How To Quickly Become Successful On The Merch By Amazon Platform

Getting a Merch By Amazon account ( if you don’t already have one) is thought to be like hitting the lottery. In theory you can basically put products ( t shirts) up on the largest retail website in the world (Amazon) that don’t cost you a dime ( if you make the designs yourself) and have Amazon promote and sell them 24/7 and send you a rolatity payment each month.

A no cost business model. I like the sounds of that ( and so does a LOT of other people). In fact, I jumped onto Merch right after it launched ( before it was hard to get an account) and I have sort of had an advantage over the late adopters.

I have been a FBA seller for several years but in 2017, I actually made more on Merch than I did from Amazon FBA ( not much more, but more none the less).

In this post, I want to lay out how someone new to Merch ( or has been unsuccessful) should proceed. I want to share some of the training I personally took ( I didn’t know jack about using design programs) and some of the best resources you should use.

Learn The Merch By Amazon Platform First

The first thing I would recommend is to take the Udemy course by Chris Green. I took the advanced one and if you know how Udemy works, you can almost always get the course for around $10-$11

https://www.udemy.com/merchbyamazon/learn/v4/overview

I would actually avoid the Merch Facebook groups because they are really big and full of people that are either whining about not having a Merch account or asking all the beginner questions. If you take Green’s course ( and actually watch ALL of the videos) , you will know everything you need to know about how Merch works.

At Least Know The Basics

“I just plan on buying all my designs”. Well that is fine and dandy, but you still should have a basic understanding of how to do basic things with the files and images.

Here is where I will deviate from the crowd. I like to use the free open source programs, GIMP and Inkscape instead of the Adobe programs ( Photoshop and Illustrator). It isn’t a money thing but more of a principal thing, but either will work fine, but don’t try to think using an iPhone or iPad app ( or the online editors) is the way to go. You need to learn a real program.

So I will say this first. You should learn a vector editing program. It is what artists and designers use, but with that said, I learned GIMP first. It is great for simple stuff like text but you really can’t draw/design with it.

The course I took was actually a book cover course on Udemy. All the same principles and a guy with a cool French accent

https://www.udemy.com/gimp-for-beginners/learn/v4/overview

Again this is probably a $10-$11 Udemy course.

Next you need to move up the food chain to a vector program that actually allows you to do some stuff.

The course I took was

https://www.udemy.com/udemy-master-inkscape-beginner-course-20162017-unofficial/learn/v4/overview

Again probably $10-$11 course

This is going to show you how the program works but not how to “design”.

Finally I suggest that you learn how people actually draw stuff ( trust me, once you understand vector, you will start making your own designs and/or start tearing designs apart and making “new” designs.)

This is another “accent” friendly teacher ( makes you feel like you went abroad to study art)

This is the course I took

https://www.udemy.com/learn-to-use-inkscape/learn/v4/

Again probably a $10-$11 Udemy course.

( while I have shown GIMP and Inkscape, I am sure that there are similar ( and probably more) for Photoshop and Illustrator)

Now here is the catch. You need to invest a little money ( we are up to maybe $50 right now) and more importantly, you need to invest TIME to learn both how Merch works and how to make designs.

Most people aren’t willing to do either and this is where they fail ( remember they were attracted to the “ no money invested” business model )

This is actually the biggest secret to success of Merch ( or anything ) is to invest in learning and find a source that has everything you need in one place ( you are wasting your time trying to piece together Youtube videos and blog posts trying learn how to do something. Just pay $10 to get the training all in one place.

So once again you are probably saying “ I will just hire it out”.

Guess what? I do have some design made for me but sometimes I need to change something in the design or I want to “boilerplate” the design.

Sometimes I get some elements made and then make multiple designs out of it.

And sometimes I simply can make it faster or better than hiring it out.

I can do this because I took the time to learn how to use the programs ( and I seriously couldn’t do anything when I first started ).

If you can’t do the basics, you will find that you will have a hard time with Merch.

Now For The Merch Designs

Now that you are able to function on the Merch platform and can handle the files/designs, now you need to learn how to actually put up designs that sell.

Once again, this is where people fail.

If your game plan is to copy all the best selling designs, you WILL fail or not have an account long.

“But everyone is doing it”

Yeah, I know. Heck I use to do it when I first started. ( Merch was a whole lot easier back then and a lot less regulated)

So what do I suggest?

Well there is one expert I have followed, Michael Essek.

He is some British dude that has been killing it on Merch and knows a whole lot more than I do, so that is what I am looking for.

Successful sellers and people know more than me that I can learn from.

Business ( and life) advice: If you are the smartest guy in the room, then you are in the wrong room.

Michael has a couple of books that will help you learn to be a better Merch seller.

https://gumroad.com/a/574272627

He has a private Facebook group as part the package ( remember, avoid the crowds of the big, free Facebook groups) and you can usually find him on some Merch podcasts.

Another resource ( and I consider this a little more on the advanced side) is a new “newsletter” from a Merch guru call Michael Essany.

This comes out each Monday and is only $10 a month.

The ideas you get here are really outside the box and timely. Every time I read it I have that OMG moment and it really sparks the ideas in me.

https://gumroad.com/a/230339699

Other Merch Tools

The number one service I use is Merchantwords. I use it daily to find the search volume on Amazon. It is $30 a month but if you Google, you can always find a code for $9 a month.

I saw the owner George Lawrence speak a couple years back at a conference and it has made a massive difference in my Merch sales.

( One thing I beg you not to do is keyword stuff. It doesn’t really do anything except confuse the Amazon algorithm )

I like to use this site to check the competition out. ( Merchinformer)

It is free and gives be a better idea of what I am up against.

To really super charge this, use the Chrome browser and add this extension, DS Amazon Quick View

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ds-amazon-quick-view/jkompbllimaoekaogchhkmkdogpkhojg?utm_source=chrome-app-launcher-info-dialog

This will show you all the sales ranks of the search results from Merchinformer

And finally you need a system to rank your shirts/get your first sale to keep them live.

I personally like to price a regular shirt at $14.99 ( $16.99 for premium) to get the first sale and then raise the price once it live. ( sometimes I will leave it for awhile to built the rank)

I use another Chrome extension to handle this called MerchTools.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/merchtools/cmhaijgncfpbbhfnieobpbadekcpjpol?utm_source=chrome-app-launcher-info-dialog

If you go to the Quick editor in it, you can sort shirts.

I sort via the price, so when I look at the $14.99 shirts, if I see a green checkmark, I will edit the price up ( I know that that shirt is “live” ( it has made at least 1 sale). This makes it very easy to use this system.

Conclusion

Merch is a great business to get into but most people think it is just easy money. Many just jump in and fail because they don’t take the time to educate themselves ( and definitely are afraid to invest in knowledge)

I to a different approach to Merch and it has paid off for me.

To sum it up referring to the post title, the quickest way to become successful at Merch is to do it right at first and educate yourself.

I will leave leave you with this.

I use to work in a steel mill before it shutdown. I was trying to work 30 years so I could a pension. ( and it really sucked working there)

I was able to make a passive monthly income from Merch in less than 1 year that more than surpassed what I would have gotten for 30 years of working in the steel mill!

Using Keepa Charts For Seasonal FBA Amazon To Amazon Online OA Flips

In this post, I am going to show you how to use the Keepa charts to buy products that are out of season ( February) and being dumped at a loss buy other FBA sellers that you can make a big profit on as the season comes back in,

I learned to do this by taking Stephen Snotherman’s Keepa Camel course and this is a product I noticed was on clearance a Walmart at the end of the summer (probably when all these FBA sellers bought it)

The product can be found here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1FQWPE.

I saw it on clearance for $3 at Walmart but as you will see, it doesn’t matter what the sellers bought it at ( “You never know other sellers COG”) but I can prove they are selling at a loss because I will show the Amazon fees.

And here is the fulfillment cost

So no matter what the sellers cost of goods were, they are selling for a minimum of a $.03 lost ( if they got it for free and not including inbound shipping)

In other words, this seller is clueless to what I am about to show you!

So as I write this, it is February and in most parts of the country there isn’t much demand for pool filters, so we need to look at the Keepa chart to see what these sell for in season.

Zooming into the summer months, we can see that the Buy Box price was $17 and the sales rank was 589, which is a crazy good sales rank.

Also notice that Amazon is not a seller of this product, which is even better!

So now we just need to run the fulfillment cost numbers

So at the $17 selling price we get a return of  $11.41. So we would take out the $4.01 which gives us a  $7.40 profit from a $4.01 item that sells sub 600 sales rank!

(At this writing, that seller has 162 units of these)

So based on the charts, there is a very high certainty that this will repeat itself ( everyone still need filters each year, it isn’t a fad).

So you can simply just buy out this seller and the others around the price ( thank you Mr. Seller for finding all of these at WM for us….)

But I would take it a step farther.

I would pick through this sellers store (and all the sellers that are around this price) to see what else he is dumping. I can almost guarantee that he is worried about long term storage fees and doesn’t know that even with  paying them, he can make a killing if he just holds until this summer.

We also know that they “probably” sources at WM, so you could find leads there too.

In summary, if you understand that some products are seasonal and understand how simple it is to read the Keepa charts ( again I would recommmend check out the Keepa Camel course) , you can easily source from “not as smart ” FBA sellers.

 

 

 

How To Sourcing College Textbooks Locally To Sell On Amazon FBA

Textbook season is a magical time and you can make a killing on Amazon if you know what you are doing.

The problem is getting a good source the current editions cheap enough to make a good profit on.

So in this post I show my secret for getting really valuable books for pennies on the dollar from motivated sellers ( broke college students heading home for breaks)

While being close to a college campus is nice, you can actually do this from anywhere in the country if you are willing to work at it and take some chances

I made a video that explains how to do all this ( way easier than trying to write a super long blog post)

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