For the performing artist, your merch table can be the lifeblood of revenue that keeps your career moving forward. Unfortunately, after all the other tasks (promoting the show, load in, soundcheck, etc.), the merch table tends to suffer from some serious neglect. Many performers treat their merch sales as an afterthought, CDs and T-shirts thrown about haphazardly. And then to top it off, it’s usually manned (or womanned) by some surly character looking like they are waiting to go to a funeral. If this sad description resembles your merch table then it’s time for an overhaul.
5 ways to improve your merch sales:
Double your sales opportunities by accepting cash AND credit with one of CD Baby’s handheld credit card swipers.
Get a fan to sell your merch for you, and preferably one that is smart, trustworthy, and (most importantly of all) good looking. Most artists aren’t very good salesmen when it comes to their own music. A true fan’s natural enthusiasm for your music will act as its own kind of sales pitch. It is always a great idea to hang out at your merch table after the show to meet the fans that came out to your show, but leave the sales duties in someone else’s hands.
Bundle your merchandise to create incentives for fans to purchase more. Have you released multiple albums in multiple formats? Try putting together different combinations (multi-disc pack, LP with disc, CD and T-shirt, etc.) for a slightly reduced price and see what sells most. Also, for your fans that no longer purchase CDs, offer download cards customized with your album artwork. (https://members.cdbaby.com/SellMusicAndMore/DownloadCards.aspx)
Make it unique. Your merch table doesn’t have to be flashy or fancy but it should be uncluttered, inviting, and fit with your overall aesthetic so that people attending the show can get yet another glimpse into what makes you… you.
Don’t be stubborn with price. If you’re charging $10 for a disc and a fan only has $8, don’t let that come between you and the sale. The $2 you lose that night will come back to you when that fan tells their friends about your music and how generous you were for budging on the price when their wallet was light.