Yes, I’ve continued to be missing in action here, but this weekend I decided to make my comeback. My whole physical product business ended in a total failure and a loss of probably around $15,000, so I’m back to merch to do some serious work again. I’ll hopefully have a whole write-up in the future about what went wrong with that new business, but for now, I wanted to give a little warning for merch accounts.
TLDR; Don’t make shirts for Covid vaccines – Not a political statement from me. Just a warning to make sure you don’t get in trouble with Amazon for breaking their rules.
So, I finally decided this weekend to end my hiatus from Amazon Merch and made a bunch of Covid vaccine shirts that I was proud of. I’ve noticed on Twitter that a lot of people like to celebrate their vaccinations wearing a shirt, and the only ones I’ve seen so far have been pretty lame.
I just went and uploaded my first design for all products in all countries, and a few minutes later my email filled up with rejections.
In typical Amazon fashion, they don’t give any specific reason and just tell you that your design violates their content policy, and links you to said policy.
I do know that other people have had issues with Covid shirts in the past and have gotten the same response. They have been considering it violates the “human tragedies” rule:
This isn’t a rant about Amazon’s rules for Merch by Amazon, though I do have plenty of those rants in me. It was honestly kind of stupid of me to assume that the vaccine celebrations would somehow circumvent the issue. I just wanted to throw out this post quickly to give a warning to anyone else that might have the same unoriginal idea that I had.
Yes, there are a lot of Covid vaccine shirts on Amazon already, and many that also appear to be through the Merch program. That doesn’t mean yours will get through. I mean…there are knock-off Disney shirts from Merch people that slipped through the cracks somehow, but will probably lead to some accounts being terminated down the line.
Like all of my merch designs, I was planning to upload these to other platforms as well. I’m not seeing any issues from any of the merch alternatives, including my Etsy store. I think they should all make a few sales on those sites, so I’m not too bummed out about it.