How 10 T-shirt design made $300k in a month on Amazon (Case Study)
21st August 2017
Many people around the globe had marked this date on their calendar as this is the day when Total Solar Eclipse also known as Great American Eclipse was visible in contiguous United States.
As per Wikipedia – “The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse, and not since the February 1979 eclipse has a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States.”
While eclipse fans and millions of people enjoyed watching this event wearing their eclipse glasses and solar eclipse shirts, there were a bunch of people who must have been be very happy today as they made loads of money due to this one event.
Together they sold tshirts worth approximately $2,97,000 on Amazon (over a quarter million) and that too in last 1 – 1.5 month only.
These tshirts were sold on Amazon via Merch by Amazon platform.
Merch By Amazon is the program where Amazon allows someone to upload a design and earn royalty for any tshirt sold for that design. Printing, Shipping, T-shirt Inventory & customer service is handled by Amazon.
Below is the Case Study for Solar Eclipse Tshirts sold on Merch By Amazon.
Me and my business partner Apurva, recently started selling tshirts on Merch By Amazon and though we are quite new to the program (just a month old), we have heard and read stories of people making lots of money selling tshirt designs on Merch By Amazon. In our first 15 days, we made $22. Here is our monthly income report.
When we joined Merch in mid-July 2017, solar eclipse was the hot topic in Merch World and everyone was talking about submitting designs for this event.
Though most of tshirts weren’t getting sold but there were few that were constantly selling and had very low BSR. ( On Amazon, Lower the BSR , more the product is sold.)
BSR means Best Sellers Rank
As of this writing, there were 40,419 solar eclipse tshirts on Amazon as shown in below screenshot.
Majority of these 40,419 t-shirts will never be seen by any customer as no one checks beyond 3-4 pages on Amazon search results. But out of these t-shirts, there are some winners that sold hundreds of t-shirts every day for last one month.
In above search, first 3 results are sponsored ads and 4th is organic result. This one tshirt made approximately $42,418.
Another one here by ‘KMDTees’ sold tshirts worth $46,776 approximately.
Based on the reviews you can tell that these tshirts are quite popular.
If you’re wondering 25 and 44 reviews are not big numbers, please understand that Merch By Amazon customers don’t leave that many reviews as you might have seen for other Amazon products. So having 25 & 44 reviews is excellent.
Similar to above 2 designs, there were few more designs that sold thousands of tshirts and here is the breakdown of those numbers.
So, after looking at top selling Solar eclipse designs, I went to MerchInformer to study the data in depth.
Merch Informer is an excellent tool for Merch By Amazon sellers to research and find profitable niche and tshirt ideas. You can sign up for a FREE 3-day trial here.
In below screenshot, you can see the ASIN, Price, BSR and Estimated Monthly Sales for the tshirt design. Below are few of the top selling solar eclipse t-shirt designs. This data is a snapshot taken at a particular time on Amazon.
When data was captured by Merch Informer, ASIN B073Q6HNHN was priced at 16.99 with a BSR of 32 and estimated monthly sales of 2520.
Similarly ASIN – B06XY3QY52 was priced at 19.99 with a BSR of 179 and had sold approximately 2340 shirts.
Below are 2 more t-shirt designs that were selling well.
Now that we know approximate sales made by each design every month, lets look at few top designs.
Here is detailed data for ASIN B073Q6HNHN. As per Merch Informer, price for this t-shirt remained almost constant at 16.99 for past month.
There was a big drop in BSR around July 18. This is the time when solar eclipse tshirt sales started to bump.
Usually t-shirt sales starts to bump 30 days before any event. Solar Eclipse tshirt sales started to bump approximately a month ago i.e. July 19.
With a bump in sale, this t-shirt started to sell a lot and its BSR reduced to hundreds. As you can see, for almost one month, BSR is constantly low which means hundreds of t-shirts were sold for this design everyday.
(Remember: Low BSR means more sales)
Now let’s start calculating how much this t-shirt design actually earned.
As per the data above, this design sold approximately 2520 monthly. With a sale price of $16.99 , total value of tshirt sold is $42,814.8.
This is the amount that Amazon earned by selling the tshirt so it goes to Amazon’s pocket and made Jeff Bezos richer 🙂
But what about our designer/seller whose design was sold.
How much is his/her share ?
Let’s find out.
On Merch By Amazon, sellers earn a fixed royalty for any t-shirt that is sold. This royalty depends on the price set by seller while submitting the design for approval.
For this tshirt, with a selling price of 16.99, royalty paid by Amazon for each tshirt sold would be 4.64.
So royalty earned by the seller is 2520 x 4.64 = $11,692.8
Not bad at all given that it was earned from one design in one month only.
Congrats to the seller of this design.
But above design is not the real winner.
Yes, this t-shirt had low BSR and sold most t-shirts but real winner is the below tshirt design by “KMD Tees”.
There isn’t much difference in design of above 2 t-shirts & this design sold less than top seller but it’s priced at $19.99 which makes it more profitable for Amazon and the seller.
Royalty earned for this design is $7.19 per sale. Here is the calculation:
Amazon’s revenue – 2340 x 19.99 = $46,776.6
Designer’s Royalty – 2340 x 7.19 = $16,824
This is $5k more than top selling design. This is what I would call smart pricing. This design not only made good revenue for Amazon but designer himself/herself earned fair amount of royalty.
I then continued to reviewed more designs and finally calculated the total sales for top 10 selling designs, I looked at their price, estimated revenue & royalty based on their selling price.
My jaw literally dropped when I looked at the total sales for top 10 designs which was approximately $297,000.
Total Royalty earned was approximately $84,706.2 & these are the sellers who I mentioned at the start of this article, will be very happy today.
“A Very Happy Solar Eclipse to them ”
But not everyone was a winner. There were 2 designs that sold lot of t-shirts but were priced poorly at $11.54. These designs generated lot of revenue for Amazon but didn’t make money for themselves (see red in above screenshot).
This is also why it’s very important to price your product as per the competition and sales, instead of always pricing high or low.
Below is the winning design.
These 10 t-shirt designs made approximately $300k in one month by just selling Solar eclipse t-shirts. This is the power of Amazon & this is why ‘Merch By Amazon’ is getting hugely popular.
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