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We all know how important those merch staples are, such as t-shirts, stickers, and vinyl banners. Once you have those covered, it’s time to think outside of the box. To a fan, almost anything you offer with your band name will be valuable; but why not put some focus on creating a few really awesome, high quality, and exclusive pieces of merch? Not only will this help you stand out amongst your fellow bands and create some awesome branding for yourself, but you’ll quickly learn that a penny spent is a penny earned with these bigger ticket, exclusive merch items. Here are a few ideas to get the gears turning...
There are a lot of different options for creating exclusive apparel. For starters, you can do short runs of shirts and retire the design afterwards, which means that these are the only shirts that will ever exist for this design. This can go for hoodies, totes, hats, or any other specialty or extra high quality garment as well. Want something a little more exciting to offer? You can do a short run of specialty printing- such as a very detailed, colorful design using Direct-to-Garment printing, rather than a standard screen-printed t-shirt. They may cost you a few more bucks than your standard band t-shirt, but that can be reflected in your sale price.
If you’re trying to think of a cool merch item that fans will constantly be able to use, you can’t go wrong with a pint glass. This is a high quality piece of merch that you can sell for a fair amount of money, without breaking the bank to produce. You can put a limit on how many you print, and let fans know that this exclusive item is available “now or never” and watch them fly off your merch table!
Have you ever seen a piece of merch at a band’s table that is so awesome and so different, that you remember it forever? You can be that band. If you’re looking for a novelty item to sell that is as awesome as it is unique, consider printing your own signature skate decks. You can put photos of your band, album artwork, lyrics, or anything else that you want. While they’re a little pricier than some of our other one-of-a-kind item suggestions, you can justify selling them for a pretty penny. Plus, you can print as few as 10 and keep it ultra-exclusive (hey, this only makes them more rare and valuable!).
Digitally printed tour posters make sense when you need a large stack of posters to hang up or send out to venues, but a high quality, screen-printed poster is a great souvenir for fans to take home from a show. If you have a big event, such as a CD release party, this is a really nice and exclusive item to offer to fans that doesn’t require a huge investment.
Have you ever seen a tour poster printed on canvas? Most people haven’t, but doesn’t that make this idea even better? Skip the standard 100# glossy poster paper, and even surpass the elegant screen-printed posters and go for the gold, with a 17 mil full color canvas poster. You can print these anywhere from 12” wide/tall to 48”, with quantities as low as 5 pieces! Your fans will love the chance to frame such a nice piece of art, especially knowing that they’re one of only a few in existence!
This is a total “think outside the box” option, so insert your creativity here. Consider getting together with your bandmates and creating something. It can be a piece of art that everyone collaborates on, a signed or decorated piece of equipment that you no longer use... whatever it is, if you have a fan, this end product will be valuable to someone. You can even auon this off on ebay, at a show, or from your band website to raise those much-needed band funds!