10) You never create anything different. It’s the same merch you were pushing two years ago, but you tried to change 2008 to 2010 with a Sharpie.
9) Your merch looks like your little sister drew it…using crayons.
8) There's nothing different between your merch and what other bands sell. Try another kind of product, get a better design, or try a different color. Do some market research before you spend money on inventory.
7) There’s not enough lighting on the merch table; everything looks monochrome.
6) The merch table is next to the dance floor / mosh pit.
5) Your manager (smaller acts) has too much pride to be hawking merchandise, but he or she should be…
4) You can’t process debit cards. Get a wireless solution.
3) You underestimate the importance (to the band) of grabbing that extra $100 to $200 per show, so you don’t bother making the effort.
2) The lead singer refuses to promote merch. Solution: give him or her a pitch speech that doesn’t sound desperate or cheesy. Wrtie and then sing your signature “buy my stuff song…” three times a night.
1) You don’t connect with your audience; you don’t make eye contact; you don’t know the name of the bar you are performing in; or you forget that you were in Portland last week (Seattle this week).
Bonus tip: Announce from the stage that the band will be at the merch table to talk to the audience directly after the show. It's amazing how much you'll sell just by your presence.
Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.