A Step By Step Guide to Getting Started on Amazon
Getting Your Feet Wet
It probably goes without saying for most people out there who spend at least part of their lives on the internet, but Amazon is a big deal. As the premier online shopping outlet for most of the western world, Amazon is a resource that almost everyone uses on a semi-regular basis. From Blu-rays to maternity clothing, and everything else in-between, the retailer provides countless services to a wide variety of customers.
The services and discounts Amazon offers are beneficial to consumers and businesses alike; they save consumers money which in turn allows them to spend more, which ultimately benefits the manufacturers of all the products up for sale on the platform.
When you step back and study the entire process as a whole, it really is impressive to look at what Amazon has grown into.
If you haven't already, you should go ahead and start this whole process by opening up a standard Amazon account. The front page layout is simple enough to get a grasp on and navigate, and signing up is as simple as starting an account and entering in all of your personal information- name, address, etc. From there you'll receive a standard email confirmation, and once you click that link, boom- your account is up and running.
Get Started With Merch As Soon As Possible
Merch With Amazon is exploding with popularity as of late, and as a result, getting your foot in the door can take time. Maybe even more time than you're willing to invest.
If the thought of having to wait upwards of several months doesn't sound thrilling to you, there are a few hints you might want to keep in mind that could see that waiting period shortened.
Include More Than Just Your Personal Info
Sure, you're asked to list your name, address, and so on when requesting an invite to the program. What some people don't notice, however, is that there's a line where you can list your website, blog, or whatever online space you use to advertise yourself.
Assuming you have something along those lines, be sure to list it. Amazon is working to streamline the Merch service, and don't want unqualified individuals and companies filling up their platform with links to products that no one is promoting, and no one is buying. Showing them that you have the ability to move product might help your cause, and get you fast-tracked.
Reach Out And Touch Someone
If it's been longer than a month or two, and you haven't heard any information at all regarding your invitation to Merch By Amazon, it might be time to poke the bear. If only ever so gently. On the invitation page for Merch, scrolling to the bottom reveals a contact us button.
While they state under the FAQ section that they're approving invitations as fast as possible, reaching out and greasing the wheels may help you out. Make sure you're polite, respectful, and really lay it on thick in regards to how much you like the program, and would like to be a part of it. A brief business plan may not be a bad idea either- doing so could only help prove how serious you are.
Covering The Basics
Once your main Amazon account is set up, and you've been approved by Amazon, you'll want to get a handle your Merch With Amazon account. Once you have your foot in the door, you're going to have to do some house cleaning before you can start listing and selling shirts.
Let's cover a few of the basics, and see if we can't get you off and running just a little bit quicker. First, click on My Account. There are three main parts to your account, each of which contains several important sections that are integral to running a smart business.
This section lists ground-level info such as your company name, location, address and contact information, as well as your company email address. This can often be the easiest section to overlook- so don't. Take your time, and get all of this done correctly the first time so that you don't have any rookie blunders once you officially launch.
Payment And Banking
You like money, right? You need money to grow your business, right? Well, then this is the section for you. Here is where you will list your company's financial information; your bank, routing number, and the bank's location. This is how you're going to get all of those royalties from shirt sales sent directly to you. Be sure to save the information once it's entered, otherwise, you'll have to do this all over again after closing the tab.
Last but not least, you have to handle this important section that is all about tax info. In short, it's an interview in regards to all of your company connections, and how the US government views your small business. Stuff like your business number, or your social security number, will be asked of you.
Obviously, make sure that the information you provide matches up with what the IRS has in your file. If you fudge any of this information- be it on purpose or accidentally- it's not just your neck on the line, but Amazon's as well. It might be a smart idea to provide this information first, as it can take time to get the information verified.
What About Prime?
Briefly, we should touch on Amazon Prime. As a service, Prime is simply incredible. For consumers, it opens up several gated features such as Prime video, music, delivered groceries, and restaurants among others. While this is all well and good for consumers, the benefits don't end there, and they even help out Mech sellers like yourself. That's right- Prime benefits your company as well.
As a Merch By Amazon seller, your products are eligible for Prime shipping. Just what does that mean? Well, Prime members get free two-day shipping on any and all orders. Meaning, they can order your t-shirt without any other filler items, and be wearing it within two days. That's a great purchasing incentive, and that means your products will be out there in the world catching attention even sooner than going through other competing platforms.
Wrapping It Up
So now that your Amazon and Merch accounts are set up, get out there and start creating and listing. With that being said, don't forget that you can use your standard Amazon account to help out your business as well.
Take some time to shop around for other independent businesses and their wares. A smart company head not only focuses on their product but their competitor's products as well. Study what's selling for them, as well as what isn't. Just as you need to learn from your experience, you need to learn from theirs as well. Doing so will help ensure your designs hold their own against the vast array of other designs that are out there for sale on the platform.
With a bit of luck, persistence, and talent, you may find yourself quickly generating a profit and building your brand.