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How to Sell Merchandise on TikTok

TikTok is a popular platform where you can create and share short videos. With over 2 billion downloads and over 800 million monthly active users, it is one of the social media platforms with the biggest reach. In addition to video content, it has become a very popular place to sell company and influencer merchandise online. Because of its popularity and engagement, it makes sense why you should sell your merch on TikTok.

What is Merch?

First, what is merch anyway? Merch is short for merchandise and it is essentially any product given or sold to customers to promote your brand. Merch can be any kind of product, but some of the most popular are mugs, clothing, and office supplies. In many cases, the company’s logo or tagline is printed on the merch.

how to sell merch

How to Design and Sell Merch

Come Up With an Item or Design Concept

Selling merchandise online can start as a passion, hobby, or something you love and grow into something larger. Try out your design on stickers, mugs, shirts, etc. Your design should be in vector format so that it can be scaled to fit different items. Stay above board and follow trademark and copyright rules when necessary, ensuring you are only creating original work. 

Focus on a Design or Clement 

Selling merch can be exciting! However, before you get too carried away, it’s important when creating a design that you ask yourself some specific questions. What type of items will the design be on? What colors are appropriate? Will you need a light and a dark option? Do the items match the wants and needs of your target audience? 

Decide Between Printing on Demand or Presale

Printing your merch on demand through a vendor can be efficient. These vendors print an image that you design and upload. The vendors do the work for a royalty once the design is uploaded, making this option relatively low-risk and low effort for you. 

Presale printing is something else to consider. This option allows your customers to pre-order the items, and everything is ordered from the vendor and printed all at once. Everything ships at the same time, which can give you a strong margin, but does delay delivery. If using this method, being up front with customers about how long it will take to receive their merch is essential.

Ask for Feedback

Always ask your customers for feedback about your product and service. Give customers a place to write and read reviews. If you see a lot of negative reviews, it’s worth trying to figure out what the issue is and how you can best resolve it. 

how to sell on tiktok

Online Marketplaces to Sell Your Merch

Once you’ve created your product, you will need to decide what the best place is to sell it. Most sellers start on a marketplace like Etsy or Amazon while others might even create their own website. Here we will go through some of the most popular marketplaces for online merch sellers.

Squarespace

Squarespace is an easy to use platform that gives users control of their websites, from organization to prices and sales. The platform offers customized templates, tracks inventory, and integrates with other e-commerce platforms. 

Some other benefits of using Squarespace are:

  • Offers templates that fit your products
  • User-friendly for customers 
  • Supports brand loyalty 
  • Customers get accurate shipping costs
  • Easy for customers to leave reviews

Shopify

Shopify is an easy way to build a website that reflects your brand. Business owners who use Shopify have full control of their site. Plus, Shopify has free and paid themes, making it accessible to everyone. It also has built-in SEO tools so you don’t need to use another tool to optimize your site. 

Etsy

Etsy is a great place to sell handmade and handcrafted items online. All you have to do is upload your inventory and start selling. However, Etsy charges a fee for every item you list and takes a percentage of your transactions.

tiktok merch

eBay

eBay is the longest-standing e-commerce marketplace that still receives heavy website traffic. Just about anything and everything can be sold on eBay. Sellers can customize their storefronts with images, featured products, and more. Sellers have the option of selling their products for a fixed price or with an auction format. Keep in mind that similar to Etsy, eBay does charge fees for selling your items.

Amazon

Amazon dominates more than half of retail online sales. For businesses looking to begin selling their merch online, Amazon offers two selling plans. There is no monthly fee for an Individual Plan, but a Professional Plan has a monthly fee. The Professional Plan does come with extra features including spreadsheets and other tools to keep track of inventory, customized shipping rates, and access to seller reports.

Facebook Marketplace 

Facebook Marketplace gives you the potential to reach thousands of customers every day. It is a great place to sell unique items like refurbished and/or vintage items and decor. They also allow you to limit sales to your immediate community if you would prefer. 

Steps to Sell on TikTok

Whatever marketplace you choose to sell your items, the place to promote them is on TikTok. Generating sales using the platform can be done with just a few easy steps.

First, create a TikTok account. Make sure you are choosing a Business account if you are trying to promote your brand or business. Then you need to begin creating content. One helpful tip is to search relevant hashtags to see how similar brands are promoting themselves. After you’ve created content, make sure you are engaging your audience. Reply to comments and encourage users to create their own videos featuring your products.

TikTok Merch Ideas

The items you choose to sell on TikTok can be anything that relates to your brand. You can always go with the most popular items like t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, and mugs. However, you could also get more creative with niche products. For example, a bakery could create their own line of oven mitts.

If you can’t decide on TikTok merch items yourself, think about your audience. What are their interests? What things will they find useful or funny? 

selling merch

TikTok Partnerships

TikTok partnered with some e-commerce sites to make selling merch easier for creators using the platform. These partnerships include:

  • Teespring: In September of 2020 TikTok partnered with the custom apparel platform Teespring. This allowed creators to create custom merch to sell directly through TikTok.
  • Shopify: In October of 2020, TikTok partnered with the e-commerce platform Shopify. Users can create, run, and analyze TikTok content directly from their Shopify dashboard.
  • Walmart: In December of 2020, TikTok partnered with Walmart. TikTok users can buy products featured in a Walmart livestream without leaving the TikTok app.
  • Small Gestures: In April of 2021, TikTok released the Small Gestures features. This allows users to send free, virtual gifts from several brand partners.

TikTok Shopping

TikTok shopping is a way for creators to promote and sell their products on TikTok. This feature is only available to Shopify merchants with a TikTok business account. TikTok shopping can be used in the US and UK. Over time, it will hopefully be available in more countries worldwide.

Let’s explore how you can create a successful TikTok shop. Here are some steps you can take:

Optimize Your Product Catalog for TikTok

Your TikTok storefront should be optimized to attract your customers. Be sure you have high-quality, recognizable photos. Stay consistent in how you present your brand on TikTok. Product titles have a 34 character limit and the description of the product should include as much detail as possible. Also, keep in mind that links in product descriptions on TikTok cannot be clicked on.

Tell Your Audience About Your TikTok Shop

Point your audience in the right direction by creating a couple of TikTok videos announcing your new shop. Don’t count on the fact that your followers will automatically find it. You will need to continue creating promotional content periodically to keep your shop at the top of peoples’ minds.

sell tiktok merch

Partner with Influencers 

Partnering with influencers is a great way to reach new audiences in an engaging and authentic way. Make sure creators support and “feel” your brand. Your brand’s message should line up with their message as a creator. If it doesn’t, their fans will feel that immediately and be discouraged from shopping with you. 

Starting Selling Your Merch on TikTok

Even businesses with a small following can benefit from selling their merch on TikTok. It can be a great source of added revenue thanks to the little overhead that is necessary. In addition, you’ll benefit from the brand awareness you will receive as others see your followers wearing your merch while out and about. 

FAQ:

  • What is TikTok?
  • How do you sell merch?
  • What does merch mean?
  • Where can you sell merch?
  • What products or items do TikTokers sell?

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