Selling band merchandise at shows like cds, t-shirts, tote bags and stickers is a great revenue stream and marketing tactic for indie bands. But if you have boxes sitting at your house collecting dust, you’ve lost money rather than made it. If that’s the case, it’s time to step it up.
Here are five tips to selling your merch:
- Presentation: If you want to make a sale, you have to make your merchandise appealing to your customers. Present it properly — don’t pull it out of a cardboard box and expect fans to go crazy over it. Set up your merch prior to the show at a dedicated space (perhaps you should conside buying your own table) and make it attractive. Create a price sheet on lamented paper that’s easy to read, hang your shirts from a display, and organize your items. Remember to bring a light so fans can see what you have for sale.
- Payment: Make it easy for your them to buy. Have change on hand, and offer payment by credit card. There are apps and adaptors for iPhones that allow you to accept credit cards on site; and if you do, make sure your fans know it: get a sign that says “we accept Visa/Mastercard/American Express.”
- Variety: Think about your audience. Are they the type of fans that might be interested in a tote bag with your logo? Or a t-shirt? A beer glass or a mug? Picks, posters, bracelets, vinyl? Consider your audience and make sure the merch you sell appeals to them.
- Awareness: Do your fans know you that you even have merch for sale? Do you announce it at shows? Can they easily see your merch table and get to it? If they don’t know, they won’t buy. Also, consider creating an online store in addition to selling your merch at shows.
- Bargains and special offers: Everyone likes something that not everyone else has. Consider doing a limited edition run of t-shirts, or if you buy a cd, you get a sticker for free. Make your fans feel special by giving them special deals that they won’t get at every other show.
When selling at shows, make sure that the person manning your table is trustworthy, approachable and friendly. Make sure that the items you’re selling are appropriate for your audience, and that your presentation is up to par.
Now, go make some sales!
Tell us what you think! Do you sell a lot of merch? What do you sell? Does it help your band bring in additional revenue?
The SongCast Crew