Teespring Crowdsourcing T-shirt Service Review

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The following content is sponsored by Teespring! Teespring asked me to take a look at their site and share their service. I went totally wild and made a shirt. Because I couldn’t find a geeky Carry a Towel shirt for women anywhere!

Have you ever had to organize a t-shirt buy? Usually when you organize t-shirts for a group you get everyone to agree to buy a shirt (if you can at all), you determine how many and what sizes you need, you call around to find the best price, you pay out of pocket for the t-shirts, and then for some reason half the people who had agreed to buy shirts disappear because it took so long to organize it nobody wants the shirts any more? Yes, I have been there. Buying t-shirts for a group never ends well.

Teespring‘s service solves the t-shirt buying coordination problem by allowing you to create and sell a t-shirt without any upfront cost or risk until enough people buy your tees. It’s perfect for member groups like community organizations, clubs, and teams. You can also use Teespring for fundraising for a cause. You can of course target local groups, but as it’s all online, you can fundraise from across the country.  This t-shirt campaign raised over $85,000 for The One Fund Boston, benefiting victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings.

Here’s how Teespring works

First you design your t-shirt by heading to http://teespring.com/design. You decide how many shirts you need to be able to sell, and set your price. During the design process you’ll know how much each option costs. It’s totally free to launch a campaign. You can check out some examples of past Teespring campaigns or head to the Teespring homepage to see some current ones.

Next, you tell people about it (and Teespring has suggestions on how to promote your new t-shirt campaign). Perhaps you’re creating a shirt for a group. You just share your campaign page with everyone. Much like Kickstarter, the t-shirts don’t happen unless you meet your goal.  T-shirt buyers sign up to purchase the shirts and Teespring handles all the money.

Once your goal is met, you can keep on selling shirts until the campaign is over. Campaigns can run anywhere from 3-21 days. Then Teespring will print the shirts and ship them out (shipping is very reasonable – for customers in the US it’s only $3.85 for the first shirt plus a quarter for each additional shirt). I personally appreciate reasonable shipping.  And you don’t have to handle the distribution of the shirts either. That means that if you’re printing shirts for an event, everyone can show up wearing their shirts already. Teespring recommends that you end your campaign 10-14 days before an event.

If you don’t meet your goal, nobody gets charged and you don’t have to worry about being out all that upfront money for t-shirt printing.

Creating my shirt

I decided to create a shirt for my own campaign. Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 4.27.44 PMIt was super easy! I created a graphic for the shirt (although I could have used the text/clipart function on Teespring’s shirt designer too) and uploaded it.  I also selected the type of shirt (American Apparel) and color. Teespring told me the base price for this shirt is $9.60 for 50 shirts.

Lovely Lilac Ladies’ Don’t Panic & Carry a Towel T-shirts

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 4.28.50 PM

I decided to try to sell 15 shirts. Now everyone can buy their very own lovely lilac ladies’ Don’t Panic & Carry a Towel teeshirts.  I set the price at $15.99 and my shirts will run only if 15 people decide to buy them. And yes, you can get in on the campaign using that link. Go ahead. Click it.  Or read more about the shirt here.

I was compensated for writing this post. I didn’t have to create and design a shirt with the service, but I did anyways!

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