How To Sell Custom Apparel On Etsy

Did you know that Etsy is one of the top 10 most popular U.S. retail websites? If you don’t want to manage your own website and you would prefer to utilize the massive reach that Etsy has, then this can be a great way to sell your custom t shirts and embroidery.


Before you set up your custom t shirt or embroidery business on Etsy, do your research by answering these questions:

  • What do Etsy buyers purchase most in your category of custom apparel?
  • What stores have the highest number of sales?
  • Are there any trending items that you can make? What are their photos like? How are they marketing their products?

There are third-party websites that will show you who’s making the most money.You can also look at best-selling items on the Etsy website directly.

You can never do enough investigating before you launch your own shop. Doing your due diligence will set you up for success.

Consider Wholesale

Do you prefer selling your custom apparel wholesale instead of individually to a multitude of buyers? You can do that through Etsy too.

Selling wholesale means that rather than selling to consumers, one garment at a time, you’ll sell to a business and THEY will sell your product online for a markup. You get the big advantage of having to deal with fewer buyers and larger orders, and you don’t have to do as much marketing. The disadvantage is that you’ll make less per piece because you’ll have to allow profit for your wholesale customer.  

The marketplace boasts 11,000 retailers who are vetted for resale ID number. Etsy even offers educational tools to help you build a wholesale business through their website.

You could try both methods and see which one is the most lucrative and go from there.


As we mentioned in the Pinterest article, it’s extremely important to use high quality photos to showcase each of the products you will be listing in your Etsy store. The more pictures you have, the better.

For example, include a close-up of the designs, a close shot of the fabric, embroidery, or print details, and take at least one of the front and one of the back of the cap or tshirt.


Take the time to write clear descriptions of each item you add to Etsy, both in the product name and description.

Not only is this good for SEO purposes, but it will also help you get found by potential buyers who are searching for products according to a certain color or style, whether it be embroidery or rhinestones.


Don’t just throw your custom t-shirts and embroidered caps in a box and hope for the best when your customer gets it.

Put thought into your packaging. Ask yourself: how can I delight my customer when they receive this box and keep them wanting more?

A thoughtful note, a small free gift, and branded bags are easy ways to add a special touch to your packages. This will inspire your customers to leave a 5-star rating, which is a very important part of getting more sales for your apparel.

Appreciation & Referrals

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of selling your custom apparel.

Once you get your first sale on Etsy, email the buyer. Thank them for their purchase and ask them to share your store or tell their friends about it if they really like your product.

People love to talk about products they like, especially if they’ve had a special experience. Provide quality products and express sincere appreciation for their purchase and you will create a loyal following of repeat buyers and brand evangelists.

Using Etsy for your custom t-shirt business can be a lucrative way of increasing sales if you utilize these best practices. Taking great photos of your goods, creating thoughtful descriptions of your products, and showing appreciation for your customers all contribute to the success of your Etsy store. Don’t skimp on the small stuff!