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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Merchandise: Extra Income Source

I have spent a lot of time over the past few days working on the online merchandise store for the band's website. I have never really been a big believer in things like that - hence haven't organised this sooner. However, after reading a couple of articles online (I'm always researching and learning from the internet!), I have come to think it's a rather huge income stream opportunity that I've been missing out on.

I was reading an article that said "
For many touring bands the sale of merch is what allows them to eat. Superstar acts can sell as much as $5 per head in merch. Think about that for a moment. If you’re Bon Jovi and you’re playing a stadium that holds 50,000 people and you sell $5 in merch per person, you’ve just made an additional $250,000! OK, you’re not as big as Bon Jovi (yet), but the same kinds of economics can work for you".

Let's just think about it - for a start, if someone buys a t-shirt at a gig, it's generally on impulse. It's something they can take away and reminds them of the wicked night they had, or they may just buy it because it looks pretty damn funky. Either way, for you - it's a sale. At least have the possibility of this income stream by looking into it - even if for now, it's just online.

The best thing about online shops is that they are (generally) free to set up, upload your designs (or some sites have designs you're able to use), set your commission (how much you want to make on it) and link to your shop from your website! How easy is that! You don't need to be a graphic designer and you don't need to know HTML!! (However, any knowledge you have on those subjects certainly helps!). Now, the sites I have tried are: Spreadshirt and CafePress. I have gone with Spreadshirt for several reasons - 1) their items were cheaper, 2) larger product range, 3) more payment options (credit card, money order or paypal), Cafepress had only credit card; and finally 4) I can really customise it (including adding my own header) to make it look and feel like the band's website - with cafepress, you can only customise it that much if you pay a monthly fee. Don't be put off Cafepress though, it's still a great place - and the customer service is brilliant.

So... second album is up and coming [check], website updated [check], merchandise store open [check], must be time to start organising a tour...? It's June now, album release is due for near the end of the year... yep, it's about time to get on to that! How the hell do you put together a tour? Well... stick around... we can all learn together. I will log here every step we make, and fill you in on how each step goes. What a ride!