There are some inherent financial risks for beginners who try to make money with Teespring. One of the biggest is in order for a campaign to go through (Teespring calls it “tipping a campaign”) so the T-shirts are actually sold, you have to meet the T-shirt quantity goal you set. For example, if I set my goal at 50 T-shirts, but only 25 are purchased, the campaign fails to “tip,” and the T-shirts are never made. While I don’t lose any money on the actual cost of the T-shirts, any money I spent on advertising and artwork is lost. The logical reaction to this is to set up quantity goals which require only a few T-shirts to be sold so the campaign “tips” and the T-shirts are produced.
While this sounds good, it comes at an earnings price. The fewer T-shirts I initially set as a goal, the less amount I’ll profit on each T-shirt sold. For example, if I were to set a goal of selling 10 T-shirts (3 color design) at $20 each, and I tipped that campaign, I would receive $6 for each shirt sold. If, however, I set a goal of 50 T-shirts, I would receive a profit of $10.85 for each sold if the campaign succeeded. A small initial goal means less profit for me. If I set a 10 T-shirt goal, but actually sold 50 T-shirts, I would earn $300 ($6 profit x 50 T-shirts). If I had set my initial goal at 50 T-shirts, and I sold 50, I would earn $542.50 ($10.85 profit x 50 T-shirts). That’s a $242.50 difference in earnings determined solely on making a good estimate of how many T-shirts will be sold.
The problem, of course, is if I set the initial goal at 50 T-shirts, but only sold 25 (or even 49), I would get $0 because the campaign wouldn’t tip, and the T-shirts wouldn’t get produced. In this case, I would lose money due to the artwork I paid for and the advertising I did to try and reach the goal.
As you can see above, it’s a sort of strategy game of picking the highest number of T-shirts you think you can sell without going over that number. For those who have a lot of experience, and who have done lot of campaigns, making this estimates is a bit easier. For someone completely new to this as I am, I have no idea, and my ignorance could end up costing me a lot of money as I try to learn better. The solution to this major Teespring issue for beginners has been solved with Teechip.
(Note: Basically for both websites, the goal number you set has little meaning when it comes to your shirts being printed, and it’s simply a tool for you to see how much you will earn if you meet it.)
While there are a number of small differences between the two sites, one is Teechip doesn’t require you to meet a goal in order to print the T-shirts. Teespring also doesn’t require you to meet your stated goal, but will only print shirts if enough are sold to be profitable. This is usually three, but can be as many as five depending on the product. With Teechip, even if only a single person buys a T-shirt, it will be printed, sent and you will earn some money.
Both websites also will credit volume discounts if you go beyond the goal number you set. Teespring initally only offered 75% of the volume discount if you underestimated the number of T-shirts you’d sell, but changed that to 100% at the end of last year. The company says this 100% bonus is “likely permanent.” This means with both sites, the more T-shirts you sell, the bigger profit you get from each one sold.
What this basically means for a beginner like me is I can reduce my financial risk a bit as I test whether or not I can make money from this. I don’t eliminate the risk completely, but there is less financial risk with Teechip than Teespring for beginners, since it begins paying as soon as the first T-shirt is sold.
Another difference is that Teechip pays higher margins per T-shirt than Teespring. This means when selling a T-shirt for the same amount, I will keep more money from Teechip than I will from Teespring. When beginning with a limited budget, getting paid from the first sale and the higher margins can mean I can launch more test T-shirt designs, therefore giving me a better chance to succeed since I have more opportunities to test with the same amount of money.
Below is a comparison of what I will earn from a 3 color design from both Teechip and Teespring:
|# of T-shirts Sold||Teespring Profit||Teechip Profit|
|3||$0.00 – $5.25||$27.02|
As you can see from the above table, for someone just starting out who may have a large number of campaigns which only sell a few T-shirts, Teechip makes a whole lot more sense from a financial perspective. With them, even if a campaign “fails” and I only get a few T-shirt sales, I will still end up breaking even (or even making a small amount) rather than getting nothing to a little as I would from Teespring. For example, if I have twenty of my planned fifty campaigns sell 3 T-shirts, and I pay $10 for artwork and $15 for advertising, the difference becomes clear. For those twenty campaigns I would have made a modest $40.40 with Teechip on those campaigns. With Teespring, those same twenty campaigns would leave me at -$395.00, and that’s assuming all the campaigns paid $5.25.
Also, if I do launch a campaign which does far better than I could anticipate and sells a lot of T-shirts, I get volume margins with Teechip whereas I would be making a much smaller set amount per T-shirt with Teespring. From a financial perspective with a limited budget and while I’m still learning, it makes financial sense to begin with Teechip where I will likely have a large number of campaigns where only 1 to 3 shirts are sold.
The major risk with Teechip is it’s a much newer and less established company than Teespring. While Teespring has established itself as company which will be around, there’s a larger risk of Teechip not being able to survive the competition in the long run. Still, this added risk seems to be worth it for the benefit of extending my budget so I can test more campaigns in these early stages so that I can hopefully reach my $10,000 goal in 100 days. Once I feel more comfortable in my understanding of how these campaigns work, I’ll reevaluate which of the two is a better choice.
Update: This article has been significantly changed with updated information emailed to me by Teespring which I misunderstood. Like I have said from the beginning, I’m going into this challenge with no head start on how this entire process works, and I’m learning along the way. While this will mean that I stumble through the learning process and make these types of mistakes, I hope it also shows what you would expect to have to go through if you, too, decide to attempt to make money as in this challenge. When I do make mistakes like I originally did in this article, I’ll do my best to correct the information as soon as I realize it’s wrong.