Merch is king. In our years in the industry, we’ve seen countless tiny bands play a gig for less money than it took to fill their van with petrol. And then absolutely kill it on the merch table, taking 10 times more cash than their fee. If you do it right, merch can massively increase the available cash in your band as a business.
Branded Printed T-shirts. We have all been at a concert and wanted their cool band T-shirt. Make sure your t-shirts are highly visible, easy to buy, and a great design, that everyone wants to wear.
Manufacturing and purchasing stock :
Bulk screenprinted: You will need to purchase in bulk, up-front, and deal with all the sales and fulfillment yourself. On-demand digital printing: Risk-free way of selling t-shirts as they are sold online.
You need to sell your music. You might not need to sell CDs at your gigs but do sell vouchers to go download your music online. Another trendy idea is to sell any branded gift with the music voucher. This way your brand will get more exposure. Your track on a mug or a keychain.
Autographed anything. If you can sign it, you should. It personalises your products for your fans, and gives them something that will (hopefully!) become massively collectable in years to come.
What would your fans want. Iron Maiden brewed beer. Wavves produced grinders. Deadmau5 manufactured cat headphones (yeah, headphones for cats). Alice Cooper sold branded eyeliner. Daft Punk released “Get Lucky” condoms. Think about something that is unique to you, or a track/album of yours. Not just good merch. Good PR, too.
Think about the life of your merch beyond the point of sale. Will other people see it? Will it get talked about by the new owner? Will it spark conversation? Sometimes it’s worth thinking about selling stuff at cost, or even a loss, if you know that it will help spread the word about you. So consider something cheap like guitar picks or wristbands. If ordered in the right quantities they can be bought for as little as 10p each. So you can definitely afford to sell them for that little, or even give them away, and you’ll no doubt get people talking about you!