5 Ways to Get Out of Amazon Merch Tier 10: Amazon Merch is an amazing opportunity for sellers to make money selling a variety of products on the world’s largest platform, without owning a single bit of inventory and with zero upfront investment. There are thousands of people that are making a full-time income from Merch alone as well as many that have struck it rich with this platform. However, in order to avoid having the platform flooded with amateur designs – there is a tier system that ensures that designs are added slowly and thoughtfully. When you only have 10 slots available, you will put your best designs forward.
Now, I’m not going to go in-depth on how each of the tiers work. It’s supposedly that in order to leave Tier 10, you need to make 10 sales and have 80% of your slots filled ie. 8. For Tier 25, you’ll need 25 sales and 80% of your slots filled ie. 20. However, Amazon can (and does) change this rule as they please, with some sellers being tiered up with only 1 or 2 sales, but having used all of their slots. So it’s important that you have your 10 slots used up. You can always delete designs and replace them with others if they aren’t making any sales.
Now, if you are a graphic designer, you have an edge up on everyone else. You’re able to make designs in minutes that us mere mortals would have to spend weeks on (if we could make them at all). Those that have sold t-shirts before on other platforms (Redbubble, TeePublic, etc.) also have a small advantage, but Amazon’s algorithm – which chooses what to show on the first page – is not the same as other platforms. In order for us get out of the lower tiers, there are certain things that you can do to get yourself out right away, or at least speed up the process. So there are my 5 ways to get out of Amazon Merch Tier 10:
5 Ways to Get Out of Amazon Merch Tier 10
1. Buying Yourself Out of Tier 10 / 25
This is the most important one because I wish that I had done it when I first started out. For approximately $131 (at the time of writing this article), you can buy 10 t-shirts from your store and escape tier 10. You can buy from any of the markeplaces, if you live in another country besides the US. In fact, by putting up designs that you like, you could buy yourself a new wardrobe of clothing, or get your Christmas shopping done, while helping your business out.
Now, of course, not everyone has $131 lying around to buy their own t-shirts but if you do, this is by far the easiest way to tier up.
2. Going After Trends
Now, I’ve read a lot of forum threads with people advising others not to for trends, and to instead find evergreen niches that work the whole year round. I agree with this train of thought except when you are in Tier 10. With only 10 slots to play with, it can be a painfully slow process to test out different niches to find one that works for you. You could spend months without sales and miss the all-important Christmas rush – like I did. So, in order to get quick sales, I recommend starting off with trending topics and moving onto more evergreen designs once you’ve tiered up.
For finding trends, I use MerchInformer. If you’ve been in this game for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve come across this company before. I saw them plastered in blogs, forums and YouTube videos but it didn’t really interest me. However, their service was the reason that I finally got out of tier 10 after being stuck there for 8 months.
(p.s. Use Coupon Code: tangledtech to get a 20% discount if you decide to give MerchInformer a try.
MerchInformer has a bunch of tools packed into their website – that I’ve barely looked at. The two that interest me, and that I’ve used extensively, are the Merch Hunter and the Keyword Research tool. With the Merch Hunter tool, you can quickly pull up the top 500 designs on Amazon Merch. No hunting around for days at a time. You just click a button and have all that info at your fingertips. I recreated one of the first designs I saw on this list and made my 10 sales over a couple weeks. With the Keyword Research tool, you can put in a word/s or niche that you’re interested in, and it will bring up designs in that niche. From here you can tell if other t-shirts in that niche are making sales, and whether you should pursue it further or change tactics.
3. Get Professional Designs Super-Cheap
This is the strategy I’ve been using from Tier 25 to consistently make sales, but it can work in any tier.
I am not good at designing graphics and probably never will be. I can do some basic editing in Photoshop and Illustrator, but I mainly use Canva to quickly and easily create t-shirt designs.
There are tons of websites selling t-shirt designs, but most of them are the same old designs that are already flooding marketplaces. These designs have stopped making sales, and are now sold in batches of 100s or even 1000s. A lot of these designs are also being resold without the correct licensing for you to even legally use them. So avoid these types of designs if you value your Merch account.
I came across a company called Vexels which is full of designs by professional designers. Now, I know what you’re thinking – what makes this company different from every other sites selling images/vectors.
Well, this is the part that blew my mind, if you follow this link, you’ll come to their PSD t-shirt area. This is where the magic happens. By downloading just one of these Photoshop templates, you will be able to make 1000s of unique designs from each one. Click on any template and you’ll see exactly how easy it is to make amazing designs that are completely unique and eye-catching.
The amount of work that has gone into these templates is staggering. I use these templates to make t-shirts that can be put in a high street store, and no one would know that they were made by an amateur – with access to a powerful tool. You can change the text in the template to something in your niche or choose a different image from one of Vexels thousands of options, and make a stunning design in minutes. The other images and vectors on the site are all professionally made and look amazing, but it’s the PSD T-shirt Templates that got me hooked.
4. Leveraging Social Media
If you have a social media following, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok – this is the perfect time to get help from your audience. By creating a design that they find interesting, you can easily get some sales from your audience. If your Instagram is focused on your pets, then a cute dog design might appeal to your fans.
I don’t recommend using Facebook or Google Ads while in lower tiers. For some these can be profitable but for most, you will lose a lot of money and probably not make any sales.
5. Design for a Local Business / Cause
If you live in a country with an Amazon marketplace, you may be able to sell your t-shirts to a local business or cause. There are always charity runs that staff from a company partake in – many times wearing matching t-shirts. There are also kids team events that might be on the lookout for a bunch of similar t-shirts. The company could give input into the type of design they are looking for, or perhaps have a design pre-made. Even if you sold your t-shirts at a loss, it would still be cheaper than buying them all yourself.
And those are my top 5 ways to get out of Amazon Merch Tier 10. I hope they help. Besides everything else, make sure that you have your slots filled. You might be one of those lucky one’s that get upgraded with just a few sales.