So, you’ve done all your groundwork on merch. You've contacted the super awesome team at Jungle Merchandise and now have a stash of great custom printed band tees, an awesome collection of posters, and a selection of other options that you just know your fans are going to love.
You've been to Bunnings and bought a plastic trestle table and have allocated a good 26 seconds to dumping your merch on it before your set tonight. You’ve also wrangled your cousin into taking a night out from his job manning the door at the local bikies club to sell your merch for you. He’s bringing all his mates from the club because they’ve never heard you play before, but they’ve all promised to stand behind the merch table and keep out of the way and as a bonus, they’re going to keep an eye on the punters and make sure no one steals anything.
What could possibly go wrong?
Oi are you gonna buy that?
Well, a few things.
The way you present your merch can be just as important as what you've got for sale, so we’ve put together eight simple tips for helping improve your band’s merch display.
Somewhere near the entrance and exit is usually a safe bet. Wherever you end up, make sure it’s somewhere people are going to be walking by all night.
You’re likely to be playing in a darkened venue, but you need people to be able to see the goods you’re trying to sell them. Clip-on lights are your friend here - grab a few strings and arrange them around your merch display. Make sure you set your table up somewhere there’s easy access to power the lights, though.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. Don’t just plonk the boxes with your goods on top of the table and hope for the best - take out samples of what you’re selling so people can really see them.
Felt display boards are a sure-fire way to display merch behind your table. If the venue does not supply them, try and bring yourself. Well pinned t-shirts are crucial, and make sure the front and back print is on show.
You need to be showing off your merch to sell it, and you need to make it look good. Wear it, get whoever is behind the merch stand to wear it. If you have posters, consider framing one to hand behind your stand.
You can have a little fun with this bit! Think about how best to present your merch, and go to town. Consider big mason jars full of colourful enamel pins, pick vines to weave through your back displays, hand fairy lights, use cake stands to layer piles of keyrings and condoms and guitar picks.
It might be the right call to give your cousinand his mates the night off after all, (unless you reckon your fans are really going to respond). As a general rule, you want your merch sellers to be approachable and just friendly enough. They also need to want to be there, as nothing puts a fan off buying merch than a seller who looks like they’d rather be anywhere but there.
Trust us, this is going to save you a whole lot of time and energy. List all your prices in big bold print to reduce the time you spend shouting that information to confused punters over the sound of the band.