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How to sell Print on Demand products on Amazon
Find out the basics of this popular marketplace.
Print on Demand (POD) is a low-risk business model that has become quite popular over the last years. This modality of dropshipping allows sellers to generate an income without assuming significant costs.
As in any business, it’s good to have some previous knowledge. In our Ultimate Print on Demand Guide, you’ll find all the information you need to take into account if you consider starting a POD business.
Merch by Amazon is a popular Print on Demand service. In today’s post, we are going to explain how does it work. If you’d like to learn the basics before you get started, keep reading!
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What is Merch by Amazon?
Amazon launched Merch in the Autumn of 2015. This service aims to help creators generate revenue through the sale of Print on Demand items. The mechanism is simple: designers upload their ideas and decide what kind of articles do they want to sell. Amazon produces, fulfills, and sells the final items on their marketplace.
This service was initially limited to the United States, but that is not the case anymore. Since the Summer of 2018, Merch is also available in the European marketplaces in Germany and Great Britain.
Creators earn a royalty every time a customer makes a purchase. These royalties are based on the product’s purchase price, less Amazon costs, and applicable taxes. You can get official information about royalty policies on this page.
Please, note that the calculus is different depending on the country. When a customer buys an item in the United States, taxes are added during the checkout. In Europe, the price clients see on the product page includes taxes.
How to request an invitation to Merch by Amazon
Why do I have to apply to Merch by Amazon?
You can only start selling your products on Merch by Amazon if you have an invitation. The company implemented this system due to the high demand for commercial spots that they experimented after launching this service. If you want to get an invitation to Merch by Amazon, you will have to apply for it. If you want to find out how to do this, keep reading.
Steps to apply for a spot in Merch by Amazon
The first thing you need to do is to log in to your Amazon account. In case you don’t have an account, sign up to the marketplace first.
To complete the application process, you’ll need to provide your business contact information, your bank account and routing numbers, and your Social Security number (or other tax identifications). Make sure you have all this information available. You must provide real information.
To continue with the application process, you will have to enable the two-step authentication for your Amazon account. It’s simple: you only have to add a telephone number and introduce the code that you will receive. If you have already completed that process, you won’t need to do it again.
Before you start filling in your application, you will have to complete three pages with personal and corporate details. If you do not have a company setup, you can go through the process with your personal information.
Once you have provided your general information, you will have access to the application form.
In “Industry type,” you have to explain what kind of business do you run. If you do not own a company at the moment, you can identify as a novelty business.
In “Organization name,” you will have to write the name of your company. Once again, if you do not own a company, you must add your name.
In “Additional information,” you will have to explain why do you want to sell on Merch by Amazon. It’s the moment to pitch yourself as a candidate. You can talk about your education, your career, and your previous projects. If you have previously registered a trademark, it’s good to mention it. Merch wants to host profitable stores, and you have to show that your idea is the perfect fit. If you don’t have a robust background, we recommend you to be honest about it. Being a rookie does not necessarily mean that you won’t be accepted.
It’s also good to show some previous Print on Demand designs as a portfolio. If you haven’t published any items before, you can upload your creations to other Print on Demand sites. Merch by Amazon is not an exclusive marketplace, so you will be able to sell those designs here if you are accepted.
Merch by Amazon won’t reply to your request until there is a spot available for you. You don’t need to apply multiple times; they will only get back to you once. At the moment you are allowed to start selling, they will notify you. If your application gets rejected, try to reconsider what went wrong before you start again.
Copyright and content policies in Merch by Amazon
You must have the copyright or the rights of use of any content that you upload to Merch by Amazon. It’s your responsibility to make sure that all your designs are compliant. You can never copy the original artwork that you have seen in another design. If you’d like to download designs with a Full POD license, you can find them here.
It’s forbidden to incorporate trademarks to your designs (unless you own them or have the right to use them). The best way to know if an element is part of a trademark is to check it with the official trademark authorities in every country. It’s also your responsibility to make sure your designs don’t break the local laws of the countries where you are going to sell your products.
Merch by Amazon has published an official list of objectionable content categories. You must avoid elements such as pornography, child exploitation, profanity, hate crimes, or intolerance. It’s also forbidden to depict human tragedy, to promote violence, and to use nazi symbols. There is a youth size policy that moderates what can be added to items for kids and teenagers. If you are working from the United Kingdom, you must know that designs that make fun of mental illness or disabilities are forbidden there. You can find the official explanation of these rules here.
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