How To Find “Not Buyable” Merch Products In Your Merch by Amazon Account
Merch is turning back on! ASINs are becoming available to purchase, and people are starting to fire up their business and start running traffic (free or paid).
The one glaring issue though is that Merch is turning on ASINs one at a time, and it can be really hard to figure out what ASINs are actually available to start running traffic to.
So in this guide, we want to go over how to find these ASINs that are NOT turned on yet, so you can keep an eye on them moving forward.
But first, let’s talk about keyword rankings!
ASIN Keyword Rankings – What’s Changed
It looks like all of the Merch ASINs are actually coming back incredibly quickly. Over 50% of my personal ASINs are already back online and sales have started flooding into the account.
So, I did what any keyword savvy Mercher would do, and started looking at my keyword rankings.
What I have noticed is that RANKINGS (where your product shows up in the search results when typing in a keyword as a customer would do), have not changed much at all.
In fact, almost all my rankings are very close to where they were previously.
The “long tail” keywords that I was previously ranking for are 90% UNCHANGED!
The “main niche” keywords that I was previously ranking for have been pushed down to about the middle of the page.
Let’s go over an example to highlight this.
Say you have a political shirt about Joe Biden.
The “main niche” keyword that you could have been ranking for could have been “Joe Biden T-Shirt”.
The “long tail” keyword that you could have been ranking for previously could have been “Just Biden My My Time 2020”.
What I am seeing is that the long tail keywords are exactly the same for most shirts. If you were ranking #1 for a phrase previously and it was a longer tail keyword, that shirt is exactly in the same place. For the “main niche” keywords, chances are you may have dropped down the rankings a bit. In my case, this is typically down to the middle or the end of the first page results.
Speculating why this is, it is probably because for the “main niche” keywords, there are still other FBM (Fullfillment by Merchant) shirts available that continued to sell during the shut down, but your long tail keywords may not have any any sellers with that phrase in them during this time. That would be the only thing that makes sense, but is also good news for us!
If you can kick start our sales again with running traffic and getting sales on our LONG TAIL keywords, then the main niche keyword rankings should come back as well!
So yes, you should be able to just wait it out, but this process can be made a LOT faster by running AMS ads or driving traffic through social media. Just the other day we released a guide on how to do this. If you missed it, make sure to read through this article:
How To Kick Start Your Merch Account After The Printing Pause
In order to properly do this though, you should be running traffic to shirts that are….buy-able! If you have a large account, how do you even begin to start finding that information out?
You find the shirts that are NOT buy-able (meaning the ASINs have not been turned on yet). So let’s go over how to do that.
How To Find “Not Buyable” Merch Products In Your Merch by Amazon Account
There are a few simple steps that you can do to find this information out. This is the easiest way that I know of to find the products that you should monitor before they come back online. It sure beats “clicking randomly” and “checking bigger brands” in your Merch account which we were doing all of yesterday.
Step 1: Download Productor
Productor is a FREE Merch by Amazon plugin that has a lot of really useful tools inside of it.
You can download that here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/productor-for-merch-by-am/almiakmbepejhcjnfhhjkcfabeepefno?hl=en
Once you have installed it, make sure it is active and log in to your Merch by Amazon account. If you are already logged in, you may need to refresh the page for the information to show up.
Step 2: Update the Productor Database
If this is the first time you are using Productor, it will need to go through your account and figure out what shirts are live and which shirts are not. This is done client side (which means on your computer), and not on the creators computer so all of your information is safe.
On your Merch by Amazon account, click on the “Productor Dashboard” tab at the top.
In the top bar, you will see “Database”. Click on the little icon to the right of that bar to refresh the database so that it goes through your account.
This process can take a long time! Just sit back and let it do its thing! For large accounts, you could be waiting several hours or even longer, but what it is doing in the background is going through each product 1 by 1 to figure out what products are available and which are not.
Step 3: Change Productor Filters
Once the database has been updated head on over to the Productor Manage tab. In the top menu bar, on the right hand side, you will see what looks like a little funnel. Click on this and there is a drop down menu to sort your products by when they expire.
Use that drop down menu and at the bottom, click the “Not Buyable” button.
This will then sort the list by products that are currently not buyable (EXACTLY what we are looking for).
However, this does not do us much good sitting in the account, so on the left hand side, click on the “Select all filtered” button:
Now that they are all selected, we can finish off this guide!
Step 4: Download The “Not Buyable” List
In the top menu bar on the same page, after you have selected all of the filtered options, you can now click the little download button:
You can download a CSV, ASIN’s Only, Amazon URLs, or by product and design.
This will come in handy to make sure you are monitoring your products to see which ones are coming online (Amazon URL’s), or which products you should not be driving traffic to yet when setting up ads (ASINs).
Wrapping It Up
Once you have this list downloaded, check up on it every couple of hours. You will be surprised at how fast they are restoring ASINs to your account. It will also give you a good idea of what products that you should be running traffic to. I noticed that as soon as my products are getting up and restored, you can then begin to run AMS ads to them. Shipping times are about a week or two out, but they almost instantly start selling if they have reviews on them.
For the other products WITHOUT reviews, those are the ones that we are focusing on running more traffic to as they lack the “social proof” that the other designs currently have.
Whatever you do, making sure you know how to filter out your account is always good to maintain a great understanding of how your Merch business is running.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below!
How To Kick Start Your Merch Account After The Printing Pause
It has finally happened! Merch by Amazon is turning the printers back on and our ASINs are being restored. We are back in business!
Well, most of us are, that is!
In this article, we want to go over the change that just hit everyone’s Merch by Amazon dashboard, and give you what we think is the easiest way to get ahead of the crowd when it comes to kick starting your business from an even playing field.
So, let’s get started!
What We Know About The Printing Pause
On 3/19/20 we got an update in our Merch dashboards letting us know what almost everyone had already seen…Amazon was experiencing increased demand and order volumes so delivery times for Merch products were extended. In some cases that we saw, this extension was up to a month out!
We had already seen sales tanking, but this was the writing on the wall.
Less than a week later, it finally hit our dashboards: Merch by Amazon was going to temporarily close US Print facilities to focus on high priority items and essential goods at their FBA warehouses.
After all, not many people would be willing to buy graphic tees when they were stuck at home. The point of so many of these pieces of clothing is to show it off to other people. If you are stuck at home, no one else is seeing it!
This hurt so many small businesses that depend on Amazon, but the safety of the employees printing and shipping our shirts comes first. Remember, there are real humans on the other side of your computer screen that makes this entire process function. There are people running around a warehouse picking the blanks, there are people running the printers (I believe its actually a small team per printer), and there are people running your shirt to be packed and shipped. Then there are customer support people, developers to make the backend stable, the team who work on the platform.
There are a lot of people involved in making sure our shirts get to our customers and since Washington (USA) was hit so hard with the virus, it is no surprise that they temporarily closed.
When they were closed, the EU printing facility for the UK and DE markets continued to operate. This was great news but for most of us, the earnings from these markets pales in comparison to the US market of customers.
The main issue though, was that even though these facilities remained operational, there was NO WAY to even work on your Merch business or prepare during the down time.
We have been in contact and they enabled submitting drafts to the Merch dashboard which was excellent news (not perfect, but something to occupy our time with the business). We urged everyone to take advantage of this, but if you did not, your business is still intact!
Today, (or yesterday depending on when you are reading this), we got news that the US printing facilities would be opening back up and ASINs would begin getting restored on the Amazon platform.
This process should take a few days and once the ASINs are restored, publishing will then become enabled.
Once publishing is fully enabled, there will be another update to the dashboard, so make sure to keep an eye out for that!
So, that about gets us to the present day of the reopening. Let’s talk about what it is going to take to get ahead of all the other Merch products about to hit the market.
Getting Ahead Of The Market
There is really no other way to put it. All of our Merch products have not been selling for a solid month now. This means that the sales ranks have probably drastically dropped, the sales VELOCITY is all but gone, and the only thing we can really count on is the reviews a product has.
So, what exactly can we do about it?
In our opinion, most products that do NOT have reviews are going to be starting on an even playing field. The sales velocity is gone and the sales ranks are down. There has been a month of other products in the clothing category selling without our products even being shown.
So, when Merch is fully turned back on, we are ALL going to be fighting for those same positions.
“Sales Cures All” – I think Mark Cuban said this
In order to get back on top, we are going to have to drive sales! Relying on organic traffic is still a great way to make sales, but sitting by the wayside hoping to make sales off organic traffic like everyone else if we are all “starting over” is not what you should rely on.
We need to drive traffic, and we need to make sales from that traffic.
So, in our opinion, there are 2 easy solutions:
- You have $0 to spend – drive traffic through Social Media
- You have a little bit of money to spend – AMS Ads!
We have written extensively about Pinterest marketing before, so if you do not have any money to spend on kickstarting your business, your best bet would be to get set up on Pinterest and get started NOW.
Leverage Pinterest Marketing To Sell Your Merch by Amazon T-Shirts
However, if you have any amount of money to spend and you are lucky enough to have an account… there is only one thing we think you should be focusing on…
AMS Ads For Your Business
AMS Ads or Amazon Advertising as it is now called is probably the single easiest way to get ahead of everyone else that has products reappearing on Amazon.
Think about it, how do you end up making sales on Merch (besides have great images, optimized titles, and great bullets)?
You get ranked on the first page so buyers actually see your products!
This is what AMS will do for you.
You don’t even have to spend that much money. As long as there is room for your ad… and there will be since everyone turned theirs off, you can bid CHEAPLY for every click and get your position at the top of the search results.
So, let’s go over quickly how to set one of these up.
Step 1: Log in to AMS
The first step is to actually log in to AMS. Head over to https://advertising.amazon.com/ and click sign-in.
If you have an account from previously, click on the advertising console link:
Once you are logged in, you will see all your campaigns, spend, sales, ACOS and impressions.
Step 2: Create Campaign
The second step is to actually set-up the campaign!
Click on the Create campaign button under the graph:
This will bring you to the page to pick your campaign type.
Remember, the name of the game here is making sure that when a customer searches for a keyword, that you show up FIRST!
Therefore, make sure to select the sponsored products campaign type and click on continue:
After you click on the continue button, you basically have just a single page to set up the campaign.
Give your campaign:
- A name – so you can find the campaign in the future
- An end date – So you do not spend thousands of dollars by mistake
- A daily budget – We suggest around $5
- Automatic/Manual Targeting
For this campaign I am going to quickly set up, I am going to give it a name so that I know what the campaign is. Keep in mind that if you really want to track these and make sure they are working, you should probably set up a campaign for each of your t-shirts. This can take a lot of time but can be very well worth it.
We are also going to select an end date (about a month out). This will ensure that the campaign has time to run but that it will also have a date where it will end. There have been times when we set up campaigns without an end date and logged in 6 months later to see that we ended up spending thousands on a campaign that did not convert like we thought it would.
We like to keep the daily budget pretty low (we will go over this in a bit) and we set the targeting to AUTOMATIC targeting. This will let AMS run ads against our title and bullet points. Remember, we simply want to get it in front of as many eyes as possible so we can kick start some sales and get our original rankings back.
Next, we will need to select a bidding strategy. This part is important!
For this, we will set it at Dynamic bids – down only. This basically tells Amazon that whatever you set for your bid, it can never go ABOVE that per click that you get to your product page but that they can lower the bids where it makes sense (saving your money).
Next, give your ad group a name and simply add your ASIN and add it to the group. I like to do one product at a time, but you could set up more than one.
If you have an issue finding your shirt when you enter in the ASIN, use the drop-down menu on the right of the search box to select “All Amazon products”.
Finally, we get to set up the most important part, the CPC bid (CPC stands for cost per click). This is how much you will pay at a MAX each and every time someone clicks on your ad.
Amazon will give you a suggested bid. In the screenshot above, they suggest a bid of almost $1 per click! This is insane seeing as how I could get 3 clicks, not make a sale and be losing money.
Think about this, lots of people do not have access to AMS, and the ones that do, are not running ads to their Merch because Merch has been shut down for over a month.
What does that mean?
It means that Amazon is going to have a LOT of ad inventory to display with hardly anyone bidding on those slots.
So realistically, we think you can set the bid very low (between 10-30 cents per click) and still see impressions and clicks that lead to sales!
For this example, we set the bid to 0.20. So each time someone clicks the ad, it will spend at the most, 20 cents.
Remember, you can ALWAYS edit this later as you watch how your ad is doing. If you start getting impressions and sales at a low bid, leave it be and watch your rankings on organic Amazon start shooting up.
If you are not getting any impressions after a few days, chances are you set your CPC way too low and you can go in and bump it up a bit.
The name of the game here is visibility (this is what we are all fighting for on Amazon in the same niche anyway).
Play around with your CPC and see what happens.
Note: Allow your ads to run for 1-3 days before you make any changes. Sometimes Amazon can take a bit to launch the campaign and start bringing back stats that you can look at. So, if you see nothing after the first 8 hours, nothing is wrong! Just be patient and give it some more time!
Wrapping It Up
At the end of the day, you do not have to run AMS ads at all. In fact, there is no need to actually drive any traffic for any amount of money or free through social media. We just think that using AMS or social media is the easiest way to get a head start when everything is working as it should again.
You CAN sit around and rely on organic, but if everyone else is doing the same thing… you are in the same boat as they are.
Take action now, and make it work for your business.
Drop a comment below if you actually followed through and are working on your business!
Good luck out there.
The Best Free Merch by Amazon Plugin You Have Never Heard Of
Over the years, as new plugins are released for Merch by Amazon by independent creators, we have tested pretty much all of them.
When it comes to Merch, TESTING is your biggest edge over every other seller on the platform. Anything that can give you any extra data about your business is great. Some of the plugins we have tested have been downright terrible, and some have been really good.
A few months back, we stumbled across a plugin that was pretty much unheard of called: Productor.
This plugin… is GREAT!
Oh, and its free.
The amount of tools and data this creator has packed into a single plugin is pretty much unheard of, especially being free.
So today, I want to run you through the features and why we like it so much and how it can help give your business that extra edge.
The Productor plugin is a toolkit for your Merch by Amazon dashboard, much like Merch Informer is a toolkit for your MBA research. It completely transforms your dashboard and gives you some data and tools that I did not have previously.
What I want to do is go over some of my favorite features and how they work. At the end, ill put all the other features so that you guys can take a look yourself.
Note: Before I get started, please note that all the data is stored locally in your browser and there is no external database or connections so all your data remains yours and safe.
Grab the plugin here and follow along: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/productor-for-merch-by-am/almiakmbepejhcjnfhhjkcfabeepefno
Alright, lets jump into it!
Designs Running Out
Even though shirts now have a LOT longer to stay up on Merch before they come down for no sales, this is still an issue when you have a large design catalog. If you do not have your bullets and title saved somewhere, relisting can take FOREVER.
When you first log in to Merch, the Productor extension goes to work:
It will immediately tell you what shirts are about to run out and be taken down for no sales. On the right hand side, you will see how many days they have left, a button to actually delete the shirt, but then there are the two buttons that look like a “recycle” icon.
This is one of my favorite features.
Clicking on the grey icon will relist the product while clicking on the red one will relist the product AND delete the older listing. This helps keep your dashboard clean of designs and no duplicates and also allows you to get your designs back up before they run out.
Relisting the product also PRE FILLS the pricing, brand, title, bullets and description that you already have on the shirt. No need to copy and paste thousands of times to get everything back up!
You can set this feature up to show anything expiring in 1, 10, 30, 60 and even 180 days from the settings menu:
Average Days Until First Sale
If you head over to the Productor Manage Tab, you will see all the data you would hope to see (today sales, all time sales in all all locales, previous month, current month, previous 7 days and the last 7 days), but it also gives you something I have not seen anywhere else.
It will tell you how many products have reviews, how many are marked as Amazon’s choice AND the average days until your first sale (on your designs).
This last one is huge. It lets you know how your catalog is doing as a whole, and not just indivually. I use this number to judge how new products are doing. The higher the number goes, the more I need to take a look at the my designs to make sure that they are actually a good market fit.
The lower this number the better! You want your products to be selling as quickly as possible. Do remember it can take a few weeks for the products to be properly indexed though.
Sort and Export
Productor offers 2 insane export options that let you download an ENTIRE version of your Merch by Amazon account in a single click.
You can either do it at the top menu, or from the bottom of the productor manager tab:
You can sort everything!
Select how many products you want to display from the left hand corner (including your entire account) and then sort everything by:
- Review Rating
- Rank (BSR)
- Days Until Deletion
- Sold (all time- canceled)
- Sold Revenue
- Sold Royalty
- Sold Returned
- Sold Cancelled
- First sale
- Last Sale
- Days until first sale
- Single/Multi upload
- Amazon Choice
- Merchandise ID
- Design ID
As you can see, the list which you can filter products is simply insane (and you probably wont actually use them all).
However, once you sorted the list, all you have to do is click on the export to excel button and BAM! Just like that, you have a full excel file of your entire Merch by Amazon account with ALL that information.
But wait…. I havn’t even talked about the best part yet.
You know those annoying times you are trying to find a design that you uploaded to Merch but cant find it on your computer because your files are a mess and spread out?
Productor lets you download your entire DESIGN catalog as well. This means you can download every single PNG you ever uploaded to Merch by Amazon with the click of a button….all in one place!
This is something I have not seen anywhere else and is a lifesaver.
There is no need for any 3rd party database or airtable. This free plugin downloads everything directly to your computer in an excel sheet and in a zipped file so you can keep everything organized. Keep in mind though that this data is downloaded as a snapshot in the time, it will not update after you downloaded it.
Wrapping It Up
Those are probably my 3 favorite features of this plugin but it does SO much that if I went over everything, this article would be 10,000 words. Being able to see all this data as well as the revenue/royalty breakdown per shirt is simply priceless.
Here is everything else it does broken down in bullets:
★ Data is stored locally in your browser, no external database or service needed!
★ Fast & easy Excel (.xslx) bulk import incl. price and colors
★ Bigger and better input fields
★ Auto check for banned keywords (Content Policy) – security for your listings!
★ Display Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) on “Manage Products” and all listings of all Amazon platforms (Germany, USA, UK,…)
★ Display estimated sales for your products and the products of your competitors!
★ Extended “Manage Products” table to display “Brand”, “BSR”, “Reviews”-counter and faster access to “Edit” button
★ Display “ASIN” to create campaigns on Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon Advertising (AMS, AA) faster
★ Display estimated Sales and many more under “Manage Products” and Amazon search results
★ Smart and easy detection of copyright infringements! Distinct better between your MBA products or stolen ones on Amazon.
★ Right click on any listing to download high-resolution image
★ Copy and Paste incl. colors! Copy contents of one listing (own or others) and paste it into another.
★ Translate all form fields with a single click!
★ Focus Keyword extractor and analysis for every Amazon product
★ Never loose track of expiring Merch by Amazon products again. Daily popup for expiring listings for 60, 30 and 10 days including details and export function!
★ Improved Statistics and Analytics
★ Instant Notifications on new sales on MBA
★ Download high resolution images of any Merch By Amazon products, just with a single right click on the details pages!
★ Integration of edit and copy to clipboard functions directly into search results at amazon
★ Full export of all your products including designs!
★ Backup your Merch by Amazon
★ Trademark check of your listing included
★ Improved sorting and filtering of your products
★ One-click re-list of expiring products! (Re-publish your expiring product on merch by amazon with a single click.)
★ One-click cross-listing of existing products from US to UK or DE
★ Sort the table for any kind of information
★ Apply default colors, fit types, products and more for “Multiple products”
★ Sort search results on amazon by BSR (Best Sellers Rank) and Rocket Sellers
★ Auto convert image sizes like from T-Shirt to Hoodie and Popsocket
★ BSR history for all your products
★ Create Amazon Advertising Auto-Campaign Bulk Import export file to import your filtered products to Amazon Advertising.
and many more…
Grab the plugin and try it out. It’s FREE!
How To Use Rank Tracking To Optimize Merch by Amazon Listings
This post is also available in: German
The vast majority of Merchers use a spray and pray approach when it comes to uploading shirts. You upload your limit of shirts, and hope something sells.
This CAN work, but over the years it has gotten hard and harder, making research even that more important.
Let’s say that you went through all the research steps, found a good subniche where there are buyers for your shirt designs, and you know what makes up a good design! All that is left is to list it right?
Yes and no!
The first step is listing it, using keywords in your title, bullet points and description to make a great listing for a customer. However, if you want to have a design catalog with thousands of designs that are selling monthly (and not just hoping someone buys it), then you NEED to keep an eye on your listings to optimize keywords in order to push your shirt up the rankings. The higher ranked your shirt is for specific keywords, the more sales you will make and the more royalties will flow into your account.
This works great for new listings, but also is important and something to keep in mind with sellers that you think you can grab some more volume from.
If you want to follow along in this guide and do NOT have Merch Informer, make sure to grab the 7 day free trial here: https://members.merchinformer.com/trial (no credit card required) so that we can start optimizing your shirts.
Optimizing a Merch T-Shirt Design
Keywords are what make this business go round! The better placed your keywords are, the more visibility they will have with the audience that will buy your shirts.
If you have a great design but do not take the time to optimize anything, you might be stuck at the back of 50,000 other designs with no way to get seen. The best thing for you to do if you are in this position is actually go watch the video in this post which lays out how to get started:
How to Keyword Merch Listings
Once you have a good understanding of how this all works, we can start actually optimizing the listings.
Step 1: Adding Designs
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have a Merch Informer account, so go ahead and log into that.
From the left hand corner menu, select the Merch Tracker. This handy little module will let you track your designs and keywords across Amazon. This will allow us to figure out where we are ranking so that we can make the appropriate changes in order to boost our position.
Go ahead and add the ASIN of one of your designs to the ASIN box. If you do not know where to find this, you can open up any Merch by Amazon t-shirt, scroll down to the product details, and then copy and paste the ASIN inside of Merch Informer:
I have selected a trump design to illustrate how this works for example purposes. We are using this design because the seller is missing out on a lot of opportunity here. Enter in the ASIN into Merch Informer:
Go ahead and click save and you will get a notice that it has successfully been added:
Step 2: Adding Keywords
The second step to this is adding some keywords. First though, lets break down all the functionality to get you used to using the tool.
When you first add a design to the tool you will see the design itself, a little clock, a trashcan, and the title, ASIN and keywords slot.
The little clock icon will track this design over time to show you sales rank and pricing. The trashcan will remove it from the list. The longer you keep tracking your designs, the more data you will have to actually optimize your listings!
What is really important here are the keywords.
Here is the listing of the design that we added:
You can tell it has some decent keywords in there, and it looks like the design in question has 10 customer reviews (ASIN screenshot above). However, this seller is leaving a LOT of money on the table by not actually optimizing this listing.
Head on over to the product search inside of Merch Informer and look up the keyword “Trump” and you will see what I mean.
You can get to this screenshot by clicking on the little “i” icon under the product.
You will see that this shirt not only is priced higher, but it is selling a LOT.
Take a look at their listing:
What you should be doing is figuring out WHAT keywords in these other listings are doing well for these designs, and we will try and incorporate them into our listing after we track them to figure out what is going on.
So now, let’s add some keywords to the original listing that we put into the tracker.
The first thing I like to do is actually look at any reviews and see if there are any keywords THERE that we could possibly add to the listing.
It looks like there is:
Right there in plain site we see the keyword “president trump”, yet somehow this is NOT included in the listing for the shirt we are going to track. I also notice in these other listings the following keywords:
- donald trump shirt
- president trump
- trump 2020
- trump is my president
- trump supporter
So start by adding these to the keywords inside of Merch Informer.
When you first add them, they will look like this:
If a keyword has not been tracked, you will want to click on the “not tracked yet” button which will give you a rank for the design on Amazon.
After adding all the keywords, we have this:
Only a single keyword out of the ones we are tracking is ranking (and not very good ranking at that). The rest are not even in the top 100 results! This means that this seller is leaving probably a good $1000+ a month on the table, because they are not taking the time to optimize the listing.
So, lets optimize!
Step 3: Optimizing the Merch by Amazon Listing
Here are the two bullet points in the design we are tracking:
- Haters gonna hate! This funny trump tee is the perfect shirt for any conservative or republican who loves seeing liberals get up in arms about the president. Support Donald and the cause by rocking out this political gift tee today!
- Funny Haters Gonna Hate Donald Trump T-Shirt President Tee makes a great gift for friends and family.
These are “okay” but the goal here is to actually get some of the keywords that we are tracking into these bullet points AND the title where it makes sense. If Amazon sees these keywords in the right spots (where it makes sense of course) then they will slowly move the shirt up the rankings.
Here is the title of the design:
- Funny Haters Gonna Hate Donald Trump T-Shirt President Tee
First, let’s tackle the title.
The title by itself is good, but I want to put 1 keyword in there.
From our list of tracking, we see that we have the keyword “president trump” but that is actually not together in any of the listing.
So, if I was this seller, I would make this small change to the title:
- Funny Haters Gonna Hate Donald Trump T-Shirt President Trump Tee
As you can see, all we did was add “trump” to the title, to make the full keyword president trump show up.
Now that the title is taken care of, lets move on to the bullet points. We have 4 more keywords to POSSIBLY use (there is no need to always use all of them. Using too many could make your listing look spammy).
- donald trump shirt
- trump 2020
- trump is my president
- trump supporter
Lets see if we can fit these into the bullet points. Look for the bolded text to see what was added:
- Haters gonna hate! This funny trump tee is the perfect donald trump shirt for any conservative or republican who loves seeing liberals get up in arms about the president. Show that you are a trump supporter and the cause by rocking out this political gift tee today!
- Funny Haters Gonna Hate Donald Trump T-Shirt President Tee makes a great gift for friends and family. Show your activism for trump 2020 by wearing this design so that you can proudly say trump is my president!
and there you have it! With just a single sentence and a few slight changes, we have optimized the bullet points to include some extra keywords that other designs are pulling in the sales with.
The next step would be to change these on Merch by Amazon and then watch your ranks inside of the Merch Tracker every day. I would personally give them about a month or so to see some movement. After 30 days, you may wish to revisit your design, or start looking at putting some ad spend behind your shirt!
Wrapping It Up
This method DOES require a little bit more effort – about 5 minutes more.
However, if merchers actually took the time to optimize their account and keep tabs on their designs, they would easily grow with the platform and see increased sales.
All it takes is a few minutes a day or one big day of optimizing to start seeing some returns. After all, it takes a while to get ranked, but even if you are ranked, you could STILL be missing out on some of that Merch Money.
Let me know if you have any questions or how we can help you to optimize your designs even easier in the comments below!
To your success!
Evergreen Versus Trending and Seasonal Merch by Amazon Designs – Understanding The Difference
This post is also available in: German
When it comes to any print on demand business out there, and especially Merch by Amazon, there are 3 core areas on how to build your business: Evergreen, Trending, and Seasonal designs.
While this seems pretty straight forward on the surface, there seems to be some confusion on each of these areas, where they overlap, and how Amazon works with each. Today we are going to go over each of these in detail, and why you might think you are going into a trending niche but really, you are no where to be found and finding it impossible to rank.
Lets jump into it!
Evergreen Merch Designs
Evergreen at its core just means that something has enduring popularity. Put in simple terms, evergreen merch designs are going to be those designs who appeal to an audience that buys YEAR round! They will buy these shirts in January. They will buy them in August, and they will purchase the shirts for Christmas.
Just because they buy a shirt during Christmas season does NOT mean that it is not an evergreen design (more on that further down).
Most of the largest Merch by Amazon sellers build the base of their account on evergreen designs. This acts as a hedge for slower months. If you have shirts that sell year in and year out, you guarantee yourself a base level of income even when it seems that the majority of the buyer pool is drying up in the dog days of summer.
Think of evergreen designs as those BIG niches you hear about every day in life and in Facebook groups: dogs, unicorns, jobs… these are all evergreen broad niches.
Looking at this design, one might automatically think about the 4th of July and think it is seasonal or trending, but in reality, this is simply an American flag patriotic shirt, which will sell YEAR round. This is an evergreen shirt.
The sales data backs it up!
As you can see, the sales are consistent over longer periods of time making this design evergreen.
So many people think that seasonal niches are trending designs when they see something like this.
In reality, these are evergreen shirts with seasonal sales.
Let me say that again….evergreen designs with seasonal sales! This is why when you find something you think is trending and put up a bunch of shirts thinking you will easily rank and make money, you are left wondering why no one can find your designs!
Evergreen niches with seasonal sales are very hard to rank for. The reason is that people have been uploading in these niches for years and Amazon gives priority to shirts with reviews, sales rank (the shirts have sales velocity and click through rate data) and have been optimized to be sellers. When you come along in a sea of 10,000 other shirts in an evergreen niche that just has some seasonal sales, you stand very little chance.
This is where keyword research comes into play. If you find a niche like this, you CAN break through with the proper research and optimization. That being said, if you make a mediocre design in the “dog” niche, and do not dive down on new phrases and long tail keywords, you will still be stuck.
The idea is that even though these niches are getting crowded, find a way to stick out. Find a way to use keywords that are still being searched for on Amazon but not by thousands of people. This gives you a chance to start ranking for the main keywords if you can squeeze out some sales on lesser used keywords.
The video below is a long one, but this goes over exactly how you can easily come up with phrases that people will buy that are not saturated on Amazon:
Seasonal Merch Designs
Seasonal merch designs are NOT trending designs. Just because you see a shirt taking off does not mean it is a trend. In fact, almost all seasonal merch designs are part of an evergreen base that just has seasonal sales. For example, Christmas designs. Christmas occurs every single year and because of that, people have been uploading Christmas related shirts since the beginning of the internet.
There are all types of “seasons” that can be considered seasonal. There are holidays every year that are part of a season: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween. There are seasons for specific hobbies such as mushrooms, and then there are seasonal niches that occur at a specific time but are not necessarily a holiday or a hobby: 100 days of school, groundhog day, pi day.
Seasonal niches are something that occur every single year meaning that every year they will see a spike in buyers. This does not mean that they are trending designs, but that certain designs can trend DURING that season (I hope that makes sense).
An example I always like to go back to is Mushrooms. There is a specific time window where people go out and harvest mushrooms.
Here you can see the keywords in the Merch Informer keyword tool. If you click on the far right information icon, you will see exactly what I was describing above.
See that graph at the very bottom of the screenshot? That is a Google Trends graph and shows you when the keyword gets popular and starts spiking in the amount of searches people are making.
This graph CLEARLY shows when the season occurs for morel mushroom hunting. Every single year it happens at the same time (just like all the niches mentioned above).
The key to sticking out in seasonal niches is three fold:
- Be Unique
- Get designs up early
- Niche Down
When you find a seasonal niche you want to go into, you first want to do your research. You can use the video above to figure out how to be unique by coming up with your own phrases (that people still want to buy!), but you also want to get your designs up early to make sure you have a chance to rank. Your chance to rank will have a lot to do with optimization as well as niching down within the overarching seasonal niche that you are going into.
For more info about seasonal niches, make sure to check out this article we did:
A Definitive Guide On Seasonal Niches – How To Find, Rank, And Manage Your Listings
Trending Merch Designs
Trending designs are a great thing to get into when you are first jumping into Merch by Amazon as these have the possibility to rank quickly and get you tiered up in record time if you land on something that hits!
Trending designs are something that is trending because of a specific event that does not always happen every year. Since these are one off events, there are almost always no other long standing shirts on Amazon. This means that there is no competition that has been selling for years previous, there are not thousands of designs before you, and there are no shirts with reviews if you catch it early enough!
The perfect example of this that is current as of this article is: Storm Area 51.
If you are not familiar with this, there was a Facebook group set up about storming area 51 and figuring out what was really there. This movement has become HUGE!
Now, there have been lots of “Area 51” shirts up on Merch. These would be considered evergreen shirts. However, the phrases and sayings being used to promote this “storm area 51” are trending because it is a one off event that has seemingly come out of nowhere and exploded. If you were to catch this trend early, there was ZERO shirts for a while on Merch. The ones that got in early are seeing massive success and sales by getting in early.
As you can see from this example, they even included some different terms in their shirt (such as 5k fun run), but also used the saying that is being spread everywhere “They can’t stop all of us”.
Getting in early had its advantages for this seller!
They managed to make hundreds of dollars from one simple design because they decided to put in the work and do the research.
Not only that, but if this was a new seller at a lower tier, this would ensure that they tiered up and got more slots to increase their earnings potential going forward in their Merch by Amazon Journey!
Wrapping It Up
No matter if you are a long time Merch by Amazon seller or someone just starting, it is important to understand the difference between these three areas. This alone could save you a bunch of headache as you fill out your account.
When you are starting off, focusing on just evergreen could be a slow journey to get out of those initial tiers. The most important thing early on is sales volume so that you can open up more slots for evergreen designs. You should be looking into niching down, seasonal and trending designs. Once you have the space, build the foundation for your business on evergreen designs but never completely ignore one of these 3 categories.
And most of all, don’t get fooled into thinking you have found the perfect trend when really you found an evergreen niches with seasonal sales!
Good luck building your Merch business!