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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have done a number of searches on the site to try to find a satisfying answer to my question but I haven't been able to find a suitable one. If I have missed something I apologise. So here goes...

I am at the very very beginning of starting up an online t-shirt business. I found this site the other day, it is a great resource and I have been reading posts for hours today.
My question is a little personal so I completely understand if people don't want to post (although it would be great if you could post something) or at least don't want to post specifics. It would be awesome if you could give a rough idea though.
I am curious as to whether it is possible to earn a decent income from an online t-shirt business? (Obviously there is lots of competition). It appears that you can earn good money if you're printing the shirts yourself and taking on bulk orders from customers wanting their own design etc. However, if you are outsourcing the printing and just selling your own unique designs is it possible to generate a decent income?
I would (and I'm sure others would) really appreciate it if you could reply with more than simply, "Yes, you can earn a decent living from this" or "Yes, there are people making good money".

I have tried searching on the web for info on this too but I just can't seem to find anything that can give an idea of what is possible and what would be a reasonable expectation.
 

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Hi,

I think there was a similar post where some people actually posted their income/profit margins.

I will only say what you don't want to hear: that it is all relative to your target market and how you sell. Some people do really well with a custom print business, others do well with their own private line. I don't think you will find a clear cut answer but will have to disover what you will be good at selling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks for replying. I completely understand that it all depends on your own product offering and the way you go about handling your business but I am just interested in what is possible. I will be starting from scratch, doing everything myself and I have very little knowledge of each aspect. I don't want to do all that work if there isn't going to come a time when I feel it was worth it.
What is 'doing well' That's what I am asking ;)

I've really tried to find a post like the one you mentioned but I haven't. So if you have any idea where I could find it or if someone else knows then please give me more info. I read something where people were only giving examples - it included talking about buying certain printing equipment.
 

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but I am just interested in what is possible
EVERYTHING is possible. That's the problem in answering that question.

You can be anywhere from losing thousands of dollars to making millions of dollars.

There are really too many variables to say what kind of profit can be achieved.

It's not like a salary job where you can say "Dental Assistants in Minnesota make an average of $50,000 per year". It's a sales job where you control the outcome (somewhat). So you could make $1 or you could make $10,000,000. Or you could lose your shirt.

It's all possible.

The thread that Kris linked to above is the main one that discusses this in great length.
 

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Thanks for the reply Rodney. Yeah I believe myself that anything is possible. I just kinda wanted some idea of what was going on out there, some sort of gauge. Maybe a measuring stick if you will.

"Or you could lose your shirt." Nice haha

Well since you have replied there was a couple of other things.
 

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I just kinda wanted some idea of what was going on out there, some sort of gauge. Maybe a measuring stick if you will.
That's part of the point I was trying to make above. It's not only possible, it's happening right now.

There are people losing thousands of dollars and there are people making millions of dollars making t-shirts. It's all going on right now.

There's no gauge really. There's no way to say whether you'll be one of the ones making $1 or whether you'll be one of the ones making $10,000,000

I will say though, if you're getting into this based on the amount of money you want to make, you're getting into it for the wrong reasons.
 

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There are some that can make it big;
theres also some that will be gone in under two years. A lot of small businesses, the majority probably, don't make it out of the first two years.

For the most part, people do this because they simply love it! I'm a fulltime accountant, but I do this because I've always loved it since I was a young teen; so I really don't care how much a make.
 

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I will say though, if you're getting into this based on the amount of money you want to make, you're getting into it for the wrong reasons.
Very true...Do what you love and the money will eventual follow. Fact of the matter is that this is NOT easy money and just doing it because you love doing it will get you through and help to keep a positive attitude when you're not making money.
 

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A couple of reasons that this is so difficult besides the info in prior posts is that your income is to a large part dependent on your expenses...do you have lease payments on the equipment, how about overheard, web hosting, phone lines, product shipping costs...I can get a shirt to me overnight at little cost as I am close to the shipping point. also you have to consider how much time you have to devote. I can assure you that if you quit a job to do this full time, you will probably fail within 6-9 months unless you have a rather large nest egg.. I think a lot of us started by outsourcing the printing at first as needed...you might want to consider that

but welcome to the forum...and enjoy
 
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