It’s time for another Merch by Amazon income report!
For this report, I’m changing things up a little. Instead of just going over last month’s royalties, I’ll be adding up how much I’ve made since I started 6 months ago, too.
Note: This report will not cover how much or how little I’m making on Merch Ready Designs or this blog. I may share that info down the road, but for now, I’m keeping those numbers private.
My main goal is to motivate you and show you that regular people like you and I can actually earn some pretty decent money.
If you’re just starting out, this article will give you an idea of what you can expect to make during your first 6 months. I was where you were only 6 short months ago, so there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do the same.
You don’t have to spend nearly the amount of time I do on Merch to find success, either. Keep in mind, I have several merch-related ventures, so it’s hard to gauge exactly how much time I spend on it.
Lastly – I’m working on something pretty awesome. I think that anyone who is creating a t-shirt shop or building their Instagram account can benefit from. I can’t give away any details yet, but if you join my mailing list, I will be releasing details soon.
Previous Income Reports
If this is the first time you’ve landed on my blog, great! Every month, I do monthly income reports based on how many t-shirts I sold the month before. I’ve always liked reading income reports about niche sites, so I thought I’d do the same with Merch. To my knowledge, I am the only person who is documenting their journey like this.
What I didn’t like about niche site income reports was the fact that most people didn’t start writing about their success until after the fact. No one started from the very beginning.
So, I started from Day 1.
My goal is is to be as real & transparent as possible without becoming a “guru”. I’m no expert, but I can tell you what’s been working for me, and everything I’ve learned from others who are killing it. My goal isn’t to make money on this blog, it’s to help all of you start, grow, or build your Merch by Amazon t-shirt business. We’re all learning and growing together. I occasionally recommend tools & resources I use, but that’s pretty rare. If you want to support me by making a purchase a through an affiliate link, great, but if not – I’m still going to write about Merch by Amazon because I enjoy it that much.
Not every month will be sunshine and flowers either, as indicated in last month’s income report. That’s part of business. But because of the structure of Merch, you really need to fight through those months, because success could be right around the corner. Once you make it to those higher tiers, it’s almost impossible not to make money.
So, if you haven’t read any of my previous income reports, you should do that before continuing with this one.
Income Report for February 2017
Date Range: 2/1/2017 – 2/28/2017
Tier Level: 100, upgraded to 500 Tier at the end of the month
Shirts Sold: 70
Total Merch Royalties: $394.80
Month 6 Recap
I’m happy to report things are back on track this month! January was rough for me, I won’t sugarcoat it. Between removing half my designs on purpose and not being able to upload, it was pretty hard to make any money that money. Despite all that, I still made nearly $150.
February was a much better month. I had more sales, made 3x the money, and overall had a better outlook on the future of my Merch account. I still don’t chase trends (I’m always late to the party anyway..), and I rarely upload holiday designs. I have started uploading some seasonal designs, but I consider those semi-evergreen designs.
99% of my designs can be purchased year round. That’s how I chose to run my Merch business, and so far, my royalties have been increasing steadily every month since starting.
Could I be make more by chasing trends?
I know a lot of people who chase trends. There’s just a lot more competition, and chasing trends requires me to be up to-date with the latest news, memes, events, and so on. Unless it makes it to the Front Page of Reddit, I probably won’t know it’s trending.
I’d much rather have a bunch of designs that sell year round than one shirt that rises and falls in the same month.
Hitting the 500 Design Tier
Another milestone for me was tiering up to the 500 Design Tier.
Technically, I should have tiered to 500 a long time ago, but I try not to think about that. I’m just happy to upload 4 designs per day. I just tiered up to 100 last month, and had been uploading my 2 designs per day pretty diligently (only missed 2 days), and was tiered up after only 85 designs live.
At a rate of 4 per day, I should have close to 200 designs live by the end of the month.
I’ve read a few Facebook posts where members say “you need to upload every single day for Amazon to tier you up.” That’s simply not true. I’m proof of that. I recommend that you upload every day, but it’s not a requirement in order to tier up.
Just upload what you can, when you can.
If you miss a day here and there, don’t beat yourself up about it. If you find yourself only able to dedicate small blocks of time to Merch each week, upload your designs to draft instead. That way you don’t have to spend time every single day uploading, you can upload 10 designs for the entire week in one sitting.
How Many Live Designs Do I Have?
As of writing this article, I have a total of 96 shirts live on my Merch account.
My #1 goal right now is to upload designs that will sell just once. Once it sells, I don’t have to worry about it getting removed after the 60 day removal rule. I only have 6 or 7 shirts that haven’t sold at all yet, so I think I’m doing pretty well.
I also had very few days with zero sales, and had my first month with no cancellations.
I’d say most days I was selling between 2 and 5 designs. Take a look at my screenshot below….
22 of 96 live designs sold in February.
That’s not bad – that’s almost a 25% live-to-sold ratio. Keep in mind, 60 of those designs were uploaded in the last 2 or 3 weeks so I wouldn’t expect all of them to sell just yet. If you look at the screenshot, I list the majority of my new designs at $19.99. That’s because I choose to upload quality designs and think they warrant a $19.99 price tag.
Occasionally I do make an exception to that rule though. If I see the competition is selling at $16.99, and they have quality designs as well, I’ll price mine competitively.
If you haven’t read my how to research Merch by Amazon t-shirt ideas post, and are struggling to come up with t-shirt ideas, I recommend you check that article out.
Here’s my royalties for February 2017:
6 Months In Review: Total Sales, Royalties, and Numbers
I’ve bee doing monthly income reports for a while now, but I haven’t actually tallied up the total shirts sold, total profit, average price per shirt, and things like that yet. I’m excited to see how well I’ve done, too.
So, let’s break it down!
Start Date: 9/1/2016
End Date: 2/28/2017
Length of Time: 6 months
Current Tier: 500 Tier
Total Shirts Sold: 325
Total Royalties Accumulated: $1,773.08!
Total Shirts Recap
To date, I have sold 325 shirts!
On average, that comes out to 54 shirts sold per month.
That’s with zero marketing, zero paid traffic, and zero social sharing. I’ve been meaning to explore Pinterest, Instagram, and niche relevant subreddits, but I just haven’t yet. I would like to soon though.
Total Royalties Recap
To date, I have made $1,773.08 on Merch by Amazon!
I had no idea I made quite that much. It’s crazy to think just 6 months ago Merch was just something I was hoping to make a few bucks here and there on, and now – I can see myself almost replacing my 9-5 income someday.
I’d never leave my 9-5 for Merch, but it’s definitely a much-needed cushion for my family. Heck, Merch is making my car payment for me!
Let’s break the numbers down even more…
- Average Profit Per Shirt: $5.45
- Average Listing Price: $17.36
- Average Royalties Per Month: $295.52
To a lot of people, including me, $300 extra a month can really make a huge difference. Maybe Merch will help you get you out of debt, create an emergency fund, or save up for that much-needed family vacation.
Whatever the reason, I urge you not to give up on Merch no matter what. $300/month is just the beginning, I expect to double that in a few months from now.
Expanding Outside of Merch
You’ve heard this over, and over, and for good reason.
You should never put all your eggs in one basket. Just because you are selling well on Amazon does not mean you should quit your day job. I’ve read enough horror stories about account terminations to know that you should never rely Amazon as your only source of income.
You’ve got to diversify your portfolio.
Create your own t-shirt store with Printful and WordPress. Add designs to Redbubble or Teespring. Grow an Instagram account.
Remember, Merch by Amazon is still very new, and is there is still a lot entrepreneurial ventures that you can take. It just takes a little creativity on your end.
Other Cool Things
During these last 6 months, I’ve worked really hard at diversifying my own portfolio. I’m determined to be one of the successful people who have found ways to profit outside of the platform.
Here’s some of the more notable things I’ve worked on:
- I started writing about my journey here on Merch Pursuits. On average, a couple thousand people check out my site every month, and over 450 of you have decided to follow me on this journey.
- I created Merch Ready Designs; a membership website where you can purchase “Merch Ready” designs. Business is doing very well.
- I was interviewed on the Merch Entrepreneur Podcast, which is the largest and most popular Merch by Amazon podcast. I’ve never been on a podcast, so that was really cool experience.
- I started another Merch-related project (details soon!) with a coworker of mine, and it’s seriously going to be someone every Merch seller uses. Follow along to be one of the first to try it out!
That’s about it for this income report! After doing this 6-month super report, I can wait to see how much my Merch business has grown once I do my 12 month checkup.
Thanks for reading.
Leave me a comment below letting me know how well you did last month! Curious to see how the rest of you are doing on Merch.