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Merch by Amazon, is it worth the time?

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Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
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30
35
Bulgaria
Hi Fastlaners,

I'm considering investing some time (and money) in Merch by Amazon as a side hustle.

The plan is to completely outsource the designs and focus only on marketing for several hours a week (can't spend more at this point).

Does someone have an experience with this model? Is it worth a trial?

It's an easy entry business which is always a red light and I would expect just a small semi-passive income from it (still do not know how sustainable it is).

Best Regards,
Nick
 
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ZCP

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Write out your CENTS analysis here. It will help answer your question.....
 

Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
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Bulgaria
Write out your CENTS analysis here. It will help answer your question.....

Thanks, did that already.
Still, there are questions only one dealt with the platform can answer, like:

- How long a design can sell without being copied (so I can calculate estimated RoI)?
- Will Amazon protect my brand (so I can build such or it's just follow the trend and the fastest win)?
- What is the approximate return percentage (as it will be pure lose in my case)?
 

ZCP

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Maybe you could share what you learned. Give to get. :)

Your post asks, yet gives nothing in return.
 
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Xeon

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Merch by Amazon is essentially the same as those stuff like Zazzle, cafepress and share many similar traits like teespring etc.

The only difference is the Amazon traffic, but it's not a sustainable business in the long run. And the print on demand quality is usually poor.

Out of the 5 commandments, I think only Time is not violated.

how long a design can sell without being copied (so I can calculate estimated RoI)?

How complex will your designs be, or will they be just text which people can copy in 3 mins in Photoshop?

- Will Amazon protect my brand (so I can build such or it's just follow the trend and the fastest win)?

When you sell merch by Amazon, people don't remember you, they remember Amazon. They type amazon.com into the browser address bar when they want to buy merch, not chosenone.com.
The profit margins are poor.

Btw, you seem to be chasing money.:rofl:
 
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Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
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Bulgaria
Thank you, Xeon! I don't consider this as a serious business but a side income.

As for the CENTS, usually prefer to give info only when have enough expertise (in order not to mislead someone) but you guys are very pushy, so:

For the ones who don't know Merch by Amazon is an on demand printing service. You supply the artwork, choose the product type and color(s), and then promote your products. Amazon takes care of the rest, including production, sales and shipping. What you earn is a royalty on every product sold.

My plan involves two possible road maps:

1. Creating my own (niche) brand, investing in high quality custom designs (between 20 and 50$ on Fiverr and Upwork) and promoting heavily in Facebook (paid and free), Pinterest and Instagram. In this case I will be using also Shopify (where the traffic will be directed) as sales channel.

2. Just following the trends and get big volume of low to medium quality designs (3 to 5$). Selling exclusively on Amazon and using their traffic.

I have also a rough budget written on napkin, but would not like to take off your time with it (it's too general) :)

The bottom line: my time (considering my job and business endevours) is currently evaluated at around 40$ per hour (sadly). Do you think is worth spending 8 hours per week on such venture?
 
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Xeon

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Regarding the 1st road map, it's hard to be taken seriously as a clothing brand if you're using Amazon merch, because you're considered as a sub brand of Amazon. Seriously brands don't use print on demand due to the digital printing technology being used (if you compare that with screen printed retail quality shirts, you'll know what I mean). You'll be kinda burning money at Amazon because as mentioned, your profit margins will be poor. Starting a serious clothing brand at Amazon merch is a future recipe for disaster.

The second route seems slightly better if you're dead on determined in doing this.
Research the trends and create the apparel designs for those trends, then when the trends fade, create new designs for new trends. Basically like what the teespring and sunfrog guys are doing, check them out.
It's not a sustainable business or one that I would be proud of doing. All of them are in this to earn quick bucks even at the expense of stealing others designs. There's no branding, just products.
The teespring thing was hot a few years back but has kinda died down. Heck, there's some threads here where guys were making tons of $$$ (5 or 6 figure) previously watching trends, creating designs for the trends, then spend tons of $$$ on FB ads testing those designs to watch which hit and which didn't, then promote the ones which did....

If you're really set on this, I would say go with 2nd route, get the $, then move out to screen printing and white labeling of your apparel.

If I were you, I wouldn't spend 8 hours a week on this sort of venture though lol

Just my thoughts, I've been dabbling with this print on demand crap since 2007, and it's a losing battle for the seller for the most part. The one making the real money is the company that provides the POD service (though many came and go).

Side note, I'm not sure what quality of designs you're gonna get with "$3 - $5" on Fiverr, but don't expect much. In fact, the designs are probably going to look very stock-vectorish and might even be copied and modified from elsewhere.

No designer in the world, even from india or China, is going to start a decent quality design FROM SCRATCH for $5 lol.
 
Last edited:

Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
26
30
35
Bulgaria
Regarding the 1st road map, it's hard to be taken seriously as a clothing brand if you're using Amazon merch, because you're considered as a sub brand of Amazon. Seriously brands don't use print on demand due to the digital printing technology being used (if you compare that with screen printed retail quality shirts, you'll know what I mean). You'll be kinda burning money at Amazon because as mentioned, your profit margins will be poor. Starting a serious clothing brand at Amazon merch is a future recipe for disaster.

The second route seems slightly better if you're dead on determined in doing this.
Research the trends and create the apparel designs for those trends, then when the trends fade, create new designs for new trends. Basically like what the teespring and sunfrog guys are doing, check them out.
It's not a sustainable business or one that I would be proud of doing. All of them are in this to earn quick bucks even at the expense of stealing others designs. There's no branding, just products.
The teespring thing was hot a few years back but has kinda died down. Heck, there's some threads here where guys were making tons of $$$ (5 or 6 figure) previously watching trends, creating designs for the trends, then spend tons of $$$ on FB ads testing those designs to watch which hit and which didn't, then promote the ones which did....

If you're really set on this, I would say go with 2nd route, get the $, then move out to screen printing and white labeling of your apparel.

If I were you, I wouldn't spend 8 hours a week on this sort of venture though lol

Just my thoughts, I've been dabbling with this print on demand crap since 2007, and it's a losing battle for the seller for the most part. The one making the real money is the company that provides the POD service (though many came and go).

Side note, I'm not sure what quality of designs you're gonna get with "$3 - $5" on Fiverr, but don't expect much. In fact, the designs are probably going to look very stock-vectorish and might even be copied and modified from elsewhere.

No designer in the world, even from india or China, is going to start a decent quality design FROM SCRATCH for $5 lol.

Sounds more than reasonable. Thanks a lot!
Probably saved me hundreds of hours I would never get back :)
Will focus on something more sustainable with a possible EXIT event.
 

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