How to Make $50k/Year Selling T-Shirts – Graphic Tee Coach

How to Make $50k/Year Selling T-Shirts

50k Per Year Featured Image

Let's talk numbers.  I want to show you how you can earn $50,000 per year (or more!) just selling t-shirts online.

First off, you need an online store.  If you don’t have one, let us set it up for you!

Okay, assuming you have a store, let’s do some easy math:

To make $50K per year, you need to make $3,571/month.  Yes… I know… that doesn’t add up! That’s because in the world of t-shirt sales you’re going to make three times as many sales in December as the rest of the months, on average.  So for the sake of our t-shirt math, we’ll assume there are 14 months in the year - the first 11, then December counts as 3. Cool?

Continuing on… to make $3,571 / month, you need to make about $119/day.

To make $119/day you need to sell about 12 t-shirts a day.  (If you have a store already, and you’re not making $10/sale, then you have the wrong kind of store and/or the wrong dropshipper… one more time, let me set up a store for you!  So, you’ll need to sell 12 shirts a day or roughly 360/month.

Now, how can you sell 12 shirts a day?  It’s not complicated, but it will take some work.  But the good news is, it’s fun work. It’s about the number and quality of t-shirts for sale on your site. You’ll need a good mix of hot sellers and long-term sellers.  If you don’t know what those are, read my post comparing hot and long-term sellers here.

Lets use a ratio of 500 long-term sellers to 1 hot seller.  That’s your mix. What I’m saying is - if you have one hot seller and it sells say 10 shirts in a month, you’ll need 500 long-term seller to sell another 10. So, you’ll need a mix of long-term sellers and hot sellers that net you 360 shirt sales per month.  There’s more than one way to break that down, but let me come up with a few options for you:

Option 1: 36 Hot Sellers

Now, if you’re a member (which you obviously are), and you read my blog posts, you’ll have an idea how to come up with hot sellers.  If you’re a Premium member, then I’ll shoot you ideas over email that will have good potential to be hot sellers.  Or you can visit “Ask Steve” and I’ll tell you straight up if your idea is a good one or not.

Okay, to have 36 hot sellers you probably need 180 hot seller ideas.  That means that any any given point in time you need to have 180 shirts for sale on your site that have the potential to be hot sellers.  Now, from reading my previous article you know that hot sellers have a shelf-life. So you’ll be pretty busy coming up with hot sellers. There are better options.  Read on!

Option 2: 36 * 500 Long-Term Sellers

So, you need to create 18,000 shirts that have the potential to sell over time.  Remember, they sell at about 1/500th the rate of a hot seller. That’s why you need so many.  That may sound daunting, but actually over time it’s not that hard to come up with 18,000 shirts.  I know people who list well over a million products. There are tricks! In an article coming soon I’ll talk to you about how you can generate multiple products based on a theme.  Long-term sellers have a shelf life too… but it could be years vs days or weeks for the hot sellers.

But in the meantime, there’s a better option.  Read on!

Option 3: A Nice Mix of Options 1 & 2

Okay, let’s look at this over a year.  Let’s say you create 15 long term sellers a day.  (Not difficult… there are tools and help available!).  That’ll give you (15 * 365) or 5,475 long-term sellers by the end of the year.  That will result in 105 sales per month. How did I come up with that? Well, you need 500 long term sellers to sell 10 shirts in a month.  So, here’s that formula:

Number of long-term sellers / 500 * 10 sales per month.  Plug in the numbers: 5,475 / 500 * 10 = 110

So, with 3,650 good long-term sellers, you sell 110 in the month.  Remember to make $50K we need 360 sales per month. So, you need 250 additional sales per month.  We do that with the hot sellers. I’m assuming hot sellers sell 10 per month on average. I’m also assuming that only 1 in 5 of your hot seller ideas will work.  If you’re good, you may do better, but we need a realistic starting point. So, you need a floating average of 125 hot seller ideas over every 3-5 week period. In simple speak, you’ll need 125 hot seller ideas a month… or 4 a day roughly.  Not hard! Here’s the formula, then I’ll wrap everything up with a simple plan:

Number of hot seller ideas / 5 * 10 sales per month.  Plug in the numbers: 125 / 5 * 10 = 250


Over the course of a year, you need do the following:

  1. Come up with 15 long term sellers a day
  2. Come up with  4 hot seller ideas a day

How much time will this take?  Well, if you’re doing all the graphic design work yourself and you’re reasonably proficient with something like Photoshop, GIMP, or you’ll probably need to spend 90-180 minutes per day.  Now, that can be a lot of time, so to shorten it, let me give you some examples of *really* quick and easy shirt ideas.

15 Long-Term Sellers

I Heart Football, Baseball, Darts, Cricket, etc.  Same template, 15 times. All you’re changing is the text.  The template will take you 10 minutes and each design will take you 3 minutes.  That’s 15 long term sellers in under an hour.

4 Hot Sellers

Twitter Quotes.  

Let’s say Donald Trump says, “You Really Are a Nasty Woman”.  Put the text “Nasty Woman” on a t-shirt. That’ll take you 5 minutes to find, and 3 minutes to create the shirt.  Do that 4 times. There’s another half hour or so of work if you’re efficient.

So, there you go… put in 90 minutes a day to make $50,000/year.   If you want to put in less time, then use a service like T-Shirt Design Services.  Then all you have to do is submit ideas and the shirts will be put on your site for you!

Is your store set up yet?  One more reminder… we can set it up and get you started on the right foot fast.


Steve got into the t-shirt business several years ago and has never looked back. He is now able to pass on his knowledge and experience through Graphic Tee Coach, including how to design winning tees, marketing your shop, and sustaining a strong profitable business in the long run.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: