So, you are an aspiring designer who wants to sell t-shirts online, and you have narrowed your platform options to TeePublic vs Teespring. Indeed, these two are among the most popular websites where people can sell or buy tees. Now, the question is, which one is better for you?
We will help you choose by showing you:
- How TeePublic and Teespring work
- The unique advantages offered by each platform
- The potential disadvantages on each platform
- Who can get the most out of TeePublic vs Teespring
- Which t-shirt printing and distribution platform that is generally more recommended
Let’s start with TeePublic. First and foremost, TeePublic is a print-on-demand website (see also: Printful vs Redbubble). If you want to use TeePublic, you will only need to create an account and upload your designs. Then, they will take care of the selling, production, and distribution. You will get a royalty per t-shirt sold.
There are a lot of product varieties on TeePublic, ranging from adult apparel, kids apparel, phone and laptop cases, stickers, magnets, to home goods. You can choose what products that you will put your designs on.
Some products are available in multiple styles, and the customer will be able to choose the style that they want. For example, when they want to buy a t-shirt, they may choose a classic t-shirt, tri-blend t-shirt, v-neck t-shirt, or premium t-shirt.
This approach is very simple yet effective. Whenever a customer buys something with your design on it, TeePublic will print and ship the product to them while at the same time you get a royalty.
You can join TeePublic for free. The registration process is quick and easy. If you have already made your designs, getting them ready on TeePublic is only a matter of minutes. Pretty much anyone can use this website.
Pros of TeePublic
The very first advantage of TeePublic vs Teespring is the customer traffic. With TeePublic, you don’t really need to spend a lot of effort in building an audience and making them buy your products.
The website alone already has high levels of customer traffic, as people often come to check around and find some cool designs. Of course, you can still promote your products on social media or other channels to boost your sales, but this is not a vital requirement in the first place.
The second advantage that TeePublic offers is it is a complete solution. You don’t need to worry about printing, shipping, or even customer service – all those are handled by the platform. So, you can put all your focus in finding great ideas and turning them into killer designs.
Cons of TeePublic
There are a few potential disadvantages of TeePublic vs Teespring. First of all, the profit is relatively lower. You will only get 10% – 20% of the purchase price. The rest will go to TeePublic. This is understandable because they do most of the work, but, then again, this is not ideal if you prefer to handle some things with your own hands in order to maximize profit.
Secondly, you won’t be able to collect data of your buyers. This makes it difficult if you want to reach them in the future in order to advertise your new designs and products.
Thirdly, you are subject to TeePublic’s rules. If, for any reason, they don’t like a design of yours, they can just remove it without your consent. They can even cancel and block your account if they really don’t like you.
Who Should Use TeePublic
Types of designs that usually fare well on TeePublic are pop culture stuff, trending topics, and funny unique images. There are also popular fan-art and mash-up themes, but you need to be careful about copyright or trademark issues with such designs.
TeePublic is great for artists who are just starting out. You don’t need much money to get started. This will allow you to test whether your target audience exists and whether you will get sales consistently.
TeePublic is also great for artists who already have huge portofolio. The more designs that you upload, the higher the chance to earn money.
However, TeePublic is not recommended for designers whose original works don’t fit any existing market or trend. TeePublic is also not suitable for “high-end” arts and for designers who already have big fanbases. For such circumstances, building your own brand is a better route.
Now, we’ll take a look at Teespring. Unlike TeePublic, Teespring is more of a campaign site. In essence, it is almost like a print-on-demand site, but Teespring will only print the products once a specific number of orders is reached. In addition, there is usually a limited duration for a campaign, though you will be able to restart the campaign in the future.
Teespring seems to have more varieties of items, including apparel, socks, flags, tote bags, beach towels, mugs, and home décor. However, it doesn’t have style options. For example, when a customer selects a t-shirt, they can only choose the size.
This platform is especially popular among people who sell their products through direct methods, such as via social media or fund-raising sites. Teespring is also very easy to use. You just need to setup an account, upload the designs, and set the minimum sales and campaign length.
Pros of Teespring
When choosing between TeePublic vs Teespring, the unique advantage that Teespring offers is the “limited edition” effect. By limiting the number of products and campaign length, there is a sense of scarcity that may encourage your potential customers to purchase before the campaign ends. This is especially good if you have a large following or some kind of an exclusive brand.
The other advantage of Teespring is that it is very quick and easy to use. Some people even say that Teespring is easier to use than TeePublic, although this is more of a subjective matter as both platforms are generally simple and straightforward. Still, you can get started with Teespring in a matter of minutes.
You don’t need to be an artist to use Teespring. There is a built-in designer software that will allow you to create your own designs, albeit with limited features and capabilities. You can just throw some text onto the t-shirt if you want.
Cons of Teespring
The “limited edition” effect is like a double-edged sword. Due to the limited number of products and campaign length, potential customers who come after the campaign has ended won’t be able to purchase. Unless you periodically restart your campaigns, you won’t be earning long-term income.
Teespring won’t provide you much organic traffic. Unlike print-on-demand websites, Teespring doesn’t have many engaged customers who come regularly to find new designs. As the effect, you will need to drive the traffic yourself, either by promoting on social media or sending promotional emails.
Lastly, Teespring also won’t give you customer data. The platform handles most of the work, so you won’t get information about your buyers’ contact details. Hence, it will be difficult for you in the future to reach your previous buyers to offer them your new products and designs.
Who Should Use Teespring
Teespring relies on the designer to generate traffic and drive customers. Because of that, all kinds of designs can sell well here as long as you have an existing audience or if you are really sure that your target market exists.
Teespring is ideal for designers with large fanbases, designers who can be reached easily via social media or ads, celebrities, and public figures. As mentioned previously, the built-in designer software will allow pretty much anyone to start a campaign. It is also suitable for schools, sports teams, and organisations who want to fundraise or simply sell shirts in bulks at low price points.
Teespring has been more commonly used to target specific niches based on hobbies, locations, occupations, or names. Most people here drive traffic from social media ads. In the end, though, you should only use Teespring if you already have an existing audience or if you have a reliable way of reaching the target market.
Stay away from Teespring if you are just getting started without a real target market. If, for example, you only have a small handful of social media followers and you know little about ads, you most probably won’t earn significant sales.
You also should not use Teespring if your goal is building passive income that will benefit you for years to come. While Teespring does allow you to restart campaigns, this will require you to maintain your audience and marketing efforts continuously. TeePublic will be much more practical for that due to the organic traffic. In comparison, Teespring will require more effort.
TeePublic vs Teespring
|- A print-on-demand site, customers can buy at any time||- A campaign site, there is a limit to the duration|
|- Plenty of product varieties with selectable styles||- Many product varieties but without optional styles|
|- Higher organic traffic||- Lower organic traffic|
|- Great for long-term income||- Good for short-term exclusive sales or fundraising|
|- Suitable for beginners as well as those already with huge portofolio||- Suitable for people with a lot of fans and followers|
In general, TeePublic is more recommended. It is easier to use, especially for new designers, because it has high levels of organic traffic. You don’t need to worry about finding and maintaining target audience. You just need to focus on finding ideas and turning them into cool designs. On the other hand, Teespring is more suitable for people who already have a lot of fans and followers.