Sunday, 30 July 2017

Amazon Merch: Getting started

I like art and I'm also a bit of a geek, so I love the idea of combining the two and selling the result online.  In other words, using print on demand to sell my designs on t-shirts, canvases, mugs, pillows and anything else I can find!

If you're not familiar with print on demand, this is where the customer buys the product and then the item is printed to order and shipped to the customer.

A few months ago I discovered Amazon Merch, which is Amazon's print on demand service. It's still only available to buyers in the USA and you can currently only print on t-shirts, but I wanted to get some designs on Amazon ready for when the service is rolled out to the rest of the world and more products are available.

And of course I can sell on immediately.  

The first challenge with Merch is that it can take months to be approved (for me it was just over three months). So if you're thinking of trying it, apply right now (link). 

My application came through a week or so ago and as you have 120 days to get your first design up before your account is inactivated, it was time to get designing! 

You need to upload a .png file with the right dimensions and a transparent background. Amazon provide templates to help. That part is fairly easy. What is more challenging is... 

- Finding a design that will sell (there's tons of competition) 
- Optimising your product description so people can find it when they search

I'm still working on  these because it's early days!

Another challenge is the copycatting that goes on. If you do hit upon a popular design, the chances are someone will copy and undercut yours, so it pays to not share all your designs in one easy to find place. 

For this reason I'm only sharing one of mine here...

There are already  tons of t-shirts on this theme so it's not exactly risky.  (No, I didn't do much research before I came up with this one. I'll try harder next time!) 

As you can tell, it's early days for me. I always reckon the best way to learn is to just dive in and do it. After making so many digital products I love the fact I can make physical products, too. Great fun!

If you'd like to know more about Merch I recommend the Merch Entrepreneur podcast.

If you have any questions on Merch just let me know and I'll do my best to help.

1 comment:

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