You might be thinking, “I can’t make clothing, so this post isn’t for me.”
But you would be super WRONG!
In fact, this post is DEFINITELY for you if you can’t sew, crochet, knit, or weave.
It’s for anyone who LOVES fashion and design, but has no idea what a thimble is.
That’s right, you can start a clothing line on Etsy without physically making any of your own clothing.
What??? I know, it sounds impossible, but some of the BIGGEST Etsy clothing sellers never screen print or stitch a single thing.
If you are already selling on Etsy then street wear is a fun, easy, and popular thing to add to your shop.
So let’s back this truck up and talk about exactly why selling clothing on Etsy is such a great idea. ⬇️
Spoiler: it’s because of money.
Why Sell Clothing on Etsy?
People will always need clothing.
It’s a fact of life. Also, clothing makes great gifts for any family member whether they’re big, small, short, tall, or dog. Maybe cats too. Maybe Iguanas! Okay, maybe NOT iguanas, but you get the idea. Clothes are for everyone these days.
The average price of a PLAIN crew neck sweater is $24 on Etsy. That’s a pretty nice profit considering you can pick that sweater up at a thrift store for about $5.
Now, if you can imagine something a little bit brighter and bolder than a plain sweater (and I bet you can)... Then you can earn even more.
From hats to fanny packs, the world is your oyster. Anyone can do it, and I mean anyone.
What types of clothing SELL OUT on Etsy?
Just one Etsy search for clothing will reveal TONS of top results for clothing that’s customized with the buyer’s name, pictures of pets, or dates, kids’ names, etc.
If you want your clothing to be popular, start with something that can be CUSTOMIZED easily for each customer.
Top clothing items to customize are:
- Baby Onesies
Yup. There is a baby out there that NEEDS your design.
How else will they know to “Beep and Toot, If you know I’m cute!” or other inspirational phrases.
Okay, so maybe not that, but I’m sure you have a brilliant idea tucked away somewhere 😉
If phrasing isn’t your game, that’s just fine. While I’m no inspirational phrase expert, I do know that your CUSTOMERS can take a blank design (like these) and run with it... ⬇️
What if I Don’t Know how to Make Clothes? (Or customize clothes?)
That USED to mean you couldn’t sell clothing on Etsy, but now there are companies that make clothing for you.
That means you're in business, Buttercup!
(Note: Manufactured clothing cannot be customized for each customer -- an example of manufactured clothing would be a prewritten phrase on a t-shirt, where they all say the same thing).
With these two options, you sell whatever to WHOEVER.
After all...No one wants to pass up high-quality family reunion t-shirts with custom photos and phrases on them 🤣 ... After all, who are we to deprive them of such joy?
What Print on Demand Clothing options are there?
When it comes to clothing, Print on Demand gives you ALL THE OPTIONS ⬇️
Personally, I like Printful and Printify for simple clothing with high-quality fabric. There are TONS of different styles to choose from and basically every size...So you can guarantee there will be something for everyone.
Print on demand lets your customers pick colors, style, size...
And YOU don't have to store boxes of every shirt in EVERY friggin' size in your hallway...Fire code violation style...
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have at least one item of personalized clothing.
And come on, who doesn’t want a beanie covered in their dog’s face?
Amiright?? (I am.) ⬇️
This option is a little bit more work on your end but gives your customers exactly what they want. (And people will PAY for exactly what they want. Note the clothing prices below!)
Honestly, the whole thing is pretty cute. *Buys hat and matching socks.*
Examples of Print on Demand Clothing
Say you have a group of gal pals who all want matching jackets for book club.
With print-on-demand clothing, they choose a jacket style from your Etsy store and submit their chosen phrase to you.
From there, you complete the order in requested sizes through your print-on-demand supplier, and Print on Demand sends the Bad Bitches Book Club jackets STRAIGHT to your customer.
Maybe I should start a book club…
All jokes aside, for those who like to wear their heart on their sleeve, literally, your store will be like a magnet to them.
Make sure you offer a wide variety of sizes and types of clothing. Try t-shirts, sweatshirts, sleeveless shirts...ALL the THINGS!
If you would buy it, then TRY IT in your shop.
And this is the most important part: Keep it STUPID simple.
DO NOT allow your customer to choose their font, color, fabric, sparkles etc...
Confused customers DO NOT buy.
People buy simple things that are EASY.
If you don't believe me, look at these top clothing sellers on Etsy. Notice how it's INSTANTLY CLEAR what *one thing* you can customize from the item photos.
What Manufactured Clothing options are there?
For manufactured clothing, I like Awesome Merch. I mean, it’s all in the name, they’re literally awesome.
You can choose from aprons, bags, hats, hoodies, and more. Each items is made with luxury fabric that your customers will love. ⬇️
With manufactured clothing, the idea is to order in BULK.
So find a design that's selling well, and then order a bunch at once.
If you don't have any best-selling designs yet, start small and see what sells best.
Going the manufactured route is MUCH CHEAPER than Print on Demand.
The trade-off is that you have to store inventory yourself, and ship each item to the customer yourself.
You also can't customize each item for the customer. This works well if you have a popular design that doesn't need to be customized.
But – and here's a fun cheat – you can ALWAYS ship your designs straight to Amazon FBA or a shipper like shipstation...and get them to do it for you!
Examples of Manufactured Clothing
Manufactured clothing is different from Print on Demand (POD) clothing because it isn’t customizable.
However, you can choose from different fonts and coloring as well as types of clothing and sizes. You know people, they’re wild for fonts. Just animals 🤣.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have different phrases or designs, it just means what your customers see in your store is what they can order – no customizations.
So say you have four styles of t-shirt and they all say, “Kowabunga, dudes!” Ninja Turtle fans everywhere will be able to purchase any of the four styles you showcase.
Here are some examples of manufactured items ⬇️
Selling Both Print On Demand and Manufactured Clothing on Etsy
Once you get your feet off the ground with one clothing option, then it might be time to stretch yourself and try adding the other.
Whether you add manufactured clothing or print on demand to your already flourishing collection, you’re on the road to money town.
I like to start with Print on Demand, and get a feel for what's popular. It doesn't hurt to offer some custom options as well, just to get those sales moving.
Then once I see what's popular, I order a bunch of manufactured items (which saves me mad $$ and gets me more profit!)
How do I get photos of Clothing that I didn’t make myself?
Use mockups! Here are examples of blank t-shirt photos you can just overlay your design on for perfect, professional photos (affiliate link) at a fraction of the price:
No in-person modeling required and it saves money on shipping! Win, win, win.
- OR -
You can also just ship your clothing DIRECTLY to a professional photographer and get the photos emailed straight to you.
This option looks the best in your Etsy store, to be honest. I don’t know what it is, but people really respond to high quality photos taken just for you:
Finding Success Selling Clothing on Etsy
In the long run, it comes down to being smart and trusting your gut.
If you think to yourself, "would I buy this?" and the answer is HELL no, DO NOT SELL THAT ITEM.
Stay true to yourself and your brand. I didn’t become a full-time Etsy seller by offering what I THINK people want. I did RESEARCH to figure out what they want, and then I sell THAT!
For more ideas on what to sell on Etsy, see how I do research here!
Wanna sell MORE on Etsy... like, YESTERDAY?
Most people just hop on google and search for "Etsy tricks" to make more sales.
But I have news for you – if YOU found that Etsy trick for free, then so did EVERY. ONE. ELSE.
Common advice is OVERUSED until it doesn't work anymore.
And ultimately, your shop is more unique than you think. It's not like your competitor's or anyone else's...Otherwise you'd be seeing identical results.
Here's a shocker: there's no MAGIC SECRET you're missing.
People who succeed on Etsy decided a long time ago that they were just gonna be STUBBORN, and keep trying until they succeed.
None of this "I'm giving myself three months to see if this works..."
That's a BS excuse...And it ENCOURAGES you to just walk away if the world doesn't hand you exactly what you asked for on a silver platter.
And the fact is, you WILL be disappointed if you just wait for "the universe" to "make it happen".
The universe doesn't hand people shit on a silver platter.
But YOU can make it happen for YOURSELF.
Is it time for you to BE STUBBORN and keep trying until you succeed?
If you're READY to get your PROFIT on, let us help you make it happen faster.
We do individual attention (cause your shop IS unique), Etsy courses, and tactics that are HIDDEN from the rest of the internet.
Find out more here. ⬇️