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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here actually managed to earn enough money to do their tshirt online store full time? [Also anyone aiming for this with hopes some time in the near or distant future?] Id love to hear of anyone whose managed to do that, or is close to doing it... :confused:
 

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ok peeps, dont shoot me down. :) this aint all an about me thingee.....just sharing.

i've managed to earn a living helping people sell online for years.
my first chalange was convincing a local manufaturer the potential of selling online...... back in 1996. Got a few breaks and I've been lucky too.

Mind you at that time, there were NO decent shopping carts in Canada. Thank god for Hi-Way tech in Boca.

I think anyone can doit. Good Designs DO sell.

quitting day job ?

Idea - > Make a plan - > save some money - > Action.





 

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Selling t-shirts (and running websites) is my full time job. Didn't happen overnight, though. Took me about 5 years to really make it happen.

This was starting in 1996 though, when they didn't have the same resources available for selling online as they do today (trying to convince a bank that you can process cards securely online, trying to convince the banker what "online" was, no PayPal, no Google, no Adwords, no Overture, no cafepress, lots of trial and error, working full time, going to school full time, all nighters to 4am)

If have a great idea and good planning, it could probably be done much quicker than 5 years these days. With the right niche and the right marketing plan, it could probably happen in 2 years or less.

I wouldn't limit yourself to just selling t-shirts online to pay the bills. It's good to diversify, so if one area isn't as profitable, then you have other ways of earning income.
 

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Rodney said:
This was starting in 1996 though, when they didn't have the same resources available for selling online as they do today (trying to convince a bank that you can process cards securely online, trying to convince the banker what "online" was, no PayPal, no Google, no Adwords, no Overture, no cafepress, lots of
I feel your pain Rodney. I tried the "online" thing years back and failed miserably. Now, I have a 5-year plan to build up my current business just enough for me to quit my day job, then to expand it once I'm working for myself fulltime.
 

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I just started a on-line store. with one goal to make money and make it my full time job.My plan is a 2 year plan with lot of work. Rodney is right, with
out todays tech... i would have to have a 5 year plan. A good thing for
this forum and the rest of the internet resources.
 

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Great idea Glen to open this subject. It's nice to see how others have started and how are they doing now.

I worked in United Kingdom for a while and returned home a few months ago. Since then I plan to make a living doing what I like the most - graphic design.

By the way, if you're asking where I'm from think at Dracula as I'm in his homeland. Don't be afraid, I won't bite. :D
 

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I did it. It took many long nights coding away, printing t-shirts, researching, and learning. I quit a secure 9-5 programming job and now sell t-shirts and run websites full-time. It's not always easy!
 
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this is a realy inspiring thread. I've made a five year plan as well. When it comes down to it, I'd love to work for myself in the near future, and whether that happens or I do 20 in the AF and then it happens, making a living by working for myself is my ultimate goal. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The most inspiring thing I first caught wind off about the possibility of selling online was over a year ago when I came across a magazine in a store that had one of those cheesy 'start selling by lunctime' slogans slapped across the magazine cover with a cd that came with a free shopping cart.

It wasnt the right software to use in the end, but it got me interested in ecommerce and sure enough like everyone im sure, I came across the internet giant amazon.

Ive read two books on amazon, one is amazon: get big fast and the other is amazonia: accounts by employee number 55. Both very good books.

I know it sounds overly fairy tale-ish but reading about a guy who quit his own job to set up shop in his garage, with two computers slapped on doors for tables, and wrapping packages on their hands and knees and driving those packages down to the post office in their car has a certain air of relative association to it.

I could relate to if not see myself doing the same thing with tshirts, proberly not to the size theyve grown to, but I can see myself in my own garage or spare room using nothing but a mere single pc computer, some packing goods, tshirts and heat transfers making a buck.

The other thing I really love the idea of, is that a) websites are the great equalizer! , you could snap up a seriously professional website and look like your on the same playing field as the big boys and b) your customers could come from anywhere. Some random could be sipping coffee in japan [assuming they read english lol] and come across my site, the next Ive got someone from germany, or sweeden, or italy, or russia. I dunno about you guys, but that sort of customer base just sounds really cool.

Yes, we proberly wont make hundreads of millions of dollars, but I dont think its that unrealistic to assume that if played right... and I mean if played really right, you could make a fairly decent wage.

And although making squillions would be nice, I would be happier being able to proudly say "Yes, I work at home, I pay my own bills, Im my own boss, I decide what I do and my shop is my website"

Now that... is cool. :)

P.S It seems to be a pattern that 2 years is a realistic time frame to get it happening, I seem to agree with this, I hate having to take 2 years cause I want it now now now, but 2 years seems a reasonable and realistic goal. So I'd say two years too for my own tshirt online store!
 

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"And although making squillions would be nice, I would be happier being able to proudly say "Yes, I work at home, I pay my own bills, Im my own boss, I decide what I do and my shop is my website"



Can I get an AMEN????:D:D :D


 

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SpacemanFL said:
"And although making squillions would be nice, I would be happier being able to proudly say "Yes, I work at home, I pay my own bills, Im my own boss, I decide what I do and my shop is my website"



Can I get an AMEN????:D:D :D
AMEN!!!!! :D
 

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making a living it on line will not work for 95% of the people that have even the best looking website... unless they are willing to advertise, promote, expose their business to the people they want to reach. That means reaching out beyond just their website.. It is not like the movie "Build it and they will come" Most of the site are set up as designer tee's, funny and political sayings and I am sure they sell a few tees. What happens is the human condition takes over for the owners of those sites. They get enthused about getting their great idea up and then they don't see the sales come rushing in as expected and then they lose interest. They may a sell a few shirts to friends and family but most don't operate business they operate a website. a business requires other aliments to be successful. If you have screen printing equipment or a heat press you need to figure out what to use this equipment for. I see a lot of you ask how to reach stores and distributors and I have answered those questions a number of times. They type of tees that most of you produce are really great stuff but your challenge is your doing what everyone else is doing. A lot of you use the cafepress and companies like that. You and 50,000 others. Unbelievable competition. So if you want to make this a full time job you need to diversify and do other things with that equipment. You need to run a business that produces product using your equipment which I know is an expensive investment. You can still do the web thing, I do. I have 4 sites up. But I found that what is paying my bills is I use my equipment and run a business.
I do tees, tote bags, puzzles, mouse pads. I just did a preschool and have 2 other schools later this month. I have tote bags in Souvenir shops in the east and here in the west. I do personalized tees working with a local photographer. And yet I have tees on cafepress and a site for deco tees and a site for my marketing company and a site just for my totes and a site for my tee business. Am I making money.. yes am I getting rich.. not even close.. Hey, that's just me.
 

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I agree with you lou. My plan is to quit my job at the end of the year and set up a plan to sale at events next year. I know that a net site is not going to get me where I want to be. I would like to move to a full line of tees and other clothing for the niche I'm in.

I think you should have a full plan and a back up plan. If my niche don't work, I'll move to doing something else with the equipment.
 

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Lou, most of what you are saying is true, and t-shirtforums.com is proof of it. This place goes through members so quickly its crazy. People come here all gung ho, and then somewhere along the line, the enthusiasm fades, and people move on.

In order for a business to be successfull, you have to go in with the mindset that you are in it for the long haul, not for the short term. Thats the main thing, and you have to have a marketable product.
 

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I guess to simplify what Lou said, "business is all about supply and demand". :D You got the "supply" now go generate or find that "demand". "Supply" is easy to create, "demand" requires some work.
 

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Vtec44 said:
I guess to simplify what Lou said, "business is all about supply and demand". :D You got the "supply" now go generate or find that "demand". "Supply" is easy to create, "demand" requires some work.
Yup, you got that right! If you're willing to work hard and get over every obstacle your business will become better and better.
 

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Lou, most of what you are saying is true, and t-shirtforums.com is proof of it. This place goes through members so quickly its crazy. People come here all gung ho, and then somewhere along the line, the enthusiasm fades, and people move on.
I don't know if all the members we never hear from again have just lost enthusiasm. A lot of them find the information they needed and get busy starting (or continuing with) their t-shirt business.

Running your own business isn't for everyone. But once you've decided it's for you and you can't think of doing anything else, you just have to realize that it's not all about designing or all about making a website.

It's like Glengary Glen Ross. You've gotta remember your ABC's. Always Be Closing (or ABM - always be marketing).

Without marketing your website or advertising your business, you won't go anywhere. That doesn't mean telling a few friends or posting on myspace. That means doing everything possible to let your potential customers know where you are and why they should be buying.

You just have to remember to take the artist hat off and put the business cap on for a few hours a day :)
 
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