Get paid to design t-shirts! Merch by Amazon is Amazon’s print on demand platform. You upload a PNG and Amazon does the rest (prints the t-shirt, delivers it to the customer, takes care of returns, etc.). You get paid every time one of your t-shirts is sold.
It’s a great way of earning passive income online however it’s slow in the beginning. So if you’re interested, you’ve got to get started NOW!
The Merch journey
You only have the ability to sell 10 different designs at first. This is why it’s really slow in the beginning. After you’ve sold 10 t-shirts you get “tiered up” to the tier 25 where you have the ability to sell 25 different designs. And then, allegedly, after you sell 25 you go to the next tier which is tier 100. Personally, I had to wait until I’d sold about 50 and then I got tiered up to 100 tier.
Now I’m on the 500 tier (I can have a massive 500 designs live on Amazon at any one time) and I’m really starting to see the benefit – I’m selling three to four shirts a day and making money!
How to design t-shirts that sell on Merch?
There are two sides to Merch t-shirt design. On one hand is the niche or the message. On the other hand, there’s the actual design. Here’s an example of a successful shirt design to illustrate what I’m talking about.
As you can see, the niche of the above design is vegans. This is a group of people that are passionate about something – when choosing niches, passion is really important.
And, you can see the “design” or the “look” of the t-shirt. The font of the work “VEGAN” is distressed which maybe works for this market. It also chose the above design because it’s not really that good as far as traditional design is concerned. The font choice for the words “DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A” is uninspired. Helvetica bold? And the line height as well as the juxtaposition with “VEGAN” to me seems all wrong!
But that’s Merch! Traditional design rules go out of the window. 🙂 Maybe that’s why I like it.
How to get Merch t-shirt design ideas
Here are three possible sources for t-shirt ideas.
- Go topical. You can see what’s trending on Twitter, or on Google Trends.
- Go evergreen. This is where I’ve seen the most success. T-shirts for professions, hobbies, inspirational messages, etc.
- Go for events. Fathers’ day, Valentine’s day, Christmas, Halloween, the eclipse, Thanksgiving, etc.
You don’t have to concentrate on one particular niche on Merch although it will help you, at first, to concentrate on niches that you are passionate about.
There is no limit to the amount of ideas you can have for t-shirt designs. Get creative!
What sort of shirt designs sell well on Merch?
These designs do well:
- Distressed designs
- Light, colorful designs on dark shirts or simple dark designs on light shirts
- Silhouettes and “simple” imagery
- High contrast colors
- Active or action “characters”
However, don’t stress on the above, just keep at it. Keep uploading to Amazon. If you can’t upload there, upload on the other sites!!
The future for Merch by Amazon?
At the moment Amazon’s Merch is only doing t-shirts in America. You don’t have to be American to take part.
Merch is a money maker for Amazon, so I’m hoping it’ll be rolled out to other countries. It would be interesting to design shirts for the UK, France, Germany, etc. Amazon in Europe is actually a bigger market than the US.
And it’s going to go on to baseball caps, mugs, hoodies, etc. So there’s great potential in this area.
You want to get accepted on Merch? This is what you do!
This is a perfect online business in many ways. It doesn’t cost you anything. So you may as well do it. I got accepted straightaway but other people had to wait for many months – even over a year in some cases.
I discuss in the above video possible reasons why I was accepted onto Merch by Amazon so quickly.
Head over here: merch.amazon.com/landing. There you’ll see an invitation form. The problem is you have one go at this form, so you’ve got to get it right!
Under Organization Name I gave my company name as that is the entity I use to pay tax and use on all my Amazon exploits.
Under Website I gave my website robcubbon.com which looks good as I’ve been blogging for 10 years.
Under Industry Type I chose “Small Business”.
Under the Addition Information field in the form I said that I sell Kindles, paperbacks, and video on Amazon and that I sell on Amazon FBA
I also said that I’ve been a designer for 20 years and that I run a design company. I think this is a good thing to say. And virtually anyone could say this. I doubt if they look into your background and you could have outsourced all of the design
You could also explain that you do t-shirt design on RedBubble, Spreadshirt, or any of the other print on demand t-shirt sites (Sunfrog, Zazzle, Cafepress, Teespring, Teepublic).
After you’ve filled out the form, that’s it! You just have to wait. Sometimes Amazon doesn’t even email to notify you of your successful acceptance so you should check back at merch.amazon.com every so often while you’re waiting.
- Elaine Heney‘s Merch Entrepreneur podcast and Merch Entrepreneur Facebook group.
- Jacob Topping – search on YouTube for Jacob. And he has a great Facebook group called Merch By Amazon Top Sellers for Newbies & Pros Facebook group and, more importantly, Jacob has a fantastic ebook called Merch and the World of Print On Demand which is a great book, not only about Merch, but also about the other platforms where you can make money selling all sorts of merchandise.
- Lisa Irby at Passive Shirt Profits a podcast and some great courses.
- Merch by Amazon Facebook group founded by Chris Green.
- Great suite of tools can be found at MerchInformer.
You can do it!
If you’re at all interested in design or creativity you should have a look at Merch by Amazon.
You don’t have to be a designer. As long as the design and the message works for the target market and people can identify with it, you will have success.