As a touring band, one of the most important and moneymaking things you can do is sell your merch. It’s not uncommon for a touring band’s main source of income to be selling your t-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies, or even a gold USB chain. Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to try and boost your merch sales.
- As they say in real estate, “Location, location, location.” Your merch booth needs to be visible to every single person that walks into the venue. They can’t buy your merch if they don’t know it’s there! Make your setup very visually appealing in a spot everyone can see, and people will just naturally flock to you.
- Be smart with the amount of merch you actually buy. If you’re only going out on a small tour, it obviously doesn’t make sense to buy 5,000 t-shirts because realistically you won’t sell that much. Buy a little bit more than what you expect to sell, charge a reasonable amount, and hopefully you’ll sell out on the last tour date.
- Be creative with the merchandise you sell. Personally, I find myself drawn to either funny things or unusual items at a merch table. People always appreciate something that stands out or something that is tour specific. If you sell a “limited edition” vinyl or hoodie or other merch item, people are more inclined to buy it to prove that they saw you on that tour.
- The person working the booth is also a major factor in your success. You want to have an upbeat and hard working person running the show; you want them to call people over, engage them in conversation, and try and get them to buy something. If the person just sits on their phone, people will not be as inclined to come over to your booth.
- Always, always, always have a tip jar at your merch table. Even if people only donate a dollar, it still is money you wouldn’t have otherwise. Be funny and creative with your tip jar. Get people to notice it, laugh a little, and then donate what they can.