Loading...
Menu
Ebooks   ➡  Nonfiction  ➡  Business & Economics  ➡  Marketing

Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon

[*Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To *]

Merch by Amazon

By Neil L

https://merchinformer.com/

[*Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon *]Copyright © 2017 by

Neil L

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or

transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other

electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher,

except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other

noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

[*Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To *]

Merch by Amazon

If you have ever wanted to start a t-shirt business or make some money off of your

designing skills, then this book is for you. Perhaps you are already familiar with Merch by

Amazon and are looking to find some extra information on how you can expand your

earnings to the next level. If this is you, then you are in luck. In this book I will be showing

everyone; beginner to advanced how to sell t-shirts through Amazon’s new Merch by

Amazon program and how you too can create a 6 figure a year business.

Over the last year that the program has been open, I have told a lot of people about it. I

have heard from many people that they are not designers, or have no idea where to start.

Let me be honest right away, you do not need to have any designing skills to be successful

with this program. I certainly do not! Every piece of the process I will be laying out here in

order to turn a profit.

Some people just want to get their artwork out there! If that is the case, this guide can also

help you get found by potential customers.

T-Shirts are an incredible way to make income. I actually make my full time income from

blogging and making websites but over the last year I have created a second full time

income with Merch by Amazon (6 figures). I want to show you how to do the exact same!

Here is a long detailed Merch by Amazon Blueprint on how I created a six figure t-shirt

business with Merch. If you take the time to implement everything I am going to go over, it

might take you a while, but the results are well worth it.

Let’s jump into it!

Table Of Contents

Merch by Amazon Intro/Setup

Who Am I?

Merch by Amazon Walkthrough

Understanding Amazon BSR – 5 Things You Need To Know Before Picking A Niche

A Definitive Guide On Seasonal Niches – How To Find, Rank, And Manage Your Listings

Merch by Amazon T-Shirt Holidays (Master List)

Selling on Amazon Integrations

Start Your Own Merch Empire With Shopify and Amazon – No Inventory Guide

Shopify/Amazon Print on Demand FAQs

Teespring Amazon Integration – Zero Cost Startup Guide

Which POD Service Should You Use To Sell On Amazon?

Optimization

Merch by Amazon SEO Ultimate Guide

Merch Informer Case Study – A Merch By Amazon 20k Per Month Blueprint

Merch Pricing Strategies – Why You Are Leaving Money On The Table

Merch Copycat Problems? 6 Ways To Find Out Who Is Stealing Your Work

10 Amazon Merch Ranking Factors You Should Understand

How To Trademark A T-shirt Slogan – Step By Step Guide

Marketing

Zero Cost Merch Marketing

5 Ways To Market Your Merch by Amazon Shirts for Free

Leverage Pinterest Marketing To Sell Your Merch by Amazon T-Shirts

Growth Hacking Pinterest To Sell Amazon Merch

How To Run Facebook Ads To Merch by Amazon Listings

Ultimate AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) Guide to Marketing Your Merch

How To Use Upwork To Outsource And Scale Your Merch Business

Interviews

Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with Lanelle Barber

Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with Ken Reil

[*Who Am I? *]

Before we get into the actual guide, I should probably preface that by letting you know who

I am and why you should take the time out of your day to listen to what I have to say.

When I was first starting out, like almost everyone, I looked up to the online “gurus”. You

know those guys who make all their money online by telling you how to make money

online? They would post their screenshots that would inspire me. The more I learned about

internet marketing, the more frustrated I got with these people. Rehashed info all for the

sake of pushing beginners to buy the latest and greatest product that is neither needed nor

helpful.

I actually got my start with niche websites. Over the last year, my posts and efforts have

focused heavily on Merch by Amazon.

Merch by Amazon is probably the easiest source of income I have come across in my years

of internet marketing. In just under a year, I was able to go from not knowing what the

Merch by Amazon program was to earning over $10,000 per month in passive income. I

want to share the tips and tricks I used in order to get there. Unlike others who teach

people how to do something and only make a few hundred dollars a month doing what they

teach, I have actually been there and done that. Here is an older screenshot from my

account.

I do not post this screenshot to brag but to inspire you and show you that I know how to

create real income streams from the internet. I also want to be straight forward and let

people know that I actually know what I am talking about. When you first start selling shirts

through Merch, it can be daunting. You may not see sales coming in right away, you are

stuck at the 10-25 tier, and it almost feels like you are wasting your time. I know how that

feels, and I know exactly how to get past all of those problems to create a long term

sustainable business. If you are ready to work hard, work smart, and create a new large

income stream for your family, your gears should be turning now.

It is not often that such an amazing opportunity just lands in your lap, but that is what

happened when Amazon launched Merch By Amazon in late 2015. In case you were not

aware, Merch By Amazon is a t-shirt print on demand (POD) and fulfillment service.

I have written a few posts about this service this year on my blog in the past but in late

2016 my business partner and I launched Merch Informer, a software company focused on

helping people to research, build and scale their Merch business. Ever since MI launched,

the goal has been to put out actionable information that can be used right alongside the

software to increase their earnings and master all the moving parts.

This book is a collection of that actionable information.

[*What Is Merch By Amazon? *]

Merch by Amazon is a print on demand or POD service that launched late last year. To

simplify the concept, you create artwork, upload that artwork to the platform, and then

Amazon will print it on a t-shirt when someone purchases it. Amazon handles the printing,

the fulfillment, and customer service. Each and every product that you put up becomes a

listing in their catalog that is searchable for consumers. Did I mention that they are all

eligible for prime?

Time and time again I read about people starting a t-shirt business. In fact, I think a shirt

business is what the majority of online entrepreneurs actually try out at some point in their

journey. The sad part is the large majority of them end up failing. Do you know someone in

that boat? Perhaps yourself?

Where Merch differs is that you are selling on Amazon! There are no minimum sales

required for the shirt to print, there are no upfront costs, no overhead, no customer service.

All you do is research niches, upload artwork, and Amazon handles the rest. The best part

about ALL of this is that you do not need to send traffic to your listings. Amazon is one of the

most trafficked websites ever which means millions of potential customers each and every

day. All you need to do is optimize your listings, which we will get to later.

If you cannot see the massive potential with this program, turn back now. If the gears in

your head are turning, let’s get to it.

Signing Up For An Account

Originally Merch was a program that Amazon envisioned app developers would take

advantage of. Quickly internet marketers took notice and started signing up because they

saw the massive opportunity. Since the program was so new, Amazon did not have enough

printers and resources to run this program for everyone who signed up. After a month of

registration, Merch was locked down and there is now a wait time to be accepted. This used

to be many months, but Amazon has been working hard to expand capacity, and the wait

time is much shorter today. If you are reading this and are already accepted,

congratulations!

For the rest of you, start by visiting the Merch homepage here:

https://merch.amazon.com/landing

This will require you to log in and fill out some information about your business. For the

organization name, if you are an individual, this is your full name. I usually pick a Novelty T-

Shirt store for the Industry type, and then if you have any websites where you could drive

traffic, include those in the additional information. If you do not, no worries! Eventually

everyone gets accepted to the program.

Once you have filled out the information, submit it, and the waiting game begins. At this

point you can get prepared for your acceptance! Also, make sure you check back and try and

login to the account every so often. I had a friend that was accepted to the program and it

took Amazon an entire month to send him the welcome email (even though he was making

sales and designing that entire time!).

Dashboard Walkthrough

For anyone already accepted and designing, you are probably very familiar with the

dashboard so you can skip down to the next section. For everyone else, let’s take a quick

walk through the dashboard to get familiar with where everything is.

The first thing you will see when you login is a page that looks similar to this

When you first get access to your account, you have 25 total slots, or design spots that you

can upload. The Merch program works on a tier structure. You will start with 25 designs, but

as soon as you have sold 25 designs, you get tiered up and more spots will open up.

Tier Levels Include:

10

25

100

500

1000

2000

4000

6000

8000

The tier levels above are the ones that I know people have hit. Sometimes you may get

tiered up and completely skip a tier. This means that when you have 25 shirt sales, instead

of getting tiered to 100 designs, they may bump you up to 500 because you are selling to

well. Also note that the Merch FAQs section notes a different tier structure than what

actually seems to be happening with the program.

Company Profile

Before you can put up any t-shirts live on Amazon, you need to fill out some information.

Click on “My Account” in the top right hand corner. Under company profile, you need to fill

out your information. If you have a business already, enter in that information. If you are an

individual, your business name is the name you go by. Enter in your address, phone number,

and an email you want to receive notifications on and hit save and continue.

Payment & Banking

On the left hand side of the same page, you will see payment and banking. You want to be

paid for all the work you are about to do, so go ahead and click on “Add A Bank Account”

and put in your information for direct deposit.

Tax Information

On the same page, on the left hand side, click on Tax Information. You will need to take their

short quiz that will fill out the tax information before you can upload a shirt. Remember that

if you are in the USA, Amazon will send you a 1099 at the end of the year. Save around 30%

for taxes, as none are taken out when you get your direct deposit!

Resources

Now, at the very top of the page next to the “My Account” tab, you should see Resources.

Click on this. You will want to read through all the information here as it is very important.

This will go over exactly how your royalties are calculated, best practices, content policies,

FAQs, and the legal terms and conditions. Make sure you read through all of it and really

familiarize yourself with the platform.

From here, we have the 5 main tabs that you will be using. Dashboard, Create, Promote,

Manage, and Analyze.

[_[Note:*] Merch by Amazon promotions are in-app only. This means they are not available to _]

_you if you do not have an app. _

Dashboard

The dashboard is where you will see all your products for sale. These will appear in the right

hand column as well as links to that product. The middle column is used for active

promotions. If you are not an app developer, this will be blank. On the right hand side, you

will see the column called “Messages”. This is where you can get any updates about the

platform.

Manage

The manage tab is where you can keep track of all the shirts you have “live” on Amazon. You

will be able to see their name, a very small image of what the design looks like, the date it

was created, the price you are selling it for, the status, and you’ll be able to edit or create

promotions. Since I am not an app developer, I will not be talking about promotions.

There are multiple statuses that may show. After you upload a shirt, the first status that you

will see is that it is “under review”. This is completely normal. Once it passes under review, it

will change to “starting processing” and quickly go to “processing”. This means that your

shirt has been accepted and now it needs to process before it goes “live”. Eventually it will

go live and you will get an email stating so. People can now begin finding your shirt in the

Amazon catalog.

Analyze

Once you start selling, this is going to be the tab that you visit the most. Here you can see

what products sold on what days. You will also see an earnings tab up top. When earnings

finalize, they will show here so you know exactly how much you are making. Make sure to

check this page daily to see which products are selling!

That about covers everything you need to know and will use in the backend!

T-Shirt Niche Research

Now that you have an account, or are waiting for an account, this is the time that you need

to research niches. There are two key aspects you MUST understand for you to have any

success on Merch. The first is BSR or Best Sellers Rank, and the second is understanding

Copyright.

Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank)

Every product on Amazon has something called a BSR or Best Sellers Rank. When you come

across a product in the Amazon catalog, simply scroll down past the product pictures and

right under the product description, you should see a box that looks like this:

Here you can see the Amazon Best Sellers Rank for this item. The BSR is a representation of

how well that item is selling. From my time selling on Amazon FBA and selling on Amazon

Merch, a good rule of thumb is that if an item has a BSR of 100,000 in clothing, that shirt is

probably selling 1 design every day. The lower the number, the more shirts are being sold

each day.

If the BSR is around #2,000 you can expect that the shirt is selling 25-50 of that design daily.

Around #400,000 and the design is probably selling once or twice a week. The more you sell

on Amazon and keep track of the BSR, the better idea you will get on how it correlates to

sales. Just remember that the lower the number, the more popular the shirt is with

consumers! Keep that in mind when doing research.

Copyright

You also need to have a full understanding that you cannot infringe on copyright with

Merch. You may come across some shirts with a very low BSR, but they might have Disney

characters or sayings on them. You clearly do not own the intellectual property to those

sayings or images so this would be infringement. If Merch catches you, they will take that

design down and send you an email telling you not to do it again. If you get enough of these,

your account will eventually be closed, so you need to be careful.

To ensure no sayings or characters are copyrighted, you should be checking all your ideas

through one or both of these websites. I prefer Trademarkia, as they are much more user

friendly and I have had zero issues since starting Merch by using them.

Trademarkia

USPTO

Finding Designs

Now that you understand Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank, and know that you need to be

checking Copyright, you can now start looking for designs. The goal is to find shirts with a

low BSR that cannot be Copyrighted. This means they are SELLING and that customers like

products in that niche. You can then go on to create shirt designs that are much better than

what is currently being offered and make sales!

You could go on Amazon and start searching for keywords. You could go and click on each

individual shirt that pops up for your keyword searches and look at each listing to see what

the BSR is. You could also search for each and every name through Trademarkia individually.

These are the exact steps that we took when building our accounts at first.

… But it took a long time! What started out as a side project, ended up taking time away

from multiple other projects that we were working on.

I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

~ Bill Gates

So, wanting to continue the upward trend in earnings without wasting our time searching

hundreds of listings on Amazon, we came up with a better way.

Introducing Merch Informer

For the past year, we have been working to replicate my process of finding T-Shirts ideas

that sell! M

erch Informer was built to give you all the data you need to succeed with Merch by Amazon, and more importantly save you a ton of time in the process. We are just

days from Launch so if you want to get in at the lowest price we will ever offer ($10 p/m),

then make sure you hop on the list here: Merch Informer.

Long gone are the days of searching for multiple hours to find a few t-shirt ideas to send to

your designer. With our all-in-one solution, you will be able to search for 5 keywords at a

time, grab the top 100 best selling t shirts for each keyword, and have it all sorted by

Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank. Not only are the shirts sorted by BSR, but in a single screen, you

have the URL of each product, the bullet points that Merch seller has used, and the

description.

Not only can you easily see the top 100 selling products per keyword, you also have the

ability to run a quick competition check to see how many competitors are in the niche.

Remember that if there is little to no shirts in that keyword/niche but the shirts have a low

BSR, this is a prime opportunity for your account to make money!

If you need to check the Copyright on a certain shirt or keywords, simply click on the

Copyright button which will bring up Tradmarkia already prefilled with the shirt title.

Perhaps you found a shirt while using Merch Informer that infringes on your Copyright? No

problem! Simply click on the report infringement button to pull up the Amazon

Infringement Form. Fill it out and get the copycats taken down.

Now, let’s say that you found a few designs that you like and think that you (or your

designer) could really improve upon and sell on Merch. Simply click on the favorites button

for each design you like, and it will be moved to your favorites tab. From the favorites tab,

you will be able to download high resolution images, shirt titles, shirt bullet points, and shirt

descriptions all in an Excel spreadsheet that you can send straight to your designer to get

your new, more improved designs created!

Niche Research

When you login, navigate to the right hand menu, and select product search. Here is the

interface where you will be able to search for up to 5 keywords at a time. If you want to add

a keyword, simply select + Add Search Field.

Let’s do some niche research and see if we can find some good designs we could improve

on! In the below screenshot you can see I entered a keyword I want to see the best ranking

shirts for. Make sure to check “Only by Amazon” if you want to search for just Merch by

Amazon shirts, or leave this unchecked to search all of clothing. Both are excellent for

research.

Keyword Searched:

cat

If you want to search more than 1 keyword at a time, it would look like the below

screenshot. For now, to make things simplified for this guide, we will only be searching for

cat t-shirts.

Click on Search and wait. Each keyword you search for will take around 10 seconds. When

the tool is done pulling your results, they will be displayed below. You have the option to

show all results on the page, or pick to only show a certain amount of results with the filter

drop down.

You can see above that Merch Informer will keep track of your past searches which come in handy when you are switching back and forth from your favorites tab.

Each result is sorted by Best Sellers Rank so you can see at a single glance which designs are

selling. Scrolling down a bit, something catches my eye right away.

Notice that last shirt there? What a simple design! It combines 2 niches in 1. You have

Cats/Kittens and Nurses. You can see on the right that this shirt is currently ranked at a

#93,279 BSR which means that this design is likely selling at least one shirt a day. Since I like

this design and know it is selling, I think that my designer could easily make something a lot

better. Add it to your favorites by clicking on the little heart icon!

You can also check the Trademarkia for Copyright by clicking on the check mark, check the

competition for that shirt by clicking the graph icon, or click on the Copyright icon to fill out

Amazon’s infringement form if that design is infringing on your IP!

Merchant/Brand Search

Maybe while you were doing research, you found a certain brand that seems to be doing

well and does not have any designs which are Copyrighted. Even though they have a lot of

shirts up, their designs are simple and could be improved on. With Merch Informer, you can

easily go through and pick out their top 100 selling shirts with a single click.

Going through different Merchant’s products has literally never been easier. 10 seconds and

you have their top 100 selling shirts that you can improve on and see which niches they are

selling well in, and which would be a waste of time. You can easily see how this can put

more money in your pocket.

Statistics

After a while of selling on Merch, you may want to keep track of your best selling shirts. We

have built in a BSR Rank Tracker which will allow you to import your top sellers and see how

they perform day-to-day by tracking the swings in your BSR. This is currently being

developed.

What You Need To Create Designs

After you have saved 25 shirts to your favorites in Merch Informer, download them and the details you want into an excel spreadsheet with the click of a button.

Now you have a choice to make, do you make these designs yourself, or do you outsource

them? Let’s start with creating them yourself which is exactly what we did when our

accounts were brand new.

Merch by Amazon Templates

Adobe Photoshop Template

GIMP Template

You will need one of the above templates depending on what program you wish to use to

create your designs. Photoshop is a paid program (they do offer a monthly payment plan),

or you can go with GIMP which is free. Since I already have Photoshop, that is what I have

chosen to use.

Open up Photoshop, and then open the template from Merch. It should look just like this:

Now you need to follow the directions on the right side. Right click, edit contents, and then

hit okay. The window that comes up is the design window.

Design your image in this window. Once you are done, go up to the Photoshop menu, and

save as a PNG. Saving as a PNG is important. If you use the supplied templates, the designs

will be the correct dimensions!

Listing Optimization + Keywords

Now that you have your images designed and saved, it is time to upload them to Merch!

I will be using an example that I created for this blog before. This is the image I had:

Now head over to Merch By Amazon, login, and click on upload new artwork. It should bring

up a page that looks like this:

Once your design is uploaded, click on Save selection and continue.

This will bring up a page that looks like this:

This is where your listing optimization starts! In a recent Merch by Amazon webinar, they let

it drop that the colors are sorted by the most popular. That means that black, blue, grey, and

navy blue are the 4 most popular colors.

With that knowledge in mind, pick 5 colors (5 is the max), that you think looks best with

your design.

Your listing price is up to you. The price that is already entered is $19.99, but I have found

that the majority of the shirts I sell are priced between $15.99-$18.99. I price them based

on the competition check in the Merch Informer software. The less results/competition I have, the higher I price the shirts!

Once you are happy with your color selection and your price, click on Save selection and

continue.

This will then bring up the most important aspect of your listing. The product details page!

Choose a brand name that you think fits with the shirt design. You can add a keyword here,

but do not make it look spammy. For this example the brand name is the name of this blog.

The title of the product is very important. You want to properly describe the T-Shirt while

adding as many keywords as you can think of (from a buyers perspective), without looking

spammy. As you can see from the above example, I have the keywords “marketing”, and

“money” included in the title. Always end your titles with T-Shirt because so many

customers actually search that while looking for products to buy. If I were to do a cat t-shirt

like the example above, I might title the shirt “Kitten My Nurse On T-Shirt Nurse Cat Love

Tee”. From this title you can see that I have included a bunch of keywords that I think a

potential buyer might search for.

[_Remember: Think of keywords as if you wanted to find this shirt as a buyer! _]

The key product features are what end up being your bullet points under your shirt. The title

and the bullet points from my testing and experience are the ONLY thing that matter for

ranking in Amazon. In fact, for my own account, I leave the description blank!

The first product feature should be about the shirt itself! Remember to include keywords

that a potential buyer might be searching for! Are they buying it as a gift for friends or

family? You may want to include the word “gift” somewhere in there.

The second bullet point is where I take the opportunity to tell potential buyers that all these

shirts are printed to be fitted. Since I want to get 5 star ratings, I want to ensure that they

are purchasing the right size. I will often let them know in this bullet point to order a size up

if they prefer a looser fit.

As I said, I often skip the product description but if you want to fill it out, go ahead and

describe your shirt!

Click on Save selection and continue when you are happy.

It will bring you to a page that looks similar to this. Simply check the box that says “Sell –

Public on Amazon” and click on submit!

Your shirt will then go into the review process, and once it passes will be live for anyone to

purchase on Amazon and make you money!

Outsourcing Designs

After my account started to make money from the designs I did myself, I decided to

outsource them! This is the easiest way I know of to scale as fast as possible. Since this was

a side project, I wanted to free up my time as much as possible.

After you use Merch Informer and have a lot of designs saved in your favorites, it is now time to send them to your designer. Download your saved favorites into an excel

spreadsheet. This is the file you will be sending to your designer.

So where do you find a designer you can count on? I have had excellent success by using

Upwork. In fact, I found a designer that I have hired full time for $4 per design. I have found that a lot of great designers are in the Philippines and $4 a design really ads up to a great

wage there. Ryan, if you are reading this, thank you for all the work you have done!

Below I have posted the exact script I used to find an excellent designer. Feel free to use it

yourself!

Hey, I am in need of 400 t-shirt designs in the time period of 2-3 months.

Your task will be pretty basic, I will send you ideas of t-shirts I want to make and you make

them even better and unique. For example, I might send you a link of a already existing

tshirt and I would need it being inspired by it and made even better and unique.

I will leave you a lot of 5* reviews so that you will be able to get jobs easier in the future and

this is a long-term position needed. Once we have done the first batch of 400 – around 4 per

day, we could continue if everything looks good.

I look forward to doing business with you!

This works so well for a couple of reasons. The first being that you have a LOT of work for

someone to do. This means continued work for them. It also works well because you will

pick up designers that are looking to build up their Upwork profile by getting some great 5

star reviews. This means they will be putting their best designing effort towards your

projects.

Weeding Out Bad Designers

When I first tried to hire someone to design for me, they stole images and straight up copied

designs. This is wrong, and will get your Merch account banned. I was not able to use any of

these designs.

When I first hired someone, I let them know that they cannot use any images which are

Copyrighted, or infringe on any Copyright someone else owns.

Then, I will send them a T-Shirt idea that is very clearly Copyright infringement. If they copy

it or do not change it enough to be considered free use, I will immediately get rid of that

designer. The design may have cost me $4, but that is an extremely small price to pay to

weed out the copycats!

If you want to read more about how to hire a designer, there will be a section of the book

near the end where we go into exactly how to use Upwork in depth.

[*Understanding Amazon BSR – 5 Things You *]

Need To Know Before Picking A Niche

From our customers feedback it seems that the Amazon Bestsellers Rank (Simply known as

BSR or Sales Rank) is one of the most frequently misunderstood Amazon metrics. Hopefully

this post will clarify to you as a seller how exactly the bestsellers rank works and how it

is used by the Amazon algorithm to rank your products. Let’s start with some basics first:

 Sales rank can be found under every product listing under the product details

section.

 There are two type of sales rank – Main Sales Rank (the metric most often used to

determinate the number of sales a product gets) and the sub categories sales rank.

[_Important: Due to resent changes in Amazon, regular listings no longer show the main sales _]

_rank which has been confusing some people. If you would like to see the main sales rank of _

_an item you can still do so if you open the product listing from your phone or if you use _

_software like _ Merch Informer _. _

 The sales rank is not unified across the Amazon marketplace and each main category

has a different best sellers list.

 The sales rank is not unified across Amazon locales too, which means that a t-shirt

with a sales rank of 5000 in the US locale will not have the same sales rank in the UK

or Canadian locales.

 Amazon sales rank is updated hourly.

 All and all the Amazon BSR system is pretty simple.

 Each sale you make counts as a point to the sales rank system.

 Each day the score can decrease on increase based on sales you make during that

period

 The products in the given category are ranked based on their sales daily.

However, as usual when it comes to Amazon, the devil is in the details. Having a proper

understating of some of the key points below can be vital to your Amazon success. Let’s

begin with the five things you need to know about sales rank and how you can use them to

your advantage to make the most sales.

1. Sales Rank IS Relative

Your products don’t exist in a vacuum. As your t-shirt or mug ranking grows in its respective

category it will displace other products. Unfortunately the same can be said for when your

competitors are making more sales than you. Knowing this, driving traffic to your listing can

be one of the best things you can do to keep ahead of the competition.

*2. Reviews and Ratings Are Not Taken Into *

Account

There has been some confusion regarding reviews and ratings on products and if they affect

the sales rank. The short answer to this is a NO. However, both play a big role when it comes

to customer decisions and as we have covered in our previous article regarding Amazon

Product Optimization, they also play a vital role in the algorithm and product ranking. With that in mind, both ratings and reviews can lead to more sales and have a positive impact on

your best sellers rank but they are not directly influencing it.

*3. An Increase In Sales MIGHT NOT Mean *

an Increase In BSR

As we already said, your Amazon Bestsellers Rank is relative to the other products in a

category. This means an increase in sales alone many times is not enough to increase your

sales rank. To increase your BSR your products must sell more than your competition. What

this means is if there is a sudden influx of sales in a seasonal niche like “St Patrick’s Day” and

everyone in that category starts seeing an increase in sales, you might not see the desired

jump or ranking improvement as you might have hoped.

If your competitor’s products have a steady stream of one or two sales a day and all of a

sudden you start selling ten units per day, your rankings will increase even though your

competitors might have more steady sales. This is just another reason to start building up

channels to drive traffic to your products!

*4. It Takes Less Sales to Maintain BSR Than *

*to Initially Achieve It. *

Since Amazon’s best sellers rank builds each day on sales from the previous day you will

need twice as many sales to achieve your desired sales rank as compared to maintaining it.

In other words you might need double digit number of sales in a day to achieve the said

rank but only need less than ten sales to maintain it. However, one should always keep in

mind that the sales rank will fluctuate based on the other products in the category as well. If

no sales are made during a day your sales rank will be cut.

*5. The More Recent Your Sales The Bigger The *

Effect

Amazon’s BSR formula weighs sales by how recent they are as we have shown above.

However, Amazon also has some predictive features build in which tend to favor the stability

of sales instead of a dramatic surge over a short period of time. In other words it’s not

advisable to attempt to cheat Amazon’s algorithm by buying your own product.

Any boosting effect will quickly fade away and Amazon will still favor your competitor’s

listings over yours.

[_*Please be advised that even though Amazon doesn’t explicitly share the exact details on _]

how sales rank is calculated, the information above is gathered via thorough research and is

_considered an industry standard when it comes to understanding the way BSR functions. _

In Conclusion

A lot of people find the Amazon’s main category Best Sellers Rank algorithm unreliable and

hard to understand. Unfortunately this is still the best way for sellers to estimate if a niche is

worth going into and the only way to estimate the number of sales a competitor product

has.

Here at Merch Informer we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the

basics of the algorithm listed above. This will allow you to make an educated decision and

properly understand the sales data when listing your next product on Amazon.com

What are your thoughts on BSR? Are you using it in your daily research? Let us know in the

comments below!

[*A Definitive Guide On Seasonal Niches – How *]

To Find, Rank, And Manage Your Listings

Seasonal niches can be a massive money maker when it comes to listing Merch on Amazon

if you know what you are looking for and how best to manage these niches. If I were to say

the word “seasonal niche” to you, what is the first thing that would come to mind? For

most, it would be the major holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, so on and so forth.

Every single person selling Merch on Amazon is probably going to upload a shirt or 10 into

those categories. Now, the word saturated is thrown out a lot which we do not agree with,

but it does make it harder to make sales in these niches. If you have the slots, you should

put out some designs for this audience.

For the rest of us, we need to actually stop for a second to consider there is a bit more that

constitutes a seasonal niche that might not come to mind right away. Think about “holidays”

that are not typical such as pi day or groundhog day. These come around only a single day of

the year making them VERY seasonal!

Pro Tip: The absolute biggest successes we have had with seasonal niches are with designs

that are actually related to activities that have SEASONS (shocker right)? As an example,

think about morel mushrooms and the amount of people that hunt those every year. These

certainly have a season and we will be going into this example further down the article.

[*Should You Be Uploading Seasonal Designs? *]

There are people out there that will tell you to simply go for evergreen designs (designs that

will sell year round), and forget about trends, or seasonal niches. For the most part, I would

agree with them! However, if you are completely ignoring seasonal or trending topics, you

are 100% leaving money on the table.

The benefits of seasonal designs far outweigh the negatives at almost every level. These

include:

 High Sales Volume

 Account Tier Ups

 Reviews (because of high sales volume)

 Experiment With Pricing (play with pricing to beat your competition).

There are really only 2 negatives and those are that your designs will not sell for the

majority of the year and that those designs take up slots! Both of these negatives can

actually be worked around so let’s get into that!

How To Properly Utilize Seasonal Niches

The biggest complaint that we hear from new sellers is that they only have 10-25 slots

available and cannot possibly fit in seasonal niches. You can, and actually should be using

them! This is a great way to get your account tiered up a bit faster by making a bunch of

sales in a short period of time, and a great way to make some extra money from your

account. What you may need to do though, is make sure that you are timing the uploading

of your designs.

Since we know that there is a 90 day rule, we need to make sure that the designs we upload

sell within 3 months. If we know that there is a seasonal niche coming up that we want to

tackle, we need to time it just right with Merch in order to make sure we get ranked and

make sales but do not steal too many slots for evergreen designs that might be selling year

round. We have found uploading the designs about 35 days out from a seasonal niche to be

optimal from our testing. Always remember to really nail down the optimization of your

keywords though! People seem to start buying for holidays/seasons about a month before

the actual season/holiday starts.

As soon as 1 trend or season dies down and has passed, if you are using Merch by Amazon,

you will want to free up those slots if you do not have enough spots to leave them up to

make room for other trends or evergreen designs. This can become a massive hassle and is

actually why I do NOT recommend you do seasonal designs on Merch IF you are a new seller

who has not been tiered up.

Evergreen designs should be your main focus for a long term business instead of chasing

trends. Like I said at the beginning though, if you were to totally skip seasons, you would be

leaving money on the table and no one should ever do that.

Instead, you should be uploading your Seasonal designs through the Teespring Amazon

integration. I know I know, you will get lower margins, and you have to price your items higher, but hear me out on this one.

Almost every single one of my best selling seasonal niches up on Amazon has a LOT of

reviews. Not just 1 or 2 reviews, but 10s of 5 star reviews saying how great the product is. If

you were to cycle out that design, you lose all those reviews forever and next year during

the same season, you are stuck competing with 1000 other people with brand new listings.

No one wants that. Reviews are the life blood of Amazon and something that a lot of Merch

sellers do not even pay attention to. If your shirt has good organic reviews your merch is

going to sell and FAR outsell the products that have zero reviews.

By putting your seasonal designs on Teespring, you can keep them up year round AND keep

your reviews without taking up precious Merch by Amazon slots. That is what I call a win

win!

Seasonal Niche Examples

Not that we have explained how you should be going about setting up your seasonal

designs, let’s go over some examples of seasonal niches and how we would do them.

Chinese New Year

What I have found by monitoring certain brands on Amazon is that a lot of people put these

shirts up and then end up deleting them after the holiday has passed. This is actually the

reason we suggest people put these designs up with the Teespring Amazon integration. A lot

of these great shirts had reviews, but people yank down the shirts to put up others as soon

as it is over which is too bad.

Chinese New Year is not a single day like you might be thinking but a few week event. If you

are an FBA seller, you certainly know about Chinese New Year and if you are a MBA seller,

you SHOULD know about this holiday because you can make a killing from it.

Upload these type of shirts early and you can ride the season for a few weeks bringing in

Amazing sales.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog day is always a good seller and you should be getting these up at the very least a

month before it happens. You might not sell any for a week or two, but about one to two

weeks out, your sales should spike. This is generally caused by people ordering all there

Merch at the same time because they want to get the items on time and before the date

that they want to wear them. Notice how this is a single day of the year so you need to

make sure you are early unlike Chinese New Year.

100 Days Of School

This is also not a holiday trend but something that comes around every year. All of the

children going to school eventually cross their first 100 days of school and not only are they

excited, but a lot of the time this niche is PERFECT for teachers. We have personally tested

this niche so if we were putting up these shirts again, we would put them up about a month

or so earlier because you will get the bulk of your sales leading up to the 100 days of school

but we also noticed that we were getting sales a week or two after.

One of the funny things we notice is that a lot of seasonal niches actually keep getting sales

after the season is over. My only speculation here is that people think they are getting the

item on sale for next year? Who knows for sure!

Morel Mushrooms

This is an example of something I was talking about near the beginning of this article. When

thinking seasonal, you want to sometimes think of things that actually have seasons, like

hunting mushrooms. As you can see from our keyword tool, this niche actually have very pronounced seasons. You can use these graphs to time your uploads. It seems that the

graph peaks late April to early May so if we were uploading these shirts, we would probably

do so late March.

Pi Day

Pi day is an interesting one. Not only do people that are really into math love these type of

shirts (seen a lot of variations walking around in real life), but they also have a seasonal

effect because of the actual pi day 3/14. The combination of being attractive to a certain

niche of people as well as being season is great because it means that this is the type of

shirt that can actually be put up whenever you want and keep it up all year round. What you

might have come up with as a seasonal niche may have aspects of being evergreen! If we

were doing Pi Day shirts, we would upload them as soon as we got the designs back from

the designer.

*How To Spot Seasonal Niches And Promote *

Them

Now that we have gone over some examples of seasonal niches, this article would not be

complete without taking about exactly how to spot them and then get the initial boost you

may be looking for ahead of your competition.

To be honest with everyone, I have never picked a morel mushroom in my life so I was kind

of surprised to run across that niche and want to explain exactly how that came about.

The first thing I did was I knew I wanted to find some more ideas to upload to my account so

I went over to our Keyword Tool in Merch Informer.

The keyword tool focuses on Amazon auto suggest words so I entered in a random seed

keyword of “more of a”. This is open ended and could be filled with more than one ending.

Morel Mushrooms automatically stuck out to me so I wanted to check it out and see how it

was doing with a single click of a button. To do this, click on the new details column. This is

an update that we JUST pushed out and will allow you to catch a snapshot of the keyword

and if it is something you might want to further look into.

From here, it will bring up the snapshot of the keyword you are looking at:

What your eye should draw to is the bottom part of the snapshot which will show you the

interest over time graph. As you can see, it spikes EVERY single morel hunting season. This is

a clear sign to you that this niche is seasonal.

If the niche were not seasonal, it might look something like this:

With the update we pushed to the Merch Informer keyword tool, it is now the easiest way

to

 Spot trends and seasonal niches

 Get a snapshot of how many monthly sales you could expect

 Competition you would be up against

 If the keyword is trademark safe or not

 A word cloud of the related keywords you might want to use in your own listing for that

niche.

Promotion

Now that you have some seasonal niches and designs, you might be considering promoting

them instead of waiting around for them to get sales. This is a good way to boost your

product above the competition if the seasonal niche you are going into has a bit more

competition.

Now, if you were going to pay for ads, that might be an article for a different time, but let

me give you an idea of what I would do.

For an example, take the Groundhog day seasonal niche that we mentioned above. Good

niche, but a bit competitive for some people.

If I were to drive outside traffic to this listing from paid traffic, I would actually use

Facebook. First, I would make sure that my design was the absolute best in the niche

(because this matters a LOT if you are doing Facebook advertising), and then I would set up

a very simple ad.

The biggest difference here is that I would target fans of Bill Murray and the movie

Groundhog Day (1993). This allows you to market to an audience who is very passionate

about the niche, but also an audience that you would NEVER be able to pull off if you tried

on Merch because of IP infringement.

You just need a little bit of out of the box thinking to get around some of the restrictions we

have in the POD space and you can make an insane amount of sales instantly boosting you

above everyone else in the pack.

Wrapping It Up

Seasonal niches are 100% worth your time but they DO require a bit of effort to pull off

correctly. Instead of putting up some designs in a seasonal niche and then complaining

about competition and not making sales, instead, take the time to sit back, analyze the

niche, and time when you should enter the market. Enter the seasonal niches properly (nice

and early with optimized listings), and then do the leg work to make sure that your product

shines above the rest with free promotion or paid promotion. Do the best you can to take

advantage of different integrations so your seasonal niche shirts can stay on Amazon and

keep all the reviews that you got from your hard work. Put in the work, put in the research,

and you will see your sales take off!

Merch by Amazon T-Shirt Holidays

When you have found a designer that you like and can trust, one of the things that I

love to do is create t-shirts around Holidays. Made up holidays, real holidays, it really

does not matter. People are interested in all kinds of things. If you have the available

slots, I suggest you take a look at some of these holidays to create designs around.

There is one for each day of the year. Please reference the table below.

https://merchinformer.com/merch-amazon-t-shirt-holidays-master-list/

*Start Your Own Merch Empire With Shopify *

and Amazon – No Inventory Guide

Merchandise has been one of the hottest and fastest growing industries online for years

now. I have always kind of stayed away from the industry for one reason or another, but I

finally decided to give it a try last year. At years end, my business partner and I ended up

making hundreds of thousands of dollars and I was absolutely hooked!

This guide is going to go over the next best thing to hit the merch scene: the Shopify

Amazon integration and how you can start selling 10’s if not 100’s of different products on

Amazon without holding inventory or dealing with ordering product from China. $100,000 a

year or more has literally never been this easy before!

Every internet entrepreneur is always looking forward to see what the future holds. Let us

be perfectly clear that this is not a get rich overnight type of deal. To succeed you are going

to need to work hard, put in the hours, and treat this as a business. That means doing the

research we lay out below, taking the time to list products, and producing stunning designs

(either by yourself or outsourced). Every little detail is going to be laid out in this guide, so

let’s get to it!

[*What Is Merch? *]

If you have been reading what I have been posting this last year, you may be thinking about

Merch by Amazon where the focus was just t-shirts. Merch, however, goes a lot more broad

than that. This can include anything from funny novelty t-shirts to flags you hang on your

wall, to the yoga pants that are worn to the gym and everything in between.

If you have sold on Amazon before, or pushed t-shirts and realized how many customers you

have access to, then you know how lucrative it can be. Shirts are just the tip of the iceberg

though. If you could start selling beach towels, coffee mugs, yoga pants, flags, and any other

type of merch without ever seeing or touching inventory on Amazon, imagine how your

earnings would explode overnight.

[*Why Merch? *]

As you can see from the image above, Amazon is doing it’s very best to capture as much

market share as it can. That is literally all they care about, grow bigger than everyone else!

At the very end of 2015, they opened yet another program to attempt to take over another

sector of the market: Merch by Amazon. This program was aimed at dominating the print on

demand (POD) niche, and it was an overnight success.

This program allowed everyday people and designers like you and I to put up original

artwork and funny says on novelty t-shirts and sell them to Amazon customers without ever

dealing with customer support or touching the actual product. Amazon sold, packaged, and

shipped your products and gave the designer a royalty. Earnings from early adopters were

absolutely massive and in some cases into the 100’s of thousands of dollars.

Unfortunately, Amazon did not expect the monster growth of the Merch by Amazon

program and quickly turned it into an invite only program. Recently they have been

processing so many orders that they have completely stopped accepting people to the

program and people who do have an account are not allowed to publish or are allowed to

publish with restrictions.

You can see that if you want to make money online by selling apparel, you NEED to be

selling on Amazon. There is really no other way around it. By 2020 they are going to be

absolutely dominating the online market place and you have the chance to be a part of it.

With Merch by Amazon closed to the public, and not wanting to deal with shipping items

from China or dealing with a print shop for every order, what can be done?

Fulfillment by Amazon is an option, but from our experience, not a very good good one. You

would have to buy the products a head of time and send them to a ware house. With Merch

by Amazon, we clearly know that selling Merch hands off is the way to go!

[*Use Shopify To Sell Your Merch! *]

Many of you reading this are at least familiar with Shopify as a content management system and online store payment processor. From here, you will be able to put your products up for

sale and sell them to customers who visit your site.

With recent changes and Shopify integrating with Amazon, this is 100% the way to go.

Why?

You will have access to not only T-shirts but….

 Tank Tops

 Phone Cases

 Beach Towels

 Coffee Mugs

 Cutting Boards

 Stickers

 Long Sleeves

 Hoodies

 Dog Bowls

 Flags

 Blankets

 Mouse Pads

 Shower Curtains

and much more!

Are you starting to see the big picture here? You can take the artwork that you created for

shirts or other mediums, and turn a single image into 10s if not hundreds of different

products that you will sell ON Amazon.com. No more handling inventory or trying to drive

traffic to your store anymore.

This is going to be a long one, so strap in, and let’s go over step by step on how to set up

everything so you are no longer held back by Merch limits.

Shopify Amazon Print On Demand Method

To make this method work for you, you are going to need 4 things.

 Understand Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank) and what sells best on Amazon

 Designs/Artwork

 Amazon Seller Account

 Shopify Account

Let’s go over how I get everything set up and then we will tie them all together.

[*Understanding What Sells on Amazon (Best *]

Sellers Rank)

The very first thing you need to do before you start your journey is understand what sells

best on Amazon, how to spot these items, and how to properly research the different niches

you want to create merch around. There are two very key aspects that you need to have a

solid understanding of to have any success. These are Amazon BSR or Best Sellers Rank, and

the second is understanding Copyright/Trademark.

Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank)

Every single product that is sold on Amazon has something in the product information called

the Best Sellers Rank or Amazon BSR. It will look very similar to this:

The BSR is a representation of how well that item is selling in its respective category. The

smaller the number, the more items they are selling. The higher number, the fewer items

they are selling. For example, if a shirt were to hit number 1 in clothing, it would be the

most popular shirt selling on Amazon.

From my experience selling, a BSR of around 100,000 in clothing equates to around 1 sale

per day. This is not set in stone, but 100k BSR is usually what I focus my sites on when doing

niche research.

You could spent hours and hours doing research to find hot selling merch products that you

like the design of to find what niches are selling well and which are not, or you could use our

software: Merch Informer to quickly pull up the information for you. We offer a 3 day free

trial if you want to check us out!

Note: In light of recent events with Shopify and Amazon integrating, Merch Informer will be

including new search categories so you can streamline your entire process in more than just

shirts.

Copyright/Trademark

You also need to have a full understanding that you are not allowed to infringe on someone

else’s copyright or trademarks. This means that you are NOT allowed to simply copy

someones design and put it up on another piece of merchandise. Doing so would be

breaking copyright laws.

If someone has a particular saying in their artwork that is selling particularly well, they

might decide to trademark that term. This would mean that you are NOT allowed to use this

term in any of your designs even if it looks completely different.

Copyright and Trademark are both different beasts so make sure you are not infringing on

someone else’s intellectual property. A lot of times, you might put something up on Amazon

which then gets trademarked later on down the road. They can then use this trademark to

come after you and the items you put up causing infractions and an entire mess. If you have

thousands of products up like we do, this can be almost impossible to keep track of. If you

are at all concerned about this, make sure you c heck out our automatic trademark alerts

update.

Getting Designs/Artwork

When I first started, I created some designs myself. Since I am not a designer by trade, this

took a lot of my time up and I had to actually watch some tutorials on YouTube to make sure

I was using Photoshop correctly. Once I saw just how well my designs were selling on

Amazon, I started to scale up very quickly and this meant getting a designer (or 5), on board

to start cranking out original designs. Keeping up with organizing all my ideas for 5 designers

was a bit difficult manually as I was sending out hundreds of links per week to different

people. We solved this problem by adding our favorites module.

Finding a good designer can be extremely hard. You want one that you can count on to be

on time, every time. You also want a designer that has some integrity and will be original

when you send them ideas. I have managed to hire my entire team of designers at full time

for $4 per design each. This may just be personal experience but a lot of them from the

Philippines and this really ads up to a great wage in that part of the world.

I have found excellent success by using Upwork. Upwork is a marketplace to post jobs you are interested in completing and then hiring freelancers. Below is the script that I used to

hire each one of my designers.

[_Hey, I am in need of 400 t-shirt designs in the time period of 2-3 months. _]

Your task will be pretty basic, I will send you ideas of t-shirts I want to make and

_you make them yourself in your own unique style. For example, I might send _

_you a link of a already existing tshirt and I would need you to be inspired by it _

_and create a better version that is in your own creative style. _

[_ I will leave a lot of 5* reviews so that you will be able to get jobs easier in the _]

[_future and this is a long-term position. Once we have done the first batch of _]

[_400 – around 4 per day, we could continue if everything looks good. _]

[_I look forward to doing business with you! _]

This works well for me because I always have a lot of designs for them to do because I am

quickly scaling up so they will have some long term work from me. It also works well

because a lot of very talented people are new to the Upwork platform and are trying to

build up their profile to find other jobs. Lots of great reviews from you as a satisfied client

can help them in this journey. What this means for you is that they are going to put the best

effort forward in order to earn those 5 stars.

Quick Note: Weeding Out Bad Designers

When I first tried to hire someone to design for me, they stole images and straight up copied

designs. This is wrong, and will get your Merch account banned. I was not able to use any of

these designs.

When I first hired someone, I let them know that they cannot use any images which are

Copyrighted, or infringe on any Copyright someone else owns.

Then, I will send them a T-Shirt idea that is very clearly Copyright infringement. If they copy

it or do not change it enough to be considered free use, I will immediately get rid of that

designer (and that design). The design may have cost me $4, but that is an extremely small

price to pay to weed out the copycats!

Amazon Seller Account

The next piece of the puzzle that you are going to need is is an Amazon seller account.

You can sign up for one here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com

This will ask you to sign into your Amazon account and if you do not have one already,

simply sign up for one.

Once you are signed up and logged in, there are few things you are going to want to do.

First you will want to navigate to the upper right hand corner to “Settings” and then Account

Information. It will bring you to a page that looks like this:

Fill out the Deposit information so that you are going to get paid, and the tax information.

Feel free to change any of the other information but for now all that you need to change is

how you get paid, and the tax information.

Next, navigate to the left hand corner of that page where you should see a “Your Services”

box.

Click on Manage and then upgrade your account to a Professional Account.

This offers you multiple benefits. It will cost you $39.99 a month, but…

 No $0.99 Closing Fee for each item sold, only a monthly $39.99 subscription fee,

referral fees and variable closing fees

 Ability to collect US sales and use taxes on your orders

 Customize your shipping rates and services levels for all products (except Books,

Music, Videos and DVDs)

 Manage your inventory using feeds, spreadsheets, and reports

 Manage orders using order reports and order-related feeds

 Access Amazon Marketplace Web Service to upload feeds, receive reports, and

perform other API functions

 Ability to offer Promotions and Gift Services

 Eligibility for Featured Merchant status and listing placement in the Buy Box.

 Simply put, If you are selling more than 40 pieces of merchandise a month, you are

much better off get a pro account so you have higher profit margins. For this method

*to work with shopify, a Pro account is REQUIRED. *

Shopify Account

Getting a Shopify account is extremely easy and they have a 14 day FREE trial.

Head on over to Shopify.com and click on the get started box in the upper right hand corner.

You will then just need to fill out your email address, password, and the store name you

want to create.

Click on the big green create your store button and Shopify will start setting itself up.

*Connecting Shopify and Amazon For No *

Inventory Fulfillment

Now that you have a fancy new Shopify store for free for the next 14 days, it is time to start

taking advantage of what it has to offer. At first, your store will look just like this when you

log in.

In the lower hand corner, you will see “Apps”. Click on this.

What we are looking for here is an App that will fulfill all your orders for you. This is how we

are going to print on demand without holding any inventory ourselves.

Search for Teelaunch. It will bring up the page for this app that looks like this:

Click on the big green “get” button to install this app. You will need to quickly confirm that

you want to install it on your shopify store.

Click on Install App and let it do its thing. Once the app is installed, go back to the left hand

side menu, and click on Apps again. We are about to set up this app and add our first

product.

Once you click on the app, you should see this dashboard:

Click on the Account button in the upper right hand corner. We want to make sure

everything is set up to auto accept and fulfill orders.

Fill out this page making sure that the top box says “YES”. You will need to add a credit card

for the orders that you send Teelaunch. While you will be paying them the base price for the

shirts and other merchandise orders you send them, you will be collecting the money from

the sales in the Amazon central account.

You will also need to set Shopify to NOT automatically fulfill orders. To do this, go into your

Shopify settings -> Checkout and then in the Order processing section, unselect to

automatically fulfill the order items. In most cases “Do not automatically fulfill any of the

order’s line items” will be selected which is the setting you want.

Adding Your First Piece Of Merchandise

Now we are finally ready to add our first piece of merch. From the teelaunch app, you will want to

click on “New Product” on the bar near the top of the page.

This is where you can see all the products that are available for you to put your designs on! Not only

can you do shirts (which is what this entire tutorial is going to go over), but as mentioned above,

there are so many other pieces of merch you can print and send to customers on Amazon. All

without lifting a finger for the products yourself. Teelaunch will take the orders and ship them for

you while you sit back and collect money off the designs and products!

For this method, we are going to be using the Gildan Unisex shirt. As you can see I have chosen that

one on the screen. Once a product is chosen, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Start

Designing”. This will bring up the product information and give you a little information about the

shipping costs. This is also the space where you can upload your artwork to the shirts and pick what

sizes and colors you want the shirt to be available in.

As you can see, using this shirt, it will cost you $8.50 as a base price and $4 shipping.

Click on “Choose File” to upload your design and then play around with dragging and dropping it as

well as dragging the edges out so it displays properly on the shirt you want to list. I just took one of

my Merch ready shirts to display how it would look. Pick a few colors and a few sizes.

Important: You will need a separate UPC code for every single color and size variation you pick. I will go into this in detail further down, but it is best to not automatically select every color and every

size.

Once the design is looking good, click on Review and publish Designs. This will bring up a page

where you can add product tags, add your selling price, title and description.

Once you are satisfied with how everything looks, go ahead and click on publish at the bottom of

the page and your shirt will start processing in all the colors and variations that you have picked.

This can take a little while if you pick a lot of sizes and colors. As you can see from the above picture,

I have 48 different variants of just this one shirt! Once it goes through all of them, your shirt is now

published in the back end of your shopify store.

The entire point is to publish your goods on Amazon though right? To do this, we need to connect

them now.

Go back to the main shopify menu and click on “Add a sales channel”. This is BRAND new from

Shopify and why I am so excited!

You can also find the same thing from the home page. It will be at the bottom. From the screenshot

here, you can see you need to hit the install Amazon button to add this as a sales channel to your

site.

If you are new to shopify, you do NOT need to create an online store since we are interested in only

selling your products on Amazon using a print on demand service (teelaunch).

Once that is installed, you should see the sales channel added to the menu.

Go ahead and click on it and it will more than likely ask you to update Amazon. This is what you

want to go ahead and update the sales channel.

Once it is updated, you will be able to access the page. From here, you want to be able to connect

shopify to your Amazon sellers account we set up earlier.

Click on Connect to Amazon. There is going to be a popup about Amazon MWS. You will need to

agree to this. Essentially this is giving Shopify access to your seller central account so they can

interact with each other properly.

Once these are connected, you will see a screen that looks similar to this. You will see that the

account is connected properly:

Click on the Listings in the left hand corner. We want to take the shirt we just put online and then

put that shirt we created in Teelaunch onto Amazon.

Click on the sell on Amazon button. This will bring up a list of the products that you have on Shopify

that you may want to sell on Amazon. Since we used Teelaunch to create a shirt, this is what is going

to come up in the list.

After you select the product that you want to list on Amazon, they are going to ask you if you are

selling a product from another brand, or from your own brand. Select your own brand.

Note: For all the Merch by Amazon users, this is your first real opportunity to build a coherent brand

and put work into growing your brand on multiple sales channels. You have full control here and will

even be able to respond to the reviews you get!

When you pick that the product is made by your brand, you are going to come to the Amazon listing

details. This is going to look very familiar to you if you have sold shirts on Merch before.

Enter in the title, your brand name, the bullet points, and description. You will need to pick a

category and will notice that you cannot sell the shirt for both genders at the same time. That is

perfectly fine, you can go back after the shirt is live, and then sell the other genders version under

the same listing.

Finally, when you scroll down, you will see variants that you have chosen when you were creating

the shirt. There will be one for every color and size combo that you created.

For each variant, go through and make sure the correct colored image is showing up for the title of

that variant. As you can see from the above screenshot, I made sure the Royal Blue image is showing

for the royal blue variant of the shirt.

SKU

You will need a unique sku for every single varient of your shirt. Your visitors will never see the SKU

or the UPC, but Amazon requires you to enter this information in for every shirt Variant.

For the SKU, head on over to https://www.random.org/strings/ and select the following options and click go. You can generate however many strings you need by modifying the first box.

You can use each line as one of your SKUs.

UPC

Each product and variant must have its own UPC code. These are 12 digit codes. If you have sold on

Amazon FBA before, you may have used EAN. So far with the Shopify integration, these will not work

so you will need the 12 digit UPC. I highly recommend buying these on Ebay. You can get 1000’s of

them for only a few dollars. Once you have them, enter a unique UPC for every variant of the

product.

Clothing and Apparel Category Approval

You will notice that Shopify tells you that you need approval from Amazon before you can

list in this category. Click on the “apply to sell in this category” link and open it in a new tab.

Make sure you answer truthfully to these, but you will be auto approved in the end!

The next step is going to be answering some questions about the images you will use. Go

through the questionnaire and make sure you answer them all properly. Remember that the

images you will be using are being pulled from Teelaunch so they are all good to go with

Amazon’s requirements.

After that is complete, fill out the information and submit your application!

After you hit Submit Application you will now be instantly approved and can go back to your

shirt listing you were working on in the other tab!

Finishing Amazon Listing

Now that you have your SKUs and UPCs listed on each variant of the product, it is now time

to submit your product listing. If everything has been entered properly, your listing will go

through!

As you can see from the image above, the listing has been successfully submitted to

Amazon. Your listing should be listed in a pending status. This generally will change within

30 minutes to live and you will have a link to your product on Amazon.com.

Note On Shipping

When your product finally goes live and you check it, you might notice that the shipping is

higher than you expected. Well, you can change this! The shipping is all controlled within

your Amazon seller central account.

Head on over to your Amazon account and find the Shipping Settings and then Shipping

Templates. Click on Edit Template and then you will be able to pick what type of shipping

you will charge your customers.

As you can see from the screenshot, I decided to change shipping from $4.49 for everyone,

to $2.99 for the lower 48 states.

ROI Calculations

This is going to vary per shirt depending on what you price at. Keep in mind that with

certain products you may be making a lot larger percentage. You might be making 100% ROI

with yoga mats for example.

For shirts though, if you are pricing at 17 dollars, and charging 3 dollars shipping, then the

total charge will be around $20. With Amazon fees around $3, and the t-shirt costing you

$12.50 (cost of the shirt plus shipping) and a 25c Shopify fee, this leaves you around $4.25

profit for something you never touched! Scale that up by a few hundred if not thousands of

shirts you are making great money.

Scale it up even further with the multitude of products you can reuse your designs on, and

now you are talking about MASSIVE money, all from your original designs.

Getting Your First Sale on Shopify with Amazon

Now with your listings live, you are probably going to get some sales. When you get a sale,

they will show up in Shopify (as well as seller central). Make sure you are only dealing with

the orders through Shopify though.

Getting your first order feels great! What is even better though is that from here it is 100%

hands off.

If you go back down to apps and then go into the Teelaunch app, you should see this:

Without touching it, your shirt is now being made with Teelaunch and will be shipped to

your customer as soon as it is complete. This is possible for t shirts and all other products

that teelaunch offers.

Fulfilling Orders Manually

If your orders are not automatically going through to Teelaunch, you will need to do them

manually. The only reason this may be happening is that the Shopify/Amazon integration is

BRAND NEW and I have been assured by higher ups that this is being worked on and will be

fixed soon if anyone does encounter it.

Getting Revenue From Amazon

In order to get your money from your seller account on Amazon to your bank account, you

need to have a few things.

The first thing is that you must have valid credit card information on file for verification and

billing purposes. This is why you added this when you set up your seller account.

The second thing you must have is valid bank account information so a transfer can occur.

This can be added in the “my profile” section of your seller central account.

Basically the way it will work is that after you get a sale, it will show up in your Shopify

account. Once the order is marked “fulfilled”, the buyer will be emailed to let them know

that their product is on the way. The funds held within Amazon will be deposited to your

account every 14 days. The good news is that you can request funds faster than that! Here is

what Amazon has to say on the subject.

Research and Marketing

I cannot stress this enough so I am going to go over it once again so everyone reading this

article sees this. You NEED to be doing research properly or you will not be making sales.

Doing research properly ensures you are putting your products in front of people that want

them. Not listening to this section could be the difference between you making your next

$1,000 or you wasting your time.

Keyword Research

Having nice designs is a big selling point on Amazon, but keyword research is and still

remains king! You need to be going after the proper keywords or you will be lost in the pack

and more than likely become frustrated with the lack of visitors/sales.

So how do we do this?

We know that Amazon is a big data company, and that they will skew results in order for

them to make more sales right? We can use this for our advantage.

If you have not already, go ahead and sign up for a free 3 day trial of Merch Informer here. We are going to make use of the Keyword Finder which is probably the easiest way to start

seeing traffic to your listings and how a lot of people are making sales 12 hours after getting

their first product live.

Once you are all set up, head on over to the keyword finder in the left hand menu.

What we are going to do is make use of the fact that Amazon KNOWS what keywords are

making sales. Enter in a search term that can be auto completed. Think of keywords such as

“keep calm and”, or “I love”. Each of these phrases can be completed with lots of different

terms. Each of the completed terms that Amazon suggests are keywords and niches where

sales are occuring. All you need to do is grab them and get products up with those keywords

in the listings!

I recommend checking the shirt categories first, but when you hit that search button, as of

righting this right now, there are 246 keywords sitting in front of me that I know I can make

EASY sales off of!

Make use of the information Amazon is giving you, use Merch Informer to pull it all

together, and then create and get your products in front of the people who want them.

Choosing The Right Niche

All the above is great, and works extremely well, but if you want to further make sure you

do not get caught up in the rat race, one of the things you must focus on is making sure you

are picking the right niche. The right niche to us is one that there is demand in, but few

competitors.

The fewer people you are competing against for the sales the better right? So how do we

find niches that have demand but have few people selling products? We combine the above

approach with the Advanced Competition Checker in Merch Informer.

Take the keywords you are interested in from the keyword finder, and pop them into the

advanced competition checker.

This will show you exactly how many people you are competing against as well as give you a

score based on the results. You want to aim for a score between A-B. Anything worse than

that, and the competition will increase.

The more competition you have, the less chance you will have of getting your product seen!

Since we know that the auto suggest keywords we pulled earlier have demand, we combine

it with the competition checker to make sure that there is room to enter that niche. When

both are combined, making sales is incredibly simple if you make sure your designs are up to

par!

Finding Further Demand

Another excellent way of how to build up your account and figure out what kind of designs

you need to make is look at what is already selling! We went over BSR or best sellers rank

near the beginning of this article, so you know how to judge sales.

When we first started selling online ourselves, we knew that if we wanted to sell a lot of

products, the easiest way is to bring to market better products in niches that were already

hot! We kept this in mind when we created Merch Informer and that is currently what

our product search module is for.

Simply enter in a keyword, pick a category, and the software will bring up the best selling

products in that category in order by BSR. Instead of sitting on Amazon for hours and hours

searching like we used to do back in the day, you can now bring up your results and get a

snapshot of exactly what is selling and what the competition is using for their features,

descriptions, and prices.

If you ever wondered how the earning screenshots we have shown you were even possible,

we owe it all to this single module which is why we built the tool in the first place. There is

no other way around it, this is a must have.

Protecting Your Account

The one thing that most people are not talking about is that Amazon is pretty ban happy. If

you play by the rules, you will not any problems. The issue is, there might be some rules

that you have no idea you are violating!

What am I taking about?

Trademark. Time and time again, I have seen Amazon kick people off of their platform

because of trademark infringement. People come to me and ask how that could possibly

happen when they checked the trademark before they put up the listing and there was

nothing listed.

Well, if you put up a design today with a saying that is free to use, you are all good for today.

What if that saying gets trademarked 6 months from now? Chances are you would have NO

idea this happened and the trademark holder could attempt to get your designs kicked off

Amazon.

In order to make sure people can protect their accounts, we set up trademark alerts. Each time you upload a design with a saying on it, simply put it into the trademark alerts. If that

phrase ever gets trademarked in the future, trademark alerts will let you know so you can

take action yourself instead of not knowing when you get banned.

Keep your accounts and business safe and go make money!

Wrapping It Up

The Shopify/Amazon integration represents a REAL massive opportunity in the print on

demand space and is going to see plenty of people make millions of dollars a year. In order

to take advantage of this opportunity successfully you need only a few things:

 Know what sells on Amazon

 Be willing to WORK and scale your business

 Know how to properly optimize your Amazon listings

If you are not hopping on this opportunity today, you are 100% leaving money on the table

that is there for the taking. There is zero need to run traffic, zero inventory to hold, and

100’s if not 1000’s of possibilities for making money with the crazy selection of products you

can now put for sale on Amazon.

Let us know in the comments how your business has changed by crushing this method.

Good luck out there!

Shopify/Amazon Print on Demand FAQs

There has been a crazy amount of questions about the guide we put out about the Shopify

Amazon integration and how you can get started selling a huge range of products on

Amazon without holding a single piece of inventory. If you missed that, you may want to

check it out, because people are already making thousands of dollars a month (not a

joke!): https://merchinformer.com/shopify-amazon-merch-no-inventory-integration-guide/.

We wanted to compile the majority of the questions in one place to create an FAQ. This FAQ

will be updated over time when time permits.

[*What UPCS Can You Use? *]

Amazon officially has this to say:

We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs

_that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid. _

[_We recommend obtaining your UPCs directly from GS1 (and not from other _]

[_third parties selling UPC licenses) to ensure the appropriate information is _]

_reflected in the GS1 database. _

There are thousands of people out there who have been using Ebay codes (very cheap!),

without an issue for many years. The choice is up to you what to do.

[*Is There a Difference Between UPC and EAN? *]

Yes there is! A UPC (Universal Product Code), and EAN (European Article Number), are just

different formats for product barcodes. A UPC is going to be 12 digits long while an EAN is

going to be 13 digits long. If you are listing directly on Amazon, you can use either one. If

you are going with the Shopify integration to list your products, then you will need to use a

UPC as the EANs do not currently work.

[*What is the Amazon Brand Registry? *]

The Amazon Brand Registry is a way to register your brand with Amazon so that you will not

need to enter any UPCs for your products. This requires you to apply and provide an image

of your product packaging and branding visable on the packages you would be sending to

customers. It also requires a picture of you branding on the product itself and a link to your

website/brand. Because the entire method revolves around print on demand, brand registry

is not the way to go.

[*Is there Any Way Around the UPC Issue? *]

Yes, actually there is! You can apply for a GTIN Exemption from Amazon! GTIN is an umbrella

term that refers to the entire family of data structures such as UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN.

To apply, go to this URL: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gtinx

Teelaunch actually has a nice little template you can use on there blog

here: https://blog.teelaunch.com/2017/01/amazon-sales-channel-advice/ under the GTIN

Exemption headline.

After you have your exemption, you will be able to list products on Amazon without needing

to use those UPC codes!

[*Why Have I Not Made Any Sales Yet? *]

Simply put, because you are not doing your research properly. You need to be going after

niches that already have demand! You do this by looking at the BSR (best sellers rank), of

the products you want to go after. Use the product search in Merch Informer to get a better understanding of what is selling and what is not so you are getting your product in front of

the eyes that actually want to give you money. Merch Informer just added 22 more

categories for research to cover many products offered by POD services.

[*Will I get an Invoice From Teelaunch? *]

No, you will not get an invoice from Teelaunch.

[*What About Shipping Times? *]

There are two things you need to change. One is shipping times. Teelaunch has

recommended that you set shipping times to around 7-10 days. The second thing you will

need to change is production time. You can do this in Amazon Seller Central and I

recommend you set this to 5-7 days to be on the safe side. Teelaunch has been really fast at

shipping items out and so far, everything has been printed and arrived at the customers

door within a week. You want to make sure your Amazon account remains safe, so make

sure to change these 2 settings accordingly.

[*How do you list in other Categories? *]

If you want to list other products in other categories, you will need to do a 2 step process.

First you will want to go into the Teelaunch app in Shopify, and create the product with the

design you want to use. When the product has been created in Shopify, you will then have a

mockup. Right click and save this product mockup image to your computer. Head on over to

Seller Central and create the product in the proper category.

The Shopify app syncs with Amazon every 6 or so hours. Once the products have synced and

you can see them in the Amazon channel, you can link them. Here is a screenshot:

[*What Is The Investment Required? *]

 $9 per month for Shopify

 $40 per month for Amazon Seller Central

If you can do your own designs, and float the money on a card of some sort to pay for the

teelaunch orders, this is the only investment amount required. You take the money from

Amazon every 14 days and pay off the card you used to pay for the orders and what is left

over is your profit.

[*Is this Better than Merch by Amazon? *]

This is actually very different than Merch by Amazon. Not only can you list shirts, but you

can list a ton of other print on demand products with the SAME designs you were putting on

merch shirts.

*Can I do both Merch by Amazon and the *

[*Shopify/Amazon Integration? *]

Yes! These are 2 seperate programs and I highly recommend you do both. We have been

telling people to stick with Merch for the normal T-shirts and use the Shopify/Amazon

integration for all the other products you have access to. Other products have MUCH less

competition and therefor can really add to the bottom line of your business.

[*What Can I Sell? *]

You can sell anything that a print on demand service carries. Teelaunch is the company we

recommend because of the low pricing but you can go with whatever POD fits you best.

Here is a list of products you will have access to: https://teelaunch.com/collections/products.

Beach Towels? Yes please!

[*I Use Another POD Service. Is that an Issue? *]

No issue at all. Use whatever POD you want. As long as they integrate into Shopify, you

should not really have any issues.

*Do I Need to Provide My Customers with a *

[*Tracking Number? *]

If you have set up everything properly, then everything should be automated and as soon as

Teelaunch ships the products, the customer on Amazon should get an update with a

tracking number automatically.

[*How Many Products Can I Submit? *]

Brand new seller central accounts are limited to 100 variations a week. Since t-shirts require

about 48 variations for a single design if you are doing all sizes and colors, we recommend

that new sellers focus on putting their designs on other products that only have a single

variation (mugs). If you hit your limit, you can try and contact Amazon and get it raised.

If you have an older seller central account, you will be limited to 2000 variations per week.

*When Will I Get the Buy Button and Will This *

[*Affect My Sales? *]

You may have noticed that once your product is live, the price and the buy button is not

visible. Customers still have the option of adding the product to their cart and buying your

product.

As long as you are optimizing your listings properly and going after niches based on a proper

BSR range, you should be good and see sales. You will get the buy generally around 3

months in. This will not affect sales much at all and from our tests in other markets, you can

still make VERY good money just starting out if you put in the time and effort.

[*Can I Do This From Outside the USA? *]

Yes! This is the question we get most often, and the answer is absolutely yes! All sellers can

sell on Amazon.com. To do this, you will need to go over to the seller central in the USA, sign

up, and follow all the instructions to get your account up and running. You may have to pay

a little bit more per month for the account based on VAT, but you can absolutely sell here.

[*Can I Do This On Other Amazon Locals? *]

Yes you can! The only thing is, you will need to find another POD service and you will have

to manually do all the orders yourself. The Shopify/Amazon integration currently works for

the USA Amazon only. If you are willing to find another POD and do the work, other market

places can very well be worth your time.

[*When Will You Get Paid? *]

Amazon seller central will pay you every 14 days to your account. You can request the

money every 24 hours, but for the most of us, expect to get your money every 14 days. Use

this money to pay off your card you have been paying for the Teelaunch products. What is

left over is pure profit.

[*How Do You Deal With Refunds? *]

If you live in the USA then any product that gets returned will come back to you and you

simply issue the refund to the purchaser through seller central. You can then put that shirt

up for sale on Ebay, or donate it to Goodwill for a tax write off.

If you live overseas, you can simply let the customer keep the product and take the small hit

you paid for it while refunding the customer, or you can set up a forwarding address with a

service such as this: https://www.viabox.com/. When you start doing volume with this method, a few refunds here and there will not matter at all, so that is the easiest thing to

do. Just let the customer keep the product and move on.

*What are the Main Benefits of Using Seller *

[*Central? *]

Control! You have full control over the reviews you receive. You can answer questions about

your product and interact with customers if they have an issue.

You can list pretty much unlimited products once your account is old enough. Simply start

uploading all types of items with your designs, not just shirts.

While Merch by Amazon is limiting you to 2 uploads a day, you can be putting up at LEAST

100 different items per week with the Shopify/Amazon integration if you are going after

products that are NOT clothing. Stop limiting your business and start making money in

untapped markets.

[*How Do I Pay Taxes? *]

When you sign up for Amazon Seller Central, you will go through a tax interview no matter

where you are from. Please talk to an accountant to know what you should do about taxes.

[*Should I Just Wait For Teespring (T2)? *]

NO! If you want to make money, you need to start on this today. The T2 update we went

over here: https://merchinformer.com/teespring-t2-update-what-we-know-so-far/ is going to require you to sign up because it will be a closed beta. More than likely you will not have

access and you will not have the level of control you have with this method. We will be

releasing a guide on T2 very soon, and it will play a part in our merch strategy, but this is not

something you should pass up on.

[*Teespring Amazon Integration – Zero Cost *]

Startup Guide

One of the biggest industries that the internet has seen has been Merchandise and this

sector has been growing by absurd numbers year in and year out. I have never really been

someone to buy much in terms of Merch but a little over a year ago, I found myself

engrossed in the industry. This spawned myself and business partner clearing hundreds of

thousands of dollars and launching Merch Informer. Selling Merch allows you to be creative

and also business minded!

In this guide I am going to go over today, we are going to be discussing one of, if not THE

biggest thing to happen to the Merch scene all year: Teespring integrating with Amazon.

This will allow you to sell a multitude of products on Amazon with ZERO inventory, and ZERO

cost with ZERO invitation required. If you are a Merch by Amazon seller and are sick of the

limits they are putting on you and want to scale faster, or are just getting into the game and

want to be able to sell your designs on more than just T-shirts (sweatshirts and tanks

anyone?), then this guide is for you. If you are looking to hit a 6 figure profit this year, you

are going to want to listen up!

Before we get into the meat of this post, we need to be very clear. This is not going to be a

get rich overnight scheme. This is a real business that will allow you to sell goods on Amazon

without spending a dime and see success if you put in the hard work, put in the research,

and put in the hours. Putting it simply, this needs to be treated as a business where you take

the time to find out what you need to be doing in order to penetrate the market. You might

have to market your merch (we have guides on that! ), but if you put in the work, you will see the rewards. Let’s get into all the details of exactly how anyone can start today selling on

Amazon without restrictions or limitations.

Understanding Merch

Merch by Amazon has been the main discussion in most of the groups I am part of, but the

fact of the matter is, these are all focused on t-shirts. Merch is so much more than that!

With Teespring, we will have access to a lot more products that function in a similar fashion

to the Shopify integration but with a LOT less headache.

If you are someone who has never sold on Amazon before, let me be clear that this can be

an extremely profitable venture. Shirts are easy to sell, but so are a lot of other items. In the

Merch space, you barely need reviews to sell product and the products available to get

started with are numerous. With the Teespring Amazon integration, you will start off with

multiple products available to sell on Amazon right away.

[*Why Teespring and Amazon? *]

Early adapters of the Merch by Amazon program made incredible profit. In some cases over

hundreds of thousands of dollars. The opportunity was open to anyone in the very

beginning and those who saw the writing on the wall took action immediately.

Teespring allows you the same if not BETTER opportunity TODAY! Merch by Amazon was

only shirts. The Teespring integration is much more than that, with shirts, tank tops, long

sleeves, hoodies, sweatshirts…. In fact, the team is committed so much to launching

multiple products a month that they have invested in a brand new factory in the USA. They

are extremely committed to quality, and let me tell you, the quality is top notch. No more

cheap Anvil shirts means better Amazon reviews and more revenue overall.

Many people listed their items on Teespring in the past and did not make any sales (this was

me!). The table has changed though. With them integrating into Amazon, you can now take

advantage of the insane amount of traffic that Amazon has.

Not only does Amazon have over 2 billion visitors a month (in the US local!), this is just going

to continue to grow as Amazon does everything in its power to dominate the retail space.

They are even adding Alcohol to the prime list. If that does not show you how serious

Amazon is about being number 1, I am not sure what will.

You have the opportunity to get set up selling on this market place TODAY and not spend a

single dime doing so. Adapting early today just means that later on down the line you will

be able to sell so much more via this integration all while not spending anything to make

money.

Here at Merch Informer, we have been test riding the Teespring Amazon Integration for

about a month now and as you are about to see, we have some great stuff to share.

[*Teespring To Sell Merch! *]

There is going to be a lot more added to this list as time goes on, but as of RIGHT now, these

are the products eligible to sell on the Amazon market place.

Upper Body Apparel (not limited to):

 Hanes tagless tee

 Premium tee (unisex and women’s)

 Gildan women’s relaxed tee

 Gildan long sleeve

 Gildan hoodie

 Hanes crewneck sweatshirt

BELLA+CANVAS women’s flowy tank

In order for your Teespring listings to be eligible, you must have all of these qualifications:

 Upper body apparel

 Eligible for rush shipping

 Printed in the US, on a campaign set to auto-relaunch

 Margin larger than $6.75

I will explain exactly how this works, but for anyone interested in selling on Amazon, are you

starting to see the big picture here? You can take a single design and throw it on multiple

items and be selling on the world’s largest market place TODAY with zero startup cost or

wait time.

Let’s jump into some detail and make some money!

*Teespring Amazon Integration Zero Cost *

Method

Anyone can throw up random shirts on Teespring. It takes a bit of research and effort to

make a bunch of money. In order to do so, you are going to need 3 simple things.

 Understanding exactly what sells on Amazon

 Designs/Artwork

 Teespring Account

These might seem easy at first, but they are actually a bit more complicated so I will do my

best to explain how everything works together.

Understanding What Sells On Amazon

In order to sell on Amazon, you need to understand what people buy on Amazon!

Would it make any sense to sell a product that no one is looking for? Of course not. It might

be up on Amazon, but if zero people are searching for it, it will never be sold and you are left

with nothing but disappointment.

If you know what people are looking for and what people are actively buying, you are

already ahead of most of the people attempting to sell their goods. If you know what niches

people buy in, you can then move on to the step of creating something that market would

actually enjoy!

We do this process of finding out what people want by taking a look at the Amazon BSR

(Best Sellers Rank).

Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR)

Every product that is sold on Amazon has a BSR or best sellers rank. The only exception is a

product that has NEVER sold before. It looks something like this:

If at the time of reading this article you see something different, you might be interested to

know that right now (3/18/17), they have completely removed BSR from being shown on

Amazon. The only way to currently see this information is through Merch Informer.

The BSR is a representation of how well that particular item is selling within the category

that the seller has put it into. If someone has a really high BSR, this means that it is barely

selling at all. If the BSR is really low, the more items that product is selling. For an example, if

a shirt were to hit number 1 BSR on Amazon, it would be the best selling item in clothing on

the market place.

This takes some experience but if you are looking at the clothing BSR, this will equal about 1

sale a day, give or take. Nothing is set in stone, but the more experience you have selling in a

particular category the better you get at it. Merch Informer estimates sales for you in

multiple categories so this can be used to judge how well a product is going. Give our 3 day

free trial a go if you have not already fell in love with it.

Simply put, if you can look at the BSR of products, you can estimate how well THAT

particular niche is selling. This information is nothing but pure gold for merch sellers. This

allows you to identify markets and provide them with better products which leads to sales.

Copyright/Trademark

This section should not really need to be said, but many of you who read this might get the

bright idea that you can find out what is selling and simply take those designs for yourself

and sell them at a lower price. This is NOT allowed at all, and is in fact breaking multiple

laws. You need to understand that you will never be allowed to infringe on someone else’s

copyright or trademark.

In no circumstances can you steal a design and use it for yourself and if a saying on a shirt or

that you find elsewhere is trademarked, you will not be able to use it. If you do either of

these, it is the quickest way to lose your account and the gravy train will stop. You will need

to do some more research into this for a better understanding of what each is, but know

that Amazon is currently cracking down hard on this. What happens some of the time is that

a saying might be selling well for many months but then someone trademarks it down the

line. This could put your account in danger if you are not monitoring those changes. Let

M

erch Informer monitor trademarks for you with our automatic trademark alerts feature.

Getting Top Notch Designs and Artwork

If you want this method to truly be zero cost, you will need to make the designs yourself.

There is no way around this. This might seem hard at first, but know that some of the shirts

being sold on Amazon that are best sellers are nothing but text. If you want to make your

own designs, please look into:

 Photoshop

 Illustrator

GIMP (free)

If you have any of these programs and do not know how to use them, open up Youtube and

start learning! Everything you need is on Youtube and is exactly how we started our Merch

business from scratch.

If you have some start up money or have been selling on other platforms you may feel like

you want to scale your business and the easiest way to scale your Amazon business is to

pump out more designs! We do this by outsourcing to talented graphic artists. I can tell you

from personal experience once we hired a graphic designer business exploded. It can be

hard to keep track using multiple designs and giving them multiple ideas so we solved this

issue by putting the favorites module into MI. I use this ALL the time as I have grown to managing a large team around Merch.

Most people I know that are outsourcing are using Upwork and this is the online market place that I use to this day to hire freelancers from around the world.

I have shown this script before, but it cannot hurt to show it again because it works so well!

[_Hey, I am in need of 400 t-shirt designs in the time period of 2-3 months. _]

Your task will be pretty basic, I will send you ideas of t-shirts I want to make and

_you make them yourself in your own unique style. For example, I might send _

_you a link of a already existing tshirt and I would need you to be inspired by it _

_and create a better version that is in your own creative style. _

[_ I will leave a lot of 5* reviews so that you will be able to get jobs easier in the _]

[_future and this is a long-term position. Once we have done the first batch of _]

[_400 – around 4 per day, we could continue if everything looks good. _]

[_I look forward to doing business with you! _]

This always seems to bring in a lot of interested parties that are cheap but deliver incredible

quality. Forget about Fiverr and start using Upwork! People want to build up their profiles

and will give you their best work in order to get good feedback.

If you are looking at that and thinking there is no way you will hire out 400 designs at once,

that is perfectly fine. We grew to this point by using the same script and outsourcing lesser

amounts of designs so it will work just fine for all purposes.

Teespring Account

Here comes the magic! Teespring accounts are absolutely FREE and super easy and fast to

sign up for.

Head over to Teespring.com and click on Log-in from the upper right hand corner. From here, simply click on “Sign up” and enter in your email, and your password twice.

That is it! You are all signed up and can now sign in. Pretty easy and pain free compared to

the Shopify Amazon integration right?

[*Connecting Everything Together! *]

Now that you have your awesome Teespring account set up for free and no cost ever, it is

time to start putting some designs up and selling on Amazon! When you log in, the first

thing you will want to do is click up in the upper right hand corner that says “Create & Sell”.

This will then bring up the shirt editor where you can create awesome designs that you will

then sell to customers on Amazon. I find that having designs already saved up on my

desktop are the best way to go. Click on the Art tab and upload your own artwork. This will

allow you to play around with the size.

As you can see from this shot, I have resized the image a little bit on the shirt until it looks

good. I have picked the Hanes Tagless Tee from the right hand menu but do not worry, you

can add other variants and colors on the next screen!

Click on “Sell This” and this will bring you to the next step.

From this next screen, bring your sales goal down to 1. Since the goal here is to get sales on

Amazon this will not matter much, but if someone does see your shirt on Teespring and buy

it, you want them to print. Since campaigns are not automatically set to continue

relaunching, this will ensure your shirts are always available.

In the left hand corner is where you add your Apparel options.

I HIGHLY suggest adding more than just shirts because this is where you are going to make

the most money. I usually add a t-shirt, a long sleeve, a tank top, a hoodie, and a sweatshirt.

You can add more but know there is a limit to how many different clothing options as well as

color combinations you can have. I find that keeping it to just these as well as a few colors

each is the most efficient use of my time.

Keep in mind that as of right now, only upper body apparel with rush shipping is available to

sell on Amazon. Also, you NEED to have above a $6.75 profit per sale or the clothing item

will not move over.

For every piece of clothing sold on Amazon through Teespring, they will take $6.75 from

your margin. They will also add $4 for shipping when selling the products on Amazon so

they can offer the customer free shipping but this does not affect how much you are making

(only how much the customer is paying). Knowing this, I have changed some of the

“suggested” prices as you can see from the screenshot above.

When you have chosen the colors and variants you want, click to move on to the final step.

The final step to get listed on the Teespring marketplace is to just fill out the campaign title

and the description as well as a category. As you can see, the campaign length is set to

always be available which is what we want to sell on Amazon. I am not optimizing for

Teespring so this does not need to be very detailed. Go ahead and launch your shirt!

[*QUICK TIP! *]

Before we move on, let me just drop a quick tip on you. If you want to upload another shirt

as quick as possible, the easiest way to do this is by loading the settings from the previous

shirt.

Go back to create and sell, and you will bring up the template you design or upload your

design onto a shirt. in the upper right hand corner you will see “Load Settings From”. Click

this!

You will then see the shirt you listed previously. Load these settings and then upload your

artwork!

This will save you a TON of time as the products and colors you picked on the previous

design are already selected and ready to go for you.

Optimizing Teespring Listings For Amazon

By now in the guide, you should have your first design listed on Teespring! Congratulations.

Now it is time to bring that design over to Amazon and optimize it properly!

Head on over to your campaign tab and you should see something similar to this:

On the right hand side, you will see a little globe. This globe is your Amazon settings. Click it!

As you can see here, you will need to click the check box on “Active” to bring it over to

Amazon. The crazy part though, is they actually let you optimize your title, description,

multiple bullet points and back end keywords.

Did you hear that guys and gals?!

Back end keywords! This is probably the most powerful aspect of the Teespring integration

that I have not seen a single person talk about. Let’s go over all of these individually.

Custom Title

This is going to be the title of your product on Amazon. The most important thing to

remember here is that this is going to be the title for ALL the products you chose for this

design, not just a t-shirt. Knowing this, you cannot just title it XXX t-shirt, because that

would make zero sense showing up on a hoodie.

From the early access Teespring documentation I was given, it says this: [*“Your title will be *]

*sandwiched into the format that is enforced by Amazon. For example, setting your title as *

“Fishing Grandpa” means it will be listed on Amazon as “Teespring Unisex Fishing Grandpa

[*Premium Tee.” 100 character limit. *]

You will need to be descriptive in your title and include keywords, but cannot include t-shirt

or other variants as it will be squeezed into a format as you can see above.

Here is the simple title I use for the shirt I have been using as an example:

Custom Description

You can fill this out or not. If you not fill it out, then the general Teespring description will be

used. If you want to write one yourself, there is a 2,500 character limit. I leave mine blank

because the title and bullet points are what matter most to me.

Bullet Points

You have the space to enter up to 3 different bullet points here. Note that the first bullet

point on the Amazon page is always going to be the Teespring message that offers 100%

satisfaction guarantee. You may NOT use these bullet points for marketing messages like

20% off or a discount and Amazon will remove your products if you do. Teespring also

recommends against using bullet points for keyword stuffing. There is a 500 character limit

for each bullet point.

It is very important that in your bullet points you are not entering identifiers such as “t-

shirt” “tank top” and others because these bullet points are going to be used on all products

for this particular design. This is going to trip a lot of people up, so please try and keep

telling yourself this when putting up your first few designs.

Using the example shirt, this is what my bullet points are (I used only 2 for example

purposes).

 Are you the most happy when you are on the stage acting? This is the perfect design for

the happy thespian who is into drama and making other people smile! Great gift for

those who are into theater and being in front of the crowds.

 If you are an actor or actress who is into Drama, theater and being an Amazing thespian,

buy this shirt for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member right now! Acting is

life and it makes us all happy.

Make note of the keyword use above!

Custom Keywords

The custom keywords are very powerful! You will need to play around with these on your

own. Teespring says that you need to list your keywords one by one separated by spaces

and to NOT use commas to separate them. You have an 800 character limit here.

Click on Save Changes and that is all you will need to do. Your product is now going to be

added to Amazon within 24-72 hours. Teespring aims for once a day and says that there can

be some delays because this entire process is in beta, but from checking my own account for

the last month, they are getting very efficient in this process.

You can change any of these settings at any time, but know that it will be updated on the

Amazon page within 72 hours. You can view your Amazon sales stats in the marketplace

sales tab within Teespring but they are currently lumped together.

Doing The Math

These are the products and prices that I use so far. You might choose to do something

different, but these are the prices and products that I go with.

Teespring adds $4 to these prices when they are moved to Amazon. This does not effect

your bottom line at all but it DOES effect what the customer is paying. I keep this in mind

and tweak the prices accordingly.

Each Amazon sale will also deduct $6.75 from the profit per sale. Knowing this, with the

prices above, here is how the math works out.

 Hanes Tagless Tee $3.02 profit

 Gildan Long Sleeve $5.77 profit

 Gildan Tank $2.27 profit

 Gildan Hoodie $9.38 profit

 Hanes Sweatshirt $8.97 profit

You can obviously make more by pricing your products higher but at a higher price with

Teespring adding $4 for shipping, this is not the ideal sweet spot. You will need to play

around with pricing, but this is what I have found to work best for me.

As you can see, the hoodies can be an incredible earner and they have been selling off the

hooks since I started!

Research and Marketing

Here at Merch Informer we absolutely hate seeing people get frustrated and quit. Getting

designs up on Amazon is the easy part but getting sales can be more difficult, which is why I

need to go over this again.

You MUST do your research properly or you will not make sales. If you do not research

properly, you will be making designs for markets you might THINK exist, but in reality, there

is no demand there at all. If you have read this far but decide to skip this section, you are

probably just wasting your time.

Keyword Research

If you have great designs, perfect! Keyword research is still going to beat a great design over

and over again. This is the difference between getting your design in front of interested

eyeballs and being lost in the pack or having no idea why you are not getting sales. You

simply have to go for the proper keywords.

The best way to do this is pretty easy!

Amazon actually gives us some of the best keywords out there! Since Amazon has a ton of

data, they are going to do everything in their power to make more sales and thus make

more money themselves. I use this to my advantage every day and it has helped me create

thousands of dollars a month extra after we started implementing it.

If you have not already done so, sign up for the 3 day free trial of Merch Informer here. Once you have signed up, we are going to use the Keyword Finder which is hands down the

simplest method of finding keywords that have demand, and that will make you money.

Since last writing on this, we have had people make sales within 6 hours of their product

going live on Amazon from the Teespring integration.

Once you have everything running and set up, go over to the keyword finder in the menu.

What we are going to do know is take all the keywords that Amazon auto suggests to us in

certain categories to find designs that Amazon knows are profitable and wants to make

more sales with. Enter a seed search term that can be auto-completed. This seed keyword

should be something that is not complete. A good example is “I am” “I love” “keep calm

and”, or something along those lines. As you can see, each of those phrases can be

completed with a lot of different endings. This is exactly what we are looking for because

Amazon will give us the right suggestions. These are niches where sales are concurring! Just

take these keywords, and make designs around them!

I generally check the shirt categories first since there are a lot of easy keywords here. Hit

that search button and as you can see from my current search there are tons of awesome

keywords just sitting here for the taking!

Take the information that Amazon gives you, use Merch Informer to streamline the process

and pull the ideas fast so you can sort them properly and prioritize and then create products

that people want by putting them out there!

Pick The Right Niche

The above is one of my favorite techniques to make quick sales and dominate for certain

search terms but if you want to make absolutely positive that you are not going to be

competing with a million other people, then you should be focusing on picking the right

niche for you. This means to us at least that there is demand in the niche, but not very many

people to compete against.

If you are not competing against many people but there is still demand, we are able to grab

more sales by the simple fact that our designs are going to be better and we have less

people to try and outsell.

Doing this is extremely simple with the above approach and the Advanced Competition

Checker that we built into Merch Informer.

This allows you to see exactly what you are up against!

All you have to do is take the keywords that you found from the keyword finder and pop

them into the advanced competition checker.

This will show you exactly how many results are in the search engine you need to compete

against, how many results have that exact title, if there is a seller out there using the brand

(this is to see how many Merch sellers are trying to game the system with Merch by

Amazon), and then we give you a score of how easy it would be to enter this niche.

Since we know that the keywords we pulled with the Keyword Finder have demand because

they are suggested by Amazon to make them more sales, all we have to do is determine if

the competition is worth it to enter. If it is, we can quickly decide if this is something we

want to get into if we have some great designs!

Finding ALL The Demand

My favorite technique is just to go after niches where there are designs that are already

selling but I know that I could do a better job. We went over the BSR, or best sellers rank,

near the beginning of the article, but this is what we are going to use to see and estimate

how many sales a particular design is getting.

I built a six figure merch business off of examining the BSR so I know this technique works. I

needed a way to streamline this process which is why I build the product search module in

Merch Informer.

Enter a keyword, pick a category, and we will display the best selling products in that

category based on BSR. Since BSR is currently removed from the actual product pages, there

is no better way to get a head start on your competition.

This will give you the ASIN, the price (as well as the average above but not shown in this

screen), the features, the description, the BSR, and the amount of estimated monthly sales

for that product all without opening a million tabs or wasting time. We make life easy, and

this data makes you money!

If you took everything else away from Merch Informer but the product search module, it

would not matter too much. *This single tool was the backbone to building a six figure *

*merch business in under a year. *

Wrapping It Up

The Teespring Amazon integration represents the biggest opportunity this year by a long

shot to get started selling on Amazon. You probably will not see something this great

happen again for a long long time. Teespring has been investing in being able to keep up

with demand and now that they have invested millions of dollars, you have the chance to

sell on the biggest marketplace in the world TODAY without delay!

 Know what sells on Amazon

WORK, put in the time

 Optimize

 Make Money!

Just start! There is no excuse why you are not exploring this opportunity. Do not leave the

money on the table when it is there for the taking. There are 2 billion customers on Amazon

every month and they are just dying to buy the ideas you have yet to put down on “paper”.

Get to it!

Let us know in the comments how your business has increased by deploying the Teespring

Amazon Integration Method. Good luck!

*Which POD Service Should You Use To Sell On *

[*Amazon? *]

We have been receiving a lot of questions lately on which print on demand platform is the

best for listing your merchandise on Amazon. Todor and I are huge advocates of mixing all

three when building your brand because each has its own benefits (and drawbacks of

course). In the article below we are going to cover the advantages of these

platforms/integrations and how to best utilize each of them when growing your

merchandise business.

To make this article as detailed as possible we are going to take into account the following

factors for each platform:

 Available products

 Price

 Prime eligibility

 Branding options

 Keyword optimization

 Startup expenses

Merch by Amazon

Merch By Amazon – That’s where it all started. Back in 2015 Amazon, in its all mighty

wisdom, decided to enter the print on demand scene with the MBA program. Originally the

entire program was designed to aid mobile app creators to easily sell branded merchandise

for their games inside the apps. It quickly became very clear to both marketers and

designers that the program could be used to gain access to the worlds largest marketplace

and literally sell items without having to deal with inventory, customer support and even

marketing.

There are a LOT of perks to getting accepted to the MBA program, which is why everyone is

always asking when they are going to be accepted. There are drawbacks as well though.

Amazon, as big as it is, wasn’t prepared for the high demand. They couldn’t keep up with

printing the shirts and the program quickly moved to an invite only beta. Almost two years

later and the situation is pretty much the same. It can take months for a new creator to be

accepted into the platform, the number of live designs are severely limited and every time

Q4 hit there is a huge freeze on sales so that Amazon can keep up with the orders. We still

do not have an exact date on when the Merch by Amazon program will be open for

everyone but since amazon has recently acquired a percentage in one of the largest DTG

(direct to garment) printer producers in the world, we are hoping it will be soon.

Now lets take a quick look on what you can and CAN’T do with MBA:

Available Products – Currently sellers are limited to only t-shirts at the moment. This

includes the cheap Anvil shirts, and the new BELLA+CANVAS as their premium option (even

though these are much cheaper than American Apparel shirts). Amazon has put out a few

surveys in the last year on what content creators would like to be added next we still haven’t

seen a sign that adding new products is high on their priority list. Although t-shirts are

probably the largest merch market and one of the most purchased novelty items, limiting

your designs to a single type of product is just not a smart business practice. We understand

that scaling can be a massive headache for the company trying to bring that scale to market

but you should always be exploring all your options.

Price – The base t-shirt price starts at $9.31 but with the changing costs, Merch by Amazon

is raising this fee to $9.81 as a base price. The lowest you can price a shirt currently is

$10.96 for a front side print and whatever you price on top of that counts as your royalty.

With the new changes, make sure you are adding in an extra 50 cents to that number. There

are no extra expenses involved for printing or shipping the product to the customer which is

one of the biggest positives of using MBA.

Prime eligibility – A huge benefit of Merch By Amazon shirts is that they are listed as prime

eligible. Amazon gives prime eligible items a huge boost over regular ones in their seach

results which naturally will translate into more sales over time. It should also be noted that

there are a LOT of people out there that will not shop for any items that are not listed with

prime. Some would rather pay a higher price to get their items quicker, so this is a huge plus.

Branding – You can easily brand your shirts with MBA. You have full control of what brand

name you put your items under. Some people chose to put all their shirts under a single

brand, while others decide to make their brand section a little keyword rich. There are

positives to both, but the biggest positive here is that you have all the control. The only

downside here is that other people can use the SAME brand you use, which will show both

your products and whoever else has decided to enter in that same brand into the box.

[*Keywords *]– As long as you understand how keywords work with Merch, then adding keywords to your listings is really simple. You can work them into the title, the bullet points,

the description. You really have a lot of control over what you put into these slots. Some

people decide they want to keyword stuff (do NOT do this), while others decide to do it right

and put them in sentence form. You have control here, which is a massive positive in our

book.

[*Startup Expenses *]– FREE! As long as you get an account (apply now if you have not

already!), you can take advantage of free programs to design with such as GIMP. Have no idea how to use GIMP? Check out Youtube tutorials to figure out exactly how you can make some shirt designs. Not everyone has the money to outsource and that is okay! Text designs are

still selling well even to this day and I know you can figure it out.

Teespring

The latest Teespring integration with Amazon has us at Merch Informer extremely excited. Not only is there no barrier to entry with getting your designs up on Amazon anymore, but you

can get your products up on Amazon without paying any fee at all!

A lot of exciting things are happening with this integration. More products are going to be

added over time, and this will allow every seller out there to expand their range of offerings

from a single design. This opens sellers up to being able to sell hoodies, long sleeves,

sweatshirts and even tank tops to people on Amazon!

Because there is no barrier to entry, there are a LOT of people who are trying to sign up and

get their account enabled to post on Amazon. Since this is a massive task and Teespring has

to enable and move over thousands if not millions of designs, the downside at the moment

is the wait time to be integrated with Amazon. Some people have gotten around this by

emailing them and asking to be enabled because they already have inventory ready to

upload and start selling today!

Let’s go over some of the reasons why you might want to take a look at the Teespring

integration and some of the downfalls currently:

[*Available Products *]– Teespring offers a LOT of products and they are rolling out many more

this year. At the end of the year they want to release 50 new products which is crazy

ambitious. Even though they are releasing a lot of new products for their platform, only

products that are rush eligible products are going to be able to be moved over and sold on

Amazon. Not only that, but they will need to have a margin of at least $6.75 to cover the

marketplace cost. Even though only these items are available to sell on Amazon right now, I

have been told that as time progresses more and more products will be eligible so get your

designs up now to be ahead of the curve.

[*Price *]– We have gone over price in the Teespring Amazon integration article, but the one thing to know is that prices are going to be a bit higher. You will need to price in at least

$6.75 because that is the marketplace fee for selling on Amazon. Teespring also adds $4 for

shipping into the price on Amazon. This $4 charge does not affect you or your margin, just

the price the customer will pay. One thing to note is that Teespring is currently testing out

different prices on Amazon. You might expect to see your product showing up at one price

on Amazon but they are displaying another price. This is them trying to find an optimal price

in order to bring the most sales and will not effect what you make.

[*Prime eligibility *]– Currently, none of the Teespring products are eligible for prime. That being said, IT IS COMING! Yep, you heard that right. Teespring listings will be prime in the

very near future. This is going to mean a massive opportunity for all the Amazon sellers to

get their designs up on more products that are actually a lot higher quality than what Merch

by Amazon currently offers.

[*Branding *]– Unfortunately, the biggest downside of this integration is that you are not really

allowed to brand your products. All listings that go up on Amazon will be under the

Teespring brand. They also take the first bullet point to put in their own little bit about the

products being printed in the USA and that satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. You have the

ability to enter all the other boxes, but if you do not fill out the description, they have one

that automatically fills that slot as well.

[*Keywords *]– One of our favorite parts of the Teespring Amazon integration is the use of back

end keywords! These are super powerful keywords that you can place in the back end of

your listings that are not shown to buyers or competitors. Typically these are only available

to sellers using seller central, but with the integration, we can use them now too! You get all

the benefits of the MBA boxes to put your keywords as well as back end keywords. It should

be noted that because of Amazon’s rules, the titles of Teespring listings must name the type

of product they are, so you will need to play within those guidelines. Our integration article

has more information on this.

[*Startup Expenses *]– FREE! Signing up for a Teespring is free and open for everyone. You can

sign up today and be designing in the next 10 minutes. There is no hold or wait time to be

accepted like Merch by Amazon. The only slow thing that might happen depending on when

you are reading this is that they are still rolling out the integration to Amazon. If you sign up

and do not see the little globe icon after your campaigns, contact Teespring and ask them to

enable your account.

Shopify/Amazon With Teelaunch

The Shopify/Amazon integration that we wrote with using Teelaunch as our POD of choice gives you the most control out of all three of these methods. It also gives you so many

different types of products, that you will be uploading and uploading until your fingers are

numb. This is a good thing. It allows you to go into niches that are not being targetted by

most designs, and make extremely easy money using successful designs that are selling well

on Merch by Amazon already.

You will need to invest a bit of money into this, which most people seem to not be willing to

do. This is their loss because they are not treating this as a business but a hobby. More for

the rest of us!

Below is a little about the pros and cons of this integration and why you should probably be

jumping on top of this as soon as possible:

Available Products – Pretty much anything you can think of that can be considered Merch is

available with this method. Teelaunch alone has 40+ products you can use, but other PODs

may offer other item. If it can be considered Merch and you can stick a design on it, it is

available with this method. NO ONE else is selling these items on Amazon with POD making

this one of the easiest ways to make money. There is really no competition out there.

Price – With Teelaunch, prices are extremely competitive. You can use any POD you want,

but Teelaunch has been one of the cheapest to use. Prices can be seen

here: https://teelaunch.com/collections/products. If you are looking to just do shirts, the base price for the cheap shirts is $8.50.

Prime eligibility – Probably the biggest downside with the Shopify/Amazon integration is

that you will not be able to have prime listings. Since the shipping is being done by a 3rd

party, you have zero control over this and thus will not be able to have seller fulfilled prime.

That being said, everyone we know giving this method solid attention is making tons of sales

so it does not have that big of an effect as some might think. If someone likes a design, they

are going to buy it!

Branding – This is the best method we have found for building a brand. You can brand a

store, you can brand your Amazon pages, you can brand your product information on the

pages you create. Getting used to seller central can take a while, but is very worth it!

Keywords – Since you are selling through seller central, you have access to all the back end

keywords that Teespring offers as well as the keywords you can place in the listings

themselves. This method has the most control. You will be able to go into seller central and

tweak everything which will update the fastest on Amazon instead of waiting for Teespring

to update on Amazon or waiting for your MBA shirts to go back into review!

Startup Expenses – This is not free. You will need Shopify which is $9 a month if you are

using the lite plan for the integration only (Free Shopify Trial Here). You will also need a pro sellers account which is $39.99 a month. For around $50 a month you can get started with

this method and listing on Amazon. You will also need UPC codes which can be purchased

cheaply, as well as be able to float the costs for these products on a credit/debit card while

you wait to get paid by Amazon. This might seem like a lot, but for having completely control

over your business and no restrictions on the different types of products you can put up,

this method is by far a favorite here at Merch Informer.

Customer Service – We had to add this one in because with this integration, you are

responsible for talking to the customers since you are running the seller central account.

This can be a pain point for people, but is also giving the control back to you. You have

control over talking to the customers, control over the reviews (and responding to them),

and everything in between. You MIGHT need to refund a customer at some point or

another, so just make sure you have read up on the Shopify Amazon FAQs.

[*So Which One Should You Use? *]

You might be sitting there thinking all of this is great, but which one should you put your

focus on? Which one should you be using?

All of them!

Seriously, they all offer advantages that the others do not. By using all these integrations at

the same time, you are allowing yourself and your business to have the widest spread

possible.

Should you sell a shirt you are selling on Merch by Amazon with Teespring? Absolutely!

These might both be t-shirts, but they are going to be 2 different types of shirts, 2 different

types of quality, 2 different types of prices. You are giving buyers a choice!

Not only are you giving buyers a choice, but you are also building out the amount of

products you have your designs on which will make you money.

If you have 1,000 designs, using all these integrations, you can EASILY turn those 1,000

designs into 40,000 products. Think of how much more money you would be making with

that kind of spread!

The bottom line is you should do your research, learn to use each of the integrations and get

going. They really are not that difficult to use and if you get stuck, you can read our guides

on each of them which are detailed and go over step by step how to set everything up.

Good luck!

Merch by Amazon SEO Ultimate Guide

Selling shirts on Amazon with Merch can be super exciting! It can also make you question

what you are doing with your life if you take the time and effort to design your shirts but

they just are not moving. This can be extremely frustrating, and often times, the person

ends up giving up for good before they even get out of the 25 tier (the hardest tier by far)!

You could learn to drive outside traffic like I just wrote about with Pinterest, or you could learn to optimize your listings. A combination of both is ultimately the best but this article is going

to focus on the later.’

Coming from an internet marketing background, I have noticed that for a lot of you, making

money through Merch by Amazon is your first attempt to make it online. To that I say

congratulations! This may mean that you are not as familiar with keywords (the base of

good Amazon optimization) as I am. That is okay, we will be going through all the basics here

and then towards the end moving into more advanced Merch SEO.

Optimizing A Merch Listing

In order to SEO your listing properly, there are a few key points we need to cover. These are:

Price, Brand, Title, Bullet Points and of course competition.

Price

I know in most of the Facebook groups people preach to sell your designs for 19.99 and

never go below that. I am just going to come out and say that I believe that is WRONG! Your

price should not be based on what you think it is worth. Your price should be based on the

market, and the competition you face.

So what does this mean for you? It means that the less competition you face, the higher

price you will charge originally. The more competition, the lower the price (at first!). You

see, reviews on Amazon are king! They are what really kick your earnings into overdrive.

When was the last time you bought something off Amazon that was not a piece of clothing?

I bet the first thing you did was read the reviews and based your purchase off of those right?

Same goes with shirts. As soon as you get some good reviews, you can raise your prices and

people will gladly pick your design over cheaper ones because you have reviews and they do

not!

This does not mean that you should be pricing your design as the lowest. My suggestion is

to take a look by searching Amazon for your general niche design before you upload. Find

the average price, and price your shirt right in the middle. You will not be competing on

price at first, but you WILL be competing on how much better your design is. If you have a

moderately priced shirt with a design that is blowing the competition out of the water, you

will sell more shirts every time.

This strategy that I outlined above is particularly important now that Amazon has released

their new 60 day policy. Following the above, you will have a much higher sell through of

your shirts, and will be raising prices as soon as you get those much needed reviews. Think

long term here! This is not a quick money grab. There is no “right” price. There is only the

price that the market determines.

Brand Name

Each and every shirt I create I generally put under a different brand. This is so that someone

cannot just come and copy everything I have created. Now when you come up with a brand

name, this is your chance to grab the attention of someone scrolling through the Amazon

results. They will see a title and a brand and then a thumbnail. If your brand is related to

what they are searching for, this increases the probability that they will click through.

For this reason, I suggest adding a few keywords about your shirt. If you were to do a ghost

shirt, something along the lines of “Scary Ghost Tees” or “Friendly Ghost Shirt Store” might

make sense. Each of these has the keywords “Ghost Tees” and “Ghost Shirt” in them,

something that a customer might be searching for.

Each one of these optimization sections is just an exercise in pretending you are a potential

customer.

Title

This is where keywords come into play. In order to talk about keywords, we first need to talk

about competition.

For an example, lets say that you just created a killer design about cats. You upload your

shirt after looking at similar designs and price it accordingly. Now you get to the point where

tou must select a title. What do you put? Do you just put “black cat t-shirt”? No, that is a big

negative!

If you were to do what I said above, you would be competing against almost 150 thousand

other t shirts! How can you possibly expect to stand out or make any sales when you are

swamped with competition? Chances are you probably will not, and get disappointed when

you do not make any sales in the next 2 months.

You need to really take a look at your design and describe it to yourself. This description

process is really just adding different keywords in the title.

Ask “What would a customer search for if they wanted to buy this shirt”. You need to niche

down. Maybe your shirt has black cat ears on them. Black cat ears t-shirt might be a better

fit. Check it on Amazon.

Three thousand results. That is better, but still a little too much competition. Now is where

you might want to try some adjectives. How about * Cute* black cat ears t-shirt?

1.3k results this time. What about adding one more thing to the title.

There we go! 64 results. This is called “niching down” and getting very specific. I like to

describe my t-shirt titles like I would describe the shirt to a blind person who cannot see.

This sounds silly, but it works! Eventually you will get comfortable describing your shirts in

detail and will not need to spend the time searching amazon as that can be very time

consuming. You can also use the advanced competition checker within Merch Informer to quickly find keywords that are worth exploring and putting in your titles to save you some

time.

T-Shirt, Tee Shirt, Tees, Shirts

When I am searching on Amazon for a t-shirt I always type “t-shirt” at the end of my query. I

have always done this, and I think most people do. For this reason, I end every single one of

my titles with “t-shirt”. I think you should too and this only makes sense.

Some people may not search for t-shirt though, they may include operators in their search

query such as “tee shirt” or something similar. What do you do with those? I personally

include them in the description which we are about to go into. Since there is already “Shirt”

in the title, the only other shirt variation I will include in the description is “Tee”. This is easy,

and saves time.

Bullet Points

If the title is the first place to really catch your customers attention, then the bullet points

are where you SELL them! This is where the majority of Merch sellers fail and I still do not

understand this. There are 2 facets here.

On one hand, you want want to make more sales so you need to be putting keywords in

your bullet points. On the other, you do NOT want to describe your t-shirt and sound like a

brick wall. You are here to make sales right? Act like a salesman/woman. Sell your

customers!

So how do you do this? You have 2 bullet points so you need to make the most of them.

Let’s start with the first bullet point.

For an example, let’s just say that we ended up creating a shirt like we described above. A

nice cute black cat ears Halloween t-shirt. You have set a brand name, the title of the

product and the price. Now you need to come up with your first bullet point. To do this, you

need to think of synonyms of your main keyword. Since there are really no decent synonyms

of Halloween, we will be focusing on the main root of the keyword here: “Cat”.

If English is your first language, this should be super simple. If not, simply run the root

keyword through a Thesaurus. You can do so by clicking that link. Synonyms here may include: kitty, kitten, the “type” of cat, and so on. Now that you have your synonyms, you

want to include them in a sentence format.

Remember, you are not just describing your shirt here. They can see your shirt right there!

Your potential customers already know what your shirt looks like, this is your one chance to

sell them on purchasing it.

 Staying home on Halloween this season and just want to snuggle up with your kitty in

the covers? Sounds like you need to purchase this cute kitten tee for your Halloween

costume today or purchase it as a gift for that lonely friend who is always home with

their black cat.

See how that does not just say what was on our theoretical shirt but you are selling them?

You included keywords such as “kitty” “cute kitten” “kitten tee” “Halloween costume”. You

also included the “gift” keyword which really seems to help boost sales around the holiday.

Now that your first bullet point is done and looking good, time to move on to the second.

This is where I do things a little different from most people. I play damage control. Yes, you

read that right. Amazon is not perfect and does a lot of weird printing mistakes. However

the worst thing they do is use shirts that tend to run a size too small. This generally makes

people ANGRY when their clothing does not fit when they first get it and often times will

end up in a negative review because they had no idea it would turn out like that.

So what should you do? Tell them the shirt runs a size small and to order a size up! I will

generally use this format: [_This “t-shirt title here” is designed and printed to be fitted. For a _]

_more loose fit, please order a size up. _

 This Cute Black Cat Ears Halloween T-Shirt is designed and printed to be fitted. For a

more loose fit, please order a size up.

With this technique, you pack even MORE keywords in their by using the title, but it does

not look spammy at all. In fact, this single sentence technique has saved me more than

once. After I started implementing it, negative reviews almost stopped for good.

Note On Product Description

From my time selling on Amazon through FBA and testing with Merch, it seems that the

product description does not really affect where your shirt ends up in the results. I actually

skip the description on 99% of my shirts since I have so many slots open and it ends up

slowing me down.

If you are still in the first few tiers and have the time, you can fill them out. THIS is where

you describe your shirt, not the bullet points!

Advanced Merch by Amazon SEO

Following the exact strategy that I laid out above, I was able to bring my Merch account to

where it is today.

So the above screenshot has just been taken. This is all from organic traffic only using the

proper keywords and bullet point strat. In this advanced Merch SEO section, I want to go

over how I plan on doubling these numbers.

I could always just add more shirts (and you can sure bet I will!). There are over 7000 empty

slots right now. I admit I have been slacking. The real secret to increasing those numbers

without putting up more shirts (which costs more money if you are outsourcing), is to

actually do SEO outside of Amazon. Keep in mind that this is an advanced section and most

people will probably not try or attempt this. The ones who DO though, will put themselves

far ahead of the competition.

[*Google SEO (The secret no one is talking *]

about)

Remember near the beginning of this article I mentioned that I was mainly involved in

creating websites? Well, the entire point there is to rank a website in Google for a specific

search term so that it shows up at the top of the results. The closer to the top you are, the

more visitors you get, thus the more sales occur. Pretty easy concept right?

Well people search Google ALL THE TIME for clothing to buy. Millions of people are

searching on Google rather than Amazon to find a certain t-shirt to wear. Up till this point, I

am willing to guess you have completely ignored this outlet right?

To do this right, you will probably have to go read some SEO guides on how the entire

process works, but this article should at least get you started and get those gears turning on

how to increase sales.

Finding Keywords

The very first thing you want to do in this entire process is find something that is selling well

on Amazon. You can do so with Merch Informer, or you can spend the time searching

through the results to find niches with relatively low BSR. You should have that down by

now. Now, you want to compare these niches to the same niches in Google. For example

let’s just say that you have a “I love my pitbull t-shirt”. You know that pitbulls on Amazon are

a good niche and you may be getting sales on that shirt. So you need to check it through

Google.

To do this, you need to sign up for a Google adwards account. You can do so

here: https://www.google.com/adwords. Keep in mind that you may need to enter a credit card. We are not looking to run any advertisements though, we just need a tool that is

inside the adwords account called the Google Keyword Planner.

Once you are logged in, you should see it at the top, under Tools.

Now, once you have navigated your way over to the Google Keyword Tool, you want to

check the title of that shirt or keywords related to that shirt. This will toss back at you a

range under the tab “keyword ideas”. If you are not running a campaign with them, they will

just give you a range. It will look like this:

This tells you a few things. It tells you that 10-100 people search “i love my pitbull t-shirt”

each and every month. Those are potential customers for your Merch by Amazon shirts! It

also shows you that if you were to set up ads for this keyword, each time someone clicked

on your ad, you would probably be paying around 61 cents. Ouch! Probably not the best

idea.

You could be getting this potential traffic for FREE though! Each one of your shirts could be

getting a stream of free traffic from Google and literally no one is talking about this. Why?

My guess is most people in Merch are not internet marketers, nor do they want to take the

time to get these products ranked in Google for keywords. I can tell you from testing this out

on a family members account that it is both easy and a fun way to make more sales in the

process. Lets go over exactly how to do it.

*Setting Up Your Merch Listing To Rank In *

Google

In order to rank your design in Google for specific keywords, you will need two things. On

page SEO, and backlinks. Just these two things can give you the extra traffic you want. The

on page SEO are the EXACT steps we went into above.

All you need to remember is to have the title of your t-shirt the exact same as the keyword

you are looking to rank for in Google. That is it! As long as it has the exact title, it will be a

lot easier to rank because Amazon is such a large website.

I went ahead and Googled the keyword. As you can see, near the bottom of the page, there

is a Merch by Amazon listing ranking! Now, it is the bottom of page 1 and is probably not

getting a lot of traffic, but as you can see, their title is not the exact same as the keyword.

Simply by making this change, you give yourself a better chance at beating it! All this shows

though, is that a Merch shirt is ranking in Google while yours is not! So now you need the

other piece of the puzzle, backlinks.

Getting Backlinks/Making Sales Along The Way

So what you now need to do is get backlinks. Backlinks are hypertext that link back to your

product on Amazon. The more of these that you get that are from niche relevant locations

back to your site, the higher you will rank in Google (very simplistic explanation).

There are 2 easy ways to do this in my opinion. I have tested both of them and they have

BOTH resulted in extra sales for my family members account while we wait for the rank

increase in Google. Killing two birds with one stone here!

Option 1: Niche Relevant Forums

This is the option that I have been experimenting the most from lately, and trust me, if you

do this correctly, you will make extra sales EASILY. You need to find forums related to your

niche. In the example case, I did a shirt about pitbulls. So to make this work, I would search

out forums about pitbulls or dogs in general.

Once you have found a forum that seems active, sign up for an account and get involved! No

one likes someone coming into their community and instantly pushing products down their

throats. Do you? Probably not. You need to get involved in the conversation, be helpful, and

be friendly. After you seem to have a place in this forum and have built up a few posts and

maybe some rep, it is not time to make a post! Forums are places that people hang out and

talk about something they are passionate about. This makes the absolute best buyer out

there!

Think outside the box for this one. You could make a post showing off your t-shirt that you

are wearing! Show them how great your design is and give them a link (backlink cha ching!)

to where you got it. If that is not your forte, maybe make a post about how you started a t-

shirt business and one of the designs you just created just so happens to be about the niche

of the forum. In this case pitbulls. Give them a link to your design (backlink cha ching!).

By giving out the links to your designs in niche relevant forums, you will make extra sales, as

well as build links to be ranking in Google. While your friend is desperately out there waiting

to tier up out of the 25 tier, you are doing something about it, and pocketing the money

along the way.

[*Option 2: Purchase Your Shirt For Website *]

Owners

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just approach someone who owns a website in your t-shirt

niche and have them post a link to your shirt for you? After all they have an audience that

could buy your designs!

The fact is, that very very rarely will anyone take time out of their day to help you out (a

stranger), for nothing in return. It is just the truth. I run several large sites myself and ignore

probably 99% of the email I get because people are begging.

Do you want to know how to stand out? Give them something in return! You could offer to

give them a bit of money to post your design. That is a bit boring but it does work! Instead

though, what about purchasing your own shirt and having it shipped to them? I can tell you

the few times someone shipped me free things in the mail, I went out of my way to help

them in return because they gave me some pretty great stuff!

To do this, first you need to find some websites in your t-shirt niche. As the example was laid out is pitbulls, I would find some good pitbull websites.

Remember, we only want to reach out to sites that get some traffic! If they do not have any

traffic, giving or posting your shirt on that site is not going to help you out.

To find out if a site is getting any traffic, copy the URL of the website and put it into

either Semrush, or SimilarWeb. Make sure they are getting a few thousand people a month as a starter. If they have just a few hundred or even less, move on. They are probably not

worth your time.

So once you have found a website that you want your shirt to be seen on, you now need to

reach out to the person who owns it! If they have a contact form, go ahead and send them

an email and ask them if you could send them a shirt. Be creative with the email, you want

to stand out. If there is no contact information listed on the website, you can still get it!

To find information on who owns a website, simply run their URL of their website

through WHOIS. This will give you the name of the person as well as their email. You can then use this information to personalize the information and send them an email about your

shirt and how you want to send it to them!

Make sure to ask for a link back to your Amazon page if they like the shirt and keep in touch.

Making connections is the biggest part of this business and the people who take the time to

do so are going to FAR outsell the ones who do not.

When you do get a website owner to post your shirt, chances are it will be send out to an

email list the webmaster has, or their traffic will see it somehow. This will give you increased

sales right away. You ALSO will get a backlink to your shirt on Amazon. Get enough of these

backlinks and your shirt will start to show up for keywords you have in the listing and that

people are searching for on Amazon. This in turn will give you even MORE sales.

Wrapping It Up

We are getting around to 4,000 words, so I think it is time to wrap this up. You can go ahead

and follow the guide to optimizing your Merch by Amazon listings that I laid out in the

beginning of this article. This works and works pretty well! If you happened to see my

screenshot, then you can go ahead and say that the first half of this article is exactly how I

build a $8,600 a month business without driving a single visitor to the page. For a lot of

people, this sounds really great and would probably be satisfied if they hit those numbers.

What is really going to set people apart the longer the Merch program goes on though are

the people who are satisfied with their organic earnings, and those who are never satisfied

and continue to push for more. These are the people who are going to follow the second

half of the article and start driving outside traffic. As I laid out above, driving traffic can be

absolutely free! You do not have to spend a dime in advertising if you really do not want to

(it just makes it easier when getting those backlinks!).

You may pick whatever avenue you chose. Whichever you do go with though, make sure to

give it your all!

[*Merch Informer Case Study – A Merch By *]

Amazon 20k Per Month Blueprint

Todor and I started Merch Informer just around 6 months ago. Ever since the beginning, we

have been Merchants ourselves, practicing exactly what we preach on how to find

successful designs, dominate markets, and crush the competition. Month in and month out,

we are making more profit from Merch by Amazon and the multiple integrations that are

now available for Amazon merch sellers.

We grew from early adapters of Merch by Amazon to selling the first Merch business.

We got featured on the news!

Through a lot of hard work, we scaled up operations and now clear upwards of $20,000 per

month through the Merch by Amazon program.

Simply put, we know this business and know what you need to do to succeed. Once you

have a successful template on how to find and creating winning designs, scaling up is

incredible easy! After months and months of people asking how to find and deploy winning

designs, we finally decided to put out this case study.

Today we are going to go over one of the methods on how to use Merch Informer to identify

these opportunities and how we actually made money within the first week of having

the shirt live.

This process will take you from beginning to end with the listing being live on Merch by

Amazon and making you money day in and day out. At the end, you will see that all you

need to do is rinse and repeat to bring your Merch by Amazon account into the 5 figures a

month range. Let’s do it!

The Research Process

Researching a niche that is doing well is absolutely the most important aspect of doing well

selling on Amazon. If you are creating products that no one is searching for, you will end up

feeling frustrated and wondering why you are not making sales.

Improving the research process is the entire reason that Merch Informer was formed in the

first place!

To begin with, we know that Amazon is a big data company, and that they usually

recommend or auto suggest keywords based on what you type in the search bar to help

direct you to products they know you are more likely to buy. Since we know that Amazon is

optimized, we can really take advantage of these auto suggest keywords.

To start off our research process, we log in to Merch Informer and head over to the keyword

finder. This module is to help you find the auto suggest keywords but you must enter in a

seed keyword. It is VERY important that when you enter in a keyword here, it is open ended

and can be finished with a lot of different endings. If you are putting in a seed keyword that

is not open ended the keyword finder will show you the last successful search and where a

lot of people are getting tripped up.

To begin our search, I simply type in “im a”. Now I know this is missing an apostrophe, but

this is probably the best way to bring up a lot of different keywords that Amazon might

recommend.

As you can see from the next screenshot, we have 49 results. From these results, there are

actually some awesome keywords in here:

When I was going through all of these, one of them caught my eye because it was a play on

words.

“im a big dill” is one of the auto suggest keywords which I thought was pretty funny in its

own unique way. I THINK we might be able to use this. Since I want to be able to go back to

this suggestion later, I click on the heart for the suggestion, and then at the top click on the

“add to favorites” button. This will keep that keyword/phrase in your favorites so you can go

back and check it out later.

From this same page, I want to check to see if that keyword has any EXACT matches on

Merch. To do this, I click on the score icon. Remember that this is only going to show you

the competition score for that exact keyword at this stage.

What this is doing is checking Amazon to see how many people are using that

keyword/phrase as an exact title for their shirt. As you can see, not many people at all are,

so we come back with a score of A.

So far, everything is looking good. A lot of people from this step on are a little bit confused

so let me show you what we do.

We know that this keyword has some buyers intent and that Amazon is recommending it

because they know sales occur there. What we do NOT know yet, is just how well this

keyword is actually doing. We want to be able to nail down if this is something we want to

actually create a shirt around.

This is where the product search comes into play. The product search is going to bring up

the best 100 best selling shirts by keyword and rank them in order of top tier category BSR.

Currently, this top tier category BSR is not being shown on Amazon and Merch Informer is the only way to see it and estimate sales.

Head over to the product search and enter in the keyword and category. Since we are doing

Merch by Amazon, we will enter in the keyword “im a big dill” with the category “Merch by

Amazon Shirts”.

Click on search and see the results!

Here was the results when we were putting this case study together:

There is a few things to take note of here. The first is that the sales rank and the estimated

monthly sales. These are just screenshots in time. BSR is changing all the time and so are the

monthly sales. We use both of these as a single screenshot in time to judge if we should go

into this niche or not.

NOTE: Our entire strategy is to go for long term business and evergreen niches. We play the

numbers game around here. If we can have 1000 shirts selling 1-2 a month, we think that is

a lot better than chasing trends all the time.

From this screenshot, we can see that there is 1 shirt doing pretty well in this niche but

there are also a few others that are getting a few sales a month. This is EXACTLY the type of

niche we could enter and dominate with a better design. Some of these designs are clearly

from an amateur. We are making progress at this point.

At this point you have probably decided if you are going to go for this niche or not. In our

case, we are going to attempt to break into this niche. Just to make 100% positive that this

would be a good idea, make note of the keywords that the shirts are using. In our auto

suggest keywords, we came up with the keyword “im a big dill”. From looking at WHAT is

selling, we notice that the biggest theme is the keyword “I’m kind of a big dill”. Notice the

difference there? It is subtle, but we want to use this.

Now that we have the main keyword we are going to use because that is what the

competition is using, run it through the Advanced Competition Checker to see how many people are you are going to be up against. We have determined by the BSR that this niche

has demand, but is it super saturated? Let’s find out!

Look at that, barely any competition at all!

Before we get a design made, there is one more thing we want to check on and that is if this

saying has a trademark on it. We want to make absolutely sure that this is safe to use. We

can run this check from the product search itself after the results are up or you could have

ran it from the keyword finder when looking at the results.

As you can see, we are good to go! This term is not trademarked, and we have the green

light to forward some information to your designer.

Getting Your Designs

What we usually like to do is add the designs in the niche to our favorites and download

specific options such as the URL, a high resolution image, or the keyword for our designers.

You can pick from any of these:

These will then download to an excel spreadsheet that you can fire off to your designer.

At first you may take a look at the designs that are ranking and think to yourself “hey, I could

come up with something that could sell”. Well, here at Merch Informer, we thought the

same thing!

It became clear to us VERY quickly that since we are not graphic designers, this was just not

going to cut it! We preach all the time that in order to crush a niche, you need to have the

best design out there. We outsourced this design to a designer, and they came back to us

with this:

They even provided a mockup that looks amazing:

As of writing this, our design is the very best in the niche by a long shot.

Uploading Your Shirt

The time has come to upload your design to Merch!

The first thing you are going to do when uploading your merch design, is you need to pick

some colors and pick a price. For the colors, pick what looks good on the shirt! You may

know that the best selling colors come first, but each design is unique. Pick the colors that

look best with your design.

Price. Everyone argues over the price. Should you price super low to get sales? Should you

price high to look like the premium option?

We have priced all over the place and ALL methods on price work! Seriously, there is a

market for almost any price point but what we found works well is pricing somewhere in the

middle. If you make absolutely sure you have the best design (like we did!), then you can

price in the middle or slightly higher and still ensure you get sales.

In order to see what other people are pricing (we price for the market, not a made up

number), we go back to the product search and notice this at the top of the search for our

main keyword:

From what you see here, the lowest price is $14.95 and the highest is $19.99. You can pay

attention to the average, but for this shirt, we are going to price it somewhere in the middle

and then raise prices down the road if the shirt is doing well. We decided to price at $16.99

and on an anvil shirt. This will give us a great margin with room to bump it up later if we get

some reviews going.

Title/Bullet Point Optimization

You want to get your main keyword in the title and variations of the keyword in the bullet

points (maybe the main keyword again). To do this, there are a few techniques that can be

used. The first is to go back to the product search:

Just look at the competition and look at their titles, bullet points and descriptions. You can

cherry pick the best keywords from the listings that are ALREADY selling.

Another way you can make your listing a little bit better is to use the Synonym Suggest tool

from our listing optimizer module. Since this niche is super small and the keyword are pretty easy, we will just stick to checking out the competition.

This is what we went with:

 Title: I’m Kind Of A Big Dill Funny T-Shirt Pun Tee

 Bullet Point: Do you know that one person around that thinks they are funny and are

always dropping hilarious puns? Everyone will love this big dill tee, especially for those

people where pickles are life. Wear one today and bring out the laughs.

 Bullet Point: This I’m Kind Of A Big Dill Funny T-Shirt is designed and printed to be fitted.

For a more baggy fit, please order a size up. Grab this big dill shirt as a gift for someone

close to you.

Notice how we use variations of the keyword in the bullet points but also the main keyword

in the title?

Also notice how we are combating any negative reviews right off the bat by letting

customers know that if they want a baggy fit to order a size up (anvil sizing is strange!).

Here is how the listing ended up looking on

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XPJMJFM

If you want to read a little bit more into the optimization process, we have gone over that in

the Amazon Merch SEO guide.

Protecting Your Account

The very last step we need to do before we wait for organic sales OR move on to marketing

is make 100% sure that our account is safe from anyone trademarking this phrase.

We have seen over and over again where someone uploads a shirt that is selling well for

them, but months down the road, that phrase gets trademarked and removed from their

account. Even though they uploaded it first, they are now stuck with a strike on their

account. Since we do not want you to lose your account over something small like this, we

released the trademark alerts module which is super valuable.

Head on over to the trademark alerts and enter in the saying/phrase that you want to make

sure is checked up on.

We automatically check these once a day. If you are just adding the phrases, you will need

to click on the “check trademarks” button at the bottom there which will check the phrases

that have not been checked within the last 24 hours.

As you can see, the phrase is currently safe to use. This will update every 24 hours so make

sure you are checking back to see that nothing has changed.

If one of the sayings that you are using HAS been trademarked, it is time to take action

before you get a strike on your account. This can keep you from getting banned and losing

all your hard work!

Wrapping It Up

Alright, now that we have gone over exactly how to find niches that are selling and come to

market with something better all with using Merch Informer, there is just one last step and

that is to make sales. You can either use any of the Merch Marketing techniques that we have gone over extensively, or you can wait for organic sales. We are optimized for organic sales,

but marketing your own merch is the fastest way to see results! Since we are selling

thousands of shirts each week, we are simply going to leave this shirt for organic sales and

see what happens. This case study will be updated in a few days to reflect what has

happened.

UPDATE (1 day later)

We honestly did not expect to see results this fast! This niche is not extremely popular but

as we have shown you there is a bit of demand here, and the entire goal is to go into

evergreen niches that will sell at LEAST a few designs each and every month. This has

proven to be the absolute best way to scale.

Well, literally less than 24 hours after we uploaded the shirt, it looks like we have our first

sale!

Here is what the BSR looks like on the Amazon page itself:

As you can see, Amazon is currently showing BSR (Best Sellers Rank), as sub categories

which are absolutely useless and really do not give anyone a sense of how a product is

actually doing.

In order to get a better idea of how this shirt is doing, you can run our main keyword

through the product finder module in Merch Informer which will give you a much clearer

snapshot of how we are doing:

BAM!

Just like that, we are the best selling shirt out of all the “I’m Kind Of A Big Dill” designs.

Pretty easy to see why!

 Best Design

 Priced Competitively

 Optimized Bullet Points

 Small but in demand niche

It really is that easy. There is no need to complicate anything. The entire process takes us

about 5-10 minutes to go through everything when we are working on coming up with

other designs. From there, we get 100s if not 1000s of these, and put them up on Amazon.

Let’s do some quick math!

If we sell 5 of these a month (very conservative estimate), at just over $5 commission each,

that is $25 dollars a month profit for this design. Month over month you will make that as

profit if you make sure you optimized and came to the table with the best design.

$25 does not sound like very much at all until you realize how EASY the entire process is,

and that if you just did the same thing 1,000 more times, that $25 a month turns into

$25,000 per month.

There is no secret sauce or special secret. We crunch the numbers, run the math, and use

Merch Informer to find these opportunities to allow us to scale easily and efficiently.

[*Merch Pricing Strategies – Why You Are *]

Leaving Money On The Table

Since we started Merch Informer, we have seen almost every pricing strategy in the book.

This is something that most people will probably never agree completely on, and thus, has

been the topic of hot debate in the past. Should you price high to be seen as the premium

option? You WILL make the most royalty per shirt this way, that is for sure. Should you price

right in the middle of the pack of designs and try to compete less on price, but more on

unique, amazing designs? Or, do you throw all of that out the window and attempt to make

only a few cents per shirt sale and price at the bottom of the barrel in the hopes that you

will stick out among the thousands of people you might competing with. “Have some self

respect!”, some might say.

Since we started playing around with Merch by Amazon over a year ago, each of these

strategies has been tested in house. While we are never going to be able to give a definitive

answer on what is best and what you should be doing, let’s go over the pros and cons of

each and why you might want to consider switching up your pricing strategy. After all, you

should ALWAYS be testing if you want to make the most amount of money possible.

*The Premium Merch by Amazon Pricing *

Strategy

There is a reason that brands such as COACH and Canada Goose can charge so much for

their products and people will purchase them. They are seen as the premium product.

Something that is worth buying for so much money because of the perceived “quality”. If

people think your product is top notch quality, they will automatically assume that the

product is worth the price and that it will last a lot longer than something at a lower price.

We have seen a lot of people in Facebook groups mention that they only price at $19.99,

$21.99 or even $24.99 and will not even consider pricing lower. Amazon themselves have

said that you need a VERY good reason to be pricing above $19.99 as they see sales start to

taper off at this price. This price point works great if you have your own brand built up and

people are specifically searching for it. It also works great if you have a very unique design

that is more than just a novelty saying. Finally, this price point works the BEST when you

have your own audience to drive traffic to.

The perfect example is Youtuber Philip Defranco. If you are not familiar, this particular Youtuber is very popular for discussing current events and often sells Merch to his fans.

When you have 5 million people as your own audience who are interested in your brand,

you can charge what you want. As you can see, he is making great money and selling above

the $19.99 price point.

When the Teespring Amazon integration happened, I started uploading my designs to the platform (yes even for t-shirts), and playing with my pricing model and setting them to 24.99

per shirt (when they landed on Amazon). This is a completely different strategy than we

have used in the past, and guess what? They sold! They even sold organically which showed

us that this strategy does work.

While it is true that they are making great money per shirt sold, you need to always be

testing like mentioned above. Teespring, being a massive company, decided to test different

price points with the integration shirts on Amazon. This meant that the t-shirts going from

Teespring were now showing up on Amazon around $18.99, and what would you know,

sales started to take off!

So while the premium pricing strategy seems to work and get sales, if you want to drastically

improve the volume you are selling at (especially if you do not have your own massive

audience), we would advise you to stay away from pricing too high.

Average Price Merch Strategy

One of the biggest benefits of being a customer on Amazon is that you are probably going to

get the lowest price. Sellers are ALWAYS competing for the lowest price, and if you are in the

FBA world, you might have had one or more wars over grabbing that buy box.

Simply put, price is one of the biggest driving factors of many decisions on Amazon. Usually

the lower the price, the better.

That is just simply not always true when it comes to Merch on Amazon. Why? Because when

you are buying Merch, people shop with their eyes first, and the price second. Even if you

take nothing else away from this article, please take away that point. People will shop with

their EYES first, and the price second.

Sometimes you will have people who find something they think is funny or cute, and they

simply just have to have it. I am sure you know people like this in your life. Most people

though, will look t to find something they really like and is visually appealing and then take a

look at the price to see if that price is in line with their buying habits.

We briefly went over the average pricing strategy when we did the M

erch Informer case

study on the big dill saying. I highly suggest you give it a read. If you do not have the time, let me just break down for you the strategy.

Once you find a niche, get a design created and make sure it is the BEST design in the niche.

Next, when you are putting your listings up, make sure you are pricing right in the middle of

what everyone else is pricing. The easiest way to do this is add up all the prices of the best

selling shirts and divide them by the amount of shirts. This will give you an average selling

price.

The Merch Informer Product Search makes this REALLY easy by displaying this table when you are searching:

This is the pricing strategy that we have been using for a long time now and it is working

very well.

We price to the market and have been able to sell THOUSANDS of shirts per month rinsing

and repeating the process in that case study.

The only downside is that even with this strategy, some people are willing to pick up an

inferior design if that means they are paying a little less money, which is where the 3rd

Merch pricing strategy comes in.

The “No Profit” Pricing Strategy

These people get a bad reputation and often called copycats. You probably have seen it over

and over again. People pricing at 11 dollars and essentially making only a few cents in hopes

that they make more sales. Fact of the matter is though, this strategy works pretty well and I

will explain exactly why.

First, you have to consider that when a lot of people get started, they go after niches where

there is a LOT of competition. When you are going up against 10,000 other Merch by

Amazon sellers, you need some way to try and stick yourself out there. One of these is price

and if you can get some momentum from sales at a low price, you will slowly start to gain

rank and more visibility in these big niches. Now, if they would have used the Merch

Informer Advanced Competition Checker, they would be able to quickly figure out the competition and avoid this issue all together.

Second, when you are getting started, Merch by Amazon now only gives you 10 slots. If you

only have 10 slots available, the only thing on your mind should be getting more slots. The

way you do that is by selling product and the easiest way to sell product is if you make it a

no brainer for the purchaser (best design and lowest price).

Finally, the topic that EVERYONE ignores for some reason, is that a lower price and more

sales means more reviews. Reviews are the life blood of Amazon. Yes, you can sell a lot of

shirts on Merch without reviews. We have sold tens of thousands of shirts at this point

without any reviews. When you get reviews though, everything changes.

When I first got started with Merch, I priced most of my designs around $14.99. Granted,

this is not “no profit”, but it was pricing far below everyone else. I outsold EVERYONE in the

niches I went to. Those extra sales means that my product got boosted in the organic

rankings and I started to get reviews. Some of these products today have 20-30+ reviews.

When you have reviews, you can charge almost whatever you want and still sell. Those

reviews (if they are good ones), are the social proof you need that goes hand in hand with

the great design that draws their eye in order to make a sale. This is very similar to the social

proof we went over by running ads to Merch by Amazon products.

While you might not make very much money at all doing this method, it helps to make the

sales, get out of the 10 tier, and get the reviews you might need to boost your prices.

Wrapping It Up

We certainly do not have all the answers or are able to tell you which Merch pricing

structure is best. What we do know though, is that if you are dead set on a single pricing

strategy and are not willing to at least test other approaches, you are leaving money on the

table and hurting your own business.

After selling tens of thousands of shirts, we can very easily say that each one of these

strategies works and each has its place in a Merch business.

What pricing strategy do you use and why? Let us know in the comments below!

[*Merch Copycat Problems? 6 Ways To Find Out *]

Who Is Stealing Your Work

We have seen it happen time and time again. You spend hours coming up with an awesome

concept based on niches that are doing really well on Amazon. Your design is stunning, unique, and ready to sell. It starts doing well, but almost immediately, people copying your

design pop up and start undercutting you.

Sometimes these people are using your design exactly, and other times they are taking parts

of what you created to barely change their design. You could go through and spend a ton of

time on Amazon looking for these, but there is actually a lot easier way that I am going to

show you today with reverse image search engines.

Not only can these applications be used to protect your IP and go after copycats, but they

are extremely helpful for vetting designers and design elements that designers use in the

designs you pay for. Let’s jump into it!

[*What Are Reverse Image Search Engines? *]

Simply put, these are search engines that do not operate on keywords to find pictures.

Instead of entering a keyword and hitting go, you would put in an image and the search

engine would then come back with images that are similar or the same as the one you

entered.

These are not often used because a lot of people are not even aware they exist. There is

also not that much they can be used for. As Merch Entrepreneurs though, these are very

valuable, and we will be going over some of the best ones to use!

Top 6 Best Reverse Image Search Engines

*1. *

Google Reverse Image Search

Google is going to be the biggest and currently probably one of the best reverse image

searches out there. In the middle of 2011 is when they introduced their reverse search and

since then has grown to be one of the most accurate. With some of the services we will list,

you will need to either enter a URL or upload an image to the engine to see the results. With

Google, the process is incredibly simple and you will not be required to do either of those.

Simply find an image you want to search, right click the image and click “Search Google for

this Image”. This works best on the Chrome browser.

This service is 100% free to use and there is no limit on size, file type, and to date is one of

the most accurate because of the amount of images that can be found on Google Images.

Keep in mind that this is best to do on a desktop as the reverse search does not work as

smooth on mobile.

*2. *

TinEye

TinEye is an old service but one that works well.They have almost 14 billion images indexed

and claim to be the first website to use image identification technology which is what all the

reverse search engines are based off of. This is a service that I remember using 10 years ago

so you know they are tried and tested.

With this service, you will need to upload an actual image or give them a URL for the tool to

go out and look for images are similar. You can use JPEG, GIF, or PNGs but make sure that

your image is not more than 20 MB as that is the TinEye limit.

Keep in mind that TinEye will be looking at the image as whole and not certain objects in the

image that you upload. Knowing this, we can use TinEye to go after pixel for pixel copycats

and people who have stolen your images without making any changes to them at all.

There is a free version and a paid version. I would suggest you all use the free version

because you will get 150 searches a week and there are also browser extensions for Firefox,

Chrome, and Safari which will make your searching much more pain free.

*3. *

Bing Image Match

It feels strange mentioning Bing in an article, but this one is still useful. In 2014, Microsoft

came out with a reverse image tool called the Bing Image Match. This works similar as a lot

of other services out there where you can either give it a hyperlink of an existing image or

upload an image and Bing will bring back the results that are most closely matching this

image.

I have used this from time to time myself, but I find that Google is far suprerior and even

TinEye beats it out.

That being said, there is an iOS app that has Bing Image Match that some might find useful.

You take an image with your phone and the app will find similar images out there on the

web!

*4. *

Karma Decay

I have not talked very much about Reddit here, but if anyone is familiar with this massive

forum, it can be an absolute gold mind for research, but more importantly selling your shirts

to the masses! If you do it right, you can post a shirt and sell 100 of them in the next few

hours (but that is an article for another day).

Karma Decay is a reverse search engine just for Reddit. This will help you find out if any of

the content or images you want to post have already been on Reddit. Redditors do not like

seeing the same content over and over again so this is perfect to see if the image you might

be thinking about marketing has been in front of that audience or not.

*5. *

Pinterest Visual Search Tool

This is one of my favorite on the list and I will explain exactly why. The Pinterest visual

search tool is incredibly advanced for reverse image technology but it is also incredibly

helpful for what we do with Merch! This came out only a few years ago in November 2015 (I

bet you have never heard about it!), and the feature lets you search for visually similar

images that are on Pinterest already as a pin.

So far, you might have noticed that the other reverse search engines in this list only allowed

you to put a full image in and see what else was similar. With the Pinterest Visual Search

Tool, you can zoom over a particular part of the image and search just for that piece! This

allows you to check each piece of an image that someone might have stolen from you or

your designer lifted from somewhere else if they are also on Pinterest.

Since Merch Informer is an avid advocate of marketing your Merch on Pinterest, this tool

goes hand in hand with keeping your intellectual property protected and your Merch

account safe.

Please note that to be able to use this feature you need to have a pinterest account and you

will need to pin an image to a board. You can read more about Pinterest in our Pinterest

marketing guide here.

*6. *

Image Raider

Last up on the list is a reverse engine called Image Raider. This one is interesting and worth

mentioning because they use Google, Bing and Yandex search to give you the results once

you run a search.

One of the biggest selling points of Image Raider is that you can actually run up to 20 mutli

reverse searches at a single time (saving you tons of time).

They offer a few features that allow you to add images directly from your DevianArt, Flickr,

or 500px accounts.

This is perfect for photographers or designers who want to track their intellectual property

and go after any websites that might be using their work without attribution or permission.

Check this one out for sure!

Reverse Search Browser Plugins

Websites are great, but as we know, everyone loves their plugins! Here are just a few to get

you started.

TinEye Reverse Search Plugin (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer)

Bing Image Match for Chrome Plugin

Who Stole My Pictures Firefox Plugin

Google Reverse Image Search Firefox Plugin

Reverse Image Search on Mobile

Mobile is more popular than ever and we know that a lot of you run their entire merch

business on mobile. Don’t worry, we did not forget about you! Here are a few ways to do a

reverse image search using your mobile device.

Google Goggles: This is a Google app that lets you search for images by putting in an image and letting Google do its thing. This app is smooth and very fast. This is great for any

Android users.

Bing App: You will need to be based in the USA for this one, but if you are, check out Microsoft’s app which runs great on Mobile and lets you do reverse image searches with

ease. This is for the iOS users out there.

Veracity App: There are not that many reverse image apps out there and it is especially hard to find one for the iPhone. Veracity is a free app where you can pick an image from your

photo library, your camera roll, o your dropbox. Once you have selected the image, tap it

and you will see all the images that are similar which is very simple. There is a paid upgrade

to get rid of the ads, but general use is free.

Wrapping It Up

Here are Merch Informer we are fans of keeping your head down and focusing on your

business! That said, it is a great idea to check on copycats every once in a while or make

sure that the new designer you hired is actually being honest.

The above resources are perfect for doing either of these. Protect your business and grow at

the same time! If you do find someone who is infringing on your works on Amazon, you can

get that taken care of with this Amazon form right here.

If you find an image being used on another website that you think is infringing on your IP, I

would highly recommend you actually get in touch with that person first before filing a

DMCA with their host.

You can do that by entering the web address here: http://whois.domaintools.com/ and then looking at their contact information.

If you know of any other good resources that you use in your merch business, we would

love to hear them! Drop us a comment below!

*10 Amazon Merch Ranking Factors You Should *

Understand

Have you been hammering out one great design after another just to see that a few days

later some pixel by pixel copycat outranks you and steals most of your sales piggybacking on

your creativity? Well don’t worry we have all been in the same boat. Unfortunately, when it

comes to selling on a global marketplace like Amazon.com sometimes being a great

designer is simply not enough. In the short guide below we are going to try and go over all

the basic factors that amazon takes into account when placing your listing in its search

results.

Just in case you are wondering how important good rankings are in Amazon search

compared to on Google here is what Searchengineland.com reported last year:

_A survey of 1,000 US consumers conducted by PowerReviews found that _

_Amazon is the preferred starting point for product search. Google comes in a _

[_close second, followed by brand/retailer sites and e-commerce marketplaces _]

(eBay, Etsy, etc.):

Amazon — 38 percent

Google — 35 percent

Brand or Retailer Site — 21 percent

Other eCommerce Marketplaces — 6 percent

Now with the above statistic in mind let’s start with the ten biggest factors that Amazon

takes into account when ranking your listing.

1. CTR or Click Through Rates

To be more specific, we are talking about the click through rate from the search results page

to your product listing. This one is a no-brainer really and it makes perfect sense. Amazon’s

main aim is to please its customers. If your listing is not already ranked first, but has the

highest click through rate on the page (given the fact that you cover the other basic factors

in the guide to a satisfactory level and your product is converting) it will launch you to the

top result because it will seem the most relevant to the customers query.

Amazon tracks this metric very closely and it definitely plays a huge role in deciding your

overall ranking for a specific query.

Now standing out in pixel by pixel dominated marketplace can sound like an impossible task

to complete but you can always experiment with stuff like color variations, lowering prices,

or if you are selling via sellers central, discounts and product bundles to get that competitive

edge.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion rates and click through rates go hand in hand. It’s quite obvious that you will

not get any conversions if people don’t click on your listing. Of course if a lot of people

actually click but decide not to buy your product, that’s a HUGE red flag in the eyes of

Amazon.

Obviously its almost impossible to predict the users behavior once they click on your

product. However, as a seller you must do your best to keep it as relevant as possible to

their interests. Make sure to include all possible product variations and sizes that you can.

Take full advantage of the product features and description to cover every question or

concern that a customer might have.

This is why we suggest that you use the bullet points to actually SELL the customer. We go

over this in the article here: https://merchinformer.com/merch-amazon-seo-ultimate-guide/ and exactly why we built the listing optimizer into MI.

3. Reviews

Due to sellers exploiting the Amazons review system in recent years Amazon has changed

their review policy and nowadays they are not as big of ranking factor as they used to be.

They are still very important when it comes to increased click through rate and conversion

rates.

Since the crackdown on incentivized reviews, sellers don’t have as much control over how a

product performs and who leaves a review. There are still steps one can take to prevent

negative reviews.

 Offer a refund for a defective product or send a new one free of charge (even though

this might eat your bottom line a bit, turning a negative into a positive review can have a

great affect on your listing)

 Always respond to negative reviews (unfortunately Merch sellers still don’t have access

to such feature but for all of you who are selling via sellers central this is very important).

It’s a good way to show feature buyers that you care and you aim for customers

satisfaction. This is especially important since most people always skim through the

negative reviews before making a decision on whether to buy a product or not.

 Respond thoroughly to all questions that you receive in sellers central. Not only is this

metric actually taken into consideration when it comes to your accounts good standing,

but it shows customers that you care.

4. Keyword Optimized Product Title

A good keyword optimized title is a must. Poorly optimized titles targeting keywords that are

simply not searched for can mean the difference between zero and a hundred sales a

month. Thankfully the Amazon search is really customer orientated so it’s pretty easy to find

the perfect keywords for your title.

Since the Amazon search is based on autocomplete it’s pretty easy to find what people are

looking for. We do this by writing out some basic words in a keyword research tool like the

one you already have in Merch Informer. If you are really cash strapped you can just go to amazon and start typing keywords to see what suggestions Amazon will toss up (if you are

going down the manual route don’t forget to switch the amazon search to the desired

category so that the suggestions will match your niche).

A good starting point for keywords can be phrases like:

 Straight Outta

 Keep Calm

 I am

 I might Be

 Will You

 This is

Basically the idea is to come up as many sentence starters as possible and narrow down the

results till you find some good phrases that match the niche your are in. Better yet, you can

start with keyword research and do the designs around that.

Lets take the word “happiness” as a starter phrase here are some examples of what users on

amazon are searching for:

If we take the phrase “happiness is a warm puppy” these will be acceptable and properly

optimized product titles:

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy – T-shirt

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy – {cute/funny/novelty} T-shirt

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy – (Brand Name) T-shirts

A poorly optimized title would be something along the lines of:

 Cute Puppy Face Tshirt

 Puppy T-shirt (although the term might be searched for, the competition is far too great

and one would always want to drill down when it comes to title optimization)

5. Brand Name

If you frequent the Amazon seller Facebook groups and forums you have probably noticed

that there has always been great discussion when it comes to brand name. Many people will

advise you to focus on establishing your brand name while others will suggest you use the

main keywords you are targeting as a brand. Here at Merchinformer.com we decided to put both to the test. For the experiment we have created three identical shirts and done exactly

the same optimization for each with the only difference being that we changed the brand

name. Here are the results

 Using a simple brand name completely unrelated to the t-shirt we are selling we

managed to rank on page 2 out of 800 results.

 Using the keyword we were targeting as a brand yielded completely different results and

we managed to rank on the front page almost instantly.

The good news is that for our third and final test we decided to combine both “keyword and

brand name” and the shirt still managed to rank on the front page even though it was a bit

lower than the one that only contained the keyword as a brand. This is a really good

compromise if you want to take advantage of both listing optimization and brand

recognition.

The tests demonstrated that Amazon is using your brand name as part of the content

indexed in the search results and adding relevant keywords to your brand will increase the

ranking of your listing.

6. Bullet Points (Features)

As with the brand name, the product features are also taken into consideration and indexed

in the search results so we would highly recommend using the keywords you are targeting

at least once. Even though it might seem tempting to keyword stuff your features, Amazon

frowns upon that and it’s a great way to lose your account. Keep the features short and to

the point. Try to be descriptive and add synonyms (in case you are not already using the

synonym finder in MI you can use a service like thesaurus.com).

Make sure that while you are being descriptive and adding synonyms, that you are

combining those will selling your product. This is marketing and something you will need to

get used to in order to be a successful seller on Amazon.

7. Description

From our personal experience the description doesn’t play a huge role when it comes to the

actual product ranking. However it does help to increase your conversion rate and it will

show up when someone is looking at Amazon from a mobile device. Make sure to include

detailed information about your products and try to answer all the possible questions that

might arise from future buyers. If we take t-shirts as an example, always cover information

like the quality of t-shirt available, sizes, and if they are a true fit and even shipping times.

Most experts suggest that a perfectly balanced description is around 1000 symbols.

8. Discounts and Pricing

Discounts and pricing might not be directly related to the Amazon search algorithm but they

play a major role when it comes to click through rate and can often help with initial sales.

We usually price our t-shirts at around $18 or $19.99 depending on the complexity of the

design. When we initially launch a product we always lower the price by at least $2. Starting

with a lower price, especially in a niche dominated by a copycats, is a great way to bring that

initial attention to your listing and get some quick sales flowing in. Of course you can

increase the price with time once your have stable rankings for the desired keywords.

If you are using sellers central and listing directly on Amazon instead of using MBA you can

take advantage of “discounts”. This is a great feature which will make your listing stand out

even more. Amazon has a search filter with discounts which means that offering even a

small discount may put you on the top of the search results if the customer has it on. Not

only that but a recent study has concluded that 40% of shoppers prefer Amazon for this

exact reason (discounts and general lower prices).

9. Keywords

Unfortunately, Merch by Amazon sellers don’t have access to this feature (something we all

hope will happen in the future), but for everyone who uses sellers central it’s highly

advisable to take advantage of the keyword fields for your listings. Now, if you have

previously done SEO or PPC there is a high possibility that you might not be utilizing these

fields properly. There is often a lot of misinformation around so first let me quickly

summarize how the keyword fields work:

 There are five fields

 Each field accepts up to 50 characters

 Commas are ignored

 You do not have to repeat words

 You do not have to include variations of the same word for example: tshirt t-shirt

 Order of the search terms matter so always start with your main phrases.

I would play around with these keywords and see what works best. Remember, testing is the

best way to find out how to make sales!

10. BSR and Sales

Last but definitely not least are your BSR rank and actual sales. The two are probably the

most important factor by which amazon determines your ranking position in search.

Unfortunately those two are the only factors we can’t directly optimize for. However, if you

have followed the guide carefully and have managed to optimize your listings to Amazon’s

satisfaction, you will start to see sales. Once those come in your sales rank will increase and

so will your rankings in Amazons search.

This pretty much sums up the main ranking factors that Amazon takes into account. In the

future we may go into even greater detail for each ranking factor but the guide above

should be enough to get you started on the road of successful sales. Good luck!

[*How To Trademark A T-shirt Slogan – Step By *]

Step Guide

_Today we are featuring a guest post on the Merch Informer blog from Heather A. Sapp, the _

_Senior Trademark Attorney at LegalForce RAPC. We met around a month ago and she has _

_since been nothing but helpful with an abundance of knowledge on copyright and _

_trademark in the POD space. We have invited her to write about the steps you may want to _

[_consider to protect some of your best selling t-shirts! _]

The proliferation of print-on-demand t-shirt services such as Merch by Amazon, CafePress,

and Zazzle means that anyone with an internet connection can be a fashion designer. But with this ease also comes the risk that someone will copy your design and post it on a

different site. Or even that you may find yourself inadvertently infringing someone else’s

design.

So what can the aspiring designer do to protect his or herself?

The two main types of intellectual property protection that cover t-shirt design are

trademark and copyright. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on trademark law. Do

understand though that designs may also be copyrighted provided they meet the requisite

standards of sufficient original expression.

Trademarks

A trademark is a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as

representing a company or product. A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. In the U.S., trademark rights are established by using the mark,

regardless of whether the mark is actually registered. That being said, there are important

procedural advantages to registration.

The purpose of registering a trademark is to prevent competitors from stealing your business name, logo, or slogan. Protecting your unique name, word, phrase, symbol, or logo is one of

the most important investments in your business. Many businesses lose creative logos,

unique selling positions, and slogans due to the lack of registering a trademark. By

registering your trademark, you can stop competitors from using or misappropriating not

only your actual business name or logo, but also anything that is confusingly similar to your

business name and logo. Additionally, a registration on the Principal Register will afford you

the ability to record your trademark with the Customs & Border Patrol to stop importation of

counterfeit goods. For this reason, registering your trademark is an important step in

protecting your rights.

This article will assume you have already decided to protect your t-shirt design by

trademark.

Clearance

Your first step should always be to conduct a clearance search. It may be the holiday

shopping season, but the term “clearance” here has nothing to do with a deep discount.

“Clearance” in the trademark world means to conduct a search before a trademark

application is filed or your start using the mark in order to assess whether the mark you

have selected is sufficiently different from all other marks. Marks are analyzed based on

similarity to other marks (based on sound, appearance, and meaning) and relatedness of

the goods or services. If your mark is found to be too similar to another mark for related

goods or services, then it would be highly advisable to establish a different mark.

Application

Your next step is to file an application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). You can file online yourself (this is referred to as “pro se”), use a traditional law firm, or use a

cost-efficient specialized trademark company such as Trademarkia. (Full disclosure: The author of this guest blog is the Senior Trademark Attorney at LegalForce RAPC Worldwide,

which is the exclusive law firm handling matters for Trademarkia, one of the world’s largest

trademark search engines.)

You’ll need to choose a filing basis. A use-based application (also known as a “1(a)

application”) means that you are already using your mark in commerce. You will need to

submit proof of use with your application. If you’re not yet using the mark in commerce,

then you can file what it referred to as an Intent to Use application (also known as a “1(b)

application”), which essentially holds your place in line until you can submit your proof of

use.

Proof of Use

So what do we mean by “Proof of Use” (POU)? The technical term is a “specimen,” which is

an example of how you’re actually using the mark in commerce. For a t-shirt, this might be

the label or tag or even the design on the shirt itself.

If the mark you want to register is the large design on the front of the shirt, then this is

referred to as “ornamental use,” and the USPTO will issue what’s referred to as an

“ornamental refusal.”

Ornamental Refusal

An ornamental refusal is when the USPTO refuses registration because your POU shows that

your mark is merely a decorative feature on the t-shirt itself rather than an indication of the

origin of the t-shirt. According to the USPTO, “subject matter that is merely a decorative

feature does not identify and distinguish the applicant’s goods and, thus, does not function

as a trademark. This matter should be refused registration because it is merely

ornamentation and, therefore, does not function as a trademark.”

For example, this slogan is a mark owned by the firm I work for.

The slogan is technically a service mark for advertising the legal services themselves, but

let’s pretend for a moment that we wanted to use it on t-shirt. If we emblazoned it across

the front of a t-shirt, prospective buyers likely wouldn’t view it as indicating that the t-shirt

comes from my firm, but rather would view it as a decorative feature of the shirt.

The USPTO would likely issue an ornamental refusal in an initial Office Action. However,

please note the word “initial.” An applicant can always respond to an Office Action and

attempt to overcome the refusal.

Determining whether something is ornamental is not a cut-and-dry issue. You must look at

the overall commercial impression. One of the key factors the USPTO looks at is the size and

location of the design. If the mark is emblazoned large across the front of the shirt, this

would weigh towards ornamental use. But a small, neat, and discrete word or design over

the breast portion (think a polo player on a horse, for example) of the t-shirt or near the

neck opening on the back of the shirt may be interpreted as a trademark.

So what might be some ways to overcome the ornamental refusal?

Submitting Alternative Proof of Use

Perhaps the best way to overcome an ornamental refusal would be to submit a substitute

POU showing actual use of your mark in connection with t-shirts. The design may be

ornamental on the t-shirt, but if it also appears on the tag or label, then this would be a

proper trademark use because it would show source or origin of the t-shirts.

You may need to amend your dates of use if your substitute POU was not in use in

commerce as of the dates in the application or Statement of Use.

Secondary Meaning

If you don’t have the mark on a tag or label, you still may be able to overcome an

ornamental refusal if the design has acquired secondary meaning as a trademark. You can

establish acquired distinctiveness by submitting evidence.

Acceptable evidence of use and promotion for showing secondary meaning include:

 Advertising and promotional materials that specifically show or promote the applied-for

mark as a source-identifier;

 Dollar figures for advertising devoted to such promotion;

 Dealer and consumer statements indicating recognition of the applied-for mark as a

trademark; or

 Other evidence that shows consumer recognition of the applied-for mark as a trademark

for applicant’s goods.

Generally the length of time that you’ve been using the mark is not considered sufficient to

establish acquired distinctiveness of a purely ornamental mark.

Supplemental Register

If you don’t show the mark on a label or tag and cannot meet the standard for establishing

acquired distinctiveness, then you’ll want to amend your application to seek registration on

the Supplemental Register, which is a second trademark register where trademarks can be

registered that are not yet eligible for registration on the Principal Register, but may, over

time, become a source indicator. Like those on the Principal Register, marks registered on

the Supplemental Register are protected against likelihood of confusion with later-filed

marks. However, marks on the Supplemental Register do not receive the same legal

presumptions and all of the benefits of those on the Principal Register, including the ability

to record your mark with Customs to stop the importation of counterfeiting goods.

As with all legal issues, it is helpful to consult with an attorney.

Zero Cost Merch Marketing

For one reason or another, the majority of Merch by Amazon users are not willing to spend

money to actually market the goods they work so hard to create. While this is not

recommended (we have lots of guides on how to drive your own traffic), there is nothing

wrong with wanting to ride the Amazon gravy train as long as possible.

With the Amazon/Shopify Integration that just happened and the Teespring update (guide

coming soon everyone, we have inside information here), the simple truth of the matter is

that if you want to stand out from the competition and increase your sales, you will need to

differentiate yourself from the flood of new designs going online.

Here at Merch Informer, we have a long history of online marketing and out of the box

thinking. Today we are going to go over 4 different and FREE ways you can jump past your

competition, make more sales, and pocket more of that Merch money!

Organic Listing Optimization

You read that right! Organic listing optimization is probably the most important zero cost

merch marketing technique out there. Most people doing merch are LAZY and will not take

the time to properly optimize their listings. This is the easiest way to be seen and sell more

product. It is also pretty easy and quick to do which is why I am not sure why more people

do not do it.

Anyways, the first thing you want to do with optimizing your listings is take a look at at your

title. The first thing a potential customer is going to see is both the design itself in the

thumbnail (so make sure the design is amazing), and the title.

You want the title to contain your main keyword that you want to rank for but ALSO niche

down to include more long tail keywords as well. This ensures that the Amazon algo sees

the main keyword in your title, but that you also stand to rank for other more long tail

keywords that you insert. You may also want to include “tee” or “t-shirt” somewhere in the

title as this is what a lot of customers are actively searching for. Look at your competitors

and see what the sellers are doing.

Price is also a major factor in making sales and something that customers are very aware of.

So many people price high because they think that they can make more money this way. In

the long run, this might not be true. There is one thing you have to remember.

[*You are NOT your target audience! *]

If you price highly right away, you might be seen as the premium product. As soon as your

customer gets one of those Anvil shirts though, they might be VERY disappointed that they

spent 21-25 dollars for such a cheap piece of clothing and leave you a negative reviews.

Negative reviews on Amazon are the quickest way to kill a good selling product.

Instead of selling high, start extremely low. This will give you a major boost in BSR which is

an Amazon ranking factor, and is the hardest part of getting your products seen. Couple this with the fact that the perceived value once they receive their shirt will be higher (because

they feel like they are getting a good deal) and you will get a lot of positive reviews!

We have a shirt that we launched at $14.99 that ended up getting 38 reviews and then

raised the price to $21.99. Because of the excellent reviews we got when we priced low, we

now dominate this space with this single shirt and still maintain the same volume of sales

making a LOT more money.

Your bullet points are probably the most important section that you get to fill out. Not only

are they a huge ranking factor with the Amazon algo, but they are going to increase your

sales on a product if you do them right. To properly optimize these, you will need to know

two things. The first is that you should be using this section to include keywords you want to

rank for, and that this is not a place for describing your shirt.

Let me say that again, the bullet points are NOT for describing your shirt. This is what the

description is for. The bullet points should SELL the customer. Market to them while using

keywords you want to rank for.

The first step to getting this right is to look up your main keyword in the product search

module in Merch Informer. Look at the top selling products for your keyword. Amazon does not always order the results by the best selling so this is a great way to see at a glance what

is selling and what is not by BSR. Write down the keywords in the bullet points and titles

that the SELLERS are using. You can use these same keywords WITHOUT copying their bullet

points word for word.

Second, log in and head over to the listing optimizer. We are going to use the list of

keywords we got from other sellers and run these through the synonym suggest module to

find even more keywords we can pepper our listing with. Write these down as well and then

you are ready to create your bullet points.

For the first bullet point, work in your keywords into sentence form of exactly why the

potential customer needs to buy your shirt right now! SELL them the shirt like your life

depends on it. Optimize your listing over time by playing around with how you sell them in

the first bullet point. For the second bulletpoint, you are still selling them, but tell them of

anything they might want to know so that they are happy. For example, we usually tell

customers here that our shirts are printed to be fitted and that if they want a more loose fit,

to order a size up. Notice how instead of saying they run small (this is a negative), we say

that they are printed to be fitted (a positive). It is all in the wording!

If you are ready to Optimize your listings for more than Amazon (think ranking in Google),

you might want to check out the advanced part of our Merch SEO guide.

If you do the above correctly, you can easily double your sales just by changing how you put

your listings up on Amazon.

Unleash Reddit Traffic For Huge Sales

If you are not using Reddit.com for one reason or another, you are missing out. Reddit is the 12th most popular website in the United states and boasts over 1 billion visitors every

month making it the perfect playground to market your shirts and drive absolutely insane

amounts of traffic.

I have personally driven 100k+ people to my sites/listings overnight because of Reddit.

Instead of waiting for Organic traffic, why not go out and actually make some sales instead

of relying on your wishful thinking?

Okay, so we have established that Reddit is one of the best places to show off your shirts.

How does it work? Well, for those not familiar, Reddit is broken down into smaller

communities called sub reddits which are essentially sub forums.

There is literally a sub reddit for anything you could think of. There is even one for Amazon

Merch! https://www.reddit.com/r/AmazonMerch/.

The easiest way to find these sub forums is by going

here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ListOfSubreddits/wiki/listofsubreddits and looking for your specific niche. If you do not see it, try to go to Google and search for “Nichehere sub reddit”.

Another place to go would be here: http://redditlist.com/ which will show you exactly how many people are part of each sub forum. Some of these are absolutely massive.

If you are going to market to Reddit, you need to be smart. The general demographic is

highly intelligent and not very receptive to spam or marketing.

Start off by finding a sub with about 30-50 thousand subscribers. It can be a bit higher, but a

smaller sub will work better to start. For an example, this might be a good place to

start: https://www.reddit.com/r/MTB/.

From here, you might just want to post your shirt right away to try and get sales. THIS WILL

NOT WORK! Seriously, do not do this and come back here saying this method does not

work.

You need to get involved with the community a bit. Reply to comments, make posts asking

genuine questions and being a helpful person. After you have been active for a while, you

can post your shirt. I find that asking for feedback is one of the best things you can do with a

tight nit community which will drive traffic as well as customers because the people will like

your design.

Reddit takes a while to master, but play around with it. To me, driving traffic with Reddit is

by far the easiest social platform to use for your shirts if you can get a handle on it.

Approach Local Businesses

To date, I only know people doing this and they are absolutely crushing it. Regularly getting

orders for 1,000+ shirts is not out of the question here.

Now, these type of shirts are usually not made live for everyone on Amazon, because who

would wear a shirt with someone else’s local business logo on their shirt? If you want to

hussle and make excellent money doing it, you should be talking and networking with

people around your town.

Businesses are buying shirts with their logos ALL THE TIME. Why? Their workers could wear

them, but the majority will be using them as marketing materials to get the word out about

their company. Trust me when I tell you the vast majority of these small to medium size

businesses are going down to the local print shop and paying a LOT of money for a small first

run of tees. Some might even say they are being taken advantage of but they do not know

better.

All you need to do is make an introduction to the company and show them the excellent

deal you can make them (because of how cheap Amazon can sell you shirts). You make a

few dollars per shirt, but gain a life long client!

But how do you find these businesses you may ask?

[*Yellow Pages! *]

Yep, those are still a thing! The people who are still listing their company in the yellow pages

are usually the people who are going to be using local print shops and not ordering their

Merch online. These are PRIME targets to network with.

How is that for some out of the box thinking? Not really hard, everyone just needs to put in

some action to make the sales happen!

Create and Sell Band Merch to Local Bands

So the other day the team at Merch Informer was talking about the case study we will be

doing (it is coming everyone!), and someone through out a zero cost merch marketing idea

that caught my ear.

What if we contacted a band on craigslist and sold them/designed for them, their own band

Merch?

From our internet marketing days, Craigslist was an absolute gold mine for traffic, and I

know there are plenty of bands on Craigslist. It could work! Why not give it a shot! We

would rather try something and fail than try nothing at all and wonder if it will work (looking

at the Facebook groups complaining about not making sales…).

So here is what we did. First, go to craigslist, and locate the “gigs” section. It should look

something like this:

As you can see, we have only selected talent gigs on the left there and entered the keyword

“band”.

When you are going through these listings, you may see some ads like the second one in the

screenshot above. In this example, there is actually a restaurant looking for a band. You

know what else restaurants need? T-shirts! This is just another way to approach local

businesses like we just went over in the point above.

Back to the bands!

You will see a lot of ads here for bands, people looking for a band, or bands looking for extra

players. The vast majority of them are going to give some contact information.

Email them! I recommend that you email them and ask them if they have any band

merchandise for sale. This will let you know if they already have some. If not, you could

offer to design them for FREE if the band where to put a purchase order in with you (order

them on Merch). Super easy!

We put this method to the test and out of the 30 bands we contacted, we actually ended up

getting 11 responses which is very good. From there, a few of them put in small test orders

after we had a designer create some free band images for them. Not bad for a random

thought we had and then put into action!

Wrapping It Up

Marketing does not need to be complicated to see results. The best part of everything we

mentioned above is that it is ZERO cost and very minimal effort from you but still yields

incredible results. Instead of complaining about not making organic sales and getting lost in

the pack, follow some of the advice we just gave you and scale up your business by taking

action!

*5 Ways To Market Your Merch by Amazon *

Shirts for Free

Being part of all the Merch by Amazon Facebook groups and talking to people who are just

getting started with the platform often have the same complaint. They open up their

account and see they have 25 spots available. They will then slowly fill up the slots and after

3 weeks, may have a few sales or even worse nothing! Does this sound familiar, or is this

describing you?

I have seen over and over again posts like this, and then the responses are always the same

“have patience!”.

Coming from a marketing background, I always thought this was not the best response. If

you have nailed down your Merch SEO and made sure that your listings are good, you certainly could have patience and wait until they sell. This does work, and in the beginning

of my own account, this is exactly how I did it. There is nothing wrong with this approach

but in the sea of competition, you are not doing yourself any favors. In fact, you are falling

further behind by doing so.

You can either wait and waste precious time hoping you make a sale, or you can go out

there and make sales and SELL! This is the easiest way to get out of the 25 tier and really

give yourself the chance at success that you want to achieve.

Let’s get into the 6 best ways to market your Merch by Amazon shirts and exactly how to set

them up!

1. Instagram – Mobile Powerhouse

Just in the last couple of years, mobile users have surpassed desktop users. This is really not

that surprising seeing as how we are all busy people on the move.

What does that mean for Merch though? It means that if you are not marketing your Merch

on mobile friendly platforms, you are missing out!

One of my absolute favorite ways to take advantage of the mobile trend is selling on

Instagram. Instagram is both a visual platform as well as being very popular on mobile. The

combination of these make it an absolute powerhouse. I know people making $100,000+

per year just using Instagram. Let me walk you through how to create an account and the

best way to set it up.

Setting Up Instagram

It is possible to set this up on a desktop, but since Instagram is a mobile app and you need

to be a bit tech savy to do so, I will be running over the steps to get it set up on your phone.

Step 1: Make an account

Head on over to https://www.instagram.com/ and make yourself an account. I have found

that personal brands work really well for this. You can either log in with your Facebook or

provide your email, name, username and password. Then click sign up.

Step 2: Download the App

You will then need to download the app onto your phone. You can do so at the links below.

 Apple App Store

 Google Play Store

Step 3: Fill Out Your Profile

Once you have downloaded the app and logged in, you will now need to set up your

account. Navigate to the little “head” icon on the bottom right of the app which will bring up

your profile.

Next click on “edit your profile” which will bring up the page where you can fill it out. You

will want to add a profile cover photo, your username, your website, and your bio. There is a

spot for your private information as well but this will never be shown publicly.

Name: This is the spot to put your Instagram name which will show bold in your profile

anytime someone lands on your page. I personally use this as my brand, but if you are

making a personal brand, simply put in your name.

Username: This is going to be the username of your account and will also go into the URL of

anyone who is looking at your Instagram page. Make this the same as the name you just

entered but without spaces.

Bio: This is the spot to sell yourself and your brand! Make it short but interesting. What

makes your brand great? Why should people care? Put interesting bits of info here to make

them interested enough to click through to your products.

Website: This is the only place on Instagram that you will be able to put a clickable URL so

you need to make it count. This works BEST if you have a website set up linking to your

Amazon products. I know a lot of people do not have this set up (I will write a guide on it

soon) so instead, we are going to use a shortened URL that will look like this:

http://amzn.to/numbersletters. In order to make this URL to put in your bio follow these

steps.

 Step 1: Make an account here: https://bitly.com/. Easy and free.

 Step 2: In the upper right hand corner click on “Create Bitlink” which will be a bright

orange box.

 Step 3: Enter in your product URL for the products you are selling

 Step 4: It will then bring up a screen that shows you the shortened link

 Step 5: The link is now editable and you can change the URL to your liking. If you do this,

you will only be able to use a bit.ly link and NOT a shortened Amazon link.

 Step 6: Click on Save at the bottom. If the URL is already taken, you will need to change it

to something that is not.

Congratulations, you now have a fully functioning short link that you can use on Instagram

(or anywhere on the net!). Here is the example URL here so you can see how it

works: http://amzn.to/2ggVyuc.

Step 4: Building Your Instagram

Now that you have everything up, you need to start building your Insta. This means that you

need pictures of what your brand is about. Is your brand about basketball? Maybe some

action shots of people playing the sport with your shirts on? That would of course mean

that you would have to purchase some yourself to give them to people to wear. This can be

worth it so it might be something to consider.

You could also just download the images from Amazon and put them up, but these are both

boring, and will not garner the kind of response you are looking for.

So what do we do? We spice the images up!

This took me all of 30 seconds to create with our Merch Informer Logo, and best of all it was

free!

So how do we do this?

Head over to https://placeit.net/c/apparel. You will notice over 1,000 different apparel models where you will be able to upload your designs. These designs are then “placed” on the

models, that you can download and upload to Instagram!

 Select the model that you want to upload to

 Click on upload image

 Use the slider to position your image properly

 Apply the image to the model

 Click on download (you will need to create a free account)

 Select Small image (it will work just fine with Instagram)

 In the upper right hand corner under “My Drive” download the image and upload it to

any place you want!

Step 5: Use Hashtags

When you are uploading your images to Instagram, you will need to add a description.

When you are adding the description, be playful with it. Also make sure to include hash

tags!

What are hash tags?

Hash tags are what Instagram users use to find topics they are interested in. For example,

let’s say your brand is all about basketball and you made a nice image and have uploaded it.

After your description, include a few has tags. They look something like this.

Now people that are looking for basketball apparel will be able to find and see this post!

Pretty cool huh? You can pack the description full of RELEVANT hashtags!

Step 6: Gain Followers

The last step is to gain followers who will actually see when you are posting! There are 2

ways to do this that work extremely well.

The first way is to use trending and popular hashtags that are relevant to the topics you are

posting about. As long as you are properly using hashtags, you will naturally get some

followers.

That can be a slow process, so the best way to increase your followers is to follow other

people! You do not just want to follow anyone though, you want to follow people who are

going to follow you back. Here is the best way I have found to do this:

 Step 1: Look up a relevant hashtag. In this example we are going to use

#basketballclothes

 Step 2: Find an image that is relevant to your topic. I stumbled across this:

 Step 3: People who liked that post are interested in basketball clothes right? Great, we

just found a target audience that seems engaged!

 Step 4: Click on the names that commented on the picture. These are people that were

engaged with the niche and are likely people who will buy some clothing at some point.

 Step 5: Click on “Follow”. That user will now get a notification that you have followed

them. They will then probably check out your brand, and if they like what they see,

will follow you back. This means that each time you post an image, it will now show

up in their feed.

 Step 6: Continue with the above steps while building up your following base. All you

need is a few minutes each day to build this marketing channel.

That is basically the simple ins and outs of Instagram. So many people disregard this

marketing channel but it is an absolute powerhouse at driving traffic and making sales! If

you keep at this one and actually put in the time, you will eventually get to the point where

you are making constant sales day in and day out just from Instagram (not to mention from

organic traffic and increased organic sales because of the boosted sales rank!).

2. Twitter

Twitter is next in the list and one of the easiest places to drive traffic. Once you start

learning social media platforms, you will soon realize that most of them are very similar and

you grow them the exact same way.

Setting up a Twitter is really fast and can be grown in around 10 minutes a day while falling

asleep in bed on your mobile phone, or after you finish up work for the day.

Setting Up Twitter

This can be done on either a mobile phone or through your computer. Since I rarely use

mobile myself and do most work on the desktop that is what I will be walking you through

today.

Step 1: Create an account

Head on over to https://twitter.com/signup and enter your name, email address and password. For the name, I actually go with my brand name and not my personal name. You

can do either of course.

After this, you will need to choose a username. Again, I make this the brand. The next page

will ask you what you are interested in. This is basically to tailor your Twitter feed based on

your interests. Pick a few topics and click on continue. Follow a few people that are

interesting to you. Since you are just setting up your profile, follow the people that are

already selected and hit continue.

Finally you will need to confirm your email address in order to access a lot of the Twitter

features. So make sure to not forget that step!

Step 2: Build your Twitter

Now that you actually have an account, you need to add a few things to make it look nice.

The first thing to add is a profile picture. Since I am building this for a brand, I will put in the

logo. If you are building it for selling shirts (like I hope you are), then include your brand

image, or an image of your best selling shirt.

Once you have your profile picture, you need to add a cover photo. To do this, click on your

twitter name which should bring you to your feed.

At this point, it will look something like this:

That blue is a bit ugly. To change it, click on edit profile and then click on add a header

photo. You can move the image you pick to make it look nice, but when uploading make

sure the image is large enough.

[*Step 3: Tweet something! *]

Twitter is all about getting your message across in 140 characters or less. This can

sometimes be difficult if you have a lot to say, but this is the perfect medium to entice the

user just enough to click through and see what you are talking about.

Right after you have added your cover photo, it is time to create your first tweet. Head on

over to your profile page, and it will suggest that you can either tweet one of their first

tweets, or you can create your own.

As you can see I decided to add my own. You can see exactly how it looks by visiting this

link: https://twitter.com/merchinformer/status/802932725342752768.

Now, we want to use Twitter to make sales right?

Remember when we created a short link above in the Instagram section? These are

absolutely perfect to use with Twitter. Grab those links, or make some new ones. Tweet

about your designs and why people should check them out.

If you want to make even MORE money on top of the commission Merch by Amazon will

give you, you can even use Amazon associates to get an affiliate commission as well. That is

a discussion for another day though.

One final note about Tweeting. They use hashtags as well! Just like Instagram above, make

sure to include relevant hashtags. This helps people find you. If they find you and like your

content, they will follow you.

Make sure that everything you are putting out is not a promotion. People do not want to be

spammed with Amazon links all day long. You need to make it about your brand or the niche

that you are creating shirt designs on. If your designs are around basketball, tweet about

upcoming games, thoughts on clothing, people involved in the sport. You want to be seen as

someone who knows what they are talking about in the niche (and also sells shirts).

Step 4: Gain Twitter Followers

This section might start to feel familiar to you. We are going to gain followers by following

other people!

We do not want to just target anyone though. We want to follow people who are both

interested in our niche as well as being a potential customer for our designs.

The way we do this is find other accounts that are selling merchandise, and look at there

followers. Their followers will be people interested in the niche, but also interested in

clothing.

Going with the basketball example from earlier, I would type something like “basketball

shirts” into the twitter search bar. Then at the very top, select “Accounts”.

Go through the accounts listed and see if anything listed is a brand in your niche. Right

down below I see this:

That right there is a t-shirt brand in our niche! Click the name to go to their profile page.

Now is where the fun begins.

You will see that at the time of writing this, they have a little over 1,000 followers. This is

1,000 people that are interested in t-shirts in our niche. Time to follow those people! Click

on the followers.

Now you will see the list of people following them. Simply go through this list slowly and

start to follow the personal accounts of people who are interested. If they see that you

followed them, they will check out your profile and if they like what you are posting, will

follow you back!

When these people are following you, they will get your Twitter posts in their feeds. Trust

me when I say this can drive MASSIVE amounts of traffic if you keep up the following every

day.

3. Pinterest

If you have been following the Merch Informer blog at all, we already released a pretty in

depth guide to Pinterest. Even though I know a lot of people saw and read this article, most people I follow up with are not taking action here. Pinterest is and will remain my favorite

way to promote products, especially t-shirts. Why? Because their demographic is absolutely

perfect for making sales!

Just look at that for a moment. Specifically look at the income break down and gender. Most

people on Pinterest are women who have money to spend! Could it get any better than

that? I know from promoting lots of things on Pinterest in the past that the platform drives

an absolutely insane amount of traffic and with very little work involved.

Wouldn’t it be great to have 1,000+ extra eyes on your products each and every day? That is

what is possible with Pinterest. I have a website that gets that much traffic from this

platform daily and I have not touched it in probably a years time.

Setting Up Pinterest

Setting up Pinterest for the best possible results can be a bit time consuming. Remember

that you get out of Merch by Amazon what you put into it. Keep up your efforts and they

will pay off.

Step 1: Create an account

In order to use the platform you need to create an account. Head on over to the link

here: https://www.pinterest.com/join/ and sign up.

Now before you go entering in your details, you will notice you have two options here. You

have the option to sign up for a business account or a personal account. Do not sign up for a

business account (even if you are a business).

In fact, you want to sign up for a personal account and you want to make sure you sign up

with a female name. Why? Because after testing the Pinterest platform for over a year I

know that personal accounts on Pinterest with a female name will get the most traction. You

will get the more followers, you will get more clicks, and best of all, you will make more

sales!

When you are on the sign up page you will need to come up with a name and enter your

gender. Make up a name and make sure you pick female. Fill out the rest and click on the

come on in button. You will then need to pick 4 topics that interest you. I generally just click

on whatever looks interesting but this part does not matter much.

Finally, it will bring you a step where it will ask you to get the Pinterest browser button. You

want this, so download and install it!

Step 2: Setting up your account

By now you should be on the home feed page. Look near the top of the page where you

should see a search bar and click on the little person head. This should bring you to your

profile. This profile is where you will set up who you are on Pinterest and looks like this:

If you are not familiar with the Pinterest platform, think of it as an image board. You will pin

or put images into boards that you find interesting. These images that you put up will

contain information below them on where someone can find whatever you just linked to.

The entire goal here is to get people to come to your boards and check out what images you

have put up. If you do not have your profile filled out or any boards that are interesting to

look at, no one is going to want to check you out or follow you. Your goal is to be interesting

and have something worthwhile to check out. How do we start doing that? We put up

boards with Images! Keep in mind that you are building an interesting persona. Each of the

boards you create should be in the niches that you have designs in.

You should see the above image that says create board. Click on the big red button and you

will be able to create your very first board. The name of the board is important so make sure

you enter in a name that is relevant to the niche you are going to post images about. Give it

a description, category, and then click on the create button. In this example, we are going to

use the dog niche.

You have not created a board. This board is empty and contains no images. Remember the

plugin you downloaded and installed to your browser? This is what you are going to use to

pin images to your board. Open up a new tab and go to Google images and find something

interesting in the niche of your board. Once you open up an image, click on the browser

Pinterest button and add it to the board you just created.

Tip: Filling out these boards is incredibly easy if you repin images that are already on

Pinterest! To be able to do this, go to the top search board and search for keywords in your

niche.

Next, find an image that you want to include on your board. You will see a pin/save button

in the upper right hand corner of the image. You will want to click on that.

The next screen will ask you what board you want to save this image to. Save it to the board

you just created and then go back to your profile. You should see that image is now in one of

your Pinterest boards!

Congratulations, you have added your first image. Now is when the work comes in to play.

Start by adding 30-50 images per board. Remember each board is a niche that you have

created designs in.

Now pay attention here. You need to look like a real person who has real interests and

hobbies for this entire marketing strategy to work for you. This means that you will need to

create a lot of boards. Think 20-30 boards! Each of those boards having 30-50 images is

best. This might seem like a lot of hard work. The fact of the matter is that it just will not

work if you only have 5 boards with a few images. Do not JUST link your shirts on Pinterest.

This is marketing. Create something worthwhile and provide value to the potential customer

first.

Once you have all the boards up and images in each one of them, you are now ready to go

on to the next step and open up the traffic floodgates.

Step 3: Gaining followers

Pinterest is all about followers. The people who follow you are the ones who will see each

image you upload in their feed. Familiar to the above sections right? What this means for

you is that when you have enough followers each time you post an image or a t-shirt that

you created on Merch by Amazon, your followers will see it in their feed. If they see

something they like, they will go and click on the link bringing them over to Amazon and

hopefully purchase it from you. The more followers you have the more traffic you will get.

The more traffic you get, the more sales you make.

Not only will followers possibly click through, they just might repin the image on their own

boards. This is why Pinterest is so powerful. You can have 1 image online, and people keep

repinning it on their own boards, who then get repins from their followers, and the image

gets circulated constantly driving traffic.

If you follow the suggestions I am about to go over, then you can achieve a pretty large

following in a short amount of time. This is an account I have been working on a bit but have

never advertised any of my shirts on. When I do, it will really open up the flood gates.

If you notice that I am following more people than are following me back, there is a reason

for that. The reason is that the technique to gain followers is to follow other people. If you

follow someone, that person will get a notification that you have followed them. They will

then likely click over to your profile and look at you boards. If they see something they like

or something interesting they will probably follow you back! Very simple and effective.

So how do you know who you should follow? Well, remember when I talked above about

repinning images that are already on Pinterest? Each one of those photos was more than

likely liked or commented on. These are people that are interested in that type of content!

Go back and find those images and see who commented/liked. Click through each one of

them and start following these people. They are already engaged with the content in your

niche which makes them the perfect target audience to sell to! Since they are actually

engaging with the content, this probably means that they are active Pinterest users and will

see the notification that you followed them. Think of each follow as a potential customer in

the future.

Follow Limits

I need to make a side note here because this is an issue you are very likely to have when you

first start your account. When you start off and do not have any followers there is going to

be a limit of the amount of people that you can follow before Pinterest tells you to slow

down. This is generally because you do not have enough people following you back or that

you are following people too fast. If this happens to you, simply wait an hour and start

following again. If after a few days you still have the limit being imposed on you, go back

through your followed list and unfollow the people who did not follow you back. This will

improve your ratio and let you keep going. Remember that if someone does not follow you

back they will never see your content or your shirts that you are going to be putting up. If

they do not see your content they will never buy from you so simply unfollow them.

Gaining Followers Quickly

If you want to build very fast, my favorite technique is to simply repin images that have been

shared or liked a lot of times. One of my niches has a bunch of motivation quotes overlaid

on images. These are shared a ridiculous amount of times. The more shares you get, the

bigger your account’s reach. For this reason I will likely put up a lot of these images on my

boards. The reason this works so well is that when your pins are shared, people can see the

original source of the image and will come check you out. After you start gaining followers

who are interesting with your content, your account just grows and grows with traffic

pouring in forever. Your old images will continue getting the traffic from day 1.

Posting Merch by Amazon Tees to Pinterest

When you first start building your account I really recommend that you do not just start

posting and pinning all your merch shirts straight away. The goal is to come off like a regular

person with interests and hobbies. Do you think a regular person would start pushing

products in front of your face as soon as they sign up for a social network? The answer is no

way!

When I build my accounts I will wait until I have a decent size audience to promote to.

Generally this is around 5k followers but each one of you will need to make your own

decision on what is best for your brand. Around this point is when you can start pinning

your Merch tees to the boards you have them up. Mix up your pins with other content as

well. If you start just simply spamming people with t shirts, they might unfollow you. If they

do like your content and especially like your shirts, they might purchase from you and then

repin that image on their own boards so their audience can have a chance to buy from you

as well. I would recommend posting 1 merch shirt for every 10-15 regular pins you do.

Large group pin board

Step 4: Join Group Boards

This is a more advanced method that not everyone will be able to do right away. When you

are building your account you may have run across something that looked interesting called

group boards. These are pin boards that multiple people can post to at the same time. Some

of the popular boards are absolutely massive and if you manage to get a pin up on one of

them, you will open your product up to a LOT of eyeballs who may purchase your products!

If you just follow all the instructions I have given you in this section you will building your

account and people will eventually start contacting you to post in their group boards. At this

point, I probably get around 20 of these every month. When I get them, I go and see if the

boards are in my niche and if they have a lot of followers. If they are in my niche and have a

good amount of followers I will join them and post some images. If not, just skip it!

I personally wait for people to come to me, but you can also contact the person who runs

the group board and request an invite. If you do not have a good following yourself you will

more than likely be ignored. This is why I suggest that you build your account up a little bit

before going with this strategy.

4. Facebook Groups/Pages

Facebook groups are some of the best possible places to promote if you can get an admin

on board to help push your designs to their audience. Not only do Facebook groups work

well but the same goes for Pages. Both of these are a targeted audience that is involved in

their niche. I would say groups are a bit more involved because generally the groups are free

to post in to start conversion with each other. Let’s walk through on how to find these

groups/pages and how you should approach the situation.

Step 1: Search

The very first step is of course to look for what kind of groups and or pages exist in your

niche. To do this, you must be logged in on facebook. At the very top you will see a search

bar. Enter in your niche topic and hit go.

At first this will bring up pages and photos sorted by “top”. Right below the search bar you

will see the different categories you can choose from. For this example we are looking at

both Pages and Groups.

Go through both the groups and the pages for relevant pages that you think could do well

with some of the Merch you created. I tend to look for groups and pages that have at least

1,000 likes, or at least 1,000 group members.

Here is a group I came across in the niche. These are fans of VCU Basketball.

What you should do at this point is come up with maybe 10-20 different groups that you

want to approach. Add them to a list or a spreadsheet for the next step.’

Step 2: Contact the admin(s)

Once you have your list of Facebook groups and pages, you will want to click over to them

and check out the page. The first thing I will do is join them to have a look around and see

what kind of information they are discussing. Are the members involved in discussion? Your

best bet is to approach groups and pages that have a lot of interaction. Another thing you

will want to look at is who the admins are.

As you can see from the above picture, this group has a couple of admins. You will want to

either add them as a friend (once you are actually part of the group), or send them a

message.

NOTE: The vast majority of people who run groups will not promote your Merch for free.

Why would they? They went through the hard work of building the group in one way or

another and would want to be compensated for advertising your Merch shirts. Typically you

should think about offering them a higher percentage than you take yourself so they feel

like they are getting a good deal out of it. This does not always work which is why you added

more than 1 group/page to your list!

Once you have come to a deal with the admins, it is time to give them the link to promote!

To do this and to keep track of exactly how much it makes, I would highly suggest giving

them one of the sample direct links only. This way you will not get any sales from organic

traffic so you will be able to split the profits without any guess work.

Step 3: Get involved in the comments

When the admins do post your shirt, you want to come off as a real person who is behind

the designs (because you are!). This means that when it is posted and people start

commenting and tagging their friends, you should be there answering their questions.

People are much more likely to buy from you when they can put a face to the brand.

[*Step 4: Keep trying! *]

Not every admin you contact will agree to your terms or even give you the time of day. In

fact, if I am completely honest with you, the VAST majority of admins will just tell you off.

Some might even decide they like your design and mimic it through another POD platform. I

can certainly attest to the fact that when you are doing something right, your competitors

start mimicking you.

This is not the end of the world. If you go into this entire method with the mindset that you

are going to be rejected and be rejected often, you can easily get past it. It is a numbers

game! Just keep contacting people until you get someone to promote your Merch for a cut

of the profits. If all else fails, you can run Facebook ads to their audience anyways, but that

is a topic for another day.

5. Church Groups – Out of the box thinking

When selling things online, Merch shirts included, we often forget that real people are

behind the numbers that show up in our dashboard. Not only are real people buying our

designs, but sometimes they can be groups and organizations that buy a tee for everyone in

the group.

I am willing to bet that most of you at some point have been to a church or may currently be

part of a church of some type. To me, these groups check all the right boxes to sell to. They

are very passionate about their niche (religion), and they are extremely giving for a good

cause.

The first thing I thought of was contacting the local confirmation group at the local church.

People in confirmation are often doing activities together and this is the perfect group to

approach. Want to get out of the 25 tier as fast as possible? Offer to make them t-shirts and

sell them at cost! Easy peasy.

Want to take it a step further? What about making designs for church groups, selling them

the t-shirts at normal cost, and then donating the profits? After all, church groups are all

about giving and helping those in need. They buy from you, but the profits go right back to

someone who needs it.

Now when you are thinking about doing this, remember that you cannot actually state on

your product page that you are going to give the profits to a charity. That is strictly against

the rules. That being said, there is absolutely nothing against telling close members of a

group you are part of that you will be donating the profits and then actually doing it!

When thinking about this method, do not JUST think about church groups. A lot of you have

kids of your own. Think about what type of organizations they are part of. Here is just a

small list to get you thinking.

 Sports teams

 School groups

 After school programs

 Old persons home

 5k runs

 Concert organizers

 Volunteer teams

You might be sitting there and thinking, “wow, that sounds like a lot of work!”. Well, while

you are sitting there thinking about it, someone else is out there taking action. In fact, I

know someone who just pulled a 1,000 shirt order in 1 swoop. How many shirts are you

selling a month? There is opportunity right in front of you, just go grab it!

Wrapping It Up

You do not need to be idle on the sidelines and patiently wait to sell shirts. After all, if you

want to make it on the internet, you need to learn marketing. I have laid out the 5 easiest

ways to go out and actually sell your products. This can really be used for any industry, but

works perfectly on clothing. Everyone wears clothes and probably always will. Go out and

sell to the masses. You can pick a single method listed above and really hit it hard, or you

may decide to try your hand at all of them. Either way, put your efforts into something

instead of falling behind as an observer while others forge ahead. Best of luck out there!

*Leverage Pinterest Marketing To Sell Your *

Merch Shirts

Amazon is an absolute powerhouse for selling items online. At the time of writing

this, they are the 5th most visited website in the USA and the 10th most visited

website in the entire world. With over 2 billion visitors each and every month, Merch

by Amazon has allowed us to start to leverage this incredible traffic source to make

more sales.

With all the traffic available though, there are also a lot of sellers that are relying only

on organic traffic to make money. This can make sense if you are in the higher tiers

and have hundreds if not thousands of designs uploaded to the platform. But what of

the beginner who only has 25 shirts uploaded and cannot seem to get any sales to

tier up? How can you make yourself stand out among the more than 1 million shirts

uploaded to Merch thus far? You start advertising yourself!

[*Where Should You Market? *]

There are two types of marketing, free and paid. If you are new to internet marketing

in general, learning paid advertisements is a long and hard process. Marketing for

free is much easier and generally a lot more fun! The first thing you need to figure

out when looking into what platform you are going to start marketing on, is ask

yourself “Where does my target audience hang out”. You want to go to where they

are, not have them come to you.

In this section I am going to be going over Pinterest as a form of marketing, and why you should not be skipping this tactic if you are selling shirts on Merch by Amazon.

Target Market: Pinterest

Coming from an internet marketing background, Pinterest is one of the most

overlooked platforms that you can be on. Pinterest is perfect for driving mass

amounts of traffic and especially sales. The demographic breakdown is perfect for

our target audience.

This infographic by sprout social lays it out perfectly. The platform is dominated by

women who are educated and have disposable income. I may be generalizing here,

but most of the women in my life love to shop! People who love shopping and have

the money to spend? THAT is the target audience we want to reach, and now we

know they are hanging out on Pinterest. Let’s get into how to set up your account

and exactly how you can leverage this audience to make more sales.

Setting Up Your Pinterest Account

The first step in setting up your account is to actually sign up! You can do so by

visiting this link: https://www.pinterest.com/join/.

When you are signing up, you have two options. You can either sign up for a personal

account, or sign up for a business account. Let me make it VERY clear right now. *You *

want to sign up for a personal account with a female name. If that did not register

the first time, please read it again and then do it! I have run businesses and personal

accounts on Pinterest and for the purposes of selling shirts, you want the best

traction you can get. You will simply get more followers (more eyes on your shirts) if

you have a female name and it is not a business account.

The sign up page will ask you for your name (make one up!), and your gender

(female!). Fill these out and click come on in. It will ask you to choose 4 topics you

like. For this, I generally just pick whatever looks interesting. Finally, the next step will

ask you to get the Pinterest browser button. You want this! Get it!

The screen it will bring you too is called your home feed. Notice at the top there is a

little search bar? Go all the way to the right and you will see a little person figure.

Click this to bring you to your profile. This is the area where you will be building out

your profile! It should look just like this:

The way Pinterest works is that you “pin” or place images into boards that are

interesting to you. These images can contain links that will let someone know where

they can learn more.

No one is going to want to follow or check out a person on pinterest if they do not

have anything interesting to look at. Your goal is to be someone that has something

to share. In order to do this, we need some boards with images! Remember that you

are creating a persona here. You want your persona to like all the niches that you

created t-shirt designs about! Makes sense right?

To get started, click on that big red “create board” button front and center. It will then

bring up a page where you can create your board. Give it a niche relevant name, a

description, category, and then click on create. For the purpose of this example, let’s

say my niche is “dogs” and I have shirts created under this niche.

After you create your board, it will be completely empty with no images. This is

where the plugin you downloaded and installed into your browser comes into play.

You can either go to Google and start looking for images from your board. Once you

open an image, simply click on the pin button in your browser and add it to the board

you created.

Pro Tip: My favorite way to fill out these boards though is by repinning images that

are already on Pinterest! To do this, simply go to the top search bar and search for

images that you want to include on your board.

Find an image you want to place on your board and click on it. You should see a little

Pin/Save button on the upper right hand corner of the image.

It will then ask you what board you want to save it to. Save it to the board you just

created! If you navigate back over to your profile, you will then see the image in that

board.

Now that you know the process of adding images, you need to add lots of images. I

would say about 30-40 images per board.

Here is the kicker. You NEED to look like a real person who has real interests for this

marketing strategy to work. This means that you need to create 20-30 boards each

having 30-40 images. Yes, this is a lot of hard work, but it will pay off in the form of

Merch by Amazon sales! Make sure that each board you are creating is at least semi

relevant to one of the t-shirt niches that you have online.

Once you are done creating your boards and populating them with images, you are

ready to move on to the next step, getting followers (which means traffic!).

Gaining Followers and Getting Traffic

Followers are how Pinterest operates. The people who chose to follow you are the

ones who are going to see the images that you upload in their feed (sort of like

Facebook). This means that if you have enough followers, the moment you post a t-

shirt that you have on Merch by Amazon, your followers will see it in their feed and

might go purchase it. You are getting your products in front of more eyeballs instead

of relying on organic traffic on Amazon.

Following the suggestions I am about to show you, this is an image of an account that

I have been working on for about a month. So far I have not advertised any of my

shirts on it, but I think I am almost to the point where it will be helpful:

As you can see from the above image, I am following more people than follow me.

This is because the entire technique to gain followers is to follow other people! By

following other people, they will get a notification that you followed them and most

likely check out what you have on your own boards. If they like what is on your

boards, they will follow you back! Pretty simple right?

So who should you follow? Remember above when I gave you the pro tip of

repinning images to your board that are already on Pinterest? Well, each one of

those images has probably been liked and commented on by someone already. Go

back and find those images. The people that liked/commented are interested in your

niche, and like the content you are likely offering. We know this because they already

engaged with the content! Now all you need to do is follow them. Since they are

active users, once you follow them and they see that the content you have is good,

they will follow back. Each and every follow is another potential customer, always

remember that.

Follow Limits

When you first start following people and do not have any followers, there is going to

be a limit between how many people you can follow before they decide to block you

for a while. If you reach this wall, simply wait a bit (typically 15 min to an hour) and

you can start following again. Eventually, enough people will begin following you back

that you can keep going. If after a few days you are still at the limit and cannot

continue, start unfollowing all the people that did not follow you back! This gives

more room to follow people who are interested in your content. If someone does not

follow you back, this means they will never see your content, or your shirts that you

will be posting at a later date so they are useless. Unfollow them and continue!

Automating Follows/Unfollows

The above can all be done with lots of spare time and a little patience. It does take a

while to get done but it does work extremely well. If you are a little more tech

inclined than the average person, you may be able to start automating this process.

There are 2 ways to do this; software, and imacros. This section will not go over how

to use these tools, but if you want to go with a premade software, I have

used pinblaster in the past. This is a paid software, so only use it after you have seen some results with the methods that have been laid out in this article.

The other is to use imacros. This is essentially a plugin that you can use to automate

certain internet tasks. You can visit and download imacros

here: http://imacros.net/download. In order to make imacros work, you need to be able to write a script or find one online. Simply search and see if you can find a

working one.

Best Way To Gain Followers Fast

The best way I have personally experienced is to put up content that has been

shared/liked lots of times. In one of my niches, the content that dominates are the

images with motivational quotes overlaid on them. These get shared time and time

again, and when content is shared, your account actually grows as well! People are

able to see where the content was shared from, and will follow back to your board.

This is actually why Pinterest is so popular! Once you have a good foundation of

followers and images, you will continue getting traffic almost forever as people share

and repin images that are old and continue showing up as fresh content to new

pinners.

[*Posting Your Merch by Amazon T-Shirts to *]

Pinterest

When building your Pinterest account, I really suggest that you do not start posting

your shirts right away. You want to come off like a regular person! Does a regular

person start pushing products down your throat as soon as they sign up? Most likely

not.

I personally like to wait until I have a good sized audience before I would start

advertising to them. I think a good rule of thumb is wait till you have around 5k

followers. At this point, you can start pinning your Merch T-Shirts to the boards you

have up. Make sure to mix them with other content as well. You do not want to make

someone unfollow you because you are spamming them with unwanted t-shirts. If

they see it and like it, they will purchase from you! If they repin that image from your

board to their own, then their audience will see your shirt. How great is that? More

eyeballs on your shirts without paying a single cent to market them!

[*Pinterest/Merch by Amazon Advanced *]

Method

Large group pin board

During your time building your Pinterest account you may have come across

something called group boards. These are Pin boards where multiple people can post

to the same board. These are generally massive, and followed by a LOT of people

(aka, lots of potential buyers).

If you follow the instructions above to build your account, eventually these big

boards are going to contact YOU to pin on their group boards. I get probably 20 of

these invitations a month. I simply go through, check to see if the board has a lot of

followers, and if it does, I will become a submitted to that board. If not, I will simply

decline and go on with my life.

You could wait for these to start coming in, but you can also contact the person who

runs that board and request an invite. These a lot of the time are ignored, so I would

suggest simply waiting until your account is big enough (around 5-10k followers)

before you start going with that strategy.

Just The Beginning

This is really just scratching the surface of what is possible by promoting your Merch

tee shirts on Pinterest. There are so many potential buyers out there in your niche

that would love to purchase something from you if only they knew it existed. Get

your products in front of the audience that cares and leverage Pinterest to sell more

shirts than you thought was possible. This is a great way to drive traffic yourself, and

for free! Following the above strategy, you should skyrocket yourself right out of that

annoying 25 tier from Merch by Amazon.

*Growth Hacking Pinterest To Sell Amazon *

Merch

How many times have you seen someone mention or felt that you were just not getting any

sales through Merch by Amazon leaving frustrated even though they were all posted on

social media? Social media can be one of the biggest opportunities for selling your Merch if

you do it correctly. The fact is though, that simply posting your shirts to social media is not

going to work unless you put in the leg work first.

Posting your shirt on your personal Facebook account is not going to get much traction as

none of your friends are specifically targeted. Tweeting about your design to the 1200

followers you got by doing a giveaway is NOT going to turn into more sales. Half or more of

those giveaway followers are fake and used specifically to join these type of giveaways and

they are just looking for free product and could care less about your product. It just does

not work this way!

The above might sound a little harsh, and it is to an extent, but it is true. Everyone is coming

at social media with a single angle of “sell shirts, sell shirts, sell shirts” without taking the

time and consider why these people would want to purchase from you in the first place?

You have to give and provide value before the majority of people will trust you and purchase

something you created. This is similar to why you should try the 3 day trial of Merch

Informer.

The perfect example of this is the Youtuber Philip Defranco that we talked about in the

article on how to price your merch shirts. If you are not familiar, he runs a youtube show where he talks about current events, much like a news station. He also happens to sell a LOT

of merch.

He clearly did not start out his channel to push merch to everyone. He started his channel to

give people information that they were looking for and get some entertainment. It was only

later that he pushed out merch and because he was connected to his audience, they eat it

up each and every week. THIS is how you need to approach marketing your shirts to people.

Give value first, sell them later. In my opinion, there is no better way to do this than utilizing

Pinterest.

Pinterest – The Perfect Buyer Profile

You could choose any social network you wanted to build and to sell followers your merch

but I still think Pinterest is by far the best targeted audience that you can get.

If you take a look at the image above, you will notice a few things that should stand out

immediately. Pinterest is made up of mostly women who have an education and have a

disposable income. Having a disposable income means that these women are BUYERS!

Seriously, if anyone uses Pinterest themselves or has a significant other that does, you will

know that when on the site, they are in a buying mood and are basically shopping around

for things to purchase.

The key is to not focus on every social media network that you can find to post your shirts

to, but to pick a single platform and focus on it till you master how it works. The best

platforms to start on are the ones that are going to turn into the highest ROI for your time.

Free USA Traffic In Bulk

Running paid traffic to a USA audience can be incredibly expensive. We went over a way to

get your adspend lowered at the same time as building your social proof when running

Facebook ads to Merch by Amazon listings a few weeks ago. You still need to do a ton of testing to get these campaigns right and turning into some sales from you.

If you build out a Pinterest profile, you expect USA traffic for free. Not only will you get USA

traffic, but you will get a LOT of it if you do it right.

Think about how many people might look at your shirts right now organically through

Amazon. Making sales you might think you will just stick with organic traffic right? Well, how

many more sales do you think you would get if you were driving traffic that looked like this?

The fact that this is a relatively small account of mine should be telling. There is a LOT of

room for growth on Pinterest and if you look at the audience broken down by country, you

have the majority of the people being from the USA, which means they can readily purchase

your shirts from Amazon.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

See that image there?

What about this one…

These are from an account I have not touched in many months!

With other types of paid advertising, or with Instagram and the majority of Facebook, once

you post something, it will show up on someones feed and then die off over time.

With Pinterest, once you pin something to one of your boards, from that point on, it will

continue being “repinned” by followers, and followers of followers driving traffic from

people outside your audience.

[*Confused? *]

Imagine this: You have a social media account with 1000 followers. You post an image of

your t-shirt and 3 people out of 1000 like it enough to repin it to their own boards. Now,

they may like the image and not buy at all. Waste of time right? Wrong!

Imagine that the 3 people that repinned your shirt have a combined 10,000 followers. All of

those people are now going to see your shirt pin. From those 10,000 people, maybe 15

decide to repin the image to their boards… so on and so forth.

Pinterest is literally a tumbleweed that once you get started properly, the traffic just keeps

on pouring in and never really stops. I have preferred using this social media since I first got

into selling online and to this day it drives thousands of visitors to my websites and now to t-

shirts.

[*How To Do It “Right” *]

You keep seeing me mention creating a Pinterest account the “right” way. What does that

even mean?

It simply means that you need to create and build your account by giving value to others

(your followers).

The very first thing you should do is read the Amazon Merch Pinterest Marketing article we put up. This will explain to you how to set up your account in detail and get started.

A few main points you should take away from that article are these: You should always use a

female personal profile. These get the very highest engagement from any type of account I

have tested. Note that you will not have access to analytics if you use a personal profile. We

want to build up a profile to drive traffic so completely forget about their advertising

platform. It is incredibly expensive.

Second, you really do need to make your profile look and feel lie a real person who has real

interests in what they are posting about. Since I have a LOT of shirts in a lot of different

niches, I will create a profile that is just interested in all those niches. Each niche becomes its

own board.

Finally, and this is the big important READ THIS section of the article where I tell you again

that you need to PROVIDE VALUE to followers. No one is ever going to follow you and look

at your content if you are just constantly trying to shove advertisements down their throat.

No one likes this and if you try and just post your shirts on all your boards with little to

nothing in between, you will fail.

In the original article I recommended 20-30 boards to start with. I still think this is a good

amount of boards to get going right away. The biggest tip I can give you though is to limit

the amount of times you post your shirts. Sounds almost backwards, but the goal at first

should be to grow the account and gain followers, not to sell when you are first getting

started. Once the account starts growing and you hit 5-10k subscribers, I would recommend

pinning your shirt (mockups from https://placeit.net/ work great here), one time for every 15-20 other pins in that board you have. For example, I might post 15-20 different images

related to cute pugs before I post a mockup of my pug shirt on Amazon. Then I would post

15-20 other images before I even thought of posting another shirt. If you decide to use the

mockups from placeit.net, we got in contact with them and they are willing to give 15% off

to Merch Informer readers.

If you follow that general rule of thumb, you are going to provide your audience value,

entertainment, and advertise to them without being pushy or annoying. The less you can

annoy your audience the more successful you will be.

Gain Followers and Grow

The last part of the entire equation is to gain followers. We went over this in the original

Pinterest article, so I will not bother you with the small details. You will need to work at this every single day. Once your account gets large enough, you can start to slack off a bit and it

will continue to grow, but at first, you will need to focus. This means that every day you will

need to be following accounts that are interested in your material.

Pinterest operates on followers. These are the people that are going to potentially repin

your pins, so make sure that you are following people that are interested in your niche. You

can do this by looking at the followers of other accounts in your niche or people who are

following group boards. Joining group boards can be one of the best things you can do to

drive traffic AND gain followers at the same time.

Wrapping It Up

Instead of wasting your time trying to promote your shirts to fake followers on Twitter,

spend the time and put in the work to grow a social network that is going to keep paying

you back months and months after the initial effort occurred. Pinterest is the perfect

platform to sell almost anything under the sun to their perfect buyer profile users. Use this

to your advantage and sell your merch! Good luck.

*How To Run Facebook Ads To Merch by *

Amazon Listings

How many of you just landed on this guide and have already tried running paid advertising

to your merch listings? Out of all the people that have, I bet the vast majority of you ran

paid advertising using Facebook ads and reported back that they were expensive and a

waste of time.

I have been there! Being involved in the affiliate marketing community over the last few

years before I got involved in Merch by Amazon and print on demand, I burned 10’s of

thousands of dollars on Facebook without making all of that money back. I certainly do not

claim to be a FB ads expert but all of that ad spend did teach me a few things that we at

Merch Informer have been playing around with Merch.

Instead of paying someone (who probably has no idea what they are talking about) for a

guide on running paid traffic, learn it for yourself with all the free information available. No

one is going to give away all their secrets unless they have something to sell (Have you

signed up for our 3 day trial yet?), or they are just trying to make a quick buck.

So with that being said, let’s get into some of the strategies and what I think the major issue

is with running FB ads and how you can fix it.

Facebook Ads For Longterm Growth

One of the biggest mistakes that I see in the Facebook groups as well as the POD space is

that people run Facebook ads towards a shirt that is nothing more than a trend. They are

trying to capitalize on something that may only be a “thing” for the next week or so. This

CAN work and lead to a lot of extra dollars in your pocket, but it is also playing with fire.

You know who is also running ads towards trendy tees? Everyone else!

Not only is everyone else in the Facebook game and POD game trying to game the same

system for the same trends, but not everyone is going to win that game. There are going to

be a lot of losers and when it comes to FB ads, you need to do a lot of testing to get a

profitable campaign. If you are afraid of losing 10-20 dollars a day, you should not even be

considering running paid traffic at all. Not every campaign will make you money, and you

need to be comfortable with that to be successful with the methods we will talk about.

So what should you be focusing on if not trends where there is sure to be massive demand

for a while?

Evergreen designs in highly competitive niches!

Take the niche above for example. The autism niche has a ton of great shirts but there are a

LOT of shirts available in that niche because they sell well, but the people that buy them are

very passionate about the cause.

If you were to put a shirt up in this niche, it would be very hard to get organic sales because

you would be up against over 6 thousand other results. Sure, you could play around with

price and getting your bullet points just right with the correct keywords, but even then, you

would be fighting an uphill battle.

In order to get the BSR rank that you need and rank in the search results, you will need

sales. If you can get just a few sales, this will boost your BSR and also your search ranking

position which will lead to ORGANIC sales. Once you are ranked in niches like these and get

a few reviews coming in, they will continue making profit for you years down the line.

If you take anything from this entire article, remember this:

Sales from external traffic = higher organic

rankings

This means your paid traffic campaigns with Facebook ads do NOT need to turn a profit right

away. You only need to aim for break even or even a slight loss. If you take a $100 loss this

week but get enough sales from your $100 loss that your product is now ranked and brings

in daily organic sales, you come out WAY ahead.

Your $100 campaign loss might turn into $5,000 net profit for the entire year. Worth it right?

You might not even come out in the red right away. The end goal is to ALWAYS break even.

Optimize until you break even.

Non Seasonal Niches

To get started with the Facebook ads below, you need to have a few things picked out.

First, you need to find some keywords/niches that have a good amount of monthly sales. I

would say anywhere between 50-100 (or higher), is where you should be aiming. Use

the Merch informer Product search to dig up best sellers like the the screenshot above.

You also should be using the Keyword Tool to make sure that the niche is not seasonal. You do not want to be running ad spend for a niche that will only bring you money back for a

short period of time and then go dormant for the rest of the year. This is a waste of this FB

ads technique.

Running Facebook Ads

First, let me show you an image of what I was able to achieve by playing around with this

method:

Now that you know what is possible, let me go into HOW to get these cheap clicks, and how

you can use them to actually get sales.

Stick with me on this one, let’s do it.

Thought Process

If you have never run ads before, this might be a concept that is not familiar to you. The way

they generally work is that there is a pool of people (the audience), and each advertiser bids

for that audience kind of like an auction.

Econ 101 is at play here meaning good old supply and demand are going to influence how

much people are paying for clicks depending on what audience you are going after.

In this scenario, people have a cost, and some people are more expensive to reach than

others.

Why might one demographic be more expensive than another? Value! You hear it time and

time again in marketing circles, but certain people just provide more value to your business

than others. This same concept can be used when thinking about Facebook ads.

Testing

Using what I just mentioned about the value of the user, the thought was that if I could find

people that were plenty in “supply” but not many people were advertising to (low demand),

I could get a ton of engagement

The content that I decided I was going to test this out on was just a single Amazon T-shirt

post that I had put up one of my Facebook pages. Keep in mind there are a few ways to get

cheap clicks, and this is one of them.

Picking Your Low Demand Audience

In order to get the cheapest clicks possible, I needed to advertise to people that no one else

wanted to run ads to. This is what I came up with:

These countries seemed to work extremely well for this experiment.

Pro tip: running ads to Spanish speaking countries also seems to work great.

Now you might be sitting here saying to yourself, okay, so how does that help me? We will

get there, I promise!

The reason I think these countries are so incredibly cheap to advertise to is that not only do

they have a low purchase intent, but they generally have a LOT LESS income that they can

just blow on random online purchases. The English speaking population is also much less

(try running ads to non English speakers if you want the cheapest clicks you have ever seen).

After you pick your audience, you need to throw a few interests in there. Since the main

population of those countries is going to be massive, we can niche them down just a bit

based on interests which is actually going to come in handy with the second part of how this

technique works.

For this particular ad, I set up the interests like this:

One note here. You can pick a gender or not. This should be tested, but from my experience,

if you pick men as the gender for this step, it makes the ad itself perform a bit better.

Creating Your Ad

So why a male audience? Because you are going to take the image of your shirt, and use a

mockup of an attractive woman to get your conversion up. Conversion plays a large part in

how cheap your clicks are.

When you make the post itself, you can either insert an Amazon link into the actual heading

there (remember we are doing a page post here), or you could use a service

like https://www.sell.io/.

If you are wondering where we got those sweet looking mock ups: https://placeit.net. The smaller images are free with an account, the larger ones you will need to pay for. If larger

ones are what you want, get 15% off by clicking this link here.

Boost Your Post

Now that I had an audience picked out of countries that no one was advertising to, a few

interests to make the ad work a little bit better, and the post published to my page with a

nice mockup, it was time to boost it.

Quickly it became obvious that it was working. The audience was mostly male and would

you look at that, CHEAP!

You can play around with your audience, but you will soon see that you can get 1 cent to

even cheaper clicks. Some of my campaigns are at half a cent a click.

Not only that, but some of the people in your audience are going to be liking your Facebook

page and the boost even sometimes causes organic reach, not a bad deal.

But why?! Why would you ever care about hundreds or thousands of likes from countries

that are not going to order from Amazon.com in the first place? This will not drive sales or

leads and gives you zero value right?

Wrong!

Social Proofing The Real Buyers

If you ever took a psychology class in school or read a psych book, you may have heard the

concept of social proof. We are constantly reading testimonials and word of mouth advice

about specific products from real customers if that service or product is worth it. This is one

of the reasons why reviews on Amazon work so well, social proof!

It is hard for people to say no if everyone else things X is the best thing ever!

By running the ad to the cheap audience, you can gather thousands of likes on your content

with some awesome comments and that is all we need it for, social proof.

We can then run a campaign to a targeted audience that is going provide value to our

business at a CHEAPER rate (because higher engagement), and a higher purchase rate

(because of social proof)

Creating Your Ad

This part is easy because you are going to use the same post with all the comments but just

change out the different locations you are advertising to. Change it to a United States

audience and keep the interests the same. You also will want to narrow down the interest

audience with the niche of the actual shirt.

[*Split Test? *]

You may wish to split test with the same post promoted to a United States audience and the

post with all the likes promotes to the same audience.

Let me save you the time and money though!

The post that was promoted to the new audience that ALREADY had all those likes, cost 73%

less than the post with zero likes. Crazy right?

Using this technique, I was able to get engagement to right under $0.29 cost per

engagement.

Using This Technique

Using the technique I outlined above, you should be able to get your cost per click or cost

per engagement (depending on what type of ads you are running), down to around what I

am getting.

If you run your shirts at $19.99 on Amazon, that gives you $7.68 margin to work with (very

soon to be 50 cents less).

That means at around 29 cents per engagement or click, you need to make a sale in 24 clicks

to break even which is the goal. Remember though, you do NOT need to break even for it to

be worth it. You might take a small loss just to get a few sales which will kick you up in the

organic results.

In order to see the best results using this technique, you need to run at least around $20 to

see if it is working for that particular shirt. A lot of people will run $5, see no sales and give

up. This is not a good technique for Facebook ads at all, so do not do it. If you do not have

$20 to spend on ads, this technique is not for you.

Bonus Technique For Cheap Clicks

Something I have been playing around for both Merch and another business of mine, has

been video ads.

The same exact concept applies that we went over above. Use lesser valuable countries to

give your video some social proof and then use that same video for the valuable audience.

Since not as many people are running video ads, these are even CHEAPER. Not only that,

but from the small amount of testing we have done with video ads, they seem to get more

engagement and higher purchases. Pretty good stuff if you are willing to test.

You do not need to make a video yourself, you could always get one of videos with someone

wearing your design from placeit.net where we got the mockup we used in the example above.

Thinking Outside The Box

For those of you doing Merch in other countries via drop shipping, or any other method,

you can use this to make insane money. Those audiences that we keep changing out for USA

based audiences? Ya, those people actually do buy stuff if you hit them with what they

want. If you can find something you can sell them that will ship to their country and get 1

cent clicks like we were able to get, you can make so much more money than selling to a

USA based audience. It is all about testing! There is so much you can do with the cheap

clicks you can get from Facebook traffic but the social proof which leads to lower cost in the

USA audience technique that I described above has been working consistently for us.

Remember when I gave the pro tip of Spanish speaking countries? A lot of the ad spend in

the image above from my Facebook ads account was direct to that audience selling directly.

Wrapping It Up

Remember, if your campaign is not directly profitable right away, that is just fine! you need

to take into account the long term sales that you will get from the organic traffic because of

the few sales you made with the campaign.

If you spend $300 on a campaign that brings you 10-15 sales, you might be thinking to

yourself that you failed and lost money. If you got those sales in just a few days though, your

Amazon listing is going to skyrocket ahead of the competition and organic sales are going to

start coming in day in and day out. If you make sure your design is top notch, that ad spend

loss (or break even!), could turn into 50 sales a month for you all year long. A small adspend

can easily turn into $1000’s in recurring monthly revenue with this method if you take the

time to learn and test it! Good luck!

[*Ultimate AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) *]

Guide to Marketing Your Merch

When Merch by Amazon began, the program was targeted at app developers. Once the

news was out about this program that would allow you to sell products on Amazon and

produce a royalty without dealing with customers or inventory, people absolutely flooded

the Merch by Amazon signup page, and they became invite only.

Since then competition has grown and so have the amount of people selling merch through

MBA. Some people say it has gotten harder to sell shirts, some thing it is still easy as ever.

The one thing that everyone has been missing though is the ability to run ads to their Merch

by Amazon shirts if they were not app developers. There was no option to run cost per click

ads to shirts like there is in seller central for people doing FBA. You either had to rely on paid

traffic from outside sources, build up your free traffic through social media, or rely on

Amazon organic traffic.

That all changed with the introduction of Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). Amazon

Marketing Services allows more shoppers to discover and purchase your products based on

pay per click ads. This allows you to run ads on Amazon specifically to the audience that is

shopping in your niche!

[*Why Is This Important? *]

This is important because Amazon has all the traffic and shoppers already. If they are on

Amazon, you KNOW they are shopping and in the buyers mindset. You know they have

money that they want to spend. No one goes to Amazon for their daily news like they do

Reddit or CNN. No one goes to Amazon for their daily laughs or social networking… No, they

go to Amazon to purchase products. With AMS, you can advertise to people who are ready

to give you their money without the need to qualify them in the first place.

[*When Should You Use AMS? *]

If you have been reading the Merch Informer blog for a while, you might know that we use a

strategy around here to target really low competition keywords that not many other people are going for. This has proven to be a really easy money making strategy and is one I

recommend everyone go with.

What if you are doing research and come across a niche that looks extremely promising. A

niche where there are more than 1 big player getting sales with awesome designs. When

you stumble across a niche that you want to tackle and they have a ton of competition,

some might shy away and keep going after the low hanging fruit. For most, this is probably a

good idea. If you have a lot of slots though, there is nothing to lose for going after those

niches.

People ask me all the time if I leave the competitive niches alone. My answer usually has to

do with the amount of slots you have and if you have the time/money to invest in getting

those designs done. I personally go after everything, because I am not afraid of a little

competition.

Competition also means big sales!

Getting ahead though, that is the hard part that a lot of people struggle with. You need to

start off making sure your Merch SEO is solid. Once you have made sure the SEO on your page is solid, you will want to run traffic to get sales. There are a ton of articles on how to

run free traffic on the Merch Informer Blog but none of them are going to be as targeted and qualified as running ads to people who are already on Amazon shopping.

Niche Research Example

To give you an example of what kind of niche I would likely run AMS ads to (and what we are

going to use as an example throughout this entire process), we first need to find a

competitive niche.

Let’s say that you are doing some research and you come across the Autism niche. Now

usually we target niches 100k and above. This is a sweet spot for selling 1 a day to a few a

week. We saw when we went to the product finder module though, that this was a HOT

niche!

This shirt is far below the 100k BSR we usually target and is getting almost 40 sales a month.

Scrolling down the results, we can see lots of other shirts in this niche are selling more than

20 a month. If you have more than 10 shirts selling over 20 shirts a month each, you know

there is demand in that niche.

To see how much demand, we head over to the advanced competition checker and first

check the Merch by Amazon shirt category.

We see right away that there are a lot of results. Over 6000 other shirts out there for that

phrase.

For the sake of getting a full picture, we run that same keyword through the advanced

competition checker in the t-shirt category. This category is going to grab all the premium

shirts as well as every other type of seller not in the MBA program.

Whoa, over 37 THOUSAND results!

This niche is doing really well, but it is incredibly crowded. There is so much competition

that it is very likely that if you do not really nail down your keywords, you might get lost in

the sea of results.

We know the demand is there, we know that the niche is selling like hot cakes, and we know

that there are a combined 40 thousand other products we are competing against.

Let’s do it! Get a product out there, follow along and fire up some Amazon paid ads!

Steps To Take If Not Living In The United States

Before we get started with the entire workaround process of running ads to your Merch

shirts, as we mentioned, this really works like a charm for those living in the USA. If you are

NOT living in the USA, there are a few things you need before you can get started. These are

a USA address, a USA bank account, and a Tax ID or Social Security Number

Step 1: Get A U.S. Address

Getting an address in the USA is actually very simple. A lot friends live over in the USA and

often need to purchase something in the USA that does not ship overseas. What they do, is

get an address at a frieght forwarder. This allows them to have their orders shipped to that

address, and then they are shipped overseas. It is a 2 step process that allows people to take

advantage of online shopping in the USA from anywhere in the world.

The service that many of them use is called Viabox. There are also a few other services you could check out including USAOpen and Borderlinx.

Step 2: Get a U.S. Bank Account

Getting a bank account in the USA is also very easy. Instead of calling a bank or figuring out

how to go through a bunch of complicated steps, all you will need to do is sign up for

Payoneer. These guys are very similar to Paypal and allows anyone from outside the US to

get access to a US bank account. Funny enough, lots of people use this service to get their

Merch payments each and every month.

Sign up for Payoneer here: https://www.payoneer.com/en/

Step 3: Get A Tax ID

If you are from outside the USA, what you will want to get is called an EIN or employer

identification number. If you are super lazy and have more money than you know what to

do with, you might want to just pay a service to do this.

If you want to do it correctly and not pay as much, go and speak with an accountant in your

country. They will help you with this process which countless friends from other countries

have done.

If you are more of a do it yourself person, then read on.

The first step in getting an EIN if you are not a citizen of the USA is to get a U.S mailing

address. You already did that in the first step, so you can move on to the second.

You will want to fill out a form from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) called the SS-4. This

form can be found right here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf. This might look really scary for you if you have never seen any of our tax documents before. It might even look

scary if you HAVE. Read the instructions from the IRS on how to fill out the form

here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iss4.pdf. Fill it out but do not do anything with it. You simply need the information for the next step.

Once you have the SS-4 form filled out, the next step is to call the IRS. This will take a fair bit

of time, so be warned. Call up+1 267-941-1099 and make sure you are calling during office

hours of 6am to 11pm Easter Standard Time. Office hours are Monday through Friday.

When you call, you will want to follow the instructions. You will need to press 1 for a foreign

EIN and then hold for what will probably seem forever (the IRS is very slow). When someone

finally answers, they will ask you a bunch of questions that should have been filled out on

the SS-4. After oyu answer all the questions, you will get your EIN that you can use right

away. You will need this when signing up for the vendor express account.

Just like that, you have all the options without TOO much headache and can move on to

actually setting this entire thing up.

Grab Yourself A Free Vendor Express Account

The first step in this process is to head over to Vendor Express and sign up for an account.

Now, typically, Amazon Vendor Express is used to sell your items to Amazon and then

Amazon will distribute your products for you. The entire thing sounds absolutely great from

an FBA perspective (no dealing with customers like Merch!), but that is not the reason we

want to sign up.

We want to sign up to Amazon Vendor Express because this is the gateway to AMS or

Amazon Marketing Services. AMS is what we are trying to get access to so that we can run

advertisements to our merch tees.

Head over to this link here (https://vendorexpress.amazon.com/) or simply Google it When you get to the homepage, you can take a look around, but you will need to click on

the sign up button at the very top.

After you click on signup, you are going to be asked to create your Vendor account.

They are going to ask you a few questions in the bullet points. You want to answer every

single one of these with “YES”. Now, it really does not matter if you can or cannot ship your

products from a US address because you will not be shipping anything, but you still must

select yes. After you have answered those, quickly fill out your information below with your

name and address. You can simply put your company name as your full name if you do not

have a company.

The next page simply gives you a review of the program and how great it is. Again, this is

really of no concern to us because we are using this Vendor Express account to run ads and

not for the intended purpose. This is simply a work around so agree to the terms and

conditions and accept and continue.

This is what the page will look like after you have hit accept and continue. Now, Amazon is

going to ask about your product.

[*STOP! *]

You do not need to continue past this step. As you can see from the green text, your account

has been created. Congratulations, you have just set up the work around to get to Amazon

Marketing Services. If you click on the Amazon Vendor Express logo near the top, you will be

taken to the home page that looks a little something like this:

See up near the top where it says Marketing? That is what you want to click on. It will have a

drop down, but simply click on marketing and it will bring up a Vendor Express page that

allows you to create different marketing campaigns.

[*Amazon Marketing Services – The Merch by *]

Amazon Magic Bullet

There is actually a lot of really cool things you can do with these marketing campaigns, but

what we are looking for is Amazon Marketing Services or AMS. This allows us to run pay per

click advertisements ON Amazon. These are extremely powerful because you can essentially

show advertisements on your competitor’s pages.

Click on Accept and continue and it will bring you over to Amazon Marketing Services. This is

where you are going to blow up your Merch by Amazon earnings!

As you can see from this screenshot, you now have 3 different type of ad campaigns you can

run.

Sponsored Products: These tend to work really well for specific keywords that you have for

your shirts as well as Amazon recommending different keywords you can add to your

campaigns. These will show up under the search results when a customer does a keyword

search in Amazon. There are two ways to run these (manual and autotarget).

Headline Search: These are probably my favorite feature right now but they tend to be a bit

more expensive and you need to have at least 3 shirts in the same niche to run these. These

will appear when the customer searches for a keyword in the Amazon search but they will

appear AT THE TOP right near the search. It is literally the first thing that the customers will

see. If you are familiar with internet marketing at all, this is generally called “above the fold”

and is one of the hottest ad spots you can hold.

Product Display: These are used to show your ads on the product that a competitor has. You

know that one shirt that has more reviews than you and you cannot seem to beat in organic

search? Why not steal his customers away from him with product display ads!

Today I am going to be stepping through both Sponsored Products and Headline Search.

Running A Sponsored Products Campaign

There are two ways to run these sponsored products campaigns and both are fairly easy to

set up.

Before we get started with running ads though, make sure that you go up to the top of AMS,

click on your name or business, and select payment settings. This will give you the option to

put in a credit card and get that all set up so you can afford to run these ads!

Now that the payments are set up the first step is to simply select the sponsored products

box from the list of 3 different types of ads. This will highlight the result and ask you to pick

a product to advertise.

The first thing probably will go do is run over to Merch by Amazon, open up the shirt you

want to use, and put the ASIN directly into that box. Makes sense right? Not exactly.

You see, each Merch by Amazon product has a parent ASIN or Amazon Standard

Identification Number. Each and every single variation of your shirts (size, color, sex) has a

different ASIN associated with it called a child ASIN. If you do not pick a child ASIN, you will

see a page that looks similar to the above. It will be Ineligible and you will not be able to add

that ASIN to the campaign you want to run.

In order to find that child ASIN, open up your shirt on Amazon, and pick a color size and sex

combination.

You might notice that each and every time you pick a new combination, the URL of the

product itself in your browser is changing. What you are looking for is the numbers right

after Amazon.com/dp/ and then the next /. The combination between these two is the child

ASIN you are looking for.

It looks just like the image above. Copy and paste that over to Amazon Marketing Services.

As you can see, the child ASIN brings up the correct product and you are able to add it to

the campaign. Simply click on “add” which will bring your product to the right hand side and

give you some options to pick campaign settings.

Campaign Settings

This is your campaign settings. There are a few things you might want to change on this

page.

Campaign Name: Make sure you are naming your campaign so that you can figure out what

campaign is being run from the list of campaigns that will display in AMS. This is NOT going

to be seen by anyone but you so name it anything you want. You just want to be able to

identify this campaign easily if you are running more than 1 at a time.

Average Daily Budget: This is going to be your ad spend or how much money you pay per

day. This needs to be at least $1.00 but I generally set all my campaigns to start off with at

$5-$10 a day. Since this is a new platform and we are not completely sure what kind of CPC

(cost per click) this niche is going to cost us, I decided to run this test for $10 per day.

NOTE: If you do not have money to burn, you should not be running paid ads. People will

tell you in Facebook groups how bulletproof AMS or paid ads are. They are more interested

in selling their courses. Paid traffic requires LOTS of testing to get it right. Once you have it

right though, you can easily scale up and bring home the bacon. Only put as much money

into a campaign that you are willing to kiss goodbye.

Duration: You have two options. You can run this campaign continuously starting today, or

you can select a date range. Do NOT pick the first one unless you know you have a winning

campaign that has proven itself. Since we really only are interested in testing this out, I have

selected the campaign to run for 3 days. Since we have an Average daily budget of $10 per

day, and I am running the campaign for 3 days, this should be a total expense of $30.

Targeting: You have two options here. Automatic targeting is pretty great when you have

properly optimized your listings and you are already getting some sales on your shirts. This

will let Amazon decide who they target with the ad based on your product information. If

you were lazy and did not really fill in your product info much or simply skimped out on

doing the proper Merch by Amazon SEO, you should not be picking this. That being said, if you have read the article we wrote on that topic, then this might be a good place to start.

There is also the option to do manual targetting and we will go over that in just one second

here. For now though, pick automatic targeting and launch your first ad!

Just like that you have your first ad running on Amazon Marketing Services.

Remember though, the goal of paid ads is always “test, test test”. Then test some more!

In that spirit, I immediately went back and set up the SAME campaign for the SAME shirt,

but this time I decided to try out the manual targeting option.

As you can see from the above, the first thing you see are a bunch of keywords that Amazon

has suggested might make sense in your campaign. My suggestion to you is to go through all

of these and pick out the ones that have to do with your shirt. Since this is an Autism shirt, I

went through and simply selected all the keywords that had anything to do with Autism and

clothing.

You might notice that the second term is “black tee shirts for men”. That is a terrible

keyword for a campaign as it is not targeted or relevant to our shirt, so we skip that. Add all

the relevant terms.

You will notice that there is a default CPC or cost per click bid for each keyword. Amazon will

auto populate this, but you might want to push it up a bit. The bids on Amazon for CPC work

as an auction. Whoever has the highest bid, gets their ad displayed if two people are going

after the same term.

Next, move over to the “add your own keywords” tab on the same page.

From this page, we can add keywords that might not have shown up in the list. You can also

pick what CPC bids you want to enter.

You might also notice, that there is a match option. You have a few choices here. I have

described them below.

Broad Match: This setting will allow someone to see your ad if a customer searches for that

specific keyword as well as a variation of it. A good example of this is we have the keyword

“autism apparel” added but if a customer typed in “buy autism apparel” the ad would still

show up.

Phrase Match: This is a very similar modifier to broad match where they will show the ad

based on the searches that directly match the phrase or are very close variations of a

phrase. It also allows addition words before or after.

Exact Match: These ads are going to be shown for searches that are EXACTLY the keyword

you added as well as very close variations (such as a reordering of words but the meaning

stays the same). These are great if you know exactly what you want your ad to show up for

but when testing, you will want to stick with broad match.

Negative Phrase: This is an advanced technique that I may go over at the end of this article.

Essentially, if you put in a negative phrase, ads will show on searches without this term.

[*Negative Exact: *]This is an advanced technique that I may go over at the end of this article.

Essentially, if you put in a negative exact keyword, ads will show on searches without this

term. This is VERY powerful stuff if you understand the impact these can have on your

campaign.

When testing, the best thing you can do is usually just to keep them all broad and see what

happens. Expect to possibly lose some money before you land on the winners and can trim

down your campaign to only the keywords that are performing well.

As you can see from this screenshot, we have added all our keywords. There is an option to

add keywords based on a spreadsheet, but for 99% of the Merch by Amazon audience, this

will not apply to them.

When you are happy with the keywords you have chose for the campaign, simply kick it off

and get it running!

And just like that, you have 2 campaigns running for sponsored products. These are different

in the sense that one of them is with the keywords you have picked, and the first one we did

Amazon is picking what keywords and customers to display the ad to. Testing is essential to

this process and I cannot stress enough how often you need to be testing if you are jumping

into the world of paid traffic.

Running A Headline Search Ad

The sponsored product ads we just set up are targeted by keywords and appear under the

search results. What we are going to set up now is one of the most powerful ads out there,

called the headline search. These are ads that we target by keywords and the appear ABOVE

the search results. These are going to appear above the fold meaning that a user does not

need to scroll at all to see them. In fact, these type of ads are going to be the first thing that

a user sees after they complete a search.

Since these are so powerful, there are three things to keep in mind.

 The first thing you need to know is that while the previous ads were auto

approve, these are going to have a review process to them.

 The second thing you need to know, is that there is a part of the process that is

going to give you a broad view of how much traffic a keyword gets.

 Finally, in order to run these, you will need to have 3 shirts in the same niche.

 Going back to the Autism example we are using, head back over to the

advertising tab in Amazon Marketing Services that will bring up your advertising

campaigns that are currently running. Click on New Campaign.

In small print there, it says “Choose three or more of your products to be featured on a

landing page”. It would be great if we could run these with only a single product, but

currently, you will need to have 3 shirts in the same niche. Go ahead and add the ASINs for 3

different variations from 3 different shirts. What this is doing is grouping them all together

on a very simplistic landing page.

As you can see, we have added 3 different products to this headline ad. From here, we want

to click on the little “preview landing page” text in the right hand corner. This will show you

a very simplistic landing page.

After a customer clicks on your ad, they will be brought to this page. If you notice, there are

NO competitors here. There are zero other shirts except for the ones you want to run spend

to. Simply put, customers that click on this ad will not have any of the other “noise” that

might draw them away from your products. It should be mentioned that some of these

shirts are random designs and not owned by anyone we know.

One you are happy with the way it looks, time to add some campaign settings.

Headline Search Campaign Settings

These are going to be pretty similar to the other ads we set up with one major difference.

The keyword selection is going to give us a bit more information.

Campaign Name: Make this something that is going to stick out in your list of active

campaigns. You want to be able to know that this specific ad is different than the others. For

sake of simplicity, I just named it “headline campaign”.

Budget: I am going to assume these are more expensive to run simply based on where they

are displayed. Since I want to test first, I put a $5 budget per day.

Duration: Remember that we only want to select a date range here as we are testing and do

not have a hit campaign yet. Only select to run the campaign continuously if you have a

campaign you know works over a long duration of time. Otherwise, it will keep spending

money and you might not remember to turn it off.

After you pick the days you want to run the ad campaign for, scroll down a bit and…

Amazon Marketing Services Keyword Tool

This is where you get to add your keywords and bids with a bit of a twist. As you are about

to see, you can add suggested keywords and add your own keywords JUST like when setting

up the other ad type.

Add your suggested keywords just as we did before. Going through and adding the ones that

are relevant to our designs and skipping the ones that are irrelivant.

Then, navigate over to the “add your own keywords” tab.

Start typing your main keyword. In this example, the main keyword would be “autism”. Type

SLOWLY, and watch the suggested keywords come back with a traffic estimate!

As you can see, there are different auto suggest keywords that make sense and those that

do not make sense. Add the ones that make sense.

This is also a great way to look at the keywords that are being suggested and get some sort

of idea about how much traffic they get.

That being said, even though we know that the keyword “autism awareness shirts” has

medium traffic, we still do not know what medium traffic means. Does that mean 10,000

people a month? Does it mean 10 people per day? We simply do not know. All we can

assume is that those keywords get more traffic than those labeled low traffic.

Note: This can allow you to see some of the keywords you might want to go back and add to

your keywords when writing your product bullet points in Merch. You could also take a look

at our Listing Optimizer which is sure to boost your sales: Merch Informer Listing Optimizer.

Merch Informer also brings back all these auto suggest keywords with our keyword tool so go ahead and sign up for a 3 day free trial to give it a shot!

Finish up the keywords and bids here. This is all the same process that we have already gone

over.

Now, you are ready to see what your ad will look like.

Scroll down just a bit and you will see the Create your ad section.

At this point, all you need to do is enter in your brand name and your headline that will

display on the ad. You can see the mockup of what it will look like live on Amazon on the

right hand side.

Remember to have a relevant brand name here. The biggest thing you need to focus on is

your headline. This is just like a billboard. SELL the potential customer. You only have a few

seconds to grab their attention before they scroll down, so make sure you pick good designs

and the headline captures their attention.

You can also pick an image to be the featured image if you would like. If not, AMS will use

the first shirt you added to the campaign as the featured image. After everything is looking

great click on submit your campaign.

Just like that, you have another campaign successfully created.

Even though the campaign was successfully created, you will need to wait a while for it to

be reviewed by the Amazon staff. It will look similar to this:

After it passes the pending review status, it will change to the green “running” button to let

you know that the ad is live!

These are the two basic ad structures that you will want to play around with and learn. They

are pretty straight forward to get set up and running, but they are powerful if used correctly.

Remember, you MUST TEST everything you can in order to get the biggest spike in your

Merch by Amazon tees.

Tips and Tricks

Headline Ad Brands

Headline campaigns can take a while to get approved. They are generally approved with 24

hours but you MIGHT have to wait up to 3 days.

If you come back and notice that your campaign has been rejected, you might need to go

back in and add the brand that you are using on your shirts on Amazon to your AMS

account.

To do this, click on your name at the top of the AMS page, and select add or remove brands.

It will bring up a page that looks like this:

Click on add brands and make sure you are copy and pasting the EXACT brand name you

used on your product on Amazon to add to your account here. After this has been done,

confirm through the email they sent you, and then resubmit your headline ad.

Single Product Headline Ads

when setting up a headline ad, they require you to have 3 seperate products to run these.

Generally, you would want to have 3 different shirts in the same niche.

If you only have a single shirt in the niche and want to run ads to that single shirt, is that

possible? It sure is!

All you need to do is set up a headline ad but use 3 different child ASINs from that same

product. For this particular ad example, I have picked women’s small, medium, and large on

the same product to add to the campaign.

You will also notice at the bottom there is a different budget than we went over above. You

have a drop down under the budget that lets you select “for entire campaign” where you

can put up a budget and then select a pacing. I always pick to run a campaign as quickly as

possible so we can get some data right away. This is something you might want to test.

Just to prove that this does work, here is the single product ad live on Amazon.

Negative Keywords

This is a more advanced technique that most of you will probably not run, but I did mention

that I would be going over it.

The first thing you need to understand when adding negative keywords to your campaign is

that they are keywords that you do NOT want your ad to show for. Why is this important?

Well, if you do this right, you can increase click through rate, and convert a lot higher while

spending less money on your campaigns.

This can actually be applied to any kind of pay per click marketing, not just AMS. The

example that has always stuck in my head has revolved around calendars.

If you are a company that sells calendars, one of your customers might be searching for

“calendar” or “yearly calendar”, something along those lines right? If this is what you sell,

perfect! You are getting targeted leads to see your products, and hopefully purchase them.

On the flip side though, you do not want your customers coming in and searching for

“online calendar” and seeing your ad. If you are selling physical product and a potential

customer sees your ad and clicks it. You just paid money for an absolutely untargeted lead.

This is why you would want to add that specific keyword as a negative keyword to your

campaign.

Simply put, negative keywords tell the platform which keywords are not relevant to your

product.

If you are running an automatic campaign, every week I would go through the list of

keywords that got impressions and pick out the ones that should not be in the list. You can

then add these as negative keywords to the campaign and keep testing.

You might keep hearing the word test being written here, and that is because that is the

secret to running ads. TEST! Adding negative keywords to campaigns can save you an

incredible amount of money in the long run.

The Secret People Are Charging For

You might have noticed courses have been released in the hundreds as well as thousands of

dollars range lately. They all claim to allow you to steal your competitor’s traffic from

Amazon and do it for pretty cheap. I want to quickly go over how to do that before we wrap

up this guide.

Remember back when we were picking out what ads we would like to run? Over there on

the right are product display ads.

These let you run ads directly on your competitor’s Amazon money pages!

Now I am not sure if this works for advertising your Merch by Amazon shirts on another

Merch by Amazon shirt page, but I do know you can run your own Merch by Amazon shirt

on the page of someone selling clothing via FBA.

The best part of all of this is that they appear RIGHT under this area in Amazon:

Yep, that’s right. As soon as the customer is about to add a product to their cart to purchase

it, you get in the way with your ad and take the sale instead!

This is powerful stuff that hardly anyone is talking about and those that are, are charging an

arm and a leg for it. You heard it here at Merch Informer for free, so go TEST it!

Findings

This entire guide has been me setting up and running a brand new ad set on a new account.

I have been running these type of ads for a little over 2 months now, and the findings are a

bit interesting.

The first thing to be noticed is that these ads DO work and they work pretty well. Even on

the new account that I set up via this guide, the very same day of setup, we made the first

Merch sale for the account:

It should be noted that on my personal account that has been running these for a while, I

am generally able to break even (lost some on the first campaigns), and even turn a small

profit on some of the campaigns which I have kept running. The above screenshot turned a

small profit, but it is the first sale. We will need to run the ad longer to see if that trend

keeps up as this is not enough data to make a hard decision on.

This is important to note because even if you are not turning a profit (you might lose

money), as long as you are still able to force some sales, this will spike the Amazon BSR and

place you at a better position to get the organic traffic and sales. A small loss now can turn

into a big win down the line. I really hammer home that concept when I talked

about Facebook marketing.

The second thing to point out is that the CPCs or cost per click for the AMS ads seems to be

a little bit less than the CPC from seller central (for all your FBA readers out there). No, you

might be able to find cheaper CPCs, but here is the very first screenshot I grabbed:

See that 13 cent CPC there? That is a headline ad!

We might do an AMS case study in the future as well as a bit about how to optimize the ads

once they are running but for now, this guide is getting a bit long.

Wrapping It Up

Amazon Marketing Services is fairly new and represents a pretty big opportunity if you are

willing to jump in and test everything. Some people know about it, but most of the people

in the Merch world have no idea how to get started and might be intimidated to get

everything set up. The entire process is pretty easy to set up so you can start running traffic

directly on Amazon to your Merch shirts. The cost per click seems pretty reasonable so

remember, the goal here is to simply boost up your products in competitive niches so they

get more organic eyeballs. Turning a profit is great, but as always approach a campaign to

try and break even FIRST. Optimization comes later.

Good luck out there! Any questions, drop them below in the comments.

*How To Use Upwork To Outsource And Scale *

Your Merch Business

When you first get accepted to Merch by Amazon, it is one of the best feelings ever! You

have 10 slots available with 2 uploads per day. The possibilities seem endless (and they

are!). What we recommend is always to dive in head first. Get a good feel for the research

process (3 day free trial of Merch Informer), understand how BSR correlates with sales, and then figure your way around a set of design tools. It could be Photoshop, it could be GIMP,

or something simple like make-merch. No matter what you decide to use, just get to know

how to design yourself.

Designing the first few designs yourself is crucial to your success on Merch by Amazon.

Without learning how to design yourself (at least the most simplistic designs such as text),

you are going to be limiting yourself. How will you know what elements work well? How will

you know what kind of designs are actually selling? How will you know how to tell someone

else to design for you, if you have no idea of the basics yourself?

I always tell people they need to at least have a basic understanding of something before

they can outsource it to someone else and be successful doing so. This has proven true in

past businesses as well as Merch by Amazon.

So you design some shirts, and they start selling! You get tiered up to 25, then 100, then

500. Life is going great, you start making more money, and everything is falling into place.

This is exactly how it went for me when I first started MBA. In fact, I designed the first 100+

shirts myself. These were simple designs that I learned how to create via Photoshop and

Youtube. Once the concept was “proven” that it worked, and that I had an understanding of

how keywords and designs worked together on Amazon, it is time to scale up.

When you have hundreds of unused slots and only 24 hours in the day, sometimes you

simply cannot keep up. Lots of people have other obligations than sitting on the computer

all day creating designs such as family and a social life. When it comes to that point, it is

time to outsource!

There are lots of places to outsource. You could outsource them to a design agency, you

could outsource them to one of the design “clubs” you have seen on Facebook, or you could

hire someone directly. I personally prefer to hire someone directly. It is more work up front,

but if you are in the MBA game for the long run, I personally believe it is the best thing to do

for the growth of your business.

I have been hiring people online to do various tasks for me in the affiliate marketing space

for years now. Time and time again, I come back to Upwork.com. I am able to find cheap but

high quality and reliable labor with a little bit of leg work.

This is how it works. You post a job ad, people apply for it, and then you pick the best

candidate. They basically have to compete to work for you which makes it really interesting.

Using this method I am able to get pretty much as many designs as I want for $4 each.

So let’s get into exactly how to set up a campaign from beginning to end.

Step 1: Sign up for Upwork

The first thing you will need to do if you want to outsource your designs is to sign up for an

actual freelancing website. In this case, we are going to use Upwork since I have personally

had a great experience using them in the past.

Head over to this link: https://www.upwork.com/

Near the top you should see this bar near the top:

Click on the “become a freelancer” button. Now I know you do not want to be freelancing,

but hiring people. Once you click on that button, you are taken to a new page that is going

to be explaining how freelancing works.

Scroll down a bit and click on “If you’re hiring”. Then you will be able to click the green

button that says get started.

Go through the steps of entering your name, your email address, and get all signed up. This

shouldn’t take more than a few quick minutes.

Once you get into the dashboard you are presented with this page:

Now, before you click on anything on this page to get started posting your job, there is just

one more step you will want to complete. You need to verify your email address.

Verify your email by clicking on the link that they sent you, and then set up a few security

questions for your account. You will then be prompted to enter in a billing method.

Now, there are two different types of fees. You can choose to pay the 2.75% processing fee

on all your payments, or you can pay a steady $25 a month. The $25 a month is really only

for people spending a LOT of money on Upwork, so the 2.75% is just a fine option right now.

You can pick from credit cards or paypal. I always use paypal in my day to day transactions

anyways so I just hooked it up and it is ready to go!

Step 2: Post A Job

If you head back to the homepage, you will probably be presented with a page that looks

similar to this (might look a bit different since I have had an account forever). What you

want to click on is “post job” so we can get our job ad out there into the world of potential

freelancers.

There are multiple pieces of posting a job so let’s dive into what I like to pick for the best

results for each one of these.

Category and Subcategory

Under the category menu, you want to find “Design & Creative” since we are looking for an

artist. A lot of people pick graphic design as the sub category, but I always like to pick

illustration. For some reason the talent level seems to jump between the two of these. You

will need to test it for yourself, but for the time being, I would suggest you pick Illustration

as the sub category.

Name Your Job Posting

This is the easy part! Tell them exactly what you need. This will make sure that when

freelancers are browsing your designs, they are not wasting their time applying for a job

they are not willing to do at your price.

Example Title: “T-Shirt Designer Needed For $4 Per Design”

This is actually exactly what I titled my job posting and it seems to work very well. You are

up front on what you need and people who will be happy at that price (or any price you

put).

Now, even though you are hiring for cheap and the quality if going to be pretty decent,

there will be some people who might harass you over the price. There are hundreds of

thousands of people on Upwork, so just ignore them.

I once got this gem on the SAME job posting that I am describing right now.

Jokes on her though. I ignored the posting and over a year later I still have the same

designer at $4 per design on my payroll.

Describe The Work To Be Done

This is the details section of your job posting so you want to be very clear here. Tell them

exactly what you are looking for, and how the entire process will work. This is an example of

what I might say.

[_Hello! _]

[_I am in need of 100 t-shirt designs over the time period of 1 month. _]

[_Your task will be simple. I will send you a list of ideas for t-shirts that I would _]

_like created and I would like you to be artistic and creative to recreate the idea _

_in your own style. For example, I may send you a link or image and I would like _

_your unique spin on the idea to create a more visually appealing design. _

_I am willing to leave a lot of 5 star reviews so that you will be able to land jobs _

_easier in the future if you stick with our deadlines. I would like to hire for a long _

[_term position. Once you have completed the first batch of 100 designs, 4-5 per _]

_day, then we could continue the work if everything looks good. _

_I will require links to any artwork used to make sure that the artwork used in _

_the designs is available to use for commercial use. _

[_I look forward to doing business with you! _]

Feel free to change up this script any way you would like. It works really well for a number of

reasons though.

The first reason is that they see that you need a lot more than 1 shirt created. In this

example, I say I am looking for 100 shirt designs over 1 month. People value long term work

because it means they can be earning money instead of wasting their time applying for

more jobs they may never get.

Second, it works well because you are telling them you will leave many 5 star reviews if they

can stick to your deadline. For someone brand new to Upwork it is generally hard for them

to get jobs if they do not have any reviews. Being new and wanting those reviews, they are

willing to give their absolute best work to you to get those reviews so you can use this to

your advantage.

Third, you are being straight up with them letting them know that they need to put their

own unique spin on it and allowing them to be creative. I tend to not hand hold as much

with my designers because I like them to use their own style in the work. This seems to have

done very well for us. You are also letting them know exactly what you want by telling them

that you will require links to any artwork used to check for commercial use licenses. They

will not be surprised if you ask about that down the line.

Note: Even though you are saying you need 100 shirts in the job ad, you might not actually

need that many. That is just fine. We are going to test out multiple people first with just

sending them a design or two to do, not 100 at a time. So no worries there.

[*What type of project do you have? *]

I always pick ongoing project here. This shows that you want someone that will stick with

you and work with you as your Merch account grows. Even if you do not have continuous

work, it is great to be able to go back to the same person you are familiar with and get a

new set of designs any time you would like.

[*How many freelancers do you need to hire for this job? *]

I always pick the “I need to hire more than one freelancer” here even if I really only need a

single person. This is because potential hires will look at the ad and know that since you are

hiring more than 1 person, they are not going to compete for a single slot. This encourages

more people to apply!

*Do you only want freelancers within your country to see and submit proposals *

[*to this job? *]

I always pick the freelancers in any location can apply. The goal here is to get quality work at

a cheap rate. If you are in the United States, people will be insulted at a $4 per design offer.

Enter skills needed (optional)

I always fill out this section. Here are the skills that I generally put down.

 Adobe Illustrator

 Adobe Photoshop

 Graphic Design

 Illustration

 Print Design

 T-Shirt Design

Start Date

Pick the date you are posting the job. You want designs as soon as possible right?

[*How would you like to pay? *]

Always pay a fixed price here. A few years ago, I would hire by the hour and that ended up

being a massive mistake. What you think someone can get done in an hour is NEVER what

they actually get done. Potential hires will try and drag out the time to increase their pay.

The entire thing is a giant headache and I would suggest you pay a fixed price.

Budget

I always start the budget at around $100. Remember, you are NOT paying all of this for the

first person you hire. You can change the amount when you actually hire someone. We put

in a $100 budget here because it will show up that way when people are browsing jobs and

we want to make sure we get exposure.

Desired Experience Level

I have found that an Intermediate level is a good place to start. You get people who are new

to the platform, but also people who know what they are doing. You will need to sort

through all the applicants, but this experience level has worked well in all the years I have

been hiring people online.

Screening Questions

Skip down to the bottom here as nothing else needs to be changed above. You will want to

add some screening questions here. These will allow you to asses the level of English and

talent your potential has.

I like to be able to communicate clearly with my designer so having a decent grasp on the

English language is a must. Ask questions that would need an explanation so you can see

how they type. Here are some examples:

 How long have you been designing and what programs do you use?

 Who is the 36th president of the United States (this shows they can research and look

things up if needed)

 What is your favorite hobby and why?

 Could we please see some examples of your work in the past?

Cover Letter

I always keep that box checked so that they can introduce themselves. This allows you to get

a sense of who they are as well as the questions above.

Post Job

That is it! Once all that information is filled out, all that is left is to post the job and sit back and wait. It might take a few hours for it to start to kick in, but applicants should start

pouring in. I generally get 10-30 people applying for this very job I described above every

single time I post it!

Step 3: Look At Applicants And Hire Someone

You will see the applicants coming through within an hour or so of posting your ad.

This process is going to be different for everyone. Some people will interview over skype,

but I take a much more simple approach.

The first thing I will do, is start going through the questions that I asked them. If they answer

poorly, answer incorrectly, or their English is just not what I am looking for, I immediately

pass on them. This is a crucial step. It really is not worth your time to try and communicate

with someone who cannot communicate back OR did not even take the time to follow the

instructions of the ad. If they cannot do something simple like look up the 36th president,

do you really think they are going to take the time on your designs?

The next thing I will do is look at their examples. If you have been selling on Merch for a

while, you know what kind of style seems to do well and what does not. Drawings from

hand have proven not to be good sellers but more novelty typography designs seem to do

great. Get rid of everyone with examples that are not what you are looking to sell.

At this point you should have a pool of a few decent designs that have good communication

skills, took the time to fill out a cover letter and introduce themselves, and be able to

quickly look things up. Great!

Time to test them out!

Instead of interviewing them, I will give each one of them 2 designs from Amazon. I simply

give them the Merch by Amazon template, 2 links from Amazon, and ask them to

completely recreate the idea in their own style and creativity.

Make it VERY clear they are not to copy any aspect of the link you send them, and that any

graphics or fonts they use must have a link to show that they are available for commercial

use.

You are not going to hire everyone you give a test to. You will not even use all the designs

more than likely. I have had people who seemed like a great choice come back to me with

the dimensions of 1000×1000 even after I told them to come back with 4500×5400.

Instantly pass on those people and they do not get any more work. I have had people come

back to me with images pulled from shutter stock with the watermark STILL on the images.

You are paying $8 to test out an applicant and trust me, this is money well spent.

When you find someone who delivers great work, on time, and follows directions. Hire

them!

Personally, I start them off in batches of 10, then slowly move up to 20-30 at a time. Once

you have a good relationship with your designer, you can give them as many as you would

like. I regularly hire out 100-300 designs at a time because I know I will get back exactly

what I am looking for. This process of building up a relationship can take a while though, so

make sure you are vetting each designer on Upwork and then slowly building it up.

Wrapping It Up

That about sums up the entire process of hiring people on Upwork. It CAN be a headache at

first if you are not used to the process or how to handle people that will be working for you.

I can promise that it will be well worth your time to go through the actions and learn how to

do this. You will be able to get high quality designs that other people are charging $10-20

dollars for other places. Hint: A lot of the design clubs you see are doing exactly what I laid

out for you above. If you are willing to go through the headache, eventually it becomes

second nature!

Think of this as an investment in your merch business. When you start getting into the

higher tiers, doing everything yourself just might not be possible. I have spent over $5000

on designs alone over the course of my Merch career and I can tell you that number is just

going to keep going up. If you can build a solid base of designs that sell, then you can keep

outsourcing and scaling up your business.

Good luck!

[*Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with *]

Lanelle Barber

Merch by Amazon is a growing opportunity that pretty much anyone can succeed at. You

have to be willing to put in the work and learn the craft as this is a lot different from almost

everything you might have done before. I sure had to learn a few new things when I jumped

in!

Here at Merch Informer, we have tried to share all our trials, tips and tricks, as well as

personal experiences that have done into building our Merch businesses. Sometimes these

connect with people while other times, other people do a better job at explaining a concept.

In an effort to help you move forward in your Merch business, we decided to put together a

bit of an interview series with some of the most successful Merch by Amazon (and other

POD) sellers that we know!

We had the opportunity to sit down with Lanelle Barber and pick her brain about how she

runs her Merch business and how she got to where she is today. If someone can find the

time to scale their business to where Lanelle currently is while raising a family, I am

absolutely positive you all can too!

Tell us a little about who you are and a general

*ballpark of how much per month you are *

[*making with Print on Demand? *]

My name is Lanelle Barber, I’m 33, live in sunny Arizona, and am happily married with 4

awesome kids. I’ve worked online in various industries for several years now, and have

decided that being a mom and getting to run my business from home is the best. I love the

flexibility, independence, and the many other opportunities it affords me. Selling on POD

platforms and merch specifically has been such a great blessing in my life. Building up a

portfolio of unique quality designs that can I can collect royalties from and sell passively for

years is an amazing thing. Now I make between 4-5 figures depending on the month, every

month from selling my designs.

*How long have you been a member of the *

[*Merch by Amazon platform? *]

I applied the day after they closed it down to everyone in November. Kicked myself for that

one, thought I had time. The lesson learned was, when a new platform opens, apply right

away even if you aren’t sure what it’s all about. Don’t assume it will always be free, easy,

and available. I was accepted at the end of January 2016.

*How did you first find out about the platform *

[*and what were your initial thoughts? *]

I first became aware of Merch by Amazon in the beginning November of 2015. I was in the

middle of a busy 4th quarter managing my private label products for my FBA (Fulfilled by

Amazon) business. I was having great success, so when Merch by Amazon occasionally came

up in conversation in my groups and masterminds, I was curious, but not overly so because I

was so focused elsewhere.

A few weeks later I began hearing more about the explosive growth of the program, so I

decided to take a closer look. I joined a facebook group full of members who were involved,

and started pouring through the discussions and quickly became excited about the

possibilities. I planned to sign up the very next day, but as luck would have it, that next

morning Merch decided to shut down free access to the program and became invite only

due to the demand being higher than their current capacity. That was a bummer, but I

signed up and waited for my invite.

[*What was your “AHA!” moment when you *]

*realized the potential from selling Merch *

[*online? *]

Within my first week of being accepted, I designed a simple text based shirt based on a hot

political niche at the time, uploaded it, and it sold 7 times that same day, I realized the

potential of this was huge and it was time to buckle down and learn everything I could. I

dove into research, and learned how to design simple shirts on my own, how to research

niches, and had developed a strategy for sales.

[*Did you have to wait for approval? Any tips for *]

[*those submitting applications today? *]

It took about 2 months for me to get approved. Currently it can take much longer and the

merch team is looking for quality applicants that will add to the integrity and high caliber of

the program as it grows rapidly.

What tier are you at and how many designs do

[*you currently have live? *]

I am currently at the 6000 tier, and am getting closer to 2000 live.

*Do you outsource your design work or do you *

[*do it yourself? *]

When I started, I did them myself. I think this is a smart thing to do if you have the time and

drive to learn. It will help you understand design software and the basics of what makes

good design so that when you do eventually outsource, you will be able to explain to your

designer exactly what you want. Now I outsource almost all of my designs, which helps me

to free up my time to scale up.

[*Where are you outsourcing and at what price? *]

[*Any Tips on the process? *]

I prefer Upwork.com but there are other freelancer sites. There are some great designers in

the merch Facebook groups also, and many of the members can vouch for the quality of

their work. It’s important to get recommendations, and give them test projects. You want

someone who you can trust not to copy other designs or steal graphics they don’t have the

rights to online. Find someone who speaks English well, is professional and communicates in

a timely manner, will work with you on revisions, will adhere to deadlines, and doesn’t need

to be handheld every step of the way. The better they understand what type of style you

want and/or is popular the easier it will be. As far as price, I prefer to negotiate an hourly

rate and then specify how many designs I expect per hour. The amount of designs per hour

depends on complexity.

*Do you do any outside marketing at all or are *

*you strictly focused on the organic traffic from *

[*on page optimization? *]

So far I have almost entirely depended on organic sales. There is nothing better than free

traffic and free sales. I do plan to expand to outside advertising soon.

[*Have you done any Amazon PPC (Pay per *]

[*click)? *]

I use Amazon ppc for my private label products, but have not utilized it for merch yet.

*When it comes to your experience what is the *

*most important factor in getting your *

[*Merch ranked in Amazon? *]

If we are talking about organic sales, as long as you put up unique quality designs that are

geared toward your target audience, and the niche has demand, then the keywords you use

in your listing are the most important factor because that’s how people will actually find

your shirts. Even if you have the best design in the world, if no eyeballs see it then it doesn’t

matter. The most important thing to get yourself ranked is to get sales, and that first sale is

crucial. Then your shirt is “on the map” or in other words, it shows up earlier in the search

results so that more eyes can see it, and it can result in more sales.

*Do you use any tools for your research *

[*process? If so, what aspects do you like best? *]

I use Merch Informer for almost every step of the process, it makes researching competition, researching niches, looking at what design styles are popular, and looking over listings and

how I can improve my own fast and easy. I also use Merch Tools (chrome extension) for quick edits, and analyzing my sales and stats, and I love the “cha ching” feature that lets me know

when I have a new sale when I am working on my desktop.

*When it comes to your keywords, how are you *

[*approaching them? *]

The Amazon algorithm pulls keywords and search terms from the title, and bullets/features

area the most, so it’s important to make good use of those areas. Do not stuff, use

descriptive sentences that makes sense and are actually relevant and describe your design

so that when someone types any combination of those words into Amazon, your shirt is

likely to show up. Also think outside the box and use adjectives, synonyms, and descriptive

terms that others might not think of, but that potential customers might type in the search

box. Use thesaurus.com if you need help with ideas. Then you have an advantage over the

rest by being only one of a few competing designs in the results area, and your shirt is more

likely to get seen and bought. And always be very careful to check each phrase, partial

phrase, and even individual words for live trademarks.

[*What about your pricing? Do you experiment *]

*with your prices or are you listing all your *

[*designs at the industry standard of $19.99? *]

Depending on the complexity of the design, the niche, and the competition I will price

anywhere between $16-$20.

Have you expanded into other platforms or are

*you taking advantage of any of the *

*integrations to list on Amazon *

[*(Shopify/Printful/Printaura/Teespring)? *]

I am currently in the process of expanding to both Shopify and putting my shirts up on

Amazon through seller central and fulfilling as a third part merchant.

*How do you ensure your designs remain safe *

[*from any possible infringement? *]

I comb through upsto.gov with a fine-tooth comb searching for trademarks for every word, phrase, and partial phrase every time I am working on a new listing. It is the most time

consuming part of the process because there are words and phrases that seem completely

innocent, but that actually cannot be used. Not just in your design, but anywhere in your

listing. Including the brand, title, bullets, or description. This is crucial because you can get

rejections, or if the TM owner complains you will get your listing removed and receive a

violation notice. If too many of these occur, you are at risk for account suspension or

termination. It’s very important to take intellectual property rights seriously.

If there is one thing to avoid when learning the

[*MBA business, what would you say that is? *]

Don’t be complacent and make decisions based on what you see other creators “getting

away with” on Amazon or elsewhere. Too many people use the excuse “I see tons of other

shirts that do this, that must mean it’s ok.” Take the time to go through all the terms of

service and FAQ section in the merch dashboard resources section so that you know exactly

what they expect. Inform yourself, don’t just rely on others, who may be the blind leading

the blind.

[*What is the end goal for your MBA business? *]

I plan to keep growing it until I have a solid portfolio of unique, quality designs that sell

consistently and bring value to the marketplace. I plan to consolidate into a more cohesive

brand, one that will be more recognizable and that I am proud of.

*Any plans for all the money you have made *

[*from Merch? *]

I plan to pay off debt, save, reinvest, help my family and hopefully bless the lives of others

who could really use it. And maybe a bit of travel in there as well, or service trips. J Traveling

is a passion of mine, and I am at my happiest when I get to experience new places and

immerse myself in a brand new culture, meet new and interesting people, and hopefully

make someone’s life better while I am at it.

*If there is one piece of advice you would give *

*to someone who is starting to use Merch by *

*Amazon for the first time and wants to get *

[*ahead, what would it be? *]

Treat your account like gold. Play it safe. This is a great opportunity if you are patient in the

lower tiers. Your design slots will increase and income will grow as you prove that your

designs sell, and as you learn how to create quality work that will add value to the

marketplace and to your buyers. It can take time to learn the 3 main keys to merch sales. 1.

Niche research 2. Unique and original designs created for your target audience (don’t design

based on what YOU like, design based on what your target audience would buy) and 3.

Keywording and your listing skills. Keep learning, keep pushing, it will pay off.

[*Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with Ken *]

Reil

Over the past year or so, I have gotten to know Ken pretty well. We got the chance to sit

down with him and pick his brain about the Merch business and how he has managed to

succeed in crushing his own numbers month in and month out.

What is most notable is that even though Ken owns an offline business, he was able to

tackle Merch by Amazon and turn it into another full time income surpassing 6 figures fairly

quickly. This was achieved by hard work and determination. With 85 uploads a day, the guy

is sometimes too busy to chat as he is filling those slots.

I can even barely keep up with my own uploads so it was interesting to see how he balances

being one of the top earners with living life and finding inspiration for that many daily

designs.

Tell us a little about who you are and a general

*ballpark of how much per month you are *

[*doing with Print on Demand? *]

Hi I’m Ken. I’m 46, from Las Vegas Nevada. Wonderful wife, three kids, a beagle-bassett and

a cat. Originally from a little town in Alberta, Canada. Managed in the oil field a number of

years and now run my own sign decorative window tint company. I currently do between

$10-15k/mth with POD platforms.

*How long have you been a member of the *

[*Merch by Amazon Platform? *]

I have been part of Merch by Amazon since the beginning in Sept 2015.

*How did you first find out about the platform *

[*and what were your initial thoughts? *]

I actually stumbled upon the platform and signed up. I had been doing some listing with

Teespring and thought the platform looked interesting. At first I found the upload system

cumbersome as I had never uploaded to a platform that needed the art dimensions to be

“exact”. After numerous emails back and forth to support I figured out the design had to be

to the pixel. I listed a couple of shirts and forgot about it.

[*What was your “AHA!” moment when you *]

*realized the potential from selling Merch *

[*online? *]

In January 2016 I noticed a $18 payment from Amazon to my bank account. I went looking

and saw that a couple of shirts had sold on Merch. I listed a couple more designs that

afternoon and forgot it again. Then I got a $27 payment in February 2016. That was when

the lightbulb went off. It hit me I could just post designs on Merch and they would just sell in

the market. I had no experience with Amazon before this and was only really aware of other

POD’s where you drive traffic to your listing. I listed more shirts that night. I began to get the

itch and watch daily for sales. Little by little they came and in March 2016 I saw my payment

grow to $196. From there I was addicted. I looked for some Merch groups on Facebook,

found Chris Green’s MerchLife group and discovered a whole new universe of “Merchers”.

[*Did you have to wait for approval? Any tips for *]

[*those submitting applications today? *]

I did not wait for an approval. I was in before the lock down. At the time I thought nothing

of it and kind of expected to sign up, get instant approval and list shirts. Shortly thereafter

they locked the program to invite only. I did however, early in 2016, apply for accounts for

every family member after the lock down. I saw potential in the program and figured the

family could use the tools I already had in my sign business to develop a passive income.

My best tip for submitting an application today is to fill in the application completely. Use

the information section to explain yourself. Set up an outside store like Shopify.

Demonstrate your willingness to Merch that you are an asset to them adding you. If you are

a graphic artist or “shirt” designer, then ensure you have a great gallery somewhere online

you can link to. The days of cookie cutter robot applying are over. Apply from multiple

emails. Give yourself more than one hook in the water. This is the greatest opportunity in

the POD community in my opinion. An account is a gold bar to be purified.

What tier are you at and how many designs do

[*you currently have live? *]

I am currently at the 6k tier and have 3300 designs live. I’ve been at this tier since the last

big sweep of tier ups to higher levels last summer. Right about the time it was obvious tier

ups were no longer an automated thing. I had hoped for 8k at the time but was very happy

with 6k.

*Do you outsource your design work or do you *

[*do it yourself? *]

90% of my listings I do myself. I enjoy it. I should outsource more but it is the fun part of the

business. I do contract out for larger packages of designs from a couple of select individuals I

chat closely with. I will dabble in some of the “design clubs” as well and nab something I

like.

[*Where are you outsourcing and at what price? *]

[*Any tips on the process? *]

If I outsource I tend to pay a little higher for designs. I’m not usually in the $3-6 range some

larger people with VA’s will discuss. My typical payout on an outsourced design is $7-15. If

there is something I’m really shooting the moon for in a concept, I’ll pay much higher. This

comes from paying graphic designers in the sign world and expecting an hourly rate from

USA designers. I prefer to keep my designers under wraps but I love working with Gary

Greenwood. He can nail a typography design in minutes and knows what I want most times

without explaining past a phrase.

Since I do a lot of my own stuff my process in finding designers is not as in depth as many

tutorials you may see. I am a big fan of People Per Hour however. Much better quality than

Upwork or Fiverr but expect to pay more.

Merch Informer Note: Gary Greenwood was the designer we used for the “big dill” shirt in

our 20k a month case study article. You can check out his work here: http://8dd.store/

*Do you do any outside marketing at all or are *

*you strictly focused on the organic traffic from *

[*on page optimization? *]

I do some Facebook ads depending on the niche and have a couple of Facebook pages I’ll

sell niche stuff into. I am slowing getting my daughter to help with understanding Twitter

and Instagram. I grew up in the development of computers but some of the newer, hipper

social media confuses me. I’m having some fun with Pinterest. It is simple to me but need to

spend more time on it. The new AMS ads have been a surprise. I’m seeing some success and

I love them as it is the hooks in the water principle to me. More hooks so more fish.

When it is all said and done the organic traffic on Amazon is a monster. Both for Merch or

Seller Central listings. What an amazing marketplace that is just starting to get it’s mojo in

my opinion.

[*Have you done any Amazon PPC (Pay per *]

[*click)? *]

Yes. Dabbling in it more and more. Been doing it since it was that “secret” in the Merch

world.

[*Have you done any Facebook advertising? *]

Yes. I’ll admit thought I find it frustrating 90% of the time. Kicks me in the face more than I

kick it.

[*Are you using free or paid traffic? *]

90% free. 10% paid.

*Do you have any suggestions on how to get *

[*started and learning an advertising method? *]

There is no magic bullet advertising method. They all take work and you will take bruises

along the way. The simplest so far has got to be AMS but you can go through A LOT of

money quickly if you are in a highly competitive niche with good designs. Just remember

most times you are competing with good looking designs. Clicks cost. Find the right wave

and don’t be afraid to spend some money when something is working. Ride the wave. The

bonus to AMS is that the sales you are getting are also boosting your BSR and organic

algorithm page placements. On the flip side get out quick if your ad is getting tons of clicks

and no conversions. It can have the opposite effect. Remember whether you make sales or

not with clicks Amazon always takes your money.

Suggestions for Facebook…let me get back to you on taming that donkey.

Pinterest ads have me excited to start trying more. Seen some good success over Christmas

and St Patrick’s Day when I promoted some pins. Really easy when set up right. Again it

comes down to time and getting myself to let go of things I enjoy doing to VA’s.

*When it comes to your experience what is the *

*most important factor in getting your *

[*Merch ranked in Amazon? *]

The rule I have followed for over a year is:

Quality design > Quality keywords > Quantity of designs in the niche

I am not afraid to purchase test shirts to get a shirt moving. It does work. It is part of the

business. Designs I know that will sell if seen I won’t hesitate to do this. My friends are now

trained to ask for the latest shirt offerings at a “penny profit price”. I’m happy to drop the

price for them, get a sale, and have free advertising wherever they wear the shirt.

I do not hesitate to kill a listing and relist entirely with new keywords instead of editing. If it

is a dog in the marketplace yet I know is a good design I’ll restart the engine and try again.

*Do you Use Any Tools For Your Research *

[*Process? If so, what aspects do you like best? *]

I do use tools. My go to set is Merch Informer, Merch Research (now part of MI) and I’d be

adrift in the stormy ocean without Merch Tools by Hamza Mallat.

I call Merch Informer the hammer of my toolbox. As I go through my idea list it is the first

place I turn in getting market information, comparisons of BSR’s, keyword insight and yes to

look over (spy on) other brands. It has saved me more time from diving into useless niches

than any other tool. It has driven me to always remember to research before committing to

making a design. Something I think too many Merchers fall into the trap of. The tool is top

notch. The support is top notch. The tutorials and blog posts updating the community are

second to none. The constant addition of new content is exciting. Bring this puppy out of

beta already. Neil and Todor really have a grasp on the Merch program and helping the

community. Yes it costs you monthly but the price you pay is a pittance vs the revenue you

can generate. I’m surprised it does not cost 5x or 10x what it does now. Before you say I

sound like a commercial for them, no I do not have any affiliation income for saying this. It

has made me thousands of dollars.

Merch Research is a handy set of utilities and is an absolute idea blood hound. It is my idea

list generator. Easy clicks to easy ideas. As Chris Green says, “Ideas are everywhere!”. Having

it tied to Merch Informer now just makes it all the better.

If Merch Informer is my hammer then Merch Tools is my duct tape. The euphoria of Merch

tools is like when you went from dial up internet to cable, from one monitor on your

desktop to multiple monitors, or realizing your mother’s well done steak should have been

medium rare all along. Merch Tools saves me hundreds of hours. Hamza has quietly added a

set of tools that no Mercher should be without. From the ability to list multiple shirts

visually on one screen in the shirt lister to the amazing new quick editor giving you single

right click edit ability on all your listings. Add sales graphs and the “CHA CHING” sales

notification and it is paradise.

*When it comes to your keywords, how are you *

[*approaching them? *]

I may be a little backwoods on keywords. I just try to put my mind as if I was jumping on

Amazon and buying random stuff. I focus on preventing myself from explaining my shirt

design and more on what keywords would bring a buyer to simply view my listing. Tied to

that is I am a firm believer in bolder is better. When the customer sees his search page

appear you have to be seen. You need to be the black sheep in a flock of white ewes. If they

can’t notice your shirt when the keywords have brought the customer to your listing then

you fail anyway. I like to have my close friends do what I can the 3 second test. Tell them the

keywords that will bring up one (or many) of your listings. Do not let them see your

design(s). Then have them scroll relatively quickly on the search results. In 3 seconds which

designs did they notice. If your design is not one of them then you fail. For me this means

designing bigger on the template. Some preach against this but I have yet to have a negative

review for a design that was “too big” in close to 20,000 sales.

I like to keep keywords simple and sentence readable. I’m definitely sold on not filling large

paragraphs of keyword bullets but I’m not completely sold on the technique of little to no

keywords either. Go for the hottest phrases that are not trademarked. I do lean towards the

order of Brand, Title, Bullet 1, Bullet 2 being sequential in the way the search picks up your

keywords and focus my best keywords down to my weaker.

[*What about your pricing? Do you experiment *]

*with your prices or are you listing all your *

[*designs at the industry standard of $19.99? *]

I tend to focus on the standard pricing of $19.99 but it really goes with the niche I am

chasing. Yes there is price pressure depending on what is selling and how many are selling. I

do not tend to chase trends though so I’m not into playing the game of $12.99-14.99. Most

of my listings you will find in the $17.99-19.99 range with some in the $15.99-16.99 level. I

will strategically drop daily sellers in a niche to the extreme low price points for the day,

grab double or triple sales for BSR and quickly change it back as the steam rolls. Never for

more than a 24 hour period though.

Have you expanded into other platforms or are

*you taking advantage of any of the *

*integrations to list on Amazon *

[*(Shopify/Printful/Printaura/Teespring)? *]

Yes I do have my own Shopify store that is also integrated to Amazon Seller Central. I am a

fan of Teelaunch and they have been stellar on quality and timing. I have been selling from

Teespring for about 3 years now as well and really like their selection and quality. I do list

quite a bit on Redbubble and Teepublic as they are just easy organic sales. The last one I am

setting up is Etsy and see great potential there. Time is the factor but my wife is my sidekick

and an amazing supporter and aid in my POD adventure.

*How do you ensure your designs remain safe *

[*from any possible infringement? *]

I try not to worry about infringement for stuff that has not sold. I see too many people

chasing copycats and their own stuff is not even selling. Now this is a different story on

listings that sell consistently on a daily basis. I will guard them. The new brand registry 2.0

from Amazon coupled with the new Merch image recognition software could entice me to

move all my listings to my brand and protect them under brand trademark.

If there is one thing to avoid when learning the

[*MBA business, what would you say that is? *]

Careful who you take advice from. Most saleable tutorial products such as eBooks, courses,

and “secret tips” can be found readily in the most popular Merch groups, in free podcasts,

or YouTube streams. I have a few secrets I keep to myself but anything you need to be

successful can be found online for free.

A close second would be don’t get emotionally attached to your designs. Sometimes good

designs just don’t sell no matter what you do while absolute garbage does. You just never

know and if you sit and dwell you miss other opportunities.

[*What is the end goal for your MBA business? *]

My end goal has changed from a year ago as seeing this as a nice addition to my business.

Kind of new spending money. Now it has taken on like a beast. It has changed my entire

business focus from the sign business to being totally enthralled by the online e-com of

apparel. Not just Merch but now focusing on building out my own brand. My goal is to build

a profit stream that exceeds the worries of the daily ebb and flow of sales while achieving a

very comfortable living into and building for retirement.

*Any plans for all the money you have made *

[*from Merch? *]

Ask my wife. The money flows to her bank account. J All kidding aside the money I have

earned from Merch has taken me out of debt in a year. The great economic/housing crash of

Las Vegas nearly bankrupted me. My business survived by a hair and a year ago I was still

pulling my head out the debt. It felt great to write a check for $30k last January to my Father

in Law to pay family loans.

*If there is one piece of advice you would give *

*to someone who is starting to use Merch by *

*Amazon for the first time and wants to get *

[*ahead, what would it be? *]

Summed up my advice is simple. Throw as much spaghetti against the wall that you can and

see what sticks. If none of your pasta is sticking you probably didn’t cook it first. Uncooked

pasta is bad.

Wrapping It Up

I know this can all seem very daunting when you first begin. It took me many months

of experimenting and trying out different techniques to get where I currently am. I

have tried to take all those hours and testing and condense them into this book so

you have a single point of reference when getting into Merch.

Getting enough designs up to where you are doing a full time income with Merch is a

long process. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. If you start out following all

these techniques and do not make your first sale in the first few days that is okay!

Just keep your head in the game and keep pushing forward. The biggest mistake

beginners make is that they give up too soon.

I know that the methods and techniques that I lay out in this book work. I have

followed exactly what I preach and have turned it into a 6 figure a year business

passively. Each month the income grows, and each month is another opportunity to

make even more.

Make sure that you follow this book’s advice and do your research, price properly,

and really focusing on coming up with better designs and products than your

competition. Merch is evolving and hopefully some day we will have access to much

more than T-Shirts. In the time being, keep grinding till you make it!

To your success!

Neil

Thank You

Before I let you go, I would just like to say thank you for purchasing my ebook.

There are a lot of books out there about Merch by Amazon but I have tried to give

you the most complete guide to help you through every step of the process.

If you wouldn’t mind, I would love if you could take a few seconds out of your busy

day to leave some feedback on this book.

This feedback is very important to me so that I can continue giving out the best

information to my readers. Let me know what you loved about it or needs

improvement.

Document Outline

  • Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon
  • Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon
  • Table Of Contents
  • Merch by Amazon Intro/Setup
  • Selling on Amazon Integrations
  • Optimization
  • Marketing
  • Interviews
  • Signing Up For An Account
  • Dashboard Walkthrough
  • T-Shirt Niche Research
  • What You Need To Create Designs
  • Outsourcing Designs
  • Understanding Amazon BSR – 5 Things You Need To Know Before Picking A Niche
    • 1. Sales Rank IS Relative
    • 2. Reviews and Ratings Are Not Taken Into Account
    • 3. An Increase In Sales MIGHT NOT Mean an Increase In BSR
    • 4. It Takes Less Sales to Maintain BSR Than to Initially Achieve It.
    • 5. The More Recent Your Sales The Bigger The Effect
    • In Conclusion
      • A Definitive Guide On Seasonal Niches – How To Find, Rank, And Manage Your Listings
    • Should You Be Uploading Seasonal Designs?
    • How To Properly Utilize Seasonal Niches
    • Seasonal Niche Examples
    • How To Spot Seasonal Niches And Promote Them
      • Promotion
    • Wrapping It Up
  • Merch by Amazon T-Shirt Holidays
    • Start Your Own Merch Empire With Shopify and Amazon – No Inventory Guide
    • What Is Merch?
    • Why Merch?
    • Use Shopify To Sell Your Merch!
  • Shopify Amazon Print On Demand Method
    • Understanding What Sells on Amazon (Best Sellers Rank)
    • Getting Designs/Artwork
    • Amazon Seller Account
    • Shopify Account
  • Connecting Shopify and Amazon For No Inventory Fulfillment
    • Adding Your First Piece Of Merchandise
    • Clothing and Apparel Category Approval
    • Finishing Amazon Listing
    • Note On Shipping
    • ROI Calculations
  • Getting Your First Sale on Shopify with Amazon
    • Fulfilling Orders Manually
    • Getting Revenue From Amazon
  • Research and Marketing
    • Keyword Research
    • Choosing The Right Niche
    • Finding Further Demand
    • Protecting Your Account
  • Wrapping It Up
    • Shopify/Amazon Print on Demand FAQs
    • What UPCS Can You Use?
    • Is There a Difference Between UPC and EAN?
    • What is the Amazon Brand Registry?
    • Is there Any Way Around the UPC Issue?
    • Why Have I Not Made Any Sales Yet?
    • Will I get an Invoice From Teelaunch?
    • What About Shipping Times?
    • How do you list in other Categories?
    • What Is The Investment Required?
    • Is this Better than Merch by Amazon?
    • Can I do both Merch by Amazon and the Shopify/Amazon Integration?
    • What Can I Sell?
    • I Use Another POD Service. Is that an Issue?
    • Do I Need to Provide My Customers with a Tracking Number?
    • How Many Products Can I Submit?
    • When Will I Get the Buy Button and Will This Affect My Sales?
    • Can I Do This From Outside the USA?
    • Can I Do This On Other Amazon Locals?
    • When Will You Get Paid?
    • How Do You Deal With Refunds?
    • What are the Main Benefits of Using Seller Central?
    • How Do I Pay Taxes?
    • Should I Just Wait For Teespring (T2)?
      • Teespring Amazon Integration – Zero Cost Startup Guide
    • Understanding Merch
    • Why Teespring and Amazon?
    • Teespring To Sell Merch!
  • Teespring Amazon Integration Zero Cost Method
    • Understanding What Sells On Amazon
    • Getting Top Notch Designs and Artwork
    • Teespring Account
  • Connecting Everything Together!
    • Optimizing Teespring Listings For Amazon
    • Doing The Math
  • Research and Marketing
    • Keyword Research
    • Pick The Right Niche
    • Finding ALL The Demand
    • Wrapping It Up
      • Which POD Service Should You Use To Sell On Amazon?
    • Merch by Amazon
    • Teespring
    • Shopify/Amazon With Teelaunch
    • So Which One Should You Use?
      • Merch by Amazon SEO Ultimate Guide
  • Optimizing A Merch Listing
    • Price
    • Brand Name
    • Title
      • T-Shirt, Tee Shirt, Tees, Shirts
    • Bullet Points
      • Note On Product Description
  • Advanced Merch by Amazon SEO
    • Google SEO (The secret no one is talking about)
      • Finding Keywords
      • Setting Up Your Merch Listing To Rank In Google
      • Getting Backlinks/Making Sales Along The Way
        • Option 1: Niche Relevant Forums
        • Option 2: Purchase Your Shirt For Website Owners
    • Wrapping It Up
      • Merch Informer Case Study – A Merch By Amazon 20k Per Month Blueprint
    • The Research Process
    • Getting Your Designs
    • Uploading Your Shirt
      • Title/Bullet Point Optimization
    • Protecting Your Account
    • Wrapping It Up
    • The Premium Merch by Amazon Pricing Strategy
    • Average Price Merch Strategy
    • The “No Profit” Pricing Strategy
    • Wrapping It Up
      • Merch Copycat Problems? 6 Ways To Find Out Who Is Stealing Your Work
    • What Are Reverse Image Search Engines?
  • Top 6 Best Reverse Image Search Engines
    • 1. Google Reverse Image Search
    • 2. TinEye
    • 3. Bing Image Match
    • 4. Karma Decay
    • 5. Pinterest Visual Search Tool
    • 6. Image Raider
    • Reverse Search Browser Plugins
    • Reverse Image Search on Mobile
    • Wrapping It Up
      • 10 Amazon Merch Ranking Factors You Should Understand
    • 1. CTR or Click Through Rates
    • 2. Conversion Rate
    • 3. Reviews
    • 4. Keyword Optimized Product Title
    • 5. Brand Name
    • 6. Bullet Points (Features)
    • 7. Description
    • 8. Discounts and Pricing
    • 9. Keywords
    • 10. BSR and Sales
      • How To Trademark A T-shirt Slogan – Step By Step Guide
    • Trademarks
    • Clearance
    • Application
    • Proof of Use
    • Ornamental Refusal
    • Submitting Alternative Proof of Use
    • Secondary Meaning
    • Supplemental Register
      • Zero Cost Merch Marketing
    • Organic Listing Optimization
    • Unleash Reddit Traffic For Huge Sales
    • Approach Local Businesses
    • Create and Sell Band Merch to Local Bands
    • Wrapping It Up
      • 5 Ways To Market Your Merch by Amazon Shirts for Free
    • 1. Instagram – Mobile Powerhouse
      • Setting Up Instagram
    • 2. Twitter
      • Setting Up Twitter
    • 3. Pinterest
      • Setting Up Pinterest
    • 4. Facebook Groups/Pages
    • 5. Church Groups – Out of the box thinking
    • Wrapping It Up
  • Leverage Pinterest Marketing To Sell Your Merch Shirts
    • Where Should You Market?
    • Target Market: Pinterest
    • Setting Up Your Pinterest Account
    • Gaining Followers and Getting Traffic
      • Follow Limits
      • Automating Follows/Unfollows
      • Best Way To Gain Followers Fast
    • Posting Your Merch by Amazon T-Shirts to Pinterest
    • Pinterest/Merch by Amazon Advanced Method
    • Just The Beginning
      • Growth Hacking Pinterest To Sell Amazon Merch
    • Pinterest – The Perfect Buyer Profile
    • Free USA Traffic In Bulk
    • The Gift That Keeps On Giving
    • How To Do It “Right”
    • Gain Followers and Grow
    • Wrapping It Up
      • How To Run Facebook Ads To Merch by Amazon Listings
    • Facebook Ads For Longterm Growth
      • Sales from external traffic = higher organic rankings
      • Non Seasonal Niches
    • Running Facebook Ads
      • Thought Process
      • Testing
    • Social Proofing The Real Buyers
    • Using This Technique
      • Bonus Technique For Cheap Clicks
    • Thinking Outside The Box
    • Wrapping It Up
      • Ultimate AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) Guide to Marketing Your Merch
    • Why Is This Important?
    • When Should You Use AMS?
    • Niche Research Example
    • Steps To Take If Not Living In The United States
      • Step 1: Get A U.S. Address
      • Step 2: Get a U.S. Bank Account
      • Step 3: Get A Tax ID
    • Grab Yourself A Free Vendor Express Account
    • Amazon Marketing Services – The Merch by Amazon Magic Bullet
    • Running A Sponsored Products Campaign
      • Campaign Settings
    • Running A Headline Search Ad
      • Headline Search Campaign Settings
      • Amazon Marketing Services Keyword Tool
    • Tips and Tricks
      • Headline Ad Brands
      • Single Product Headline Ads
      • Negative Keywords
    • The Secret People Are Charging For
    • Findings
    • Wrapping It Up
      • How To Use Upwork To Outsource And Scale Your Merch Business
    • Step 1: Sign up for Upwork
    • Step 2: Post A Job
    • Step 3: Look At Applicants And Hire Someone
    • Wrapping It Up
      • Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with Lanelle Barber
    • Tell us a little about who you are and a general ballpark of how much per month you are making with Print on Demand?
    • How long have you been a member of the Merch by Amazon platform?
    • How did you first find out about the platform and what were your initial thoughts?
    • What was your “AHA!” moment when you realized the potential from selling Merch online?
    • Did you have to wait for approval? Any tips for those submitting applications today?
    • What tier are you at and how many designs do you currently have live?
    • Do you outsource your design work or do you do it yourself?
    • Where are you outsourcing and at what price? Any Tips on the process?
    • Do you do any outside marketing at all or are you strictly focused on the organic traffic from on page optimization?
    • Have you done any Amazon PPC (Pay per click)?
    • When it comes to your experience what is the most important factor in getting your Merch ranked in Amazon?
    • Do you use any tools for your research process? If so, what aspects do you like best?
    • When it comes to your keywords, how are you approaching them?
    • What about your pricing? Do you experiment with your prices or are you listing all your designs at the industry standard of $19.99?
    • Have you expanded into other platforms or are you taking advantage of any of the integrations to list on Amazon (Shopify/Printful/Printaura/Teespring)?
    • How do you ensure your designs remain safe from any possible infringement?
    • If there is one thing to avoid when learning the MBA business, what would you say that is?
    • What is the end goal for your MBA business?
    • Any plans for all the money you have made from Merch?
    • If there is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is starting to use Merch by Amazon for the first time and wants to get ahead, what would it be?
      • Merch by Amazon Success: Interview with Ken Reil
    • Tell us a little about who you are and a general ballpark of how much per month you are doing with Print on Demand?
    • How long have you been a member of the Merch by Amazon Platform?
    • How did you first find out about the platform and what were your initial thoughts?
    • What was your “AHA!” moment when you realized the potential from selling Merch online?
    • Did you have to wait for approval? Any tips for those submitting applications today?
    • What tier are you at and how many designs do you currently have live?
    • Do you outsource your design work or do you do it yourself?
    • Where are you outsourcing and at what price? Any tips on the process?
    • Do you do any outside marketing at all or are you strictly focused on the organic traffic from on page optimization?
    • Have you done any Amazon PPC (Pay per click)?
    • Have you done any Facebook advertising?
    • Are you using free or paid traffic?
    • Do you have any suggestions on how to get started and learning an advertising method?
    • When it comes to your experience what is the most important factor in getting your Merch ranked in Amazon?
    • Do you Use Any Tools For Your Research Process? If so, what aspects do you like best?
    • When it comes to your keywords, how are you approaching them?
    • What about your pricing? Do you experiment with your prices or are you listing all your designs at the industry standard of $19.99?
    • Have you expanded into other platforms or are you taking advantage of any of the integrations to list on Amazon (Shopify/Printful/Printaura/Teespring)?
    • How do you ensure your designs remain safe from any possible infringement?
    • If there is one thing to avoid when learning the MBA business, what would you say that is?
    • What is the end goal for your MBA business?
    • Any plans for all the money you have made from Merch?
    • If there is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is starting to use Merch by Amazon for the first time and wants to get ahead, what would it be?
  • Wrapping It Up
  • Thank You

Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon

Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon If you have ever wanted to start a t-shirt business or make some money off of your designing skills, then this book is for you. Perhaps you are already familiar with Merch by Amazon and are looking to find some extra information on how you can expand your earnings to the next level. If this is you, then you are in luck. In this book I will be showing everyone; beginner to advanced how to sell t-shirts through Amazon’s new Merch by Amazon program and how you too can create a 6 figure a year business. Over the last year that the program has been open, I have told a lot of people about it. I have heard from many people that they are not designers, or have no idea where to start. Let me be honest right away, you do not need to have any designing skills to be successful with this program. I certainly do not! Every piece of the process I will be laying out here in order to turn a profit. Some people just want to get their artwork out there! If that is the case, this guide can also help you get found by potential customers. T-Shirts are an incredible way to make income. I actually make my full time income from blogging and making websites but over the last year I have created a second full time income with Merch by Amazon (6 figures). I want to show you how to do the exact same! Here is a long detailed Merch by Amazon Blueprint on how I created a six figure t-shirt business with Merch. If you take the time to implement everything I am going to go over, it might take you a while, but the results are well worth it.

  • Author: Neil L
  • Published: 2017-06-17 12:20:27
  • Words: 71392
Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon Merch Domination – The Ultimate Guide To Merch by Amazon