From Merch Idea to the First Sale – a Beginners Guide


You want to sell merch! That’s wonderful. But where to start? In this article, we have compiled great ideas for merch as well as tips on how to start selling it. Let’s dig in!

What to sell?

Great things to sell as merch are clothing items, for example, t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts, and everyday use items, for example, phone cases and tote bags. You can also sell canvas or posters with something that represents your brand.

What design?

You can go down two roads:

  1. Choose to sell merch with your brand logo or tagline.
  2. Sell merch that has a beautiful design but doesn’t necessarily indicate that it is your brand.

Both options are good and honestly, you can explore both of them at the same time.

Merch with your brand logo or tagline


This is an easy one. You already have your brand logo made and probably your tagline as well. Now you just need to put it on a merch item, and list the merch products on your e-commerce shop!

Merch with an original design

This option could be more appealing to your readers/viewers/customers that don’t know your brand that well but who resonate with the message or design you have on the merch. By choosing this option you can put your designer’s cap on and create something you find beautiful and cute. If you are worried if the design is on-brand with your other work, no worries, it probably is since you are the one creating it. Besides, you don’t know, maybe trying something different is exactly what you need!

How to print and ship the items?

A perfect partner for merch creation is a print on demand supplier. Print on demand supplier is a business that works with individuals or other businesses to print their designs on different items. Usually, print on demand business already has the items they are printing, so you don’t need to worry about providing them with t-shirts or hoodies. We suggest picking as your potential global product supplier.

When you have an order, the print on demand supplier will print the item you have chosen and ship it out. Yes, that’s right! Most print on demand suppliers not just print your piece but also ship it out to your customer. That shortens the supply chain and your customers get their orders much faster.

Getting ready to sell


When you have chosen your designs, it is a good idea to test the print on demand supplier. You can ask for a free sample and get a product of your choosing printed and sent to you, at no extra charge. It is a great way to see how the shipping goes, what the product looks like, and what the customer will receive (including thank you notes or coupons). You definitely need to see, touch and examine the product first, before you start selling it. Better yet, wear the item for a week or more! Definitely wash it, if it is washable. Check all the details a customer will pay attention to.

E-commerce shop

To sell your merch you first need an e-commerce shop. If you already own a website, add a shop option to it. If you don’t own a website, you will need to create one. You can use Shopify to create a website specifically made for e-commerce. Or you can use WordPress, Squarespace, Mozello, or Weebly to create a brand website as well as an e-commerce shop. If you are not sure what is the best option for you, consult with a programmer and digital marketing specialist.

In the e-shop, you can add all your designs. You can photoshop your designs on the items, but the best marketing will be to photograph all the items on real-life people doing real-life things. You can also add studio shots or edited pictures to the listing but if possible try to add something real as well.

Secondly, after you have the shop installed, definitely check the payment options. If you didn’t have a shop before on your website, most likely you will need to set up a payment system from scratch. It is best to work with a programmer on this one.

Thirdly, create a return policy document and other similar documents. Definitely have a separate e-mail address just for merch customers. Make sure you have thought of everything.



And here comes the fun part! Talking to people and marketing your product!

Your goals

When thinking about marketing, you need to make sure you know your goals. Is your goal to actively sell merch items? Or maybe you wanted to create merch so you have it and people who are really interested can purchase it? Maybe you want your merch side business to grow into a full-time thing? Marketing heavily depends on your goals.

But anyways here are some things everyone can do, nevertheless their goals.

Wear your merch yourself

Either way, if you want to actively sell your merch or just “have it”, a good way how to drive up sales is to wear your merch yourself and film and photograph it depending on your business. You can create a preview roll of your merch and add it to your videos, or take pictures and post them on your blog or Instagram. You can also create an Instagram reel or TikTok video.

Talk about your merch

You definitely need to inform your viewers/readers/customers that you now have merch. The easiest way how to do it is to talk about it (besides wearing it)! Add this information to everything you post. You can talk about it in a video or write a blog post about it. You can also just add text to your video’s caption. Try to add it everywhere you can – Instagram and Facebook posts, videos, blog posts, TikTok, even conversations. About the last one, just don’t overdo it.

Paid ads


If you are serious about selling your merch, definitely explore the paid ads option. That can apply to social media like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok as well as Google. If you don’t feel confident in this area, hire a digital marketing specialist. She or he will create ads for you and run them, you will just need to worry about fulfilling the orders.

Social Media Shops

While we are at it – social media now have shop options. That is also a great place where to sell your merch and make it visible to more people. The best thing about it, it is a one-time setup and you are good to go! You will have all the basics covered.

Paid partnerships or gift items

Even if you are an influencer yourself, you can consider working with other influencers to spread the word about your merch. You can either set up paid partnerships or just send them your merch as a gift, especially if you have friendly relations with them.

In conclusion


And there you have it! From merch idea to selling it online and gaining profit in just a few minutes. There is definitely lots to think about and lots to work on, but now you have at least the roadmap on how to get your merch on the road. Good luck!