Join Bobby Owsinski for an in-depth discussion in this video Why your merch doesn't sell, part of Selling Music Merchandise.
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Most artists are frequently baffled when their merch doesn't sell. If that's you, here are 10 possibilities why that might be happening. Chances are that at least a couple of these are occurring. Number 10, your merch is the same on every tour. You can't expect people to purchase an item they already have, even if they're willing to buy something. Number nine, your merch is designed poorly. It pays not to skimp on a design when it comes to merch, since you'll sell a lot more if it's attractive. Number eight, there's nothing different between your merch and what other bands sell.
A way to sell more merch is to offer an item, or variation of an item, that stands out from the norm if it's in your audience's sweet spot. Number seven, there's not enough lighting on the merch table. A dark merch table is very uninviting. Besides, if people can't see what they're buying, they probably won't buy it. Number six, the location of the merch table is bad. Just like with real estate, with the merch table it's location, location, location as well. You can have the most attractive merch in the world, but no one will buy it if they can't find it.
Number five, you don't have someone to man your merch table all night. While you'll probably sell the most right after you play, you'll be surprised to how much more you can sell at other times during the night. If your table can't be manned at those times, you'll lose those sales. Number four, you can't process debit or credit cards. This is inexcusable these days with the service like Square so easy to implement, like you'll see in an upcoming video. Number three, you underestimate the importance of earning the extra 100 or $200 per show that merchs can bring in, so you don't make the effort.
It may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up over time. If you play 20 gigs a year and sell $100 per gig, that's $2,0000, which can pay for a lot of gas while it covers the investment in the merch itself. Number two, you refuse to promote your merch. Musicians hate to be salesmen but this one's easy. Just have them hang at the merch table after the gig. All we have to do is a meet and greet, and the merch will do the rest. Number one, you don't connect with your audience while you're performing. Let's face it, if no one likes you or your music, they're probably not going to buy your merch either.
These are ten reasons why you're probably not selling merch, but each of them can be easily turned around. With just little effort, you can sell a lot more than you think.