- What is Merch by Amazon
- How to get started
- Merch by Amazon royalties – What are they?
- Find the right niche for your merch
- Set up your Amazon Merch account
- Things to keep in mind while designing a product
- Tier based limits
- Best practices to start selling Amazon Merch
- Advertise your Merch by Amazon products
- Final thoughts
Amazon is an open platform that allows any individual or company to start an online business. Despite that, many people hesitate to do so because it involves a lot of capital. If you take into account the charges for sourcing, inventory, storage, shipping, returns, and more, you will have to shell out a bomb.
If you are a beginner and don’t have a lot of money to invest in such a business, or if you want to earn a passive income, we’ve got you covered. There’s a way for you to start a business without burning a hole in your pocket, and where Amazon will do the hard work. All you have to do is send your designs to them.
It is now possible with Merch by Amazon. It is an initiative launched in 2015; it helps individuals sell their products without having to worry about capital or inventory. If you want to learn more about it, keep reading.
While we are on the topic of starting an online business, you can also check out this e-commerce business guide to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey.
What is Merch by Amazon?
Merch by Amazon is a print-on-demand service. As a seller, you can create a design and send it to Amazon; the platform will handle the rest. Be it producing, shipping, or even customer service, you do not have to worry about anything.
You can print your designs on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, pop socket, phone cover, tote bag, or throw pillow.
It is a great initiative because there are no upfront costs, and you get paid a royalty every time an individual buys your product.
How does it work?
- Sign up on the Merch by Amazon page.
- Create and upload your designs.
- Set a price for your product.
- Amazon prints and ships the product to the customer.
- Earn royalty per each sale you make.
Merch by Amazon Royalties – What are they?
Royalties are the amount you earn for every product you sell. You get a portion of the total. The amount depends on how much you charge for the product. It does not include taxes and Amazon charges like materials, printing, packing, shipping, returns, exchange, and protection from fraud.
Keep in mind that this amount will not bring the same kind of profit as running a business since you are only uploading your designs to the platform.
Find the Right Niche for your Merch
It is important to find the right Amazon niche for your business as the number of people searching for and purchasing your products is directly impacted by that. You can do this by researching general categories and then narrowing them down. Some examples are animals, hobbies, movies, food, health and fitness, professions, memes, games, and much more.
Do competitor analysis to learn about the products your competitors are selling and what keywords they are using in their listings. You must also consider other factors like the demand and profit margin for that niche. Pick a niche that has good demand but isn’t already dominated by hundreds of sellers.
Set Up your Amazon Merch account
The process to start selling your merchandise involves the following simple steps. Before that, make sure to keep the following details ready –
- Your business contact information
- Bank account number
- SSN or tax ID number
- Once you have these details ready, you can sign in using your existing Amazon credentials. You do not need to have a Seller Central account for this. Create a new Amazon account if you don’t already have one. You will see a form where you need to fill in your business details, bank account, and tax information.
- The Merch by Amazon approval process can take anywhere from one week to six months. Once your account is approved, you can start creating your artwork. You may use any designing software to create your designs, such as Canva, Photoshop, or Stencil. You do not have to be a professional graphic designer to sell your artwork.
You can download and use the Amazon merch products template to save time. Make sure to comply with the content policy; Amazon can delete your designs or suspend your account for continuous violation of policy.
- Pick your product type, color and set a price for your merchandise. Amazon will create a listing for you. Optimize the listing with a title, description, and keywords to make sure it appears high on the search results and reaches a large number of people. You can then publish your designs. Amazon will print your product once the order is placed, so you do not have to worry about unsold inventory.
Things to Keep in Mind While Designing a Product
Consider the following Do’s and Don’ts while creating your designs.
- Create your designs using RGB colors
- The designs should fit 15 x 18 inches
- It must have a transparent background
- Save it in PNG format
- The saved file should be under 25 MB
- Do not add blank images
- The designs must not promote violence, hatred, historical tragedy, or any intolerance
- It should not include obscene, illegal, or profane content
- It should not talk about charity or ask for reviews
- It should not have misleading content like glow in the dark because the product will not glow in the dark
Tier Based Limits
At the start, Amazon sets a limit on the number of products a seller can sell. It is a tier-based system where you move up depending on the number of products you have sold. Amazon also takes into account the quality of your products. For example, if you want to move past tier 10, you are required to sell 10 products. It is done to provide the best quality products and to prevent a mass of low quality designs. There are four levels –
- Tier 1 – 10
- Tier 2 – 25
- Tier 3 – 100
- Tier 4 – 500
Best Practices to Start Selling Amazon Merch
Here are a couple of strategies that will help you run your Amazon merch business successfully –
- Look at what’s currently trending in the market – Using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, etc., will give you an idea about ongoing trends. See what the best-selling items in the market are and use them to your advantage.
- Find a profitable niche – Zeroing down on a particular niche exposes your products to the right target audience. It helps in reaching buyers who have searched for the same product.
- Create unique designs – You can take inspiration from other artists online but make sure to create your original designs. They could share the same ideas or have similarities but do not copy from another artist.
- Use design templates or hire freelance designers – Don’t worry if you are not a professional artist. You can hire freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork to create the designs for you.
- Price your products strategically – Setting the right price for your products is the key to earning royalties. You can earn between 13.8% to 37.6% royalty.
- Perform keyword research on the products you are interested in – There are multiple keyword tools available that will make your research easier and less time-consuming. Enter the product name in the tool and it will show you the results of high-performing keywords for the said niche.
- Optimize your listings to have a higher reach – This is a no-brainer. An optimized listing is placed high on the search results. Optimize your listing using a good title, description, keywords, and bullet points.
- Comply with all the policies to avoid account suspension – Amazon has the right to suspend an account if the design includes copied, controversial, offensive, or misleading text. Your designs must also not talk about reviews, fulfillment, and delivery service.
- Replace products that are not selling well – The program is based on different tiers. It starts off with the first tier, wherein you can only sell 10 products. If any of your products are not faring well, it is recommended to either remove them or replace them with an alternative.
- Promote your products with PPC ads on Amazon and other social media platforms – Go public and make your brand’s presence felt. Use social media channels to launch a new product or get more external traffic. Create sponsored ads and build your brand visibility.
Advertise Your Merch by Amazon Products
So now that you have designed and launched your product, you can relax and wait to sell out, right? No, it doesn’t stop there. You need to advertise your merch by utilizing Pay Per Click ads. Paid ads are a surefire way to reach more customers.
The platform is currently in the process of rolling out Amazon Advertising exclusively for Merch by Amazon sellers. Meanwhile, you can try Google or Facebook ads to drive more traffic to your business.
Merch by Amazon is a great way to make money for beginners and artists. Since you don’t have to invest all your life savings in this or worry about inventory and logistics, there are little to no risks involved. Although you may face obstacles in the process, don’t give up. Create another design and try again. So go ahead and start today because this is a golden opportunity to make easy money.
Arishekar N is the Senior Director of Marketing and Growth at SellerApp, an e-commerce data analytics solution. He is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of marketing strategies, as well as increasing process efficiency by executing cutting-edge Search Engine Optimization strategies at SellerApp.
Arishekar has over 10 years of experience in marketing analytics and SEO. He has worked as a Digital Specialist for the tech giant IBM and most recently as the Senior Marketing Specialist for ZioTive Technologies where he enhanced their site structure by increasing website and mobile usability. Previously, he worked as a Senior SEO Analyst for Star Group where he was responsible for managing SEO Audits and analytics.
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