Updated June 7, 2017
So there’s a number of reasons you stumbled upon this article. Either you
- Haven’t got your acceptance into Merch by Amazon and want to start pimping designs/get a headstart
- You want to stop leaving money on the table by only publishing designs to Merch by Amazon
I can’t imagine any other scenario (except getting your account shut down), but if you have one list it in the comments.
Things to Know Before Expanding
There are a few things to consider, or at least be aware of when you move outside of the realm of Merch.
For starters, the content people are posting on other websites is good. Like, damn good. If you’re outsourcing dog loving designs for $4 a pop you’re probably not going to have a good time. You might get lucky if they have a good message, but the quality on those sites is superb.
Another thing is, most of the royalties you receive are a flat rate, and you can’t adjust prices for products. Products will go on sale and royalties will be lower, and there’s next to no control for you when it happens.
Third, which is great and a good reason to start on one of these other platforms, is that on some there are no upload limits and no wait time for the product to be online. You can spend all day designing and all night uploading to your heart’s content.
Some websites also will do retargeting ads for you, so if someone looks at your design and goes to Facebook, your design might be an advertisement for them. Hopefully, that brings a sale back for you.
Outsourcing and Expanding
If you’re doing your own designs, go ahead and skip this section. If you’re outsourcing … don’t. Or do, you’re capable of making your own decisions.
What you’re going to want to do is talk to your freelancer and work out a way for them to either
- Send you PNG files in various sizes for the different products on other print on demand services
- Figure out what program they’re using for your designs, get it and figure out how to resize the images for export
For example, if your freelancer is using Adobe Illustrator, get Adobe Illustrator, and try to have them send over the EPS file.
You can get the entire Adobe creative sweet for a few bucks a month, easily what you should be making with only a few designs uploaded.
The Best Merch Alternative: TeePublic
One of the easiest sites to branch from Merch by Amazon to is TeePublic. You can upload as many designs as you want in a day, and there is no maximum amount of designs you can upload. Additionally, if you have a number of Merch designs on standby, you can upload them in their format (5400×4500) and be able to land on most of their products automatically.
Actually setting up the page is pretty damn easy. You upload the design which doesn’t take long at all. As it’s uploading you can put a title, description, the main tag, and other tags for the search engine.
You’re able to pick the default colors of the various apparel items they have, from shirts to tank tops to baseball tees to freaking baby onesies. BABY ONESIES. Talk about opening up the gates to a new demographic.
You can have about 58 colors selected, but they won’t be on all the apparel items.
Now on to the best part. The fact that there are automatic products such as phone cases, mugs, notebooks, and stickers is great. What might not work that well as a shirt could work well as a sticker. Once again, opening the doors to new demographics and market segmentations.
You click an “I’m not a robot” button, say you’ve read the terms and conditions which everyone reads thoroughly, and either hit publish or save for later. That’s it.
If you have all the information from your Merch by Amazon listings, this entire process can be done from start to finish in less than two minutes per design.
Even if you don’t have time to upload your massive catalog, hiring a VA for a few hours to do it for you could open up a terrific income stream for you. Worth it.
Ok, so I didn’t do this before, but this one feature is what makes TeePublic a whole lot better as an alternative to Merch. You can link up Google Analytics to your TeePublic account.
I repeat: YOU CAN LINK UP GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO YOUR TEEPUBLIC ACCOUNT!
Sorry for being pretty excited about this, but this is pretty fucking cool. You will be able to see which designs are actually getting visitors, and make adjustments where they’re needed. Notice a lot of people looking at a shirt but not buying? Maybe you need to improve on it slightly. See a lot of sales from one design and a similar number of visitors? You have a hit so it’s time to make more like that.
You can’t get information like that from Amazon.
Because you’re still in the apparel/gear/swag/whatever game, you can still use Merch Informer to do research. Of course, you can always look at the most popular in various categories on TeePublic to see what sells. In fact, do that with any and all print on demand alternatives.
Big dawgs gotta diversify
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