Not all shirts are created equal. Whether you’re an aspiring clothing line entrepreneur or if you live your life on the road in a van with 4 other dudes, selling your apparel could mean going to that next level in fashion or it could mean sleeping in a hotel after the gig vs. cramped in a van.
Selling your merchandise doesn’t just mean money in your pocket, but it is also the best marketing tool for your line or band. Over the years we’ve seen it all when it comes to merch. From the worst of the worst, to the best of the best. Here are 5 tips to help you sling more merch.
1. Don't settle for free design work.
We get it. Sometimes the first thing to get cut from you budget is merch design, but it could be the difference between you selling out, or having your closet become a storage unit for unsold merch.
Good designs sell! When you start the process of creating a new merchandise project, one of THE most important aspects is that of a great design. Could you get a free design from your Bassist’s, cousin’s, sister’s, son? Yea sure, but 9 times out of 10 it means those shirts will be collecting dust for years to come rather than clinging to someone’s back.
Most of the time you can find fantastic designers for a very reasonable price. A good budget to keep in mind is $100-$150 for a quality design that will sell every time. Don’t try to get cheap/free work. It’ll only hurt your sales in the end.
2. Quality always matters.
Spending a bit more on your merchandise will always help in the long run. When you’re first starting your clothing line or band’s first merch purchase, go the extra mile for your clients and fans. No, we aren’t saying you need to buy American Apparel, but don’t settle for the shirts you wouldn’t wipe your cat’s butt with. You know the ones we’re talking about. Those shirts that go into the wash an XL and come out an extra shmedium.
When it comes to quality there are many affordable options out there. Our favorite line is Bella + Canvas, and typically is only $1-$2 more per shirt than the ones made out of sandpaper.
Your fans will appreciate you going the extra mile for them and are almost guaranteed to come back when new merchandise comes out. Treat them right and they’ll always look forward to your next shirt.
3. Create an online store.
Sometimes your fans can’t make it to your show in their hometown. Whether they ended up having to babysit their weird cousin, or they’re sitting on the toilet for making poor choices in last night’s dinner, you’ve lost the potential of selling your amazing quality shirts with that sweet design you paid for.
With so many options out there like Shopify, it’s very simple (and sometimes free) to create an online store for your die hard fans to purchase merchandise. You don’t have to be a massive touring band to have an online presence.
Setting up a store usually makes it much easier to offload your new and old merchandise. It’s a simple way to boost your sales with little to no cost.