Merch By Amazon Acceptance
At the beginning of 2017, after exploring avenues for shirt design, creation, and selling, I found out about Merch By Amazon. For those of you who are unaware of what Merch by Amazon is, here is Amazon’s value proposition: “Sell your designs on the world’s largest marketplace with no upfront investment or costs.” Basically, it allows you to create, design, and list shirts on Amazon that can be sold. When someone orders the shirt, Amazon fulfills the order and you get royalties on each sale. I have seen a variety of success stories (and failures) online and am very interested in exploring the program. What’s really exciting about Merch By Amazon is that it is an invite-only program. So, when I found out about the program in early 2017, I applied to be a part of it. I just received my acceptance email on January 7th, 2018, almost a year after my initial application. That is a long damn time! I’m pretty excited to finally get access and I plan on documenting the Merch By Amazon process. My goal is to create a passive income from shirt designs and explore different ways to increase that income. There is a lot of parallels on Amazon with designing, optimizing keywords, and writing sales copy that I see in my day-to-day life running my marketing company SixFive. But, in a lot of ways, this is completely new territory for me and I am looking forward to exploring the program and Amazon as a whole. Amazon is a massive, growing company, similar to Google, that I believe there is a big benefit in hedging your bets on. Learn these systems and programs now and you can have a lot of success in the future. Here is what you see when you first log in:
Merch By Amazon Full Page Screenshot Initial Dashboard
Starting To Sell
Before you can sell, you need to provide your business or individual tax information so that Amazon can pay you the royalties for your work. I have gone through and done that now, signed the paperwork, and am ready to create my first design! I will highlight that both in written content moving forward and videos.
Important Notes On Merch By Amazon
You Set Your Own Royalty.
You get to choose how much you want to charge for your shirt. Do you charge high and make more of a profit or do you charge low to make your shirts competitive and easier to sell?
No Inventory Risk
Because Amazon has a massive fulfillment and printing system set up, you never have to worry about running out of products or having too many. Amazon prints on demand when someone puts an order in.
This is great. All shirts are eligible for Amazon Prime and customers can be confident they will receive their products quickly if they are members (and it might entice them to sign up, helping Amazon).
Reach New Customers
Amazon is a massive e-commerce website with hundreds of millions of users. I am hoping, and many Merch by Amazon users are hoping, that with that many people flowing through we will be able to make sales.
Amazon gives you a dedicated area in your dashboard to measure your success and track sales. This will be very helpful. Here is a shot of it below (very empty as you see – hopefully, this is not the case as I move forward):
Merch By Amazon Full Page Screenshot Analyze Dashboard
What Are Obstacles To Success?
No Professional Designer
Up until a couple weeks ago, I had a full-time designer and partner who would have been fantastic at creating beautiful, complex designs for Merch By Amazon. He is no longer on my team, so I am stuck designing the shirts myself. I am not a designer. So, I will focus on simple, text-based designs. At the end of 2016, I was on a bit of a spiritual quest and I ordered some shirts from Printful with slogans I have created. I came up with over 100 slogans and I plan to do use my favourite ones for the design. I will be taking the font and branding from this site because I do think it looks nice and will make nice-looking text-based designs.
Amazon has a tiered system that I am still exploring and learning more about. In the beginning, you only get 25 designs that you can upload. Once you make your first 25 sales, you get to move up, create new designs, and extend your presence on Amazon. As you continue to be more successful, Amazon will upgrade your status so you can add more designs and make more royalties. Because I am limited in the beginning, I plan on using this strategy:
1. Create Evergreen Designs
These are designs that will stay. The designs that I believe in and will be relevant all year long. This is taken from a concept in marketing where marketers create Evergreen content that will drive readers and leads all the time as the content is not seasonal, trendy, or temporary.
2. Create Trending Designs
I spend a lot of time on the interwebs and I want to capitalize on trending content to see if it will connect with people and make sales. For example, maybe old Donald Trump has a little Twitter tantrum and drops a quotable, I want to put that on a shirt and capture the trending attention that will bring. We will see how that works out and the process for that in future posts.
There are a lot of moving parts with Merch By Amazon. Frankly, I almost forgot that I applied about until I received the email. So, there is a lot more research and work to do to take full advantage of this great program. I am looking forward to sharing that journey with you! I want to make this a transparent, great resource for anyone else considering Merch By Amazon, so I will continue to add links and other pieces of content I find online that helped me out in trying to grow:
Are you in Merch By Amazon or planning on joining? Let’s connect so we can help each other be successful. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or subscribe below!