A Definitive Guide On Seasonal Niches – How To Find, Rank, And Manage Your Listings

Seasonal niches can be a massive money maker when it comes to listing Merch on Amazon if you know what you are looking for and how best to manage these niches. If I were to say the word “seasonal niche” to you, what is the first thing that would come to mind? For most, it would be the major holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, so on and so forth.
Every single person selling Merch on Amazon is probably going to upload a shirt or 10 into those categories. Now, the word saturated is thrown out a lot which we do not agree with, but it does make it harder to make sales in these niches. If you have the slots, you should put out some designs for this audience.
For the rest of us, we need to actually stop for a second to consider there is a bit more that constitutes a seasonal niche that might not come to mind right away. Think about “holidays” that are not typical such as pi day or groundhog day. These come around only a single day of the year making them VERY seasonal!
Pro Tip: The absolute biggest success we have had with seasonal niches are with designs that are actually related to activities that have SEASONS (shocker right)? As an example, think about morel mushrooms and the amount of people that hunt those every year. These certainly have a season and we will be going into this example further down the article.

Should You Be Uploading Seasonal Designs?

There are people out there that will tell you to simply go for evergreen designs (designs that will sell year round), and forget about trends, or seasonal niches. For the most part, I would agree with them! However, if you are completely ignoring seasonal or trending topics, you are 100% leaving money on the table.
The benefits of seasonal designs far outweigh the negatives at almost every level. These include:

  • High Sales Volume
  • Account Tier Ups
  • Reviews (because of high sales volume)
  • Experiment With Pricing (play with pricing to beat your competition).

There are really only 2 negatives and those are that your designs will not sell for the majority of the year and that those designs take up slots! Both of these negatives can actually be worked around so let’s get into that!

How To Properly Utilize Seasonal Niches

The biggest complaint that we hear from new sellers is that they only have 10-25 slots available and cannot possibly fit in seasonal niches. You can, and actually should be using them! This is a great way to get your account tiered up a bit faster by making a bunch of sales in a short period of time, and a great way to make some extra money from your account. What you may need to do though, is make sure that you are timing the uploading of your designs.
Since we know that there is a 90 day rule, we need to make sure that the designs we upload sell within 3 months. If we know that there is a seasonal niche coming up that we want to tackle, we need to time it just right with Merch in order to make sure we get ranked and make sales but do not steal too many slots for evergreen designs that might be selling year round. We have found uploading the designs about 35 days out from a seasonal niche to be optimal from our testing. Always remember to really nail down the optimization of your keywords though! People seem to start buying for holidays/seasons about a month before the actual season/holiday starts.
As soon as 1 trend or season dies down and has passed, if you are using Merch by Amazon, you will want to free up those slots if you do not have enough spots to leave them up to make room for other trends or evergreen designs. This can become a massive hassle and is actually why I do NOT recommend you do seasonal designs on Merch IF you are a new seller who has not been tiered up.
Evergreen designs should be your main focus for a long term business instead of chasing trends. Like I said at the beginning though, if you were to totally skip seasons, you would be leaving money on the table and no one should ever do that.
Instead, you should be uploading your Seasonal designs through the Teespring Amazon integration. I know I know, you will get lower margins, and you have to price your items higher, but hear me out on this one.
Almost every single one of my best selling seasonal niches up on Amazon has a LOT of reviews. Not just 1 or 2 reviews, but 10s of 5 star reviews saying how great the product is. If you were to cycle out that design, you lose all those reviews forever and next year during the same season, you are stuck competing with 1000 other people with brand new listings. No one wants that. Reviews are the life blood of Amazon and something that a lot of Merch sellers do not even pay attention to. If your shirt has good organic reviews your merch is going to sell and FAR outsell the products that have zero reviews.
By putting your seasonal designs on Teespring, you can keep them up year round AND keep your reviews without taking up precious Merch by Amazon slots. That is what I call a win win!

Seasonal Niche Examples

Not that we have explained how you should be going about setting up your seasonal designs, let’s go over some examples of seasonal niches and how we would do them.
Chinese New Year
What I have found by monitoring certain brands on Amazon is that a lot of people put these shirts up and then end up deleting them after the holiday has passed. This is actually the reason we suggest people put these designs up with the Teespring Amazon integration. A lot of these great shirts had reviews, but people yank down the shirts to put up others as soon as it is over which is too bad.
Chinese New Year is not a single day like you might be thinking but a few week event. If you are an FBA seller, you certainly know about Chinese New Year and if you are a MBA seller, you SHOULD know about this holiday because you can make a killing from it.

Upload these type of shirts early and you can ride the season for a few weeks bringing in Amazing sales.
Groundhog Day
Groundhog day is always a good seller and you should be getting these up at the very least a month before it happens. You might not sell any for a week or two, but about one to two weeks out, your sales should spike. This is generally caused by people ordering all there Merch at the same time because they want to get the items on time and before the date that they want to wear them. Notice how this is a single day of the year so you need to make sure you are early unlike Chinese New Year.
100 Days Of School
This is also not a holiday trend but something that comes around every year. All of the children going to school eventually cross their first 100 days of school and not only are they excited, but a lot of the time this niche is PERFECT for teachers. We have personally tested this niche so if we were putting up these shirts again, we would put them up about a month or so earlier because you will get the bulk of your sales leading up to the 100 days of school but we also noticed that we were getting sales a week or two after.
One of the funny things we notice is that a lot of seasonal niches actually keep getting sales after the season is over. My only speculation here is that people think they are getting the item on sale for next year? Who knows for sure!
Morel Mushrooms

This is an example of something I was talking about near the beginning of this article. When thinking seasonal, you want to sometimes think of things that actually have seasons, like hunting mushrooms. As you can see from our keyword tool, this niche actually have very pronounced seasons. You can use these graphs to time your uploads. It seems that the graph peaks late April to early May so if we were uploading these shirts, we would probably do so late March.
Pi Day
Pi day is an interesting one. Not only do people that are really into math love these type of shirts (seen a lot of variations walking around in real life), but they also have a seasonal effect because of the actual pi day 3/14. The combination of being attractive to a certain niche of people as well as being season is great because it means that this is the type of shirt that can actually be put up whenever you want and keep it up all year round. What you might have come up with as a seasonal niche may have aspects of being evergreen! If we were doing Pi Day shirts, we would upload them as soon as we got the designs back from the designer.

How To Spot Seasonal Niches And Promote Them

Now that we have gone over some examples of seasonal niches, this article would not be complete without taking about exactly how to spot them and then get the initial boost you may be looking for ahead of your competition.
To be honest with everyone, I have never picked a morel mushroom in my life so I was kind of surprised to run across that niche and want to explain exactly how that came about.
The first thing I did was I knew I wanted to find some more ideas to upload to my account so I went over to our Keyword Tool in Merch Informer.
The keyword tool focuses on Amazon auto suggest words so I entered in a random seed keyword of “more of a”. This is open ended and could be filled with more than one ending.

Morel Mushrooms automatically stuck out to me so I wanted to check it out and see how it was doing with a single click of a button. To do this, click on the new details column. This is an update that we JUST pushed out and will allow you to catch a snapshot of the keyword and if it is something you might want to further look into.

From here, it will bring up the snapshot of the keyword you are looking at:

What your eye should draw to is the bottom part of the snapshot which will show you the interest over time graph. As you can see, it spikes EVERY single morel hunting season. This is a clear sign to you that this niche is seasonal.
If the niche were not seasonal, it might look something like this:

With the update we pushed to the Merch Informer keyword tool, it is now the easiest way to

  • Spot trends and seasonal niches
  • Get a snapshot of how many monthly sales you could expect
  • Competition you would be up against
  • If the keyword is trademark safe or not
  • A word cloud of the related keywords you might want to use in your own listing for that niche.

Promotion

Now that you have some seasonal niches and designs, you might be considering promoting them instead of waiting around for them to get sales. This is a good way to boost your product above the competition if the seasonal niche you are going into has a bit more competition.
If you have not read these articles, consider learning a little bit about free promotion techniques:

Now, if you were going to pay for ads, that might be an article for a different time, but let me give you an idea of what I would do.
For an example, take the Groundhog day seasonal niche that we mentioned above. Good niche, but a bit competitive for some people.
If I were to drive outside traffic to this listing from paid traffic, I would actually use Facebook. First, I would make sure that my design was the absolute best in the niche (because this matters a LOT if you are doing Facebook advertising), and then I would set up a very simple ad.
The biggest difference here is that I would target fans of Bill Murray and the movie Groundhog Day (1993). This allows you to market to an audience who is very passionate about the niche, but also an audience that you would NEVER be able to pull off if you tried on Merch because of IP infringement.
You just need a little bit of out of the box thinking to get around some of the restrictions we have in the POD space and you can make an insane amount of sales instantly boosting you above everyone else in the pack.

Wrapping It Up

Seasonal niches are 100% worth your time but they DO require a bit of effort to pull off correctly. Instead of putting up some designs in a seasonal niche and then complaining about competition and not making sales, instead, take the time to sit back, analyze the niche, and time when you should enter the market. Enter the seasonal niches properly (nice and early with optimized listings), and then do the leg work to make sure that your product shines above the rest with free promotion or paid promotion. Do the best you can to take advantage of different integrations so your seasonal niche shirts can stay on Amazon and keep all the reviews that you got from your hard work. Put in the work, put in the research, and you will see your sales take off!

Comments
  • Thanks for the informative post, but you got me a bit confused there.
    “The biggest complaint that we hear from new sellers is that they only have 10-25 slots available and cannot possibly fit in seasonal niches. You can, and actually should be using them! This is a great way to get your account tiered up a bit faster by making a bunch of sales in a short period of time, and a great way to make some extra money from your account.”
    “As soon as 1 trend or season dies down and has passed, if you are using Merch by Amazon, you will want to free up those slots if you do not have enough spots to leave them up to make room for other trends or evergreen designs. This can become a massive hassle and is actually why I do NOT recommend you do seasonal designs on Merch IF you are a new seller who has not been tiered up.”

    • Seasonal designs are great and we do recommend using them, but what we are trying to get across is that if you do not have very many slots available, juggling your designs back and forth can be a time sink, stressful, and also a bit of a waste as you might lose reviews. We are all about selling on Amazon so if you can, we recommend selling seasonal designs on Teespring through the Amazon integration. That way, your seasonal designs are being sold on Amazon and you do not have to worry about the struggle of juggling designs on your new Merch by Amazon account.

      • Thanks, that clears it up.
        I’m quite new to Amazon Merch, so I’m stuck with the 10 designs limit at the moment. I’ll have a look at the Amazon + Teespring integration.

  • Neil, I always get a lot out of these blog posts. Thanks! 2 questions: 1) are you recommending paying for a campaign on Teespring when we integrate with amazon? 2) what source or tool (outside of merch informer) do you recommend to finding these seasonal niches/trends to use on merch?

    • No paying for anything. Just recommending that all the seasonal shirts go on Teespring (which integrates with Amazon), to free up slots for evergreen shirts on Merch. Aside from MI, we do not really use much else. A good thing to pay attention to is trendy news though so keep track of those by visiting sites like Reddit/Yahoo/Buzzfeed or any other type of site like those.

  • Amazon + Teespring integration is not for everyone now. I just got a reply to my question to Teespring support and they said they are not enabling any more integrations at the moment. Personally I think is a little unfair as not every seller can take advantage and we are loosing money and staying back on the competition.
    So a big NO more amazon integration (at least for now) for new sellers like me. Sad but true.

    • This is just a temporary thing we have been told. Upload your designs and make sure that you are ready to go when they do get back to enabling people which should be in the next few weeks.

  • Hey Neil,
    What are you thoughts on the POD industry and Amazon. Do you think it will oversaturate now that TS have listed so many products on Amazon??

    • There are 2 billion visitors a month shopping on Amazon.com. There is absolutely no way this is getting saturated. There are SO MANY potential eyeballs and with all the integrations, you can sell so many different products, there is really a lot of room for growth.

  • Hi Neil,
    The “Zero Cost Merch Marketing” is a broken link because there seems to be an added “apostrophe” in the url. Something you might want to check and remove. Thanks!

  • Great info… I had never done a seasonal niche shirt before so I decided to do one for Red Nose Day (which I don’t mind saying what the niche was) about 4 weeks out from the official day I started to get regular sales… which totally surprised me. Definitely agree it’s worth making slots available for seasonal niches

  • Hi Neil. I just was accepted to MBA and I was thinking about making designs for coming holidays. But I see you do not recomend it for low tiers. Can you explain please what exactly does it mean ” tier 10″ ? That I need to make 10 sales to move up I understand but it should be different 10 designs or one or couple of them? How many designs I’ m allowed to have live -10? So I have to upload 10 designs and wait when I will make 10 sales from this?
    Thank you for understanding.
    Irina

    • At the smaller tiers, you can only have so many live up on Amazon. At tier 10 you can have 10 shirts live so one of the reasons I recommend not going for seasonal right away is EVERYONE else with more slots is going for seasonal as well. If you are not going to market your shirts or find a way to stand out, there is a large chance your shirts will get lost in the noise.

  • I recently got tiered up to 25 with only a couple of sales. Going to get Merchinformer in few days as its kinda hard to keep track to trends and stuff because I want to focus on designing more. Learned how to design somehow and have found MBA much more interesting then any other print on demand websites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *