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GothExplorer

The importance of merchandise

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So lots of people have read my post about whether or not metal needs record labels, but as yet no one has commented.

Today I made my first ever purchase from BigCartel - a Frozen Crown tee shirt.  As the band are on tour at the moment, it will not be dispatched until April, but who cares?

The tee cost me less than £20, including postage and packing.  As I paid via Paypal, there is no transaction fee.

I am not really bothered about the tee shirt itself.  I am more concerned about doing my bit to support one of my current favourite bands.

I read last year that the amount of money a musician earns from the sale of just one tee shirt is roughly the same as the income from five thousand streams.  Merchandise is important.

 

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3 hours ago, GothExplorer said:

So lots of people have read my post about whether or not metal needs record labels, but as yet no one has commented.

 

It's honestly a little hard to comment on truisms. Labels may not be really necessary, most bands won't get as big as Metallica, crowdfunding helps, support the band by buying merch... I agree! And?

In the case of merch (shirts and physical copies), it's a good investment for a band that's playing shows where they can sell a bunch at once. It can be gas and food money for everyone, it looks cool and professional, it gives fans a tangible connection to the music and the event, etc. It's less of a good idea (in my experience) for a recording-only project. Once you add up packaging, shipping, and the fees that PayPal and the merch platform take (you may not have paid a fee, but the band did), the margin on a mail order shirt is pretty slim. There are some websites that'll print up stuff on demand, which is neat because the band doesn't have to deal with logistics, but they also take the biggest cut.

Of course money isn't everything, and there's something awesome (as a band member) about having real objects with my own designs and music on them, and (as a fan) I love having CDs and shirts, and the support is always appreciated, and every little bit helps. I'm not knocking it, and good for you for supporting the music you enjoy. But I do think it's really important for musicians to take a hard look at what they're actually doing, and what they can actually afford, before dropping a few hundred bucks on making merch. 

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Definitely helps bands, not just financially, but also because fans become walking billboards. 

I'm a big fan of merchandise, and I have more shirts than I really know what to do with, especially as I now usually only wear the more risque ones at gigs, so the rotation is slow. I keep buying them though!

It's interesting actually, the phenomenon of band shirts/hats/hoodies. The idea of walking around wearing a band shirt, sort of representing them, is a strange aspect of music if you think about it. 

Also @GothExplorer, I've noticed that your opening posts are often just statements of your thinking rather than conversation starters. Perhaps if you phrased things as a question, or offered a problem that needs resolving, your threads would receive some action. 

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I always buy merch if I can when I go to shows, and I always pay in cash. It makes me happy to know I'm doing something to help them, even if it's small, especially for young/new/very underground bands, who in my experience have always been very grateful and appreciative. It's better than buying something from them online because whatever I buy at shows tends to have a unique experience connected with it, particularly if someone in the band was running the merch table when I bought it. If I know that I want to buy something else from a specific band, I typically wait until the next time I see them (if I know they're going to be touring again soon and likely to head my way), try to find out if they'll have any available to sell at the show, and then end up buying everything I want all at once. It's pretty amusing to see their expression sometimes when I hand over a stack of twenties hahaha.  

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I really like band shirts, and always try to get some representing my favorite bands.

Aside from just clothing, though, I think its really cool when releases come packaged with stickers, patches, or some other little addition.

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Given the coronavirus situation now, merchandise is becoming more important than ever.  Genocide Organ was going to tour the US, but had to cancel.  Luckily they put up a few shirts for sale to help them cut their losses (bought both). 

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On 3/24/2020 at 5:41 PM, Balor said:

Given the coronavirus situation now, merchandise is becoming more important than ever.  Genocide Organ was going to tour the US, but had to cancel.  Luckily they put up a few shirts for sale to help them cut their losses (bought both). 

Will try and get some stuff then online from my favourite bands 🤘😁 Other reason I like buying at concert is that you know the money is going to the band direct where as online your not entirely sure who is pocketing the money.    Also some times sites such as band camp drop charges for a bit and that can be a way to support your favourite bands. 

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Just now, blaaacdoommmmfan said:

Will try and get some stuff then online from my favourite bands 🤘😁 Other reason I like buying at concert is that you know the money is going to the band direct where as online your not entirely sure who is pocketing the money.    Also some times sites such as band camp drop charges for a bit and that can be a way to support your favourite bands. 

Direct support is always great!

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