doing the Merch Thing

Recently, I attended a virtual meeting of Internet Marketing Party. One of the guest speakers, Rachel Rofe, was talking about how to hawk mugs successfully on the interwebs.

Some of the takeaways were: look for categories of things that are trending in sales, but kind of niche then jump on that bandwagon. Use the existing trends on popular sales platforms such as Amazon and Etsy as your marketing. Don’t buy advertising directing to a merch page. It never pays off.

Another was that fulfilling a niche need is even more important in getting a sale than the quality of the graphic or text.

I started with several different creations on Gearbubble and tried to get the free-to-signup Amazon Seller Account (the Individual Seller Account).

Amazon totally screwed me with the seller account, charged me without my authorization, and that situation is still currently a mess. So I abandoned both companies.

Then I went to Teespring and moved some of the designs over for my engineering company’s store. Reviews seem to favor Teespring’s and Printful’s product quality and customer service over Gearbubble’s, so the hassle of the switch seemed worth it.

I figured I’d try using Etsy to sell for the first time ever since Amazon wasn’t possible.

After I created a few designs and posted about them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn, I actually got a few direct sales on my Teespring page!

Etsy, however, got me nada. In fact, I can’t even find my products when I’m intentionally trying to find the exact thing I made in Etsy’s search tool!

So, I guess the better way for me to go right now is personally driving traffic to the Teespring page through “free advertising” which is my own content published to my own network.

I thought I could “niche down” around engineering, product development and management for my Teespring company store that I would link to from my company website – .

For this “WORLD’S BEST PROJECT MANAGER” design, see the Swag Store tab on

BUT! I have all these other designs and artwork that I could turn into mugs, too. And in the past, I’ve had friends tell me they’d like to purchase some of my artwork, but the high quality art prints I had for sale were too expensive.

A mug, though? That’s not too expensive!

So I created a separate Teespring store for my more whimsical or artistic designs under my name. Two of the babies below already sold:

Have a look at this lovely model with her new #coffeetawk mug going to Linda Richman town like it was buttah:


Which ones do you like? Do you think any of my other art should be MUG-ified? Let me know, and I’ll make it!