now that you've worked out your overheads and expenses, you've researched your target audience, and created buyer personas to market to; you should have a better place to start working on your profit margins. Let's discuss this in more detail.

First, let's define a profit margin. Your profit margin is the ratio between the profits and expenses over a defined period; for example, a month, a quarter, or a year.

When pricing t-shirts, you will be looking at your gross profit. This is calculated on a single product item and not the business as a whole (which would be your net profit). To determine what this figure will be, you will take the retail price of your t-shirt and then subtract your costs like overhead, materials, etc. You then take this number and divide it by the retail cost, and this will give you the gross profit for your item.

T-Shirt Gross Profit

For example, if you have a t-shirt that retails for $19.99, and your cost for this item is $10, your gross profit would be $9.99 per t-shirt. This equates to a margin of 50%.

  • Total product revenue: $24
  • Total production cost: $9
  • Gross profit: 50-15 = $15
  • Gross profit margin: 15/24 x 100 = 50%.

It has been said that most retailers aim for a profit margin of at least 40%.

Market Testing Your Pricing

Once you've got a killer design and pricing worked out, you'll want to know that it's hitting your target audience correctly and, more importantly, at the right price. So, test your pricing against buyers using social media. For example, you could ask for feedback on a t-shirt printing Facebook group or create Instagram polls to gather market research on your pricing structure. This will also increase your customer engagement on your social media accounts, which will benefit your business.

Sometimes you might find you have to price something under market value, but be cautious when doing this. If you do it too much, you'll end up running at a loss!

You’re Well on Your Way

Running a successful business venture doesn't have to be as daunting as you might expect. With a solid business plan as well as a bit of careful financial planning, you can be turning a profit with your home t-shirt printing business in no time. Hopefully, we've given you a bit more knowledge, so you feel more confident in how to price t-shirts.

If you invest the time needed to work out the costs of running your business and create a good, solid marketing strategy, you could be pulling ahead of the competition in no time.

If you're looking for great quality t-shirts that can help you increase your profit margins, then have a look at the bestseller Gildan G500 from our shop.


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