#1
I feel my band has finally gotten serious enough that we should look into getting some merchandise to sell and everything. But i've seen local bands try it, my other band has tried it, and its ALWAYS epic failures. My other band has t-shirts (selling for $5) and we have yet to sell one (and its not like we suck or anything) This other band that im good friends with are also having trouble selling their t-shirts too. And they're quite good too.

So my question is, do you guys have trouble selling t-shirts and everything or is it just my area??

And also, what are some other ideas for merchandise other than the obvious t-shirts and CDs??
Guitar Rig:
Fender Telecaster
Martin GPCPA5
Orange Rockerverb 50

Bass Rig:
Squier Vintage Modified Jazz V
Hartke HA3500
#3
You could try a free cd with a ten dollar t-shirt promotion.
Oct. 20th, 2009: New guitar AND front row for Mars Volta.

Quote by denizenz
Is that a ukulele in your pants, or did you just rip ass to the tune of "Aloha Oi"?


I met Sonic Youth on June 30th, and Mars Volta on Oct 20th.
#4
there are plenty of ways to market your merch. think outside the box. just cause you have a t with your band logo on it doesnt mean it will sell. get peoples attention, try to draw them to your merch area. do something outside of playing well to sell your merch. have something eye catching that says BUY MY MERCH. example most gigs I play at the merch tables just have the merch layed out to buy. but if you took the extra time and lets say set up a banner with your band logo on it somewhere eyecatching by your merch more people will be inclined to take a look.

also deals and telling people durring shows to suport the band and by merch helps too.
A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.
#5
Glowsticks? Even if they don't promote the band the audience will look cool
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
things I've seen that were cool

autographed drumsticks/heads etc. it turns worn out useless equipment into a collectable.
onesys for babys. My I totlly bought a my nephew a psychobilly onesy.
PILLOWCASE! andrew jackson jihad sold out of pillowcases with the bands faces on it.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#8
There's a few issues here.

How much are you selling the T-shirts for? $5? That implies that they're really not good quality, or that you're not making any profit on them (probably the first). Nobody's going to buy some cheap, tacky t-shirt with a band logo that'll come off in the wash, even for $5. Of course, if you get better quality merch, it'll have to cost more. I'd leave selling t-shirts until you can offer good quality ones, with good graphics, for a decent price, and you've got enough dedicated fans to actually buy and wear them.

Other merch ideas:

Badges. Sell them for a dollar, people won't even notice they've spent the money, and it adds up. Plus they're small and easy to get to/from gigs without damaging them.

USB sticks with the band's album on them, up to you whether you let people wipe the music off and use the stick for themselves, but if you get the USB branded with your band name, that's still a good advert.

Condoms - if you can get them, go for it, people at gigs are likely to buy them from anticipation or desperation, and it allows for some banter with the audience.

Beer mats - more promotional than for sale, but most bars will let you put your own beer mats down, which can have a myspace/phone number/logo on them.

Bags - this is heading in the direction of 'expensive', but if you've got fans prepared to put down the money, it's probably worth it.

Cigarette papers - there's companies which will sell you branded cigarette papers. Perfect for reggae or, well, pretty much any band ever.
#9
People just don't have the money to buy merch. I live in Las Vegas. We are a town awash with medicore music. Every band here just trades shirts with each other, so they wear the other bands stuff on stage and at shows...

Creates awareness.

If a band is from out of town and REALLY GOOD, I will usually buy a CD and/or shirt.

People just buying the stuff to buy it is part of why there are so many terrible bands still playing shows every weekend

My suggestions: Give out a few shirts.
#10
Quote by HalfDose


My suggestions: Give out a few shirts.

Good advice, if there's one thing that really influences people to buy your shirt, it's seeing someone else wearing one.

Use your shirts like capital. If someone does you a favour, helps you carry your gear, does a nice write up for you, drives your van, whatever, give them a shirt.

Look at it this way, what does it cost you for each shirt, if you have them done in bulk, I'd take a guess at a couple of pounds/dollars? You certainly wouldn't balk at tipping someone a couple of dollars for helping you would you?

Well this way, you tip that couple of dollars but at the same time gain a walking advert for your band and it's merchandise.
#11
Quote by SlackerBabbath

Use your shirts like capital. If someone does you a favour, helps you carry your gear, does a nice write up for you, drives your van, whatever, give them a shirt.

Well this way, you tip that couple of dollars but at the same time gain a walking advert for your band and it's merchandise.


I second this. My band's main goal with merch is to give fans an incentive (e.x. free shirt for bringing a friend to a gig) and to get our band name advertised every time somebody wears that shirt or puts our sticker on their car, etc.

You've got to spend money to make money (and make fans), so don't get discouraged if you're not pulling a profit from your merch right away.