Many people who work in the music industry find themselves to be—how can we put this nicely?—jaded after a number of years of service to the masses. One such subset of those people are the ever-loved, ever-revered merchandise sellers. Working on the road and being subjected to hundreds, possibly thousands of amped up teens every day takes a toll on a guy! Want to know how to avoid irritating the guy behind the folding table? Obey these Commandments of Merch!
It's all a bit of fun, really. Chatting with a couple fellow merch guys, we realized that no matter what country or city we were in, the questions and scenarios were systematically the same. The Commandments of Merch shirt is just a tongue-in-cheek, hand some out to a few mates, kind of thing. If it can educate the younger members of the audience, that's awesome. A lot of it stems from the fact that some of the bands we work for have kids coming out to their first shows, or one of their first five shows ever. So the whole thing is a super new, sometimes intimidating, always exciting experience for them, and they can get overwhelmed. These are just a few guidelines to think about.
Your merch guy usually has a solid line of people waiting and wants to make sure everyone gets what they want, but also that they can sell to everyone before the end of the night.
I also want to clear up: Not all shirt manufacturers offer the same sizes, and a medium with Gildan could be a large at American Apparel. What I was objecting to was the wording. I'd much rather have someone ask me to check out a large for size, instead of asking me how large a large is.
The one I am unapologetic about, and I'm sure my colleagues feel the same, is the crumpled bills. Get your money ready, flat and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep it dry if you can. Sweaty bra and sock money at the end of a show night is a huge bummer!
You can grab a Commandments of Merch tee online here.