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I have been an anime lover ever since I was a kid. I remember watching Freeza get his ass kicked by Goku in his Super Saiyan 1 mode, and I got hooked. Now naturally, as an eCommerce businessman, I am much more inclined towards anime merch.
From a business point of view, anime merch is really lucrative. It’s because you don’t have to build an audience from scratch; instead, they are already passionate about the anime they watch.
But are anime products the right kind of products to sell online? Without the required permission, Anime Products are not advisable to be sold online. Anime products are usually copyrighted. Their increasing fan following has also increased the value of anime merch. Hence, most anime companies launch their official merch.
So, how to sell anime merch officially? To sell official merch online, you will require non-exclusive rights from the anime company itself. You need to visit their website and request permission.
At the end of this blog post, I have mentioned a list of websites you can visit and get the official license.
No and Yes.
It is not illegal to sell anime products online, even if your business includes anime drop shipping.
You must have seen big brands mention “Official Merchandise” on any pop culture products, right?
They do so because they have obtained the necessary rights for these products.
Selling “Unofficial Merchandise” most certainly violates copyright and trademark laws. Without the owners’ necessary license, the selling process is illegal and most certainly will land you into trouble.
Sure, you may wonder how many stores dropship anime products without getting a license?
Here is the thing, you don’t know if they have obtained a license. In most cases, they have probably gotten permission early on during their store’s inception.
Secondly, it may happen that some store that you came across is selling anime products without a license, but that does not make it legal. The chances are that it will inevitably come into the limelight once the business grows. If they can’t fight the incoming lawsuit, their site will probably go down.
In any case, selling unofficial anime products will not do you any favor in the long run.
Many people wonder if selling fan art without a license illegal. It most certainly is. Every character you have seen and loved is the Intellectual Property (IP) of the creators. They literally gave birth to the character.
Hence, selling fan art of a popular character or anime series is no different from selling any other items. Now it does not mean you cannot make fan arts.
Sure, fan arts are always appreciated by anime creators and enthusiasts alike. Still, any commercial intent of creation always invites trouble.
To sell anime merchandise online, you will need the parent company’s permission.
As I mentioned before, if you use any character, logo, or even fan art to make a profit, you may land into legal trouble.
But! Fret Not!
Follow these steps to obtain a license legally for anime dropshipping.
Find out the owner’s contact details that you plan to sell. Yes, this starts even before you create the product.
Finding the parent company that owns the character copyright, especially anime, is a bit of a task and may need some research.
As far as I know, Viz Media owns some copyrights of popular anime series like naruto, one punch man, bleach, etc. You can contact them to get started.
This part is a bit tricky. It would be best if you were thorough with your approach. Be ready with a business plan for the specific product categories you want to sell.
A proposal with a good business proposal not only creates a good impression of your company but also helps you with a long-term partnership. Here are some of the essential aspects of a business that you need to get sorted before approaching the owner company.
In this step, you finally draft an email to the owner company with all the relevant details asking for rights to sell the merch. A great template that you can use is given here by the good people of Tufts.
I know this sounds like a task. But if you want your store to be safe from any legal discrepancy, you need to take these actions.
Alternatively, you can create your designs to sell and dropship. You can even copyright your designs.
In the case of anime dropshipping, copyright issues can put you in a lot of trouble. Since they are branded products, your customer usually expects a high-quality item. But dropshipping from unknown Chinese sellers has a very high chances of creating complaints and accusations. Therefore, I would suggest you stay away from fake goods.
In the case of dropshipping products like t-shirts and sneakers that you can print and sell on-demand, you can control the quality. Still, most of the time, copyright strikes are inevitable.
It doesn’t mean you’ll get a call from a lawyer the following day after you imported such products. Some people manage to dropship such merchandise for some time successfully, but in the long run, you can expect problems.
It is always advisable to hire a IP lawyer to help you out in these situations.
Anime is a catch-all term for Japanese animation. Ever since it was introduced in the West, its fans have continued to grow in numbers and new viewerships of different age groups have been attracted. Apart from the creative storylines, distinctive animation and catchy music, anime serves as a great medium for fans to celebrate their spirit and culture.
So the anime market is constantly dynamic. But if you target specific market segments, the Labs show that anime series collections are especially profitable, with at least 74% sell rates. Watching episodes is so addictive that people are willing to spend on series collections—it simply leaves them wanting more.
In this blog, we’ll find out how online sellers are successfully selling anime series collections in four parts:
Remember, it’s important to perform research before diving into a product niche. This helps you learn more about your product, understand your audience and narrow down your target market to easily sell your product.
Knowing anime types helps you target specific market demographics. Just like movie genres, it helps the audience characterize the anime based on similar styles.
The SaleHoo Labs is overflowing with anime series collections. Using the three examples below will help us determine if they have niche potential. Let’s focus on the three main aspects to analyze trends in the current market: sell rate, average price and competition.
Anything above a 50% sell rate is a good target, as this lets you know your products are moving. With the results showing sell rates of 74%–100%, we can see that there is indeed a market for anime series collections. Observe details from the results to learn which types and series are most saleable and to keep up with current trends.
Based on the results, we can see that a variety of anime types are popular. Cowboy Bebop is shojo, Outlaw Star is seinen and Avatar: The Last Airbender is actually American and doesn’t qualify as anime, but has a heavy shonen influence.
Average selling price is based on how much an item sells for on average. Given this data, you can estimate your profit and price your products at an acceptable range.
The results on these anime series collections show an average price of $32 to $65 a set. With Blu-rays and DVDs being small and lightweight at the same time, they’re easy to store and inexpensive to ship. This gives you the benefit of control over your profits.
All three results from the Labs show low competition for these titles and types of anime series. This gives your listings a higher chance of being seen, and thus a bigger opportunity of landing a sale. To attract even more buyers, offer freebies that go with the anime title or bundle them with a related anime item to sell them faster.
Another way of determining the demand for anime series collections is to find out how popularly searched for these items are on Google. Using the AffiloTools Keyword Research tool, let’s find out the general demand for “anime series collection” and focus on Local Volume, where it indicates monthly searches for types, titles and related anime items.
With local volumes from 2,900 to 40,500, anime series collections are still currently trending online. Take notice of all the shonen titles such as 7 Deadly Sins, Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist. These are some examples of titles that piqued the public’s interest and may be useful when you venture into selling one later.
When doing your research on certain titles, it would be best for you to factor in common anime types like shonen and shojo. People will use these to search for other anime titles just like they would search for sci-fi or romance movies. You can use the AffiloTools Keyword Research tool and key in the anime type to view results with trending titles.
You need to keep your list up to date. Researching the latest and most popular titles can help bring traffic to your site and can lead to sales.
Joining anime fan clubs online also lets you learn about new and well-liked characters and helps you target the right market. You can even share links pointing to your site, which can help increase your sales. This also gives you the advantage of learning which characters or types of anime go together, which is helpful should you plan on bundling series collections with other anime products.
When selling products of any sort online, whether or not they’re related to anime, it’s always important to know your product, as it imparts confidence, trust and values that lead to a positive customer experience.
We have anime series collection suppliers that ship globally and that we have verified as safe and legitimate.
Let us know if you’re selling anime collections online and share your success story with us! Also, please feel free to leave your comments below and let us know if we’ve missed something.
Disclaimer: The information published here is strictly for informational purposes. All above items are only suggestions for possible products which we believe will sell favorably, and this article should be used as a guide only. At the time of writing, all above products were researched using methods recommended by SaleHoo and found to be potentially profitable for sellers. All sellers are encouraged to conduct their own market and product research.