If you are searching for tips to get ahead on Merch by Amazon, better known as “Merch”, you are most likely a Merch member or waiting for approval. You are recognizing that selling print on demand products is not as simple as uploading a great graphic and watching the royalties roll in.
Okay, I admit it, I thought it would be that easy when I first started. I thought every amazon buyer would see my design, love it, and make it go viral, hence making it rain Benjamin’s into my bank account.
That didn’t happen. So, I had to rethink my strategy and then think outside the box in order to get the most out of Merch by Amazon.
The good thing about Merch is it forces you to slow down because of their tiering up process. In fact, they give you several waiting periods. It was during these waiting periods I began to put together a list of tips and tricks to help you be successful on Merch by Amazon. A list that can help you skip the mistakes I made and go straight to success.
Generic Tips and Tricks
If you search for “tips and tricks for Merch by Amazon” you will be overloaded with some awesome, extremely helpful generic advice. And I don’t mean generic in a bad way. The tips you find are essential to being successful on Merch. As you can see in the image, my search yielded millions of hits.
The most talked about tips and tricks include the following:
- How to apply and get invited to join the Merch family
- Learn copyright vs. trademark
- Finding design platforms
- Find a resizing platform
- Read Merch policies
- Understand tier levels
- Advertising your designs
- Keyword optimization
- Merch rankings
- Outsourcing design work
Whew! These are just a few of the topics being discussed today online. Without following these tips, you will cause yourself unnecessary stress.
What I want to do is give you some tips and tricks to try after you’ve completed the ones given to you by other pros.
I want to share with you information that is less available, but still very important. Let’s get started.
Tip 1: Sell to An Overseas Market
One of the best sales advantages Merch has is that they allow designers to create t-shirts for the overseas market. Right now, you can market to the United Kingdom and Germany. And if I know Amazon, this list will grow in time.
Designing and marketing to an overseas market is not as hard as it sounds. Try the following:
Search Overseas Trends. There are several ways to do this:
- Conduct a Google Search
- Read the news headlines of U.S. news sources who report on overseas events
- Follow foreign celebrities or politicians on Twitter and other social media outlets
- Use the search tools already created by the Big Guys in this industry. One is Merch Informer and they make it easy to search all things Merch, for a reasonable monthly fee
- Do your own research using www.Amazon.co.uk
- Once you are on the amazon.co.uk site, search for graphic t-shirts (if you have niche, search for that niche (e.g. graphic t-shirts math nerds)
- Pick a t-shirt to analyze, preferably one like a design you have created
- Scroll down to the “product details” section
- Look for “Amazon’s Best Seller Rank” to find out how the t-shirt ranks in clothing overall and in the more specific category where it is sold
- After you have found the BSR for this design, you can click on the link that says, “See Top 100 in Clothing”, to view what is selling most. This may include clothing other than graphic tees, but you can narrow your search using the categories on the left
Tweak Your Designs for the Foreign Market:
The designs you have listed on Merch for the U.S. market may be perfect for the overseas market. They may need a little tweaking, however. Let’s say you have created a niche like farm animals and rock and roll music. In the States, you design may include a dancing pig with the words “rock it” underneath.
If you are marketing to a German audience, make sure the words “rock it” are written in the German language. Merch reminds you of this when writing you product listing information.
- Use translating software to write your descriptions and keywords in the language of the countries in which you are selling
Remember, other countries have politics, popular television shows, work-related problems, pets, and pretty much everything we have here in the States. If it’s funny here, it’s likely to be funny there. If it’s profound here, it can be there too. If it sells here, it can sell there.
Tip 2: Join the Conversation
You may have already found that waiting on people to find your t-shirt on Merch by Amazon can be well, boring. Organic sales do happen, and they will happen for you too. But why wait when you have options to assist people in finding your products?
A great way to drum up some traffic to your Merch store is to join online communities.
The key? Joining the right communities in the right way without looking like a poser trying to get sales.
Here are some tips for joining online communities:
- Choose groups that are talking about how to succeed on Merch by Amazon
- Reddit is a great forum for designers who offer peer to peer advice. Some of the better reddit conversations happen on Amazon Merch, Merch Titans, and Merch by Amazon
- Merch by Amazon forum
- Facebook Merch Groups. Popular groups on Facebook include Merch Life, Merch Success 2.0, and Merch Empire.
When you join these groups, join for the right reasons, to learn how to succeed. Find natural ways to add in information about your products. You can do this by asking questions related specifically to your niche. You can even ask for reviews from your peers.
- Choose Groups to Join that are talking about your niche
There will be no better place to find out what people are talking about in your niche than to speak directly to those people. Or, listening to those people.
If you have a niche related to horses, for example, join groups and communities discussing horses. If you have a second niche related to coffee, join coffee groups. Combining these two niches could make an awesome tee. Like, a picture of a horse sipping coffee with a caption reading, “Coffee before hay, makes a great day”.
Well, you get the point. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try your idea. If it doesn’t work, take it down and try again.
You can find niche groups on Facebook, even groups that like both horses and coffee.
Tip 3: Take Advantage of Free Tools
There are some incredible companies online offering you free tools for assisting your Merch by Amazon business.
Merch Titans, Merch Entrepreneur, and Merch Informer are two of these giants. They offer tools to help you resize your clothing, search rankings in the U.S. and overseas, check trademarks, and even research other products.
They also offer a lot of upselling. Meaning, they will try to get you to join their group of subscribers. If you do, you have access to even more benefits. These are totally worth the cost if you are serious about scaling your Merch business.
Even if you don’t join, you can access their free tools.
Tip 4: Other Great Tips
I know you are ready to get busy implementing these tips into your print on demand Merch business. So, I will shorten the rest of my tips into a must-do list of tasks that can enhance everything from design to sales.
- Choose niches based on topics you know a lot about. If you are a super nerdy science geek, you are not alone. Own it and be proud! There are many other geeks that will not only get your designs but pay for them too. So, use those gigantic words and formulas to your advantage.
- Advertise across platforms. Just because you are using Merch by Amazon, that doesn’t mean you can only advertise on Amazon. Create Facebook and Instagram ads using your design and send customers to your Merch store for purchase.
Advertising doesn’t have to just be on your sites. Advertise on the sites of podcasters, YouTubers, and bloggers who have huge followings. They may cost a little more money, but it gives you access to hundreds of thousands of followers.
- When creating, think of designs that involve two or three or more people. T-shirts for besties, grandma and grandpa, or squads are perfect examples of t-shirts that encourage two or more people to get the same t-shirt.
- Become a wholesaler and market to retail shops. Offer retail stores a small discount if they buy in bulk. This gets your shirts in stores and gets royalties in your account.
- Buy your own shirts at the lowest price and sell them at farmer’s markets, festivals, or to family and friends.
- Create designs that are perfect for personalization. Share those designs to all your social media followers and take pre-orders for personalized versions. Once you upload the personalized versions to Merch, let them know they can place an order. Or, you can order for them for cheap, mark up the price, and have them pay you upon receipt.
- Offer businesses personalized designs using the same process.
- When writing your product descriptions, think like your customer. What words would they type in the Amazon search bar? Merch already adds popular words for you like “t-shirt” or “sweatshirt”. You want to think about the other words a person will use.
- Send a sample of your best t-shirt design to a well-known person in your niche. For example, if you design a shirt about gaming, send a shirt to a YouTube gaming superstar and ask them to wear it on their show. You can also send samples to bloggers and podcasters but check their sites for rules first.
- Offer a freebie with purchase of your t-shirt.
Your freebie can be something as simple as a digital download, digital calendar or digital informational product, maybe even related to your niche. Customers like to feel they are getting more for what they pay. You may even want to offer a discount, buy one get one half off kind of thing.
Now that you have plenty of tips to help you in your Merch by Amazon t-shirt business, start implementing and enjoying the results. In the meantime, I’ll be coming up with even more tips and tricks for success.