Merch is a big potential income stream for musicians. It’s also a great way to give your fans something they can hold on to - your products remind them of your shows, and super fans love to support their favorite artist by making a purchase.
Truly the best way to determine what merch will sell best is to get to know your fanbase. Your genre of music or your fan demographics will probably dictate what your fans would use, and what they can afford.
If you’re just getting started with selling merch as a musician, these are five popular and timely items that are easy to customize and sell.
If you had to ask yourself which item from your favorite artist you’ve got in your closet currently, the answer is most likely a T-shirt. Band tees remain a steady seller for many musicians, and with good reason! In addition to being easy to create, with just a logo or album cover, they’re also easy to bring to shows.
A wearable like a T-shirt not only makes you money at a decent margin, it also helps promote your band when people see your fans walking around. T-shirts are the perfect place to begin if you’d like to sell merch to your fans.
Another wearable option that many people love, hoodies can be lucrative merch products for musicians to sell. The price point is typically higher so you may sell less in total, but they are a staple for most bands who sell merch. Plus, as another wearable that looks great, hoodies help promote your brand.
If hoodies sell well for you, it’s a good indication that you can try branching out to sell other leisure wear too (think leggings or sweatpants).
Hats are durable and a good staple merch item to consider trying to sell. Hats are another great wearable that you can customize with your band logo, artwork, or even lyrics to help promote your music. They look great with a singular focal point and are easy to mass produce with a simple crowd pleasing design.
Depending on the season, creating hats as band merch can offer lots of options and opportunities to change things up. You can try creating trucker hats or ball caps, or even beanies for cooler weather. Caps in particular can span a wide range of ages, even with a one-size-fits all design, which is another reason they’re a good option if you’re starting out with selling band merch.
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Reusable tote bags lend a stylish and eco-friendly touch to your merch options. They can also be profitable (and affordable for fans) but to do bags right, choose a study canvas that will allow for durability and longevity. Then decide if you’d like to use imagery, wording, or both on your bags.
These are also a great portable option to sell at live shows - both because of how easily they fold up, and because they’re a slightly unusual merch item (but one that most of us use every day!).
Many people purchase drinkware in their everyday lives, so why not create mugs or tumblers that point back to your band? Mugs are an inexpensive item for your fans to buy, they take up little space, and they are handy. Mugs will work especially well if you have a clear band logo to print on them.
If they sell well for you, think about making insulated tumblers as a more expensive (but still handy) option that your fans might enjoy.
Keep in mind - this list is by no means exhaustive! It is meant to get you started with popular merch items that you can actually make some money from. If you want to try some novel items that might please your fans check out 25 creative band merch ideas as well. It’s a good idea to mix things up every so often to give your hard core fans multiple options to support you.
Once you’ve started selling merch, you’ll get a sense of how it works for you. You can sell merchandise online with a print-on-demand service like Printful to allow you to create a variety of items, and sell to people anywhere.
If you plan to tour, ordering a few batches of merch for in-person merch table opportunities is a good idea too. You can always sell remaining merch and fulfill it yourself directly (and commission-free) from your website’s Store page, and be sure to take advantage of Bandzoogle’s Selling Tools dashboard to manage your products (whether print-on-demand or not).
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