Journey To A T-Shirt Empire

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by stranger, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    In the past, I've run a few tee campaigns with some success, however, I've almost always neglected these new ventures to the point where something else takes over and they're just running without any direction. It's never really been a focus, which is why I'm starting this journey to keep tabs on what I am doing and making some goals along the way.

    I'm also here to provide any insight I can in the merch game. Of course, I'm not going to give away any niches unless I'm feeling particularly reckless. In any case, I have an Amazon merch account that is relatively fresh that I'll be looking to scale and build up. I'll also be using Red Bubble and Printful with their Etsy integration.

    So first things first, the Amazon Merch account. The one I'm building up now is just under 4 weeks old.

    Current stats are:

    Tier: 1 - Meaning I can only sell 10 designs at this moment.
    Current designs for sale: 6 (+1 pending) - I have some sort of glitch that only allows me to upload 9 designs for some reason.
    Sales Total (9th September - 7th October): 63 Sales + 2 Cancellations.

    From the last week.
    [​IMG]

    This is an average of 5 sales per day. I'm hoping that I'll be granted the next tier where I will be able to upload 25 live designs total.

    Goals for October:

    1. Expand into Etsy via Printful
    2. Expand into Redbubble.
    3. Average 10 sales per day on Amazon and analyse Redbubble along with Etsy progress for sales targets in November.

    I don't want to set a revenue target, I'm just going to set myself sales targets. That's all.

    Research Method:
    Merchinformer and the BSR Chrome plugin that shows the BSR for random searches that I do on Amazon. The shirt that I'm primarily selling was just from a random search on Amazon that had very low competition. For Etsy and Redubble I'll mostly be just sending any designs that I have from Amazon over along with some that I probably will put exclusively for these platforms.

    Promotion:
    I'm looking at a few things that I'll comment on later in the thread. For the time being, I'm going to rely on organic sales without influencing anything. If I decide to go for a slightly more competitive niche I'll probably discuss how to influence the amazon serps but again that will be for the future and not something that I am doing or exploring now.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. Jiung

    Jiung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Living the IM Dream
    Location:
    California
    Do you have any specific tips for title,description,bullet points?
     
  3. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    I'll mention my keyword in both bullet points, the title, the description too. The brand will be more generic so that I can add to the niche for other variations of the design if need be.

    Regarding the description, I'll pretty much write as much as I can do. What I would say is that a lot of people neglect this area from what I've seen so far. Once you've identified a niche, take the top 5 or 10 sellers and copy their descriptions, titles and bullet points. Find out what is the cropping up the most here and then integrate that into your listing. For the shirt that is selling the most now, I'm beating the competition for the desired keywords and appearing first. The only issue is that they are far cheaper and selling their shirts for just under $10. Regardless, I'm still making consistent sales despite this, and despite them having a BSR closer to 30k. I suppose the best advice that I can give is to improve upon that which is already working. It's pretty generic, but it holds true to any serps.

    Have you recently started too?
     
  4. Jiung

    Jiung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Living the IM Dream
    Location:
    California
    Selling for under $10 on Amazon Merch? Hmm... I personally got accepted into Amazon Merch a few months ago, but have no experience designing T-Shirts so I have teamed up with someone to do this with, but they aren't really that reliable and aren't holding up to their word, so I'm planning on just doing it myself.

    To find the keywords, are you just searching up random phases and checking the stats of them using BSR and merch informer?
     
  5. Toal5760

    Toal5760 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    86
    Occupation:
    Major Wanker
    Location:
    Mum's basement
    Home Page:
    I'm gonna follow your journey man. I have a street artist friend whos pushing out a ton of designs every week. This might be our chance! :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    They're not using Merch, hence the reason for the below $10 price. I'm the only Merch seller for this particular shirt.

    Install the BSR plugin on chrome for quick searches that you do.

    Generally, my method has been to use merchinformer and go from there. I'll only target shirts that have low competition - I'm talking 100 other designs or less.

    If you're really having trouble I could give you a keyword or two if I find some additional ones over this next week, just as a kickstarter.
     
  7. Toal5760

    Toal5760 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    86
    Occupation:
    Major Wanker
    Location:
    Mum's basement
    Home Page:
    How did you get accepted? Could you expand on this?
     
  8. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    I just applied many months ago and it got accepted. If you've not applied then do so right away.

    In the meantime, you've got other marketplaces such as Etsy and Redbubble.

    If you sign up to Printful, you'll get 50 free listings on Etsy that will help you jumpstart everything. Merchinformer have a guide on setting this up.
     
  9. Toal5760

    Toal5760 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    86
    Occupation:
    Major Wanker
    Location:
    Mum's basement
    Home Page:
    Thank you! Do original artworks sell well? My friend makes some pretty awesome stuff, I'm just not sure people would stumble upon it without any popculture reference.
     
  10. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    I do have a few designs, yes. The problem is that it's not so great for organic searches as the more general keywords are extremely competitive. My plan is to push Etsy for these designs and stick with "message" shirts on Amazon. i.e. things that are for a particular cause (political or non-political) or things like dog/animal t-shirts.

    With Etsy I'll probably experiment with the embroidery options they now have. It's a good idea with Christmas coming up.
     
  11. Panther28

    Panther28 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    4,109
    Occupation:
    Internet.
    Location:
    Internet.
    Home Page:
    When did you apply, and when did you get approved.
    Your sales are doing great for only 6 designs, you should
    be getting tiered up soon
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    I got approved in September and applied in April I do believe. I've heard this greatly varies though as someone I know got approved within 2 months.

    Thanks, and I hope so too!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. Jiung

    Jiung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Living the IM Dream
    Location:
    California
    Thanks, that would be really nice, as I would love to try and design a shirt based around a keyword.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. Toal5760

    Toal5760 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    86
    Occupation:
    Major Wanker
    Location:
    Mum's basement
    Home Page:
    @straner

    What do you think about Teespring?
     
  15. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    Not really a fan to be quite honest. I use as part of an established site as a POD service. But you're not going to get anything organic like Etsy or Amazon. If your strong suit is social media marketing then it's certainly something worth exploring. That's not really what I'm interested in nor is it my expertise so I stay clear from it.

    I was quite excited for the Teespring update where they had Amazon intergration though, but that's been on hold. Regardless, I'd strongly reccomend that you apply for merch if you haven't already and maybe give Etsy and Redbubble a try. I'll be posting my results from these as I update the journey anyway so you're more than welcome to see how I'm finding it myself before you jump in! :)
     
  16. slidings

    slidings Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Online
    Wow, I have similar stats on Merch but I've been at this much, much longer... you really hit a winner with that random search!
     
  17. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    How are you doing your research if you don't mind me asking?
     
  18. stranger

    stranger Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Europe
    Very small update.

    The Bad News

    Since the 8th sales have dipped and I'm averaging around 3 per day. Please note, that when I give the average, it's just the average for that particular week. Some days I'll have 1 sale, then the following day I could get 5 or 6. I've got two more shirts that are selling every couple of days, but it's pretty sporadic. This time last week I had 2 days straight without any sales, on the third day I had one and since then it has been relatively consistent. But again, that seems to be the usual.

    The Good News

    Just yesterday my account as upgraded to the 25 tier. I've got over 100 sales so if there is another tier up soon I'll get that right away I'm hoping. What this means is that I now have 15 more design slots, I'll be taking a couple down too. I've identified a couple of very simple designs that I'll be uploading over the next few days that will get me to consistent 5-7 sales per day I'm hoping. I doubt very much I'll hit my target of 10 sales per day by the end of this month. Still, for the second month, a paycheck of a little over $450 is looking likely which isn't bad at all.

    As a side note, I've not yet listed anything on Etsy or anything like that just yet, It's something that I'll do in this next week. I've been a little busy with design projects so this venture has been on hold - but I'm going to try to push it as much as I can. Also, I had filled up all my design slots so I was just waiting and hoping for the next tier up. My plan is still the same, to identify low competition shirts and go for those. Once I hit the 100 tier I'll be looking to get into slightly more competitive niches and flood those a bit to try to compete. With Christmas on the horizon, I'll be dedicating some time for designs in that particular niche. See what happens.

    Regarding Amazon Merch, there are rumors circulating about long sleeve jumpers and hoodies. A few users have also been allowed to have their shirts listed on Amazon UK and Amazon De, so some very exciting news in that regard for the future of Merch.

    I'll give a more comprehensive post at the end of this month to analyse everything I've done thus far.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  19. TechEinstien

    TechEinstien Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    653
    Any Update? How is it going?