For many creatives, being able to sell your work on Amazon is the ultimate way of boosting sales.
It’s also one of the best ways of driving more traffic to your website and getting your brand out there.
A program that’s in demand by many t-shirt designers, Merch by Amazon is an invite-only system.
As a result of this, getting signed up and accepted isn’t always as simple as many people initially expect!
Here we take a look at what Merch by Amazon is all about and why it’s worth considering for your next t-shirt venture.
We also offer our expert guidance on how to sign up for the service, increasing your chances of getting accepted first time around.
What Is Merch by Amazon All About?
For those with little knowledge about Merch by Amazon, it’s simply a way of selling your own designs on the Amazon marketplace.
One of the world’s largest online selling platforms, by placing your products on Amazon, you have access to millions of customers all over the world.
Best of all, as with other business avenues, no investment is required here. Neither are there any upfront costs to pay out for to get started.
Therefore, you simply upload your artwork, set your price list, and then sit back and let Amazon do their thing.
Amazon will create your unique page where customers can access your products.
They’ll also take care of all the printing, shipping, and customer service requests for you.
Who Is Merch by Amazon For?
Though many designers use the service, Merch by Amazon is not just exclusively for designers.
Anyone with interest in this service can apply to showcase their products.
This makes it ideal for hobbyists, artists, illustrators, side-hustlers, those looking to make money online or even those looking to begin a t-shirt business online.
Some sellers are already successful in their own right selling products but want to reach the millions of customers that access the Amazon marketplace as well.
Whereas some sellers are designers with little prior knowledge of the business side who like the idea of Amazon taking care of the financial and sales side for them.
The entire concept of Merch by Amazon is for those that have the passion, drive, and creativity to create a saleable brand.
This is the brand that will encourage customers to access Amazon’s selling platform to obtain your products.
The Application Process for Merch by Amazon
Unfortunately, too many people have, in the past, abused this application system and, indeed, the marketplace at Amazon.
So, because of this, the Merch team has made the process tougher.
This hasn’t been done to deter designers, rather weed out those bad ones to ensure only the genuine sellers get through.
Because of this, though, there have been recent changes to the application procedure.
Now you will need to have to hand all necessary information before clicking on that submit button.
Whereas, in the past, you could just enter this information once you had submitted your request.
So, doing as much prep work in advance and providing all the information Amazon requests puts you in a better position.
1. Business Information
Get all the information you need to hand that will help you through the application stage in one sitting. This includes your:
- Business contact information, where applicable.
- Personal contact information – if you don’t have a company set up
- Bank account and routing numbers
- Social security numbers – or other tax identification numbers
2. Request an Invitation
This will take you to the Amazon sign-in page.
3. Remember to Sign In
Sign in to your Amazon Account – or if you don’t have an account, create one.
Click on the begin application button.
4. Work Through the Application Process
Go through the application process – filling in every box with the requested details.
This includes on page one:
- Country – to ensure your country is supported by the service
- Business name
- Full address information – including City, State, and Postal Code
- Phone number
- Business email address
Page two will ask for your bank details, so ensure you have all the necessary numbers here alongside information about your account, including the address and contact details.
Page three will then offer a tax questionnaire.
Once again, by having these all-important details to hand by the time you arrive at these pages, you can answer every question correctly.
Once you have completed this part of the application process correctly, you’ll then arrive at the actual form necessary for Merch by Amazon!
5. Answer All the Questions
This will ask you questions about:
- Your industry type
- Your organization name
- A request for any additional information to support your application
- Your website address – if applicable
The most important question here is the additional information box.
Though it may seem a small area, this is where you make your case as to why the Amazon Merch team should accept you.
It’s strongly recommended that you provide links where possible to any work you’ve completed.
This is so to draw their attention to any efforts you’ve previously made in the print industry.
(Also, worth a mention here is how those who can show the Merch team how they’ll be able to make Amazon money are the ones more likely to be considered – as opposed to those who haven’t made an effort).
Finally, this crucial box is where you clearly display anything of relevance to your application alongside your intentions with the Merch program.
6. Double-Check Everything
Double-check the above information entered and then click submit!
You’ve now completed the application process required for Merch by Amazon.
At this stage, you should see a message telling you that your request was successfully submitted.
Depending on the review time stated when you submit, Amazon, on average, suggests they take around 60 days to finalize their response.
When they do notify you of their decision, it will be via the email address that you gave during your application process.
So, ensure you keep an eye on this email account.
But some designers have claimed that they never received an email, but they continued to check in regularly on the Merch website itself.
How to Boost Your Application for Merch by Amazon
Those designers that have had success in this marketplace recommend a couple of tips to ensure your application stands out for the Merch team. These include:
Creating Your Best Website
It’s no longer enough now to just have an Instagram or Facebook account alone.
Those looking to get their designs and artwork out there need considerable online representation.
The best way to do this is by creating and building a website.
Your very own website allows you to display your profile for everyone to see.
You can also make it your online store so customers can own your designs for themselves.
Better still, by making good use of the many graphics and high-quality photography on a website, you increase your branding potential.
With little than seven seconds to capture the attention of any site visitor, your website should be as well-designed and eye-pleasing as you can possibly make it.
Promoting Your Brands Potential
Whereas some people may develop a fantastic website, their artwork and designs can often take a back seat.
Yet, by creating your own logo and making it visual, recognizable, and, most importantly, present throughout your website and work – you will definitely stand out more.
Unique and creative logos capture the eyes of an audience and customers while making you look more professional and brand-worthy in the process.
Consider highlighting what is unique to you and make your work here distinctive.
Developing a Solid Marketing Strategy
A great website will not do anything for your brand if it isn’t efficiently promoted.
For this reason, it needs traffic in the shape of an audience.
There are several easy ways to start building your audience and begin networking to keep that traffic flowing.
A brilliant way of doing this is by making your presence known on social media.
Create several social media accounts and engage with your audience.
This requires you to stay active and keep your accounts updated.
Social media platforms are perfect for showcasing what you do so others can see.
You may even want to consider running adverts about your brand on these networks.
When your audience does reach out to you on these platforms, make a concentrated effort to engage them, and reply.
Another great marketing strategy is to begin a blog.
Blogs are perfect at further engaging an audience and allow you to really assert your position in the online world as an artist and indeed, influencer.
Work to enhance your blog posts with SEO driven content and by sharing such posts on your social media accounts.
This way, you’ll develop the ability to engage a larger audience and start many a conversation in the process.
What Kind of Designs Do Well on Merch by Amazon?
Though you may well have your own design niche and do well with it, several designs are said to perform well on this platform.
- Distressed designs
- Dark shirts with light or colorful designs
- Light shirts with simplistic dark designs
- Simple imagery
- High contrasting colors
- Active characters
- Action characters
In addition to these more popular of designs, those trading on the site for many years now will also recommend looking to other sources, such as:
- Topical ideas – Keep an eye on what is trending right now. This can be through social media use or Google trends, for example.
- Evergreen ideas – Some of the biggest successes for many designers come from those t-shirt designs for professionals, for hobbyists, or those with inspirational messages on.
- Event ideas – With so many to choose from here, if there’s an upcoming occasion, you can capitalize on the date a few weeks or even months ahead of time. Examples here are vast, including Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so on.
The Many Advantages of Using Merch by Amazon
- A great introduction to the world of online sales
- Access to a vast audience
- Priority in search engines
- No limitations regarding acquiring rights to your intellectual property
- More opportunity to sell via different channels
- A great platform for acquiring those first customers
- A great avenue for building awareness of your brand
- No initial costs required to get started
- A risk-free and no-investment opportunity
- You don’t have anything to lose
- No need for prior sales or marketing skills or knowledge
- Ideal for complete beginners
- Increases your brand visibility
The Possible Disadvantages of Using Merch by Amazon
- Competition can be pretty intense
- All designs need to comply with the content policy from Amazon
- You will be required to live up to Amazon’s standards
- An invitation-only system
- Not everyone earns a lot – you will need to sell a lot to make serious money
- Not much flexibly
- Growth possibilities can be limited
Final Thoughts on Applying for Merch by Amazon
In concluding, if you’ve followed the above guidance – you can rest assured that you’ve done everything possible to help with your Merch by Amazon application.
Most people who’ve provided the exact information needed, given a valid reason for applying, and provided supporting evidence usually have no trouble being accepted onto the program.
But there have been many, and there will continue to be many more, who get turned down.
If this does happen to you, you simply need to regroup and apply once again.
For those who’ve initially had their application rejected, only to succeed sometime later, claim it’s often just a case of taking time to consider where the initial application went wrong.
For plenty of hopefuls, the rejection process is all about incorrect or incomplete information given at the time or applying.
For others, it’s simply a suggestion that the ideas aren’t viable.
Also, a possibility that Amazon can’t see how your presence on their site is going to make them any money!
It can be difficult as with all rejections to consider putting yourself forward again.
However, it may help to bear in mind that Amazon only wants to be assured of recruiting those high quality and genuine sellers onto their platform.
Therefore, they make this process more stringent to ensure the bad ones don’t seep through – thus ruining it for everyone else.
For this reason, be as truthful as you possibly can.
Offer the Merch team all the information requested, while blowing your own trumpet as to why you would be the next best person or business to sell on their platform.
Hopefully, you, too, will soon be a member of the Merch by Amazon community, getting your designs out there to millions of people in the process.