Merch by Amazon: What Is It and How Do I Get Started?

Merch by Amazon offers a unique opportunity for creative sellers to reap the benefits of e-commerce.
There are virtually no upfront costs or inventory requirements with Merch on Demand, making it an ideal choice for budding entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other professionals who want to make money while promoting their brands.

Here's an in-depth look at Amazon Merch and how to use it to your advantage.


What Is Merch by Amazon?

Amazon Merch is a print-on-demand service powered by the platform that enables eligible sellers to design and upload custom items for sale on Amazon. You can choose from a variety of apparel items and materials like t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, phone cases, and more, and save on upfront costs by using the company's fulfillment network.

Whenever a customer purchases an item with your design, you earn a percentage of the sale known as a royalty. The service is now so popular that even huge companies like Marvel and Disney are using it. If you see a cool "Spidey" or "May The Force Be With You" design on Amazon, there's a good chance it was made with Merch by Amazon.

How Does Amazon Merch Work?

Once you're invited to join Merch by Amazon and have an approved design (more on that later), Amazon will create listings for your products, print them, and ship them to customers as you receive orders.

The royalty you earn is the price of the product minus any applicable taxes and Amazon's costs to fulfill the order. These may include "materials, production, fulfillment, customer service, returns, exchanges, and resources required to detect and prevent fraud," to quote Merch by Amazon's royalties explainer.

If you clicked the above-linked resource, you may have noticed royalty breakdowns per country. Royalty rates usually fall between 12% and 38%, though this number may change slightly depending on the product's price.

For example, a t-shirt priced at $15.99 may have a royalty payout of $1.93 when sold, but listing the same t-shirt for just two dollars higher ($17.99) could result in almost double the royalty amount ($3.41), so pricing is an important factor to consider when deciding which products to offer.

Also, keep in mind that Amazon Merch limits the number of designs you can upload and sell at a given time. Following a tier-based system, sellers can list up to 10 designs when starting out and unlock higher tier limits as their sales grow:

  • Tier 1 (10 designs)
  • Tier 2 (25 designs)
  • Tier 3 (100 designs)
  • Tier 4 (500 designs)

Who Should Use Amazon Merch?

Merch on Demand makes it easy for you — the seller — to customize products and upload them for sale. You don't have to be a design expert or graphic artist, nor do you need a large social media following to make use of this service. All you need is an entrepreneurial spirit and some great ideas for designs!

Of course, creative professionals can gain an edge by leveraging their design skills to make unique products, but Merch by Amazon also allows entrepreneurs with no design skills the chance to amplify their brand voice and score sales in the process.

In fact, Amazon Merch sellers often execute their visions by contracting graphic artists on popular freelance networks like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru — a strategy that can pay off in more ways than one.

What Are the Advantages of Merch by Amazon?

Amazon's worldwide reach of over 310 million active customers gives you access to a huge potential buyer base. On top of that, Merch by Amazon enables you to make a sale with zero inventory, as transactions are made to order. There's also little to no risk, assuming you follow the platform's Terms of Use.

Additionally, Merch gets rid of time-consuming workflows that some private-label sellers may encounter when selling their products on Amazon, such as:

  • Lost goods
  • Mislabeled goods
  • Manufacturer outreach
  • Third-party warehouse issues
  • Import duties
  • Customer returns
  • Stock-outs
  • Other issues related to physical goods

In other words, Merch by Amazon allows you to focus on creating quality products without many of the operational headaches that come with running a successful business. It's technically passive income because once a customer buys your design, the transaction is automated and you receive royalties for each item sold.

How Do I Get Invited to Merch by Amazon?

First, you'll need to create an Amazon account if you don't already have one. After that, you can navigate to the Merch on Demand landing page and click on the blue "Sign Up" button to join the platform's network of content creators:


You should fill out the Amazon Merch application form as instructed. Be sure to enter all of your business details correctly, such as your contact information, tax ID number, and bank account for royalty payments.

Once completed, you'll be placed on a waiting period that may last several months due to high demand from sellers. Amazon Merch is an invitation-only platform, so you'll need to be patient while they review your credentials.

Once approved, it's time to create your product designs.

How Do I Create a Product for Amazon Merch?

Once you're granted access to the Merch by Amazon dashboard in Seller Central, you can either upload an original design in PNG format or use a public domain image to create a product. Be sure to review Merch by Amazon's guidelines before uploading a design, as these will include the right templates to use in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, as well as color settings and other technical considerations for optimal results.

Tips for Successfully Selling Amazon Merch Designs

The following tips should help increase your chances of success as a Merch by Amazon seller:

1. Research the market to identify popular graphic designs in your target niche or industry. You can use keywords like “merch design,” “apparel design,” and “graphic design” to get ideas for creating attractive products that customers will want to buy.

2. Pay attention to Merch by Amazon best practices, which will help you create the highest quality product possible. Make sure that your designs are on-brand and meet all of the platform’s specifications and branding guidelines.

3. Be cautious of any copyright infringements you may commit, even if they are done unintentionally, lest Amazon take action against your account.

4. Leverage social media trends, such as concepts, memes, and popular hashtags, to create timely, in-demand designs.

5. If you are not a designer yourself, work with talented designers on Fiverr, Guru, and other freelance networks who understand Merch by Amazon best practices and can create products that are both visually appealing and compliant with the platform’s standards.

6. Keep track of your progress by logging into the Merch by Amazon dashboard regularly to monitor your performance metrics. Stay on top of inventory levels, pricing strategies, and other promotional activities to maximize your earnings.

7. Display ads for your merch on your blog, website, and social media channels to drive more traffic to your store. Of course, you can also place ads on Amazon itself, such as Sponsored Product or Sponsored Brand Ads, as this will increase your traffic tremendously and can lead to many additional sales. For optimal results, consider using a fully automated Amazon Advertising Tool to automate your campaigns and lower your overall advertising costs.Try BidX for free


The Bottom Line

Merch by Amazon is a great platform for both beginners and experienced entrepreneurs to start selling their custom-designed apparel with minimal time and effort. With the right strategies in place — from researching the market to leveraging Amazon’s best practices and advertising tools — sellers can maximize their profits and build their brands on the platform.

Happy Merch-ing!