Side Hustles

Merch By Amazon – Everything You Need To Know For How To Sell

If you’re looking for a side hustle that involves nearly no start-up costs whatsoever, then you may want to look into a relatively new business platform on Amazon called Merch.

merch by amazon

What Is Merch by Amazon?

Merch by Amazon is a print on demand service where Amazon sells t-shirts designed by you.  You create the graphics and upload them to your Merch store.  Amazon will then produce the t-shirt, ship it directly to the customers, and handle the financial transaction.

From a side hustling perspective, this is an amazing business opportunity.  You don’t have to actually print any of the t-shirts, handle inventory, or make shipping arrangements.  All you have to do is supply the designs and manage your Merch listings.  This can all be done on a laptop from literally anywhere.  It’s an incredible work from home or even remote work opportunity.    

What Are The Start-Up Costs?

As if a print on demand business model isn’t already lucrative enough, here’s another major selling point: It costs nothing to join Merch by Amazon.

Because Amazon is using your designs, you’re technically being paid on a royalty basis.  You set the price of each t-shirt you have for sale and then Amazon will charge you a “Cost + List Fee” each time a sale is made.  Whatever is left over will be the royalty that Amazon pays you.

How Much Can You Earn From Merch?

Ever since launching, side hustlers have been raving about how much money there is to be made with Merch.  For example, in this video from passive Income solopreneur Ryan Hogue, Ryan shares how he made over $700 in profits in just one day with his Merch account.  In a different video, he also interviews another fellow Merch seller named CJ who claims to have made $300,000 with his portfolio of just 500 products.   

Like any print on demand style business, it’s a numbers game.  The more products you have, the more sales you make, and the higher your royalties, the more income you can expect to earn every month.  Take, for example, a scenario where you’re earning an average of $5 per shirt.  If you can promote your designs and sell a modest 500 items per month, then that’s a revenue of $2,500 per month!

How To Get Started Selling On Merch By Amazon

If Merch sounds like a program that you’d like to get involved with, then here’s what you need to know to get started.

1- Research What Sells

Before starting any business, one of the first steps you should take is to understand the market.  In other words, look for what’s selling and what isn’t.

You can start by looking at all of the merch shirts available by going to the “Novelty & More” category on Amazon as follows: Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry : Novelty and More : Clothing : Novelty

Look for products that have designs you like or would appeal to niches you’d like to get into.  Click on the products and take a look at the selling rank.  The higher the rank, the better the t-shirt is selling.

At the same time, take notice of which designs have steep competition.  If the designs you like come from sellers with multiple 5-star ratings, then it might be challenging for you to beat out these other sellers.

merch novelty category

2- Request An Invite

When Amazon Merch was first launched back in 2015, it received an overwhelming number of applicants.  (It seems a lot of people quickly realized that selling products on Amazon without any start-up costs whatsoever seemed like a great idea!)  

As a result, you now can only join the Merch by Amazon program by invitation.  To do this, click “Request Invitation” and fill out an application.  Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t give any indication of how long the process will take.  According to the site Merch Ready Designs, it could take up to six months before you see a response.

merch by amazon request invitation

3- Create Your Graphics

While you’re waiting for your invitation from Merch, you can use this time to gather together the designs you’d like to offer.

Start by making sure all of your current designs meet Merch’s requirements.  All images must be a digital 300 dpi PNG file.  They must also not exceed 15 by 18 inches; smaller than this is acceptable.

Not a designer?  That’s okay too – lots of Merch sellers aren’t.  Instead, what you can do is reach out to an inexpensive freelance artist on services like Fiverr or Upwork.  Depending on how many designs you order at once, you could end up paying as little as $1 to $5 per graphic.

Whether working with your own designs or ones from a freelancer, make sure everyone is absolutely unique and meets Amazon’s content policy.  Amazon has strict guidelines against copycats and will terminate the accounts of sellers who violate this policy.

4- Manage Your Listings

Once your account has been activated and your first images have been uploaded, be sure to also add listing descriptions that will enhance your SEO (search engine optimization).  Use relevant keywords that will help buyers find your product, but don’t overdo it with keyword stuffing.

5- Promote Your Merch

Even though Amazon is browsed by millions of users every day, to make your designs stand out, you’ll want to promote them as much as possible.  You can choose to do this yourself through social media or your own website.

You could also choose to pay for advertising by using PPC (pay per click) ads.  This can be done through virtually any popular social media site (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) or even Amazon itself.

6- Rotate Your Inventory 

Just like a real store, not every product is going to be a hot seller.  Regularly review your data and see which designs are selling better than others.  You may wish to revise your product listings and seek out other designs that may be more popular and lead to increased sales.

What If I Don’t Get Accepted Into Merch By Amazon?

Unfortunately, not everyone will receive an invitation from Merch.  If yours never comes, that’s okay.  There’s another way.

A popular back-door strategy to selling on Amazon is to sign up for a print on demand account with Shopify.  Shopify is an e-commerce platform similar to Amazon where they sell t-shirts and many other products with designs from their members.  By becoming a seller on Shopify, your items will automatically also be eligible for sale on Amazon.  

Shopify has a complete guide on its own website explaining step by step how you can do this.

merch shopify

Conclusions For Merch By Amazon

If you’re looking to sell t-shirts or start your own t-shirt business, Merch by Amazon may be what you’re looking for. Now you know how to sell on Merch by Amazon. If you want to learn more about how to be successful on Merch, you may also enjoy our guide to tips for using Merch by Amazon. Now go and get selling!

DJ Whiteside

DJ Whiteside is a financial enthusiast who believes in helping other people to achieve financial independence. He’s constantly looking for practical ways to optimize savings, reduce spending, and create a lifetime of passive income. DJ holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, which allows him to take an analytical approach to financial topics. He has been a financial writer since 2011 and has self-published 5 personal finance eBooks relating to saving, retirement, and financial independence.

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