How To Buy Yourself Out Of Tier 10 (As a Non US Resident)
This post is also available in: German
Almost every single person I have talked to over the few years that Merch by Amazon has been around (and is serious about growing their business) has bought at least one of their t-shirts to test the quality. Lots of people want to hit the ground running as soon as they are approved but you slowly start to realize that Merch forces you to SLOW DOWN! You get 10 slots and can only upload a single design per day. So what does the serious mercher do? They buy their way out of tier 10 of course!
This practice used to require 10 shirt sales to get to the next tier of 25, and to get from tier 25 to the next tier, you had to get 15 more sales on top of your 10 original ones. Even at the base cost of a MBA t-shirt, this could add up quickly.
Thankfully though, Merch by Amazon has changed something internally and it is now only requiring a single t-shirt sale to get to tier 25, and only a few more after that to get to tier 100! This is incredibly easy to do when you are in the USA. Simply open up a browser, navigate to Amazon.com, and purchase your own t-shirt delivered directly to your door.
What do you do if you are a non US resident though? That makes the process a LOT harder right? Not necessarily!
Option 1: Package Forwarding Service
One of the easiest ways to get out of the low tier is to simply buy yourself out without talking to anyone else. This route is going to be a BIT more expensive, but can easily be worth it in the long run if you are trying to tier up quickly for more merch slots.
This is simply going to be called a package forwarding service.
Since Amazon does not ship Merch Shirts from the USA to anywhere overseas, you are going to get a different company to do this for you. They will give you a USA address to ship the goods to, and then charge you shipping to ship your shirts over the ocean to you.
For this example, we are going to use: Viabox which you can check out but they have been around for a long long time.
You can sign up for free at the top menu. Once you sign up, they will give you a free phyusical US Address. These look like this:
Your Name or Company Name
1234 Example Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97210
Then, all you have to do is order your Amazon order to that address.
If you are wondering how much it costs to get your shirt shipped from that USA address to you, you can take a look at their shipping calculator: https://www.viabox.com/calculator.php
Note: This is going to be a little bit costly, but if you are serious about Merch by Amazon, then the extra dollars can easily be written off as a business expense.
Once you have filled out the estimated shipping cost form, just hit the estimate button and you can see the different options available:
As you can see the shipping cost is $17 for the cheapest option.
Not a bad choice for the cost of the product + $17 to get your shirt delivered to you from the USA so you can test the quality.
Option 2: Swap Sales
The second option you have as a non US resident is to actually swap sales with someone in the USA.
What do I mean by this?
Well, since Merch by Amazon has recently expanded to both the UK and Germany, that means that lots of people are going to be rushing to upload their best selling designs to these marketplaces.
Since you are a newer seller on Merch, you most likely will NOT have access to these yet, which is perfectly okay!
What you will want to do is seek out a seller that is of a higher tier than you and is actively selling in the UK or Germany. Since the goal here is to buy yourself out of tier 10 or tier 25, and you are going with the swapping sales method, you will simply purchase a t-shirt from the higher seller in the UK/DE markets, and they will buy your shirt here in the USA. That means that YOU get credit for a sale of your shirt and get tiered up, but it also means that THEY get a sale in this new market, and thus boosts their shirt in the keyword rankings, giving them a better chance at more sales. This is a win win situation.
Not only that, but you will be getting a shirt delivered to you from one of these emerging markets. While this may not be YOUR shirt, it will give you a chance to check up on the material used and the quality of the product.
Note: In both of these situations, you will be spending a bit of money to tier up. This can be considered a business expense and can be written off on your taxes (at least in the USA!).
Wrapping It Up
One technique that I did not write about here, but is pretty common sense, is to simply buy your t-shirts and have them shipped to a charity in the USA. This is simply cost of the product and nothing on top of that. The one downside is that you will not be able to feel the quality of the products in your hand and wear it.
If you are serious about Merch by Amazon, you may be interested in taking a look at one of these techniques and trying them out. It is REALLY HARD to make money in the lower tiers, but the faster you can open up some more initial slots to play with, the faster your business should grow.