Making Money On Merchandise

Sarah Burnett Truesdell ~ If you want to be successful, you are going to have to create something unique to you and your style.

Each day I have conversations with a wide assortment of artists. Most all of the opening conversations go something like this:

“I need to place an order for band merch.”
Me: Great, do you know what you would like to order? Do you have a budget?
“No.”
Me: When is your event date?
“Tomorrow….. (pause for effect)…Is that possible?”

I have had this and similar conversations for the last 10+ years with bands of every shape and size. It is okay, people…We can figure it out…I am here to help. The following are a few basic tenants to making money with your merchandise.

Create a merchandise account and LEAVE the money in it. Your merchandise account will grow exponentially if you buy low and sell at fair market value. Twenty dollars is completely acceptable for a t-shirt, so don’t “sale” yourself short. With that being said, the money in this account is NOT for the following things: beer, girls, capos, extension cords, coffee at 3 am, bobbleheads, gas, truck stop CDs or any other extracurricular activities otherwise frowned upon by your mother. If you can’t trust yourself not to spend it, give it to a buddy that owns a calculator and knows how to use Excel.

Don’t order ONLY what you like (or what you would wear on a Tuesday). If you want to be successful, create shirts with RETAIL APPEAL. Just because you love the color orange (I hope you live in Austin), there is a good chance most of your fans don’t.

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