073
6 min 47 sec

Florida Man Earns $100,000 Selling T-Shirts with No Inventory

There’s more than one way to make a lot of money designing and selling t-shirts without actually keeping them on hand. In today’s story, an app designer earns six-figures with a print-on-demand service.
ManufacturingProductSplit TestTeespring

What It's About

A man in Florida starts using an e-commerce platform called Teespring to sell shirts with his designs creating a six-figure side income.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Research
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

After discarding screenprinting as an option for selling his shirts, a new technology and platform called Teespring came along that allowed him to create shirts with as few as ten orders without carrying any inventory at all.

There was just one problem: he had no email list or other potential base of customers. He did, however, have the power of observation. Having watched other people use online ads to target people based on specific demographics and occupations, he decided to try growing his customer base through specific advertising. After lots of trial and error, he finally found something that worked and focused on that.

Fun Fact

Once Benny found an ad formula that worked, he doubled down. By the end of the year, he’d been paid $152,996.34 by Teespring. That’s his share of the money earned from selling his designs.

However, even though he doesn’t stock inventory or pay employees, he does have advertising costs. Without spending money on advertising, no one would know his shirts. That year he spent $51,024.98 on Facebook ads alone. (!)

Minus the Facebook ad spend, that’s a profit of $101,971.36! After building apps and trying other ventures, it was the first time he’d ever hit six figures online in one year.

Notes from Chris

Episode 73

When he was getting started, Benny didn't have any kind of subscriber list that he could use to promote his shirt designs, so he looked into using Facebook Ads. He invested a little in the beginning and took his time finding a process that was successful. After 21 failed experiments, he finally found a process that worked and started investing in that approach.

Part of Benny's success is the result of his focusing on optimization and has as much to do with split-testing different FB ads and making adjustments as it does design.

If you’re a creative person BUT you also like to geek out on numbers and data, especially comparing different sets of tests over time, this might be a good side hustle option for you.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Get Busy Living Blog: Learn more about Benny and his unconventional ideas about work and living on his website.
  • Teespring: Benny used Teespring to upload his designs and sell shirts although he was still responsible for driving prospective buyers to his shirts.
SEE ALSO:

  • T-Shirts on Amazon Make $17,000 in a Month: A former corporate employee in Ireland runs a merchandising hustle on Amazon.com that brings in as much as $17,000 in profit in a single month. She does this with no inventory, no risk, and no paid traffic.
  • Shopify + Printful: Shopify has teamed up with Printful offering an app that allows you to integrate it with your own online store so that you can still outsource your printing and shipping, making it easy for you to focus on marketing and growing your store.
  • Spreadshirt: This e-commerce site has been around since 2001 and has lots of different options available to you. Unlike Teespring, they assist in marketing and even have options available to those looking to run their own storefront.
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

Chris Guillebeau

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau