Please Note: The below mentioned is based on my point of view and experience in the graphic design, direct to garment and t-shirt embellishment industry.
Merch by Amazon: What makes this program one of the best print on demand program available to creatives?
- Cost of t-shirts: The first thing that jumps out at you when browsing all the information about the program is the base price of the t-shirts. This allows one to price your creations at reasonable cost to customers and still earn good royalties.
- The power of the amazon search engine: This one is a biggy as you have millions of customers browsing the amazon site on a daily basis. There is a good chance that your design/brand will resonate with these customers and convert into a purchase of your garment. No external marketing necessary to start off with. You just need to design good t-shirts and have a good grasp on key words and reap the benefits of organic traffic.
- As of now there are +- 800 000 active designs in the Merch program. What does this mean?:
If there is a 3% conversion rate in in traffic, Merch has to print +-24 000 t shirts per day. The brand and model of direct to garment printer used by Merch prints 160 dark garment and 220 light garments per hour. This translates into Merch having 6 to 10 printing machines on the factory floor running 24 hours a day to complete the daily run. I would estimate +-100 employees involved in all aspects of production. This is what Merch by Amazon offers us, a multimillion dollar infrastructure with no capital investments made by the programs creatives “merchineers”. This to me is extremely powerful as we do not assume any financial liability in the program yet we reap the bulk of the profits. I say the bulk of the profits because if you know the cost involved in direct to garment printing and price of machinery one can calculate that Amazon works on tiny profit but pushes volume to make turnover.
There are two things that the program is asking their creatives as far as I can translate: Is to follow all terms and conditions of the program and to be patient while the Merch team builds infrastructure and perfects internal and online systems. Merch has just celebrated its first anniversary and has grown faster than expected and with this rapid growth there is bound to be growing pains. I strongly believe that once the systems are perfected and those who did not waste this opportunity by violating Merch terms and conditions, this will be the biggest business opportunity in the lives of those who are accepted into the program and will ultimately lead to a decent passive income.
I am yet to be accepted into the program but am excited at the prospects it brings for designers such as myself. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and hope it was informative.