I see only 1% of the artists I know selling merchandise other than their music. AND since the selling of CDs or EPs only brings back a profit if you sell out, would it not be cool to get a 100% mark up or more on some 'merch'?
I know it's an up front expenditure, so is going to see Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, or The Stones.
Tickets, drinks, food. One event like that could get you enough 'merch' to bring in 400/500 bucks.
....and it won't spoil like the warm beer you drank, to support the millionaires, and billionaires who promoted the 'concert' you almost saw, but you could catch it on that big screen they provided for you.
At gigs... Get a credit card reader for your phone....have an informed, polite person at you merch table at all times, you should be there B4 and after the show, go there straight from the stage.
Have PRICES on everything....give a tee shirt, if that's what ur selling to the bartender, doorman if they will wear it...tell your fans they will get a 'door' discount if they wear your shirts to your gigs...
Or.....never mind. Let the venue make all the $$ off your work.
follow me:: Pete Carma