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1. What are examples of merch? 17 profitable merch ideas

17 Best-selling merch ideas for a profitable online business

It's always a smart idea to look for additional revenue streams within your business plan. Selling your merchandise online to your loyal fans offers plenty of lucrative benefits to you. Creating a merch store can be incredibly profitable for various purposes, like promoting your band's image, raising money, making your fans happy, or all of the above.

This article will explore numerous creative merch items to maximize your merch store's profits.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Trendy apparel such as custom T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories like hats, scarves, mugs, tote bags, and stationery are top-selling items. Success depends on staying attuned to market trends and customer preferences.

  • Essential factors for selecting the right merchandise include considering market trends, customer behavior, competition, seasonality, product assortment, and competitive pricing.

  • The list of top merchandise ideas includes custom T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, jean jackets, hats, socks, tote bags, fanny packs, phone cases, coffee mugs, water bottles, stickers, bumper sticker magnets, vinyl records & CDs, posters, calendars, and guitar picks.

  • Tips for producing merchandise include understanding your audience's preferences and lifestyles, offering customization options, and focusing on quality to enhance customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

  • To create an effective pricing strategy, understand the market and target audience, calculate production costs, consider perceived value, factor in shipping costs, and ensure a reasonable profit margin to effectively price merchandise.

What merch sells best?

Today, there are various custom products that sell well. Trendy apparel like custom t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, accessories like hats and scarves with unique designs and patterns, personalized mugs, reusable tote bags, and personalized stationery items are among some of the best-selling merchandise. While the demand for these can vary, many online platforms that deal in custom merchandise and print on demand platforms offer these products. To ensure you opt for the right merchandise to sell in your online store, it is crucial to stay tuned to dynamic market trends and offer products that align with customer expectations.

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Essential factors for successful merchandise concepts

When choosing merchandise to sell in your online merch store, you must consider certain factors to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. These factors include:

  • Market trends: Stay updated with current market trends to make sure your offerings are relevant and cater to customer demands.

  • Customer behavior: Gather customer feedback and analyze what your customers are most interested in. Tailor your merchandise to align with their expectations.

  • Competition: Monitor the competition and identify opportunities to tailor and differentiate your offerings. This will help you stay ahead of your game.

  • Seasonality: Choose products based on seasonal demand so that you only offer what your customers are looking for.

  • Product assortment: Curate a well-balanced product mix to offer something for everyone. Catering to diverse customer expectations can maximize your sales.

  • Competitive pricing: Set prices that reflect your products' value and also capture market dynamics to ensure competitive positioning.

17 irresistible merchandise ideas that your fans will adore

With a plethora of custom product options out there, it can be tricky to choose the suitable offerings for your merch store. But fret not! We have put together a list of 17 cool merch ideas for you to explore, and as you do so, you will indeed be inspired to adopt some for your merch collection.

1. Custom t-shirts

custom t shirt

T-shirts are one of the best band merch ideas because fans love them, and everyone can always use another one. Plus, they are versatile. They can be long-sleeved or short-sleeved. They also provide a large canvas for customization and design. T-shirts make excellent gifts, too.

Adding a cool graphic and your band's name on a t-shirt gives your fans a souvenir they'll enjoy over and over. It also helps with brand marketing by getting your band's name out to people who may need to become more familiar with your music.

2. Custom tank tops

custom tank tops

Similar to t-shirts, tank tops are another popular band merch idea that sells well in online stores. Comfortable and fun, your fans can wear a cool tank top all summer.

Tank tops offer a wide array of customization. Choose from many different colors, fabrics, and sizes, and have a cool design printed on either one or both sides. Just like a t-shirt, a tank is a crowd favorite with music fans and is a great promotional tool for the band.

3. Custom hoodies

custom hoodies

Hoodies are great additions to the traditional t-shirt selection typically found on a band's merch table or in their online store. People love hoodies! They are the trendiest clothing item on the market during cold weather, and people consider them the most versatile clothing of all. They're comfortable and look good with sweats, jeans, or a cute skirt. In addition, bands can customize hoodies in different colors and sizes, along with the band's name and a fun design that fans will love.

If someone already has a few dozen band t-shirts, a custom hoodie may be a hot item for them as a concert souvenir or gift for the fan who has everything.

4. Custom jean jackets

For fans looking to invest more in band merch, a custom jean jacket is a unique option with lots of appeal.

A jean jacket with the band's name and logo on the front, or a big graphic like the most recent album cover on the back, can be a versatile addition to a raving fan's wardrobe. Denim never goes out of style, so they can wear it for years, dressing it up or down based on where they're going. Plus, jean jackets often become a collector's item, making it a piece of merch your biggest fans won't want to miss out on.

5. Custom hats

Custom hats are one of the best band merch ideas out there. You just can't get enough hats. Fans can wear the hat for a long time in many different situations. It's one of the best merch ideas for fans getting their money's worth.

Custom hats can be designed in various styles and colors within a wide range of price points. A band's merch selection should always include custom hat options for fans.

6. Custom socks

Socks may seem like an unlikely addition to the merch table, but they're a fun way to promote your brand and raise money. You can use various colors and order them in different styles to give your fans several choices.

Socks are a clothing item everyone needs. The market is huge! In 2021, the global socks market in the United States was a whopping 42.6 billion. Plus, they're cheap to produce and make great gifts. Add one of your band's most popular lyric lines, logo, or name to the novelty socks, and you'll sell many of them.

7. Custom tote bags

custom tote bags

Tote bags are viable merch ideas for several reasons. First, they allow your fans to carry all their other purchases. Their price point is usually low, so even people on a budget can buy one. Finally, they're reusable bags that are environmentally friendly and better than plain old plastic bags.

Order them in several colors, add your band's name and logo or other cool designs, and add a tote bag selection to your list of custom merch.

8. Custom fanny packs

When it comes to unique band merch ideas, fanny packs are one of the options to consider. Not everyone wants to wear a fanny pack, but many enthusiasts would snap them up in a heartbeat.

Fanny packs are super-practical and roomy, often replacing a purse or large wallet. They're also whimsical. Simply choose the colors that work best for your band's vibe, add your band's name and logo, and you're all set with a new band merch offering.

9. Custom phone cases

custom phone cases

Just about every person on the planet has a mobile phone these days. Protecting them is BIG business. The mobile phone protective case market size was 21.61 billion in 2020 and is expected to hit 35.8 billion by 2028. Why not capitalize on their popularity by creating custom phone cases as your next fun merch idea?

Phone cases serve a practical purpose and are widely used to protect otherwise breakable smartphones.

Find a vendor that can provide you with different colors of phone cases printed with your band's name, logo, or cool graphic. Phone cases will appeal to larger audiences, making them smart band merch ideas.

10. Custom coffee mugs

coffee mugs

Don't leave out your coffee-drinking fans when planning your band merch. Chances are good they would love to wake up and sip their morning brew from a cup adorned with their favorite band's name, logo, or tour dates.

Custom mugs are practical merch ideas because of the sheer number of avid coffee drinkers. They appeal to both sexes, can be used daily, and are durable. Their price point makes them great merch ideas for gifts.

11. Custom water bottles

Best Selling Merch

In another nod to being environmentally conscious, designing custom water bottles for your fans is a great band merch idea.

More people than ever are using reusable bottles to get their daily water in. Design one in a few colors to provide them with a durable, long-lasting way to do it. Plus, as they carry it to work, the gym, and the grocery store, it gets your name, and hopefully your band's music, in front of wider audiences.

12. Custom stickers

Don't overlook the staying power of simple stickers when trying to find fun merch ideas. They can be different sizes and colors, printed with almost any message, and applied to many surfaces.

Print up a few varieties and sell them by themselves, in a pack, or give away free stickers at your events. You can also hand them out to bars, music stores, restaurants, and other venues to promote your brand.

13. Custom bumper sticker magnets

People have been using bumper stickers for decades to showcase everything from their favorite political candidate to their favorite phrase. Bumper sticker love makes them one of the best band merch ideas available.

The downside of regular bumper stickers is they're difficult to remove and can damage the vehicle. That's why magnetic bumper stickers are a great option.

Simply order some bumper sticker magnets with your band's name, logo, or a phrase from a popular song, and sell them at the merch table or online. You'll give your fans a way to show their love and promote your band wherever they drive.

14. Custom vinyl records & CDs

Vinyl records and CDs are cool vintage nods to past music and artists. Why not use these icons as part of your band's merch offering?

Vinyl records and CDs are nostalgic, they offer a unique value, and you can bundle them with other merch products like t-shirts, tote bags, and stickers. Have them customized with your band's logo, album artwork, band members, tour dates, or band member autographs. Your fans can use them in various ways, like hanging them in their rec rooms or business as part of their music collections.

15. Custom posters

In another nod to being environmentally conscious, designing custom water bottles for your fans is a great band merch idea.

More people than ever are using reusable bottles to get their daily water in. Design one in a few colors to provide them with a durable, long-lasting way to do it. Plus, as they carry it to work, the gym, and the grocery store, it gets your name, and hopefully your band's music, in front of wider audiences.

16. Custom calendars

custom calendars

In another nod to being environmentally conscious, designing custom water bottles for your fans is a great band merch idea.

More people than ever are using reusable bottles to get their daily water in. Design one in a few colors to provide them with a durable, long-lasting way to do it. Plus, as they carry it to work, the gym, and the grocery store, it gets your name, and hopefully your band's music, in front of wider audiences.

17. Custom guitar picks

Maybe your fans want a tiny piece of merch that's small enough to carry in their pockets. Custom guitar picks are great merch ideas for these people!

You can customize guitar picks with your band's logo or album artwork. They serve a practical purpose since many fans collect them. Aspiring guitar rockstars of all ages can crank out some tunes with them, too.

Tips for producing merchandise that sells

Know your audience

Understanding what your audience likes, how they live, and what they enjoy is essential when planning merch strategies. Do some homework before you sink money into a bunch of merch ideas that may or may not hit the mark. Use social media to research your audience and better understand their interests, hobbies, and preferences. Then take a look at the band merch your competitors are offering. Stay aware of the latest trends to ensure your merch is relevant, trendy, priced right, and stands out from competitors.

Provide options for customization

It's a smart move to let your audience add customization when possible. If your customer can choose their colors, sizes, and graphics, they'll like the merch they purchased better and use it more often. This personalization makes them remember your band and gives you more brand visibility.

Focus on quality

When trying to find merch ideas, avoid the temptation of automatically going with the vendor offering the lowest price. The quality of your merchandise impacts your customers' satisfaction, maximizes customers' perceived value of your product, reduces complaints and returns, and improves your brand reputation. It's essential to ensure your products are high-quality and long-lasting.

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Strategies for effectively pricing your merchandise

To sell merch for profit, nailing down a pricing strategy is crucial. While there are a few pricing tactics you can consider, you must:

  • Understand your market: Understand who your target audience is and how much they will be willing to pay for your products. Research similar merchandise in your niche and make a note of your insights.

  • Calculate production costs: Work out the costs of making a single product by factoring in the cost of materials, production time, and using any third-party services such as a print on demand platform.

  • Consider the perceived value: Determine your merchandise's unique selling point and see if it offers something different from the rest. Based on this analysis, you can set your costs.

  • Factor in shipping costs: Don't forget to look into how much it would cost to ship your merchandise to customers.

  • Remember to profit: While you may be tempted to offer a price your customers will appreciate, make sure it turns a profit, too. You don't have to necessarily charge a premium, but be sure to cover all costs while maintaining a reasonable profit margin.

Sell high-quality merch with Gelato

Setting up an online store to sell custom merch offers your band several benefits. It's a way to easily serve your fans and get your name out to a wider audience that may not attend your events. Finding various high-quality band merch ideas that appeal to every age and budget will ensure your store is a moneymaker.

Browse Gelato's catalog and sign up for free for all your band merch needs. It features a catalog of digital merch products you can customize with your brand logo and other custom designs to create something unique that customers will love.

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