One way to make money while streaming is by selling goods. In fact, it’s how a lot of streamers make the majority of their income. Streamlabs Prime offers a lot in terms of stream merch. Well, far beyond what you can do for free.
Of course, this relies on having an audience who is more than likely going to buy your merch. This is also a major reason why I don’t really care about lurking on Twitch.
Lurkers usually don’t buy anything.
Then, you need to have something that someone is going to want to buy. This means elements that have a visual appeal. You can always start with your logo, but it takes more than that to really drive sales.
What Kind of Stream Merch Can You Create?
The free version of Streamlabs gives you a handful of things you can sell. In fact, I bought my own coffee mug as I wanted to check out the quality of the mug as well as the print.
I can say that the quality was much better than I imagined. This is great if all you want to sell is coffee mugs.
A Massive List of Items to Sell
After looking at the sheer number of items I can sell, I realized this is going to be one of those on-going elements of running Streamlabs Prime.
That’s because I am sure I’ll come up with new ideas later on, different designs, and exploring more of the creativity for making something nice.
Considering how I am extremely picky when it comes to quality, I’ll also wind up buying at least one of everything I have on the merch store. This is so I can verify it’s a good product.
Otherwise, I won’t sell it.
The list of Accessories you can choose from seems almost a hodge-podge of randomness. I can either slap my logo on a tote or come up with a colorful design for flip-flops.
Coincidentally, both of these items would sell in my family. I’m all about going plastic-bagless and my daughters love flip-flops.
The available clothing is quite a collection. Hoodies, underwear, jackets, tank tops, long-sleeve shirts…just about everything you can want to open a clothing line of sorts.
I might set a few of these up for us, mostly because I need a new jacket and I love tank tops.
Headwear in Streamlabs Prime consist of mostly baseball caps. Back in the day, I collected caps, so this might have been an interest – 20 years ago. But, some of them look to have potential for some nice design work.
Though, I wouldn’t mind a visor with my logo on it as I played a round of golf.
OK, at the time of this post, there are two types of shoes: men’s and women’s sneakers. You can select between generic and prime brands. However, Streamlabs doesn’t go too deep into detail regarding the shoe.
This is one I’m going to buy simply because it would be a good article for the blog or perhaps the YouTube channel.
Here is where I would thrive. The only three things in the “School” category for stream merch are notebooks. But, I have a penchant for these. So, I’m fairly sure my store is going to be loaded with notebooks.
That I’m surely going to buy en masse.
Home & Living
Currently, the “Home & Living” section has a collection of poster sizes, coffee mugs, pillows, towels, a bath mat, and even a bean bag chair. As I said earlier, I’m sure I’ll have several coffee mugs.
I might even do a few pillows as something to throw on my couch.
Remember, I’m only going to sell the things that are of good quality. I need to make sure these items are practical for home use.
The Design Process
The design process for items is fairly straight forward. Upload your designs, make the adjustments, and then preview to see how it looks.
Then, you can make various adjustments to make the item appear as you want. Each item will have its own settings screen, and it may take a few tries to get something to look just right.
Once you’re settled on the stream merch, you need to accept that the images you use don’t violate copyright laws.
Always use your own designs!
Afterward, you can add it to your store and it’s ready to be sold.
Pricing Your Items
An important aspect to keep in mind is how print-on-demand services such as that as Streamlabs Prime merch store have very low profit margins. You have to pay for a variety of things behind the scenes.
For instance, it’ll cost you $17 to make a tank top. Then, you can adjust the profit slider according to how much money you want to make.
Adjust it too high, and no one will buy the merch. Set it too low and you short-change yourself.
Try to find a good balance when it comes to pricing.
Coming Up with Catchy Designs is the Hardest Part
Streamlabs makes setting up stream merch relatively easy. The hardest part is coming up with designs that someone will want to buy. Well, that, and marketing your store so people know it’s there.
No one is going to buy anything if they don’t know the merch store exists.
There’s a couple of ways you can probably come up with something amazing.
Do It Yourself
I went to school for graphic design and come from a very creative family. Armed with Photoshop, I’m sure I can create at least a few things people will want to buy.
As long as I put my mind to finishing a project.
But if you don’t have photoshop, there are many free graphic design apps available. For instance, Photopea works just like Photoshop, can handle PNG files, and can utilize PSD file types (Photoshop graphics).
If you need illustration, something like Gimp could be of use.
Paying a Professional
There’s nothing wrong with paying someone to design something for you to sell on a tote or tank top. In fact, there are a lot of graphic designers out there who are not overly expensive.
In fact, I’m debating on taking to Fiverr to see what some of those designers can make. Mostly because I often don’t have the time to do it myself.
You need to be careful with systems like this, though. I’ve seen some amazing work come out of Fiverr. But, I’ve also seen some major crap come out as well.
Be mindful of what you’re buying. And make sure the creator is not ripping someone else off in the process.
Order Merch Bundle
One aspect that Streamlabs offers is being able to buy a bundle of your own merch. This way, you can buy all of your items at once and either use them as promos or simply to check quality.
Eventually, I’m going to do both. I can stream while wearing my logo-emblazoned tank top or drinking from my logo-printed coffee mug.
In any case, you’re only charged at-cost prices. This means you get your gear for as much as it costs to make the goods.
What About Other Print-on-Demand Services?
The Internet has a lot of print-on-demand services available. You’ve probably heard of platforms like Tee-Spring or Printful. And some of these platforms could probably do very well in terms of stream merch sales.
However, in this instance, I am focusing mostly on Streamlabs Prime. After all, I just spent $149 for the entire year. Part of that package is an extended printing service.
If you decide to go with another print-on-demand platform, make sure you test the quality by purchasing one of your own items. Some of these systems don’t provide the best quality.
If it’s cheap, ask yourself why.
A Continued Effort
As I’m doing a 1-year case study for Streamlabs Prime, setting up new goods is going to be a constant element. I don’t want the store to get stagnant, and I need to add things people will want.
It’s not merely something you can set and forget with only two or three things to sell.
I’ll have to schedule time to come up with design ideas or find a way to afford a designer. Either way, I need to give people a reason to buy something.
Quality Stream Merch Can Be Profitable
As a streamer or YouTuber, you can’t rely purely on ad revenue and expect to buy a house. Things like stream merch can help bring in extra cash, as long as you have a dedicated audience.
And that’s where the real trick to success lies. Without people who interact and watch your streams regularly, it’ll be difficult to make any amount of money regardless of the platform.
But when you get to that point, your sales could surpass your wildest dreams. As long as you have something someone wants to buy.
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