5 Things To Know Before Starting A T-shirt Subscription Box

blog getting started resources Sep 28, 2020
5 Things To Know Before Starting A T-shirt Subscription Box


After I had almost 2 years under my belt with the Monogram Box Subscription, I decided it was time for another subscription.  Something my current subscribers kept asking me for more of, was T-shirts!  Thus, my T-Shirt Club was born.

I run this subscription as an "open model" vs the "closed model" of my box.

Today, I am giving you my top 5 tips to start a T-Shirt Subscription. 

* This post contains affiliate/referral links. I could make a commission at no charge to you if you purchase my recommended products.  Please read my disclosure and privacy policy HERE.



1) T-shirts Styles and Brands.  

No matter what brand or style you choose, it's important to be consistent with your subscribers.  Once they figure out what fit they like best, they will get frustrated with sizing and cancel if the shirts are constantly fitting different than the last one.

This will help with customer retention and reduce customer service issues, not to mention return shipping costs when your customer has sizing issues.



2) Screen Printing vs. DTG Printing

Screen printing is the process of pressing ink through a screen onto the t-shirt to create your graphic. These screens are stencils of your design. This method results in vibrant colors, even on dark t-shirts. 

Screen printing is great for bulk orders.  It's the cheapest, most cost-effective way to print hundreds, even thousands of shirts!

When I screen print, I like to use 1-3 colors max.  This helps my profit margins and still makes a great looking design.

You can use multiple ink colors, but each color will be layered on individually using a different stencil, increasing the cost. 



Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is the process of having a printer spray the ink onto the t-shirt. The pigments soak into the fabric, similar to printing on paper.

DTG printing is great when you have a full-color design.  The colors are limitless, and because of the printing technology, this method is excellent for multi-color, intricate designs. 

It's best to use DTG for smaller batches, say 1-200 pieces.  There is a multi-step process for printing on a shirt and depending on how many printers someone has, this could take a long time, one by one.



3) Cost Breakdown

Whether you choose the screen printing method or DTG printing, there are costs associated with both.  Let's break that down here. 

  • Bulk printing - The more you print, the cheaper the printing costs are.  Make sure you ask for a bulk printing chart.  It might make the difference on whether you order 95 shirts or 105 shirts.
  • Number of Colors - For both screen printing and DTG printing.  The number of colors you use will affect the over cost of printing.  With screen printing, each color has a separate screen and needs a separate swipe of color to be passed through those screens.  With DTG printing, some designs need a white base layer.  This layer may cost extra as well.  It's best to talk to your printer before deciding on a design.
  • Screen Set-up - If you are going with screen printing, each color has it's own screen.  There is typically a flat rate fee for each screen used in a design.
  • Graphic Designing - If you don't create your own designs, or need a little help formatting them correctly, your printer may charge you a design fee.  They can usually help with the design process.  My advice is to be as specific as possible, the less they have to try and figure out the more efficient and inexpensive it will be to create your t-shirt designs for you!


4) Extras

Adding little bonuses to your T-shirt subscription keeps your subscribers surprised and increases perceived value. A small token goes a long way. An on-theme, personal touch also increases brand awareness and builds your relationship with your customers.



I like to add a small quote card or die-cut stickers for a positive daily reminder. Other ideas: Digital download offer, link to a playlist, or custom buttons and pins.  The possibilities here are endless.  Find creative ways to surprise and delight your subscriber.


5) Packaging

The best way to pack your t-shirt subscription is in a poly mailer.  I use a 10x13 custom bag for my subscription.  This will save you tons on shipping.  In most cases, you can ship a t-shirt for less than $4.00 using First Class Mail.

You can grab all my insider info on packaging and where I get my custom poly mailers from my Packaging Cheatsheet.







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