Are you planning to start a Merch business?
As appealing as this risk-free, passive income opportunity may sound, Merch by Amazon application is not easy-as-pie.
Merch by Amazon is one of the greatest print-on-demand merch selling platforms that gives you access to over millions of potential buyers, and a priority on search engines.
The best thing about this platform is that there are no capital/investment/upfront costs needed in order to sell.
Once you get approved, you only have to publish your merch designs in your unique page, set the price, and watch the sales grow in numbers.
For every product sold, you get a royalty from the sales.
As your merch designs sell, Amazon makes sure your customer service, shipping, and printing requests from buyers are well taken care of.
Merch by Amazon is a great platform for newbie sellers, especially those who want to have an experience to the online world of sales.
It has all the resources that you need to get started and there’s an abundant number of Merch by Amazon tools you can use to your advantage online you can use for free.
It can be an introductory space to build your first customers and establish a great loyal customer base.
While there are chances that you may not sell enough, the platform is typically risk-free. That means you may not earn much, but you also don’t lose anything.
When Merch by Amazon first started, they had an open registration system.
The prodigious opportunity has received an overwhelming response from the print industry where the platform has been flooded with so many online entrepreneurs.
However, through time, Merch by Amazon has experienced unethical sellers and low-quality designers.
This is why the Amazon team has taken measures to make its platform more competitive, profitable, and reliable by changing its application into an invite-only process.
By making the application process more rigorous, Amazon gets only the best sellers with saleable and promising designs.
In the new application process, Amazon requires you to fill out all necessary information they need to screen your request.
With this new stringent process, it can make it very difficult for some to get approved by Merch by Amazon.
Here are some measures you can take to make sure your application makes it through.
1. Prepare all necessary information you need
To be approved by Merch by Amazon, you need to first give them a ton of information about you and your business.
Make sure you get all necessary requirements that you need to input upon the whole process of your application.
This includes your:
- business information, such as business name, business address, business email address, as well as applicable tax identification numbers.
- personal contact information, such as country location, full address, phone number, tax information, as well as other ID information like social security numbers.
- Merch by Amazon will also be asking for your bank account and routing number details, along with corresponding information such as an address, contact number, etc.
They will be needing all these details to make sure that you are a legitimate potential seller.
Sometimes, you can easily get stuck on technical details that you have not prepared for yet.
This is why it’s important to gather all important details about you and your business, if you’re planning on applying for a Merch by Amazon account.
Once you’ve secured all the necessary information you need beforehand, you’re good to go on the application process.
2. Go through the Invitation process
As we have mentioned, Amazon has changed to an invite-only application system due to the tough competition. So, the only way to make it is:
- if you’ve been sent an invitation, or
- you request an invitation and get approved.
First, make sure that you have an Amazon account. Then you can click “Request invitation”.
Here, Amazon will ask you the following details about your company.
- Organization name
- Industry Type
- Website (optional)
- Additional Information (optional)
Merch by Amazon will screen all slots for consideration thoroughly using all details that have been inputted by the applicants.
If you are not qualified for the slot, then you will not be receiving a contact notice from Amazon.
The catch here is that, the boxes with the words “optional” are usually the ones that matter the most.
This gives you an idea of what Amazon is actually looking for in their potential sellers.
The “website” and “additional information” will show their team your uniqueness and ability.
This can easily speak volumes about the things that set you apart from other applicants.
This invitation process will also give you an idea of what you need to work on in building you Merch by Amazon account.
It’s also important that after you fill out all necessary details, you double check everything to make sure you didn’t miss any vital information.
The least you want to happen is to send in an application with numerous errors, which can greatly affect your chances of being accepted as part of the Merch by Amazon Team.
3. Create an Amazon-worthy Website
Think of the Merch by Amazon application as a job interview. As much as possible, you need to showcase as much skills as you have.
Your website, along with other online presence will show your uniqueness, marketing ability, artistic ability, and your design ability.
Your website sort of acts like your portfolio, where the team can look through your potential “salability”.
If you haven’t made a website for your merch business yet, consider making this a priority.
If you’re completely new to making a website, note that there can be two options in building one:
- A predesigned website template
- Or you can build your website from scratch
There are many cost-friendly options that can help you showcase your brand.
WordPress is a great website building platform that can help you showcase your design abilities, as well as your ability to sell.
It also connects with WooCommerce, so you can establish a website that looks like a selling platform just like that of Merch by Amazon.
The secret is to create a website that is appealing and eye-catching enough to the viewers, where they kind of want to scroll down and learn more about you after the first seven seconds of their first look.
By creating a website that can give the Amazon team an overview of what your potential selling abilities are like, you easily increase your chances of being considered.
Your website can also create a buzz in your brand and establish a great online presence.
4. Boost your online presence
The website is a great starting tool for promoting your brand, but there are also other ways to “microblog” by spreading brand awareness in social media.
Social media is another way to promote your brand and expand your network tremendously.
By creating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts, you can easily increase your visibility to different kinds of audiences.
This will give Amazon an idea that aside from their platform, you have a wider audience reach because of your page followers.
Make sure you are always active by constantly promoting your brand and engaging in audience interactions.
Make sure to reply to any inquiries and suggestions on your posts.
Creating a social media page is all Free.
So, take this opportunity to build your brand, drive great traffic and establish a good audience from these platforms.
Aside from that, social media can be a great space for you to ask for any suggestions, marketing ideas, and areas for improvement.
Social media can be as candid and genuine as it can get, so you can have a pool of fans and critics that can help you improve your brand tremendously.
You can also introduce blog writing to your current websites that are SEO optimized.
In this way, you can integrate any content to your social media pages and expand your network and audience.
5. Take the “additional information” seriously
The additional information may just look like a tiny box at the end of the invitation panel, but it is probably the most important part.
This can give the Amazon a detailed letter of explanation on why they should consider you to be part of their team.
While your website and social media pages act like your portfolio, your additional information column acts like your resume.
List as much experience as you can that can showcase your skills.
After you’ve keyed in your website and social media links above, you can mention these again in here and highlight its importance.
Say how you can utilize these to increase your online presence and leverage your sales in the future, once you get accepted.
Merch by Amazon doesn’t only want sellers who are great in designing, but more importantly those who have research, sales, marketing, and SEO skills.
The platform can be quite tricky, although there are many plugins that you can use in the future in order to make your sales experience easier.
Nonetheless, you can easily turn heads by listing relevant experiences, work history, education history, and certificates that prove you can be part of the bigger Merch by Amazon world.
Highlight here your experience in the print-on-demand industry.
If you’ve had previous experiences with other print-on-demand platforms like Printful, TeeSpring, and Printify, you can include this in your list of experiences.
You will give Amazon an idea that you know how to work things our of the game.
The more experiences you can give, the greater your chances of getting accepted.
It is important that as you list your qualifications, you provide supporting links if necessary.
If you have other links to other websites and portfolios, don’t forget to include it here.
This gives the Amazon team a bigger picture of how much effort you’ve put into your POD application.
The greater the effort, the higher the chances of acceptance.
Elaborate properly your intentions of joining the platform.
Show how you can be a competitive yet ethical seller that they want to have in their market place.
Lastly, take this as an opportunity to show Amazon how much they can make money from you.
Ultimately, no matter how great your artistic abilities are, they want your designs to sell, just as you do.
So, show them how you can work together in a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.
6. Don’t waste your waiting time
After you’ve filled out and double-checked everything, you can click submit on the application and you’re good to go!
Amazon will then send a prompt that says your request has been successfully submitted.
Your waiting time for approval varies from time to time depending on the volume of people applying for their website.
On average, Amazon can read through your application in a duration of 60 days. Some say it takes them 3 months for their application to get accepted, while others can only take weeks.
Nonetheless, it is important to stay optimistic and not waste your waiting time.
You can make the most out of this opportunity by spending your time on
- Doing SEO research on items and niches that are in demand.
- Improving T-shirt design skills.
- Developing a great digital marketing strategy.
- Researching on Good Merch by Amazon Plugins and Tools.
- Building your brand’s potential.
Most importantly, check your email regularly.
Once Amazon has made their decision to accept you as part of their team, they will notify you through the email that you have sent in your application.
If some adequate amount of time has lapsed, and you haven’t gotten a confirmation notice from Merch by Amazon, there’s a great chance that your application has been rejected.
The best thing to do at this point is to choose to educate yourself and remain proactive about it.
Amazon screens their applicants thoroughly to provide a more satisfactory experience for the Merch by Amazon audience, which includes the sellers.
Most of the time, here are the reasons why your application may be set aside:
- There may be erroneous, unverified, and incomplete details that you have inputted in the application.
- Your designs and ideas may be too simple, unviable, or unsalable.
- You don’t have enough online presence through websites, social media pages, or blog sites.
- You haven’t shown enough how your brand can make a great contribution to the Amazon Market.
By bearing these things in mind, you can take any of these into consideration and improve your next application process.
While it can be difficult to deal with rejection, especially when you know you’ve put a ton of work in it, there can be many factors to consider why your application has not been accepted.
The most important thing is to remain hopeful and be willing to improve yourself the next time.
You may be applying for approval from Merch by Amazon again, but this time, you know better.