The Three Most Common Mistakes of Marketplace Sellers


The Spreadshirt Marketplace brings creative professionals and design enthusiasts together in one place; and setting yourself apart from the clip-arty, cookie-cutter crowd is the secret to selling success. To reach a large-market audience as quickly as possible and take the reins of your designing endeavors, take heed of Marketplace designers’ most common mistakes and learn to avoid them.

Mistake No.1:
Your designs aren’t available on the appropriate sales channel

Spreadshirt-world holds not just two, but three different sales channels: The Spreadshirt Marketplace, seller Shops and the T-Shirt Designer. Buyers browsing these three platforms have very different expectations. Therefore, not every design is equally-suitable for all channels. To find out where your design will sell best, you should first understand the target groups. Moreover, all designers should come to the table with a full understanding of how to publish designs across each channel.

Spreadshirt’s Marketplace

Customers browsing the Spreadshirt Marketplace tend to look for high-quality designs with an artsy appeal. They often look for gifts or — more importantly— a new purchase for themselves. This is why it’s not enough to just publish a design on the Marketplace. You should really envision creating a product with it.

T-Shirt Designer

Spreadshirt’s T-Shirt Designer is where particularly simple designs do well, as people simply want to personalize their tees in the create-your-own section. Many people use these designs to customize gifts or team T-shirts. The T-Shirt Designer has a search function to help your designs be found (as long as you have added corresponding tags in your design description).

Designs published in the Marketplace and the T-Shirt Designer should NOT feature photos of individuals, club logos or insider sayings as these are bound to have little or no appeal to others. Offer these kind of designs in your Shop to cater to the specific needs of a certain clientele.

Mistake No.2:
Untapped opportunities

You don’t really feel the strain of competition in your Shop, but on the Marketplace it’s innevitable. Potential customers compare your design with many other designs in the search results view, so you are well advised to use two very important tools:

International Markets

Spreadshirt provides its services in ten European languages and offers internet domains in North America and Australia. And since a picture paints a thousand words, there’s no reason why a good design shouldn’t find an outlet in a foreign country. Offer your designs on international Marketplaces! This is how it’s done:

For the European Marketplaces, you only need to adjust the country selection at the bottom of the website, and can keep in the “Topics” in the language of a corresponding product name, description, and tags. For North America and Australia, this is a bit more complicated: Here it is necessary to create a new user account on the page and upload the designs again.

Meta Tags

You want people to find your design when they do keyword searches online, so you should choose your meta tags and the design description carefully. You can choose a maximum of 25 tags. Try to imagine the purposes people might want use your design for to determine fitting tags. A mixture of specific and more general keywords is bound cover a wide range of searches. See this blog post for more info on how you get your meta tags sorted.

Mistake No.3:
Your design lacks added value

Design Themes

Symbols such as crowns and hearts can often be seen on t-shirts, but your chances of selling yet another ‘Keep Calm & x’ design are quickly exhausted. Instead, choosing a design with an unusual theme that brings out your own style will help see you corner a niche market and increase your chances to appeal to particular needs. Basically, the idea is to stand out from hundreds of search results. Watch this space for inspiration, you can i.e. check out this article about common search terms. Tip: before you create a new design, do a keyword search in the Marketplace to see what’s already offered. Test the waters, so to speak.

Design Format

Choose a file format to fit the Marketplace demands, meaning: make it ready for print. Dispense with unnecessary details, crop the canvas to fit the outline of the design and mask the design by ridding it of the background. Doing so will see it cut a fine figure on a larger number of products. And if you ask yourself whether to choose a vector graphics format or a pixel graphics file (e.g. .png), remember that your customers have more flexibility to change the colors in a vector graphics file.

What lessons you have learned from publishing in the Marketplace, the T-Shirt Designer or your own Shop? What other insight can we provide you re: selling faux pas? Please tell us in the comments!

11 comments Write a comment

  1. I published my page by mistake and need to correct my email address. When I try to make a change it keeps telling me I need to fix my tax info and I don’t know what it’s asking me to fix with my tax info

    • Hi SymbolGrafix,

      You have of course the option to open an account on our EU Spreadshirt platform as well. But you will have to upload your designs a second time meaning that you will have to invest some time to get your EU account going.

  2. Another very helpful article! Using the information has helped me increase my sales and given me insight into how/what customers think when purchasing.

    Thank you and Keep up the good work!


    • Thank you, Jay. We strive to provide pertinent information that will help our partners succeed. We look forward to continuing to assist you in the future and are always open to comments, concerns or information requests. Thanks for reading, and good sales! 🙂

Leave a Reply

* Checkbox is required


I agree