Merch by Amazon: The A-Z Guide On Getting Accepted


Starting a T-shirt business can be a daunting task, especially if you lack resources like a network of buyers, production facilities, a stockpile of blank T-shirts, and financial support. Merch by Amazon has transformed this scenario, making the journey simpler for aspiring entrepreneurs. This guide compiles essential tips for kickstarting your T-shirt business on Amazon.

What is Merch by Amazon?

Merch by Amazon, launched in 2015, is a print-on-demand platform that revolutionized the way designers sell their artwork. Originally targeting T-shirt designs, it has now expanded to include a broader range of clothing items like standard and premium tees, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.

This platform empowers designers to create and upload their designs, list them on Amazon, and earn royalties from sales, all without any upfront fees. The process is straightforward:

  1. Create an account on Merch by Amazon.
  2. Upload your designs.
  3. Select the product type for your design.
  4. Choose colors that complement your product.
  5. Set a price and title for your item.
  6. Publish it on Amazon, making it searchable on the site.

You earn money through royalties for each product sold. Notably, the program has shifted from an open-access model to an invite-only basis. Therefore, interested designers must apply for an account, with approvals typically processed within a few days.

Amazon’s commitment to this program is evident in its continued expansion and investment in facilities equipped with 24/7 running printers, dedicated to bringing your designs to life.

Whether you’re new to Merch by Amazon or seeking an in-depth understanding, this guide is tailored to provide a comprehensive overview and actionable strategies for success in the print-on-demand industry.

Setting Up Your Merch Account

How to Sign Up

Signing up for an Amazon Merch account is straightforward and can be completed in about 10 minutes.

Step 1: Fill the Information Below to Complete the Sign-Up

  • Business contact information.
  • Bank account and routing numbers.
  • Tax identification number.

Step 2: Request an Invitation

Step 3: Sign in to Your Amazon Account

  • You can use a buyer’s, seller’s, or create a new account specifically for Merch by Amazon.

Step 4: Start Your Application

  • After signing in, provide details about your company and banking information, then proceed to the tax survey.

Step 5: Take the Tax Questionnaire

  • Complete the tax survey. Note: Non-US residents may have up to 30% of profits withheld for tax.

Completing the Request Invitation Form

The request invitation form requires specific business details.

  • If you do not have a company for Merch by Amazon, simply use your name, as freelancers are eligible.
  • Ensure all contact details are accurate to avoid legal issues and enhance the chance of acceptance.
  • Include your tax and contact information in the invitation request.

How to Complete the Merch by Amazon Request Invitation Form

This section requires you to fill out three key areas:

  • Industry Type: Choose from the dropdown menu. If using your name, select ‘novelty T-shirt business’. If using a company name, choose ‘small business’.
  • Organization Name: Enter either your personal or business name, depending on what was used in the application.
  • Additional Information: Include unique details that set you apart from other applicants, such as personal websites or previous print-on-demand artwork.

How to Get Amazon to Accept Your Application

Gaining acceptance to Merch by Amazon can be achieved whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned designer. The key is transparency and honesty in your application process. Attempting to manipulate or cheat the system can lead to disqualification.

  • Emphasize Your Credentials: Clearly articulate why Amazon should consider your application. If you have an established website or a professional portfolio, make sure to include these links.
  • Showcase Your Following: If you have a significant online presence or following, mention this. Amazon values the potential for additional traffic that your designs could bring.
  • Include Relevant Information: Provide details about any licenses for your designs, trademarks you own, or if you employ artists with notable skills.

Merch by Amazon Guide to Dashboard

Familiarizing yourself with the Merch by Amazon dashboard is crucial for beginners.

  • Accessing Your Dashboard: Upon logging in, you’ll find ten slots available for your designs.
  • Tier System: Your account will upgrade to higher tiers as you achieve sales milestones, starting with the first ten sales.
  • Dashboard Overview: The dashboard allows you to track product listings, sales performance, and available slots.
  • Recent Activities and Messages: View your recent activities on the left and messages on the right side of the dashboard.

Creating Your Design

  • Uploading Designs: Navigate to the ‘Create’ page to start uploading your designs.
  • Selection Process: Choose the product type from the dropdown menu and preview how your design looks before finalizing.
  • Design Tools: Use software like Illustrator, Photoshop, or GIMP for designing.
  • Design Requirements: Adhere to the recommended requirements by Merch by Amazon, which also provides templates for ease of design.
  • Finalizing Your Design: Set your price and other details before publishing your design.

Managing Your Inventory

Managing your inventory on Merch by Amazon is an essential skill.

  • Inventory Tab: This feature helps you monitor all your uploaded designs and their statuses.
  • Design Status: Track the progress of each design from ‘Under Review’ to ‘Processing’ and finally to ‘Live’.
  • Sales Listings: Once live, you can view where customers see and purchase your designs through a provided hyperlink.


This section of the Merch by Amazon dashboard focuses on product status and earnings.

  • Earnings Tab: To view your sales and earnings, click on the “Earning” tab. Regularly checking this tab, preferably daily, is recommended for up-to-date information on your financial performance.


The Resources tab is a crucial part of the Merch by Amazon platform.

  • Content Location: Located at the top of the page, this tab is easily accessible.
  • Contained Information: It encompasses content policy, best practices documents, and other learning resources.
  • Importance for Success: Utilizing these resources is vital for long-term success in the Merch by Amazon program.

How to Calculate Your Royalties

Understanding the calculation of royalties is key to financial tracking.

  • Royalty Calculation: Compare your design sales on the dashboard with the payments received.
  • Ease of Use: Initially, calculations may seem complex, but they become straightforward with regular dashboard usage.
  • Additional Resources: A specific page is available for detailed information on royalty calculations.

Understanding Copyrights and Trademarks

This aspect is critical in ensuring your designs adhere to legal standards.

  • Copyrights: Protect literary and artistic works. When creating designs, ensure no plagiarism of existing works.
  • Trademarks: Protect names, logos, slogans, and brands. Pay extra attention to ensure your market designs are original and do not infringe on existing trademarks.
  • Content Check: Use tools like the free Trademark Search (at least in the US) to confirm your content is not already trademarked and to gain inspiration for original ideas.

Understanding Best Seller Rank

The Best Seller Rank (BSR) is an Amazon-specific performance metric.

  • Functionality: It ranks products relative to others in the same category, fluctuating based on sales volume.
  • Sales Impact: BSR changes with your product sales and the performance of other products in your category.

Research Niches

Thorough market research is necessary to identify client needs and market gaps.

  • Research Tools: Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google AdWords for insightful category or keyword research.
  • Competitor Analysis: Investigate competitor listings, product descriptions, and bestseller rankings to understand market dynamics.

Speed Up the Research

Efficiently use your initial earnings for scaling up.

  • Keyword Research: Focus on keyword research and competitor monitoring.
  • Data Analysis: Use tools like Merch Informer for time-efficient statistics analysis.
  • Strategy Development: Compile information into a detailed spreadsheet to formulate an effective marketing strategy.

Designing and Outsourcing

Embarking on your journey with Merch by Amazon, the priority is to showcase top-notch designs.

  • Design Creation: Your creativity is crucial. Designs that are humorous or unique tend to attract more buyers.
  • Outsourcing Option: Outsourcing is a viable option to acquire high-quality, diverse designs. This approach can cater to various customer preferences and help you stand out in your chosen niche.

Keyword Optimizing Listings

Effective listing optimization is key to reaching Amazon’s vast audience.

  • Steps for Uploading:
    1. Upload your design image.
    2. Choose the color options.
    3. Fill out the listing information, including price, brand, bullet points, title, and product description.
  • Pricing Strategy: Set a competitive price that aligns with the quality and appeal of your design to encourage sales.
  • Brand Name Importance: Choose a non-trademarked brand name for better ranking.
  • Title and Keywords: The title is critical for search ranking. Incorporate unique and relevant keywords to enhance visibility.
  • Bullet Points: Use bullet points to succinctly highlight the features and benefits of your product, catering to customers who scan through the product page.
  • Product Description: An appealing and clear description can persuade customers of the value of your design.

Scale Up

Increasing your design count is essential for boosting performance.

  • Increasing Design Numbers: The more designs you have, the better your account’s ranking and optimization, leading to increased sales.
  • Leveraging Amazon’s Platform: Amazon offers a prime opportunity to showcase your artwork to a broad audience without the hassle of shipping logistics.
  • Growth Strategy: Focus on continually adding quality designs to your Merch by Amazon account to expand your reach and sales potential.

Conclusion: Harnessing the Potential of Merch by Amazon

Embarking on a Merch by Amazon venture opens up a world of opportunities for creators and designers. This guide has navigated through the essentials—from setting up your account, understanding the dashboard, to the intricacies of designing, outsourcing, and optimizing your listings. The key takeaways include:

  • Streamlined Process: Merch by Amazon simplifies the journey from design creation to product listing, making it accessible for both new and experienced designers.
  • Creative Flexibility: Whether you create your own designs or outsource, the platform accommodates various approaches, rewarding creativity and originality.
  • Strategic Listing Optimization: Effective use of keywords, pricing strategies, and compelling product descriptions can significantly impact your product’s visibility and sales.
  • Growth and Scaling: Success on the platform is linked to the diversity and volume of your designs. Continuously expanding your portfolio is essential for scaling your business.
  • Leveraging Amazon’s Reach: With no upfront costs and access to Amazon’s vast customer base, designers can focus on their creative strengths while tapping into a potentially lucrative market.

In conclusion, Merch by Amazon offers a unique and promising pathway for designers to monetize their creativity. By understanding and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can optimize your presence on the platform, enhance customer engagement, and incrementally scale your business to new heights.

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Kade Froster

Kade, known for his exceptional proficiency in tech tutorials and an avid dog lover, has carved out a unique niche in the world of technology blogging. With a passion for both the latest tech trends and his canine companions, Kade seamlessly blends his expertise in computer technologies with a relatable, down-to-earth approach that resonates with his audience.


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