BandAids: Custom Merch Part 2 – Merch Table Freebies

Last week we looked at some cool custom merch items to sell at your merch table; this week we sweat the small stuff. Fans may not be willing to fork over money for some of these smaller items, but having them on hand as giveaways will still be worth your investment when you factor in the value of getting your name and branding out there. Consider bundling some of these items with your paid merch”free sticker with every CD purchase, for example”to give your fans an extra incentive to buy something. Remember: Merch sales rely on a good band logo design, so put that at the top of the priority list if you don’t already have something professional and polished. Also remember: Put your URL on everything! Make sure people can find you later.

In rock ‘n’ roll, buttons are like mini badges of honor, and they’re always a big hit at the merch table. Some button makers like Busy Beaver Button Co. include a small line of text along the back rim, so take advantage and put your Web site or a download code or something else worthwhile on there. In fact, if you use the space for a download code, you can justify moving your buttons into the sellable category by making them an actual medium for selling your album. Same goes for lots of other merch items, so always keep this in mind.

Take them to the venue and put them out on the bar, tables or anywhere someone might put a drink down. You can probably even leave some behind at the bar so that they remain in rotation in the days and weeks following your show. At, they have a variety of options to fit your budget. Or, do it DIY on the super-cheap by buying blank coasters like these and getting a custom rubber stamp with your band’s logo on it. Your stamp will be a great reusable investment for branding things like homemade CD sleeves and other paper goods.

Cost-effective and highly distributable, matchbooks are a brilliant merch item for bands. They’re the sort of thing that everyone uses or at least keeps around the house, and they have definite cool cred. Most people will take a handful, and they’re so affordable that you’ll want them too. Plus you can keep a bunch of them in your pocket to give out wherever you go.

Guitar Picks
Guitar picks have as much, if not more, cool cred than matchbooks, despite the fact that not as many people use them. They’re fun souvenir items your fans will eat up, even if their final destiny is to never make contact with a single guitar string.

The classic band badge. Make them big enough to be noticed on a guitar case, pretty enough that people will want to display them and as basic or intricate as your budget allows, design and color-wise (simple black and white will be cheaper than multi-color, for example). Make them a package item that fans only get when they buy something. Lots of Internet-based sticker manufacturers cater to bands, so ask your friend bands for their reccos or just take it to Google. Note: Some venues may frown upon you having stickers out because they don’t want your fans sticking them on their walls; but when that’s not an issue, they’ll be a hot giveaway item.

Like the sticker, the magnet proudly displays your band logo but it isn’t a one-shot deal; people can hold on to them over the years as they change refrigerators or whatnot.

Temporary Tattoos
People love things they can stick on other things (see also: stickers), and temporary tattoos bearing your logo are a small, inexpensive way to get walking talking promo for a few days.