Merch By Amazon Weekly News, 17th August 2016Last Updated: November 18, 2016
I’ve got your Merch By Amazon update right here – get it while it’s hot!
Let’s go, eskimo!
It’s All So Quiet
I guess it’s because we’re in the middle of August, but there’s very little news this week in the Merch By Amazon world.
Some sellers are still reporting a slowdown in sales, but personally mine seem to have recovered, and are now about average (Which I guess is good for August).
Amongst high tier sellers there is certainly a view that Amazon is rotating – if not throttling – the Merch catalog. How exactly this works I’m not sure (and I’m not sure anybody but Amazon knows) but it seems Amazon may be experimenting with algorithm changes and A/B testing when it comes to the Merch shirts search results.
Here’s hoping the quiet period comes to an abrupt end as we get ready to enter the 4th Quarter.
Amazon Tests Merch T-Shirt Promotion
A few eagle-eyed individuals spotted an advert/promotional box on Merch listings (and apparently other non-Merch shirts) that appeared this week, only to disappear just as quickly. Take a look here:
Under the awkwardly-worded heading ‘Need-Now Graphic Tees’ – the ad linked users through to an Amazon category showing ALL Merch Shirts (displaying the ‘featured’ by default, but also able to be sorted by date, price etc. – Link is here.)
It seems Amazon is testing promotions to Merch listings, which may give us a clue as to what Amazon has in mind for the future. (ie. Non-Merch T-Shirt sellers should perhaps be worried).
More information can be found at:
What’s The Deal With Copyright Reports?
I know, I know – I spent the last update saying how we shouldn’t worry about copycats in the longterm – but Amazon’s current Copyright Infringement report system really does need work.
Lots of sellers are claiming incredibly slow responses from Amazon to Copyright reports, and I can personally vouch for that. I have been waiting 4+ weeks for some reports, with zero acknowledgement from Amazon.
The frustration is compounded when sellers see their sales being eaten up, and royalties going to copycats rather than original creators. It shouldn’t have to be this way, especially when the original creator and copycat are uploading and selling on the very same platform!
What’s the problem at Amazon’s end? I imagine it’s a combination of issues: inability to cope with the sheer number of reports – plus a lack of understanding around the copyright/trademark issue, and knowing who actually holds the rights to designs.
What’s the answer? I think Amazon needs a dedicated team of copyright report handlers to focus on Merch and other Print-on-demand type sellers. This team would have a clear understanding of the issues around Copyright and Intellectual Property, and have a clear script and plan to follow for each case. The focus should be on quickly dealing with reports – as well as providing clear information for Copyright owners as to the exact information they must provide in order to prove ownership of a design.
It really doesn’t need to be so complicated: Etsy and Redbubble for example are both able to handle reports and takedowns within 24hrs or less. Of course Amazon is a bigger player with higher demands, but they do need to grow this team if they are going to make Merch By Amazon an attractive proposition for skilled designers and artists – rather than a hot-bed of poor quality, fuzzy-edged copycat designs at super low prices.
That’s just my two cents anyhoo. Don’t agree? Hit me up on twitter!
That’s all for this week – be sure to subscribe below to get the latest in your inbox every week!