Hey all. I am getting ready to make my upcoming debut CD. I have been shopping around on prices for everything I will need for my merch and CDs. I wanted to use this as a resource to try to see if I could find better prices that are acceptable quality and other musicians would probably find this information helpful and save some money when they are making their CD, coming out with new merch, ect.

Lets start with some pre-press stuff. I got my album recorded at a local studio that did an awesome job. Also mixed there and sounds very good. Mastering I am using a resource called www.filverr.com. I don't think a lot of musicians have heard of this site and it's AMAZING! I am getting my tracks mastered by a guy who also did mixing & mastering for Eric Clapton, BB King, Rod Stewart & more for about $20 a track. There's no reason to pay more than $50 a song mastering.

Second is album artwork. I am at a cross roads right now. There are people on Fiverr who say they will do album artwork for $20-$50 and they have good examples. One guy wrote me and quoted higher at $150. There is another guy I'm connected to on Facebook called Record Time Designs that is awesome and he quoted me a decent price as well. I think these would work but I am leaning towards trying out 99designs.com for this part of the puzzle. I am wanting awesome artwork. 99designs I would host a contest for $250 and get 30+ designs submitted to me and I would choose the winner. It's more money but I get better results and way more results too. This could allow me to use different designs for update in future. I could go the cheap route and it would look good, but I am thinking going a little more and looking amazing.

Onto pressing:

I have found a company called https://www.unifiedmanufacturing.com though my kickstarter campaign that funded my album. I can get full color printing with insert, Cd tray, CD & back in jewel case at $381.10 for 300 CDs. That's $1.27 a CD. With shipping it comes to $520.64 for 300 which comes out to $1.74 a CD. That is what I want, jewel case, insert, full color on everything, shrink wrap. I don't know if there is a service that is cheaper? That is the best I have found so far they have high quality. 300DPI professional.

Stickers the source I have found is VGkids.com. These are the price quotes I found:

3.75" round one color - 500 for $177.07 shipped. $0.36 per sticker.
3"x4" rectangle one color - 500 for $121.09 shipped. $0.25 a sticker.
3.5"x2.5" full color - 250 for $158.59 shipped. $0.64 a sticker.
3.5" round full color - 250 for $168.59 shipped. $0.67 a sticker.

Those are prices I am looking at for different options I will have to choose. I have used VGKids before and they are superb quality. Anyone have a cheaper source?

T-shirts is the area I am looking around most in right now. I have looked at Blackouttees.com. Prices are:

Full color on white shirt - $10.05 a shirt.
My friend said his band got black one color shirts from them for $5.25 a shirt.

Another local guy I have worked with in the past quoted me $16 fee per color setup and $5.50 a shirt. So you have the $5.50 and divide the color setup between shirts. If I did 3 color setup and 50 shirts it would come out to $6.46 a shirt. Next time setup is only $8.

Maybe there is a cheaper option online somewhere? I don't really want to do a 1 color shirt although I could try to adapt my logo to fit that way.

So these are the breakdowns I have so far. I consider myself very thrifty so hopefully it will help out a large number of musicians on saving $ in the future. There might be better resources out there. Please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance!