Hey everyone, the Amazon T Shirt Printing business Merch by Amazon has been throttling designs like crazy the last couple weeks. You might not know what this means yet, so lets get right to it.

What is “throttling” on Merch by Amazon?

It’s when Amazon removes your listing from the Amazon platform. We’ve had multiple shirts that were showing up first when you searched a keyword completely disappear from the results. You didn’t do anything wrong, don’t worry. The posting is still live too. It just doesn’t show up in search results.

What does this mean for me financially?

The result of throttling looks something like this:

amazon t shirt printing throttling

The throttling hit hard on the 7th, bringing down sales by over 50%. That’s being generous. We’ve seen some people’s sales dip upwards of 70% depending on how many shirts they have live and what is getting throttled.

Why is this happening?

We don’t know the full extent of why because, we don’t work at Amazon, but here are a few reasons why this is happening now.

  • Amazon can’t keep up with demand
  • The same thing happened last year
  • It’s Christmas and everyone is buying stuff
  • Copycats are over saturating popular designs

We don’t want to go into too much detail on this. If you’re curious about what happens during the holidays, see our previous blog post on upload limits.

How can I fight throttling’s effects?

To put it simply… you can’t. Amazon has complete control over the entire Merch by Amazon platform, with the exception of what you design.

However, you can start looking at other print on demand platforms. Redbubble, Zazzle, Etsy and Designbyhumans are a few of the many places you can put your shirts. They don’t get the same amount of traffic, but we’ve seen dozens of people in forums find success in this method. It’s a great way to diversify your income so that you aren’t hurt as badly when Amazon changes their platform (which happens a lot).

When will the throttling stop?

Likely after the holiday season. We can’t know for sure. A lot less people will be ordering from Amazon in a few weeks, and then Amazon will better be able to work with those who have been throttle on Merch by Amazon. Image if you had the job of Amazon T Shirt Printing, having to fulfill hundreds of thousands if not millions of t shirts, in only two days to meet Amazon Prime requirements! Amazon is committed to a high level of customer service. Throttling is a way they can meet customer demand without sacrificing quality.

Here’s a link to a reddit post someone recently did about their throttling experience as well.

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