People love supporting artists but with so many of your fans streaming music they’re not always going to be down for buying physical music or purchasing a band tshirt. So below I’ve listed the best overlooked merch items that sell constantly. They’re all pretty cheap and doable. It just takes some thinking outside of the box. Let me know if you think of any other ones.
Everyone needs a lighter. Incense, cigarettes, joints, candles, farts, they all require a lighter. If your band is sweet and has lighters at the show for $5 and it comes with a download code then this is a no brainer for fans. You could even take it further and make a exclusive song that’s sold with the lighters. Plus lighters are passed around, everyone will see the name of your band/logo on the lighter and remember it fondly when they were playing with fire.
If you go to shows as often as I assume you do your ears are probably taking a beating. Band ear plugs that come in a little carrying case are amazing. You take them to all concerts and are unique enough to be talked about. Start here for more info.
Holy shit do people love stickers. I would say that a good number of people will expect stickers for free but you’re not a start up so entice them with the addition of music. A sweet sticker(s) plus your new record for $5. That’s a deal people will take.
I worked the merch table this weekend for experimental noise artist Holly Herndon. She was great and her record sold well but the talking piece were the tote bags. Many different fans asked about it and wanted it. The problem was there was only one! I could have sold 5-7 of them. Girls especially dug them. TOTE BAGS. DO IT.
Patches / Backpatches
A similar vein to the last two. Patches and backpatches let people know that you kick ass and take names. I’ve recently discovered a whole network of patch makers via instagram. I know nothing of them except they are sweet and you should look into it.
Everyone likes fake tattoos. Kids especially. But make it bad ass enough and it could become a huge hit. Check out Tattly.com for more examples.
Add music download codes to each of the examples above and they will sell. Only if you’re good and you have a good logo will it truly take off though [DUH]. So WAKE UP YOUR BRAIN OUT OF THE TSHIRT BOX. Merch can be so much more. Look to the subculture you occupy and find that quirky, scaleable idea that could be a unique seller for your band. Or don’t. I’m not your father.