If you’re an artist or graphic designer, applying to sell your designs through the Amazon Merch on Demand program can definitely be worth your time.
Everyone shops on Amazon these days. And after a year of selling my designs on Amazon Merch on Demand, I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned!
What is Amazon Merch on Demand?
Firstly, what is Merch by Amazon? It’s essentially a Print on Demand service, similar to Redbubble or Society6. You can upload finished artwork to a variety of products, including t-shirts and cell phone accessories, and then they are printed and shipped out after a customer purchases that item.
Below is a screenshot of my earnings from September 2018 – August 2019. These figures are not huge compared to others out there, but it’s nothing to shake a fist at either! For reference, I only have about 100 products listed at the time of this writing.
As you can see, I’ve made about $2000 in total so far. I hope to double or even triple that figure in the next year!
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
Tips for Selling on Amazon Merch on Demand
- Getting started can be frustrating. Application rejections don’t always make sense and are likely automated, so make sure your application is filled out correctly. One wrong thing could lead to automatic rejection.
- Getting accepted takes time. Be patient. It can take a few weeks in some cases.
- Once your application is approved, you start with only 10 design slots. Think carefully about which 10 designs you want to use. Once you sell a few products you will be able to add more.
- Each level is known as a “tier” and each tier comes with more design slots.
- Regarding tax withholding – use your SIN number or other similar tax ID number otherwise they will withhold 30% of your earnings (if you are a seller outside of the U.S.). I couldn’t figure out what my Tax ID number was at first, so they withheld 30% of my royalties for the first 5 months. I eventually received those with-holdings but it took an additional 5 months to get it.
- The brand name doesn’t matter much but may aid in search.
- You don’t have a storefront unless you sign up for the Amazon Influencer program. You will also have to apply for this using one of your social media accounts, and you are not guaranteed to be accepted.
- T-shirts and PopSockets seem to be the best selling product types.
- Keywords and descriptions are very important.
- Design rejections happen. They don’t always make sense and are often automated, so just revise and try again. Make sure to follow all of Amazon’s guidelines for keywords and descriptions to avoid this as much a possible.
- Not everything will sell, and what does sell might not even be your best work.
- Your design will be deleted if there are no sales after 1 year. When this happens, you can either revise your keywords and description or move on and try another design.
- There are no discounts or sale promotion on Merch products.
- You can sell in other marketplaces, like Germany, Italy, Spain and even Japan.
- There is a lot of competition on Amazon, so make designs that are unique and stand out.
- Never use anything copyrighted, or you can risk losing your account altogether.
I hope you’ve found some of this information useful. Check out my Artist Resources page for even more tips on how to sell your art online.
Have you considered selling on Merch by Amazon or are you already? I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Happy selling.