Here are some ideas of merch items you can make for $50 or less. Some of these have minimums some do not.
I make buttons
Full disclosure – I make buttons – so you should totally do that first. Some of these items are not the highest selling items but can provide value to your band anyways. Having your Name everywhere is a good thing and a lot of these items are good for product bundling.
Buttons – pinback buttons, badges, pins, etc. regardless of what you call them they are a great item. Pros: inexpensive, no minimum order qty. for limited runs, look good on jackets and bags.
Cons: habit forming
Posters – some bands have great artists working with them. Posters are sought out and collectable by some fans. I’ve seen bands pair them with music downloads as and alternative to a CD
Pros: Inexpensive, look good hanging in the band space.
Cons: May get made into big paper airplanes – potential littering risk
Stickers – Essential item, you must have them. Put them everywhere! Brand awareness = band awareness
Pros: Can be bundled, can be sold, can be placed on other items to create super-merch
Cons: Get wasted, never used, and thrown away a lot
Can Koozies – Great for outdoor festivals and events in the summer. Bring these to the brewery you are playing!
Pros: People that like beer may like your music better, fun to give away
Cons: a minimum order will at times cost as much are large qty order on these.
Guitar Picks – Custom guitar picks are less expensive than you may think! Formally reserved for only the rich and famous, now you can be neither and still have them – I’m living proof of this!
Pros: Rad, Can be handed to people after a gig, the only item you can get away with using first before gifting
Cons: Choking hazard
Weed items** – maaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn. It takes a certain kind of band/crowd for these types of items. You can stick these tiny stickers on blank lighters, weed grinders, or blank rolling papers.
Pros: Cures Cancer or something?
Cons: You’ll completely forget where you put your merch
***”Weed” items are for tobacco use only
Bottle Openers – Useful, durable, drinkable – well not really drinkable. Get them here: http://nickpassey.com/buttons/buttoninfo/
Pros: They do things
Cons: none – why don’t you have these yet?!?!
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