What's the good in making awesome merch for your band if you aren't selling it? Band merchandise is an important aspect of having a band; the potential for both promoting yourself and making money is huge. Selling merch helps you recoup other expenses you dish out (equipment, gas for shows, etc), and even puts money in band members' pockets- all while other people advertise your band. Why not take advantage of this by making the most of your merch with these tips on how to sell, sell, sell.
If someone likes your band enough to buy something, they'd probably be happy to have more than one piece of merch. Everyone likes to get more bang for their buck, so why not bundle some items together? Give a discount for buying multiple items; for example, sell a $10 t-shirt and a $7 CD together for $15. Not only will you be selling more merch and making more money, but your fans will be happy to have gotten a deal on a bunch of great merch. Win/win.
In most cases, your music will do the selling. However, if you have really cool items for sale, you have a better chance of selling to EVERYONE, even someone that hasn't heard your band before. Think of unique, useful, practical, or fun products to print your band name on, such as beer cozies, guitar picks, ear plugs, tote bags, etc. Get creative because chances are if you can think of it, we can make it.
A really important part of selling a lot of merch is making sure it's affordable. The way to do this is to make sure YOUR price is affordable, so you can sell your stuff at a reasonable price and still make some cash. Some tips for doing this are: order merch in higher quantities so you reach price breaks; keep your ink colors low so you pay lower per piece; order white shirts instead of color; take advantage of specials going on. You can also avoid screen charges by re-printing old designs on new apparel.
A merch table at a show is valuable real estate! We've all been guilty of the quick set up right before you play and break down right after, arguing about who has to be stuck back there while everyone else mingles. Why not approach the table as a great opportunity. Set up early, hang out as a band for the whole show, and break down at the very end of the show. Being open for business longer will guarantee more sales, especially because it gives you more of an opportunity to chat with people. Remember, lots of people wait til the end of a show to buy merch, so don't pack up too soon! Another tip for making the most of your merch table is to be creative in drawing attention to it. Make it an interactive experience where fans can watch your music videos, sign up for a mailing list- hell, set up a carnival game at your table! It's your 20 square feet, make the most of it.
Believe it or not, sometimes giving something out for free is a great strategy in making money in the long run. Band brand awareness is important; you want to get your name out to potential fans. A great way to do this is to give out a download card, sticker, CD sampler, guitar pick, etc. Giving things away is obviously easier than selling, so you'll reach more people this way, and if all goes as planned, they'll become lifelong fans who will buy merch for years to come.