After months of dreadful waiting, I’ve been finally approved for Merch by Amazon.
If you’ve been living under a rock and still don’t know what I am talking about, let me briefly explain.
Merch by Amazon is a t-shirt selling program launched in September 2015 for third party sellers just like you and me.
Basically, you design a t-shirt and list it on Amazon marketplace under Novelty and More. Once a sale occurs, Amazon prints your design on a generic t-Shirt and ships it out to customers.
TIP: to see which t-shirts are Merch by Amazon simply type this in the search bar: Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
All you have to do is:
- Design a t-shirt
- Optimize product listing page
- FOR ADVANCED SELLERS: Promote it off of Amazon in case you already have an engaged audience (TIP: sales from external sources also help with SEO of t-shirt product listing)
No images, photo modeling, customer service, worrying about shirt quality etc.
Yes, it’s that simple.
However, the more you control traffic levels the the easier it will be to rank. In other worlds, it will be easier to get to the top rankings and remove selling limits if you already have somebody to sell to.
My intention is to get to at least $1,000 in profit per month before doing any sort of external promotions.
Originally, the program was geared towards sellers who want to monetize their audiences off of Amazon. For example: in-app purchases, social media followers, blog readers etc. Something like TeeSpring.
However, since Amazon marketplace is HUGE, you can make considerable profit even with traffic they send you.
And when I say considerable profit I mean $XX,XXX profit per month without having an audience off of Amazon. Just depending purely on Amazon traffic and Amazon SEO.
Every month I am going to share with you the progress of my journey.
Once I heard about Merch by Amazon I knew it will be a great opportunity that will create some new millionaires. Which it did.
However, this program is an invitation only. Which means that you will need to hop on a waiting list.
If you are not on the waiting list, then IMMEDIATELY go ahead and request invitation.
Don’t finish this article first. Go NOW!
Good, now that you have applied let’s continue.
Hopefully you will get approved faster than me. I was on the waiting list for over 7 months!
Then finally, on 22nd of February I got approved.
It’s time to submit designs!
However, there are still some limitations when it comes to number of designs that you can submit.
Each account has tier levels:
- Pro (by invitation)
So as a new Merch seller you can submit up to 10 designs (2 per day).
Once you make at least 10 sales you’ll get bumped to the next tier level, however the limit of 2 designs per day still remains.
Basically, in order to get bumped into a higher level you need to sell at least the same number of t-shirts as your current limit. For example in order to get from 25 to 100 you need to sell at least 25 t-shirts.
Now this doesn’t mean that you need to sell at least one unit of each design. You can make all sales from a single design and still get bumped to the next level.
Merch by Amazon is a numbers game. It’s a combination of good design, demand, trend and having as many t-shirts as possible. Because let’s face it, all we do is guessing what might sell.
If you have your own audience then you might already know what kind of design would suit them the best. Otherwise, even if you use some paid advertising methods, you still need to analyze demand and GUESS!
So I had a goal.
I must generate at least 10 sales by the end of March so I can potentially get bumped to the next tier level in April. This meant having at least 1 winning design.
The point of Merch, or as a matter of fact of any product on Amazon, is that once you get sales velocity up a product listing page will start to rank better on Amazon search results. It’s like a snowball effect, the more you sell the higher you rank.
Hitting The Limit
The plan: analyze demand of t-shirts that are already selling well + design it better + upload 10 designs
Hoping to get sales and tier level bump is not a wise “strategy”, however since I already have several profitable eCommerce properties I am currently not in a position to invest time into promoting low quality t-shirts on Amazon.
So I decided to take the lazy approach.
I downloaded DS Amazon Quick View so I can faster analyze best seller ranks. This tool is absolutely free and it will display best seller rank of a product directly on search results page.
I took notes and designed t-shirts purely based on guessing what might sell.
Yes I know, this income is not something to brag about, however it is a solid start.
I managed, khmm, pardon me, I mean Amazon managed to sell 12 tShirt with my design.
Which resulted in:
REVENUE of $180.88
PROFIT of $42.01
Now the interesting part is that the entire revenue came from only 2 designs, mostly from only 1 design.
This means that even though I hit the limit of 10 t-shirts, I will probably remove and change some designs.
But off course, I first need to let it age for at least few weeks. The problem with Merch is that there is no analytics dashboard to see number of visitors, conversion rates and other good stuff. This is the only data we can work with.
It’s important to note that if a design doesn’t receive at least 1 order in period of 90 days it will automatically get removed from the marketplace.
Plan for the next month
There is nothing for me to actually do until I get increase to the next tier level.
However if it doesn’t happen soon, I will definitely replace some designs that would be more suitable for FaceBook ad campaigns. This way I can get to the next level much faster but at a cost (probably at a huge cost since CPC in the US is huge).
But if I get “promoted” to the next level without external promotions, I will continue to add new designs until I hit the next limit.
Then, hopefully at the end of April I will have some data to work with.
In future I will probably experiment with FaceBook and Instagram ads, and based on targeting decide which design to create.
Remember, over 90% of people don’t make any money online. That is why it’s important to shift your mindset from chasing the next BIG thing that will potentially make you millions overnight to actually building multiple profitable revenue streams.
Typical millionaire has around 7 sources of income.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Do you sell on Merch? What are your results? How long have you been waiting to get approved?