Are you looking to start a side hustle that requires almost no cost to get started? Do you have an artistic mindset? Then starting your own t-shirt business with Merch by Amazon may just be for you.
Now you might be thinking who would want to buy a T-shirt from me? The truth is lots of people just like you are making this a viable business model using Merch by Amazon. In fact, I’ve been researching this very side hustle for some time now and I’ve come across a lot of people making anywhere from a few bucks to thousands of dollars a month with it.
So why not you?
In this article, I’m going to do an entire Amazon Merch Review covering everything from the basics to how to get started in this new and inspiring business opportunity.
What is Merch by Amazon?
To start you might be wondering what exactly is Merch by Amazon? Here is how Amazon defines Merch…
Amazon Merch – Merch by Amazon is a service for developers. It helps you increase revenue through the sale of branded t-shirts designed by you and produced, sold and shipped by Amazon. Merch by Amazon is a simple way for you to get started selling branded merchandise from a product page on Amazon.com.
Originally Merch was designed for gamers who wanted create shirts of the video games they were playing but it’s become a lot more than that now. Today literally anyone can sign up for this and start selling their own branded t-shirt line.
So is Merch by Amazon for you? Keep reading…
The Benefits of Merch by Amazon
As I write this article I’m in the process of starting my own Merch business and I’ve come across some big benefits that I want to share with you.
#1 No Cost to Start
First, there is almost no cost to get started. To get started all you have to do is apply via the invitation process. When I signed up they asked for a website and name. You could add any additional info about yourself and your brand as well.
Now I say there is almost no cost because you will need some sort of graphic design software which could cost you a little bit but other than that the cost can be very minimal. I’ll cover more about the tools you’ll need coming up shortly.
#2 Shirts are Made On Demand
Secondly, with Amazon, the shirts are all made on demand. This means you don’t need to stockpile a bunch of shirts or buy a bunch of shirts upfront for Amazon to stock their warehouses.
Instead, they only create shirts when someone buys them and ships them directly to your customers. Talk about an instant business.
#3 Shirts are Sold Through The Amazon Marketplace
I feel the biggest benefit of Merch is the Amazon Marketplace. With most businesses, you have to promote your own products through your own website and this can be costly and take a lot of time to get going.
Millions of people shop Amazon every single day. With Merch, you have the ability to create a design in the morning and be selling it by the afternoon. As a new business this is almost unheard of but with the Amazon platform, it can’t be any simpler.
#4 You Don’t Need a Website
Finally, to get started with Merch you don’t even need a website because you can use Amazons complete platform. Now obviously having a website can help but even if you’re just getting started if you don’t have one you can still get this profitable side hustle up and going.
The Downside to Merch by Amazon
To keep things fair like all my other reviews I also want to share the downsides of Merch as well.
#1 You Can Only Start With 10 Shirt Designs
To start when you first get accepted into Merch you will only get the option of creating and selling 10 designs. The reason for this is so people don’t create a ton of designs that don’t sell. Rather Amazon wants to see that your designs are selling before they bump you up to the next tier.
The tier levels include:
- 10 Shirts
- 25 Shirts
- 100 Shirts
- Pro Level (by Invitation Only)
#2 You Must Submit Your First Design within 120 Days
Once you get approved for Merch you will need to list your first product within 120 days and also submit your tax and bank info in order to keep your account from being deactivated.
However, once your shirt is listed and you’ve submitted your tax and banking info your account will never expire even if you never sell a shirt.
#3 Merch is By Invitation Only
As you may already know Merch by Amazon is by invitation only which means they can select who they want to be in their program. This also means that you can be declined.
My guess is that as the popularity of this program grows more and more people with be asking for an invitation to join this amazing opportunity. This also means they may get a bit more selective about who they take.
My best advice here is to put your best foot forward when signing up and to share any positive qualities that you can bring to the table to get approved.
#4 Success is Not Guaranteed
Finally, just because you get accepted in Merch doesn’t mean that you’ll be successful. In fact, your work is just getting started. The tough part is finding a popular design that people like and buy.
However, if you want to learn the basics and the tricks to achieve success faster then I found this course helpful over on Udemy.
3 Tools You’ll Need to Start Your Merch Business
So now that you’ve covered the ups and downs to Merch by Amazon there are a few tools you might find helpful to get started and on the right track.
#1 Merch Account – Obviously you’ll need to request an invitation to get in the Merch by Amazon program.
#2 Design Software – You’ll also need some sort of design software to create your shirts. Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator work great for this but if you’re looking for a free option then GIMP is a great option. If you need help designing your shirts check out this great resource I found.
#3 Take this Course – In Chris Greens course Introduction: Make and Sell Custom Shirts w/ Merch by Amazon you’ll learn the exact steps needed to start your own branded t-shirt business plus some cool insider tips to get up and running fast.
How Much Can You Earn With Merch by Amazon
Another question you might be wondering is how much you can earn with Merch. To do that I’m going to show you how much you can earn with Merch when you sell just 1 shirt.
In this example, if you sell your shirt for $19.99 Amazon get 15% of the cost as part of the listing fee plus $9.80 for the shirt and cost to print the shirt giving you a royalty of $7.19 per shirt that you sell. In the end, you get roughly 36% of the total sale price.
So if you sell 1 shirt a day you’ll earn $50.33 a week, $218.09 a month, or 2617.16 a year. Not bad for just selling one shirt a day.
3 Tips to Starting a Merch by Amazon Business
As you’re getting started with your t-shirt business here are a few tips to help you out that I found useful in the beginning.
Tip #1 Keep What Works and Get Rid of the Rest – Since you’re limited to a number of shirts you can create at first take time to review which shirts are selling and which ones aren’t. Shirts that don’t sell or sell very little should be taken down and new designs put in their place. This will help you get approved to sell more shirts.
Tip #2 Try Different Styles of Shirts – Second, make sure you try different shirt styles as well. If you’re creating a branded shirt around your business and it’s not selling change things up and try a more comical type shirt. If you need help with designing your shirts check out Vexels.
Tip #3 Don’t Hire People To Do It For You – Finally, whatever you do as a beginner don’t just hire someone on Fiverr.com to just design something for you because more than likely it’ll be crap.
How to Sell T-Shirts On Amazon
#1 Request an Invitation – Your first step is to request an invitation for the Merch by Amazon program. I suggest doing this first as it make take a little time and while you’re waiting to get approved you can start making your first t-shirt designs.
#2 Create Your First Shirt Design – Once you’ve signed up it’s time to start designing your first shirt while you’re waiting to get approved. Make at least 4 shirt designs to start, you never know which one is going to sell.
#3 Upload Your Shirt Design – Now that you have your first designs done you’ll want to load them up into Merch. If you’re new to all this I suggest you take this course to help you get started.
#4 Set Your Price – Next, you’ll want to set the price of your shirt. There are a lot of different pricing strategies people use to get you to buy shirts but at the very least you’ll want to go is $10.
#5 Complete Your Product Listing – Finally, you’ll want to complete the product title and description and pick the colors that best suite your shirt. Once this is done you’ll want to submit your t-shirt design for approval.
Once you’ve listed your first shirt, start on your second shirt. Keep this going until you have 10 shirts for sale. Then review the ones that sell and get ride of the rest.
Who Should Start a Merch by Amazon T-Shirt Business
Finally, as we wrap this review up if you’re still wondering if Merch by Amazon is right for you then see if you match any of these qualities.
#1 You’re someone who’s artistic. If you’re someone who likes to draw or design then this could be the opportunity for you.
#2 If you know how to use Photoshop. If you’re someone who knows how to use Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or any other drawing program then this could be a simple way for you to earn a few bucks on the side or more from your full-time job.
#3 If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your side hustle. If you don’t have money to spend and invest towards your side business right now this is a good place to start while you get your feet wet and earn a few dollars.
#4 If you have that itch to try something new. Finally, if you have that itch to try something new to earn a few bucks on the side then this is the perfect opportunity for you.
So now that you’ve learned all about this great opportunity take a moment and sign up to Merch by Amazon Now.