At the end of October, I started selling t shirts via Merch by Amazon. You can check out the details of my first post here.
If you don’t want to go back and read that, the jist of it is that you can upload t shirt designs to this website and they will immediately be for sale on Amazon.com.
Even better, Amazon handles all of the t shirt printing, order fulfillment, and customer service.
All you need to do is come up with an awesome t shirt design. Easier said than done.
Results after 45 Days
Here’s a screenshot from my account after just 45 days and 5 t shirt designs uploaded:
Amazon only does the math for you on the last 7 days of sales, but so far since I started I’ve got $183 in sales and about $39 in royalties they’re going to pay out to me. Not bad!
Even better, the best selling t shirt with 7 sales is one I created. In fact, it only took me about 5 minutes to make it and get it uploaded.
I don’t have a bone of design in my body. I went to college for engineering, I dance like a typical white guy, and I can’t draw anything more than a stick figure.
The t shirt market on Amazon is so wide open right now that even with a tiny amount of effort and ingenuity, you can come up with your own awesome designs and get sales instantly.
Design Service Fail
I’ve actually been a Merch by Amazon seller for almost a year. In that time I sold 0 shirts and didn’t even upload a single design.
I came across a post on the entrepreneur subreddit where someone was offering a design service tailored to Merch by Amazon sellers.
The idea was you pay him $159 per month and you would get 4-5 high quality t shirt designs.
I signed up and tested it for a month and the 4 designs I got worked OK, sold OK, but not as well as the half assed shirt I made in 5 minutes.
Another problem was that Amazon suddenly halted all new t shirt uploads. This means I was paying $159 per month but I wasn’t able to upload any of the designs.
Not only was I not able to add any of the new designs I was having created, but I was running out of ideas for new shirts. There are services out there like Merchinformer.com where you can see what shirts are hot sellers right now but whenever I tried to imitate the other popular shirts I didn’t have much success.
If you can come up with a unique idea on your own, you’ll see much better results. Creating a ‘me too’ design just blends you in with the crowd and won’t deliver any results.
Actual footage of me using a design service
Future of the Merch by Amazon Side Hustle
Compared to my other side hustle, selling physical products on Amazon.com, the t shirts are AWESOME. It is no effort, no hassle, and no problems. It’s just headache free and much easier to manage.
I’m going to stick with this and keep creating shirt designs. I’ve already stopped using the agency because I couldn’t justify the cost, so from here on out I’ll be doing 100% of the shirt design myself.
For now I am only allowed to have 10 shirts for sale and upload 1 new design per day. Once I sell 10 shirts in total (already done) and Amazon removes their temporary restrictions, I’ll be able to offer 25 designs, then 50, then 100, then 500, etc.
The real money makers on merch are the people who have hundreds or thousands of shirts up for sale. I’ve averaged 1 sale every 3 days, so if you multiply that by 500, you can see how the income adds up really fast.
How to Start Selling Your Own T Shirts
One of my goals with this website is to help other people start their own side hustles (and maybe full blown businesses!).
So if you want to sign up for the program, you can request an invite here:
I think Amazon was overwhelmed with the number of people signing up so it’s invitation only right now. My invitation took 6 months but that was a year ago and since then they’ve sped up the process a lot.
The last estimates I saw were just a few weeks from when you request an invite until you can start uploading shirts.
So don’t wait, go sign up and start selling now. Even if you are designing in Microsoft paint, it’s better than nothing and practice makes perfect.