Selling on Amazon is a lucrative business. Almost 37.8% of the online sales generated in the United States as of June 2022 came from Amazon. (Source: Statista)
It is not a secret that a lot of money can be made by selling your products on this e-commerce platform. However, not everyone has the initial capital to get the ball rolling right off the bat.
Between purchasing your initial inventory, paying for your account registration, and covering the Amazon FBA costs, it can set you back anywhere from around $1500 to $3000 to start your own Amazon store.
Needless to say, this is not a small amount of money. Not everyone can afford this, especially when you are just starting. AMZN realized this and tried to look for alternatives for those without a huge initial capital to work with. This is where alternative Amazon business models, such as Merch by Amazon or Amazon Merch, come in.
Before we dig deep into this topic, what is Merch by Amazon anyway? And what are the tips on how to succeed in Merch by Amazon?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and discuss the unique selling method called “print on demand”. Hopefully, this knowledge can help both new and experienced sellers find an alternative to Amazon FBA.
Ready to learn how to succeed in Merch by Amazon? Then let’s jump right in.
What is Merch By Amazon?
Simply put, Merch by Amazon is a Print on Demand (POD) platform created by AMZN for creative individuals. If you want to start making money from selling your own designs, Amazon Merch can help you with that.
As a no-cost business model that is fully supported by AMZN, you can never go wrong with Merch by Amazon. You can start a merch business on AMZN without spending a dime.
All you have to do is create your designs, upload them on the website, and wait for someone to make a purchase. This is what makes Print on Demand such a powerful tool for creatives.
What Is Print On Demand?
Print-on-demand is a unique way of selling custom merchandise or products that feature your designs. You can put your design on t-shirts, mugs, pillows, bathing towels, or even rugs. Anything you can think of!
How Does Merch by Amazon work: Step-by-Step Guide
The process is pretty simple. Upon approval of your invitation request, you create your account. Then take the following steps:
- Upload your Original Design
The first step in creating a branded product is to go to the Dashboard and upload your original design or artwork. There’s a big emphasis on “original” because Amazon frowns on copyright, design, and trademark infringement. If you use another person’s protected design, you should obtain their permission first.
The artwork should be a transparent PNG file no larger than 25 MB. The size of the artwork should be 15 x 18 inches at 300 dpi (dots per inch) with standard RGB colors.
Not sure where to start? You will find many design tips and guidelines on the website that can help you create a high-quality final product. For best results, you can also use their design templates.
You can use design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and GIMP to create your designs.
- Select the product type and color
After uploading your design, choose the type of products that you want the artwork to be printed on. It could be a standard T-shirt, zip hoodie, phone case, tote bag, throw pillow, or any other product.
Then choose the colors you want the branded merchandise to be produced in. You also have to add a product description that should be rich with relevant keywords.
- Set your List Price
Pricing is fully controlled by the seller and can be set competitively and profitably. The platform has a calculator that shows you the estimated royalty you will receive, as you set the price for your branded product.
Royalties are the product’s purchase price minus any applicable taxes and costs. The costs cover the following: materials and production, fulfillment of orders, customer service, handling returns and exchanges.
- Your listing goes up
Amazon reviews your submitted design to ensure it does not violate its content policies. Once your design is approved, your product listing is created.
- Customers order your branded products
The moment your listing goes live, your product page becomes visible to millions of customers, and interested buyers can place an order.
- Production and Fulfillment
When a customer places an order, Amazon prints the design on the T-shirt or other product type. Then Amazon packs the item and ships it to the customer. The company will also handle any relevant refunds, returns, exchanges, and customer service-related.
For every item sold, you earn a royalty. So, the more branded products sold, the higher your royalties. Your royalties are remitted 30 days after the end of the calendar month when your product was shipped.
By allowing artists to simply upload their artwork without an initial cost of selling, Merch by Amazon becomes a viable selling model for those without a huge capital to work with.
As soon as the artwork is uploaded, you need to add the product description, product type, and colors. AMZN will handle the creation of the product page as well as the fulfillment of the orders. All you have to do is create more designs and market your products to potential customers. That is how to succeed without churning out a huge initial capital.
Is Merch By Amazon Worth It?
The question “how to succeed in Merch by Amazon” is asked constantly by our readers. But before we answer that, we must first talk about the reasons why you should use Amazon Merch.
Below are 5 reasons why using this platform is a no-brainer for creative artists and designers:
No Physical Inventory Needed
The first and most obvious reason why Merch is a great business model is the lack of physical inventory requirements. Unlike selling on FBA, you don’t have to invest a huge startup capital in procuring inventory. You also don’t have to deal with inventory risks such as overstocking and running out of stock.
When you use Merch by AMZN, your designs are your inventory. You don’t need to stock up on t shirts, mugs, or hoodies. AMZN will be providing all of these for you. All you have to do is create your design and market it to the right audience.
Earn From Royalty Percentage
Under Merch, you’ll earn a royalty percentage on every product sold using your designs. The royalty percentage is based on a bunch of different factors such as price, materials used, production costs, and fulfillment.
Fulfillment costs will include picking and packing your products. Shipping your product to the customer is also part of this.
The standard percentages of royalties differ from one product to another. It can be anywhere from 15% up to 40% depending on the purchase price and product used. For more information on royalties, visit Amazon’s Merch Royalty resource page.
One of the best ways to increase your conversion rates in AMZN is by offering Prime Shipping. And the great news is that Prime Shipping comes by default in Merch by AMZN.
Because customers can get their products faster, they will be more enticed to purchase from your store. Offering Prime Shipping is one of the best strategies for how to succeed in Merch by Amazon.
No Need To Own A Warehouse
One of the most expensive overheads that sellers need to pay is warehouse rental. Even if you are using Amazon FBA for the fulfillment of orders, you still need to pay for the space occupied by your products.
Since you won’t be housing any physical inventory, there is no need for you to own a warehouse with Merch. All you have to do is upload your designs and wait for someone to make a purchase. That’s all there is to it.
Reach More Customers
It is not a secret that AMZN is one of the biggest online e-commerce websites in the world. According to data by Statista, the AMZN marketplace is estimated to have over 310 million active users as of February 2023. (Source: Earthweb)
Around 65% of the entire US population has browsed the AMZN marketplace at least once per month to purchase products. With the global reach of AMZN, you can sell to someone from the other side of the world. All of this is achieved without even having a single inventory.
Easy to Track Your Sales
Since you can access your Amazon merch dashboard, tracking your income from sales is easier.
With in-house analysis tools showing insights into what designs work best, you can grow your revenue quickly. You can also plan for different designs that work well in certain seasons, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Related: How To Do Dropshipping on AMZN
How To Sign Up on Merch By Amazon?
Amazon Merch Products was formerly open to everyone — all you had to do was create an account. However, due to the high demand, it has become an invitation-only platform. The previous Merch by Amazon Review given by people stated that it is better to restrict the platform to invites-only. That way, the quality of the designs and artists can be maintained at a high level. This will also result in better Amazon merch products.
Before you begin the application process, you should have the following basic information at hand:
- Business contact information
- Personal contact information, if you don’t have a business or company set up
- Bank account and routing numbers
- Social Security Number (SSN) or other tax identification information
Once you have all the requirements, you can follow the steps listed below to sign up.
- Visit the Merch by Amazon landing page and sign click “Sign Up”
- On the next page, you will be prompted to enter some information. This includes business contact info, a valid bank account with routing numbers, Social Security number, and other tax identification numbers. Some countries are currently not accepted for registration. To see the full list, check this link.
- Provide a reason why you should be accepted into the platform. You also need to fill up the different requirements such as tax id numbers for non-US citizens.
- Add your previous selling experience to help speed up the process of your approval. The thing about this program is that they do not accept everyone. They are picky when it comes to applications. So if you have experience selling on other platforms or creative design portfolios, now is the time to tell AMZN about it.
- Once you submit your request, all you have to do is what. Keep in mind that not everyone will be accepted into the program. It might take days or even weeks to get a prompt reply.
How To Succeed in Merch By Amazon: 3 Helpful Tips
Wondering how to succeed in Merch by Amazon? It involves a lot of other things apart from creating designs and selling. The tips listed below should help increase your chances of succeeding on Amazon.
Sustain Your Creativity
To succeed in a print-on-demand platform, the first thing that you need to have is sustained creativity. If your creative juice isn’t flowing, you won’t be able to make effective designs.
Remember that people could have seen the designs you have before. So try to visit pages such as Reddit and DeviantArt to get inspiration
Avoid Copyright Infringement
Stepping over the intellectual properties of brands can lead to suspension, or even termination, of your merch account. Make sure that the designs and phrases that you use aren’t copyrighted.
And whatever happens, don’t try to steal someone else’s design. AMZN will find out, and it won’t be pretty if they do. You might even get a lawsuit, which is something you don’t want to deal with.
Perform A/B Tests Constantly
One thing about being a creator is that you often think your decisions are absolute. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some designs look horrible on paper but sell like hotcakes while some designs look so nice but don’t convert as much.
To avoid guessing what works and what doesn’t, always A/B test your designs. It could be as simple as changing the font and font color, adding shadows, or adding outlines. The more you test your designs, the more data you can accumulate.
Ultimately, this data will give you the missing information you need for your new product ideas. Doing consistent A/B Testing is how to be profitable in Merch.
How Many Designs Can You Submit?
Amazon Merch uses a tier system, so merch sellers who want to increase the number of designs they can sell will have to move up different Amazon tiers. The initial number of designs a content creator can upload is capped at 10. To move up to the next tier, you must first sell at least 10 products using your designs. Tier levels include 10, 25, 100, 500, and so on.
Before you ask “how to succeed in Merch by Amazon”, increasing your tier level should be first on your list. One interesting thing to note is that admission to the next tier isn’t based on sales alone. The overall quality of the designs and products sold by the content creator is considered as well.
What is the Merch by Amazon Tier Level?
This service limits the number of designs content creators can upload and sell. This is known as a tier. The tier levels are:
- 10 – Tier 1
- 25 – Tier 2
- 100 – Tier 3
- 500 – Tier 4
When you first join the platform, you can only upload ten designs. To move to the next tier, you must sell at least 10 products. Similarly, when you’re on Tier 2, you can only upload 25 designs. To move to the next tier, you need to sell at least 25 products.
In addition to sales, the quality of products sold is also a crucial factor in moving up the tiers.
As you progress up the tiers, you can upload more designs per day and increase the number of designs that are available for sale.
The tiered system rewards content creators with quality, high-selling designs and gives customers access to the best products.
How To Submit A Product Design On Amazon Merch?
The next step on how to succeed in Amazon Merch is to upload your product designs. There are several products that you can use for your designs. It could be shirts, hoodies, dresses, and even mugs.
On your Amazon account dashboard, click on Create, and you will get a list of starting products to choose from. AMZN will provide you with the template to help get you started. All you have to do is click “upload your artwork” on your product of choice.
Once you upload your designs, the next step is choosing which products to use the designs on. You can Select or Deselect the products you want. You can also choose the marketplace where you want to sell the products.
In the Designs tab on your dashboard, you can edit different variables about your product. This includes Fit Type, Color, List Price, and more. The estimated royalties you will get per sale are also included here.
Finally, you are now ready to sell your product. Amazon will create the product listing associated with your designs. This listing page allows you to market your products by adding links directly to your blog or website.
You can also promote via e-mail, social media, or any other online platform that can drive organic traffic to your listings. If you have the money, running AMZN Pay-per-click ads is also a great way to direct traffic to your products.
Merch by Amazon offers a unique way to help artistic designers and creatives make money on the platform. The great thing about it is that no inventory is required and you can start your business with little capital. AMZN will provide all the products to print on demand. They will even fulfill your orders and ship them directly to your customers. All you need to do is upload your designs and market your products.
If you need help marketing your products through optimized listings and automated AMZN Pay-per-click campaigns, Zonbase can help you. With 20+ tools and services that aim to help sellers increase their sales and maximize their profits, Zonbase is a software solution that can show you how to be successful Merch by Amazon.
Get a Zonbase free trial today and see what this amazing software suite can do for your business.