7 Things Artists Are Doing Wrong With Their Merchandise
Written by Yassine on Mar. 23rd 2019
Merchandise can be very lucrative for an artist, one of the first things someone who has transitioned from a casual fan to a hardcore fan wants to buy is merchandise and then tickets to a show. But most artists seem to put this important part of their business in someone else’s hands who is usually not handling it properly; here are 7 reasons why artists are doing merchandise wrong.

#1 - Shipping
Most artists have awful shipping times; 2-4 weeks for a product to arrive in their home country (usually the USA) is an awful turnaround. Fans excitement runs out after just a couple of days and by the time it arrives they’ve probably forgot all about it and it’s a surprise to them what this package on their doorstep even is.
People are accustomed to amazon prime shipping times and they understand you aren’t capable of matching up to that but they don’t expect to wait more than two full weeks for something that they bought.

#2 - Weak Designs
Whoever manages the stores for these artists lazily slap together their album cover or a really simple picture and just sells that, and it works if the fanbase is a really strong one but there have been some terrible designs from even some of the best artists and they seem to get worse as their popularity grows. 

#3 - Disgusting Quality
Making fans wait 2-4 weeks for their product to arrive is one thing and there are some legitimate reasons for that, but the quality that most artists teams use for hoodies and tee shirts is Gildan which is the equivalent of wearing sandpaper on your skin. Gildan is the cheapest and among the worst quality basics available on the market, and the reason they use it is to keep their profit margins high, to the detriment of the fans.

#4 - Only Selling Merch As Album Promo
It’s become almost customary to sell merchandise that gives away a free digital album to boost sales of a project but after that batch sells out and the promo run is over you are unable to find merchandise from that artist throughout the year. Everyday an artist is getting new fans and some of them want to buy merchandise but everything is sold out, and they have to wait until the next project releases to buy something.
A certain set of designs should be available year round, there’s no reason to turn down money that fans want to give you.

#5 - Not Wearing Your Own Merchandise
It’s almost comical to see certain artists sell merchandise that they have never and will never wear. There’s no better way to promote your product than by wearing it yourself but on the opposite end, if your fans see that you’ve never even worn your own merchandise then it gives off the message that you don’t think it’s good enough for you to wear. And if it isn’t good enough for you to wear then why in the world should anyone else buy it?

#6 - Zero Branding
There are certain artists that do merchandise really well; teamsesh is an example of this. People who don’t know who you are should find your merchandise cool; teamsesh only has their logo on some clothing but most of their designs can be worn by anybody, even people who aren’t necessarily fans of any members or know who they are. 
TeamSesh is basically Bones merchandise store and those around him, but it’s also its own clothing brand. Sure he promotes it, but a lot of people that don’t even like his music buy the clothes just because they really enjoy the brand and designs of teamsesh. The brand can continue to exist even if he stopped making music.

#7 - Limited Products

Tees & Sweatshirts are staples, but people want something else sometimes. There are many different options like sweatpants, coach jackets, or accessories which fans love that most merchandise stores seem to ignore. (Other than those who are selling styrofoam cups for $20).

Hopefully this helped you think of new ways to improve your merchandise store in the future.


Yassine helps artists and influencers grow and profit from their fanbase. He is an expert at helping artists turning their fans into stans using online methods and making things super simple to understand. If you're interested in starting your career as an artist/influencer or scaling up and making more money then definitely reach out and request a strategy session today.
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