Written by Ava Spolec, Rock the Dream
Thinking of selling merch on your website? Without revenue from live shows, finding new streams of income right now is crucial. Selling custom merch is a brilliant way to get your name out there, plus increase your income. Your brand can be on display for everyone to own and wear.
You’ve seen typical merchandise collections of T-shirts, sweatshirts and bracelets, but there are other items that are cheaper. The trick is, just as in your clothing inventory, keep the choices at one or two items. Fans become confused if there are too many choices, plus it cuts back your inventory costs.
Knowing your fanbase is also important, especially when you’re ordering items to open up a merchandise shop. Start out with a low quantity of merchandise and increase your inventory as demand grows.
Order in bulk for an even lower price. Choose from pins, pens, guitar pics, mints, gum, ball caps, stickers, patches, posters and koozies — printed with your logo or name. You can get a wide variety for cheap bulk prices on these websites: Bands on a Budget and Awesome Merchandise, such as 100 custom pins for $69.
For items like shirts and hoodies, companies must quote a price after viewing your logo – it can range anywhere from $5 to $14 each, depending on quality level of the clothing and number of screen-printed colors. A good suggestion is to check local screen-printing shops. You can save money on shipping, plus most are normally much cheaper and of better quality than online services.
FYI, Gilden is a safe quality, yet economical T-shirt brand to choose. Never use Fruit of the Loom, they don’t keep their shape and fall apart quickly. Clothing doesn’t have to be the highest quality for your fans, but they should have the life expectancy of at least 2 years, so the quality level of Gilden is fine and will keep your wholesale pricing down.
Before launching new merch, model some pieces on social media, and even give some away to event promoters, close friends and radio stations who will help promote them. At major tours, give T-shirts to the sound guys and backstage workers. I guarantee, they will wear them. It’s also great to get fan input when designing and picking out merchandise, so you can give them something they’ll want to buy!
Selling merchandise on your website can be a huge success if you take the time to explore options, stick to your budget, and advertise like there’s no tomorrow.