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Custom T-Shirt Printing: How to create a successful Etsy business

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by Startacus Admin

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Etsy is the online marketplace with a difference. Instead of branded products that you can buy almost anywhere, the platform only focuses on the unique. It’s a great place for creative start-ups and small businesses who sell handmade or vintage items to those who want to buy them. And few things say ‘unique’ or ‘handmade’ as well as your own line of custom t-shirts.

But why put the effort into creating a successful Etsy store if you print your own t-shirts? Well, it’s popular. At the end of March 2020, there were nearly 48 million active buyers – all looking for the items that are in tune with their personality, beliefs and a desire to own something that few others do. So, are you ready to set up shop on Etsy and get your t-shirts out there?

Here’s how…

Open an Etsy account

To hit the ground running on Etsy, you – almost ironically – need to start by walking first. That means actually opening an account and setting up your store. It isn’t difficult, thankfully. You’ll have to set a few vital preferences first – including language and currency.
Oh, and you need a catchy name too.

Research your market

Now, it’s time to get into the heart of the matter. What does the market want? That’s what will ultimately guide what sells. The global market for custom t-shirts is expected to be worth more than US$10 billion by 2025, so there are plenty of opportunities and gaps to exploit.

Even in tough times such as the coronavirus outbreak, demand for a specific t-shirt design can emerge from almost anywhere. But, from TV or movies to social justice messaging, you’ll soon discover that there’s no shortage of ideas and inspirations that you can work into a design.

Tell your unique story

In any marketplace online or offline, there must be something that’ll stand you apart from the rest of the crowd. Etsy gives you the chance to tell your own unique story as a brand and as a creator. Tell potential shoppers not just what they’re buying – but what they’re buying into.

Promote your Etsy store

With your t-shirts ready to go and your USPs established, the next step is to broadcast that to the world. Using the channels that are right for you and appropriate to your target customers, spread the word about your products – using snappy messaging and clear, vibrant images.

From you to the customer…

Selling at home or branching out overseas? No matter how far you plan to sell and distribute, it’s always a good idea to know your national or international delivery and courier options. It gives you a clearer idea of the costs and times involved if nothing else.

Review your own reviews

Once up and running, it’s wise to keep an eye out for any reviews that your store receives. It might not be possible to please all of the people, all of the time. But what helpful reviews can highlight are any improvements or new design ideas – keeping you in step with the market.

As with any business idea, there are the little flourishes that can really make your custom t-shirt printing business stand out from the rest on Etsy. The points above, however, will start you on the right track to success – even if you only specialise in one t-shirt design to begin.

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Published on: 21st July 2020

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