A MUSICIAN’S GUIDE TO SELLING MERCH – WHAT IS MERCH?
“Merch” or merchandise are the products you sell in addition to your music and tickets to increase your profits as a musician and increase your fan’s loyalty to you. Some options for merch include t-shirts, sweaters, hats, guitar picks, and keychains. Keep reading for the musician’s guide to selling merch.
WHAT MERCH SHOULD I SELL?
There are a few ways you should decide what merch you should sell.
- Research. Look into what other bands are currently selling for merch and if you can, ask them what’s selling best. This will give you a good idea of what will and won’t do well.
- Think for yourself. Decide which items match your brand the best and which items would make the most sense (price wise). You don’t want to buy merch that may not sell and has a low profit.
- Ask your fans! Your fans are who will actually buy the merch, so once you’ve narrowed down your options, ask your fans via social media which merch they like the best.
- Make a decision! Once you’ve gathered all of this information, you should be ready to make a decision on which merch to start out with. It’s usually better to start will fewer merch items and go from there.
WHERE SHOULD I BUY MY MERCH?
There are a ton of options out there. Here are a few.
- Most merch:
- Bands on a Budget
- My Custom Band Merch
- Awesome Merchandise
- Uber Prints
- We Need Merch
- Custom Ink
- 24 Hour Wristbands
- Discount Mugs
- Stickers and buttons:
- Sticker Guy
- Busy Beaver
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY?
Here are a few tips on saving money when you’re getting started in selling merch.
- Drop ship. Instead of buying a bunch of merch up front, you can use a company, like Gooten, to drop ship your merch. Since your products are drop shipped, you don’t have to pre-order merch. Instead, people can order your merch online and then you get a percent and Gooten gets a percent.
- Price breaks. With many companies, the more you buy, the cheaper each item is. So after you’ve sold your initial merch and see that it’s selling well, you can save money by buying a bigger quantity at once.
- Keep it simple. The more versions of products you sell, and the more different types of merch you sell, the more it’s going to cost you. Keep each product to a few versions and only have a few products when you’re first starting out to keep your costs low.
- Don’t rush it. There’s no reason to pay extra for shipping! Avoid the extra cost by ordering your merch early. Also, make sure you leave enough time to check out the merch and exchange anything that isn’t up to par.
WHERE SHOULD I SELL MY MERCH?
- Merch booth. You want to have a merch booth where your fans are at. Live performances. Whenever you perform live, you want to sell your merch. So set up a merch booth at all of your concerts. Make sure it’s okay with the venue first!
- Online store. Selling your merch online is a big opportunity for you to sell merch even when you’re not performing live. Pick a platform. First, you’ll need to pick a platform to sell your merch through. Some popular options are Shopify and Bandzoogle. Once you pick your platform, you can begin setting up your sales pages.
HOW DO I SELL MORE MERCH AT MY BOOTH?
Master the merch booth. Having a merch booth is step #1 to selling more merch. But if you really want to maximize your profits at your booth, you should follow these tips.
- Be clear. Make it clear what you’re selling and how much you’re selling it for by having big signs at your merch booth and by stating what you’re selling and the prices while you’re on stage.
- Well lit. Clubs and venues tend to be dark so make sure your merch booth it bright enough for your fans to see your posters and products!
- Have someone at your booth. You should try to work your merch booth before and after your performance to talk to fans. But you should also have someone at your booth while you’re performing! This way if someone has to leave early, they can still snag your merch. Have this person wear your merch too.
- Make it easy. Accept credit cards and have cash on hand to make all transactions easy for your fans. You don’t want to turn someone away because you can’t accept their form of payment. Use Square, Venmo or Paypal to accept cards. Because Venmo is becoming so popular, it makes it an easy way for fans to purchase from you when they’re not carrying cash. Keep your merch booth organized and make sure to have a variety of apparel sizes. Making it easy for your fans means they don’t have to wait for you to dig through a pile of shirts only to tell them you don’t have their size.
- Offer exclusive merch. Give fans a reason to buy your merch while they’re there by offering exclusive merch that they can’t get anywhere else.
HOW DO I SELL MORE MERCH ONLINE?
- Images. Have multiple images for each item. Images with people are even better. Videos, in addition to the photos, are even better.
- Descriptions. Describe each item thoroughly. Include the story behind the product, size details, material details, and anything else you think is relevant.
- Be available. Include contact info on the page in case your fans have questions.
- Promote your online store! If you want more tips on marketing on social media so you can sell more merch, check out these 10 Tips to Get More Fans on Social Media.
HOW SHOULD I PRICE MY MERCH?
- Offer bundles. Give fans the incentive to buy more merch by giving them discounts for certain bundles. An example of a bundle would be if you buy one shirt it’s $20 but if you buy two it’s $30.
- Price things reasonably. Usually, stickers, buttons, and posters are anywhere from free to $20, shirts are $20, and sweaters are $30-$40.
- Offer a variety of prices. It’s best to pick items that range in price so there are options for every price point.
A MUSICIAN’S GUIDE TO SELLING MERCH – YOU’RE READY TO SELL MERCH
Now that you’ve read the musician’s guide to selling merch, you know almost there is to know about selling merch, so you’re ready to start selling it!