Band merchandise is usually a bone of contention for indie bands, or else they are simply over-excited about the prospect and end up with too much leftover product. Many independent bands and artists splurge on their boxes of 1,000 CD’s with deluxe booklets, set a date for their CD release party, and are stunned to find out the astronomical up-front price they’ll have to pay if they want to order merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, posters, caps, etc. Toto Merch has a unique way of doing things, similar to services like Cafe Press, but much more customized towards bands. The designs are better and their system is more advanced and integrated with what most of today’s bands are hoping to accomplish with their merch.
First of all there is zero expense to the artist. You don’t pay to get your products made. It’s on demand so you just make money from the sale. You just upload your designs at totomerch.com, apply the designs to your chosen products (t-shirts, hoodies, posters, canvas prints, audio products, etc), and set your pricing and colours. You can even bundle physical products with digital downloads, similar to what bands like Dillinger Escape Plan have been doing to encourage fan participation. Direct your fans to your Toto shop, and then let take the orders and do the shipping for you (like CDBaby).
All in all, there are going to be a lot of creative bands who do very well with this model. For example, if you’re more concerned with worldwide exposure and less concerned with pricing, why not charge the minimum and get more people representing your band. Alternately, you can bundle products in order to appeal to more people and make a profit. This type of service also gives you the option of creating limited edition merch, and more of it. After the release of Dillinger Escape Plan’s “Ire Works” they released limited edition t-shirts for select tracks from the album. Needless to say this was a great idea, and the fans got shirts they knew only a small amount of people worldwide would ever wear.
Check them out at Totomerch.com. Toto Merch is now offering print-on-demand iphone cases so be sure to check out their latest innovations.