Join Bobby Owsinski for an in-depth discussion in this video Ten things to make your merch table magnetic, part of Selling Music Merchandise.
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It's one thing to have a Merch table, it's another to have people drawn to it. Here are a number of things to consider to make your Merch table magnetic to your potential customers. Location, location, location. You can't sell your Merch unless it's easy to find. Try to set up your Merch stand in a high traffic area for best results. Make it intriguing. Your audience has to be interested before they begin buying. That means you have to rely on good old-fashioned advertising techniques and signage to attract people to your table.
Avoid clutter. The easier it is for a fan to find something he wants to buy, the more likely he'll buy it. Make sure your Merch is displayed cleanly and concisely. Quickly convey your artistic aesthetic. You've already made a big mistake if your Merch doesn't match your band. That said, your Merch booth should do the same. Make it accessible. The Merch booth has got to be clearly visible and easy to get to so there won't be any lines to see what you've got. Diversify your products. This means that you should not only have different items to sell, but different price ranges, as well.
It's also a good idea to create some bundles at a good price to entice fans who might be on the fence. Have your email list signup front and center. Your email list is the life blood of your marketing. What better place than a Merch booth to sign people up? This works even if they don't purchase anything. Announce from the stage, sometimes a simple announcement is enough to make your fans aware that you have Merch for sale. Be at your booth after the gig. Nothing gets people to buy like the artist at the Merch booth. You don't have to sell anything, just being there to talk with your fans after the gig is enough to expose them to your Merch.
You'll make a lot more sales that way. Freebies sell. Free stuff attracts people to grocery stores, department stores, car dealers, and just about any other retail you can think of and it will work for you too. Offering free stickers, guitar picks, buttons, and other small promotional items is a great way to encourage people to gather around your Merch table and make it stand out.