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Tag: "touring bands"

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Behind The Mic: Setting Up Your Webstore

Perhaps the biggest source of income for independent artists these days is merchandise. Bands keep all of the money from the merch they sell at shows in order to finance future recording projects, touring costs, practice space rent and more. If you’re not on tour or playing shows, however, you can still make money off your merch.

Setting up a web store for your band will allow your fans to buy items online. With sites like Big Cartel, CafePress and Merch Lackey, starting and managing a web store has become incredibly painless.

happygolovely's BigCartel store

As seen in the photo to the right, OurStage artists happygolovely have a store on Big Cartel.  In the store, they sell tickets to upcoming shows, T-shirts, CDs, stickers, posters and even a “Date with the Banana Man.” The options for items to sell are virtually endless, so get creative with your merch and make sure to have photos for everything you’re going to sell.

Now, let’s walk through the steps of setting up a Big Cartel store. There are three different memberships you can select from: Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Gold accounts are free and allow bands to have one custom page, offering 5 products and access to basic statistics and customization. The Platinum accounts cost just $10 a month and offer the ability to sell 25 products, have 3 custom pages, more access to sales stats and full customization. Finally, the Diamond accounts allow sales of 100 products, 10 custom pages, even more stats and full customization for $20 a month. Best of all, you can upgrade, downgrade or cancel an account at any time and Big Cartel doesn’t charge any fees for listings or transactions.

happygolovely's shirts look awesome in their webstore!

The store is organized by a side bar that divides items by “Categories,” “Newest Products” and “Top Selling.” As with most shopping Web sites, customers can add items to their virtual shopping cart and then select “Checkout” when they are ready to pay.

Payments for items on Big Cartel are completed through PayPal, so make sure you set up an account there. Your fans, however, do not need to have accounts in order to purchase items. They can pay for items using a regular credit or debit card, or PayPal if they so desire.

As far as shipping goes, you can choose to offer free shipping on all items, or you can charge specific shipping rates based on location. You can also choose to use your default PayPal shipping settings.

Of course, nobody will know your store exists unless you promote it! Be sure to have links to your store on all of your Web sites, and offer fans special discounts from time to time to bring more traffic to your store. You’ll be making bank in no time.

Tour De Force: Greenvans

Over the past four and a half months we’ve heard from a lot of bands about the triumphs and the struggles of touring life. One of the recurring “Tour de Force” themes is the issues and stories associated with transportation. Some artists travel in vans, some travel via misbehaving buses named Norman, others ride Vespas and some make their way in”Dadmobiles”. Overall, it seems that every band is looking for a perfect solution to their transportation needs.

Although no option is ever truly perfect, there is an alternative solution that’s has pretty close. Andy Reitz, a touring musician who got fed up with pouring thousands of dollars into his gas tank on each tour, took it upon himself to convert a van that runs on waste vegetable oil. Waste vegetable oil vehicles are perfect for the touring band. It works most efficiently on long drives and can often be obtained for free from restaurants that normally are required to pay disposal fees. Bands can, at once, save money and do their part to help the environment. Just remember, waste vegetable oil must start and stop on diesel because the oil must be heated before it’s used.

As you can read from the Q&A with Andy below the process involved a lot of trial and error. The first tour he went on was definitely a learning process, but when he came back his musician friends couldn’t get enough! Everyone wanted to travel in a veggie oil van so it didn’t take long for Andy to realize that there was definitely a market waiting to be tapped.

Since he converted his tour van in the summer of 2007, Andy has expanded his fleet to include 12, 15 and 7 passenger vans equipped with a trailer for all your gear, enough veggie oil to take you 2,000 miles and access to their nationwide network of oil suppliers. Andy and his team at Greenvans have taken the guesswork out of reducing your carbon footprint and saving money by doing the work for you. And let’s be real — saving money and going green is the new “in” thing to do. Andy took some time to talk with us about starting his business and how Greenvans can help your band, check out OurStage’s Q&A with him below!

Check out Greenvans and learn more about vegetable oil vehicle conversion here!
Continue reading ‘Tour De Force: Greenvans’

 


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