Amazon Merch (Advanced) with Chris Green – Session 003

There’s a new frontier for ecommerce sellers, Merch by Amazon is the new print on-demand t-shirt business that Amazon is funding and it gives you access to $500k hi-tech printers for your business for free. Chris Green is here on Seller Sessions to talk through everything Amazon Merch. If you are an FBA or Amazon Seller then Chris explains why you have a huge leg-up with Merch by Amazon.

We talk through how to get an Amazon Merch account setup, what steps you need to follow also what are the pitfalls in this new business and what you need to do to protect yourself and workaround any problems. The research is explained and how to find the keywords and themes to focus your designs around for the most sales. We also give you some tactics to de-risk your sales by finding shirts that are already doing well in niches you can join.

Chris also takes you through the abundance mindset and how Merch is so early and growing that there is more than enough for everyone to do really well with Merch by amazon.

A bit about Chris Green

  • Started June 2008 – was a big eBay seller
  • Good at spotting a lot of opportunities
  • Merch is the biggest opportunity for real people right now – it’s great
  • Leader in Merch by Amazon
  • Did Kindle books and did well on Amazon
  • When Amazon Merch came along
    • On-demand products
    • Print on-demand printers

Easy Starting on Amazon Merch

  • Amazon Merch has no costs involved up-front
  • It’s t-shirts currently but will be more products
  • Easy start up on Merch:
    • Sign-up to Merch by Amazon
    • Upload an image
    • Right format 4500×5400, Transparent background and PNG file format
    • Give it a title and a price for your product
    • You don’t pay the costs until someone buys your t-shirt
  • They do mens, women, youth sizes
  • There are 18 colours and these are ‘Prime’ eligible too
  • No customer service or returns
  • You put up a t-shirt and get all your friends to buy one – you could make $7 on a $20 shirt giving you $700 in a weekend when your 100 friends buy it

We talk Royalties and not Margins

  • Some people are ‘sellers’ at heart and because some want to do creative work and enjoy designing Amazon Merch can be a great option here
  • You can outsource designs for selling on Amazon Merch which helps you leverage a skill and build a team
  • There are some secrets to marketing on Merch though
  • Stimulating the algorithm – how do you do it on Amazon Merch?
    • Sponsored ads
    • 160 chars in the title
    • No backend search term
    • We have bullet points and description

How to sell

  • Have a great design and make a good product this will help you win sales
  • Use a Good title and description so as to hook customers
  • Offer at a Good price point to ensure you are competitive
  • Amazon will take down shirts that don’t sell which will impact your sales
  • If they don’t sell in 90 days then it’s not going to sell and you should take it down or revise the design
  • Use Facebook ads to market it and pixel the reader so that you can re-target them around the web

You licence your t-shirt to Amazon

  • You can have an Amazon Associate account to market your t-shirt and send traffic to Amazon
  • 96% of Amazon Merch sellers are not doing this promotion and marketing
  • You do a little bit of work and you can be leaps ahead
  • Print on demand is growing on Amazon
  • FBA is going to change and you need to adapt
  • Do what you’re best at, selling, FBA, Kindle, creative, etc

Benefits of Amazon Merch

  • Merch by amazon – really anybody can do it with no cost
  • There is no ‘inventory’ needed therefore no need to invest in a container or freight up-front
  • No samples to buy because everything is printed on-demand at time fo sale
  • There’s a whole EU pilot going on currently
  • Amazon Merch is going to be in Japan

Strategy to sell on Merch

  • People doing FB ads but with a cold audience and seeing no progress as using ‘1st click’ attribution and expecting sales – when they don’t come quickly they drop it before a return
  • You should be looking at how to ‘warm up’ the audience most of all to be receptive to your offer
  • Look to create a ‘group’ of t-shirts that follow a theme which will make your sales much better
  • Drive external traffic to the shirts and spend some money to stimulate sales
  • Drive traffic to create sales – might be $100 to warm them up but it’s an investment in sales
  • This traffic then grows organically and begins to rank and sell thereby making you more money
  • Where can you find this targeted traffic?

Using AMS to market your Amazon Merch t-shirts

  • Using AMS can be an advantage to FBA sellers who have AMS from the vendor programme
  • AMS can be used to market your shirts because you can select and search by ASINs
  • You can create headline Ads for your designs and this enables you to market more effectively
  • Your common old Merch designer may not be able to make the leap to AMS
  • AMS is great for watering the Money Tree that is your Merch account
  • AMS lets you promote someone else’s ASIN and your t-shirt is an ASIN that you’re licensing to Amazon
  • You can make more variations of Ads and they will appear on competitor listings too
  • Creating visibility for your design does not turn into money unless you are sending the right traffic to the design

Amazon Merch as a startup

  • You can design and test hundreds of shirts for not a lot of money to find what sells
  • Use peopleperhour.com to find good designers for a cheap price as they are overseas
  • Your skill is in coming up with the research
  • Use Zazzle, Cafepress and Amazon will tell you what the popular shirts are and then ask your designer to make those kinds of shirts
  • Value is subjective so design for sales don’t design for you
  • Text based t-shirts sell amazingly well in lots of cases

Tools / Research

  • Merchresearch.com – the Junglescout for Merch?
    • Enter your keyword and it will show you the t-shirts that have that keyword in their listing
  • See what’s selling on Amazon – Amazon puts it in ‘relevance’ order which isn’t exactly sales rank order but you can see what’s selling
  • You can spot under-served niches or see the high seller ranks on shirts

Issues with Merch

  • The copycat issue – others might copy your design and post their own shirts lifting your description, titles, bullets
  • Amazon are working hard on resolving this, might still have a problem on off-Amazon sites
  • You can report these to Amazon and they trap these problems quickly if you report it
  • Don’t worry about it too much – Amazon is still a place for great customers and plenty of royalties because you can just make more t-shirts and enjoy the royalties
  • Also, if you have copycats then you’re probably doing something right
  • Avoid copyright and trademark infringement also go to the  USPTO.gov website for trademarks clothing apparel
  • You need to stay on top of these areas and keep yourself clean because penalties can be painful
  • Go hire a lawyer and make sure you’re supported
  • Just because you see a Star Wars shirt up there – doesn’t mean you can post Star Wars shirts too!

A True Sit on the Beach Business

  • This is the true ‘sit on the beach’ business with royalty payments coming into you from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and internet connection
  • You can partner with others – so a designer, a copywriter/researcher and a marketer and you can then have a good business with the right skills – work to your strengths
  • The benefit of trusting others is a big positive in scaling your business
  • There is more benefit to trusting and doing business than stalling or never getting started for the fear of getting copycat impact
  • Have an abundance mindset and also share as you get more back in return
  • The more of us in the Merch business means it’s also growing it for us all and bringing in more customers
  • Theodore Roosevelt – “comparison is the thief of joy”
  • Go where there is already demand and go for local businesses and tell them you will create the t-shirts for them
  • Amazon has $500k printers that you can use for free this gives such an ability to you so go and find people to experience that value from you

Research – where to find trends for designs

  • How do you jump on topical themes to bring about new designs to ride the wave
  • What are the trending keywords
  • The “basket of deplorables” Clinton quote was a huge t-shirt seller and The Brexit theme was also a great t-shirt
  • Tomorrow nobody will be talking about it so move quickly with the themes
  • In US use Fox News, CNN, Yahoo and Buzzfeed for trends and see opportunity to jump in for relevant themes
  • Go to the best sellers on Zazzle, Cafe Express and Amazon to see what’s selling also go use Google Trends to see what has searches but not a lot of products available

Chris Green – contact

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