Start Your Own Merch Empire With Shopify and Amazon – No Inventory Guide

[toc] Merchandise has been one of the hottest and fastest growing industries online for years now. I have always kind of stayed away from the industry for one reason or another, but I finally decided to give it a try last year. At years end, my business partner and I ended up making hundreds of thousands of dollars and I was absolutely hooked!

This guide is going to go over the next best thing to hit the merch scene: the Shopify Amazon integration and how you can start selling 10’s if not 100’s of different products on Amazon without holding inventory or dealing with ordering product from China. $100,000 a year or more has literally never been this easy before!
Every internet entrepreneur is always looking forward to see what the future holds. Let us be perfectly clear that this is not a get rich overnight type of deal. To succeed you are going to need to work hard, put in the hours, and treat this as a business. That means doing the research we lay out below, taking the time to list products, and producing stunning designs (either by yourself or outsourced). Every little detail is going to be laid out in this guide, so let’s get to it!

What Is Merch?

If you have been reading what I have been posting this last year, you may be thinking about Merch by Amazon where the focus was just t-shirts. Merch, however, goes a lot more broad than that. This can include anything from funny novelty t-shirts to flags you hang on your wall, to the yoga pants that are worn to the gym and everything in between.
If you have sold on Amazon before, or pushed t-shirts and realized how many customers you have access to, then you know how lucrative it can be. Shirts are just the tip of the iceberg though. If you could start selling beach towels, coffee mugs, yoga pants, flags, and any other type of merch without ever seeing or touching inventory on Amazon, imagine how your earnings would explode overnight.

Why Merch?

amazon-revenue
As you can see from the image above, Amazon is doing it’s very best to capture as much market share as it can. That is literally all they care about, grow bigger than everyone else! At the very end of 2015, they opened yet another program to attempt to take over another sector of the market: Merch by Amazon. This program was aimed at dominating the print on demand (POD) niche, and it was an overnight success.
This program allowed everyday people and designers like you and I to put up original artwork and funny says on novelty t-shirts and sell them to Amazon customers without ever dealing with customer support or touching the actual product. Amazon sold, packaged, and shipped your products and gave the designer a royalty. Earnings from early adopters were absolutely massive and in some cases into the 100’s of thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, Amazon did not expect the monster growth of the Merch by Amazon program and quickly turned it into an invite only program. Recently they have been processing so many orders that they have completely stopped accepting people to the program and people who do have an account are not allowed to publish or are allowed to publish with restrictions.
online-retailers
You can see that if you want to make money online by selling apparel, you NEED to be selling on Amazon. There is really no other way around it. By 2020 they are going to be absolutely dominating the online market place and you have the chance to be a part of it.
With Merch by Amazon closed to the public, and not wanting to deal with shipping items from China or dealing with a print shop for every order, what can be done?
Fulfillment by Amazon is an option, but from our experience, not a very good good one. You would have to buy the products a head of time and send them to a ware house. With Merch by Amazon, we clearly know that selling Merch hands off is the way to go!
amazon-christmas

Use Shopify To Sell Your Merch!

Many of you reading this are at least familiar with Shopify as a content management system and online store payment processor. From here, you will be able to put your products up for sale and sell them to customers who visit your site.
With recent changes and Shopify integrating with Amazon, this 100% the way to go. Why?
You will have access to not only T-shirts but….

  • Tank Tops
  • Phone Cases
  • Beach Towels
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Cutting Boards
  • Stickers
  • Long Sleeves
  • Hoodies
  • Dog Bowls
  • Flags
  • Blankets
  • Mouse Pads
  • Shower Curtains

and much more!
Are you starting to see the big picture here? You can take the artwork that you created for shirts or other mediums, and turn a single image into 10s if not hundreds of different products that you will sell ON Amazon.com. No more handling inventory or trying to drive traffic to your store anymore.
This is going to be a long one, so strap in, and let’s go over step by step on how to set up everything so you are no longer held back by Merch limits.

Shopify Amazon Print On Demand Method

To make this method work for you, you are going to need 4 things.

  • Understand Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank) and what sells best on Amazon
  • Designs/Artwork
  • Amazon Seller Account
  • Shopify Account

Let’s go over how I get everything set up and then we will tie them all together.

Understanding What Sells on Amazon (Best Sellers Rank)

The very first thing you need to do before you start your journey is understand what sells best on Amazon, how to spot these items, and how to properly research the different niches you want to create merch around. There are two very key aspects that you need to have a solid understanding of to have any success. These are Amazon BSR or Best Sellers Rank, and the second is understanding Copyright/Trademark.
Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank)
Every single product that is sold on Amazon has something in the product information called the Best Sellers Rank or Amazon BSR. It will look very similar to this:
BSR
The BSR is a representation of how well that item is selling in its respective category. The smaller the number, the more items they are selling. The higher number, the fewer items they are selling. For example, if a shirt were to hit number 1 in clothing, it would be the most popular shirt selling on Amazon.
From my experience selling, a BSR of around 100,000 in clothing equates to around 1 sale per day. This is not set in stone, but 100k BSR is usually what I focus my sites on when doing niche research.
You could spent hours and hours doing research to find hot selling merch products that you like the design of to find what niches are selling well and which are not, or you could use our software: Merch Informer to quickly pull up the information for you. We offer a 3 day free trial if you want to check us out!
Note: In light of recent events with Shopify and Amazon integrating, Merch Informer will be including new search categories so you can streamline your entire process in more than just shirts.
Copyright/Trademark
You also need to have a full understanding that you are not allowed to infringe on someone else’s copyright or trademarks. This means that you are NOT allowed to simply copy someones design and put it up on another piece of merchandise. Doing so would be breaking copyright laws.
If someone has a particular saying in their artwork that is selling particularly well, they might decide to trademark that term. This would mean that you are NOT allowed to use this term in any of your designs even if it looks completely different.
Copyright and Trademark are both different beasts so make sure you are not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property. A lot of times, you might put something up on Amazon which then gets trademarked later on down the road. They can then use this trademark to come after you and the items you put up causing infractions and an entire mess. If you have thousands of products up like we do, this can be almost impossible to keep track of. If you are at all concerned about this, make sure you check out our automatic trademark alerts update.

Getting Designs/Artwork

When I first started, I created some designs myself. Since I am not a designer by trade, this took a lot of my time up and I had to actually watch some tutorials on YouTube to make sure I was using Photoshop correctly. Once I saw just how well my designs were selling on Amazon, I started to scale up very quickly and this meant getting a designer (or 5), on board to start cranking out original designs. Keeping up with organizing all my ideas for 5 designers was a bit difficult manually as I was sending out hundreds of links per week to different people. We solved this problem by adding our favorites module.
Finding a good designer can be extremely hard. You want one that you can count on to be on time, every time. You also want a designer that has some integrity and will be original when you send them ideas. I have managed to hire my entire team of designers at full time for $4 per design each. This may just be personal experience but a lot of them from the Philippines and this really ads up to a great wage in that part of the world.
I have found excellent success by using Upwork. Upwork is a marketplace to post jobs you are interested in completing and then hiring freelancers. Below is the script that I used to hire each one of my designers.

Hey, I am in need of 400 t-shirt designs in the time period of 2-3 months.
Your task will be pretty basic, I will send you ideas of t-shirts I want to make and you make them yourself in your own unique style. For example, I might send you a link of a already existing tshirt and I would need you to be inspired by it and create a better version that is in your own creative style.
I will leave a lot of 5* reviews so that you will be able to get jobs easier in the future and this is a long-term position. Once we have done the first batch of 400 – around 4 per day, we could continue if everything looks good.
I look forward to doing business with you!

This works well for me because I always have a lot of designs for them to do because I am quickly scaling up so they will have some long term work from me. It also works well because a lot of very talented people are new to the Upwork platform and are trying to build up their profile to find other jobs. Lots of great reviews from you as a satisfied client can help them in this journey. What this means for you is that they are going to put the best effort forward in order to earn those 5 stars.
Quick Note: Weeding Out Bad Designers
When I first tried to hire someone to design for me, they stole images and straight up copied designs. This is wrong, and will get your Merch account banned. I was not able to use any of these designs.
When I first hired someone, I let them know that they cannot use any images which are Copyrighted, or infringe on any Copyright someone else owns.
Then, I will send them a T-Shirt idea that is very clearly Copyright infringement. If they copy it or do not change it enough to be considered free use, I will immediately get rid of that designer (and that design). The design may have cost me $4, but that is an extremely small price to pay to weed out the copycats!

Amazon Seller Account

The next piece of the puzzle that you are going to need is is an Amazon seller account.
You can sign up for one here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com
This will ask you to sign into your Amazon account and if you do not have one already, simply sign up for one.
sign-up-for-amazon
Once you are signed up and logged in, there are few things you are going to want to do.
First you will want to navigate to the upper right hand corner to “Settings” and then Account Information. It will bring you to a page that looks like this:
information
Fill out the Deposit information so that you are going to get paid, and the tax information. Feel free to change any of the other information but for now all that you need to change is how you get paid, and the tax information.
Next, navigate to the left hand corner of that page where you should see a “Your Services” box.
your-services
Click on Manage and then upgrade your account to a Professional Account.
professional-account
This offers you multiple benefits. It will cost you $39.99 a month, but…

  • No $0.99 Closing Fee for each item sold, only a monthly $39.99 subscription fee, referral fees and variable closing fees
  • Ability to collect US sales and use taxes on your orders
  • Customize your shipping rates and services levels for all products (except Books, Music, Videos and DVDs)
  • Manage your inventory using feeds, spreadsheets, and reports
  • Manage orders using order reports and order-related feeds
  • Access Amazon Marketplace Web Service to upload feeds, receive reports, and perform other API functions
  • Ability to offer Promotions and Gift Services
  • Eligibility for Featured Merchant status and listing placement in the Buy Box.

Simply put, If you are selling more than 40 pieces of merchandise a month, you are much better off get a pro account so you have higher profit margins. For this method to work with shopify, a Pro account is REQUIRED.

Shopify Account

Getting a Shopify account is extremely easy and they have a 14 day FREE trial.
Head on over to Shopify.com and click on the get started box in the upper right hand corner.
getting-started
You will then just need to fill out your email address, password, and the store name you want to create.
set-up-shopify-store
Click on the big green create your store button and Shopify will start setting itself up.
setting-up-a-store

Connecting Shopify and Amazon For No Inventory Fulfillment

Now that you have a fancy new Shopify store for free for the next 14 days, it is time to start taking advantage of what it has to offer. At first, your store will look just like this when you log in.
brand-new-created-store
In the lower hand corner, you will see “Apps”. Click on this.
apps
What we are looking for here is an App that will fulfill all your orders for you. This is how we are going to print on demand without holding any inventory ourselves.
Search for Teelaunch. It will bring up the page for this app that looks like this:
teelaunch-app
Click on the big green “get” button to install this app. You will need to quickly confirm that you want to install it on your shopify store.

 
Click on Install App and let it do its thing. Once the app is installed, go back to the left hand side menu, and click on Apps again. We are about to set up this app and add our first product.
teelaunch
Once you click on the app, you should see this dashboard:
new-product
Click on the Account button in the upper right hand corner. We want to make sure everything is set up to auto accept and fulfill orders.
teelaunch-account
teelaunch-account-1
Fill out this page making sure that the top box says “YES”. You will need to add a credit card for the orders that you send Teelaunch. While you will be paying them the base price for the shirts and other merchandise orders you send them, you will be collecting the money from the sales in the Amazon central account.
You will also need to set Shopify to NOT automatically fulfill orders. To do this, go into your Shopify settings -> Checkout and then in the Order processing section, unselect to automatically fulfill the order items. In most cases “Do not automatically fulfill any of the order’s line items” will be selected which is the setting you want.
auto-fulfill

Adding Your First Piece Of Merchandise

Now we are finally ready to add our first piece of merch. From the teelaunch app, you will want to click on “New Product” on the bar near the top of the page.
shirt-choices
This is where you can see all the products that are available for you to put your designs on! Not only can you do shirts (which is what this entire tutorial is going to go over), but as mentioned above, there are so many other pieces of merch you can print and send to customers on Amazon. All without lifting a finger for the products yourself. Teelaunch will take the orders and ship them for you while you sit back and collect money off the designs and products!
For this method, we are going to be using the Gildan Unisex shirt. As you can see I have chosen that one on the screen. Once a product is chosen, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Start Designing”. This will bring up the product information and give you a little information about the shipping costs. This is also the space where you can upload your artwork to the shirts and pick what sizes and colors you want the shirt to be available in.
publish-design
As you can see, using this shirt, it will cost you $8.50 as a base price and $4 shipping.
Click on “Choose File” to upload your design and then play around with dragging and dropping it as well as dragging the edges out so it displays properly on the shirt you want to list. I just took one of my Merch ready shirts to display how it would look. Pick a few colors and a few sizes.
Important: You will need a separate UPC code for every single color and size variation you pick. I will go into this in detail further down, but it is best to not automatically select every color and every size.
Once the design is looking good, click on Review and publish Designs. This will bring up a page where you can add product tags, add your selling price, title and description.
setting-up-shirt
Once you are satisfied with how everything looks, go ahead and click on publish at the bottom of the page and your shirt will start processing in all the colors and variations that you have picked.
processing-to-store
This can take a little while if you pick a lot of sizes and colors. As you can see from the above picture, I have 48 different variants of just this one shirt! Once it goes through all of them, your shirt is now published in the back end of your shopify store.
shirt-uploaded
The entire point is to publish your goods on Amazon though right? To do this, we need to connect them now.
Go back to the main shopify menu and click on “Add a sales channel”. This is BRAND new from Shopify and why I am so excited!
main-menu
You can also find the same thing from the home page. It will be at the bottom. From the screenshot here, you can see you need to hit the install Amazon button to add this as a sales channel to your site.
If you are new to shopify, you do NOT need to create an online store since we are interested in only selling your products on Amazon using a print on demand service (teelaunch).
amazon-channel
Once that is installed, you should see the sales channel added to the menu.
amazon-sales-channel
Go ahead and click on it and it will more than likely ask you to update Amazon. This is what you want to go ahead and update the sales channel.
update-amazon-plugin
Once it is updated, you will be able to access the page. From here, you want to be able to connect shopify to your Amazon sellers account we set up earlier.
connect-amazon-account
Click on Connect to Amazon. There is going to be a popup about Amazon MWS. You will need to agree to this. Essentially this is giving Shopify access to your seller central account so they can interact with each other properly.
agree-to-amazon-mws
Once these are connected, you will see a screen that looks similar to this. You will see that the account is connected properly:
account-set-up
Click on the Listings in the left hand corner. We want to take the shirt we just put online and then put that shirt we created in Teelaunch onto Amazon.
sell-on-amazon
Click on the sell on Amazon button. This will bring up a list of the products that you have on Shopify that you may want to sell on Amazon. Since we used Teelaunch to create a shirt, this is what is going to come up in the list.
select-product
After you select the product that you want to list on Amazon, they are going to ask you if you are selling a product from another brand, or from your own brand. Select your own brand.
Note: For all the Merch by Amazon users, this is your first real opportunity to build a coherent brand and put work into growing your brand on multiple sales channels. You have full control here and will even be able to respond to the reviews you get!
select-your-brand
When you pick that the product is made by your brand, you are going to come to the Amazon listing details. This is going to look very familiar to you if you have sold shirts on Merch before.
amazon-listing-details
Enter in the title, your brand name, the bullet points, and description. You will need to pick a category and will notice that you cannot sell the shirt for both genders at the same time. That is perfectly fine, you can go back after the shirt is live, and then sell the other genders version under the same listing.
Finally, when you scroll down, you will see variants that you have chosen when you were creating the shirt. There will be one for every color and size combo that you created.
shirt-varients
For each variant, go through and make sure the correct colored image is showing up for the title of that variant. As you can see from the above screenshot, I made sure the Royal Blue image is showing for the royal blue variant of the shirt.
SKU
You will need a unique sku for every single varient of your shirt. Your visitors will never see the SKU or the UPC, but Amazon requires you to enter this information in for every shirt Variant.
For the SKU, head on over to https://www.random.org/strings/ and select the following options and click go. You can generate however many strings you need by modifying the first box.
use-for-skus
 
You can use each line as one of your SKUs.
UPC
Each product and variant must have its own UPC code. These are 12 digit codes. If you have sold on Amazon FBA before, you may have used EAN. So far with the Shopify integration, these will not work so you will need the 12 digit UPC. I highly recommend buying these on Ebay. You can get 1000’s of them for only a few dollars. Once you have them, enter a unique UPC for every variant of the product.

Clothing and Apparel Category Approval

You will notice that Shopify tells you that you need approval from Amazon before you can list in this category. Click on the “apply to sell in this category” link and open it in a new tab.
Make sure you answer truthfully to these, but you will be auto approved in the end!
apply-to-category
 
apply-to-category-2
The next step is going to be answering some questions about the images you will use. Go through the questionnaire and make sure you answer them all properly. Remember that the images you will be using are being pulled from Teelaunch so they are all good to go with Amazon’s requirements.
amazon-image-requirements
After that is complete, fill out the information and submit your application!
submit-clothing-application
After you hit Submit Application you will now be instantly approved and can go back to your shirt listing you were working on in the other tab!

Finishing Amazon Listing

Now that you have your SKUs and UPCs listed on each variant of the product, it is now time to submit your product listing. If everything has been entered properly, your listing will go through!
listing-created-30-min-to-live
As you can see from the image above, the listing has been successfully submitted to Amazon. Your listing should be listed in a pending status. This generally will change within 30 minutes to live and you will have a link to your product on Amazon.com.

Note On Shipping

When your product finally goes live and you check it, you might notice that the shipping is higher than you expected. Well, you can change this! The shipping is all controlled within your Amazon seller central account.
Head on over to your Amazon account and find the Shipping Settings and then Shipping Templates. Click on Edit Template and then you will be able to pick what type of shipping you will charge your customers.
As you can see from the screenshot, I decided to change shipping from $4.49 for everyone, to $2.99 for the lower 48 states.
shipping-times

ROI Calculations

This is going to vary per shirt depending on what you price at. Keep in mind that with certain products you may be making a lot larger percentage. You might be making 100% ROI with yoga mats for example.
For shirts though, if you are pricing at 17 dollars, and charging 3 dollars shipping, then the total charge will be around $20. With Amazon fees around $3, and the t-shirt costing you $12.50 (cost of the shirt plus shipping) and a 25c Shopify fee, this leaves you around $4.25 profit for something you never touched! Scale that up by a few hundred if not thousands of shirts you are making great money.
Scale it up even further with the multitude of products you can reuse your designs on, and now you are talking about MASSIVE money, all from your original designs.

Getting Your First Sale on Shopify with Amazon

Now with your listings live, you are probably going to get some sales. When you get a sale, they will show up in Shopify (as well as seller central). Make sure you are only dealing with the orders through Shopify though.
first-order
Getting your first order feels great! What is even better though is that from here it is 100% hands off.
If you go back down to apps and then go into the Teelaunch app, you should see this:
teelaunch-production
Without touching it, your shirt is now being made with Teelaunch and will be shipped to your customer as soon as it is complete. This is possible for t shirts and all other products that teelaunch offers.

Fulfilling Orders Manually

If your orders are not automatically going through to Teelaunch, you will need to do them manually. The only reason this may be happening is that the Shopify/Amazon integration is BRAND NEW and I have been assured by higher ups that this is being worked on and will be fixed soon if anyone does encounter it.

Getting Revenue From Amazon

In order to get your money from your seller account on Amazon to your bank account, you need to have a few things.
The first thing is that you must have valid credit card information on file for verification and billing purposes. This is why you added this when you set up your seller account.
The second thing you must have is valid bank account information so a transfer can occur. This can be added in the “my profile” section of your seller central account.
Basically the way it will work is that after you get a sale, it will show up in your Shopify account. Once the order is marked “fulfilled”, the buyer will be emailed to let them know that their product is on the way. The funds held within Amazon will be deposited to your account every 14 days. The good news is that you can request funds faster than that! Here is what Amazon has to say on the subject.
amazon payment

Research and Marketing

I cannot stress this enough so I am going to go over it once again so everyone reading this article sees this. You NEED to be doing research properly or you will not be making sales. Doing research properly ensures you are putting your products in front of people that want them. Not listening to this section could be the difference between you making your next $1,000 or you wasting your time.

Keyword Research

Having nice designs is a big selling point on Amazon, but keyword research is and still remains king! You need to be going after the proper keywords or you will be lost in the pack and more than likely become frustrated with the lack of visitors/sales.
So how do we do this?
We know that Amazon is a big data company, and that they will skew results in order for them to make more sales right? We can use this for our advantage.
If you have not already, go ahead and sign up for a free 3 day trial of Merch Informer here. We are going to make use of the Keyword Finder which is probably the easiest way to start seeing traffic to your listings and how a lot of people are making sales 12 hours after getting their first product live.
Once you are all set up, head on over to the keyword finder in the left hand menu.
What we are going to do is make use of the fact that Amazon KNOWS what keywords are making sales. Enter in a search term that can be auto completed. Think of keywords such as “keep calm and”, or “I love”. Each of these phrases can be completed with lots of different terms. Each of the completed terms that Amazon suggests are keywords and niches where sales are occuring. All you need to do is grab them and get products up with those keywords in the listings!

I recommend checking the shirt categories first, but when you hit that search button, as of righting this right now, there are 246 keywords sitting in front of me that I know I can make EASY sales off of!

Make use of the information Amazon is giving you, use Merch Informer to pull it all together, and then create and get your products in front of the people who want them.

Choosing The Right Niche

All the above is great, and works extremely well, but if you want to further make sure you do not get caught up in the rat race, one of the things you must focus on is making sure you are picking the right niche. The right niche to us is one that there is demand in, but few competitors.
The fewer people you are competing against for the sales the better right? So how do we find niches that have demand but have few people selling products? We combine the above approach with the Advanced Competition Checker in Merch Informer.
Take the keywords you are interested in from the keyword finder, and pop them into the advanced competition checker.

This will show you exactly how many people you are competing against as well as give you a score based on the results. You want to aim for a score between A-B. Anything worse than that, and the competition will increase.
The more competition you have, the less chance you will have of getting your product seen!
Since we know that the auto suggest keywords we pulled earlier have demand, we combine it with the competition checker to make sure that there is room to enter that niche. When both are combined, making sales is incredibly simple if you make sure your designs are up to par!

Finding Further Demand

Another excellent way of how to build up your account and figure out what kind of designs you need to make is look at what is already selling! We went over BSR or best sellers rank near the beginning of this article, so you know how to judge sales.
When we first started selling online ourselves, we knew that if we wanted to sell a lot of products, the easiest way is to bring to market better products in niches that were already hot! We kept this in mind when we created Merch Informer and that is currently what our product search module is for.
Simply enter in a keyword, pick a category, and the software will bring up the best selling products in that category in order by BSR. Instead of sitting on Amazon for hours and hours searching like we used to do back in the day, you can now bring up your results and get a snapshot of exactly what is selling and what the competition is using for their features, descriptions, and prices.

If you ever wondered how the earning screenshots we have shown you were even possible, we owe it all to this single module which is why we built the tool in the first place. There is no other way around it, this is a must have.

Protecting Your Account

The one thing that most people are not talking about is that Amazon is pretty ban happy. If you play by the rules, you will not any problems. The issue is, there might be some rules that you have no idea you are violating!
What am I taking about?
Trademark. Time and time again, I have seen Amazon kick people off of their platform because of trademark infringement. People come to me and ask how that could possibly happen when they checked the trademark before they put up the listing and there was nothing listed.
Well, if you put up a design today with a saying that is free to use, you are all good for today. What if that saying gets trademarked 6 months from now? Chances are you would have NO idea this happened and the trademark holder could attempt to get your designs kicked off Amazon.
In order to make sure people can protect their accounts, we set up trademark alerts. Each time you upload a design with a saying on it, simply put it into the trademark alerts. If that phrase ever gets trademarked in the future, trademark alerts will let you know so you can take action yourself instead of not knowing when you get banned.

Keep your accounts and business safe and go make money!

Wrapping It Up

The Shopify/Amazon integration represents a REAL massive opportunity in the print on demand space and is going to see plenty of people make millions of dollars a year. In order to take advantage of this opportunity successfully you need only a few things:

If you are not hopping on this opportunity today, you are 100% leaving money on the table that is there for the taking. There is zero need to run traffic, zero inventory to hold, and 100’s if not 1000’s of possibilities for making money with the crazy selection of products you can now put for sale on Amazon.
Let us know in the comments how your business has changed by crushing this method. Good luck out there!
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Comments
  • I wondered how the new partnership would work; glad I came across this article! It answered my questions. Now to get started! I’m assuming there are other POD platforms besides teelaunch that are available?

    • There are a ton of them out there. The guide was written with Teelaunch in mind because after looking at the options, they were the best priced and had the widest amount of products.

  • Hi, Neil and thanks for this great guide!
    I have a couple of questions.
    When we use Shopify, we don’t actually need an online store right? Can we go with the basic plan of $9/month?
    And also isn’t there a problem if our store turns up very successful and we don’t have enough money to pay for the fulfillment of our products?

    • The basic plan in Shopify should be okay but I would verify that with the Shopify team first. This was all set up with the trial and is working successfully.
      The way it is set up, you run the charges to Teelaunch on a credit card while getting the money in seller central. When you get the money from seller central to your bank, pay off your credit card, and you are left with profits!

  • Thanks Neil, super helpful. Quick question, if we already have a print on demand service integrated with our Shopify store can we use them? I have CustomCat for example.

    • Hey, do you mind telling me what has your experience been with using CustomCat? I see some iffy reviews on the shopify app store, but I still may consider using them because their prices are good and the issues seem like they may have been due to the shopify app being new. Have you had any major issues with them and do you recommend them for t-shirt fullfillment?

  • The basic plan in Shopify should be okay but I would verify that with the Shopify team first. This was all set up with the trial and is working successfully.
    The way it is set up, you run the charges to Teelaunch on a credit card while getting the money in seller central. When you get the money from seller central to your bank, pay off your credit card, and you are left with profits!

  • Hey Neil, amazing article! Thanks for taking the time to put that together for everyone. Did you see the recent update from teespring? they’re now automatically listing teespring shirts and other apparel on Amazon automatically when you launch a new product! Which will be another way to build your audience.. Plus they have online stores and super low fees. Might be helpful to other Merch Sellers too? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t6MBzzjjdc

    • I did see it and am very excited for that as well. We will have to wait and see exactly how it gets integrated and I will probably be going down that road as well for shirts and mainly using the method above for other products. We will be releasing a guide as soon as Teespring releases their update.

  • what happens with returns, do they go back to teelauch? How does money get refunded to customer, does Amazon refund and take it out of my sales?

    • Your listings are Merchant Fulfilled through Amazon so that means that you would be refunding people if they have an issue. Returns would go back to the address that you have listed. You could then put these on Ebay or donate them to Goodwill.

      • What address would you put if you’re outside of the US? I’m based in UK but I assume customers aren’t going to want to send their returns half way across the world! 🙂

  • Thanks Neil for this great article. Very useful.
    I guess we could use the same setup with another POD, right ? I’m currently with Printful. Any thoughts ?
    Another point that could be interesting to discuss :
    Regardless of the POD we’ll use, they will always need few days for fulfillment before products ship.
    How do you compete against the gazillion of other sellers offering super fast shipping ?
    I believe majority of buyers on Amazon are used to 1 day or same day delivery. Not really good for us doing POD, right ?
    Moreover, lot of sellers probably sources their products from China at a very cheap price. So, most of the time, your POD products will always be more expensive, hence very difficult to compete.
    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
    Anyway, great post 🙂

    • Any POD would work with this method if it integrates with Shopify. I took a look at Printful while I was writing this article and the pricing was just too high in my opinion.
      I compete with other sellers based on my designs! Since I have great designs that I know sell well on shirts, I can then put them on pillows and beach towels and people will buy them because they cannot get them anywhere else! People are willing to buy your items and wait an extra day or 2 for shipping if you have unique products.

      • Hi Neil,
        Thank you for the very thorough writeup. I’m wondering what happens when other sellers steal your copyrighted designs and then undercut your prices. I’ve read that Amazon doesn’t respond quickly or effectively to stolen artwork and that you have to find the copycats yourself. Wouldn’t this make it difficult to compete based on design alone?

        • You can report them if they are fraudulent sellers and Amazon WILL take care of them. This is more of a method to integrate alongside doing Merch as well. It does make money but the system is not perfect.

  • Hi Neil Thanks for this great guide. I am in the UK so my Amazon account is a UK account, do you know if I can still use this system?

  • Hi Neil, thanks for the great article.
    If I currently have a Merch by Amazon account, should I answer “Yes” or “No” for the following question?
    “Do you or any of your affiliates currently sell any clothing products on Amazon.com?”
    Will it be against Amazon’s TOS if I sell clothing products on both FBM and Merch?

    • Since Amazon is the “Seller” in the case of Merch by Amazon, I think you would be okay saying no to that question. It should not be against the TOS. I think people should focus on using their designs on more than t-shirts and get a head start in the other merchandise categories.

  • Hi Neil, great article! Is it possible to do this without a business address? Thanks for the info and looking forward to following your method!

  • Great write up and super helpful as I can’t push more shirts into Merch at the moment. I do have on e question. Amazon has a policy against using drop shipping for fulfillment. Does this fall under that, or are POD services in a grey area?

  • Hi Neil,
    What happens after the order has been fulfilled by Teelanch? Does the order get marked at Amazon as “shipped” and with an updated tracking number?

        • I misspoke earlier. They DO get a tracking number (you need to make sure Shopify is not auto fulfilling orders). Shipping is different for each product.

          • If Shopify is not auto-fulfilling the orders, does that mean you have to manually log in and fulfill each one to get the tracking number?

          • Yes it does. However, they should be auto fulfilling the orders and teelaunch will provide a tracking number after the order has been shipped.

  • Great article! Thanks for making it! I can’t seem to get products to go live on amazon. Every time I submit them they get stuck in pending. I just looked in Seller Central and all the variants are showing but they have no price, quantity or image. It’s like the transfer from shopify just didn’t work right for some reason.
    Have you run into this problem?

  • Great article, if I do this do you just step back and let amazon handle the traffic to our products or do you have to drive traffic to your listing? Thank you

  • Thanks for the great write-up.
    So, would you recommend this in preference to doing Merch by Amazon? I’ve been frozen out of MBA for 6 weeks at tier 100 and the talk is they’re restricting uploads per day to just a few. This method would allow for multiple uploads per day, correct?
    Thanks again
    Leigh.

    • I plan on doing a bit of everything. What is so powerful about this method is you can take the designs you already have from MBA and put them on a ton of other products that will sell on Amazon. You already have the designs, make use of them!

  • I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and
    exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve you guys
    to blogroll.

  • Neil, thank’s for your replies and help. I am new to all this stuff but I assume you can have a shopify store (for your own trafic) and integrate with Amazon for organic trafic at the same time? I was thinking of taking things one step at a time and opening a shopify store integrated with tealaunch, upload some products into the store then once I have plenty of products ready then integrate with Amazon. Are there any disadvantages to doing it this way, I know I don’t need a shop for this to work.

    • Yes, you can do exactly that! You can set up your own store and drive traffic to it if you want and at the same time sell those products on Amazon for the organic traffic and sales. The only disadvantage to that is that your products will be on Amazon later, rather than sooner! I would just put the products on Amazon as soon as possible myself.

  • So, just to check again… there are no issues in having both an MBA account and a seller account linked to the same bank account?

  • Hi, I am based in the UK. How do you deal with returns if product is defective, do I return it to Teelaunch or do I need to get a US mail forwarding address?
    also how do you deal, with individuals that want to exchange an product because they do not like the color or ordered the wrong the size?
    I am planning on not doing exchanges, and give a refund, when they return the item. Is that okay?

    • You can either set up a forwarding address in the USA, or you can simply just refund them and tell them to keep the product. Both of these should work and will not be a massive part of your total sales if you focus on this method.

  • Thanks for the article. The one question I have though is where should we tell people to ship refunds if we live outside the US (living in Europe)?

    • You would simply refund them and let them keep the item. If you want, you could set up a mail forwarder that would ship the items to you, but that could be more hassle than it is worth.

    • Maybe try doing your own work instead of exploiting designers who work very hard to get good at what they do and deserve every cent they can get out of bloodsuckers like you.

  • I don’t really get it. What benefit does having a Shopify store have? Why not just make Amazon listings in your seller account with a T-shirt generator?

  • How do you get around the 95% valid tracking rate Amazon requires? If teelaunch doesn’t provide tracking, wouldn’t this be a huge issue?

    • Money for Shopify + Amazon Seller Central account each month. Then enough to pay teelaunch per design and any designs you outsource.

  • How do you go about listing for the other gender under the same listing? Is it from Amazon selller central directly or from the teelaunch app? Much appreciated

    • So far we have been making 2 listings per shirt for men and women. This allows the listing to be a bit more targeted. I would also suggest that instead of listing on clothing first, you list other products that are not being sold on Amazon with your design yet. You will get a higher ROI as well.

      • Your tutorial is fantastic, but it doesn’t cover how to list non-clothing items, since only that category is supported so far. How to you list a dog bowl, for example? It seems like you’d have to manually put in each order you get. Is that true?

  • Hi Neil,
    thx for the great article!
    Could you please clearify a lil bit more the process what exactly happens when an order has been made? When will Teelaunch use my creditcard to produce the ordered item? If I understood that correctly- lets say I have a lucky day and a customer ordered 100 x the same item – I would need to pay teelaunch first and than wait how long until the money gets to seller central?
    Again, thx for your help

  • Hi Neil,
    thx for this great article! I would very much appreciate if you can help me with that..
    Could you please describe a lil bit further how the payment process works?
    What exactly happens when an item has been ordered via Amazon
    -> I guess Amazon doesn´t charge the buyer before shipping, right?
    If so, when will the money be available on the seller central account?
    -> Regarding to this: let´s say I have a lucky day and have orders of 300 items at once
    this would mean I would have to pay in front (via credicard or paypal at shopify) for the fulfillment of teelaunch / after they ship it and probably not before the customers receives the items – the money will be available on seller central (price that the customer paid for item + shipping) please correct me If I misunderstood something?
    Thanks again for you help

    • You are correct the customer is charged once you mark the order as shipped. You will have to pay teelaunch in advance from the fulfillment and then withdraw your money from amazon. The money you get in sellers central are the price the customer paid for the item + the shipping fee you have set – the amazon fees.

  • Great guide, thanks for making it!
    I’m having problems creating listings for other categories though. I’ve created the listings on Amazon but they don’t show up in Shopify. I’ve also tried creating the product in Teelaunch and using the same SKU in my store as the amazon listing but they still aren’t linked automatically.
    The Shopify guide says there is a ‘Link Products’ button on the Amazon sales channel page but it doesn’t appear on mine.
    So how do you link your Amazon listings from other categories so they’re fulfilled automatically by Teelaunch? Am I missing something?
    Thanks!

    • Once your products are listed in amazon and your shopify account is connected to your sellers central one every 12 hours shopify will sync your product inventory. Just login to your shopify account go to the Amazon app and you should be able to see the button.

      • Hi Neil…I’ve read and reread this info…what a great gift you have given us!!! Question though…can you please tell me where the link button appears in the Amazon App if you are creating your listing in Seller Central??? Also…if you create the listing in Seller Central do you have to create another listing in TeeLaunch or Shopify? Just can’t wrap my old brain around this yet. Thanks in advance for your response…:) ~Connie

        • Hello Connie. You would want to create the product in the POD of choice in Shopify first. Then save that image and upload the product to Amazon. 6 hours later you should see them show up in your Amazon sales channel in Shopify and you can connect them from there!

    • I had the same issue, no “Link products” button. I ended up making 2 listings of each product by accident, one in Seller Central, one in Shopify. I was on with Shopify tech support and they were stumped. Then a few hours later, the “Link products” showed up!! My account was just too new, and it was that famous Amazon back end lag time at it again. All seems good, will try another product later today.

  • Nil, In shopify I can only select the clothing category, If I have a design of Home good, how can I create the listing in the right category?

    • I would like the know this as well. The article states about selling various products, but amazon says only clothing is allowed through Shopify.

    • If you want to sell in other categories you will have to list the products directly in Sellers Central after that you will be able to sync them with your Shopify account via the Amazon app there.

      • The non-apparel products can be done, though as you say Neil it is different than your article shows (for Apparel). It’s a little extra work because you have to create the listing in Seller Central first, then go into Shopify and link them, but I was able to do it.

  • Amazing guide Niel! I’m looking to start this ASAP but I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. Being from Canada, how exactly would the cost of shipping impact ROI for those living internationally like myself? Also, would it be wise to focus solely in your own country first (i.e seller account on amazon.ca for canadians) in order to avoid any international fees and then scaling up there after? Thanks again!

    • Shopify is currently integrated with the Amazon US locale only however the teelaunch shipping fees are the same for both Canada and the US so this wont impact your ROI. However if you plan to list in amazon.ca I’m afraid that you will have to manually list the products in both shopify and amazon sellers central in order to fulfill the orders.

  • How does Merch by Amazon play into this, I have a Merch by Amazon account. And currently as you have stated they are limiting the about of shirts designs I can upload in a day, It is 2 per day, also my sales have drop dramatically. But How does this tie into shopify? Thanks

    • This is just a different approach to selling Print On Demand merchandise on Amazon and its not related to merch by amazon. Both options have their merits. With the strategy above you will be able to list a lot more than just t-shits and avoid a lot of the limitations that merch has.

  • Hey thanks! Found this on reddit. Shame on people on piled on saying this was a bad idea. Not true. As an experienced seller, this was VERY EASY to follow and list.
    I do however sell on Etsy and would like to know if it is possible to integrate this with Etsy?

    • I dont think that shopify has an official integration with Etsy yet. However you can manually create the products there and fulfill them via teelaunch in shopify.

  • Neil thank you for a great guide, I have set up a shopify store and a seller central account I have even managed to get a shirt online. I want to try and upload non clothing items but I am a bit confused and would appreciate your help. I saw above you said to upload non clothing items direct in amazon seller central, but do you first upload the design onto teelaunch through the shopify app and put the item in you shopify store and then link them together? as I said above I am confused on how this works. Many Thanks Tony.

      • Thank you for your reply but sorry I am still confused (that’s not difficult) If you are putting the product on Amazon before teelaunch Where do you get the mock-up picture from to put on Amazon?

      • Thank you, do you have to put the items on Amazon first before you put it in the teelaunch app. Or can you put the item in the teelaunch app first therefore generating the mock-up image and then put that image on Amazon via seller central? Thanks Tony

      • Thank you. Do you have to put the item on Amazon first? Or can you do the design in the teelaunch app first, therefore producing a mock-up image, and put the item on Amazon through the seller central. If you have to put the item on Amazon first how do you produce a mock-up image? Thanks again Tony

      • Helpful hint: you need a product image in Seller Central for your listing. When you make the listing in Shopify, click on the listing where you can edit the photo. Click the edit pencil, it will enlarge the product image for you. Right click “Save As…” and it will save it as a PNG. Nect, go to http://www.pixlr.com and convert that PNG into the highest quality JPG for free. Save it to your desktop, then go back into Seller Central and upload that JPG as your main product image. Brittany from Shopify support gave me that idea, and much to my surprise, IT WORKED! There is no other way to get a photo of your product.

  • Hey Neil, amazing work right here !
    So, I bought a few EAN codes on Ebay as you did.
    When I tried to publish my design, the Amazon app refused my code (The UPC is invalid).
    Do i need a UPC code (12 digits) or a EAN code (13 digits) ? Thanks !

  • Neil,
    A big THANK YOU for showing us all this very viable and potentially extremely profitable business model. Hope I was able to contribute and give back on a couple of the comments. I’m all in with this process!

  • Hi Neil, I zaw that you mentioned that you can only buy shirts in the US. Just wondering if there is any way to expand the market to Canada? I would love to sell to some of my friends and family here.

    • This entire process works ANYWHERE you want it to work. The only difference is that you will need to find a print on demand service you can send orders to, and you will also need to manually fulfill your orders (because the shopify/amazon integration only works in the US market at the moment).

  • Hi, 2 things, all my cards are getting declined i cannot suscribe please check. They are the same cards i use without problems with paypal and all online services i actually use.
    Second, any suggestion where i can get a us credit card as a non resident?

  • Hi Neil, Thanks for this amazing article,
    One quick question Can I have Amazon Seller Account (FBA and FBM) at the same time?

    • Hello Stefan. We are a software company and just put these methods out to help our customers. I will not be revealing my personal products that I sell.

  • Hi Neil
    Thank you for this article. I want to try this system but i am from europe. Do I need to have a business here in my home or in the us to sell on the amazon us marketplace?
    What about the invoice? How do your costumers get the invoice?
    What about taxes?i am not from the us..

  • The potential this has is absolutely INSANE. Amazing Job Niel! This might sound like a noob question and I apologize if your unable to answer this but when signing up to amazon seller US seller account, can I use my Canadian bank account as the depositing account?
    Cheers

  • Hi Neil, Please could you explain how you get around only being able to upload only men’s or Women’s at any one time. I uploaded a few men’s hoodies I then tried to upload the same hoodies but for women, but when I hit the publish button it said these variations already exist and would not let me upload them onto Amazon. Thanks Tony

  • Hi Neil, great post. We are brand registered and have UPC exemption from Amazon. Is there a way to create new listings on Amazon through Shopify without having to enter a UPC? Will Amazon recognize the brand exemption when the listing is published? Given Amazon’s newer requirement to have a verifiable GS1 UPC, this could get very expensive if listing multiple designs with color and size variants.

    • Not that I know of. You will more than likely need to post the products directly on Amazon first (create them in teelaunch, then copy the mockup image and make your listing on Amazon). You will then need to wait 6 or so hours for it to sync with the Shopify app and connect the two.

      • Hi Neil, i understand about creating the products first in shopify/teelaunch back end then using the mockup image when creating your amazon listings to then be synced every hrs or so. I have gtin exemption already but was wondering if you could export a csv file for all variants of a particular product or t-shirt from shopify and use/upload that when creating your product listing on amazon. would that be doable and would it save a lot of time or do we have to do it from scratch?
        if we create the amazon lsiting from scratch then link it through how do we get all the variations correct and how does amazon/shopify know which products can be synced? thanks

        • I actually am not sure about the CSV file at all. This would be something you might want to ask Shopify support. I believe all products can be synced if you create them on Amazon first. They will show up in the Amazon sales channel in Shopify when you link them so you can make sure you are getting the variations correct from there.

        • Hey there Anon. Did you ever find an answer for this? I’m desperately looking for one myself. My initial thought is that this should be possible if we download the spreadsheet templates from Amazon and then populate them with data from Shopify spreadsheets. Thoughts?

  • Hey Neil, thanks for this guide.
    As I was setting everything up I encountered a problem. I hope maybe you can help me with that.
    I got to the part in the guide where I was about to list all the products on amazon that I created in Teelaunch. My seller privileges were restricted before I could do that. Now I have got a message from Seller-Performance, they want to review my account and need for me to send them a “Utility bill with name and address visible” and a “Business license”. No problem with a utility bill but I don’t have a business license, I registered as an individual. I am located in Germany and wonder what to do now. Do I tell them I don’t have one and risk that my account will be suspended for good? I did some digging and could come up with a trade certificate, which is an obligation in Germany if you wanna sell on Amazon or other platforms, but will it be enough though? I am not even selling in Germany I thought I could try it out first and see where it gets me and then think about starting an LLC or something.Do you have an advice what’s best for me to do so my account won’t get suspended permanently. I would really appreciate at least some directions on how to carry on to solve this issue. Thanks.

  • Hello Neil,
    thanks for posting this.
    I have a few questions concerning the UPC code.
    Where do you get them and how much do you pay for them?
    I just read, that the cheap ones can make big problems on Amazon and even lead to a banned account.
    It seems to be a better idea to get the UPC Codes from the official dealer: http://www.gs1.org/
    Do you have any ideas on this matter?
    Thanks a lot and cheers from Germany!

  • Hey Neil,
    Great post! Killer content my man!!
    Im trying to add mugs but theres no category for it on the Amazon part. Shopify tells me as its so new, I should just add it “anywhere”, whats your take on this?
    Thanks

  • Hi Neil,
    I’m not from US. If I buy UPCs on ebay it says that the delivery date is on Feb 20-Mar 17. Do i need the physical UPCs? Or can I buy just the codes on soft copy/file so I can place them on my products?
    Thanks much! This is really helpful.

  • Hey, Neil. Just started and got pushed for a while until I get my amazon affiliate account fixed. Regarding branding. Is the brand I use on registering on Shopify final and should it also be the one I use on listing the shirts in Amazon? Or can I use an unlimited number of brand names on Amazon (depending if I want per niche or just make one to build up a brand?)

    • You can use as many different brands as you want. What will show up on all your listings though is the name on your seller central account. It will say “shipped and sold by…”.

  • Hey, Neil. Reached the bottom part of the guide and kinda confused regarding shipping (Im from outside US). I understand I should change shipping country to US but what zip do I use? Teelaunch’s zip? Thanks!

    • I would suggest taking a look at getting a free USA address (just google it), and then use the zip code from where that is!

  • Hey Neil,
    Thank you for the great post.
    How do you define if a design from your outsourced designer is an improvement on the existing design? Do you apply any objective criteria?
    Sometimes I get unique and interesting designs but clearly very different in execution for the same idea. So it’s not clear whether a new design would be successful on Amazon. What do you do in such cases?

    • Well its subjective really and it could be a hit or miss but from my experience as long as its unique it will sell well. People like variety.

  • Question about production times. Amazon generally expects MF sellers to ship within 2 days. Of course, I can’t promise 2 days with TeeLaunch and so I would like to set the production time to 6 days (is that enough? – I don’t even know that yet). How can we specify additional prep time so as not to get into trouble with Amazon?
    The only ways I have found to do this are through Editing each item in Seller Central Manage Inventory (ain’t happening, when you have several hundred items, or more) or to use a inventory file update, which seems like way too much re-doing. Is there a way **while listing in TeeLaunch** to specify the additional production time?
    Thanks for the guide. It was definitely a help!

      • Do your Amazon customers complain about the production/lead time? if you set it to 7 days, doesn’t that deter shoppers from buying.
        More importantly, do you ever have people who simply don’t read the expected delivery time until after they pay and then eventually ask for a refund because they’re surprised by the slow processing? I currently sell via FBA.

        • Occasionally you will have people who do not read the time it will take, but for the most part, this does not seem to deter shoppers from buying at all. People buy with their eyes, so typically time will not matter too much to them. If you do end up canceling an order, your POD may be able to cancel the order if they have not produced it yet.

  • Hi, thank you for the great info! Is there a limit on other POD merchandise. T shirts are 10 a week right? Could we potentially have no limit of we create designs for other POD merch

    • There is a variation limit for new accounts which is 100-200 variations. For this reason, we are recommending new accounts to start uploading products that do not have variations so you can get hundreds of products up on Amazon every week.

  • Hi Neil,
    I’ve already released a couple of products following your guide but all of them don’t have a Buy Box. I think it significantly decreases conversions and my chance to sell. Could you advice how to get Buy Box for the products when you a new Amazon Seller?

  • Neil,
    Ive been a Merch seller for a year. Do mid 4 figs per month – but haven’t uploaded a new design in 6 months. With that being said, is there a benefit to double listing shirts i.e. having both a merch version and shopify/pod or should i focus on adding other products???

    • I would suggest you take your winning designs and upload them onto other merchandise. You already make decent money with shirts (merch has a bit better margins), so put your designs on coffee mugs and other items that are not available to you through Merch. This is an easy way to make more money on the work you have already done.

  • Amazon wants you to ship in 2-3 days but PODs can. Take anywhere from 5-10 days to print and ship. How do you get around this and still keep good seller metrics in Amazon?

  • I’m confused – if you’re listing merch to be sold on Amazon and it’s fulfilled through teelaunch what is the point of having a shopify store?

    • Without Shopify, the entire system would not be automated. By using Shopify, if you get an order on Amazon, everything happens behind the scenes without you needing to do anything.

  • “You will also need to set Shopify to NOT automatically fulfill orders.” Why would you need to do this? Don’t you want to keep the process automated? Or does it have to do with the Amazon integration. I feel like I’m missing something.
    Also, thanks for sharing this detailed information. I am tired of waiting for a Merch by Amazon invitation, so this is a good workaround. 🙂

    • Yes we want to keep this automated. By making sure that Shopify does NOT automatically fulfill orders, that means that the POD (in this case teelaunch), will be able to automatically mark the product fulfilled on Amazon once they have created and shipped it. If you have Shopify mark it fulfilled, then the customer will not get any tracking information.

      • I have a question about this as well…
        I can’t find where to change these settings in Shopify! Maybe I’ve overlooked it, but I’m really stuck! 🙁
        Can you help me out?

  • Hey Neil, very informative article – much appreciated! Just want to clarify something – you say to create the listing in teelaunch / shopify first then ping it over to Amazon BUT in a recent teelaunch blog, they recommended listing the product in Amazon first. Now I am confused…! What are you current thoughts please?

    • They are both the same thing. I am saying to create it in Teelaunch just so you can grab the image to put up on Amazon first so that it can sync with Shopify. You need the mockup from somewhere.

      • Hi, thanks for reply. So now I’m working on some mugs and I tried to upload from Teelaunch / shopify to Amazon but am getting this message: ‘Creating new Amazon listings is only available for products in the Clothing and Accessories category. More categories will be supported in a coming release.’ So, how do you link a product is it is not in the clothing & accessories category?? (sorry if I’m being daft and missing something!)

  • Hey Neil! Awesome article. I’m a publisher, and I already use Shopify (with FBA) and CreateSpace separately. Do you know of a way to do POD books with Shopify and Amazon?

  • I believe Amazon shoppers get Prime shipping for Amazon Merch sales–would we be able to do get Prime shipping for our sales as well? How does that work?

    • No you would not. From our tests though, you can still make a lot of sales without having prime because of products not available on Merch.

  • For selling on Amazon with Shopify using GTIN exemption do I need to fax the dowladable link from teelaunch or how to get this done thanks

  • Hi Neil, I already have sku in my shopify store once I create a shirt using teelaunch. Can I use back the same sku when I list on amazon?

  • Hey Neil, I want to ask after my trial, which plan should I choose? $29, $79, $299 plan? I’m still confused between these and don’t know what is the best plan to sell on Amazon?
    Thanks in advanced

  • Hey Neil, thanks a lot for the super useful article!
    I have an issue – in order to connect my shopify account to Amazon, it seems that I need to set up a Amazon Professional seller account (right now I have an individual’s account).
    Considering the monthly cost for it, and the fact that I am not yet making any income, is it possible to get around this?
    Thanks in advance

    • Unfortunately not but you can try the teespring/amazon integration method we have shared earlier this week which is completely free.

  • Neil.. I just got off a live chat with teespring and they are saying that the Shopify/Teespring app is no longer working and/or supported… Have you heard of this situation?

  • I have set up my products in shopify and amazon. They all look correct with no errors but the listing in Amazon says “currently unavailable” I have been onto shopify help several times now and no one seems to be able to resolve it- Has anyone experienced this or can suggest a remedy? cheers

  • Hi Neil, thank you so much for this great article. I’m also a Merch seller right now and I have one question about trademarked and copyrighted keyword. One of my designs was recently rejected on Merch because I used “rubik” keyword which is a trademarked one. Is it OK for me to use that keyword if I work on this Shopify/Amazon method?
    Thank you once again!

    • It would probably go through but that does not mean that someone would eventually ding you and your sellers account for using it in the future. Stay away from anything questionable when dealing with Amazon to make sure you are safe.

      • Thanks for your response. 1 more question: can I use my credit card issued by a bank from a non-US country for Amazon seller account and Teelaunch orders? If not then can I use Payoneer debit card instead? Thank you.

  • What is the benefit of using Teelaunch over the Teespring / Shopify integration? They should be doing essentially the same thing, but with Teespring your shirts are already uploaded.

    • With this method, you have a lot more control over your reviews and price. You also have the option to put your designs on a LOT more items and sell them on Amazon than you do with the Teespring integration. We recommend using both though to get the max amount of coverage.

  • Hi Neil,
    At section of “Clothing and Apparel Category Approval
    On the question “Do Your Products Have UPCS, or part of the Amazon Brand Registry Program(GCID)?
    I chose the option “No” than Yes, My products have UPCs.
    There is a problem with this or I can change in options in my account of amazon?
    Thanks and nice guide 😉

  • Hi Neil,
    Thank you for the information. I was also wondering, what the ratio of designs to sales tends to be. For example, if I have done my research, and I post 100 products, each with a different design, what percentage of those actually sells? Thank you!

    • This is really going to completely depend on what type of designs you have and how well you optimize the listings as well as what the competition looks like in the niches you are going into. I really have ZERO idea as these are going to be different for everyone. The key is to get items up and test as you go along. With time and practice you will learn what works and what doesn’t which will then allow you to scale up much quicker.

  • Hi Neil I have 2 problems:
    1. I created a Shopify account. I can not connect Shopify to Amazon. The support of Shopify said it does not work with the trial version. Also not with the Lite version for $ 9 but only with the Basic version for $ 29. Is that correct?
    2. I come from Europe. I can not change the shipping time at Amazon. It is given by the system because I am from Europe. There is 14-28 days. This is much too long. So no customer will buy my products 🙁
    I hope you can help me. Thank you

    • You should be able to connect them in the trial version ( I did), but that might have changed. You can use the Lite version for $9 a month. Most of the people I know using this method are using that plan. You can change the shipping times on Amazon seller central. The reason you might be seeing such high shipping is because you are from Europe and it is giving you an estimate of shipping to where you live, not to the USA customers.

      • Hi Neil,
        thank you for the respond. I am not able to change the shipping time. This sucks.. Shopify only gives me the 29$ plan. Do you have a link for the lite version for me?

        • Contact Shopify support and they will get you sorted. You should be able to easily change the shipping time. Remember though that this is only for the US locale, so if you are outside the US, it is going to show a different shipping time to your country.

  • Great article Neil, thanks for all this info. I’m a merch newbie just getting started, but I also want to get my shopify store up & running. I’ve heard some other POD guys recommending CustomCat. Would they work in a similar way as Teelaunch? Any thoughts on using CustomCat w Amazon?

    • I have not had the chance to test them out, but if they connect with shopify, then the entire process would be the exact same.

  • Hi, I’m not sure if you can help me with this, but I’m having trouble with setting up a new listing on Amazon through my Shopify account. I have multiple variations of sizes and colors of at least 5 different types of tank tops, with the same design on them. However, after I’ve filled out each variation, and hit Publish, it tells me two or more of my variations are the same. I’ve gone through and none of them are duplicates, but for example, it’s marked in red my Black – Small, Black-Medium, Black – Large (etc) of my “canvas tank top.” I thought that in order to have different variations of each color and size, you had to have one listing of each of those, so I’m not sure why it’s telling me they’re the same, when they’re not. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if there’s any advice you can offer me, I would greatly appreciate it. This is new to me.

    • This sounds like something that Shopify support would be able to help you with. I would contact them and they should get you sorted!

  • hi neil,
    thanks for all the info. i just had one problem. i can’t seem to get amazon to connect to my shopify store. whenever i go to click “connect to amazon” it gives me the following message:
    “Can’t connect to your Amazon account
    Your login information is correct, but we can’t connect with Amazon. Please ensure you have confirmed developer access for Shopify in Seller Central. Learn more about developer access.
    It can take up to 12 hours for Amazon to confirm developer access for Shopify. If you are still seeing this error after 12 hours, please contact Amazon Seller Support to resolve this problem.”
    then i go to my seller central to check that shopify has developer access to amazon and it says it does. any ideas?

  • Thank you for the nice brilliant idea of no inventory integration.
    Is it possible with woocommerce? Do you have any post on it?
    Thanks
    Abu

    • We do not have any articles on Woocommerce and have never used it. The reason we use shopify here is specifically because of their Amazon integration.

  • I figured out how to created the listing on amazon for non-garment items, but I do have one question in that listing, For Fulfillment channel. Do I choose ship myself, or have amazon ship? There doesn’t seem to be ship from third party. Thank you so much.

  • why is it that whenever i use the advanced competition checker and search in the t shirt category it automatically bounces back to merch by amazon shirts category?

    • Merch by Amazon shirts are just the default category since that is what the majority of our users are searching for.

  • I have a Shopify page already and print my own custom shirts that I sell online and at festivals. Can I add Teelaunch to my page for new designs and no apparel products without affecting my listings already on my page or does Teelaunch change my entire page? I would like to start doing some POD but some of my best selling designs are on shirts not available on TeeLaunch

  • Hey Neil.
    Do you upload your designs to every item offered by teelaunch, or do you do the “makes sense” method, where you only put the design to an item that makes sense?
    Or do you upload your designs to specific items (for example mugs, yoga mats, beach towels, pillows only)?

      • Hi Neil, just setup the AMZ/Teelaunch/Shopify integration and trying to list a coffee mug. When selecting a category it only shows “Clothing & Accessories”. Any advice to select the correct category? I don’t want to get flagged by AMZ on my first listing.

  • Hello Neil,
    I saw your comment above that mentioned that you FBM POD products via the Shopify/Amz integration as well as FBA but aren’t you worried that your Fulfillment company like TeeLaunch will ship defective/bad quality work or even ship late causing your FBM customers to create an A-Z claim which in turn can negatively affect your FBA account? And possibly even lead to suspension? Have you had problems with customers complaining like this and negatively affecting your metrics? Or problems with your Fulfillment company? Thank you!

    • Not worried at all. As long as you allow for enough shipping time you should be fine. Occasionally late shipments do happen. This is where it would be your responsibility to communicate with your customer. If you actually take the time to let them know, most of the time they are understanding. So far, no real issues and Teelaunch has been great for us.

      • Am I missing something? Upload to Amz, wait about 6 hrs to link with Shopify, and do this separately for every single apparel/product option I want to sell AND also separately for each Men, Women, & Kids? So if I’ve identified 3 shirt styles in Men, Women, and Kids I wanted to offer, I would essentially have to do this listing process on Amz and link to shopify 9 times? Seems incredibly time consuming – is there an easier way or method you’ve identified? I tried adding different apparel options onto one listing by specifying the shirt style in the Size field in Variations but it wasn’t a very good look in the listing.
        Also, are you ever concerned that someone will order your design while you’re waiting the 6 hrs to link to your Shopify since the “production time” hasn’t been calculated into the listing yet. I assume you can just preset a longer time frame in Shipping Settings and have a lower “production time” but wanted to hear your thoughts on that. Thank you!

        • The key is to put your designs up on things that do not have a million variations right away such as Mugs. If that ever happens, you can just put through a manual order, so no issue there.

  • I understand you can use the $9 plan for this. But, is there a reason to do a higher level plan like the $29 plan and having your own storefront. OK. I know that is obvious. I guess I should ask is anyone doing that trying to make sales off Amazon too? Or, can you start with the $9 plan and upgrade later on?

    • You can upgrade later on. Having a store front is only a good idea if you want to drive your own traffic to your store.

  • If you do get the GTIN exemption, can you still list from the Teelaunch app? Or,do you have to list from the Amazon seller central?

  • I know you said if you already have a successful tshirt design in MBA then it is a good idea to put on a different medium like a coffee mug, etc. But, is it a good idea to also put up the shirt using this channel if you already have the shirt in MBA?

  • With this method do you go ahead and put your designs on other items like mugs, hoodies, phone cases, etc. Or, do you do the same research on each type of item first to see if it also warrants putting that design. I have done some research with different categories using the technique you talk about, but I have found some of the other categories will show all kinds of unrelated items. For example, when researching baseball with yoga mats I was getting elbow pads, hand grips, etc.

    • I usually do my research for shirts and then take those same designs and put them on other products. The reason you might be seeing other things when searching those categories is because of Amazon having that product in multiple categories.

  • Hello,
    I already have a shop on Amazon with thousands of products. So when I connected my Amazon accoun t with Shopify, my Amazon orders started popping up in my Shopify store which I definitely don’t want. Because these are the products I fulfill myself,. I don’t want to see them on Shopify and I don’t want to pay any extra charges, everything gets complicated that way. I just wanted my Teelaunch listings to be linked to Amazon, be fulfilled via Shopify and Teelaunch app. So is there a way around this? Thank you…

  • Hi Neil! Great article, I just used it to get my first product up on Amazon (through Printful, which I love but is a bit $$). I was wondering if you could point the way to more information about sales tax on Amazon. Is this something I’m going to have to figure out and pay the IRS every year, or does Amazon somehow collect and submit it for you? And is it based off my location/ the buyers location/ or the POD services location? So many questions!
    Thank you!

  • I have been seeing a lot of articles that Amazon will be going through it’s database and checking UPC codes to make sure they are directly issued by GS1 to the seller. Can you comment on this? I want to get started but am trying to decide if I have to pay thousands of dollars for UPCs just to try it out! Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Neil
    Thanks for the very informative article. Could you clarify one thing? If the POD partner ships the items, but we set the shipping cost through Amazon does that sometimes lead to a shortfall between home much we charged and how much it actually cost?
    I ask, because $2.99 seems awful low for shipping anything these days.
    Thanks
    John

    • You set the shipping in Amazon but the POD will let you know how much they charge for shipping. You can either charge this to the person buying, or build it into the overall price.

      • Thanks Neil. I stumbled upon this at the perfect time, I’m hoping to have my merch store set up by the weekend.
        Can I ask one more question about shipping? Do you know how it works when it comes to ‘expedited’ and ‘two-day’ and ‘same day’? Do you just deselect them and only leave standard?
        Thanks again
        John

  • Hello,
    Thank you for the great content. Are you using the same account with merch and Amazon seller central/shopify?

  • Hi Neil
    This article is great! I am almost finished setting up a beautiful Shopify store. Can or should I still use my store so I can interact with my base through blogging?

  • Hi Neil, greetings from Australia. Thanks for all this information. I’m 2 days in to listing new products from teelaunch via shopify to amazon. Do you have any idea how to change the product category in the amazon app on shopify, the only category available is clothing and accessories – i want to list coffee mugs but i cant get it to appear. It’s not a restricted category as far as i know, and after searching through seller central, the only fix might be to list it directly on amazon then go back through shopify to find the existing listing and “sell mine”, hoping you might know a simple solution.

    • You would need to list them on Amazon first, and then wait for them to show up in Shopify so you can link them.

  • Why use Shopify? You don’t need it. Save some money by simply connect your Printful account to Amazon and start selling.

    • very simple, you can use shopify to upload in bulk the same design, instead of one by one from printful, within 30 days and for free, but would like to know if you after 30 days, you remove your shopify store, all the orders from amazon, will go directly to printful? or where they will go?

      • Thank you. If you don’t mind answering another Q I’d really appreciate it…
        I’m based in the UK and want to start this as soon as I’ve got things ready. When it comes to the Tax section of Amazon US, am I correct that I’d need to look for something called a W-8BEN form? Been struggling to find much info RE tax for a setup like this…

  • Hi Neil,
    I am from Pakistan and I am very keen on setting up a store of my own and selling through Amazon by making use of this great opportunity. Can I do that?

  • Hello Neil,
    thanks for the detailed instruction. You mentioned: “You can go back after the shirt is live, and then sell the other genders version under the same listing” – but I can’t find this options 🙁 I can’t add the same item to the other category (error this variant already added), and can’t specify two categories.
    How can I sell a unisex t-shirt to both genders?

  • Hi Neil,
    The issue with this set up is with Teepspring App. Amazon requires a specific UPC and SKU for each listing. This becomes an issue with the Teespring app because they have their own SKU for each product (i.e. 1 SKU for Black mug and 1 SKU for White mug). Say you have 2 different designs both using a Black mug then if you assign a specific SKU for each then the problem occurs. When an order comes in the Teespring app does not know which product it is because assigning a SKU for Amazon’s purposes actually messes the metadata of Teepsing app. Have you found a work around on this issue?
    Regards,
    Jon

  • Hi Neil, does the SKU and UPC code only need to be entered on the Amazon variations or do they need to be entered on the variations for the product in my Shopify account as well in order to sync up?

  • Hi Neil,
    Thanks for this in depth article, super insightful. I went ahead and created a couple of test t-shirts after completing all the steps from the article. My two items have been showing as pending in the shopify amazon listing section for several hours although shopify mentions they should take 30min to be published. How long does it usually take for products to be listed on Amazon in your experience? Just want to make sure I didn’t mess up anything. Thanks!

  • Hi Neil,
    Thanks for the great article. It’s informative and easy to follow. Just wondering, if I’m based in the UK and set up an Amazon US account, will I only be able to sell my pod products in the US? Or will they be shown on the Amazon UK platform as well?
    Also, if i’m having to ship to the US from the UK all the time, will this not make a huge dent in my ROI?
    Thanks again for the article Neil,

    • The integration only works with the US Amazon. Since you will be using a POD partner in the US, you will have them ship from here and not overseas so it should not affect your ROI.

  • Hi Neil,
    Awesome tutorial! I was looking for new business ideas, and this is perfect for me! After many months of preliminary work I finally have a beautiful Shopify store ( I be selling from my own website, too!) and I ready to link my Teelaunch products to my Amazon account. Thank you for inspiring me to build something new!
    Now my question: I’ve noticed that Teelaunch assigns their own SKU to their products when I create the listing my Shopify store. Is this the SKU that you are changing using the random string generator? I’ve been reluctant to change this thinking that changing the Telaunch assigned SKU may interfere with products being fulfilled correctly.
    I contacted Teelaunch support to ask about this and here is the response I received:
    “You only need to give the product a custom sku in Amazon you will need to leave our skus as is for us to fulfill.”
    Ok, so now I’m confused. I have created my products in Shopify using the Teelaunch app. I am trying to use this Shopify listing to create an Amazon listing like you’ve done in this tutorial. How do I create a new SKU for Amazon without changing the Teelaunch generated SKU in Shopify?
    Looks like you are changing the Shopify SKU directly without issue… IS this correct?
    Thank you!
    Ashley

  • Hi there,
    Great blogs and work! Thanks!!
    Does Merch Informer track UK and other International trademark registration databases for copywrite registrations / potential infringements?
    Does Merch Informer have the option to search by country for Amazon best seller products/themes, and as such, can I search for UK only products/themes?
    Thank you!

    • Currently Merch Informer is only for Amazon.com (USA Based). As Merch expands, Merch Informer will expand with the market but currently the answer to your questions is: Not yet!

  • Hello Neil. Great blog!! Thank you very much!! I was stuck waiting for the MBA invitation when luckily I somehow found your blog and started right away selling merch on amazon!! So I´m very grateful for that.
    Now after a month or so listing t-shirts i have some questions and maybe you can help me. Whenever I publish a new product from the amazon app in shopify to amazon i get all the variants of colour and sizes “wrong”, I get this error in the “vital info” tab of amazon seller central, and I have to manually change every size map and colour map… I hit “save changes” and it never saves all the changes, i have to go over this process at least 3 times to get all the right way. And then, only when i got all the vital info right (colour and sizes maps) i can go to the “offer” tab and change the handling time so i dont get any trouble with the production time and the expected processing time amazon has by default. This process also i need to repeat it at least 3 times, and always check all the variations of my products one by one because sometimes one or two don´t get the change saved. This is a pain, i´ve already spoken to amazon about it and they said they don´t register any error or problem in their side, that this must be a shopify issue. I checked with shopify and same answer. I guess i wont be able to fix this by getting any amazon or shopify support, so i come here and hope you know what i´m talking about and maybe help me. I´ve already had a “shipment delayed” message because of this, one variation didn´t get the changes and the handling time was 2 days.
    I hope i make sense, i´m not an english native as you can easy tell, so forgive my grammar and spelling.
    Thanks again for the blog, i didn´t had any job until i found it!!
    PS: i´ve already sold 5 t-shirts!!! i´m pretty exited about this business model!!!
    Regards and happy holidays.
    Juan

  • This is amazing! Thanks for putting this together. I have an Amazon Seller account for the UK. Do you know if this will still work? Or is the POD service for US only?
    Thanks.

    • I believe they do UK fulfillment as well. That being said, you might have to fulfill the orders manually as it will not be automated since Shopify integration is only for the US Amazon.

  • hi ,
    i got my first order today using teelaunch intergation in shopify selling on amazon. i pressed the fufilled button in the app whereas the product is in production. what should i do now? also amazon says you have to fill it by 25th jan . whereas the teelaunch help center says its turnaround time is 5-8 days off season and 9-12 days peak season.
    what should i do ? should i email the customer ?
    doesnt teelaunch automatically update the shipping time in amazon or i have to do it myself
    do i have to press the fulfilled button everytime i process an order ?
    need your help ! feeling confused
    thx

    • You should let the system do its thing and then mark it fulfilled once Teelaunch has shipped the shirt. Then they will upload the tracking and it will move over to Amazon. Since you hit the fulfilled button yourself, you should contact the customer if it has already gone through on Amazon and let them know when they should expect the shirt. You need to set production time in Amazon to cover the turn around time.

  • I recently applied for and was accepted into the Merch by Amazon program. I subsequently came upon this site/post and must admit to some confusion. Is there a benefit to using MBA or would I be just as well off setting up a Shopify store and integrating it with Amazon?

      • While waiting for MBA approval… will Shopify + Amazon integration require customer service or does Amazon handle that on their end?

        • You would need to do customer service. I would say take a look into Etsy, but you will also need to do customer service there as well.

  • Great post thank you!
    Once i set up the pod shopify store and connect it to Amazon, ppl buying the item from amazon? and how will ship it? its will be prime?
    what did i missed? ( I know its from last year but maybe i will get response )
    Thank you

  • Hi Neil,
    I’m starting my POD business. Focusing on shirts and mugs. I have Merch Informer and this article is my bible since the beginning. I’ve followed every single step. (Thanks a lot for the guidance btw!)
    The thing is since I started I’ve learned a few things and one of my biggest questions always was the main differences, pros and cons between MBA and POD (through Shopify Apps and integration with Amazon).
    In this article, you seem to direct us to the POD option but in other articles, you say you use Merch by Amazon.
    In Amazon, the idea I get is that MBA products get a preference in the search engine. I don’t really know if this is really true. It’s just what it looks like.
    Can you please explain what you think about this and what is really the best option in terms of sales?
    Very much appreciate your help. Fan of yours and Melissa! 🙂

    • Merch by Amazon gets priority in search for sure, but the integration is great for selling products that MBA does not offer.

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