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Up-and-coming band or already well on your way? Either way, stop for a moment and repeat after us: Merch help maketh the band. Feel free to take that sage piece of advice, pass it on and claim it as your own. Make the right merchandise choices and you can help take your band from local legend to the big time, and make a healthy chunk of cash along the way. In fact, when you’re first starting out and not raking in the big bucks from ticket sales just yet, great-looking custom tees - or whatever else you’re choosing to sell - may end up bringing in the biggest chunk of your earnings at the end of the night...

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You’ve got an idea for some amazing custom tees, a clever band poster or your very own branded  crocheted kettle warmers (maybe not), but if you develop your clever merch and no one sees it, does it even really exist? Luckily we now have a whole bunch of tools at our disposal to get your merch in front of your fans and potential fans. 

As a tool for bands, social media has come a long way since the golden days of MySpace and that one amazing friend, Tom, who you made there. 
Why do you never call Tom

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So your drummer’s all over the custom merchandise thing. In fact, he’s pretty certain the people of Sydney haven’t seen band merch as amazing as he’s come up with, ever.  He ordered a bunch of t-shirts online and, even though the writing washed off after two wears, at least the colours were right…until the third wash when they mysteriously came out a strange peach colour.He says they’re still OK for people to sleep in, though, so why are your fans sending emails to complain?

Be honest, you’re starting to have some doubts about his talents as a merch mogul.

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So you’ve got the custom tees sorted and now you’re starting to think a little bigger for your merchandise requirements. You've also realised that the more you can offer to your fans that they actually want to buy, the more cash you can make.

Seriously though, your merch table is a pretty important component of your shows, particularly if you’re unlucky enough to not be a millionaire just yet and have to work out a way to keep a roof over your head and fuel in the tank.

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You spent days designing amazing custom tees for your upcoming show but it’s only when they’re printed that you notice that your design has text that’s too small for anyone standing more than a metre away to read, and did you somehow accidentally rip off the ABC Logo too? Oops.  #merchfail.

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Start simple and start small. Stick with classics that are sure-fire sellers. You might just pick two or three items to start with - say, stickers, screen-printed t-shirts and caps. If you stick to a one-colour print, you’ll be keeping the costs down but remember not to skimp on good design - it’ll make all the difference to the finished product. 

The best thing about the three items above is that not only will they make you cash, but they’ll also help promote your band and get the word out about your general amazingness.

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Staying afloat as an up-and-coming act is no easy feat, but great merch can make the road to success a little easier. But it’s one thing to take our word for it and another to speak to someone who’s actually pulling it off, so we spoke to Dave Lupton from Flaming Wreckage to get his tips on band merch that sells, and how it’s helped them stay on the road. 

So, who’s your band and when did you start out?

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Your band is pretty amazing (naturally), but you haven’t got a whole lot of cash to splash just yet. You will one day, of course. One day, it’ll be gold-plated toilet seats and caviar baths (umm, ew) but in the meantime, we’ve got a couple of hacks to help you make the big time faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.

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So, you’ve done all your groundwork on merch. You've contacted the super awesome team at Jungle Merchandise and now have a stash of great custom printed band tees, an awesome collection of posters, and a selection of other options that you just know your fans are going to love.

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