How to Price Your T-shirts 

By  Cartess Ross

*Everyone has questions about pricing their t-shirts and this post is from one of the modules inside our Tshirt Riches Members Course. I’ll be pulling this post down soon because it’s for members only, but wanted you to get an idea of the type of content we have available to our members.


Pricing your t-shirts is a rather simple process… People make it far more complicated than it needs to be. In this module, it’s my goal to help you come up with a pricing formula for the t-shirts and products you plan to sell.

Knowing these 4 core elements are essential to pricing your t-shirts:

  1. Your cost of supplies/materials
  2. Factoring your costs for labor
  3. Factoring your costs for overhead
  4. Determining what the marketplace will pay

Your Costs for Supplies/Materials

Adding up your all of your expenses is a great place to start… How much do your t-shirts cost? How much did it cost to have those items shipped to you? How much are your transfers and how much did it cost to have them shipped to you? How many shirts do you plan on misprinting or messing up?

For the sake of easy math, I’m going to round numbers up.

Let’s say you order 100 white t-shirts and they’re costing you $1.50 each. It cost you $20 to have all 100 tees shipped to you… If you divide $20 by 100 tees, it cost you .20 cents each to have those tees shipped. So you’ll now add .20 to the $1.50 for each shirt and you’ll have your costs for each blank shirt ($1.70).

Let’s say you ordered custom designed transfers and your cost was $300 — when broken down comes out to .60 cents per transfer and let’s assume shipping was free because you ordered a huge amount.

So to print a shirt, it’ll cost you $1.70 (t-shirt/shipping) + .60 (for transfer) = $2.30

BUT… Let’s assume you’ll mess up 1 shirt per 100 (1%) because maybe you didn’t let the heat press warm up long enough before pressing and you destroyed the shirt/transfer… So you’re looking at a loss of $2.30 (tshirt, transfer and the shipping) but you’re going to divide that over the 100 tees to get your costs (.23 cents).

So your total costs to print a shirt: $2.30 + .23 cents = $2.62

 Factoring Your Costs for Labor

How much is your time worth? That’s what we’re going to figure out. This may be different for each and everyone of you.

Some of you may be a one man shop… While others may have employees!

In this example, I’m going to assume you’re a one-man shop (or one-woman shop). At this point, you’ll need to determine the hourly wage you wish to make. Again, this could be different for each person.

$25 an hour may be reasonable for you while $50 per hour may be reasonable for the next guy.

Whatever your number, you must consider the importance of making enough money to reinvest back into your t-shirt company to cover additional expenses/overhead.

In this example, I’ll assume you wish to earn $30 per hour. And let’s also assume a new order for 50 t-shirts just came in from your website…

Again.. Let’s assume all of the following can be done within an hours time…
(I’m not saying you can heat press 100 tees in an hour — I’m simply using these numbers for easy math) 

  • confirm and validate the new order that just came in
  • call and place an order for 100 tees from the wholesaler
  • unpack the 100 tees that arrive in the mail the next day or two
  • I’ll assume you already have the 100 heat transfers on the shelf
  • heat press all 100 heat transfers onto the t-shirts
  • pack the t-shirts up and schedule for post office to come pickup
If that’s worth $30 to you, then that’ll be your cost for labor… If it’s worth $50, make that your rate. You get the point!
We’ll take that $30 hourly rate and divide it into one hour (60 minutes) and get .50 cents — which we’ll add to each of the 100 tees; thus raising our costs from $2.62 to make a t-shirt to $3.12 to make a shirt.

Factoring Your Costs for Overhead

In addition to your costs for supplies/materials and labor, you also have additional overhead… Each month you must pay for the electricity you used, website hosting bill, marketing and advertising.

Each company will have different overhead, but here are a few examples of what some may incur.

  • office lease (this could also be a portion of your mortgage/rent if you’re working from home)
  • cell phone, fax, internet
  • website hosting fees
  • heat press machine
  • electricity
  • alarm system
  • marketing/advertising expenses
  • insurance
  • postage
  • gas
  • packaging (boxes, tape, labels)

You can cut a lot of overhead expenses if working from home, thus putting more money in your pocket… For the sake of easy math, let’s pretend your overhead is part owner of your company and that you’ll also pay it $30 per hour. So that’ll add another .50 cents to each t-shirt, thus bring your cost up from $3.12 to $3.62 per shirt.

What is the Marketplace Willing to Pay for Your T-shirts

At the end of the day, no formula is perfect… Much will be determined on what people will pay for your tees and a big factor will be based on what your competitors are charging for their shirts.

First thing you’ll need to do is get on the phone, surf the Internet or hop in the car and go around and gather some ‘intelligence’ from the competition.

Price your stuff to high and you get little sales… Price it too low and people will think something is wrong with the quality of your product.

Make your pricing based on your numbers and then look at what the marketplace is currently paying and if you need to adjust, then do so… If your pricing is too high, figure out ways to lower your overhead/production costs… If it’s too low, raise it.

Examples  would include ordering in bigger bulk to get additional discounts on your purchases… Maybe you’ll charge for shipping instead of offering free shipping (or maybe you’ll give free shipping instead of charging).

Also factor in the fact that your customer may order from you 2-3 times per year because you have a strong follow-up marketing system in place… So while you may lose on the front-end  you’ll earn with their repeat business. Many companies do this because it’ll cost you MUCH less to service the customers you already have… Thus making your profits MUCH larger!

The number 1 reason people go into business is to make money and if your t-shirt business isn’t earning a decent profit, you go out of business.

And that leads to my next important topic — PROFITS!

So far, we’ve calculated it’ll cost you $3.62 to make a shirt… That included the costs for your supplies/materials, overhead and it included your costs for labor.

You are in business to make a profit and that $30 hourly rate we talked about early is NOT your profit… That’s simply the wage you pay yourself to go to work… No different than working for ‘the Man’. You punch a clock and you get paid for your time.

But if you really want to move to the next level in business, you must always be thinking about PROFITS… Profits is what’ll set you free.

We’re currently at $3.62 to make a shirt… If you wish to make a 35% profit, that’ll add $1.27 to the costs of your tees = $4.89

Now you have PROFIT!!!

The examples above are simply examples… If the numbers you come up with are acceptable in the marketplace, then you stand a chance to make really good money.

If necessary, adjust your numbers and see what the market will bear. You are a business-owner now and you may have to make adjustments and you’ll have to keep an eye on what the marketplace/competitors are doing.

You must conduct your research…

Get a FREE T-shirt Sample Pack with Transfer: If you’d like to jump-start the growth of your t-shirt business, consider becoming a member of our T-shirt Business Start-up Course — you’ll get step-by-step information on how to start and build your own t-shirt business… I’m also offering a FREE t-shirt sample pack which includes a t-shirt shipped to you with a sample t-shirt transfer so you can see what these transfers actually look like… Join Today — Click here to see all the benefits!



Cartess Ross

I will guide you through this process and provide you with proven strategies to help you build a t-shirt company. As one of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago, I've sold millions of dollars in t shirts to people all over the world. I founded TshirtRiches in 2007 to teach others how to turn their t-shirt ideas into a business. So if you're ready, hop onboard and let's make this money!

Cartess Ross

  • Hey Ross thanks for helping me out with all your knowledge on pushing me forward to do something with myself and being somebody in life as a black young man who is striving along in the struggle but God Jesus and Allah along with the Holy Spirit help is guiding me along my way with the journey of life i enjoy your lessons on the biz so whenever i get the funds i would like to purchase your book because right now it tight for me now but you feel me on that but anyways watch out for pushpositive apperal gear thanks again peace and one love

  • What graphic design software do you recommend.

    • The designs are created in several adobe programs. If you aren’t familiar with either, it will be a bit of a learning curb. At that point, I would suggest just hiring a graphic artist to take care of all that for you.

  • Hello Cartess

    Thanks for this lesson. It has opened my eyes to pricing my T Shirts. A lot of the T Shirt business is confusing. For instance I was at my service/maintenance shop for my car the other day. They knew that we have a T Shirt/License Plate business and wanted to give back to us. So they said we need x amount of hoodies. We want this on it . We want it in Blue and Grey colors. with black and white images. They didn’t say what color of blue. and didn’t say what weight of the hoodie they wanted. Being new to the business I didn’t know to ask. They liked what I came up with. But what I guess I am trying to say is . Ask the right questions. Take color charts with you. And find out what people really want. Don’t try to guess. Cartess maybe you could do a module on this. Thanks for all your help. Your course has paid for itself over and over again.


    • Hi Edie,

      When ever trying to fill a customer’s order. It’s always best to ask questions and never assume you know what they want. However, we highly recommend getting familiar with the products you sell! Which is why it’s best to compare all the vendors products you have access to in the course. You’ll need to order from the vendors to compare their products and study the products.

      The more you know about the products you sale, the better you’ll be able to provide to your customers and the more money you’ll make in sales! Again, find out what they want by listening to them, repeating everything back to them that they’ve already stated to you and from your knowledge you have about the products you sale. You’ll be able to suggest products that will best serve them based on what they’ve already told you what they want.

  • Could you post a few articles on how to sell shirts overseas?

      • Amoy lily says:

        Thanks, Kinross for sharing this Training Course link. I hope this Course Right for me.I love the process. one day I’ll be a Pro Designer 🙂

  • what kind of print paper would u recommend and do you need special ink to print with?

  • Hello Cartess,

    Can you tell me the hp printers you use again. I cant find it on the video you said it on. I do know u said it prints 11×12 i think.Thanks

    • Hi Inez,

      I apologize, the printer used is the Epson inkjet printer WF-7010 purchased at Staples.

      • Thanks I will get this and what ick should i use. and do you know a good wholesaler for Pluse size womens tshirts

        • Hi Inez,
          The Tshirt Riches training course provides a list of vendors to purchase wholesale supplies from such as tshirts, hats, bags, transfers, etc.

          Any epson ink jet printer will work, but some are better than others. However, we recommend a particular ink to print the designs from your own printer. A interview on this topic is currently in the works. If you haven’t signed up to receive our emails, please do. Once the videos become available you’ll be notified.

  • we are excited with my friend to start printing business here in tne Philippines.Thanks Mr Cartess for inspiring us…Godbless you!!

  • Lila Jones says:

    Where can I buy bulk t shirts? Your website has inspired me.

  • I created Sold Out Creations in 2011, with an idea to create shirts using nothing but heat press and heat transfer process. Technology and science has the power to make heat transfer a booming business. I have not seen no one powerhouse the heat transfer business as I am planning too. I have learned how to make a perfect product, but I do not know which road to take in the business aspect of being in the tshirt industry… I know I can design some amazing custom shirts and custom apparel! I work alone, design alone, and own all of my own equipment! Doing all my designs in Photoshop, Illustrator, vinyl cutters, and Graphtec Craft Robo Pro… This is where I want my success to grow from. Doing shirts has been a hobby for me to be different fashion wise… But now… Time to get filthy rich at this business! I’m just not knowledgable on the business aspect much at all as of now. I am learning, reading, and building a new plan for Sold Out Creations I think I will make it far. The internet is helping me so, so, so, so much. I’ve surely learned a lot! Good luck to you guys! Nice site and tips on helpping others develop financial freedom as well.

    • Thanks for the kind words and it looks like you’re positioned to do BIG things Derrick.

      I took a peek at your shirts on your FB page:

      And did you do all of those yourself (design and printed from transfers)… They look great. People still don’t seem to realize they can do sooo much with transfers and t-shirts and you’re a great example of what’s possible with transfers and tees.

      Marketing is going to be everything when you prepare to launch this thing… Keep us posted on how you progress along!

  • Hello Cartess, I just wanted to let you know that your math is off in your calculation of the 1 qty messed up shirt. If you messed up one shirt it would come out to only .023 per shirt for spoilage. Not 0.23 per shirt which means you would be losing $23 total on the order for the one bad shirt and transfer instead of the $2.32

    So your true cost per shirt is $2.322 instead of $2.52 which you actually said $2.62 instead.

    Anyways it is no big deal, but I thought you would want to know that so you can correct it. By the way I appreciate what your doing and am I going to look at a used heat press tomorrow.

    I have actually been in the screen printing business for over 6 years and I am selling all of my manual equipment so I can turn my business into a transfer shop instead.

    I can’t believe how easy it is to press a shirt. It is one the best things that has happened to me by seeing this info. I will be ordering your course soon.

    Thanks again!

    Glen W.

    • Thanks for the correction Glen — I’ll update over the weekend.

      Keep us posted as you move forward in your new venture 🙂

  • Hi Cartess, no problem. Also I will be ordering your online program this week. And just to let you know I have been in the screen printing business for the past 6 years and after seeing your videos and also talking to one of my friends who owns his own clothing line who has a couple of heat press machines I decided to sell all of my manual screen printing equipment and go into the transfer side of the business. (For my own private label t-shirt line and also for the screen print side of my business.

    I actually just sold my manual screen print press and dryer and some of my other bigger pieces today and now have the money to move in this direction.

    It is like a big weight has lifted off my shoulders with being able to heat press mutli color designs now instead of screen printing them.

    I hated to have to go and clean screens and then coat them and burn them and tape them along with setting up each individual job and then busting my but printing the job.

    I can now print the whole order in the same time it would just take me to set the job up. (That is crazy!)

    I also want to praise God for this great opportunity and I am so grateful he lead me to your site.

    God Bless!

    Talk to you soon.

    Glen W.

    • HI Glen,

      We really thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. We’re so glad to know that you’ll still continue to provide the same quality product without all the work!
      Praise God!


  • Michael Galindo says:

    .60 cents per transfer? where are you getting your transfers from? everywhere I look custom transfers cost an arm and a leg…

    • Hi Michael,
      That’s the cost we pay. Since we’ve established a relationship with the vendors and have done some much in business. We qualify for special pricing. You’ll only qualify for special pricing until you’ve done so much in business.

  • david gray says:

    Sorry!! didn’t get to finish my question, so how did you come up with $300 for the transfer, but would only cost .60 per sheet, please explain. I’m sorry


    • Hmmm… Good question. Looks like a portion of this page was modified/deleted. I can’t remember what was there (I wrote this up a long time ago). I’ll look into it and see if I can sort it back out, but looking at the math, I’m assuming perhaps 500 transfers were ordered (that would justify the math of 500 transfers equaling .60 each for a cost of $300.00)

  • Thanks for this article. Very Helpful. However, I disagree with labor costs if you are making T-shirts for a start up business. When starting a business it takes a lot of hours planning and you should not expect to have all those hours paid. That is the one main reason why start up businesses fail.

  • HI Cartess,

    We’ve been getting your emails and watching various videos for a couple of years now. We recently invested in the course, and all I can say is: I wish we had done it sooner because we’ve been making this thing way harder than it needs to be. We’ve been beating our heads against the way to bring down our costs so we can delve into the wholesale market and generate other means of passive income.

    Transfers are definitely the light at the end of the tunnel for us. We were on the brink, praying for an answer. The answer was sitting in our inbox. Implementing wholesale on tees and transfers, we can grow our business in a niche market. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

    Thanks for the wonderful insight and tips.



  • Bagaria S says:


    Info on your website is awesome. Thanks

    I want to know the cost of printing on a heat press transfers and plastisol transfers. Can an amatuer prepare Plastisol printers.

    Your insight would be helpful!


    • You can not print plastisol transfers from a printer. You’ll need screen printing equipment! 🙂

  • Cartess,

    Do the vendors you recommend offer plus size shirts/tank tops?

    • HI Jessica,

      Yes, We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors as well as vendors to purchase blank shirts.

      The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

      If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list.

      We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

      Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.


  • Curtis L Washington says:

    Thank you for the info. My wife and I just started a embroidery/heat press business in NC.

  • I am excited about my friend to start a printing business. Thanks for sharing this great article.

  • It is important that we should also know how to price the shirt that we sell and customize. This article is very helpful, thank you for sharing!

  • Transfers are not printing. Why does everybody assume that? Transfers are mass produced, temporary garbage. It is a business for those who do not have the initiative to start a real printing business. They then have the gall to sell them and take advantage of unsuspecting fools that think they are buying quality screen printed goods.

    • Cartess Ross says:

      Thanks for taking time out of your day to provide your feedback. It’s much appreciated. Have a wonderful day.

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