Well, I’m sorry to say, I completely slipped out of the loop again. Things didn’t quite go as I’d intended in my previous Merch update.
Nevertheless, someone commented on the previous post asking about June and I thought I had better update you with another Merch by Amazon income report.
I did go crazy designing and uploading in June, as I’d planned. I actually managed to go from that 77 shirts live to 187 shirts live, in a very small amount of time.
But I did burn out!
Also, I did do a lot of variations of the same shirt. I planned to go for one niche at a time and then just do tonnes of shirts in that niche.
Some of the shirts, I thought were pretty good.
But for some reason, at times my shirts just weren’t showing in the search results.
This was in niches that didn’t have a MASSIVE amount of competition, but still a medium level.
In fact, whether my shirts showed or not, seemed quite random.
For example; in one niche, I had shirts showing on the first page for certain search terms that seemed fairly competitive.
Whereas, at other times, I wouldn’t be able to find my shirts anywhere, despite thinking I had chosen a pretty low competition keyword & niche combination.
This frustration trying to work out how to get my shirts visible didn’t really help. I saw some shirts ranking on the first pages in a niche, that hadn’t been there that long and yet didn’t even seem to target the right keywords!
Sometimes it all seemed v.random. I know that people do say that Amazon take listings out of the search results for a time, or may not even submit them for some time after you press the publish button.
They do let you know when you submit, that it may not show right away. But sometimes, I would search a week or so later and not find the listing for any of the search terms.
ANYWAY…. this aside, after creating all of these new designs, hardly any sold.
June 2018 Merch Results:
I eventually had TWO of the new designs sell a couple and I had ONE old design that randomly sold.
The end result for June meant I had made $21.05. But considering I pay monthly subscriptions to Make Merch and Merch Informer, that was ZERO profit.
I’m still paying those monthly subscriptions as well, because I bought them when they were new programs and if I leave, I’d had to pay the full monthly amount to get them back.
So, I’m sort of stuck paying those unless I decide to quit Merch for good.
What about July Merch Results!?
In July, I did absolutely nothing with Merch, I’m ashamed to say and I’m not sure whether August will be any better.
I’m having a massive period of traffic growth with my main site and I’m trying to put all my time into growing that.
I have two children off school for the whole of August and I just barely have time to work on one website, let alone find time for Merch.
Even as I write that though, it does sound lame. Surely, I could do a couple of uploads a day? It’s better than nothing.
It’s true I could, but it has to become a habit and part of my routine. I have to make it a priority, otherwise – it will be forgotten.
OK, well…. I will try and figure out a way to get some Merch designs up.
You know Merch released a new product, POPSOCKETS and I actually have about 30 designs sitting on my computer.
Unfortunately, even though this product was released some time ago, I still haven’t been given that option on my dashboard yet.
I thought it would have happened by now, but nope.
Anyway – in July, I didn’t upload anything and I made…. $10.17.
Better than nothing. But not good.
I ALSO STARTED ETSY!
Somehow, I also managed to get Etsy set up with the Printful integration.
If anyone wants to set this up, I strongly recommend the two videos below – it’s what helped me get set up right away and is very step-by-step.
How To Sell T-shirts With Etsy & Printful Part 1.
How To Sell T-shirts With Etsy & Printful Part 2.
Etsy is a very different platform and there are some downsides as well.
You have to pay 20 cents per listing. So, that means you have to pay every time you upload. It’s not a tonne of money obviously, but if you have no idea if you’re going to sell any, there is that investment.
I uploaded something like 50 shirts and have had ZERO sales since I started.
Which brings me to the other issue – which is, people are going to be very reluctant to sell from a shop that has zero sales.
Consequently, you should probably buy a couple of your shirts, or get friends and family to buy them. That way, it will probably be easier to get sales.
One good thing, is that Etsy are far more relaxed about Copyright stuff than Amazon. They are getting stricter though – I did have one of my designs removed for Copyright, I think it really depends what you do.
Also, what shirts sell on Etsy are going to be distinct than those that sell on Amazon often. The people checking out Etsy are often looking for something a bit different and unique and a audience is predominantly female.
A good thing about Etsy, is they do really cheap promoted listings.
For a while I paid $2 a day to have my shirts show up in the first pages of the results… then I figured out some would shop up anyway, as it was a low competition niche.
Even though they were on the first page and got tonnes of saves and favourites – I got zero sales. I decided to leave my Etsy shop for a while and see what happened.
So far – still no sales so, I should probably buy a couple of my own, or just keep uploading and tweaking the designs really.
Oh, that’s one more issue — if you want a decent profit on Etsy with Printful, people say you should charge quite a lot. My prices are quite high.
Looking at how other shirts are priced, I think I need to bring the prices down though. But you do have to factor in all the costs, including what Etsy charge you.
What worries me about Printful, is they also don’t accept returns.
So, if someone isn’t pleased with your item, you’d have to either refund them out of your own pocket, or offer them some alternative, (like 50% off an additional order).
Well, I’d love to say I had a great plan for Merch; but I don’t at this point.
My traffic on my main blog has tripled in just the last couple of months and is continuing to rise. There are so many things I need to do with that blog, that it has to take priority at this point in time.
That being said, I see no reason why I can’t at least dedicate an hour each day to Merch – SOMETHING is better than nothing.
So, I will have to sit down and work out a plan for August and then I will come back and let you know how I got on.
I first started Merch at the end of August last year and ended up doing well for Halloween sales, so maybe I need to gear up for that again.
Catch You In A Month Or So!?