The way to

free advertising

through retail merch

It's really about the shirt.

Sure, the design has to catch the eye, but the quality of the shirt is what really sells it.  You ever touch a shirt and think I have to have it?  You know you have!  That is how you want your customers to feel about the apparel you sell.  You want it to become their new favorite shirt.  The one that is worn again and again.

It's okay to be different.

Be in tune with trends.  Don’t be boring!  So many retailers stick to the basics you can get any where.  Step it up a notch with a heavier weight, texture feel or brighter color.  There are a lot and I mean a lot of options for apparel.  Take the time and search for something that catches your eye.

Use your staff as test dummies.

Employees love free merch.  It’s a great perk of the job.  They wear it on the job for customers to see.  When customers start asking about the gear, start selling it.  Heck, if it’s a nicer item, the employee will most likely wear it outside of work.  Killing two bird with one stone.  You are outfitting you employees and get free advertisement at the same time.

Stop worrying about cost.

This is a big one with all business owners.  The first thing they think about is how much.  Sure, there is an up front cost, but you get reimburse in a matter of no time.  Better yet, think about getting a keg or bottle water for home.  You pay for the deposit up front and never pay it again.  Same concept.  Not only do you get your initial costs back after the items sell, but you are able to pay for the next order.  Then just keep doing it over and over.

Price you merch accordingly

Ask yourself…Why are you selling merch?  Am I doing it for profit or for marketing.  There are really three ways to look at it.
(1) No Profit – makes it affordable for the consumer and covers you costs.
(2) Marketing – cover costs and has some profits to put towards more marketing.
(3) High Margins – covers costs and makes higher profits to create more revenue.

What's the object of selling

If you are going to sell merch, don’t just slap some ink on it and call it good.  Think if through.  What’s my customer base?  Am I a higher end or lower end business?  How much are my products and services?  Your apparel should represent where you are in your industry.  If you are a high end resort, sell high end items.  Don’t cheap out!

To sum it all up....

  • There is an initial investment, but you get reimbursed.
  • Once you reimburse the initial investment, the apparel pays for itself.
  • After the apparel pays for itself, it’s free advertising

    Buy ~ Sell ~ Repeat

Are you interested in learning more about selling merch for your business or event?

10 Strategies & Examples for apparel marketing