The print on demand industry has gotten huge. We have RedBubble, Society6, Teespring, DesignbyHumans, Zazzle, Spreadshirt and many others. But a big player stepped on the scene on September 30th 2015 – Merch by Amazon. Exclusively focusing on t-shirts, the service requires zero investment. And because we’re talking about Amazon, process is extremely simple and allows you to sell immediately.
It offers the same benefits as other POD sites, but Merch by Amazon perfects it and excels at service. It is simple, intuitive and easy to use. You can upload your artwork now and have it as a product on the site available for millions of visitors by the end of the day. After you select the type of t-shirt/color and add the description the product is reviewed according to their Content Policy. If everything is fine, it becomes a stand-alone product on Amazon. It will have a dedicated page that you can use on your blog, site, social media for promotion.
From here on you know the drill: the customer orders your t-shirt, Amazon prints it, process the order, ships it and handles any customer care. What is great is that your products will also be available with Prime shipping. On top of that, you have the option to track your sales, compare and improve where it is needed, to optimize and increase your income.
What is rather new is that they remove the t-shirts/designs if they don’t sell in 60 days. That’s a way to keep spam under control. Amazon will definitely not encourage you to just throw in a bunch of designs. Why not find a niche, since you already have the awareness of Amazon?
Another thing is to use them as a supplier and not sole distributor, because it does pale in comparison to independent labels or building a business from scratch. Consider Merch by Amazon another channel to get your product to the customers. Don’t expect to build a long-standing brand around it. Instead promote your already established name on the biggest shopping platform in the world. Of course, you can also consider it just another source of income beside your day job. There’s nothing to lose really.
After all these great things, let’s address some of the downsides. It is print on demand and the quality is not the best. Before getting your expectations too high, order some samples and weight your options first hand.
And another thing is that the service is currently available by invitation request only. Amazon wants to make sure sellers meet a certain level of quality and professionalism, which is why not everyone can just sell anything right away. I think they did not expect it to have such a great impact with such overwhelming success, thus the many restrictions.
Keeping that mind, I would expect Amazon to charge the service in the not distant future, so take advantage and throw your hat in the ring now, while it’s free.
In our future posts will focus on more specific details about Merch by Amazon, based on experienced sellers’ experience, such as: strategy, promotion, design styles, pricing, how to get your t-shirt designs and more.