Marketing Your T-shirts – How to Sell Your Tshirt Designs 

By  Cartess Ross

Marketing Your T-shirts – How to Sell Your Tshirt Designs


What’s the use in making your own t-shirts if no one buys them! You see, making t-shirts is the easy part… Getting them sold, well, that’s an entirely different story.

In the video below, I will cover why you MUST understand marketing if you expect to succeed in the t-shirt business. Find out why selling your tees could be the most challenging and difficult thing you’ll face in the t-shirt design industry:

Cut Your Learning Curve in Half and Become a Member of our T-shirt Training Course — Delivered Online and Taught by Me…

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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

  • spiritusa says:

    This was really good information. SRDS and the idea of going from a tshirt designer to tshirt marketer were definately worth my time. You really are cutting the learning curve for me. If you can afford it I highly recommend the t-shirt training course. Me and my partner are looking for a press right now and we can envision every step a lot more clearer because of it.

  • Cartess,

    Great information, as usual. I like your style, upfront and to the point. Continued blessing on your own business opportunities.
    Thank you.

  • hey, what’s happenin man! I have tried to click on to your link to buy your book for some reseason it will not work??I’m talkin about to your oringinal site, I had the dream for a many of years to do this successfully and i was told that it’s one of the hardest things to do!! Just when i started looking into it your site appeared ! if you can give me a phone nu# so i can give it a try. ps. you have done your homework on this!!! G man is a fan!

  • Dontgetscrewed says:

    I would be careful in doing business with this company, my friend was screwed over by this individual to mention the two other BBB claim reports

  • I approve the messages that get through to prevent spam… I’m allowing this through in an effort for transparency. I’m curious to know who your friend is and how he/she was screwed over. There’s only one person who comes to mind with this bogus claim — many have ordered from this site over the years and I’m interested to know if anyone feels I ripped them off as this individual suggests…

  • Cartess, forget the hater. I subcribed to your course and it has been well worth it. For someone like me who didnt know a thing about how to start a tshirt business, or any kind of business for that matter, and who didnt have a mentor when I got started, your course and info has been invaluable. From the basics to the lesser known tips like the SRDS, to have it all in one course has saved me a ton of time that it would have taken me to learn on my own. Taking your course has gotten me from just thinking about starting my tshirt line to actually having it running now. My thanks.

  • Gentles_touch says:

    nice website good information – this ideas shows me how to get stated without a lot of start up money – thank you

  • Nrandell22 says:

    I just had a couple questions. My first one is which one of your trainings would you say one should invest in if they are just starting out? second are the press machines you sell used or are they new?

  • Machines are new… The course I offer is only one course… only difference is the payment options at the bottom of the page. I’d recommend the 3rd option if u need more ‘hand holding’. Here’s what u get:

    Become an Inner Circle Member and get access to our Members only course for 24 months. You’ll also receive the Free Sample T-shirt Pack as well. I will also mail you my personal “Rolodex” of the vendors I use for my transfers, t-shirts, call center, etc… In addition, each month, you’ll receive either a coaching CD/DVD from me in the mail… All designed to help you get going FASTER with your new t-shirt venture. You’ll also have access to me twice a month during member call-in day. During these two days, I’ll block off time throughout the day where you can call in and ask me all the questions you want. Member call in day is a great time to get all the coaching and consulting you need from me to jumpstart your business! To become an “Inner Circle Member” today, you’ll pay only $214 ($137 for the online course & free sample t-shirt pack plus your first month of the monthly Inner Circle Membership fee of $77). I’m starting a new t-shirt line targeting Grandparents — you’ll get to see me start this new biz from scratch — you’ll watch me get the tees designed and you’ll see how I market and grow this business from scratch… Membership has it’s benefits:


  • Noviltees says:

    Cartess,I bought you’re course and am actively selling tees.My company’s name is Novil-Tees.I’m just curious about making a catalog. How do you go about it and what company do go to,to help you put it together?

  • There is a section within the course that outlines that… I use Freelancer to put it all together.

  • Get a life like he said !!!
    Cartess Ross is an honest man of his word …

  • So how long have you been doing this?? also I was wondering when you press a shirt you got that what appears to be a crust around it.. like the square of the transfer. I was wondering how u get that out so it doesn’t appear on the shirt?
    Thanks Paul

  • Millforme says:

    Hello Sir, great video about the marketing!..thank you!!.i wanted to ask about the transfer papers..can i buy them in different places?..the best price?..also ones i have my design do i take or send it to be made pro, or i can also do all of it from home, and have the transfer ready to be transferd to a T.shirt right away!?…if i do it from the computer and print it to a spacial transfer paper..do i need a spacial printer for that?…hope it’s not to much to ask..and i thank you so very much for any info you can give me on that! God bless!..have a great day/night!:)

  • Ontherighttrack says:

    This sounds like the perfect thing for me. Can you do payments on this as well?

  • Antonio Pinho says:

    whats up? i’m from portugal and i’m trying to start making tshirts with my designs and sell them, and finding this  website was a lot of help and encouragment to me. i have no questions, i would just like to say thanks for the videos and all the help provided. I feel i must say something because when you see good actions like these, you have to apreciate and let people know that you respect their work. Greeting from portugal! Antonio Pinho

  • Payments on the course? Or heat press machine? We offer payments on the course — very affordable. But not on machines.

  • You probably saw a slight discoloration from the heat that formed a small outline around the paper. Once the shirt cools off, that goes away completely. There will be no crust or outline around the shirt at all.

  • Good job Cartess……..you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink!!!

  • Cristine1015 says:

    Estimate of price range for running an Ad out of magazines?

    • Depends on the magazine and the ad type and size… Some magazines will charge as much as $25,000.00 and up (some will charge less).

      I’d encourage you to contact them — they’ll send you a rate sheet.

  • No problem, I understand… And thanks for the kind words.

    We provide lots of free resources on the site – and don’t hesitate to post your questions here. We’re glad to help in any way we can.

  • Do you have enough pressure on the applied? It’s a combination of the heat and pressure that makes this work..

    With the heat press turned ‘off’, insert a piece of paper (or dollar bill) on the bottom pad (let half hang on the edge) and close the machine. Attempt to pull the dollar bill out — if it comes out, there’s not enough pressure. Keep apply pressure by turning pressure knob to the right a few turns and close down the machine and repeat until you can’t pull it out.

    Once you get to that point, make a couple slight additional turns and then turn your machine on and try pressing another shirt/design.

    Also, make sure your heat temp is correct. Most of mine require temp of 375-380 degrees Fahrenheit (some machines may be in Celcius — if yours is, set it to 193 degrees)

    If everything else is correct, it’s possible you may have a heat press that isn’t heating up like it should be (uneven heat applied across the heat platen).

  • Lalojulian says:

    Wreat videos Cartess, Just posting a comment to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing with us. The way I got in to this reserch is by me making the family shirts, of my son’s pics on his Birthday, and I had so much fun. I’ll keep making my reserch because I’m a little low on budget, any way thanks again and I wish you the best as well 🙂

  • Range anywhere from $1.35 and up $1.60 — depends on the shirt, color and the occasion.

  • Are you talking about the plastisol/screen printed transfers? Yes you can — but you’ll need to essentially become a ‘screen printer’ because you will need all the stuff they use…

  • Hello…. I’m sorry for the delay. I thought I responded to this last week, but logged in and see it still unanswered — I need to check and see what’s happening here….

    Anyhow…. I think your idea is a great one.

    A quick google search brought these back:

    I don’t know if this market has been tapped – but even if it has, it doesn’t matter. Your designs and ideas will likely be different from what’s already out there — plus, I imagine there are still tons of college bookstores that don’t have these type of tees in their store.

    The best type of research would simply be to get a list of all these schools and call them directly and ask — send them a package in the mail with your ideas along with samples.

    This is the old fashioned way and it takes time — but it works.

    I imagine there’s some type of distribution company that can get you into these college bookstores as well — check into that as well.

  • Elsadlcrz says:

    Thank you! Everytime I see one of your videos I learn so much,I look forward to taking your course Im sure its well worth it!

  • Hi Tony,

    Keep working at it, things will get better… Regarding financing/investing — the best source believe it or not would be to tap family and friends. You’d be surprised at the amount of money some of your friends have just sitting in the bank and are wanting to make a much larger return on investment than what the bank is offering them.

    But in order to get them to consider investing/financing your dream, you’ll need to have that business plan laid out. That way they’ll know you’re serious and that you’ve done your research.

    Truthfully, banks won’t give up the funds so easily unless you have some sort of track record/history. Now if you have great credit and some collateral, they could possibly give you a loan. But they’re going to make you jump through some serious hoops, and rightfully so, they have a lot invested and their goal is to make sure they get their money back.

    If friends and the bank option doesn’t work out, then you might have to do it the old fashion way. And that’s getting a part-time job and working to save up the money… It’ll take longer but you can eventually get the money saved up and start working your biz.

    My brother is doing this now — wants to open up a specialty foods store. His projecting to open up in 2 years and he’s spending this time saving, researching, taking classes and learning more about the biz by working at local specialty food stores… 2 years from now when he starts, he’ll be much better off and prepared to open up shop.

    Friends and family are more likely to consider investing in his biz because they see that he’s really serious about this and that it’s not just some idea he woke up with the night before.

    I’m sorry there was no easy answer, but sometimes, we just gotta buckle down and do it the hard and slow way — but it works though.

    Feel free to post questions if u have any more.

  • Hi Jordan…

    Without knowing all of the details regarding your order, there are several ways to bring your costs down.

    If there are a lot of colors in your designs, it can get costly.. Just like traditional screen printing, the more colors, the more it’ll cost.

    I noticed you only ordered 25 sheets… When you order small quantities like that, it will make your costs extremely expensive… It’s no different than going to a screen printer and only wanting to order 25 tees, they’re going to charge you more because they still have to setup, make screens, etc… And they just don’t make much profit setting everything up just to give you 25 — so they have to mark the costs up to make a profit.

    I’d suggest ordering in larger quantities… I know it can be intimidating, but if you feel you have a great idea, take a chance on just one or two of your designs. At some point, you’re going to have to spend if you want to get this going and this is a necessary cost if u wish to break into this biz.

    To sum it all up, see if u can decrease the number of colors in your designs, or increase the quantity you order..

    Depending on the size of your design, it’s possible to get two designs onto one sheet — which will give u a better deal and save you money per transfer.

    Alternatively, you might be able to get your designs printed on a larger sheet so you can get more designs onto the sheet — the costs isn’t tooo costly to consider upgrading to the next sheet size….

    Hope this helps!

  • If you haven’t please sign for the email list. We also have a video that provides a step by step tutorial on how to use the heat press machine.

  • Yes, you can… 🙂 We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers. As well as blank t-shirts at wholesale cost.

    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.

  • Congrats on getting your trademark. Did you do this yourself or did u go through an attorney?

    Are you looking to license your designs or print tees and wholesale them to the colleges/sports entities?

  • jay clark says:

    how much do magazines usually charge for advertisement?

    • Hi Jay,
      It really depends. Call the magazines you have in mind to find out about their rates.

  • i dig your videos sir. i like your style, very informative and you crack me up too.

  • Greetings Cartess,

    I just wanted to say that I am enjoying your videos. I currently make personalized gifts, however, I want to add the tees to my business. I have tried the store brought transfers and just like you said, they are not good at all. I am looking forward to finding out more about the Plastisol/screen printed transfers. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to subscribe to one of your courses. Also, the info you shared on marketing is so true. You can have a great product, however, if no one knows about it you will not make any money at all. Thanks for the e-mails and all the “Free” info. It is greatly appreciated!


    • Hi Evelyn,

      We thank you for your kind words! Here’s the information to purchase transfers that actually work! 🙂
      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.

      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.


      Or you may try this route as well, these transfers are much better than the transfers purchased at the store!


  • Andrew King says:

    Knowledge is power. I learned a lot from your video. Yes sir, you are very encouraging. Keep doing what you do.

  • Mr. Ross, thank you for your insight, your knowledge is only surpassed by your generosity. Really appreciate it. Keep up the good work.

  • David Roth says:

    Mr. Ross,
    In the marketing video you stated that you purchase transfers that have the design already applied that was not your design . but why not use a good design untill you make your own! I am trying to find these kind of designs. my nitch would be (remote controlled hobby industry) R/c Airplanes and helicopters ! I have been trying to locate these designs but to no success! can you give me more info if you have it to where airplane related applications can be found?
    Thank you Cartess !

  • Thank you so much Cartess you are really making a difference in people life’s. My husband and I are trying to start up our t shirt business in Dacula, GA. You have been so helpful to us. We really appreciated the way God has touch your heart. Many blessings to you & your wife!

    One question:
    Can you help us with the machine sizes? Which size is better to use starting up?

    • Hi Kay, thanks for the kind words… I’d suggest a 16×20. That’s what I’ve used and haven’t needed anything larger.

    • Hi KB,
      We thank you and thanks for taking the time to leave us a comment!

  • hi cartess
    just want to say thx for the good imfro on marketing im 62 yr old build a window cleaning buss. from the ground
    up never got marketing part down had a good 20yr plus ran look forward to start a new buss. I will be geting your trainclass soon

    • Awesome… And thanks for the kind words. We’re looking forward to working with you!

  • I was looking at your videos and I came across the video you did on Plasticol this would be a cheaper and better way for me to go, as here in the Caribbean I have to purchase transfers on line for heat press machine. Where can I find more information on Plasticol and how to use it,

    Thanks for the wonderful videos

  • Hey, Ross. Let me first say Thank You for all the great info you provide Sir. Do you have any template catalogs that you send out to potential buyers. Or where could I find one?

    • Hi Alvin,

      I apologize at this time we do not. However, we plan to have a catalog template available in the near future.

  • Great video(s)! I am a student of marketing and know how imperative it is to have the paradigm shift from “Selling” to “Marketing” it is the lifeblood of anything a person pursues in their business(s). Besides the obvious of your start-up training what marketing method is the very 1st step you would recommend to set up to create a demand for the T-shirt I want to market? I want to go ALL THE WAY with this! God Bless & Thank you again for all that you share.

    • It’s always great to chat it up with a fellow ‘student of marketing’. You’re halfway there already…

      1st step recommended to create a demand for the tees you want to market…

      1) Identify your market — and I’ll break this down for others who may also be reading this. Figure out who you wish to market too. Once you do that, study them. Find out what they’re likes and dislikes are. What makes them happy, what ticks them off. What are they most passionate about. Once you know the answers to these, you can then craft a message on a tee that will get their attention.

      Once you got them figured out, I’d start working on the website piece to get my ‘brand’ out their. I’d do that by blogging about those issues discussed in the step above. Blogging will allow you to build a community around your topic. Once you start building that community, you can then start dropping stuff to sell onto the website. Plus, you’ll be able to get much feedback from within the community itself based on topics of conversation happening on your blog. It’ll take a decent amount of time to build a community, but that’s where I’d start. It’s FREE and doesn’t require much but your time.

      Obviously, there is the paid advertisement route, which is what I do a lot of…. The benefits of that is it’s instant and you don’t have to wait months to build up the community…. Although, I’d still build the community/blog and add on to it as often as I can.

      There’s a bunch of other stuff, but I’ll save that for another post.

  • Hello,
    Great information that you give out!!! Wanted to ask if you’re allowing someone else to do the graphic design for you tshirts how then do you make sure they’re not giving it to someone else to use. Do I need to have a letter, etc releasing all rights to me. How does that work?

  • can you give me the name of a good inkjet printer to buy

    • So far, we’ve tested the Epson WF-7010 printer out and it works great!

      • Kenneth Shumpert says:

        Does the ink in the inkjet printer last or will i have the constantly replace the ink?

        • Hi Kenneth,
          The ink will have to be replaced often due to the design, colors, etc. but definitely more than regular printing.

  • Hello, just watched your video. Thanks. I enjoyed it. Question, I’m looking for a size 16 x 20 heat press on eBay. What brands should I stay away from? Do you think the $300 machines are a good investment or should I go for the $500 or $800 machine starting out?

  • hey cartess I have an idea but it involves other companies will they be able to sue me if I make the tee shirt?

    • It’s possible if you’re plan to use designs that are trademarked.

  • Larissa Leslie says:

    Hi Mr./Mrs. Ross

    Thank you for all the updates I really appreciate it. My question is, for those who can’t not afford that book where else can you find the list for people who buy t shirts in the mail and etc.

    Thank you

    • You can find the book at the larger county/city libraries… They’re FREE to use (just can’t check them out). It’s worthwhile going — take pics of the entire page when you find your section or copy the page (many libraries have copier machines on hand).

  • actress thank you so much. I’ve learned so much from you just with the free videos. I’m in the process of starting my own tshirt company targeted towards women of Afro descent and I am extremely excited. Just received my logo back from fiver and I’m ready to start printing some shirts. I personally do not want to print the shirts at home. For someone just starting out would you recommend going with a local print shop or online? I’m trying to get quotes from various venues. Thanks again from all of your help and God bless you.

    • Hi Lola,

      Thanks great, please keep us posted regarding your progress!

      Well, you know your situation better than anyone. You could definitely try outsourcing the work to someone local or online. When you do this, please consider you have no control over how the shirts come out, and you’ll end up marking up your shirts to make a descent profit.

      If you can’t afford to purchase the heat press machine and wish not to do the shirts yourself. You could go this route; I’m just not sure of the profit you’ll end up making less you’re selling large volumes of shirts. If you plan on having a few shirts made here and there the cost may seem high, in which it will.

      You’ll see better rates you begin having hundreds of shirts made from local screen printers, online vendors.

      Here’s information about the heat press machines we have available and what we highly recommend. There’s pricing information as well as information about the machines.

      We also recommend that you purchase a machine that’s at least 16×20. Anything smaller than the 16×20 you’ll have issues printing on larger items.

      If the machine are outside of your budget try looking on Amazon, Ebay, or Craigslist.

      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.

  • Frederickbrown says:

    I don’t have any money right now I am trying to save to get some equipment to Work with Bear with me I am very interested in this T-shirt business

    • We look forward to seeing you as a member in the future, Frederick! Until then, keep following us for free content on our Facebook and Youtube pages!


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