Get the Shirt Here

So, where did this come from, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Over the last couple of years, I have noticed more politically charged shirts, and I saw one at a recent college football game. Then I said to my self "What kind of Offensive shirt would I wear?"  And the answer is I wouldn't, but I would wear a funny or witty shirt. YES! My favorite shirt of all time is an AC/DC shirt. It isn't a shirt for the rock band but a picture of Nicola Tesla (of Alternate Current fame) and Thomas Edison (of Direct Current fame).

Then I had a light bulb moment. I could make an "Offensive Shirt" that wouldn't offend anyone. Now to make the idea a reality by selling it online.  Next step, execution. How do I produce the shirt without spending any money and spending very little time? That is what the rest of this post will lay out, but let me answer some questions before we get to that and if you want a sneak-peek, click here.

  • Will I make money on this venture?  My expectation is I will make tens of dollars and only if my mom and all her friends buy some shirts.
  • Why are the shirts expensive? Because I don't know what I am doing, and I don't want to lose money. Since this is my first rodeo, I am not sure how shipping and transaction fees will work.
  • How will I make money? My shopping cart provider will handle the transactions, and I will pay the shirt manufacturer.
  • Couldn't someone else steal this idea, especially if they know what they are doing? Absolutely! If someone knows the shirt industry and sees potential, they could quickly lower the cost and market the shirt better than I could.
  • Could I make an account and get the shirts myself? Yes
  • Why do this then? I did this because it made me laugh, and it isn't always about the money. Adults should be able to have fun and tinker.

1. Choose Your Manufacturer

Step one is figuring out who is going to make the shirt.  Finding a shirt manufacture is much easier than I expected.  Google "T-shirt companies that dropship."  Then I did research on which to use.

  • Printify - Uses a network of local providers, like FTD, which uses local flower shops to deliver flowers. You can choose from 100's of products.
  • Printiful - Manufactures and drop ships the shirts or other items.
  • Teespring - Focuses on selling items on social networks.

These providers allow easy creation and shipping. Ultimately, I chose Printiful for this experiment because of the free integration with the blog shopping cart.

2. Choose your Shopping Cart or Web Integration

So you have chosen Print on Demand Provider (another good Google Search).  The next step is to find out how to take payments on your Website or blog. Choosing a shopping cart is a simple step because your Website will determine the best route.  For example, if you use Wix, there is probably integration with your manufacturer, but you will need to pay more for your blog.  Other options are to use a 3rd party shopping cart solution.  I looked at Shopify and Big Commerce but required a monthly subscription.  Eventually, I decided on Gumroad because there is no cost unless you sell an item, and it integrates with Printiful.  They charge 9% plus $0.30 per transaction.  Most importantly, it integrated with the Printiful and my Website.

3. Design Your Product

Designing your product is the most fun part of this process. It is incredible how many options there are, and if you aren't looking to sell, you can design and buy for yourself. If you want another coffee mug, make a mug. If you want to make a hat, make a hat. Go forth and create, my friend.

One of the cool things I forgot to mention is Printiful provides images with models. Easy peasy, and it looks so professional. And if you want to buy the shirt, you made you can do that too.

I am looking forward to buying the entire family an "Offensive Shirt."

4. Connect your Print On Demand with your eCommerce provider

Connecting your Print on Demand Provider and your shopping cart is pretty straightforward, and your providers will provide documentation.  In my case, I had to set up a product on Gumroad and then Connect each product with Printiful.  If I were paying a monthly fee, my cart would look a lot better, but I am cheap, and this was only an experiment.  Practically what this means is that each product on Gumroad has to be an individual shirt, so my Blue shirt has a button for Small, Medium, and Large. In contrast, Shopify or Big Commerce would have a single button or embed code that allows the user to select the color and size of the shirt.

5 Make a Page and Embed the product

The next step is to make a page and add the embed code.  Once the product is live, all you need to do is put an embed code on your page. The embed code is usually a javascript snippet that turns your page into a store.

Gumroad looks a little something like this.

Like magic, the Website now has a shopping cart.

‌‌So there you have it. Remember, with much power comes much responsibility and hopefully some more funny shirts.