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1. Why sell merch on TikTok?

TikTok merch: How to create and sell custom merch on TikTok

Over the past few years, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and a key venue for social commerce. Social commerce is basically the integration of ecommerce into social media, and research shows that by 2022, it was already generating around $728 billion worldwide.

It's no surprise that TikToker merch has traditionally proven to be a lucrative revenue stream for top TikTok creators. But with the latest advancements of TikTok Shop, the app is creating new possibilities for businesses and TikTok creators who don't necessarily have millions of followers.

Join us to learn the easiest way to create and sell merch on Tiktok! We'll walk you through everything you need to know to create your own brand and seek out fans in the online community.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • There are now several ways to use the TikTok social media platform to sell merch, from creating a business account to applying for the new TikTok Shop application.

  • Fans worldwide interact with TikTok creators daily, making the platform a very lucrative place to sell anything from t-shirts to phone cases, wall art, bags, and other accessories.

  • We'll fill you in on what you need to know about the platform's new Shop feature and other ways to sell merch on TikTok.

  • We'll also explore several other key tips to help your merch shop succeed.

Why sell merch on TikTok?

If you're an artist, individual apparel designer, or simply love the creative process, then TikTok may be the perfect venue for you. TikTok is also a great place to reach younger demographics, particularly Gen Z and Millennial fans, who tend to be more inspired by authentic, original videos or user-generated content over traditional marketing.

There are also several ways to sell merch on TikTok, from providing a link to your TikToker merch store to using TikTok Shop to allow users to purchase products directly from your videos. By simply creating fun videos, it's possible to launch a lucrative TikToker merch shop, whether you are a fashion icon or just someone who really loves creating unique custom t-shirts.

Requirements for selling on TikTok

Technically, anyone can sell merch on TikTok - the challenge is understanding the different ways to go about it. Some of TikTok's most popular creators, such as Charli D'Amelio, simply post links to their off-platform shops on their profile pages.

But recently, the platform has also launched Tiktok Shop, allowing users to buy products directly through merch videos without leaving the website. To use TikTok Shop, you'll need to fill out an application as either a:

  • Seller

  • Creator

  • Partner

  • Affiliate

If you are a seller, you'll want to head to the TikTok Seller Center, where you'll be asked to provide contact information and documentation relating to yourself and your business. If you sign up as a Creator, you can monetize your videos and earn commission by promoting other sellers' products.

TikTok lists the following requirements for users who want to apply to become creators:

  • You'll need to be at least 18 years old

  • You need at least 10,000 followers

  • You must have scored at least 100,000 video views over the last 30 days

  • Your account must comply with the TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service

Partner accounts are for users interested in acting as "connectors" between TikTok influencers and sellers. Affiliate accounts aim to find the right creators to promote your brand.

TikTok merch: How to create and sell merch on TikTok

Once you've chosen the right path for you and (if necessary) filled out the necessary applications, you'll be ready to set up shop. Here's what you need to know when it comes to creating and selling TikToker merch to fans.

1. Determine your niche

2Determine your niche

TikTok is a wonderful online community with millions of awesome videos. Whether you're looking to attract more followers, sales, or both, the first key is to find your niche. A niche is simply the type of fans and followers your videos and TikTok merch are most likely to interest.

If you already have an established audience, then you quite possibly already have a niche, whether you realize it or not. You likely draw an audience from a community that shares the type of passions, interests, or skills your videos revolve around.

For example, influencer Zach King is known for posting viral videos that are cleverly edited to look like he's performing magic. In addition to offering fans the chance to purchase merch like sweatshirts and t-shirts in his merch shop, he cashes in on his niche by also offering products like card sets and custom kids' books featuring his adventures as a young magician.

What type of followers does your account tend to attract? Your niche might be anything from pet lovers or parents to gamers or artists.

2. Find a print on demand supplier

Ever wonder how Tiktok creators have the time to create and sell merchandise while keeping their followers entertained? We'll let you in on a little secret - the vast majority of them don't.

Many influencers partner with a print on demand supplier like Gelato to create custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, art, and more. When you sign up for a free Gelato account, you can choose from our large variety of high-quality, customizable merchandise.

Every time you make a sale, one of our 130+ local production sites will get it printed and ship it directly to your customer. We offer transparent pricing that you can work into your final price and will never charge you for anything until it's already sold.

With a commitment to sustainability and exceptional customer service, we offer sellers everywhere a chance to sell custom apparel and merchandise to fans worldwide. Best of all, you'll never have to worry about keeping up with inventory, shipping, or even product fulfillment.

3. Choose your merch products

Choose your merch products

Once you've selected a reliable POD partner, you'll want to decide what types of merchandise to sell in your store. Be sure to explore other merch stores in your niche for inspiration and to get a sense of what's trending and at what prices.

Apparel is one of the most obvious choices because it's hard to go wrong selling custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, or hoodies. But be sure to check out other options that might work well in your niche!

For example, visual artist Matt Chessco not only sells an original collection of paintings in his merch shop but also framed prints, t-shirts, and hoodies. You might even consider offering your followers unique products like custom phone cases, mugs, water bottles, or even tote bags.

4. Create merch designs

Now it's time to transform the blank merchandise your POD supplier offers into custom brand products. Use Gelato's Design Editor or the design software you choose to customize your merch with your logo, art, or any related images that reflect your unique style.

While using your brand colors and fonts can be a great idea, be careful not to go overboard. Too many design elements in one place can make for cluttered or overwhelming designs.

Be sure to explore the ways other creators incorporate their unique styles into their merch for inspiration. Once you're happy with your designs, ordering samples of every piece in your collection is always a good idea before releasing your line to the world.

Not only will this give you a chance to make sure you're happy with the appearance of your products in person, but you can also use your samples to take high-quality product photos. Getting shots of videos of fans wearing your products can be a great way to sell them!

5. Switch to a business account

4Switch to a business account

If you've decided to set up a TikTok Shop, you'll want to create a business account in addition to a personal account, which you can switch back and forth between easily. For example, Kylie Jenner has a personal TikTok account and a business account for her make-up brand Kylie Cosmetics.

Creating a TikTok business account is free, easy, and comes with a number of perks such as:

  • Analytics

  • A website link to display on your profile

  • Email contact capabilities

  • A huge commercial music library

  • Post scheduling capabilities

Make sure you create a unique and memorable business name, include a compelling bio, and link your ecommerce site and social profiles. If you want to sell merch directly from your own website or ecommerce shop, you can choose to stop there.

Or you can sync your product catalog to TikTok via Square or through integrations like:

6. Set up an online store or TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop is still evolving, which is why this is where things can currently get a little confusing. On the one hand, TikTok's business center still claims that TikTop Shop is only officially available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

On the other hand, TikTok has begun testing the new Shop feature for a limited number of sellers in the USA. If you're interested in testing out the Shop features, then head over to the TikTok Shop USA seller application page to get started.

As mentioned above, you'll be asked to provide information about yourself and your business, which will be reviewed and (hopefully) accepted. While still in its early days, TikTok Shop looks like an interesting feature worth exploring, especially if you already have an established audience.

7. Promote your custom merch

5Promote your custom merch

Becoming a successful seller on TikTok largely comes down to mastering the art of promotion. The good news is that the platform offers plenty of great features that you can use to come up with fun marketing ideas.

Tap into the TikTok culture by treating videos of your collection set to your favorite song or leverage the help of influencers who share your style. You might even wear one of your custom outfits while participating in trending challenges or create your own, complete with free merch prizes.

Using relevant hashtags is always a solid strategy, as is encouraging user-generated content and promoting your merch on other social media platforms like Instagram. You could also consider sharing new merch teaser videos or even investing in a TikTok Ads campaign.

Make money with your own merch on TikTok

Whether you want to create custom wall art, shirts, bags, or several other high-quality products, Gelato makes it easy to get started. Sign up for a free Gelato account today to take advantage of all the perks that print on demand has to offer.

Customize your choice of a variety of different shirts for adults, kids, and even babies, or get inspired by our wide range of other products. No matter your choice, we've got you covered with high-quality, customizable products you'll be proud to feature on your merch page.

TikTok merch FAQs

How do you qualify to sell merch on TikTok?

It largely depends on how you want to sell it. Pretty much anyone can sign up for a TikTok business account to enjoy a suite of great marketing tools.

However, if you want to take advantage of the new TikTok Shop integration, you'll need to fill out an additional application to become a seller. To sign up as a Creator or to be eligible for TikTok's creator fund, you must be 18, have 10k authentic followers, and have received at least 100K views over the last 30 days.

How do you buy on TikTok?

When shopping on the account of a seller who uses TikTok Shop, you'll find a little shopping bag icon on one of the tabs in their account. When you select it, it will take you to their merchandise catalog, where you can make purchases just like on any other website.

How does TikTok Shop work?

TikTok Shop takes things beyond allowing sellers to sign up for a business account or provide a link to their merch sites. It allows users to shop and make purchases directly from the user's TikTok page without ever leaving the platform.


Next steps

Start selling products with Gelato