By Megan Egan
To help fund SCA, I’ve got a few side hustles going on – one being selling t-shirt designs on Amazon. It’s a great system; I literally upload designs and Amazon does the rest – printing, shipping, customer service… the whole shabang! I just wait for my royalties (albeit, small ones) to roll in. It’s all a numbers game – the more designs you have up, the more you sell. With a limit of 2 uploads per day, progress can be slow, but once you hit the 100 tier it’s a snowball effect.
I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now, and I’ve found there’s a lot of crossover in what we’re learning at SCA and how I work out what designs to do, after all, it’s all about selling! Here’s 4 things I’ve learned so far:
1 – Americans have no sense of style
I mean honestly – some of my best sellers are absolutely hideous designs that took me 5 minutes. One of my favorite examples was a superhero holding a giant pint of beer; another was a t-shirt saying “I love my Labrador”; oh and not forgetting the ‘Drinkin’ like Lincoln’ design for Independence Day, which replaced Lincoln’s iconic hat with a pint glass… I mean seriously, who buys this stuff?!
2 – Price low at first, for better BSR
When you first post a design, price it low; do it as low as you can go without making a loss (usually around the $12 mark). This will undercut your rivals, get more sales and get you up the page rankings. The lower your BSR number, the higher you are in the rankings, the more sales you’re going to get – simple!
3 – Seasonal sells, but all-year-round sellers are the goal
Sellers always enjoy sales spikes around seasonal holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and Mother’s Day, but realistically you need to include stock that will sell all year round to avoid a total lull in-between. I find birthday and hen/stag do designs are a good bet. The tackier the better, it seems!
4 – When it comes to money, people have no shame
I’ve been pretty outraged by the designs I’ve seen going up lately, and even more shocked that Amazon allows them to remain on the platform. In light of recent tragedies including Hurricane Irma, Texas flooding and then the horrific shooting (there are more examples, but these are just the ones that come to mind), there has been a wave of designs featuring statements such as ‘Texas Strong’, and ‘Hurricane Irma Survivor’.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this very poor taste. Personally, I refuse to try to make a profit out of human tragedy and deplore anyone who does. I’ve seen a lot of split opinions on this topic online, but for me, it’s just ethically wrong.
Side hustling is great, and what I love about selling t-shirts is it gets you into a ‘topical ad’ frame of mind – you have to cotton on to trends fast and present them in a clever, simple way in order to cash in on them. It requires a lot of market research and predictions. I’m still a complete novice at this, but who knows, maybe if I find the right niche it could become more than just a side hustle.
I’d be interested to know how many other people in the John intake have their own ‘bit on the side.’