Did you know you can be paid to advertise? Yes, straight up. It’s really a no-brainer. Therefore, you need to do this. In this post, we will be looking at how to sell band merch. As I just said, merch is advertising that pays you. Firstly, we will give you a definition of merch and also explain what is merch and how you can best meet customer expectations in how you sell music merch online.
There are some affiliate links and banners in this post. If you click them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission. This will help me to provide for my wife and young son. Therefore, I want to say thank you in advance.
What is the Definition of Merch?
Many people will ask, what is merch? It is simple, but also the best way of defining it is advertising that pays you and your band or music. This is done by advertising your music on clothing and everyday accessories.
The term merch is simply an abbreviation of the word merchandise.
People will be happy to purchase your merch, either because they like its style or because they are fans of your work and they want to promote your music to their friends and anyone who sees them wearing the garments or using the accessories.
Get Your Free Copy of
The Complete Guide to Music Marketing 2021
Over 80 pages packed with sensible, actionable
advice, resources and aha moments
How to Sell Music Merch Online
If you sold 200 T-shirts to your fans, that is the equivalent of one million music streams. This makes sense because to sell music merch online can cost you next to nothing, yet it is advertising that pays you. It is advertising that will consistently work because people want to promote you or the garment they are wearing.
Tell Your Friends, Family and Acquaintances About Your Merchandise
If you sell a T-shirt to a friend, family member or acquaintance, it is worth a lot because people will see you wearing the garment. Therefore, you will also be advertising the music or whatever is being advertised on your garment.
As well as just needing a T-shirt to cover up their chests and make them feel comfortable, a fan often searches for merch online that represents a particular brand. If that brand is your music, you have just found yourself another advertising spot that will pay you over and over again while that garment or accessory is used.
How to Sell Music Merch Online
I know that I have personally searched for advertising by causes that I want to promote. I searched for a “Vote Labour” T-shirt before the British election. Another time, I searched for merchandise was when Marie was alive and still making music with Per and co (Roxette). When you have people searching for merch online, you will know how easy it is to sell music merch online.
Another time when I bought a T-shirt online was on a Facebook group that I am a member of. My friends Vox and Bruce are a married couple who make music together. They advertised their T-shirts on the Facebook group and were able to sell a number of shirts online. That can be how easy it is to sell music merch online.
How to Sell Band Merch Online Without the Risk of Bulky Orders
I get that a lot of people will be put off using merchandise as a viable marketing strategy. This is mainly because people don’t want to buy in bulk and unable to sell it to friends and family. That is why I highly recommend certain merch merchants over others. The ones I have mentioned below
How to Sell Music Merch Online With VistaPrint
VistaPrint have a wider range of items that they can add your advertising to and sell online. They have no limited order values so there is nothing stopping you placing an order for one of something.
To visit VistaPrint and find out more about their fantastic range of merchandise, please click here.
How to Sell Band Merch Online With Zazzle
Zazzle is another with a ton of different products to choose from. I bet you’ll find the face masks before you find the T-shirts! Anyway, you are welcome to find out more about Zazzle here.
Another thing to note about Zazzle is that the prices are exceptionally good.
How to Sell Music Merch Online With Threadless
Threadless have a great range of T-shirts all at the same price of $15. These have no minimum order value too.
Threadless specialise in T-shirts. You can find out more about them here.
How to Sell Band Merch Online With Spreadshirt
This is the last of the websites I will include in this post. However, you can easily find more by Googling, “no limited order merchandise”.
I just nearly bought something from the UK site that Spreadshirt operate. They have great prices, nice designs a great range of products.
If you would like to learn more about Spreadshirt, you can find the website here.
Artists Make More Money From Merch Than They Do From Their Music
An interesting fact about merch is that artists are paid more from merch sales than from music sales. In the video at the top of this post, you will learn that lots of young people purchased a Slipknot hoodie or a Kiss hoodie. It was like a club and every kid needed one to be in the “in crowd”. The person who designed the merch must have been very wealthy from merch sales.
How to Sell Band Merch Online: Lessons You Have to Learn
Don’t Buy Merch in Bulk
Many artists think that if they buy in bulk, they are saving money. Therefore, they go ahead and purchase a bulk lot of 200 T-shirts or another crazy quantity. There are essentially two things you have to learn here.
- If you buy 200 shirts, you may only be able to sell 50. Therefore, you will be stuck with merch that you can’t shift.
- If you buy a bulk quantity of merchandise, you will probably be paying for inferior quality. Therefore, you will be losing out because a cheap shirt, hoodie, etc, feels cheap. Fans won’t appreciate it and they will consider that your music is inferior too.
Design Merch That Your Fans Actually Want to Wear
Too many bands and artists design merchandise that nobody wants to wear. You have to remember that you are selling your image as a part of your music. Therefore, you will need to consider what your fans really want to wear before you set out to design your merch.
What is your target audience buying and wearing now? How can you add your branding to it in a way that makes your merch more appealing and attractive to your fans?
How are You Going to Advertise Your Merch?
You now need a proper plan of how to sell music merch online. Too many bands and artists are too vague about how fans can purchase their merch. Remember that merchandise is the biggest and best opportunity to sell your brand to your fans, turn them into advertising that pays you and send them out into their communities to advertise your brand to everyone who they come into contact with.
It is your merch that will share your image. Bands became a success because they sell merchandise. They need their fans to shout out their name in public areas so that people will want to check them out.
I remember when I was at boarding school. Some of the other kids used to wear band merchandise. That was how I learned more about bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi.
How to Sell Band Merch: A Clear Strategy
It is always a great idea to have a merch stall at every gig. Furthermore, it must always be in the most prominent place. If you are paying at a bar or a public house, you can ask the bar staff to sell the merch for you. This is essential if you want to sell more band merch.
You must also spend time hanging around close to the stall or the bar before or after the show. You can ask fans if they have visited the merch stall or purchased any merch yet. If they have, you can offer to be in a photograph with your fan who is wearing your shirt or your merch.
My wife and I saw Mike Oldfield’s son (Luke Oldfield) in concert when he came to Birmingham. He was playing Tubular Bells – which, if you know anything about Mike Oldfield, you will recognise. Mike’s son was manning the merch stall so that he could promote the music to more people as they entered and left the venue.
One Last Lesson of How to Sell Band Merch
If you want to be thought of highly by your fans, you need to consistently bring out new merch. This is the best way merch as an advertising tool can be advertising that pays you.
Now we have looked at how merch is advertising that pays you. We have also looked at how to sell band merch offline as well as how to sell music merch online. I have given you some ideas for your sales strategy, websites that provide you with high quality merch and a no minimum order process. I hope you have learned a lot from what you have read. If you want to make any suggestions, requests, etc, please do so in the comments section below.
A resource I highly recommend you to investigate further is Hypeddit. This is the easiest and best way to develop your music social media following, build your email list and more. I only wish I knew about it when I first started out.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post about merch, the advertising that pays you. If you would also like to read my other recent posts, you will find them here…
- How to Discover New Ways to Promote Your Music Blog
- How to Market Your Music As An Introvert
- How to Work Remotely With Musicians Online
- 5 Free Music Marketing Tools Available to All Distrokid Artists
- Affiliate Marketing For Musicians: Other Ways to Make Money
Get Your Free Copy of The Complete Guide to Music Marketing 2021
This book includes more than 80 pages of music marketing strategies, resources and aha moments that work in 2021.