Uniqueness and individuality is a huge market. People don’t just want to blend in with the crowd and be like everyone else. They would rather stand out from the pack and swim against the current. They do this by expressing their personality and screaming to the world who they are in more ways than one.
One way they do this is by wearing shirts and apparel that are one-of-a-kind. The clothing they rock speaks volumes about who they are as individuals. They associate themselves with a specific design that resonates with their very core as people.
As a merch entrepreneur or with dreams of becoming one, you already know this. You plan on bringing your savvy and skill set to provide exceptional people with t-shirt designs that describe who and what they are. With the right design and color in mind to sell your t-shirt ideas, you can tap into their need to be unique and rake in the profits of your well-conceived shirt.
But before you get to the point of profitability, you need a platform where you can sell and promote your shirts effectively so you can reach a greater number of people. One of the best places where you can set up shop as an apparel retailer is Merch by Amazon or Amazon Merch.
In this Merch by Amazon review post, you will learn:
- what the platform is all about
- how to sell on Merch by Amazon to maximize your earnings
- the exact process on how to make a living with Merch by Amazon
Merch by Amazon review: Is this platform the right one for you?
Similar to sites like Redbubble, Merch by Amazon is a place where people can upload their designs and sell them off to buyers from Amazon. It’s completely different than using Amazon as a retail arbitrage tool, for reselling used textbooks or other items. It’s also completely different than eBay, which is just another online marketplace.
Initially, the site was dedicated for gamers who want to earn money by creating t-shirt designs from the games they play. However, the concept for the site has evolved due to increased demand. Nowadays, Merch by Amazon is an invite-only platform – you need to request for an invite before you can create an account and launch your t-shirt business.
Benefits of Amazon Merch
As mentioned, you can’t just sign up for an account at Merch by Amazon due to how popular and big it has become. Its success goes to show how many people enjoyed selling their designs from the platform and made good money off it. Below are some of the reasons explaining its popularity and why you should consider requesting for an invites soon:
Easy to set up – All you need to make money off Merch by Amazon is a shirt design. Once you have successfully created an account, you must upload the design, write a description of it, and publish it on Amazon as a product page. You need to optimize your descriptions and certain elements of the landing page to encourage people to purchase your shirt design. Other than that, this is simple as it gets when selling apparel t-shirts online. There’s no need for you to set up your own site or a Shopify store – Amazon will take care of the rest.
Hands-off business – Amazon will print on demand after receiving an order. They don’t stockpile the design and charge you for unsold items. Not only will Amazon take care of printing the t-shirt, but they’ll also manage the packaging and shipping of the shirt to the customer. All this t-shirt fulfillment stuff is happening while you’re sleeping or doing the things you love. Next thing you know, you’ve already earned hundreds of dollars from a couple of designs you uploaded on the site.
Designs are available through Amazon Marketplace – Instead of manually promoting your t-shirt sweatshirts designs to people, Amazon makes your product page available in its Marketplace. When people type in the keywords of your shirt designs, there’s a great chance that your page will appear on search results. You can still promote your designs at our own behest using different tactics. However, the convenience of getting your designs found on Amazon without you lifting a finger makes your job much easier. That said, optimizing the descriptions of your Amazon product pages determines how visible your pages will be.
Downsides of Amazon Merch
Amazon Merch is by no means a perfect platform for t-shirt design sellers. There are things that you may not like with the platform, and it’s best for you to know them right now to help you make an informed decision.
High barrier of entry and level of competition – The invite-only platform allows Amazon to be selective of the users who will participate in the program. The exclusivity of Amazon Merch is deliberate to keep riff-raffs from dominating the platform. It also encourages you to bring your A-game with your designs if you want to profit from custom t-shirts sellers. However, the real problem isn’t about getting into the platform but making money off it. All users might be better than you in coming up with awesome and on-demands designs for apparel t-shirts, hoodies, and the like. As a result, you might make the money you think you deserve on Merch by Amazon.
Limited shirt designs to upload for sale – Upon receiving an invitation from Merch by Amazon, you can only upload a maximum of 10 shirt designs from the beginning. You can increase your limit to 25 designs (followed by 100) if all your designs sell like pancakes. Amazon probably wants to showcase designs that actually sell t-shirts and not just those that fill out their marketplace. You have to agree with the probable logic explaining the design limit which encourages you to choose the designs to upload wisely. But it makes earning money from the platform more difficult because you will feel hamstrung by the imposed limit.
All things considered, you should request for an invite to the platform and try your luck in making money from your t-shirt designs. There’s nothing wrong in taking a stab at Merch by Amazon – you’ll never really know the prospect of earning from it unless you try!
How to sell t-shirts effectively on Amazon Merch
The success of merch entrepreneur is not always on the actual product. Granted, it plays a huge chunk in how much money they will make. Just as important is how they position the product against the competition. This requires research and testing to see which designs will yield the best results. Below are some of the things you need to do so you can get start a t-shirt business by designing custom t-shirts.
Conduct keyword research
Since you want to increase your visibility on Amazon Marketplace, you need to find out what people search for to help you come up with t-shirt sweatshirts designs. In fact, it’s probably better to hold off designing your shirt until you figure out what makes people tick first.
When looking for the best Merch by Amazon keywords, you need to check on their respective volumes. This figure tells you how many people are searching for the phrase on Amazon. The more people searching for the keyword, the more reason for you to create a design based off that.
There are tools specifically for extracting keyword search volume from Amazon. SpyAMZ is a keyword research tool dedicated to helping you extract keyword data from Merch by Amazon. The tool also lets you track which product pages are ranking for a search phrase, receive alerts for trending words and products, and others. What makes SpyAMZ even more valuable is the ability to search for clothing trademark to prevent you from using certain phrases in your t-shirt design and avoid legal issues.
Using the tool, you can analyze which products are ranking for which keywords. From here, you can filter out low-profit designs and view those that earned lots of money in a period. This helps you determine the kind of designs that sell on Amazon so you can pattern the good ones on your own.
Another tool you can use for extracting keyword data is KeywordTool.io. It produces keyword ideas that you can turn into t-shirt designs based on their search volume and other factors. The tool refers to Amazon’s autocomplete feature to deliver more results for your research and review.
Using the data gathered from SpyAMZ, you can see the pages ranking on top for the keywords. If you can’t afford a SpyAMZ account at the moment, you can manually enter the keyword on the Amazon search bar to see which products are ranking for it.
There are different factors explaining why a page ranks on a position in Amazon search. If you want more people to see your t-shirt design, then you need to rank on top of search results for your target keyword. The higher your ranking is, the more chances you will convert more people into sales.
To do this, you need to understand what you’re up against. Your keyword research should already give you an idea of what’s to come your way with your chosen keywords. Below are the factors you need to keep an eye on to help you analyze the competitor and come up with a much better product page:
You will host your shirt designs using your account. Therefore, check out your competitors have set up their brand identity.
There are two types of approaches for brand identity; the first is the niche approach. For example, if they have a death metal-inspired t-shirt design, you can expect other death metal t-shirt designs on their brand.
The second type of brand identity is the designer approach. Users can also house all designs irrelevant of their niche under a single brand. This approach can be problematic because buyers are interested in a niche and not you as the designer especially if you’re still starting out. However, the designer approach can be more profitable in the long run once you’ve built clout in the platform.
Check which approach dominates your keywords. Ideally, you want a piece of a pie from the niche approach because it’s easier to penetrate.
When writing your description, not only should it contain your keyword but it should also be descriptive. Use the quote mentioned in the t-shirt design (if there is one), followed by the niche, the audience you’re trying to target, and other modifiers. Expect the best-performing pages to have similar formats for their title with the one I mentioned. If not, find common denominators in their title and incorporate it on your pages. Make sure to test the results of the changes in your title and see if you were able to increase visibility and sales.
Key product feature
This part helps convince people to purchase your product. If they don’t find this section of the page impressive, then they move on to the next design. A single sentence or word in your key product feature might turn them off. Therefore, with such little room for error, you need to be deliberate and strategic in writing them on your page.
First, you need to answer the following questions:
Who is the shirt design for? Identify the target audience for your design. Continuing with our death metal-themed design, the shirt is for fans of the music genre who want to express their love for all things death metal.
What does the audience love doing? Use this information to appeal to their sensibilities. For example, death metal fans spend their time listening to and looking for the most extreme death metal music and attending concerts of their favorite bands.
When and where will they wear this shirt? Give examples of occasions or instances wearing the shirt is perfect. You can also inject humor into this part for comedic effect. Following the thread above, a death metal t-shirt is perfect when going to the grocery to show other how metal you are and to scare away old people. However, your design determines the tone and approach you want to use for your page. Humor may work in most cases but it may not be the best approach for religious t-shirt designs, for example.
The questions above should help give you an idea of how to create your own for your product pages and check on your competitors. They might follow a different format for their key product features, so you can opt to use their method especially if they’re working well for them.
The actual design
Using the information you’ve gathered from the previous points, you should have a clear idea of the kind of t-shirt design guaranteed to sell on Merch by Amazon.
Your t-shirt design must be a big concern for you. It will help you separate from the other design available on Amazon. Coming up with a unique twist to a niche or topic that’s selling like crazy on Amazon is tough but doable.
If you’re a designer, then the responsibility of coming up with a t-shirt design falls on you. Using a t-shirt design software is a must, obviously. However, if you’re a merch entrepreneur and have zero design skills, then you need to enlist the help of professional designers to help turn your ideas into a profitable design.
To find the right designer for your needs, watch this video by Reezy Resells for some practical tips and advice:
- Write a brief that you will send to all prospective t-shirt designers. It should detail how many designs you want, the kind of design you need for the project, and how much you are willing to pay for each.
- Send the brief on job marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and OnlineJobs.ph
- Prepare to work with different t-shirt designers until you find the best designer for the price you’re offering
- Ask referrals from the designers you hired so you don’t have to rely on job marketplaces to connect with talented ones
- Make sure that the designers are using non-copyright elements to avoid legal troubles
Get help from experts
Using the information found in this post should be enough to help you start a t-shirt business via Merch by Amazon. However, some of you might want a more thorough and comprehensive course that provides a step-by-step program on making money using the platform.
A quick search on sites like Udemy and Skillshare will reveal to you the Merch by Amazon course you need to take. Each course has their own user rating to help you filter out the great ones from the rest. Also, consider the number of people who rated the course. For example, if there are courses tied with the highest star rating, use the number of reviews as the tiebreaker.
If you want free support in your Amazon Merch journey, then head on to Merch by Amazon subreddit. Browse through the posts there for ideas on how to approach selling t-shirts on Amazon. You can also post questions and see the replies of users if you have a question that hasn’t been answered yet.
Last, refer to Merch by Amazon success stories if you want inspiration so you reach the same level of success as they have. Keep in mind that success is relative. For some, a commission of $61.65 for the first month of Amazon Merch is not bad especially if you’re just starting out. If you do this consistently, your earnings could balloon up to over $128 million over the next 10 months! Each user will yield different earnings from their efforts so don’t fret if you’re not making millions after a year or so. You simply need to improve your current effort and refine your strategy to slowly but surely grow your income through the t-shirt business.
Did this Merch by Amazon review encourage you to sell shirts on Amazon?
Building a t-shirt business takes one brick at a time. There are different factors you need to consider if you want to succeed in this venture. It’s not enough if you have a great t-shirt design – you also need to conduct proper research to make things work in your favor.
More importantly, you need to do all using Merch by Amazon. Don’t focus on the chance that they won’t send you an invite. Focus on the opportunities and possibilities once you get accepted into the platform. Granted, your work will be cut out for you given the fierce competition. However, the fun comes in the challenge of coming up with killer t-shirt designs and gradually increasing your income until you amass the success of your design. Hopefully, this post will guide you on the right path to profitability with your t-shirt business.