Welcome back to another Merch Pursuits income report! It’s been 3 months since my last one, so I’m really excited to be creating another for you. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I haven’t created one recently, but don’t worry, everything you need to know has been included in this post.
Before I get into those reasons, I wanted to point out that it has nothing to do with lack of sales. In fact, these last 3 months have been the best months I’ve ever had!
So, if that’s the case, what have I been up exactly?
A 3 Month Recap
To be completely honest, my personal life has kept me extremely busy these past few months. It’s easily been some of the busiest and most stressful months of my life. It feels like the days of going to college and working full-time all over again! (just to clarify – we’re talking about the dates of 5/1/17 – 8/1/17. My last income report was on April 2017).
Many of you are longtime readers of Merch Pursuits, and are probably pretty aware of what’s going on in my personal life, but if not – here’s what I’ve been up to:
- In April of 2017, I had my first $1,000 month on Merch by Amazon after just 7 months. Mortgage = paid.
- On May 1st, I accepted an IT Manager position at my company.
- On June 10th, I sold my business Merch Ready Designs after selling over $26,000 worth of “Merch ready” t-shirt designs.
- On July 11, I had a pretty serious dog bite to the hand (see comments of this post). I underwent two surgeries, 19 stitches, and took 3 weeks off of work (and Merch!)
Oh, and I also redesigned the Merch Pursuits website!
Despite all that, I still want to go over some numbers for the past few months. This is one of my favorite parts about writing here. I decided to use this as a sort of ‘Merch by Amazon case study’ for a few things I’ve had questions about.
Does Amazon tier people up based on designs sold, or designs live?
Will sales decrease if I stop uploading designs?
Is it too late to start Merch by Amazon?
And this three month MBA “hiatus”, I can finally answer these questions.
Previous Income Reports
As always, if this is the first post you’re reading, you should check out the previous months’ income reports first. I tend to reference these from time to time.
Here they are!
3 Month Income Report
Month 9 – May 2017
Date Range: 5/1/17 – 5/31/2017
Tier Level: 500, 286 live
Shirts Sold: 259
Total Profit: $1,238.88
Month 10 – June 2017
Date Range: 6/1/17 – 6/30/2017
Tier Level: 500, 281 live
Shirts Sold: 287
Total Profit: $1,366.72
Month 11 – July 2017
Date Range: 7/1/17 – 7/30/2017
Tier Level: 500, 274 live
Shirts Sold: 168
Total Profit: $772.62
What’s Up With July Sales?
July sales we’re quite a bit slower than June. To be honest, I’m not too worried about it. In fact, I ran a poll on the Merch Pursuits facebook group, and July was a slow sales month for everyone.
I saw a few other polls like this in the larger Facebook groups, and the general consensus is that July sales were slow for almost everyone. After speaking with a few other longtime e-commerce sellers, I learned that this is normal. July and August are slow sales months for everyone.
A lot of things cause July to be a slow month of t-shirt sales. It’ could be a combination of the following:
- Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and 4th of July are over
- Families being on vacation
- Parents unwilling to purchase clothing until the “back to school” sales
- No sports/holidays starting up
- No more large holidays until Halloween
- Shirt sizes out of stock.
In short, I’m not too worried about July. I’ve been averaging 6 sales/day in August already, so it’s already shaping up to be a great month. Either way, having a month like July really makes me want to get back to my normal Merch schedule where I’m uploading designs everyday again.
So, what did I learn in my 3 months off?
First of all, there’s not a day goes by that I don’t check my Merch by Amazon sales at least once. I’m sure you can relate, haha. Once you begin to make sales every single day, you don’t feel as obligated to check sales nearly as often, because you know there will always be new sales. I remember when I first started I used to check 10-20 times a day, hoping for just one or two sales. Now, I just check to see which one of my designs sold. Is a regular seller, or a new one?
Second, I learned that Amazon doesn’t tier people up based on sales. According to my Merch Tools analytics, I’ve sold 1,431 t-shirts on Amazon. I should have tiered up after 500 sales according to Amazon’s guidelines. It appears they are now tiering people up based on amount of designs uploaded instead. I’ll keep you guys posted once I tier up to the 1,000 Tier.
Third, sales didn’t stop like I thought they would. I thought the more active of an uploader we are, the more Amazon would reward us with sales. Of course, this was all just personal speculation, but it turns out that’s not the case. As long as you have quality designs that are selling well, they will continue to sell well – even if you can’t upload designs everyday!
The more and more I’m on this platform, the more I realize just how passive of income Merch by Amazon really can be. I made almost $3,000 in 3 months by doing nothing.
I can’t think of another program in the world that is as passive as this.
Creating New Goals
As we come up on Q4, I can’t help but think I need to kick things into high gear for the rest of the year. I’ve crushed my goals with Merch this year. I’ve never been someone to become complacent. I love that Merch is basically paying my mortgage payment every month, but I aspire for much more.
So, it’s time to create new goals. If I don’t set goals for myself, I won’t hold myself accountable. More designs live = more potential money in my pocket from royalties. Q4 is coming up fast, so if you go after holidays designs – now is the time to start thinking about those.
Here’s what I came up with:
Upload 500 Designs
As of today, I have 270 designs live. I’ve been at just under 300 designs live for months, and it’s time to upload my 10 designs each and everyday. I should be able to achieve this in one month.
This may take a little longer that a month, as I first have to get back into the rhythm of researching design ideas and outsourcing, but I’m confident in the next month of two, I can have 500 designs live.
Make It To The 1,000 Tier
This goes hand in hand with uploading 500 designs, but my second goal is to tier up to the 1000 slot. I have plenty enough sales to tier up, so at this point, I think I just need to consistently upload designs and max out my available slots.
Make $3,000/month In Royalties
When I first started, $1000/month seemed like an unrealistic expectation. I was happy to be making a couple hundred dollars extra each month.
The longer I’ve been a Merch seller, the more I’ve realized that any goal I set for myself is achievable with Merch by Amazon – as long as I keep on uploading.
So, my new goal for the end of the year is to make $3,000/month in Merch royalties. A lofty goal, but I goal I can’t wait to hit.
Over the next 6-12 months, I have two stretch goals for myself.
- Pay off my car loan (12k balance)
- Move my family into a larger home.
If I can start making 2-3k per month on Merch, I could realistically pay off my car in as little as 6 months. That’s my first goal, and a very exciting goal to think about. Once that’s paid off, I can start building up a sizable down payment for a new house for my family. We’ve been in our little starter home for 3 years now, but with another baby in the house, things are starting to feel smaller and smaller everyday.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for 11 months already, but man, I can’t believe how much the Merch by Amazon program has changed my life. It’s opened the door to so many opportunities I never thought I’d have financially.
Thanks for following along, and I hope you’re having just a good of a journey as I am.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment below! I’d love to see how your sales on Merch are doing, or what advice I can offer to help you out.