I was talking to Ugly Lovely the other day. He has some new hoodies and t-shirts printed up. He was asking me what I was using to sell my own merch. So I wanted to put this out there. I am currently using Reverb Store through Reverbnation. I do this simply because they allow me and the customer to buy merch on demand. What that means is, I don’t have to print up a huge bulk order of t-shirts before someone can buy one.
This is great for me because I can’t always afford to buy a bunch of merch. I also don’t always have room to carry around a whole bunch of shirts that may or may not sell. I enjoy having this setup because the people who want them; will buy them.
I understand that at live shows, it’s tough to get someone to buy anything online and have it shipped to them. Also, they don’t get that “take-home” item. Also I see now that with on-demand shirts, there is no scarcity. Meaning, there is no urgency to buy a shirt. No chance that I’m going to run out. So no need to buy TODAY. These are the only drawbacks. Otherwise, it makes great sense if you don’t have hundred or thousands of dollars to drop up front.
I’ve found that when I have shirts printed up; it’s easy to let the shirts go for less than what they are worth, just so that people will have them. I end up doing this to disguise and to hide myself from the simple truth: The demand for my merch isn’t that high right now.
Or put another way: No one wants to buy my merch yet.
It’s pretty demoralizing to just have a bunch of shirts and hoodies lying around. Just like it’s a bummer hanging on to a thousand CDs that no one is buying at the shows. So you end up just giving them away.
Mind you, if I were touring across the country. Being in front of a new audience every night. Introducing myself to someone new every time. It might make more sense then to have physical merch pressed and ready to go. As it stands now though, I’m working a day job. Looking for another day job. My work as a DJ right now is to create more music and content and to make money quickly and steadily as I continue. Here’s another great perspective on what I need to do in 2012.
Anyway, I use Reverb Store. It’s easy. Maybe one day I’ll use Topspin. Maybe not. What are you using?
(BTW: I’ve put up some pictures of people wearing their Quiet Entertainer shirt! Be sure to send them to me if you have pictures of yourself wearing one!)