Not all merch items sell. So before you manufacture thousands of them, you have to make sure they won’t just be dumped in your basement to gather dust.
How do you know?
By checking the numbers. Data.
In this blog, we’ll run through a total of ten custom merch items that musicians have tried and tested.
Let’s find out why they are popular among fans and people in general and how they benefit you or your band.
Now, let me introduce the ten popular custom merch items that sell the most. Note that they are ranked based on their stats from Google Trends.
From Google Trends
Table of Contents
Everyone loves stickers.
It’s a great merch to have, especially if you give them for free or as an add-on. Maybe you can give it as a freebie to those who bought a certain number of merch items.
Aside from it being popular, it’s also a smaller, more affordable merch.
This will give your fans who hate spending something to buy from your merch table or store.
No matter what season we’re in, hats will never go out of style.
Aside from that, it’s one of those accessories that are both practical and fashionable, so it would not be a bad decision to add them to your merch table.
If you’re releasing a song or going on a tour or concert, you can have it designed with the title of your album, tour, or concert
Trucker hats were apparently the usual hat worn for many years.
Now, the current trend is the dad hat with its unstructured 6-panel crown, buckle strap, and curved visor.
Even beanies are trendy outside of the autumn and winter season.
This list won’t ever be complete without the staple merch of musicians—shirts.
These custom band t-shirts are the easiest to sell and are definitely a must-have on your merch table because they can be worn by anyone, wherever they go, and almost on any occasion.
The merch is great for your pocket, especially with the growth the print-on-demand t-shirt market has seen in 2020 as well as the anticipated market value of $7.57 billion by 2028.
Imagine how much it would be for custom-printed t-shirts!
What’s even better is that it’s great for concert promotions too because you can print your stops and their dates so fans, as well as enjoyers of your music, get to be reminded of when and where it will happen.
It’s not a shock to have mugs included in this list, but, when you think about this list, I’m pretty sure mugs are not one of the top five you will have in mind. Maybe 10th, but not the 4th, amirite?
Indeed this merch is very underrated and mostly overlooked.
However, you have to bear in mind that mugs are part of any person’s everyday life.
And as it turns out, just about 60% of people claim that they feel emotionally attached to their favorite mug.
Add mugs to your merch table now and make sure to design it as best as you can so fans will finally have their favorite mug.
Patches are your version of stickers that would exclusively be for fabric-made items only.
These custom embroidered patches are great for designing shirts, denim, and bags. They can be in any shape and any color, just like any sticker and that’s what’s great about them.
Though not as searched for, being on top 5 makes it a merch you have to consider adding to your merch table.
From Google Trends
Posters are a classic.
Both old and young fans would surely love collecting posters from their favorite musicians.
And I am pretty sure they will be enjoying their time decorating a portion or wall of their room or house with the different posters they have.
What’s great about it is that it does not cost much and does not need much effort to think about.
The print on it can be whatever artwork you have for your release or maybe photos from your shoot or behind the scenes.
#7. PHONE CASES
I’m sure you expected this merch item already, especially since no one survives without their phones these days.
Most of the habitants of this humble planet already have a phone in hand while some, if they have a lot of money, have one for each hand.
But if you want hard facts then get this. Last 2020, the sales of phone cases exceeded $10 billion.
In addition to that, there’s an expected growth of 7.5% each year until 2025. This means that right now and in the future, you have no problem looking for customers who would buy your phone cases.
Check out our custom phone cases printing service
#8. TOTE BAGS
If you’ve been anywhere outside your house or studio, you’ve probably seen people carrying tote bags around.
You see, these bags have become one of the trendiest merch that came out due to the pandemic. Additionally, it’s very eco-friendly, which caters to a large group of environmentally conscious people.
In a survey conducted in 2021, 27% of their respondents, apparently, tried out new products due to sustainable reasons. Also, 25% of them spent more money on sustainable fashionable items.
This means that there will always be a market for your tote bags.
#9. FACE MASKS
The world and the people living in it are slowly returning to its mundane habits and routines.
But even though some have already abandoned their face masks, a large number of people still are cautious of the virus and still wear face masks in public.
It’s an opportunity you have to seize. You can have a production of face masks with fashionable and pretty designs.
Bear in mind that face masks have become another fashion accessory, so you better have something that would go well with a lot of style and color.
#10. VINYL RECORDS
Lastly, we have the vinyl records. Well, they’re not really merch per se but people do consider them as works of art that can be showcased in their living room.
Though we have seen a continuous increase in vinyl record sales, it cannot be denied that its market size is not much compared to the other merch items presented.
Vinyl collecting is a luxurious hobby.
Even with that fact, the format still has an audience, which assures you guys that your future vinyl record releases will still be sold.
However, I would suggest you cut down on the copies you have pressed. Instead of pressing 500 or a thousand copies, why not try having a hundred at most and see if they sell out, then you can order a repressing.
And we have reached the end of our list of 10 custom merch items.
There are a lot more merch items that you can have, but this list will help you decide on the starting merch items you can add to your merch table.
If you have an item you have in mind and it’s not on this list, you can still have it. Don’t be afraid to try, just be cautious and calculating with your decision.
I hope that reading through the list has given you new angles and ideas for your future merch releases. Best of luck on your future projects.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA