Merch By Amazon: Application Rejected or Declined
If you applied to Merch by Amazon (MBA) and received a rejection letter, you’re not alone. Many professional designers have been declined and many people new to design and without a portfolio have been accepted. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to their selection process.
At this point, you may be wondering what next steps you should take. Should you ask why? (Short answer: They won’t tell you why.) Should you reapply? (Short answer: Amazon’s official answer is “there is no path to reapply”. What does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours.)
The rejection letter you received may look something like the following (we received a copy from a professional graphic designer who was rejected despite having years of experience and a vast portfolio):
Dear Content Creator,
We appreciate your interest, but we are unable to extend an invitation to you to join Merch by Amazon.
We thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself to us and encourage you to check out other selling options on Amazon.
Merch by Amazon
That’s fun after giving them all of your personal information including your bank account details and social security number (SSN), huh? (They never explain what they do with those afterward. Feel like you fell into a trap? Again, you’re not alone. Many speculate that Amazon is just doing data collection, but that’s another topic.)
You may consider emailing Amazon to ask why your application was rejected, however you will likely just receive a form letter that looks similar to the following:
Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,
Thank you for your email. We cannot approve every application and we will not be able to provide specifics on rejected applications as this would compromise our application process.
If your application to Merch by Amazon was rejected, there is no path to reapply.
While there is no further information we are able to share at this time, please know that we do value your feedback and will pass it on to the relevant team for their consideration.
We appreciate your interest in the Merch by Amazon program and encourage you to check out other selling options on Amazon:
We appreciate your understanding regarding this matter.
Our advice: Move on. We do know of some persistent people who’ve reapplied and gotten approved, but why put yourself through that when there are plenty of fish in the sea and, in our opinion, Amazon is likely going to lose considerable market share in the Print-On-Demand space and otherwise due to the plethora of low quality and counterfeit products taking over its site. (Side note: datSplat has been a longtime Amazon affiliate, and we do hope they clean up their business and reputation soon.)
As far as where to go to set up a shop and offer your designs for sale, we know many designers on Redbubble. There are other Print On Demand (POD) services out there that offer stiff competition to Amazon’s Merch program without all of the negative baggage or having to provide your bank details and social security number before being accepted, which is a very sketchy process and one we wouldn’t recommend doing if you can help it (check with each company for their requirements). Teespring, Printify, Printful, TeePublic, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, CafePress — the list of Print-on-Demand companies goes on and on with new ones springing up all of the time. Take a look at them and what products you want to offer, then jump in! Best of luck in your endeavors!