Top Mistakes Bands Make When Selling Merchandise


Besides performing, bands can make money by selling merchandise. However, with the increasing popularity of music consumption through Spotify and other streaming platforms and the continued decline in music sales, when selling their merchandise bands need to be very careful to avoid some of the common top mistakes.



1. Not Having A Merchandise Business

It is important to be in the business if you want to make money from merch. You can actually choose from multiple merch vendors catering to the independent artists. They have good price points and low minimums. You may just start it small and build it out from there. In order to keep your costs low, it is recommended to keep designs simple. For instance, a one color, one location item will be enough to get you started for a first run. This way you will give your fans the opportunity to buy things from you in order to support you. In fact, merch could be also considered as a great marketing tool besides just a way to make cash.


2. Not Accepting Payment Via Credit Or Debit Cards

Unfortunately, many artists still do not accept payments via credit/debit cards. This may result in lots of sales lost.

3. Failing To Keep Track Of Sales

You need to use an excel spreadsheet, a tally sheet or any form of tracking for your sales. If you are not keeping track at all, you have no means to know if you are making a profit. It is very important to keep track of the inventory you sell as well as the items you give away at each show. Failing to do so makes it very difficult to understand what’s going on in your merch business.


4. Not Knowing Your Inventory

In business, timing is very important. If you do not know your inventory, you may experience sales loss. By having a good knowledge of your inventory you will be able to reorder in a timely manner can better position to capture your fans engagement.


5. Not Paying Attention To What Your Fans Might Actually Want

You have to pay attention to what your fans are buying at your shows. Notice every aspect, including quantities, sizes, and styles. What sells well at one show or venue, may not sell so well at a different show or venue. If you keep track of these things, you will be better prepared the next time when you organize shows in these places. You will also be able to minimize waste by paying attention to these metrics.

6. Not Building A Strong Relationship With Your Fanbase

In order to be successful in selling merch, you need to have a strong relationship with your fans. People can feel when they are just being marketed to in order to sell them something. But if your fans won’t mind being marketed to if you have a good relationship with them. However, will take the time to build a strong relationship with your fans and you need to make efforts towards that goal.



Your Turn to Sound Off!

Does your band sell any merchandise? If so, what's the top seller?

Let us know in the comment section below!



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