Selling T-Shirts On Amazon Merch vs. Seller Central – Pros & Cons (& Headaches)

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Update! A lot of the issues discussed in this post have since been resolved, please see this blog post for an updated version.

Let’s talk about Amazon!

When it comes to selling T-Shirts on Amazon, you have a couple of options.

1) Merch By Amazon. You upload artwork – and Amazon prints and ships the T-Shirts for you – paying you a percentage of each sale made.

2) Amazon Seller Central. You sell Shirts directly to customers via Amazon, and are responsible for the printing and shipping. You can use a T-Shirt Fulfillment company to handle this for you, and you simply manage the process. You receive the gross value of each sale (minus fees), so your profit is the difference between your sale price (plus shipping) and the cost of printing and shipping that shirt to the customer.

Selling T-Shirts Merch Amazon vs Seller Central

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Selling T-Shirts On Instagram: 3 Marketing Tips

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

If you’ve been reading my blog for anytime at all, then you’ll know my main source of income – and what I write about most often – is selling T-Shirts through print-on-demand platforms like Merch By Amazon and Redbubble.

Almost all of those sales come organically.

That means I don’t do much ‘direct’ marketing of my own, and I do almost no paid-marketing (i.e. Advertising).

Well, that is beginning to change.

I’ve been playing around with Shopify for a few months now, and am beginning to see some success using paid traffic via Instagram – specifically by reaching out to popular, relevant accounts and paying them for sponsored posts.

The income from my Shopify store is not about to replace that from my print-on-demand sites (it’s only brought in about $2k/month for the past 3 months), but it’s been a nice additional income stream, and it comes with the added bonus of a direct relationship with my customers, and the chance to re-market to them over and over again in the future.

This post is by no means comprehensive – and I’m no expert in this area – but I have picked up few tips that I think will help anyone who is looking to take things in a similar direction (ie. – your own brand store + paid traffic or direct marketing).

But beware – you will need to drop some cash to make this work.

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Branding T-Shirts online

Brands and Branding while Selling T-Shirts Online: Your Questions Answered

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

When it comes to selling T-Shirt online, branding is one of the things you’ll wrestle with sooner or later.

  • Should you have one T-Shirt ‘brand’ for all your designs – or several?
  • Should you keep your brand identity specific to a single niche, or broad and general to appeal to as many people as possible?
  • Should you brand yourself as an individual artist / designer, or as a business / company?

These are questions I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d delve into some of the various considerations here…

(and that way I don’t have to personally reply to a bunch of emails individually in the future – I can just send people this link 🙂 )

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T-Shirt Income Review 2016

2016 Year In Review [$100k Profit, Channel Breakdown and 2017 Plans]

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

2016 is over – so it’s time for a review post.

This isn’t going to be a particularly long or exhaustive article – more of a brain dump. I just want to share my raw numbers and pull out some major headlines, plus explain my thinking and plans for 2017.

2016 was a big year for me.

In 2016 I…

  • left my full-time job to go full-time on T-Shirts
  • started this blog, alongside an email newsletter and a Facebook group (secret, message me if you want in 😛 )
  • wrote a book called How To Sell More Shirts! and released it for free (updated, non-free version is coming soon)
  • designed at least 300 T-Shirts
  • made a lot of new friends 🙂
  • was interviewed for two podcasts (here and here)
  • and the big one…brought in over $100k in T-Shirt profits (not just revenue).

How did I do it?

Read on my fellow T-Shirt traveller…

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling T-Shirts Online

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling T-Shirts Online

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

I’ve been selling T-Shirts online for 3+ years, and have made a lot of mistakes along the way.

Thankfully I’ve learnt from those mistakes, and now I make a decent living from my T-Shirt designs.

If you want to make a good income from selling T-Shirts online (and believe me, it is possible to do so – and has never been easier) – then you’ll want to avoid these mistakes.

But first I want to get a few things straight:

  • I am not talking here about how to make money from starting your own T-Shirt ‘brand’ – for example setting up your own T-Shirt store on Shopify or similar. (I do have a shopify site, but the majority of my income comes in the form of royalties from print-on-demand sites such as Merch By Amazon, Redbubble, Teepublic and others). If you want to start your own site and deal with customers directly – then you will still get something from these tips, but that is not the type of T-Shirt income I’m discussing primarily.
  • I’m talking here about how to make money from T-Shirt designs – not about how to design them, or how to make the best T-shirt design the world has ever seen. Design is obviously important when you want to design T-Shirts that will sell – but I’m not giving photoshop tips and tricks in this article. Rather I’m telling you the principles you need to make decent money from your work.

So with that out of the way, let’s get into the 5 mistakes you should avoid…

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Why You Should Start Building Your Own T-Shirt Brand Today

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Merch By Amazon started a serious crackdown on policy-violating designs and sellers in the past few weeks, and it’s made everyone a little bit jumpy (me included).

I love Merch By Amazon – it’s responsible for about 70% of my current income, and the system Amazon has put together is slick and easy to use. It’s a god-send for independent designers like myself, and for all it’s issues (it’s still only a year old remember) it is still an incredible platform and opportunity for those who can, and will, use it right.

But Merch is ultimately just another vehicle for taking the ideas from my head, and putting it into the hands of a customer, in the form of a T-Shirt.

And it isn’t the only vehicle available for doing this.

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Copycats Merch By Amazon

Stolen Designs? How To Deal With Copycats On Merch By Amazon

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Copycats are a part of life for creative individuals, and this is especially true in the online T-Shirt market.

What is a copycat? Put simply it is anyone who steals your design and uses it without your permission – where no income from the sales would ever make its way to you. 🙁

The same technology and developments that have made it easy for individuals like myself to make money from T-Shirts online (Print-on-demand sites, easy to use graphic design software etc.) – have also made it easy for those who don’t know – or don’t care – about the concepts of Copyright or Intellectual Property.

I have been dealing with Copycats of my work for the past 3 years, across various sites (Etsy, Redbubble, Teepublic) – but the platform with the biggest copycat problem right now is Merch By Amazon.

This is no surprise, given the size and lucrative nature of Amazon and in particular Merch to generate sales. And Amazon is beginning to deal with this problem – making advances against the copycat scourge daily.

Having said that, it’s not a problem that is likely to go away anytime soon. And when copycats have a real-world impact on your sales and income, it’s hard to just ignore them.

Copycats on the internet may be a ‘fact of life’ – but it helps to have techniques and tactics with which we can mitigate their impact on our sales.

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Merch By Amazon Tools

Merch By Amazon Tools and Resources for Noobs

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Are you a complete Merch By Amazon newbie?

Then you’re probably overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at you.

Everybody’s using abbreviations and talking about plugins and stuff – things you know nothing about.

So I thought I’d run through some of the basic Merch By Amazon tools that every newcomer should know about – before you go a-diving into the world of Merch By Amazon.

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How To Dominate T-Shirts Online

How To Dominate A T-Shirt Trend (And Keep The Competition At Bay)

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great to dominate the next big T-Shirt trend?

Trends come in all shapes and sizes – from serious political statements and movements to trivial fly-by-night jokes.

But one thing that is almost certain: there’ll always be trends.

Pop culture moves fast – and that’s good new for T-Shirt designers – because the T-Shirt is one of the most popular and versatile mediums for communicating a message (whether that’s support for a particular political candidate, or knowledge of a specific pop culture joke).

But how can we dominate in a trend when there is so much competition – with new sellers and new designers entering the market everyday?

I don’t pretend to be an expert at this, though I have had some limited success.

I can’t tell you how to predict the next big trend (I wish I could – but I don’t have a crystal ball) – but I can give you some tips for ways to maximise your earnings from the next big trend – especially if you have spotted it ahead of the competition.

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Merch By Amazon book

How To Sell More Shirts! Strategies, Tips And Tricks To Help You Sell T-Shirts Online With Merch By Amazon And More [eBook]

Last Updated: May 5, 2017

Merch By Amazon Ebook

Are you a designer, illustrator or artist selling T-Shirts online?

Do you want to sell more Shirts?

Who doesn’t, right!?

For the past 3 years I have been making money online from my T-Shirt designs. In the past year that income has been super-charged by Amazon’s new print-on-demand platform: Merch By Amazon.

I’m now making a steady $10k a month in profit from selling T-Shirts online.

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