In March 2021 I finally got tiered up on Merch by Amazon to Tier 6,000. This seems like the perfect time to take a step back and break down how the Merch by Amazon tier system actually works.

I’ve been selling on Merch by Amazon since late 2017 although it took me a while to start taking the platform seriously. Since then I’ve sold more than 4,300 products and generated nearly $70,000 in revenue.

Read more about my early days on Merch by Amazon: How I Sold 800+ T-Shirts On Amazon and Made $1700 + In Royalties in 2019

Merch by Amazon has been a great passive income stream for me and can become a very hands off side hustle. However, getting started on the platform can be challenging. One of the biggest roadblocks to new Merch sellers is the tier system.

Merch by Amazon Tiers Explained

Merch by Amazon uses the tier system to protect the platform and prevent new sellers and bad actors from flooding the market with low quality designs. For example, new sellers only get 10 slots to fill with products. This is known as Tier 10.

As a seller you have to prove yourself to the Merch by Amazon team in order to be considered for a tier up. You can accomplish this by a) uploading high quality designs b) selling more products.

The Merch by Amazon team states:

The Merch by Amazon team will be hand-selecting content creators who have sold the same amount of products as the number of the tier they are in.

So if you are just starting on Tier 10, you won’t be considered for the next tier until you have sold at least 10 products. This is not a hard requirement. Some sellers experience skipping tiers, getting tiered up before hitting their current tier threshold, and sometimes well after.

But as a general rule of thumb, you should expect to need enough sales to equal your current tier level. While not published on the Merch by Amazon resource page, most sellers also find that you should fill at least 80% of your available slots. From a common sense perspective this makes sense.

Current Merch by Amazon Tiers

The Merch by Amazon tier system has changed over time. However, as of writing this article the current tier levels are as follows:

In case you were wondering why you see these little monsters everywhere, they come from the Pretty Merch plugin for Merch by Amazon. Pretty Merch is a popular Google Chrome plugin that allows Merch sellers to view and analyze their sales data from a cleaned up dashboard. Best of all it is Free!

These monsters have become synonymous with the Merch by Amazon tier system.

Tips for Tiering Up Faster

Aside from maxing out all of your available slots with high quality designs, there are a couple of things that you can do to accelerate your journey through the Merch by Amazon tier system.Here are some of my tips for getting tiered up faster:

Buy Your Way Out

In the low tiers (tier 10 & 25) buying your own products is one of the easiest ways to get tiered up. I inadvertently did this in my early days without realizing that it would help get me tiered up. Amazon counts products that you order towards your overall sales numbers.

By buying one or two of your own products you get closer to meeting the tier up requirements. This is also a great way to learn about how the customer experience works and get a hands on understanding of product quality.

Price Low

Pricing competitively is another easy way to increase your chance of making sales. When just starting out with Merch by Amazon your goal shouldn’t be to make as much money as possible. Your goal should be to tier up as quickly as possible. Remember, more available slots means more products.

If you are listing high quality designs, dropping your price may be the factor that helps a potential buyer decide on your product over a competitors. Pricing low boosts your chances of converting. You can always increase your prices later on as you progress through the tier levels.

Advertise Your Products

While I have made 99% of my Merch by Amazon sales organically, advertising with Amazon PPC can be a great option to increase sales. This is a great strategy especially for those Merch sellers who are already in the higher tiers. PPC is its own beast and takes some basic knowhow that deserves its own article. There are lots of great resources out there so do a quick search and you’ll find plenty of tutorials on Amazon PPC.

Dropshipping For Sales Made on Other Channels

Dropshipping your Merch by Amazon products is not as commonly talked about. Amazon does allow you to use their platform for dropshipping. In theory, you could take one of your Merch products and list it to other platforms like Etsy, Ebay, Shopify etc. When someone purchases your product from one of these other platforms, you then place an order for it on Amazon and have it shipped directly to your customer.

You do need to be careful here as there are important terms of service that you must adhere to. For one, Amazon does not allow you to use your Amazon Prime account for dropshipping. So before implementing this strategy make sure to familiarize yourself with the Amazon Terms of Service.

Did I Miss Anything About the Merch by Amazon Tier System?

Amazon makes changes to their tier system from time to time. While I will do my best to update this post accordingly, let me know if there is anything that I missed about the Merch tier system.

And I want to hear about where you are on your side hustle journey. Leave a comment below to tell me what tier you are on. Wishing you the best on your Merch by Amazon journey!