Tour Merchandise Vs. Retail Merchandise

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Tour merchandise and retail merchandise are very alike, but depending on what kind of artist you are there can be important differences. There are many ways to go and avenues to choose in terms of merch and often artists forget the opportunities that merchandise can offer. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

The Difference Between Tour Merchandise and Retail Merchandise

The difference between the two is pretty simple. Tour merchandise is merch that gets sold at concerts. Usually, as you’ve probably noticed, at really ridiculous prices that you would never pay anywhere else. Huge pop acts like Ariana Grande, One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer are great examples in this case. 5 Seconds of Summer sold a 20 centimetre plush bear at their 2015 tour with a hefty price tag of £35. A crazy price, but it sold because it was a tour exclusive.

Retail merchandise is merch that gets sold everywhere except concerts. This could include on the band’s own website or online store, or on merch websites such as Merchoid.


Sometimes bands and artists forget the impact that merch can have (both on the fans and their back pocket) and therefore forget to make their merch special. Every fan loves an exclusive, and you can make the most of this by creating tour specific exclusive merch. This merch will still hold longevity because even after a few years the fans will have a tangible memory of your show. When the tour finishes, any stock left over can be used in exclusive packages that can be used in giveaways or as prizes, or sold as limited edition stock.

Tour merch is the real moneymaker but retail merch is more accessible. Both are important and can take you a long way to profiting (or at least breaking even) on tour costs.