After waiting months for an official invite and spending hours researching and developing t-shirt designs, you simply aren’t making as many sales as you thought you would. Is there a secret to moving up the Amazon Merch tiers?
It is easy to put your lack of sales down to Amazon’s structure and rules, but there are still steps you can take to move up the tiers at lightning speed.
As someone who has made good money on the Amazon Merch platform, I feel like I can help you with this topic.
Later in this article, I’ll show you how much we have made to date on Merch by Amazon, we won’t be the biggest, but we are pretty proud of our results.
Let start with the basics first.
How Much Can You Make on Amazon Merch?
The higher your Amazon Merch tier level, the more t-shirts slots you have available to fill.
The more designs you have on offer, the higher your earning potential.
Sounds simple enough, but the reality is, you only really start earning good money once you get past tier 100.
This is because up until this point, you have a minimal number of slots available.
Amazon requires you to fill at least 80% of your slots before they consider moving you up a tier.
I found that getting past the 100-design mark is the most difficult. You also need to find that fine line between pushing sales and admitting that your designs aren’t as popular as you thought they would be.
The beginning stages of the Amazon Merch process requires discipline, especially if you apply the Pareto Principle. Only 20% of your sales drive 80% of your profits, which means a decent size bottom line takes time.
So, what can you expect to earn?
Amazon will pay you a royalty for every product you sell. Naturally, this royalty is based on the purchase price, minus any tax and Amazon’s fees.
Some of Amazon’s costs include materials, production, order fulfillment and management, and shipping.
Here is an example of the royalties you can expect to earn.
You can find out more about Amazon Merch royalties here.
Amazon Merch Tiers Explained
Each Merch by Amazon tier is linked to a specific number of designs. Every new seller starts on tier 10. Moving up a tier requires you to sell more designs and of course, fill at least 80% of your slots.
- Tier 10 = 10 Designs
- Tier 25 = 25 Designs
- Tier 100 = 100 designs
- Tier 500 = 500 designs
- Tier 1000 = 1000 designs
- Tier 2000 = 2000 designs
- Tier 4000 = 4000 designs
- Tier 8000 = 8000 designs
- Tier 10000 = 10000 designs
- The system goes all the way up to Tier 100000
So, as a new seller, to move from tier 10 to tier 25, you need to sell at least ten designs. To get to tier 100, you need to sell at least 25 designs.
This sounds a lot easier than it is, which is why you need a few extra tactics.
Related: How To Get Started With Merch By Amazon
Tactics for Moving Up The Amazon Merch Tier System
Market to Local Groups on Facebook
It is possible to find a Facebook group for almost any niche you can think of. Finding groups you know will appreciate your designs is one way to make several sales without having to pay for marketing.
Just keep in mind that most groups approve their members and require them to contribute in meaningful ways. So, be prepared to engage before you start showcasing your designs.
Joining hundreds of groups just so you can post a link to your merch is a sure-fire way to destroy your brand.
Once you start joining conversations, you can subtly start dropping links to your designs.
You also never know when a group might be looking for someone to assist them with a t-shirt design.
Understand What is Selling
Before you start submitting your designs, take the time to research what sells. Looking at trending designs is the most obvious option, and it is easy to pick up on trends on Amazon and social media. However, trends are not evergreen, so it is crucial to identify a few designs that will stand the test of time.
Evergreen designs are generally associated with messaging, groups, clubs, and professions.
Event-based designs are also popular and can fall under the evergreen category too. Think Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. Just keep in mind that if you decide to specialize in this category and your designs are a hit, be prepared to be busier than most sellers.
Purchase the Shirts Yourself
While this tactic can be costly, it is one of the easier ways to move to tier 3. While it might not seem like an appealing tactic, sellers are still permitted to purchase their merchandise.
I would recommend focusing on making organic sales first to get your business more stable. From there, you can decide whether purchasing your designs is the best way to move up a tier.
Find Out About Community Events
This one is a little tricky with the current pandemic, but it is a tactic to keep on the back burner. From charity events and parades to farmer’s markets, community events are a great target audience for your merchandise.
If they require t-shirts for the events, create a new design and instantly sell enough to move you into tier 2. If you have an idea of previous t-shirt designs, you can create something before you approach the organizer.
A lot of local events also take place around trending topics. Make a point of keeping an eye out for trends to be the first to offer eye-catching merchandise.
Focus on Pricing
When you are just starting on Merch by Amazon, pricing is a strong competitive strategy. When your pricing is lower than your competitors, your designs stand out more.
Starting with lower prices does not need to negatively affect your income. When your designs are good, lower prices can drive up sales and result in higher income levels.
Once your sales start to increase, you can quickly push up your prices gradually to boost your bottom line and move up a tier or two.
I have also put together a full guide on selling clothes on Amazon in general if you want to consider an alternate route to market.
Does Amazon Merch Work?
Ok so luckily we can talk from experience on this one.
In the last 30 days, we have earned $240.00 in the US and £32.00 in the UK.
This has been through the sale of 130 units with an average royalty of $2.50, and we are seeing month on month increases as we near the end of Q4.
In the middle of Q3, we decided if we wanted Merch By Amazon, to be half as successful as the private label business we needed to up our game and double down on effort.
I can happily say we have done this.
We now have a system in place where we are uploading 50 unique designs per month with SEO rich listings, with the help of a designer and content writer.
We are only a month away from tiering up to tier 4,000, which will hopefully see our sales quadruple as we start to fill the new vacant slots.
So in answer to the original question, Yes Amazon Merch works, it does, however, take time and effort.
Niche research is probably the most challenging part; in the video below, Ed runs you through exactly how we do it.
Anyway, let’s move on.
Is Amazon Merch Worth It?
If you are happy to take the time for organic sales to roll in, Merch by Amazon can be a powerful marketplace. In most instances, you can expect to wait at least a month before you move up an Amazon Merch tier.
The exact amount of time it takes to move up a tier is dependent on too many factors to offer an exact timeframe.
From our experience, Amazon merch is worth it. Print on demand is a great business model if you are willing to put in a little work upfront.
If you are a designer, why not take advantage of Amazon, having great designs is the key ingredient to success on the Merch platform.
If you aren’t a designer, don’t worry! We aren’t either. You need to take the time to learn and start building your systems.
If you want an alternative to Amazon merch, Teespring is something that you may want to consider – you can read my full review on the platform here.
Until next time…
8 thoughts on “Amazon Merch Tiers: How To Move Up At Lightning Speed”
Thanks so much! I’m one sale away from moving out of Tier 10, just starting to do this seriously. I targeted a particular youth activity that I think could be an evergreen niche because it’s constantly changing and it’s paying off enough to move me up.
So happy we could help! Sounds like you are on the right tracks. You might find this recent video we did useful, shows you how we’ve scaled to tier 10,000. Video: Scaling to Tier 10000 Let me know what you think!
Thanks for you info, its very helpful.
Wondering what you think of my case, I am at tier 25, I sold 25 shirts as of 5/4/2021
I have sold 9 more since to a total of 34 as of today. when you think they can move me up to tier 100?
Hello Osmin, have you used merch productor? We use this and it gives us a pretty good indication of when we are likely to tier up!
I am cheating and trying to buy myself out of Tier 10. Just bought 10 shirts yesterday from Amazon.de (as I am based in Europe). I think the investment is well worth it as for less than $200 I am able to use 2.5x slots.
However Productor says: “Next Tier-Up 25 in approx. 10 sales or 0 days”. And the yellow $ icon says “Sales Missing: 10”.
Does this mean my sales didn’t count for the Tier-Up?
Hello Michael, to be honest we always avoid doing stuff like this. If you get up 10 well researched, well made designs you can move up very quickly. Maybe we’ll put together a Merch course at some point, for the time being watch this, it will help you find the right sort of design ideas: Find Low Competition Merch Ideas Let me know if it helps! Sorry I can’t help you with the blackhat way, for us it just isn’t worth the risk!
Hi Thanks for the information you provided. It was very informative and helpful. I would like some guidance. I am in tier 10 and have 3 live products./designs. I’ve sold 10 of of 1 type of design. Does that not qualify me to move up to tier 25? Thanks
When you are ready, Amazon will move you up, check out this tool, it will help you work out how long it should be until you tier up: Productor For Merch You really need to focus on filling up all 10 slots! Keep going!