Where do I get T-Shirts, Flyers, Hats and other Merch Made?
The reason I put this under the Level for Touring is because you will need merchandise when you’re on tour. Merchandise will keep your pockets full enough to survive while you are an independent artist.
Your fans WANT to support you but you need to let them support you by offering them merchandise! ESPECIALLY on a tour! When you tour at first there is a good chance that you make more money from your merchandise sales than you do from your ticket sales.
One huge mistake I made was not having merchandise on hand at all times in my career. Please learn from my mistake and keep yourself financially healthy so you can progress as fast as possible. 🙂
How much does an item generally cost?
1) T Shirts
Depending on the design, the T shirt TYPE, BRAND and FABRIC, you can pay from $5-12 for a T shirt to be made. But you sell them to fans for $20 and make good profit!
They want to support you! That’s what you make your T shirts for!
Try not to skimp when it comes to buying things though. You want your fans to get QUALITY products so this is the first of many times they want to buy something from you, not the first and last!
It’s the same way it is with music. If everything you have is known to be quality, your fans will respect you more because it shows them that you respect them. A mutual respect is what leads to a LARGE fan base. 🙂
2) Hard Copy CDs
You can get solid quality hard copy CDs made for $1-$1.50 each. This will include 4 panels, front cover, inside left , inside right, and rear artwork in full color.
Of course it includes the CD and the CD will have your artwork on it.
You can autograph these and sell them for $10-$15 each.
When someone owns a physical copy of a CD the music means much more to them. They respect it much more than just a free song that they have on their music player along with 10,000 other free songs.
So it is always a great idea to have these made or you can do what I did with Villainism and hand make each and every one of them yourself. I used a light scribe burner and made them all from the same computer that actually recorded and mixed the entire tape.
1) Then buy an external light scribe burner for $60 on Amazon – LG Electronics BP06LU10 LightScribe 6X External Blu-ray Rewriter Drive
2) Buy light scribe disk in bulk on Amazon $60 – Philips Lightscribe Blank Media Disc DVD-R 16X Speed / 4.7GB / 120min
3) Then buy Plastic CD cases on Amazon $6 – 100 CPP Clear Plastic Sleeve with Resealable Flap
4) Then buy 250 CD inserts that are front and back $55 CD Inserts = .22 each
1) Autograph ALL of the CD inserts
2) Then burn your songs to the disc
3) Burn the top image to each disk (takes about 12-17 minutes PER disc) yes I did this
4) Then insert it into the plastic case
5) Then insert the autographed CD insert
6) It’s ready to Mail to a fan, hand out at school, sell at school or sell in the street.
The benefit here is that after you make your initial purchase you have the burner to use for a long long time. You can make close to professional CDs from home for less than $1 a CD and you don’t have to deal with the company who makes them for you.
As I mentioned above, I did this technique for Villainism and for other projects. Self made everything! You can do it!
You can get bracelets made for around 30-60 cents each. NOT BAD! Then sell them for $2. Your fans love rocking stuff like that and it adds to their accessorizing fashion look.
I sell them for $2 and they sell like hot cakes. I also wear them everyday to add to my accessories and fashion look.
They are also a great give away item that you can throw in with a CD or HAT to make your fans feel special. I typically give these away with every order just so they get a little something extra.
I have found hats to be VERY expensive. Unless you buy hats in MASSIVE bulk you are going to be paying $15 for a decent quality hat. I sell mine for $25 or bundle them with other packages.
Expect to pay $15. I’d start with T shirts for your fans first and then move up to hats as you progress. Every one needs a T shirt everyday, but they don’t always need a hat.
Flyers are dirt cheap. You are giving them out or giving them to your street team to give out leading up to your shows so you can let people know the show even exist.
Flyers generally costs .12 cents a flyer with no color. The best thing for you to do though is to set up the flyers so you can fit 4 flyers on one sheet of paper and cut it into 4 flyers or 2 flyers. This way you are getting more bang for your buck.
Flyers are expendable, almost garbage. So make sure you spend wisely and hand them out to people who actually are fans of your genre of music.
There are other kinds of merch you can sell, but these are the most basic. You can do everything from pens and notepads to bumper stickers.
Just depends what your fans would be willing to get.
Where do I get T shirts and merch made?
You can purchase online but I have found that locally getting T shirts made is the best deal. You don’t want to deal with shipping prices on a heavy ass box of T shirts every time you buy T shirts.
Plus you don’t have to be sent a sample of your T Shirt like an online site does. You can go into the place and see and feel the T shirt before and after it’s made.
Also if you have any concerns or issues, you can address the problems in person which makes them a lot more likely to fix the issue for you in a timely manner. 🙂
How getting T Shirts made works and what to expect
1) The more you buy the cheaper they are. Just like anything! So there are price breaks. You have to ask the T shirt maker for what their price breaks are.
You may buy 100 T shirts and suddenly each T shirt is .50 cents less. But that is $50 savings. Then you buy 200 and you save .75 cents and so on.
Keep that in mind
2) You will have to choose your T shirt BRAND, FIT AND TYPE
This all depends what kind of T shirts you are wanting for your fans. Some T shirts don’t conform to the body, some are long, some types are THIN and some types are THICK. Make sure to ask about these options and they will help you choose.
Guildan is the cheapest of the cheap T shirts. You can do Fruit of the loom etc. It’s all just a normal everyday T shirt except it has your print on it!
Don’t forget to consider MALE and FEMALE T shirts.
What Is The Difference Between Screen Printing And Digital Printing On T Shirts
Screen printing is the best option for designs that have a high level of vibrancy.
The colors in screen printing are put on much thicker than they are in digital printing. This results in brighter colors even on darker shirts. I usually print on black shirts so this is my choice.
Screen printing involves creating a stencil (printers call this a “screen”)
They then use that stencil to apply layers of color on the printing surface one at a time.
Each color is applied using a different outline. When they are completely combined you have a finished product. Like, they will add everything in your picture that has BLUE in one stencil, then do the one that has all the RED, then do the one that has all the WHITE. And bam a picture it completed
You will typically pay a set up fee of $25-$50 PER screen to get started Screen Printing shirts through almost ANY company. It is rare they wave the fee unless you are bringing them TONS of business. But after you have paid for the screens they will keep the screens on hand for your future orders so you won’t have to pay that screen fee again.
But every time you have a new T shirt design you will have to pay for the screens to be made.
Digital printing involves your artwork being processed by a computer, and then printed on to the front of the shirt.
With Digital Printing, your design is printed directly onto the piece of clothing using water-based CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black) inks.) Like ink jet printers.
Digital printing is usually used for T shirts that require high amounts of detail. Color is applied much much thinner (to achieve great detail), digital printing is best used on lighter colored shirts to allow the designs detail to really show.