Merch by Amazon (MBA) Insider Best Practices You Must Know About

Updated
January 13, 2024

Amazon is obviously a well-known platform for buying and selling alike. But did you know that they also offer a print-on-demand service called Merch by Amazon (MBA)?

Well, by the end of this Merch Jar guide, you’ll know everything you need to about Merch by Amazon and how to join.

Ready to diversify your revenue streams? Let’s get started.

What Is Merch by Amazon?

Amazon Merch on Demand (more commonly referred to as “Merch by Amazon”) is a print-on-demand service offered by—you guessed it—Amazon. It allows sellers to sell custom merchandise without investing money upfront for manufacturing and warehousing.

How? The process is pretty simple.

When you join the Merch by Amazon program as a seller, you upload designs and choose the products you’d like to sell from a preset list. When a customer places an order, Amazon handles the entire fulfillment process—from printing to delivery to customer service.

For every sale, you earn a royalty (usually 10-40% of the purchase price) for your work creating and marketing the product.

Take a look at the example above—it looks no different from a standard Amazon listing, but this is an MBA listing. For every sale, this simple, text-based design is generating around $2 in profit for the MBA seller who uploaded it—no inventory required.

Multiply that by hundreds (maybe thousands) of designs and you have a highly profitable business with virtually no overhead.

Why Join Merch by Amazon?

The print-on-demand business model is popular for a reason (well, a few, actually). Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Merch by Amazon:

Industry-Leading Infrastructure

Amazon is pretty clearly leading the pack when it comes to ecommerce infrastructure. If you live in a city, there’s a good chance you can get next-day (or even same-day) delivery from Amazon.

With Merch by Amazon, you can reap the benefits of this infrastructure without having to manage your own inventory or shipping operations.

Low Investment & Risk

One of the main advantages of print-on-demand is that you don’t need to make a large up-front investment in products before you know how many you’ll sell (or if you’ll sell any at all). That removes the main obstacle stopping designers, creators, and businesses from creating merch in the first place.

Huge Earnings Potential

You don’t need me to tell you that tons of people use Amazon—but I’m going to anyway!

The platform has over 2.45 billion monthly active users and processes around $50 billion in sales each month. With the right designs and an optimized Amazon ad strategy, you’re able to leverage the massive scale of Amazon’s customer base to make sales.

Combine that with Merch by Amazon’s generous royalties (more on those later) are you’re looking at some solid earnings potential!

Who Should Join Merch by Amazon?

Anyone with a design (that they own the commercial rights to) can join Merch by Amazon and start selling. That said, the program will mainly appeal to:

  • Designers & artists
  • Influencers, content creators & public figures
  • Remote entrepreneurs & small businesses
  • Events & non-profit organizations

Merch by Amazon Royalties

Merch by Amazon royalties are the percentage of the sales price that goes into your bank account after Amazon subtracts its expenses (i.e., picking, packing, delivery, etc.). They vary based on two factors:

  • The product you’re selling.
  • The price you set (higher prices mean higher royalties).

Your royalties will likely fall somewhere in the 13-37% range.

To see this variation in action, compare the royalty for selling a $15.99 t-shirt ($1.93) with a $25.99 t-shirt ($9.32). The former is a 13.8% royalty, while the latter is a 37.6% royalty.

The lesson? Selling premium designs is usually the way to go.

Merch by Amazon Tiers

Merch by Amazon uses a tier system to prevent a flood of low-quality designs from flooding the platform. It’s pretty intuitive—the more sales you make, the higher your tier. The higher your tier, the more designs you’re able to create.

There are currently eight publically listed tiers (plus a bunch of higher, unlisted tiers):

  • Tier 1: 10 designs—this is the starting tier.
  • Tier 2: 25 designs.
  • Tier 3: 100 designs.
  • Tier 4: 500 designs.
  • Tier 5: 1,000 designs.
  • Tier 6: 2,000 designs.
  • Tier 7: 4,000 designs.
  • Tier 8: 8,000 designs.

To move up a tier, you need to make a number of sales equal to your current tier’s design allowance and use at least 80% of that allowance. So, if you’re currently Tier 1 and make 10 sales with 8-10 designs—congratulations! You’ve qualified for Tier 2.

Merch by Amazon Products

So, what products can you add your designs to? Here’s the full list along with the size requirements for the artwork:

4,500px by 5,400px

  • T-shirts – front and back
  • Women's v-neck t-shirts – front and back
  • Raglans – front and back
  • Tank tops – front and back
  • Long sleeve t-shirts – front and back
  • Crew neck sweatshirts – front and back
  • Pullover & zip hoodie – back

4,500px by 4,050px

  • Pullover & zip hoodies – front

485px by 485px

  • PopSockets grips

1,800px by 3,200px

  • iPhone & Samsung phone cases

2,925px by 2,925px

  • Tote bag
  • Throw pillow

Each product comes in a range of colors and (where applicable) sizes.

How To Sign Up for Merch by Amazon

1. Fulfill the Requirements

When I say anyone can start selling through Merch by Amazon, I mean it—the requirements for signing up are super relaxed.

All you’ll need is:

  1. A valid bank account (i.e., account & routing number).
  2. Proof of identity (i.e., SSN or TIN).

That’s it! If you can provide those two things, you should be good to go.

That said, you’ll probably also want to choose a design tool like Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, or Adobe Spark to create your designs. A professional design tool will help you create products that people want to pay for.

2. Go to Merch By Amazon’s Landing Page

The next step is heading over to the Merch by Amazon landing page to get started with your application to join the program.

3. Log Into (or Create) an Amazon Account

Next, you’re going to want to either log in or create an Amazon account to start your application. You don’t need an Amazon Seller Account for this—a normal Amazon account is fine.

What are the benefits of creating a new account?

Having a separate account for Merch by Amazon might help you keep things organized down the line—especially if you’re a regular Amazon user who’s constantly getting emails and notifications already.

4. Fill Out the Application Form

Finally, it’s time to fill in the application! There are three sections you’ll need to complete:

  • My Profile: Here you’ll be asked for basic business info (i.e., business name, address, and contact info).
  • Payment & Banking: Here you’ll be asked for your business’s bank details.
  • Tax Information: This is where you’ll need to provide your tax info. Be sure to have all the required documents ready.

Once you’ve filled out these three sections, you’ll see a final, fourth section. Here, you’ll give the Merch by Amazon review team extra information to support your application—including websites and motivations.

5. Submit the Application

Hit “Submit” and you’re done!

Note: MBA is a very popular program. Anyone is free to fill in an application, but you may not hear back for a while!

Merch by Amazon Best Practices

Capitalize on Trends

Chasing trends is a great way to create merch that people actually want to buy. Memes, notable people, events, cultural movements, Twitter jokes—all of these trends can be used to create unique designs.

However, it’s important to make sure you don’t infringe on any protected material. Do your research to make sure your designs are original.

Merch Informer is a great tool for identifying profitable trends on Amazon. It gives you access to tons of data about searches, sales, and trends to analyze for opportunities. For example, you can enter any keyword and see a list of the best-selling merch that matches, along with price and rank trends.

Use a Powerful Tool to Advertise Your Listings

Success as a Merch by Amazon seller is all about effective ad management. And while you can do this manually, it’s easier (and more profitable) with a tool like Merch Jar.

Merch Jar combines keyword research, bid management, analytics, and other features into a single powerful interface for Amazon sellers.

With Merch Jar, you can:

  • Analyze search trends to find high- (and low-) performing keywords.
  • Automatically adjust bids for optimal clicks, orders, and ACOS.
  • Automatically promote or negate keywords.
  • Track key ad metrics in real-time.

By taking advantage of these advanced advertising techniques, you’ll be able to maximize your success as a Merch by Amazon seller. So don’t wait—get started with Merch Jar for free today!

Start with Multiple Channels

Merch with Amazon is one of many print-on-demand services. While you work your way up the tiers, you’ll want to explore other channels to get around Amazon’s design limitations.

There are plenty of great options, including:

Create 60–90 designs and upload them to each platform. That way, you can have a sizable portfolio of products to drive more traffic and sales.

A tool like Merch Informer can help here, by allowing you to upload designs to multiple marketplaces from a single dashboard.

Merch by Amazon Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • Think about the size, shape, and color of the products you’re designing for.
  • Create unique designs that stand out from the competition.
  • Choose quality images and fonts.
  • Read up on the Content Policy section before designing.

Don't

  • Add elements with transparency >20%.
  • Use premium images or fonts without permission.
  • Add cutting lines on the edges of your art.
  • Include any logos, trademarks, or copyrighted material without permission.

These tips will help you create merch with the best chances for success.

Simplify Merch by Amazon Ad Management with Merch Jar

Merch by Amazon is a potentially lucrative way to make money online, but managing your ads can be a time-consuming and confusing task. Merch Jar makes it easy.

With Merch Jar, you can save time by quickly setting up ads for all of your products at once. The system will also auto-optimize campaigns based on performance data to ensure that your ads reach their maximum potential.

Try Merch Jar for free today and start seeing results!