With myriad possibilities to make money online these days, selling T-shirts through Amazon FBA has become the most favorite. People love flaunting cool tees, and they are continually looking for some best designs to buy. But don’t get all excited here. You are not the only one who thought of selling t-shirts through Amazon FBA. With promising prospects, it is a miracle to see not all t-shirt sellers becoming successful. Well, as with most things, it is a lot harder than it looks, and there are several complications that stop a lot of t-shirt businesses on their way to fulfilling the full potential.

In this post, we will be taking a closer look at the t-shirt business, especially selling t-shirts through Amazon FBA. It can take a while and sometimes cost you more money than expected just to set up. However, with Merch by Amazon, selling t-shirts is easy, and you can earn money from each t-shirt that sells.
Merch by Amazon is a print-on-demand service for t-shirts. It offers some great rewards if you do things in the correct manner. If you ask why t-shirt business, the simple answer is that this industry is robust and there is more than one way of getting to the top.

It is up to your personal preference whether you will opt out for something urban or casual street wear or something related to fitness and sports.

So let’s get started!

#1 Upload Your Design to Merch

Like all the professionals do, start establishing your brand to sell your designs. By brand we mean – get your images, logo as well as your name in order. This will help the consumers to buy with more confidence and security from you. The most important thing to keep in mind when naming your brand is to keep the name under 35 characters, or else it will appear incomplete. After finding a suitable name, you start your Merch process by uploading the t-shirt design. However, you are advised to get familiar with the content policy.

For any t-shirt design:

  • It should be a PNG file with 300 DPI resolution
  • Your printable area would be 15×18 inch. Hence, you need to make your design in accordance with the measurements. If you ask us, we advise leaving a small margin to make a perfect tee
  • You have to keep in mind that the t-shirts will be printed in CMYK, it doesn’t matter if you have designed in RGB
  • The files should be larger than 25 MB

You need high-quality, unique designs if you want people to buy your t-shirts. You can either design the t-shirt by yourself or avail the services of a t-shirt designer. There are plenty of templates available for different occasions and aspects. From characters to holidays, puns, many styles, anything you have in mind can go with your tee design.
Most sold t-shirt designs
According to Merch by Amazon analysis, the following are the t-shirt designs that are most likely to be sold on Amazon.

  • Bold high contrast colors
  • Silhouettes characters
  • Distressed designs
  • Designs on a dark background

Stay awake and search for trends
You are advised to capitalize on trends. Come up with designs that boast the trendiest hashtags, and the hottest quotes. Stay current on popular music, movies, TV shows, and follow social media influencers.

Do everything yourself
If you want to make your t-shirt business a permanent affair and planning on to sell the products on other platforms apart from Amazon, then you should know how to print yourself. Printing is an art and surely the toughest task to do it alone. You may want to set up a mini printing factory. Invest in quality printing equipment, raw materials, learn how to use them, and operate the production accordingly.

This way you will be able to print tees when each order comes in, or you can also print multiple or single design(s) in bulk and send it to the FBA warehouse.

#2 Inspect Your Tee Inventory

Careful inspection of your inventory is necessary, and we recommend inspecting it at two points – one at the retail store before making the purchase (plain t-shirts) and second at the print factory (after the implementation of the design). You would want to be the one to discover any oddities about your t-shirt and not your customer. So, check every t-shirt thoroughly before packing them for the final time and sending them to the fulfillment center.
As it is a t-shirt, it should be available in all the sizes, including for kids, men and women unless you are selling it to a specific audience. So stock accordingly.
Here are the things you need to check carefully on your t-shirts before sending them to Amazon FBA:
Filtering by attributes and child items – based on color, design and on-hand quantity

  • The inventory needs to be in brand new condition
  • The t-shirts must be available in all sizes
  • The t-shirts must possess the right colors
  • The t-shirts must boast the correct style that you have uploaded on the Merch

If you receive t-shirts with the wrong color, wrong design, wrong style, or wrong size, you need to return them to the store immediately. On the other hand, if you are selling printed tees, make sure there are no ink stains and other markings on the t-shirts.

Lastly, your tees sold as new on Amazon must match the product description that you have cited on the product page. You don’t want your customers to feel betrayed when they get the product, and it doesn’t even look closer to what you have mentioned about it in the description.

#3 Product Description

Your target audience can get more insight into your products thanks to product descriptions. So what are the aspects you are allowed to place in your product description page? Your product title, your brand name, and a description that you write during the product creation workflow are necessary attributes. The key here is to be as specific as you can. When you are implementing the right keywords and keeping your description precise, it will work in favor of your product discoverability. It is all about the keywords you use. You need to use the keywords that were successful in your analytics view. The dominant the keywords are, the dominant will be your designs on Amazon.

Although writing a quality product description is important, it can back fire if the actual product doesn’t match the description. You don’t want angry customers raining on your parade. So mention things that are real. You can add certain things like ‘product color may appear different than the photo’ and more like that, to let your customers know that they are not deceived into buying your product.

Amazon algorithm is not designed to be fooled by you
Putting 300-odd keywords into your listing thinking that more the merrier and that the algorithm will rank your tee high is the biggest mistake that you can do, especially when you are just starting out. The Amazon algorithm works in a way that it only shows you products that you are most likely to buy based on your previous searches. So stuffing your listing with a keyword hundreds of times will do no good for you.

When you put keywords into your listing, the Amazon algorithm knows what it is about and then it learns if the words used are right.

Suppose your tees are about ‘dogs.’ So when a buyer searches Amazon for t-shirts about dogs, the algorithm will pull out your listing and displays it to the buyer. However, if the buyer doesn’t buy it, the algorithm will know that your tee sucks or it isn’t about dogs. Either way, the algorithm doesn’t want to waste a spot in the search results by displaying your “less than average t-shirt” that doesn’t sell.

On the other hand, the Amazon algorithm gets more hints about your tee’s performance by looking at the reviews. However, that is after the conversion. So, the algorithm will take your word for it when you first put up your t-shirt, overlooking the keywords that you stuffed. But if your t-shirt doesn’t start to sell, the algorithm will know that, and it will discount the keywords you stuffed as being valid.

#4 Set a list price and go live

Before going live, your product design will go through several different procedures that will be conducted by the Merch team. There are about eight statuses that your product design will be kept under before allowing you to set a list price and go live.

  1. Draft: Your design is kept as a draft until you submit it to the Merch team. You can still make changes to the design as long as it is the draft.
  2. Under Review: Upon submitting your design, it will be reviewed by the Merch team. They will be verifying all the aspects of your design to see if it complies with the Amazon content policy.
  3. Rejected: Your product design will be rejected if it fails to or infringes the Amazon content policy. You will have to redesign everything every time until it is being approved.
  4. Started Process: Once your design has been approved, it will be sent to the process of adding it to Amazon.
  5. Processing: This status tells that your design is being processed to be added to Amazon.
  6. Live: This status means that your design is live on Amazon and discoverable for everyone.
  7. Pending Your Approval: The ‘Pending Your Approval’ status means that you have halted the publishing process. Amazon will send you a private link so that you can order a sample before going live on Amazon. This allows you to give a final call whether or not to publish the design. If you think you can do some more tweaking to the design, you can start the process all over.
  8. Removed: Your design in the ‘Removed’ status indicates that it has content that violates the Amazon content policy or because it did not sell within the first six months after publishing.

Please Note:
Consider that Merch by Amazon cannot sell a product that is infringing the intellectual property – copyright, trademark, or similar, of someone else. This applies to not only your t-shirt design but also the description, your name, and the brand. So you have to be careful about every single aspect of your t-shirt. In case, if you are using images that you downloaded from the web, you are responsible for ensuring that the images have no copyright issues – tracing images is illegal.
If your design is rejected, you are encouraged to contact Merch support regarding the issue. They are happy to email you with the particular reason(s) why the Merch Team rejected your design.

#5 Prepping Tees

The experience your customers receive when they order a product from you should be flawless. This is why you need to follow the best packaging practices to enable perfect experience for your customers. In case, if you were retail arbitraging, you would want to make sure that the product reaches the customer in its original branded packaging. You can use your own packaging design if it is your brand. On the other hand, if the fabric used wrinkles easily, you can use a cardboard piece to keep the tees wrinkle-free. However, it all depends on your budget. Amazon will later add on their packaging over your packaging at the FBA warehouse. So if you want your customers to know more about your brand, you should use custom packaging with your brand name and contact details on it.

#6 Handling Returns

There will be occasions when the customers will return your product due to some reasons. It may be because they don’t like the product, they didn’t get what they expected, or the product was damaged. Considering all the factors, you need to know how to handle the returns.

  1. Keep track of the return notification mail from Amazon
  2. It takes around 45 days for the product to return, if it exceeds the limit, you can contact Amazon for a reimbursement
  3. Contact the buyer and ask what went wrong, and assure him/her that it won’t happen again if the mistake was on your side. This will help protect your seller feedback score
  4. Make sure that the returned tees are sent back to you for inspection
  5. Find out the reasons for the return by accessing the Seller Central


This year will be more challenging to the sellers and brands looking to make the most out of their Amazon FBA venture. However, if the sellers are able to follow the trends and mold their strategies accordingly, they will be able to reap maximum benefits out of their Amazon FBA business.

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