How To Sell T-Shirts Online Without Inventory

Are you interested in selling t-shirts online to maximize the market opportunity created by an increased craving for continuous upgrade of one’s fashion sense in our social media-driven society?

And do you know you can do this business without the concerns of having an inventory?

This write-up will guide you on the steps to follow to get this done.


To get started on your journey of selling t-shirts online without inventory, there are basic things you need to first consider.

Do your research

For you to go into the business of selling shirts online, you have to properly research the business for the areas you need to consider which are paramount to your success and guarantee that you make gains in your sales.

What is trending?

To successfully engage in the business of selling t-shirts online, you must first know what is trending as it concerns t-shirts designs.

You have to find out the catchphrases or logos people desire to see on their shirts, the colors that are now in vogue, and even as little things as the age-grade that purchase more t-shirts and the quality that sells faster.

When you get all this data then you can be sure of the market demand and know for sure if the business will be profitable.

What am I up against?

It is common knowledge that “there’s nothing new under the Sun”. That is to say, any business you want to consider, you won’t be the first to start. Therefore, you have to check the competition.

How big they are, how efficient is their business, how is their delivery, and how their output in terms of design and quality is.

Armed with this information you can position yourself to take your share of the market.

Is there a space for me?

After knowing who your competition is in the sales of t-shirts in the online space, you have to ascertain if there is a space for you to fit in.

Is there a niche that is not properly covered, is there a set of people whose needs have not been fully considered in the sales of t-shirts online? Then this can be your target audience.

What can I do differently?

In a world of consistent innovation, it is important to consider in your quest for marketing and selling t-shirts online what you can do differently in other to stand out in the online space only in this way can you face the competition.

If the competitions are churning out mainly white shirts, is it possible to consider a black shirt with amazing white designs that will still look trendy?

When the competition is coming up with a certain quality can you take it a notch higher and still be within the budget?

With the competition going with a certain form of design, can you tweak it a bit or come up with something unique but fanciful?

Can you do a customized design to fit a certain group of people?

Will you be able to introduce designs that will spark up a new revolution, birth a new catchphrase, or start a new hashtag?

This and more have to be considered before you start the t-shirt business online.

Choose the platform to work with

There are different ways of selling t-shirts online, among them are:

  1. Direct sales using a website the is connected to affiliate marketing sites
  2. Print on demand. (POD)

Both of the ways mentioned above have their upside and down tones but to sell T-shirts online without inventory we are going to be considering the second option; print on demand.

What is print on demand?

It is a business strategy of working with a fulfillment partner (FP), that is someone or an organization who can work on or work with your personalized design to produce and deliver t-shirts on your behalf.

What’s more, if you want to push your brand you can consider the white labeling option which involves your fulfillment partner making themselves less visible.

They achieve this by putting your labels on the shipping packages and integrating your online store into their website.


There are a lot of outlets out there that offer print-on-demand services like Printful and Printify all with different strategies and working mechanisms tailored to suit different business models.

To choose the right print-on-demand service provider to engage, you have to consider three major areas;

  1. Shipping time: you must ensure that the organization you are choosing meets the stipulated shipping time frame displayed on your online shopping store and your customers are guaranteed to get their orders as at when due.
  2. Packaging: the package in which the customers receive their delivery is very important and will determine if you are going to be in business for long or will pack up soon.

If the delivery arrives in a well-packed box branded, it will go a long way in securing you more patronage.

  1. Quality: One of the downturns of shopping online is the fact that you can’t ascertain the quality of materials before ordering but order based on trust. It is therefore important as an online store, to ensure that the t-shirts being delivered to your customer are of good quality and give sufficient value for the amount paid.


Now that you have done proper research and know your market, you understand your competition and you have selected your print-on-demand partner.

The next thing is going into sales.

  • Design and upload

To be a successful t-shirt seller and get good patronage, you have to produce and churn out impressive and trendy designs that are not only eye-catching but flow with the trends of the day.

Design ideas

Many things will inform your design ideas like pets, certain brands, history, politics, careers, catchphrases, or humans the list is endless but no matter what you use you should ensure it appeals to your target audience and remains so over time.

Design tools

Another thing to consider when thinking of design is the tool you use to get your designs out. There are a lot of tools out there that designers use depending on personalities, intricacies of design, and the required output.

There are some options like canvas, creative market, up splash, Shutterstock, and a host of others. The list is endless so choose which is flexible for you to use in bringing out your amazing designs from imagination to reality.

Furthermore, you might consider outsourcing the design to an established designer with proven capacity.

  • Receive Samples

After getting your design across to your desired print-on-demand outlet, you have to test run their services before getting them to service your customers so your business is not dead on arrival.

Make a lovely design for yourself and have it delivered that way, you can be sure of delivery time, their packaging, and the quality of material supplied.

  • Flagship/Roll Out

After you have done your design and a test run by getting a sample the next thing is getting to the sales proper.

  1. Get an online shopping front. This can be done in two ways
  2. Getting a personalized website for your store
  3. Having an integrated site to an online shop or the print on the demand service provider you are using
  4. Listings. To do sell t-shirts successfully online, you need to have as much presence as possible. Therefore the next thing to do is list the products on various sites so you can receive lots of traffic aside from your local contacts. These listings could be on Shopify, eBay, Amazon, or the likes.


  1. Flexibility and convenience. It gives you time and convenience to do or handle other jobs or engagement
  2. Easy to set up
  3. No prior experience and inventory needed
  4. It is not dependent on location. Orders and deliveries can come from within or outside your location and be serviced without you being physically present.
  5. No initial deposits or costs are required, with that flexibility in the payment you don’t need an exorbitant startup capital
  6. You make a profit while you sleep. Is that not the dream we all have? Go ahead and live the dream.

In conclusion, you can gainfully sell t-shirt online without inventory by due diligence in researching the market and using a good print-on-demand service provider.

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