One of the most popular ways social media stars on sites like YouTube and Instagram make money is by selling merch to their fans.
A common complaint with merch is that it’s very expensive compared to normal shops and often of questionable quality.
Social media stars often rebut this by saying they go to the time, effort and expense to design and make their own items.
Sarah Ingham of the Ingham Family on YouTube has come under criticism for a £46.99 blanket and £12.99 notebook (plus £4.99 P&P) with her baby and me brand.
However it’s incredibly easy to get your own merch made up in the far east and make a huge profit.
Step 1: Locate a Chinese Company From An Online Marketplace
Find a company on Alibaba.com that creates custom items. Like the one below that has a minimum order of 50 units.
These are based in the far east as they can produce and deliver custom items for a fraction of the price organisations in the UK and US can.
Step 2: Pick an Item You Like That The Company Makes
It’s really like normal shopping to create merch where you just choose the item you want to sell and it to your basket.
This blanket is pretty much the same as Sarah Ingams baby and me is selling for £46.99.
Note it can be bought for £7.64 if someone orders over 500, or £5.69 for over 5000.
Step 3 Message The Company With Your Customisations
All of these companies will print anything from a royalty-free image library site like Shutterstock for you.
If you want to very easily design your own merch you can tell them what images you are looking for and they’ll find a few and message them back for you to pick.
If you’ve got an image in mind you can search yourself on the royalty free image sites.
Sarah Ingham used this for one of her “designs”:
This is the library photo on the completed blanket:
Step 4 Make Your Order
After choosing the item and the image you want all that’s left is to make an order.
You can order one at a premium of £38.91 including delivery (that still costs less than the viewers are being charged) to sampleOr if someone has bought from the shop before they can go straight into ordering in bulk.
As they are using premade images from reputable sites the main worries a real designer would have about the image quality and not repeating correctly are not a concern.
And there you go, how to start up your own business in less than an hour if you have followers on social media that are willing to pay over the odds.
Also in ordering this way you can attach a custom label to the merch that is equally as easy to do. This helps give the image of a real brand behind the quickly made merch.
All that’s left is taking some photos and using templates to create a shop, this also takes around an hour.