Last month, I signed up for a merchant account on Amazon. It was by invitation only and a very simple process. You request an invitation and they approve you eventually (or so I assume, as I know three other people who also got approved around the same time as myself, no rejections).
Basically, they let you upload designs for t-shirts and they print it, box it and ship it for you and you get a small royalty (enough for a Starbucks macchiato once a week). Sounds pretty awesome and easy, right? Approval for an account took about two weeks and my creative juices (or rather, Audrey’s, because she’s more talented than I am) took another week or two. We managed to upload a couple of designs to the website. Approval from Amazon for these to be published for sale took about two days each, not bad. Someone else’s took several more days than that and some didn’t even get approved at all. Soon after these were uploaded, a note posted on my dashboard: designs that don’t sell within 60 days will be removed. If any sales occur, the t-shirt remains. OK, I don’t blame them, if you have a lame design and it’s not selling, why clutter all the search results with those? Getting found in the search, though, is another challenge, this could take months to master and two months are all you get.
Tonight I uploaded another design but to my disbelief, I can’t submit it for approval. Here is what it says on my dashboard, as of 11/04: “In order to ensure that we can publish all submissions, we have temporarily suspended the ability to submit t-shirts or edit existing listings. You will be able to save these products in draft form and submit them when publishing resumes. We will post updates to this thread Monday morning regarding the status of new submissions and edits.” Oh, no! Well, I guess Christmas is upon us and they are overloaded with submissions. Bummer. It’s after midnight and I’m faced with disappointment, so I blog.
This is one of the shirts I managed to get in for the holidays. I guess I’ll try again next year. Or I print my own and go back to using Etsy. Or try Zazzle. Or CafePress. Or get some sleep.