What Are Amazon Merch Tiers And How Do You Go Up?

Ginny Nguyen By Ginny Nguyen, 07/23/18

Before starting your business on Amazon merch, you need to understand how they scale your sales. The framework that Amazon uses is called the Amazon merch tiers, which simply represents the amount of merch designs you are able to sell. Everyone strives to go higher on the Amazon merch tiers, but it isn’t an easy process. For fast results, invest in graphic design help for better quality merch designs. A huge portion of seller’s merch success relates back to the creative design work. So, the better the graphic design work, the higher tier level you are. 

Plug: 1000+ companies outsource their graphic design work to Penji.  Membership starts at $369/m and you can submit as many design projects as you want.

The higher tier level you are then the more shirts you have live to sell. This balances out to create more revenue, which is good for business. More designs equates to more money for you. However, working with Amazon will be different. The real money doesn’t start until you are able to get past the 100 tier. A majority of your profit in these merch designs will go to Amazon in the beginning. But, don’t let that discourage you, let it be a motivator to sell more instead.

Amazon wants you to have at least 80% of your slots filled before they tier you up. The tier levels include: 10, 25, 100, 500, and Pro (invite only).

The Amazon merch tiers are translated by the amount of designs you’ve sold. So, the current tiers are:

  • 10 Designs Max
  • 25 Designs Max
  • 100 Designs Max
  • 500 Designs Max
  • 1000 Designs Max
  • 2000 Designs Max
  • 4000 Designs Max
  • 8000 Designs Max

You go up the Amazon merch tiers by selling more t-shirts. So, understand this scale when you commit to selling merch on Amazon.

Everyone starts out their merch game the same. You start at tier one and then you will gradually move up. There is a limit to the amount of designs you can upload in each tier:

  • Tier 1 = 25 designs
  • Tier 2 = 100 designs
  • Tier 3 = 500 designs
  • Tier 4 = 1000 designs
  • Tier 5 = 2000 designs
  • Tier 6 = 4000 designs
  • Tier 7 = 8000 designs

To get out of tier one, simply sell 25 shirts. So, same thing goes to if you want to get out of tier two, then you sell 100 t-shirt designs and so on with the list. It’s not easy selling all of those t-shirts though. So, these are the different ways to go up on Amazon merch tiers:

Buy The Shirts Yourself

This idea may not be the most appealing, but it will get your way out of the first two levels. You are allowed to buy your own merch and it will still fit the requirements to tiering up. This idea is only possible if you can afford it. So, wait until you’re stable with the business. Until you have enough designs for daily uploads, then you are stable enough to buy your own merch to move up the Amazon merch tiers.


Don’t Get Locked Into One Strategy

To simply put it, just because a strategy worked once, won’t mean it’s good long-term. For example, traditional marketing is dead. Now, if you are not on board with the new technology and social media trends, then you’re forgotten about. Be experimental with how you want to design and sell your merch.


Market Your Merch

Take advantage of your social media channels and market your merch designs on there. Take on Twitter and use the hashtag feature to notify the community of your design. Or, go on Instagram where they have about one billion monthly active users and market your product there. Instagram is strictly image-based, which will cater to helping expose your Amazon merch design. There are plenty of social networking sites to market your product. You can directly meet your consumers on Facebook groups and sell to them there. Understand that traditional marketing is dead and get on board with social media marketing. Just do your research and your business will succeed.


Find Groups Needing Shirts

Before trying to figure out what to design, know who you want to target. There are different types of groups, people, and communities who are in need of merch designs. Before trying to move up on Amazon merch tiers, understand your own business. Join different types of Facebook groups and make connections. See which branding you would want to design for and then start selling for them. Know who you want to work for first before you start designing your merch. With Amazon merch, you can actually pick who you want to design for.


Know What Sells

Know the type of Amazon merch designs that you can produce before committing. The t-shirt categories include:


Go with what’s trending. Search around on different social media channels for what’s hot nowadays. Take advantage of social media for your business. Consumers will directly tell the world what it is that they want in products. Amazon merch design ideas will eventually be taken from the internet.



The type of crowd that want merch are the people who are associated with a group or club. T-shirts for professions, hobbies, messages, etc. are the ones in demand. People in organizations will need t-shirts to represent their message and group. Find local organizations that are in need of t-shirt designs to go up in Amazon merch tiers.


Event Based

Be on the lookout for any momentous holidays. During times of celebration, people will tend to go overboard on decoration. Holidays such as Fathers day, Valentines day, Halloween, or Christmas are lucky days for businesses. Although it will be a busy time, it’s well worth it. For event based designs, you have to be more organized than ever in order to keep up. Have the designs ready before the month of the holiday so that you can start selling. This design category drives the fastest traffic, but it is also the most stressful.

Types of T-Shirt Designs That Sell

  1. Distressed Design
  2. Active or action ‘characters’
  3. Motivational quotes
  4. Schools and Universities
  5. Humor
  6. Organizations
  7. Simple imagery
  8. Colorful designs on dark or simple shirts
  9. Celebrity or music merch

Once you’ve retained all of the design ideas, experiment around and see which category you best fit in. Moving up the Amazon merch tier will take time, so spend time testing out different design merch ideas.