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Free Merchandise

July 10, 2012

While previously written in about overall merchandising here and here it has yet to be mentioned of the free item. Giving away anything no matter how small or cheap can be one of the best ways to maintain a fan, even potentially gain new ones. Keeping something on hand to give away to that person interested in merch can also be a great incentive into convincing them to buy something or possibly come back to see your band perform again.

It might seem like this is something that only a larger band can afford but to get a few hundred stickers or buttons is not a huge investment. You will also not have to give out one of each item to every fan at your show, chances are only a handful per show will take these items, some will likely even insist to pay. While the main goal of these items is as promotion and giveaways it never hurt to also sell them cheap.

You should also consider these items as promo items and not lost merchandise or revenue like any other business does. This especially looks good to industry professionals such as  booking agents or managers, they like to see that you understand where to invest and promote. These things also help to flesh out your merchandise table which variety is a key figure to getting sales especially as fewer people buy physical music.

There are few things which convince a person to purchase an item even if they may not need it than a perceived deal. Look at any retail store from the smallest independent to corporations with hundreds of stores they all have  some sort of deal to convince customer to purchase more of their wares. If this can work for them it can easily work for you. A lot of bands use the T-Shirt & CD combo but ignore something small and simple such as an “All sales include free sticker or button” deal. This may seem insignificant but it truly can convince people to buy your merchandise.

While it might seem more important to get something such as t-shirts or hoodies getting something smaller can lead into this sales of higher priced items. These smaller prices items help to increase your self promo, merch table variety and appearance. They can be cheap and take up much less space in a van than other items and can easily and quickly be obtained in almost any town you are performing in with a few days notice.

-Hassan

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