If you are looking for a way to start an online business without needing to invest money upfront, you might want to consider selling print-on-demand t-shirts.
The print-on-demand business model is becoming increasingly popular as it allows anyone to start selling branded clothing, mugs, and other items without purchasing stock upfront.
What Is Print On Demand?
Print on demand is a form of dropshipping where you sell t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, pillows, and other items without actually purchasing and storing them yourself.
With dropshipping, you set up a store, list your products, and forward orders that come in to your supplier, who ships products to your customers for you.
With print on demand, not only does your supplier handle shipping for you, but they also print your custom logo on the t-shirt, mug, or other items before they ship it out. This way, you can set up a store and sell various branded items at no cost.
Both of these suppliers not only produce and ship the products for you but also give you a marketplace to sell your products without having your own website.
Also Read: Best Print On Demand Sites
Who Are Teespring And Spreadshirt For?
Both Teespring and Spreadshirt are for people interested in selling branded clothing and other accessories.
Perhaps you are a designer and would like to turn your designing skills into an online business.
You don’t need to have design skills of your own; you can also hire a freelance designer to create stunning designs for you.
Teespring and Spreadshirt are also for people who already have their own businesses and would like to create brand loyalty and awareness by selling branded caps and other clothing.
They can be used by teams who are selling clothing to fans, by organizations raising money for charity, and by event organizers.
If you run a YouTube channel or popular Instagram account, you can also use Teespring and Spreadshirt to sell to your fans and make a little extra money on the side. However, for some channels, Teespring might be a better option, as we will see later.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s get right into it: How do Teespring and Spreadshirt measure up to each other?
What Can You Sell?
What kinds of products can you sell to your fans? You may be interested in selling t-shirts, you might want to focus on technology accessories like phone cases, or you might want to sell household items like wall tapestries and pillows.
Teespring has a decent catalog with various products to choose from. If you want to sell clothing, you can sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, leggings, tank tops, and more.
You can also sell tote bags, mugs, stickers, phone cases, towels, wall tapestries, posters, pillows, and other accessories.
The list isn’t that long, but it’s decent. Still, for many products, there will only be one variation to choose from.
Of course, you can always offer different colors and sizes. However, when it comes to variations of a product (such as a classic t-shirt and a v-neck t-shirt), you won’t always have many options.
Explore: Printify Vs Teespring
Spreadshirt’s catalog is not the largest in the print-on-demand industry, but it is a bit larger than Teespring’s.
Teespring, for example, has seven variations of men’s t-shirts you can choose from. Spreadshirt, on the other hand, has 15.
Teespring has three different options for hoodies overall, while Spreadshirt has eight different options for just men’s hoodies.
If you want to sell mugs on Teespring, there is only one type of mug you can sell (though you can sell it in different colors).
On Spreadshirt, on the other hand, you can choose from various different types of mugs and bottles: A regular white mug, a camper mug, a travel mug, a mason jar, a water bottle, and more.
What does this mean for you?
For most people, Teespring’s selection will be just fine. Most content creators on YouTube, for example, are selling the same things: T-shirts, non-sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, and stickers.
If you are selling to your existing fans, selling standard merch is fine. T-shirts and mugs are used often by people, and most people will be glad to buy t-shirts and mugs with your logo.
However, if you want to diversify your store selection and add some variations, Spreadshirt will give you a bit more flexibility.
Where Can You Sell?
Once you have decided which products you want to brand and sell, the next question is: Where will you sell them?
Will it be on your own website? On a print-on-demand marketplace? On YouTube?
Teespring sellers sell on the Teespring marketplace. This means that you won’t have to set up your own store.
You can save money on a domain name and hosting, and you won’t have to worry about web development or figuring out how to use Shopify.
Since you will be selling on the Teespring marketplace, you will also have access to built-in traffic. Even if you don’t already have a brand or a YouTube channel, you can start reaching people and making sales right away.
As long as your designs are funny, interesting, stand out, and make people want to wear them, you can start making money from scratch.
However, just because you are selling on Teespring, that doesn’t mean that it’s like eBay and Amazon. You can get your own, personalized storefront.
You don’t have to create a storefront, but doing so will help you make more sales. According to Teespring, products sold in storefronts get 20 percent more sales.
Your custom storefront will have your own, unique banner, and header. You can decide which products you want to display in your storefront.
You can create a few different storefronts.
For example, you can sell all of your t-shirts in one storefront and your mugs in another. Perhaps a better idea would be to create different storefronts for different designs or fan bases, regardless of the types of products sold.
Teespring shows recommended products and selections to its visitors, so you have a chance of getting even more sales. In addition, there is something called the Teespring Boosted Network, which means you can get sales from people who never even visit Teespring.
Teespring automatically lists products on external marketplaces, including eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, Wish, JD.com, and Rakuten. This means that customers on those platforms can find your products and place purchases without prior knowledge of what Teespring is.
Not all products will be displayed on those networks; Teespring will decide which ones will be shown and which ones won’t.
What Teespring has that Spreadshirt doesn’t is built-in integrations with various social media platforms so you can sell to your fans on those channels.
Let’s start with YouTube. If you follow popular YouTubers, you’ve probably seen branded merchandise displayed on a virtual “shelf” under their videos.
Interesting Comparison: Printful Vs Printify
This YouTube shelf is made possible with Teespring. Not every seller is eligible; you must have over 10,000 US YouTube subscribers and be in the YouTube Partner Program.
Nevertheless, if the reason you want to sell branded t-shirts is that you want to monetize your existing YouTube channel beyond YouTube ads, Teespring is a great way to do so.
Not only will your products be more visible and get more conversions compared to if you had just put a link to your store in your video description, but you will also earn a $1 bonus on each sale made through YouTube.
Products will be more visible because images of them will be displayed under your videos at all times. In addition, conversion rates will be higher because YouTube viewers will be able to check out straight from YouTube.
The same applies to Twitch. You can display your products next to your stream, and fans can purchase them without leaving your stream.
In addition, Teespring integrates with Discord and Streamlabs so that purchase alerts can show up in Discord.
Teespring also has an integration with Instagram that allows you to sell products directly on Instagram so your followers can check out without leaving the Instagram app. Instagram only allows a few major companies to do this, and Teespring is one of them.
However, not all Teespring sellers are eligible for this; there are very strict requirements to be able to use this feature.
Spreadshirt actually gives you a choice: You can sell on the Spreadshirt marketplace or you can sell on your own Shopify store.
There is a third option as well, which is to create a Spreadshop store on Spreadshirt’s sister site.
Like selling on the Teespring marketplace, selling on the Spreadshirt marketplace allows you to reach more people.
In addition, like Teespring, Spreadshirt sells some products (but not all) on their Amazon and eBay channels.
On the other hand, if you want to have more flexibility in your store design, you can integrate with Shopify and sell on your own Shopify store. This way, people won’t know that you are using Spreadshirt as your t-shirt supplier.
Of course, if you decide to sell on Shopify, you will be responsible for driving traffic there yourself.
If you decide to sell on Shopify, you can even allow your customers to customize your t-shirts themselves. This is because Spreadshirt has a design tool for customers that allows them to take a branded t-shirt and customize it by adding their own text.
This tool integrates with Shopify and will show up right on your website.
Also Read: Printify Review
How Much Money Can You Make?
At the end of the day, what most people want to know boils down to this: How much money can be made? Let’s look at the two platforms’ earning schemes.
Teespring is great because it allows you to control your own profits. You do this by setting price margins.
For example, let’s say a t-shirt costs $10 on Teespring. This is the base price of the item.
If you want to earn an $8 profit per sale, you can sell the shirt for $18 (if you have a very loyal fan base, you could probably get away with selling a product for 2-3x the base price as long as your logo is on it).
When a customer makes a purchase, they pay $18. Then, Teespring will pay you $8.
It’s pretty simple, isn’t it?
To get paid, you have to request a payout. You can get paid either via PayPal or Payoneer.
Spreadshirt introduced a new pricing module on March 2nd, 2020. Under the new pricing module, you will earn a fixed commission on all sales.
This means that unlike with Teespring, you can’t control your own profits. For a full list of the commission rates you will earn for each product, go to this page.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are different commissions for products sold in the Spreadshirt marketplace and products sold on external marketplaces (Amazon and eBay).
For example, you will earn a $3 commission by selling a men’s t-shirt on Spreadshirt and a $2.55 commission if a customer buys it on Amazon.
In addition, if a customer uses the Customize tool in the marketplace and orders one of your products through it, you will earn a flat rate of only $3.
Of course, this is worse for you as you cannot control your own profits. The workaround is to open another channel on Spreadshirt’s sister site, Spreadshop.
Also Read: Printful Vs Print Aura
You can do this in your Spreadshirt account, so it won’t take too much work. By setting up a Spreadshop account, you will have a bit more flexibility and also be able to reach Spreadshop visitors.
Is It Easy To Design Products?
Let’s talk a bit about the designer tool. How easy is it to use each platform in general, and to design clothing using the mockup tool in particular?
Teespring has a clean interface and a very easy-to-use designer tool. Start by picking your desired item to sell in the Design Launcher.
You can upload an image and position it anywhere on the product. You can also add text (you can customize the text color, fonts, size, etc.).
You can change the color of the product and set your price right in the design tool.
You will be able to preview how the finished product will appear from various angles. Of course, this is just a mockup preview; if you really want to see what your product will look like in real life it is better to order a paid sample.
Explore: Best Shopify Print On Demand Apps
While the overall Spreadshirt website is a bit more cluttered than Teespring’s, its design tool is fairly easy to figure out too. Start by uploading an image or design.
Once you have done that, you can start applying that design to products.
You’ll be able to position your design anywhere on the product, change its dimensions, and put it on different sides of the product (like on the front and back of a t-shirt). You’ll also be able to change the product color.
One thing I did not see was the option to add free-style text. Perhaps it gives you the option to do so for some products, but at least for some products like t-shirts, you will have to create an image file of the text and then upload it.
Both Teespring and Spreadshirt are entirely free to use. It does not cost any money to create a store on either platform.
While both Teespring and Spreadshirt are likely to continue to be free, it is recommended to check their signup pages for updated information.
You can sign up for Teespring here.
You can sign up for Spreadshirt here.
Similarities And Differences
Here is a quick table outlining the main similarities and differences between the two channels:
Check Out: Best T-shirt Dropshipping Companies
Is Teespring Better For YouTubers And Twitch Streamers?
Before wrapping up this article, it’s important to stress that different platforms work better for people in different situations and with different goals.
If you have a popular YouTube channel with over 10,000 subscribers in the United States, you can use Teespring to display products on a virtual shelf under your videos. If you are a popular Twitch streamer, you can do the same.
In those cases, your focus is probably on getting branded t-shirts, mugs, and other standard accessories in front of your most loyal fans. Teespring is great for that.
On the other hand, as we have seen, Spreadshirt offers more flexibility overall. There are more products to choose from and there are more platforms you can sell on (Shopify, the Spreadshirt marketplace, and your unique Spreadshop store).
Wrapping It Up — Teespring Vs Spreadshirt
Spreadshirt will give you more selling options if you are looking to start a new business.
Whether you want to sell on your own Shopify store and run Facebook ads or sell on Spreadshirt and Spreadshop, you have options.
As such, Spreadshirt is the best option to start your new print-on-demand business.
Hi guys..this is Brian. I started my first e-commerce company in college designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using Print-On-Demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7 figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you get succeed.