Donating Merch by Amazon T-Shirts To Charity

How many of you are stuck in the 10 or 25 tier and are having an issue getting out because gaining traction is hard? You may have heard it before, but let me just hammer it home again: Merch is a numbers game!

You cannot expect to see daily sales when you have 10 or 25 shirts live. This is just a fact of the Merch by Amazon game. Now, I do know people who get lucky and get in a trending niche or a seasonal niche and get traction and it takes off. In fact, there are people who earn $1,000 a DAY just from a few trendy shirts. Unless you think outside of the box, get in early, or figure out how to advertise your shirts, do not expect to retire from your 25 shirts you have live.

Getting out of the lower tiers should be your ONLY focus coming into Quarter 4 this year. Quarter 4 is where you can make more money than the rest of the year combined in just a few short months, especially in retail. Leading up to Christmas you can expect 4-6X your average monthly royalties. This is massive and a lot of big sellers are aiming to hit a $100,000 December alone. We had a spectacular Q4 last year ourselves:

When it comes down to it, there is really no way to get into the large numbers organically if you are not out of the smaller tiers.

80/20 Rule

Have any of you heard of the Pareto Principle?

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

This is not a hard fact or anything, but from all my dealings with making money online, is pretty inline with the outcome.

Putting it simply, 80% of all your sales are probably going to come from 20% of your shirts. If you understand that, then you soon realize that in order to sell more shirts, you simply need to fill up your slots with GOOD designs.

Making sure your slots are filled is one of the biggest battles since most people are not designers. If you need some help on that, please read the outsourcing guide we wrote here:

How To Use Upwork To Outsource And Scale Your Merch Business


The second thing you need to keep in mind when getting your slots filled is that you MUST have good research skills and work on your optimization.

You can have the best design in the world but if you have not figured out what niche it belongs in or taken a look at the competition you will be up against, there is no way anyone is going to find your design on Amazon in the sea of t-shirts.

You can do all your research manually, but if you want to save some time, you might want to try out our 3 day free trial of Merch Informer.

What you should be looking for is designs in a sub niche that have around 100k-300k BSR. This signals to you that the design is selling once a day to a few times a week. Make sure that when you are finding these that the shirt is CONSISTENTLY in that range because you do not want to be targeting a niche where someone sold once, and then won’t sell again for a few months.

In order to find these sub niches to use within Merch Informer or simply by spending hours on Amazon, give this article a read:

Merch by Amazon SEO Ultimate Guide

Once you have your niches picked out, your designs (GOOD designs) created by either outsourcing or doing them yourself, upload them.

When you are uploading them, make sure to fill in all the details, including the description, and get your keywords in your bullet points.

Here is where it gets interesting!

Give them a week or so to get properly indexed and a chance at selling. If there are no sales, you might not be showing up high enough in organic search. From here what you can do is work on optimizing your listing. Open an incognito window and search for your main keyword and see what position it is in before getting any sales. This gives you a good starting point of where your listing is, and how you can improve it.

From there, enter it into the Merch Tracker and enter in some keywords. This is going to track your shirt position within Amazon so you know EXACTLY how the shirt is doing. Edit the bullet points on Amazon and resubmit your shirt. Watch the positioning within MI and see if your shirt gains more positioning!

The higher your shirt ranks in Amazon organic search, the higher percent chance you have for it to sell.

If you are wondering what keywords you should include in the bullet points, take a look at the top sellers in the niche via BSR and take the keywords they are using in your own sentences. I go over how that is done here (it is near the end of the video):

By now, you have set yourself up to get organic sales and if you did it correctly and picked a niche that is not too competitive, you should probably see a few sales start to trickle in over the next couple of weeks.

Charity – The Merch Secret Weapon

If you are still struggling to get sales and know that you will have a better chance of making those sales with more slots (you will), then just buy yourself out of the tier you are at!

“But who wants 10/25 shirts, not me!” you might be saying.

Let me tell you who does want them, Charities!

Every organization you can think of wants shirts, especially if they are free!

  • Local 5k? Yep, they want shirts!
  • Local restaurant? Yep, they want shirts!
  • Cancer Foundations? Yep, they want shirts!

Here is an awesome list of different charities and I can almost guarantee they would all be super excited to get some free shirts donated to their cause.

Not only are you doing a good thing for a good cause and making a bunch of people happy, but you are also able to write this off on your taxes!

The Charity Case Study

The Charity gets free shirts, you get a tax write off, a tier up, AND a spike in BSR for those shirts?

I call this a win, win, win, win!

I could just tell you this works and to go do it, but I want to test it out for myself. Looking at the list above, I really see a list of niches that would crush it on Amazon. What I will be doing over the next coming weeks is contacting a charity and offering to purchase a bunch of shirts for them, free of charge. I will make sure I have a good shirt up on Amazon and hopefully I can use this to help some people in need and get the BSR spiked to where the organic sales start flowing it.

Not sure how it will go at all, but testing will for sure give me an answer. I will document this as it happens.

Until next time, do everything you can to get out of the lower tiers!

  • Thanks, his really opened my eyes to what is possible and what could be done. I’m on the first tier and looking to get going. Ty

  • Just to share cpl more Ideas of Tier up… We all are on FB……Lot of us are part of our own township groups on FB too…. I ended up Giving “I Heart (Heart symbol) ” T-shirts by running a contest on local township groups….. Also, asked winners to pay it fwd – as they got a free tshirt!
    Another Idea is …. Local Elections ….. find the candidates and make their campaign Tshirts……Reach out to local businesses who support them….or again…share it on the local town FB groups…..all supporters can buy it….local business can buy and distribute….. Pricing is up to you….can do it at cost or make some break some!

  • Hi Neil, Looking forward to following your T-Shirt Charity case study. I’ve been wanting to do this and have contacted a few clubs, non-profits in my area and offered to give most of royalties for uploading a design and have supporters buy a shirt. I never thought about the giving away for free option and would love to know how you approach organizations and what and how you present this idea to them.
    Thanks for all your great posts.

  • I doubt the screenshot you posted of your earnings is a photoshoped. Because the position of Ad Impression and Products Sold has been charged recently.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong. BTW thanks for the cool info.

  • I use merhcant words and merch informer. I get seo and put as many searchable terms as allowable that makes sense in sentence form. If you are in merch tracker and realize you are not ranking well for a certain keyword how do you rank higher for that keyword? Second thing is should you use as many searchable terms as possible like say medical school shirt, medical school t-shirt, medical shirt, medical tee etc etc in a sentence form or would you focus on one or two and make sure they in both bullets , title etc. Between merch words and merch infromer i can sometimes come up wth 8 – 9 highly searchable phrases…thanks

    • I generally try and stick with only 3-4 phrases and then add synonyms to the listing when they make sense. If you want to rank higher for a term, make sure it is in the title, brand AND bullet points.

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