T-Shirt Prices: Finding the Best Price

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / November 2, 2022
selling on amazon

Want to sell t-shirts? If so, you need to be aware of t-shirt prices both for expenses and profits. 

What is pricing, printing, and selling in the t-shirt industry? What are the correct selling prices for a custom t shirt? What actions will make it cheaper in purchasing? What quantity of shirts do you want to buy? Should you increase the costs?

For t-shirt selling success, we compiled a list of steps to find the best price for your custom shirts given their costs and more!

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding Your Expenses
  2. Calculating Potential Profit
  3. Where to Sell for Volume

Step 1: Understand Your Expenses

Tshirt prices rely on a number of factors including costs to make shirts, software or marketplace costs, and professional design fees. To make t-shirt selling profitable, keeping the retail price low is essential.

Pricing Tips: Keep expenses down to be able to compete while selling online or offline.

Costs to Make the Shirts

You need to print shirts to start selling. Generally, the more ink colors you use, the extra money it will cost. This is the time to pay for both quality and quantity. It is cheaper to buy in large quantities or bulk, but you do not want to buy more in bulk than you can sell.

Custom t-shirt pricing is also more expensive. You may be able to buy a standard t-shirt that represents your brand, and avoid creating customer t-shirts. This could significantly reduce your selling prices.

There is a difference between premium and regular print apparel. Premium apparel is much higher quality, but also raises costs. What is the cost to produce different types of shirts?

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Your job is to find the sweet spot for shirt pricing.

Software or Marketplace Costs

Software or marketplace costs are mainly operational. Meaning, they do not go into the actual production of the product. However, they are still important in calculating total spend. Software features are a good part of a well-defined sale strategy.

  • Etsy: Many marketplace fees
  • Shopify: Free trial, but more advanced.
  • Sellfy: Beginner friendly and Free TrialProfessional Design Fees

When it is time to start designing your t-shirt idea, you have to think about if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional.

Remember, when printing, more colors will likely mean higher costs. For this reason, you will want to keep your designs simple to avoid paying for high production costs. A simple, dual colored garment can look just as fine as a crazy, multi-colored one in many cases!

Design Tools for Doing it Yourself:

  • Adobe Photoshop: Expensive
  • Canva: Free and Premium Version
  • Custom Ink: Difficult to Move Platforms

Outsourcing Marketplaces to Hire a Professional:

  • Fivver: Low to medium costs. Dependent on freelancer costs.
  • UpWork: Low to medium costs. Dependent on freelancer costs.

Outside of design costs, here is a list 11 things you can outsource to save money in your business

Shipping Costs (if online)

A shipping cost can minimize sales if the cost are not built into the t-shirt prices. If you are not dropshipping, you may need to calculate both inbound shipping to you and outbound shipping to the customer. This can add up very quickly. The selling price might be majorly the shipping cost once all is calculated at.

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Shipping Tip: You may want to adjust your setting on an online marketplace to be US only.

Most people are afraid of extreme shipping costs that come from over-seas shipping.

Step 2: How Much Profit Can I Make?

After figuring out the costs to produce your shirt, you may be wondering how can I get paid? This step will discuss the strategy to follow to find what to charge per shirt, and to create sales.

Top Questions for Pricing Strategies

  • Competitive pricing: Can you sell the t-shirt at market or competitors prices?
  • Price skimming: Can you market your t-shirt as luxury and sell initially for highest potential price?
  • Penetrating pricing: Can you offer your t-shirt at the lowest possible price?
  • Value-based pricing: Can you conduct research to see customer’s perceived value of the shirt?
  • Bundle pricing: Can you sell multiple t-shirts together and discount the total price?

The gross profit formula and profit margin percentage can help you understand where the selling price may meet at a paying customer along with a healthy profit.

Gross Profit Formula for T-Shirts: 

(Price of T-Shirt) minus (Marketplace Fees + Design Costs + Software Fees + Product Costs)

= Gross Profit

Profit Margin Percentage for T-Shirts:

Gross Profit per shirt divided by Price of T Shirt

= Profit Margin % per T Shirt

Step 3: Where to Sell?

Custom t shirts can be sold in a variety of places. We would recommend to start selling online due to the scale of potential customers. Selling prices for t shirts can depend heavily on selling location.

More Online Marketplaces

A popular option is to sell your t-shirt on online marketplaces made for shirt sales. Here are a few examples:

  • Tee Public
  • Teespring
  • The Yetee
  • Threadless
  • Tostadora
  • ViralStyle
  • Zazzle
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Local Community

Another option away from the online space is to sell your t-shirt to your local community. The main cost would be to the store or event host. Here are a few examples:

  • Pop-up shop
  • Small local store
  • Retail store
  • Grocery Store

Create-Your-Own Store

Another option is to create your own store online to sell your t shirt. Here are a few examples:

  • Shopify: Have to build your own reach, more advanced.
  • Sellfy: Have to build your own reach, beginner friendly.
  • Amazon: Lots of inventory and storage fees if fulfilled my Amazon


The selling price of a t-shirt depends on many factors. But, like with any business, if you calculate the t-shirt cost first, you can have a good idea of where to price t-shirts. Solidifying a retail price at a high profit margin is essential in having a successful retail business.

However, as discussed, do not set the price to high or customers will run away from purchasing your t-shirt.

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About The Author

Erik Nickle

Erik Nickle is a journalist at Under30CEO, who likes to dive into who owns companies. Using company records and internet history, Erik uncovers company owners for inspiration and public knowledge.


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