Do you sell merchandise at your events?

I’m wondering if any Event Tribers make extra revenue by selling merchandise? What do you sell and do you have any tips for other event organisers thinking of offering merchandise?

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As our event is a music festival tee’s and hoodie’s are an absolute must have! We make a decent amount and it all goes into the pot to cover the cost of the festival. We also have keyrings, hip flasks and lighters that go down really well!

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Have you learned anything you can share? For example, how do you know how many items to order? - you don’t want to get stuck with a load of merch with the date of the event on.

Pre-ordering is key! We put tees and hoodies on sale about 3 months before the event. That sells us about 80-100 items (we are only 500 capacity). Based on what we sell in advance, I usually then order another 25% on top (and base that on the sizes pre-ordered). So if 12 XL tees were bought in advance I will order 3 for general sale on top.

Keyrings, hip-flasks etc I don’t order much. Its just a top up of merch really. People are there to watch bands and buy merch off each of the bands so we don’t put too much spends towards them.

Key thing we learnt this year was we didn’t push the pre-orders enough and then on the day the extra’s we ordered sold out in 2 hours and we had a full weekend apologising. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on this and take peoples money anyway and order them to be posted out after the festival.

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That’s really interesting insight. Where do you promote the merch in advance? I notice you don’t have it for sale alongside your tickets on EB.

We have woocommerce on our website so when the time is right we post it on their and we use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website forum as well as email newsletter to promote it all for sale.

And do they collect it at the festival or does it get posted out to them?

Yes, everything pre-ordered is for collection at the festival. We have done that for all 3 years and it works well. Everything is bagged and tagged, they just come to the merch desk with their receipts and we check them off the list. Its usually the first thing done on arrival so everyone is then in their festival attire for the first night! Looks great with 100 people wearing the same hoodies/tees!

I bet they do! Sounds like a good system. I hate queuing for ages at festivals while people deliberate over what they want to buy and take forever to count out their change!