How to Become a Merch Guru for your Band

You've come so, so far from your humble beginnings.  It started with a spark of teenage angst mixed with just the right amounts of Pink Floyd and 90’s Grunge (this would be my dream band).  Then, after years of fumbling through haphazard guitar licks and off-tempo drumming, you and your mates finally scrounged together a handful of originals topped off with an encore cover of “Stairway to Heaven” that lasts twenty-three minutes.

Now, you want some shirts, and so I offer this bit of advice that could possibly make or break your band’s future…START SIMPLE.

When I say “simple” I am suggesting a 1-color screen print on a budget t-shirt.  Too often, bands request 50 shirts with a 4-color design on a premium garment the first time they walk in the door.  That is not simple.  Let’s look at a price breakdown.

SIMPLE:

50 Shirts Printed on Budget Tees

Setup Fee: FREE (we waive a screen fee for each 36 shirts you buy)

Cost Per Shirt: $6.45

Total with Tax: $345.88

Let’s check your profit:

If you sell the shirts for $15 and sell out, you rake in a whopping $750.  Minus your initial investment, you've made $404.12 for your band!

Now, don’t get too ahead of yourself.  Set aside some money to buy more shirts.  You’ve started a snowball of financial genius that knows no bounds.  Also, buy a new mic, and replace the bassist Mike.  His negative vibe is killing the creativity of the band.  

NOT SIMPLE:

50 Shirts Printed on Premium Tees

Cost Per Shirt: $13.50

Total with Tax: $723.94

Let’s check your profit:

If you sell the shirts for $15 (because no one will probably pay $25 for a t-shirt at this point in your band’s career.  Face it, your not Nirvana…yet) and sell out, you’ve scraped together $750.  

Minus your initial investment of $721.26, and you've made a staggering $26.06 for your band.  Fail.

You’ve got no money to buy more shirts and a terrible microphone.  Either you’ll use this increased angst to write some new killer songs…or you’ll break up, move back in with your parents, and resort to giving guitar lessons for $8 a pop to your neighbor Billy who worships Nickelback.

In summation:  Keep it Simple, or you might as well start downloading Nickelback guitar tabs today.