How To Get Top Dollar For Your Merchandise
Originally Posted in Emusician |BY RANDY CHERTKOW AND JASON FEEHAN | 08/16/2016
Keep these three forces in mind when designing your own merchandise strategy:
1. Scarcity drives prices higher
As we said in a previous blog, sell atoms not bits because computer files aren’t worth much in the minds of fans since you can make as many of them as you want. Mass-manufactured merchandise is worth more than bits, but less than something that is crafted and hand-made. But what’s worth the most is an item that’s one-of-a-kind, such as Clare’s single vinyl record of her live performance which had great value to her fans. And since there were many fans vying for the one record, this brought the price up.
2. Experience mementos have value
Clare created the record live in front of her fans. And although they all watched it being created, only one fan would be lucky enough to own the result of the experience. This created a unique “experience memento”, something you can build into your shows by selling items that are part of the performance (such as drum sticks) or recordings of the performance so fans who were there can experience it again. Note that even your set lists have value since they’re a memento as well.
3. Custom items made on demand have more value
Lastly, Clare allowed her fans to influence the end result. Fans watching her live at the recording booth could request what song she was going to record. This added to the novelty of what she was doing.
Remember: this all worked because Clare worked hard to develop a large audience first. If you’re just starting out, your one-of-a-kind merch items may have as much value as they do on the market without your name attached to it. These types of things gain more value the larger your audience and following. That said, you can always add one-of-a-kind items to a merch table even when you’re starting out (and always make sure to have a high-end item available because someone might buy it). Your merchandise will gain value as you build your music career.