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1. Why sell merch as a YouTuber?

YouTuber merch: How to make merch for YouTube

Looking to level up your YouTube channel and connect with your fans in a whole new way? YouTuber merchandise might be the perfect solution. In this guide, we'll explain everything you need to know to launch your own merch store, from picking the right products and creating killer designs to choosing the right marketing channels and promoting your brand.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Offering YouTuber merch is a great way to monetize your channel and connect with your subscribers.

  • YouTube merch sales can be more profitable than AdSense, with earnings depending on audience and channel demographics (e.g., PewDiePie makes a lot from merch).

  • To create a YouTuber merch store, you must understand your audience, choose a print on demand partner, design your merch, choose a sales channel, set up your online shop, and promote it via presales, content integration, social media, email marketing, and influencer collaborations.

  • Successful YouTube merch stores like Dude Perfect (variety and humor), Mr. Beast (quality and branding), VanossGaming (simple and brand-aligned), and Smosh (fan connection and brand voice) offer valuable lessons for YouTubers creating their own merchandise.

  • Many YouTube personalities partner with print on demand services so that they never actually have to pay for merchandise until it's been sold.

  • Print on demand services like Gelato take care of everything from the production of your custom YouTube merch to order fulfillment, shipping, and delivery, freeing you up to focus on creating.

Why sell merch as a YouTuber?

YouTuber packaging merchandise

Needless to say, merch offers a fun way to strengthen your connection with your audience. Here are more reasons why YouTubers sell custom merch:

  1. Diversify income streams: Selling custom merch as a YouTuber is an interesting way to make money from your creativity and grow your brand in a way that matches your style and resonates with your audience.

  2. Building brand awareness: Selling merchandise can also help you introduce your brand to people who do not use YouTube actively. How? When active subscribers purchase a YouTuber's exclusive t-shirt or hoodie, they wear it around their family and friends, spreading the word about the merchandise.

  3. Differentiate your brand: Since the merchandise usually includes personalized products with designs that are exclusively yours, you will be able to set yourself apart from other YouTube channels in your niche.

How much money do YouTubers make from selling merch?

The exact amount varies depending on factors like your audience size, demographics, niche, level of audience engagement, products offered, and pricing and promotional strategies. However, statistics show that merch sales can potentially outperform AdSense revenue, especially for YouTubers with a dedicated fanbase. 

  • As per Sell Merch, a YouTuber who has 11,000 subscribers can sell about six merch items each month. This could result in roughly $70 monthly or $840 yearly.

  • A study by Sellfy suggests creators with 50,000 monthly views could rake in between $730 and $3,480 from merch, compared to just $13 to $200 from AdSense. 

Famous YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Dude Perfect, and JuegaGerman reportedly make a lot of money every month just by selling their merchandise.

How to create a YouTuber merch store step-by-step

Arranging products for display

Ready to create and sell your own merch? Here's how to get started.

1. Know your audience

The secret to offering the best YouTuber merch for your fans is to understand what type of merchandise they'd most be interested in purchasing. When in doubt, it's almost impossible to go wrong by offering products like hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, which you'll find in nearly every YouTuber merch shop.

Starting with just a few flagship products can be a great way to test the waters and figure out the best designs to offer. When you're ready to expand, be sure to ask for advice from your fans.

Run polls and surveys to ask what types of products your YouTube channel subscribers would be interested in seeing next. The odds are that the nature of your YouTube channel itself already holds valuable clues.

2. Choose a print on demand provider

choose a provider

Partnering with a print on demand service not only takes the hassle out of creating a YouTubers merch store but also cuts out traditional overhead costs. The beauty of partnering with a print on demand company is that you don't pay for any products until they've actually been ordered.

Just make sure to choose a print on demand partner that your customers can rely on to create and fulfill their orders. When searching for potential partners, you'll want to consider things like:

  • Do they offer the type of customizable products you plan on selling?

  • Can they ensure that your merch will be high-quality?

  • Does their service pricing leave enough room for you to charge a reasonable retail price without overcharging?

  • What are their shipping rates?

  • Where do their products ship from, and how long does delivery take?

  • Do they offer reliable customer service options in case you need to reach out on behalf of a customer?

At Gelato, we've worked hard to make sure we've got all the stuff great print on demand suppliers are made of. Our products are high-quality, cost-effective, and ready to be transformed into awesome YouTube channel merch. What's more, our Personalization Studio offers the unique advantage of creating fully customizable merchandise, ensuring your brand authenticity shines through each product.

By working with over 130 print providers, we're able to produce 90% of all orders locally, which cuts down on shipping time and carbon emissions. With a focus on sustainability and worldwide delivery options, we offer a one-stop solution to taking your YouTube merch shop global.

3. Select your products

select products

Now that you've selected your supplier and reviewed your audience's feedback, it's time to select the type of YouTube merch you want to feature. Keep in mind that YouTuber merch stores come in all shapes and sizes.

As long as your choices are selected with your crowd in mind, there's no right or wrong when it comes to the number of different products you should offer. Here are some ideas for products you might consider integrating into your YouTube merchandise store:

Remember, the best YouTuber merch is designed with your audience in mind. If your channel is dedicated to yoga, you might choose to offer things like athletic apparel, water bottles, and tote bags.

If you are an artist, then wall art, photo books, and t-shirts featuring your art might be right up your alley. The possibilities are endless, and print on demand makes it possible to offer as few or as many options as you like with no risk.

4. Create eye-catching merch designs

create eye catching merch design

After narrowing down the type of products you want to offer, you'll then need to select designs to feature on your YouTuber merch. When you're first starting out, it might be as simple as featuring your channel logo on a number of different products.

Try to focus on using colors that align with your brand and start out with simpler designs rather than more complex ones. If you feel confident in creating your own designs, you can use your favorite software or the tools in Gelato's Design Editor to create mock-ups using high-quality images, graphics, and easy-to-read fonts.

If you're not so confident in your own design skills, then it's worth spending the money on a freelance graphic designer to make sure you get the style just right. Throughout the process, you can even watermark your designs and tease them on Instagram or your other social media profiles to get feedback from followers.

This can be a great way to both perfect your current designs and generate ideas for new ones. Last, but not least, it's always a good idea to order samples of each piece of YouTube merch you plan to offer in your store.

This will give you a chance to check out the quality and appearance of our products and designs in person. After all, it's better to catch any flaws upfront than to hear about them from a fan who is unhappy with their purchase.

5. Pick a sales channel

There are several different options when it comes to setting up shop, and some YouTubers even choose more than one:

  • Your own website: Many YouTubers choose to create a dedicated website for their merch, an option that comes with several perks. Here's why you might want to consider setting up a merch website alongside your YouTube channel:

    • Complete control over branding: Your merch website is your own digital storefront, allowing you to completely customize its look and feel with your logo, color scheme, and fonts to perfectly match your YouTube channel's branding.

    • Deeper audience connection: Your merch website allows you to directly connect with your fans and build a stronger community around your brand. Include a forum where fans can chat and connect with each other. 

    • Detailed product information and storytelling: A dedicated website gives you ample space to showcase your merch with high-quality product photos and detailed descriptions that go beyond just the basic features. You can include blog posts about the inspiration behind your brand and merch designs, helping your fans connect with you on a deeper level.

    • Selling more than just merch: While merch will be the main offering, your website also offers a platform to sell other digital products like ebooks, online courses, or exclusive downloadable content to further diversify your income streams and garner more support for your channel.

    • Data and analytics: Having your own website allows you to collect valuable data and analytics about your merch sales. You can see which products are most popular and where your traffic is coming from and track customer behavior. 

    • Long-term investment: Building your own merch website is a long-term investment that can pay off in spades. Unlike social media platforms or online marketplaces that can change their policies or algorithms at any time, your website is yours to control. 

  • Social media: If your channel's social media profiles have large followings, then you might consider using them to sell YouTube merchandise to your fans directly. Whether you set up a Facebook & Instagram Shop or simply post links to your merch website, social media marketing is a great way to let your fans know about new releases. 

  • Ecommerce platforms: Depending on how you want to promote your merch, you may also choose to use an ecommerce platform like Shopify to set up your store. While Shopify has a lot of great features, you will be charged a monthly subscription fee as well.

  • Online marketplaces: Online marketplaces like Etsy don't charge upfront fees, but they do get a cut of each sale you make. You'll also discover that many online marketplaces don't offer a huge array of customization, which can make it hard to promote your brand.

  • YouTube Shopping: One of the most obvious venues for selling YouTuber merchandise is YouTube itself. YouTube shopping has plenty of tools to help creators promote their merch right alongside their own videos.

While many YouTube creators still choose to have their own merch websites, some feature at least a few products on their YouTube page. It's never a bad idea to get inspired by checking out how your favorite YouTubers offer their merch.

6. Set up your merch store

setup merch store

Once you've chosen the right venue or venues for your store, it's time to get things up and running. If possible, make sure you customize your merch shop to fit your brand as closely as possible.

Next, you'll want to set up payment processing and shipping options and create a clear refund and return policy. When you're ready to upload your merch offerings, make sure you use high-quality images and detailed product descriptions with relevant keywords.

Last but not least, you'll need to set prices for your merch. Make sure that you're able to make a profit after factoring in the price of your print on demand partner's services, as well as any marketing you may choose to invest in.

That said, it's also important not to go overboard. Even if you're the best YouTuber on the planet, you'll still likely be hard-pressed to find a fan willing to drop 70 bucks on a t-shirt.

Do your research by looking into some of the best YouTuber merch stores online and getting feedback from friends about fair price ranges. Looking into your competitors' merch shops is also a good way to ensure that your prices are on point.

7. Promote your custom merch

Once your merch shop is up and running, then all that's left to do is get the word out. But first, you might consider announcing a presale for your audience to give them a chance to buy your merch before it's available to the public.

As an established YouTuber, it's likely you already know your way around internet marketing to some extent. Now is the time to put your skills to use by coming up with fun ways to promote your merch online.

Promoting your merchandise can take many forms:

  • Content integration: One of the most direct ways to promote your merch is to integrate links directly into your YouTube content. Include links to your merch store in the descriptions of your videos and the chat or description during live streams. This makes it easy for viewers to access your store while they are engaged with your content.

  • Social media advertising: Utilize your channel's social media profiles to run targeted ads or post about new merchandise releases.

  • Email marketing: If you have an email list, use it to send out announcements about new items or special promotions.

  • Collaborations: Team up with relevant influencers in your niche for cross-channel merch promotions.

Successful YouTube merch store examples

Thriving merchandise booth

Let's turn the spotlight on some successful YouTubers who have really hit the mark when it comes to selling their custom merchandise.

Dude Perfect

Take the five friends behind Dude Perfect, a YouTube channel that currently has over 60.1 million followers. Dude Perfect is a sports and comedy channel created by five dudes who were once roommates at Texas A&M University.

Dude Perfect's merch store thrives because it caters to a wide audience with a variety of products. They offer high-quality merch with simple, recognizable designs alongside unique items.

But what truly sets them apart is their strategic use of humor, which reflects their brand's personality and resonates with their fans. This focus on quality, variety, and brand identity is a recipe for success that any YouTuber can adapt to their own merch strategy. 

Mr. Beast

Largely regarded as the most popular YouTuber on the planet, Jimmy Donaldson, A.K.A Mr. Beast, has gained over 251 million followers by posting YouTube videos of his elaborate stunts and challenges. 

Like many YouTubers, Mr. Beast has narrowed down a few products and accessories that work best for his fans and offers each in plenty of unique designs. 

Mr. Beast has totally nailed his branding with designs that scream 'Mr. Beast' and give off the same high-energy, adventure vibe he rocks on his YouTube channel. This doesn't just boost his merch sales - it also makes his fans feel more connected to his brand. 

What makes Mr. Beast's merch stand out is its top-notch quality. He's not just about making fast cash but also about offering true value. His merch is not just cool but comfy and durable, too. Plus, shopping on his site is a breeze, and if you've got a query, the customer service team is right there, ready to assist, no matter how big or small your question is. So, the takeaway is clear: quality matters, not just in terms of your products, but the overall customer experience, too.


Check out the merch store of Evan Fong, AKA VanossGaming, a popular gamer and music producer. While some of his designs are a bit more complex, many simply feature his logo printed in a single color.

By featuring his logo prominently on most products, he has created a line of merch that is instantly recognizable to his audience. It's a great example of how keeping designs straightforward yet relatable to your brand can really resonate with fans.

VanossGaming also carefully picks merchandise that perfectly reflects his brand persona. Whether it's a hoodie or a t-shirt, everything in his store oozes the same gamer-cool vibe that his fans associate with him. So when planning your own merch store, think about your brand persona and how that can translate into products your audience would love to sport.


Take a look at the merch website created by Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, better known collectively as Smosh.

The creators launched their sketch and improv videos on YouTube over 19 years ago and have since established a fanbase of over 26 million subscribers. With plenty of time to develop their brand, Smosh now features a huge range of YouTuber merchandise, from their logo to quotes of favorite characters from their sketches.

The huge success of Smosh's YouTube merch store is no fluke; it's all about really connecting with their fans and staying true to their brand identity. Their merch, with cool logos and popular character quotes, is like a physical piece of the Smosh world that fans can own.

The merch has the same fun and creativity that their videos have, which are loved by 26 million subscribers.

Monetize your YouTube channel with custom merchandise

Offering YouTuber merch can be a great way to make a profit, all while connecting with your YouTube fans. By partnering with a print on demand service like Gelato, you can enjoy all the benefits of offering your subscribers clothing and other merchandise that reflect your brand's unique style.

From hoodies and t-shirts to tote bags and phone cases, Gelato offers high-quality products that are begging to be transformed into YouTube merch. Our easy-to-use service is designed to help you scale right alongside your subscriber count.

Feeling inspired? Take the first step toward getting your YouTuber merch shop up and running by signing up for a Gelato account.

YouTuber merch FAQs

Where do YouTubers get their merch?

Many YouTubers partner with one or more print on demand providers to offer customized merchandise to their fans. Partnering with print on demand suppliers like Gelato allows creators to offer their fans high-quality YouTuber merch without having to worry about keeping up with inventory or fulfilling orders.

What website do YouTubers sell merch on?

You might get a variety of different answers, depending on which creator you ask. Each YouTuber has their own unique approach when it comes to what merch products they offer and where.

Some YouTubers sell merch right from their YouTube channel, while others have a dedicated merch website. Others still offer their custom merchandise on social media or ecommerce platforms and marketplaces.

Finding the right fit for you will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The size of your audience

  • The platforms or social media channels you use to connect with your fans the most

  • Your budget

  • Your desired level of store customization

  • Your desired price ranges

What is the most popular merch?

T-shirts, hats, and hoodies have consistently been YouTubers' most popular merchandise. However, the best merchandise options depend on your specific audience and niche. 

How do small YouTubers make merch?

Even if you're a smaller YouTuber, creating merchandise is still within your reach. The secret lies in understanding your audience and creating products that resonate with them. You can use platforms like Gelato that offer on-demand production and fulfillment services. This eliminates the need for inventory management, making it ideal for starters. Remember, the key is to create quality products and promote them effectively, regardless of your channel's size.

When should a YouTuber start selling merch?

Tapping into the merch market isn't about any set subscriber count; rather, it's about having an engaged audience who values your brand. If you have loyal followers keen on supporting you, it's a sure sign you can start selling merch. However, be sure not to rush into it. Thoughtful strategizing around product selection, design, and promotional activities can make your launch successful.

How many subscribers should you have to make merch?

While there's no exact number of followers you need before starting a merch line, it's beneficial to have a loyal audience first. Ideally, this should be an audience that loves your content and is willing to support your brand. 

So, if you have at least 10k followers, it might be a good time to consider selling merch. But remember, it's about quality, not quantity. A smaller audience that's more engaged could be more beneficial than a larger audience that's less involved.

How much should you sell merch for?

Consider your production and shipping costs, desired profit margin, and what similar channels charge. Generally, merch should be affordable for your fans but still allow you to turn a profit.


Next steps

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