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Can you imagine what more than 2 billion monthly visitors look like? That’s what Amazon gets each month. Ecommerce retailers can get in on that mind-boggling traffic by selling their products on this marketplace.
Over 60% of all items bought on Amazon come from third-party or independent sellers rather than Amazon itself. For ecommerce retailers, selling on Amazon opens the doors to a whole new wave of customers and sales.
If you’re thinking about selling custom t-shirts or other products on the Amazon marketplace, this blog post is for you. We go through the process of connecting Printful to your Amazon store so that you can expand your print-on-demand business to the biggest marketplace on earth.
Just a quick word before we begin—the Amazon integration can be tricky. Amazon isn’t for beginners, and it’ll require more time and money to keep it going. But if you’re ready to take the plunge and wondering how to start a clothing brand on Amazon, let’s get started.
Head to Amazon Seller Central and create your account. When signing up, you need to pick the Professional selling plan, which costs $39.99/month. Amazon requires you to have a paid plan to use their API, which you’ll need for the Printful integration to work.
Remember that you’ll also have to pay referral fees for each product you sell. The fees depend on the product category and listed retail price, but they can be up to 20%.
Amazon can take a while to approve your account, so you might need to be patient. Make sure to double-check all the info you enter when signing up to avoid any delays later.
When your Amazon selling account is ready, continue with the next step.
Go to Amazon Seller Central to choose the marketplaces where you’ll sell your products. In the sidebar, go to Inventory > Sell Globally and select your sales locations. But keep in mind that picking several regions will increase the monthly fees you have to pay Amazon.
Now, let’s head to the Printful side of things.
In your Printful Dashboard, go to Stores > Choose platform to create an Amazon integration.
Find Amazon in the list of available integrations and click Connect.
Then, proceed to the next step.
In the new page that’s opened up, you can pick the regions where you want to sell. With Printful, you can sell your products in North America and Europe.
Pick the region you’re interested in and click Authorize. You’ll be asked to log in to your Amazon selling account. Then, confirm that you want Printful to connect to your account.
After the confirmation, you’ll be taken back to the Printful page, where you have to select the marketplaces where you want to sell. Pick the ones you need and click Save.
Once that’s done, go to the next step.
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number and is used to identify products or services. To be able to sell Printful products on Amazon, you’ll need to request a GTIN exemption.
It’s possible to use the integration without a GTIN exemption if you have a registered brand on Amazon. But to register a brand, you need to get a trademark, which is a time-consuming process. Unless you already have a trademark or plan to get one, we recommend going with the GTIN exemption process instead.
To apply for a GTIN exemption, go to your account on Amazon Seller Central. There, head to Catalog > Add Products. Choose the I’m adding a product not sold on Amazon option and select the category and product type you need.
Mark two checkboxes on the Product Identity page—This product does not have a brand name and I don’t have a Product ID. After that, click Next.
Then, you’ll see a GTIN exemption application link appear. Click Apply now and complete the rest of the application form, including your product name and photos.
You’ll need 2 to 9 photos showing your product and its packaging from different sides. The Amazon guidelines recommend holding or placing the product on a table when taking photos.
Printful lets you order samples of your products with 20% off—use this offer to get the photos you need. Read this FAQ to learn more about samples.
After completing the form, submit your GTIN exemption request to Amazon. They’ll review it, and you’ll receive an email approving or rejecting your application. Amazon says you should receive a response within 48 hours.
Remember that you need to apply for GTIN exemptions for each product category you want to sell.
After receiving your GTIN exemption, it’s time to finish connecting Printful with Amazon.
Go to your Amazon store on the Printful Dashboard. Select the I already have GTIN exemption option and click Create store. On the page that opens, click the Yup, I have a GTIN exemption button to confirm.
Now, with the most challenging part done, the fun part of the process can start.
With the connection between Printful and Amazon all set up, you can now create the products you want to sell.
Go to the Amazon store on your Printful Dashboard and click Add product. Choose the product and customize it.
Whether you’re going for t-shirt printing, embroidery, or anything else, the steps are the same: add your design, pick the colors and sizes you want to sell, and set the prices.
Remember to pick only the product categories for which you’ve received GTIN exemptions.
Make sure to customize the titles and descriptions to increase the chances of customers finding your product. Amazon offers guidelines and policies on this topic, so it’s a good idea to follow their recommendations.
Amazon also has strict product image requirements. But the good news is that the mockup images Printful offers comply with these guidelines, so you can add them to your store without worries.
When all your products are ready, there’s one final step.
The Amazon integration only supports flat shipping rates. We recommend using Amazon’s default rates, which are calculated based on industry standards for each product category.
If you want to, you can change the shipping and return addresses to Printful locations. You can do that in the Settings of your account on Amazon Seller Central.
When it comes to sorting out your taxes, we recommend consulting an accounting professional because each situation is different depending on where you’re located and who you’re selling to. You can also look at Amazon’s resources (you have to be logged in to Seller Central to view them).
And that’s it! Your products are now available on the biggest marketplace on the planet.
Amazon’s top priority is always the buyer. It wants its customers to keep coming back and spending more. That’s why they have strict rules for sellers—to ensure the buyer has a good experience.
If your store’s performance metrics don’t meet Amazon’s standards, they’ll issue warnings and penalties if nothing is improved. If there are too many infractions, your Amazon account will be suspended. So, it’s best to keep an eye on your statistics before things get out of hand.
To see how your store is doing, go to the Account Health section in Seller Central. There, you’ll see the metrics Amazon measures and how your account is performing.
To help you avoid penalties for late orders, we automatically set the production time for Amazon products you push through Printful to 6 days. This is, on average, the longest time it takes us to fulfill a product. As long as your orders ship out within 6 days, your account won’t get penalized for late shipments.
We don’t suggest changing this because if you set it to a time that Printful can’t work with, your orders will count as late, which could mean trouble for your account.
There are many hoops to jump through to become a seller on Amazon, but we have some more statistics to convince you it’s worth a try. In 2023, Amazon was the biggest online retailer in the US, claiming over 37% of the market. On top of that, 57% of buyers in the US start with Amazon when they want to buy something online—custom clothing, electronics, accessories, books, you name it.
Without a doubt, Amazon is a trusted marketplace. It’s practically become synonymous with online shopping, so being an Amazon seller adds legitimacy to your business. Plus, multichannel selling is a winning ecommerce strategy. You should sell products not only on your online store but also on marketplaces where you can access previously untapped audiences.
Amazon may be a steep learning curve, but if you have the time to master it, get started now!
Need help to start selling with Amazon? Request onboarding support directly from Amazon.
Already selling on Amazon? Share your experiences in the comments!
Nora has been part of the Printful team since 2015. She has spent the last several years writing content, coordinating communications projects, and helping customers learn about ecommerce. Now as Printful's Brand Manager, she gets to use her experience and knowledge in new and challenging ways.
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