The Price Is Right?
How to Price Your T-Shirts

One of the major aspects of running a clothing brand is the pricing of your products. You’ll have to consider what price you can afford to sell at (while making a profit) and what price potential customers are willing to buy at.

You might be tempted to sell your t-shirts at the cheapest price possible, convinced that people will buy for that reason. However, keep in mind that price won’t be the determining factor for someone who’s making an emotional purchase. After all, a cool looking t-shirt isn’t exactly a basic human need.

As Entrepreneur magazine puts it:

“Before setting a price for your product, you have to know the costs of running your business. If the price for your product or service doesn’t cover costs, your cash flow will be cumulatively negative, you’ll exhaust your financial resources, and your business will ultimately fail”.

People will be willing to purchase your shirts based on the pricing of brands in a niche similar to yours. The perceived value of your brand (celebrity endorsed, fabric quality, exclusivity, etc.) also plays a role in the what price you can sell at.

So how do you set the right price for your t-shirts? 

Let’s take a look at some of the common price ranges for t-shirts. The prices below refer to short sleeve t-shirts with a graphic on the front.

"T. Rex Also Hates Pull Ups", 6 Dollar Shirts

Cheap Tees

Price Range: $5 – $15

This approach works if you’re selling mass marketed designs and can afford to place huge bulk orders upfront (1000+ units per unique design / color). By ordering large quantities per unique product, you’re cost per unit will drop significantly.

Alternatively, if you’re printing the shirts yourself (assuming you know what you’re doing), you can still be profitable while selling cheap shirts.

"Talisman T-Shirt", Welcome

Average Range

Price Range: $16 – $27

The unofficial average price range for the majority of t-shirt brands. Most brands you come across will have their tees at this price range whether they’re new or have been around for a while.

Great profit margin if you can afford huge orders, good enough margin if you place small wholesale orders.

"Plumage Tee", Pink Dolphin

Streetwear Brand

Price Range: $28 – $40

These tees usually come off as higher quality than the average tees and often involve designs that feature various print locations, multiple print techniques and all over prints. Many streetwear labels, rookies and vets alike, go with this range.

"Metallic Silver Buddha", True Religion

Affordable Luxury

Price Range: $41 – $80+

These tees are often associated with luxury, affluence and sophistication and also have more complex production processes…or the brand is so popular the name sells itself.

The labels are also often endorsed by and marketed towards celebs, which allows the retail price to be so high.

When choosing a price range for your brand, keep in mind these key factors to each range. See which range your brand could best be defined as or which you’d like for your brand to be sold for.

Be realistic too. Some newbies make the mistake of trying to create expensive upscale labels without offering high quality t-shirts or having any celebrity backing.

Wholesale T-Shirt Pricing

Now let’s take a look at wholesale pricing. Typically, retail stores will take your product and sell it for 2x as much as they bought it for. If your retail price is $20 your wholesale price should be $10.

This is what the price ranges above would look like as wholesale prices:

Cheap Tees

  • Retail: $5 – $15
  • Wholesale: $2.50 – $7.50

At this price range, you’re better off selling your products exclusively online.

Average Range

  • Retail: $16 – $27
  • Wholesale: $8 – $13.50

Streetwear Brand

  • Retail: $28 – $40
  • Wholesale: $14 – $20

Affordable Luxury

  • Retail: $41 – $80+
  • Wholesale: $20.50 – $40+

Are you ready to offer your t-shirts for these wholesale prices? Will you still be able to profit?

Here’s a rule you should try to go by:

Production cost x 2 = Wholesale price

Wholesale price x 2 = Retail price

Keep these things in mind when deciding on your t-shirt prices. As with many business journeys you may find that not all this pricing stuff is the same everywhere or that your particular situation requires you to price differently.

Now let’s play some Plinko!