What is The Merch Desk?

A print-on-demand drop shipping solution for gigging artists.

Now once more in English. The Merch Desk removes the barriers that would otherwise stop artists from offering merch to their fans and supporters.

We’ve teamed up with several Brisbane-based businesses to ensure quality, affordable merchandise is produced, packed and delivered with the fastest possible turnarounds.

What does print on demand mean?

It means less waste and more space in your garage.

Traditionally, most early-to-mid career artists buy hundreds of shirts in just one style. These shirts are great to have, but if the artists don’t sell them all (and do it fast), these shirts just end up taking up space in their garage. In some cases, artists don’t even make back the money they spent on having the shirts made. Which sucks.

With a print on demand service, we only print a product when a fan places an order. This means no waste, no upfront costs, & no financial risks for artists.

How much does it cost to get started?

Absolutely nothing. 

The Merch Desk costs nothing to get started, and with our help, artists can be selling to their fans in hours, not weeks.

The reason we created The Merch Desk was to remove the barriers that make selling merch as an artist too hard, or downright impossible. Barriers like having the cash to buy stock in bulk upfront or to build a site or store for online sales.

How much money do I get for the merch I sell?

As much as possible! 

Our primary goal is to help Australian artists – musicians, comedians, fine artists, writers, drag queens – you name it.

We want getting paid for merch to become the forte of all the artists using The Merch Desk. So they’re stacking up the cash… or at least able to pay their rent.

We’re not looking to get rich from The Merch Desk. It’s our side hustle. We’re looking to do some good, and cover the basic costs.

So, unlike some other websites that take large percentages of every sale, we retain only $1 from each item sold to cover our website and site management costs.

The costs that apply for people who order merch will vary from order to order, based on the products they select. It will also vary based on shipping and transaction fees – but we won’t be putting any markup on these costs. We will only keep $1 per item sold.

How do I get paid?

As fast as possible!

We want to get the cash to artists as quickly as we can – so they can spend it on the essentials like food and guitars. We’re currently making all our payments and transfers directly via Paypal. This means that artists will need a Paypal account we can transfer their profits to. If artists don’t already have a Paypal account set up, we can help them get it sorted.

We will review our payout options regularly, and will always be on the lookout for payment portals and companies that can keep any fees that might apply as low as possible, and that don’t make artists jump through too many hoops to get their money.

I don’t have any merch yet? Is that a problem?

Not at all!

The Merch Desk team is excited to work with artists who have an established following (or a large group of family and friends with cash) but don’t have any existing merch – because we can help them launch something exciting from scratch. If you’re an artist and you have people who love what you do (which you do) then get in touch today.

I’m a bit of a big deal, can I still use The Merch Desk?

Hell yes.

Artists are taking it in the teeth right now regardless of how established or famous they are. Gigs and tour cancellations are affecting everyone’s cash flow. If we can help – we’re here.

How much is each piece of merch sold for?

That’s up to you!

We let you know what an item will cost to make, and you decide what you want to sell it for, factoring in that we will only take $1 for each item. How much profit you make on each piece of merch is 100% your decision. But, if you’re looking for some pricing guidance, we’re happy to offer suggestions.

Can I sell my digital downloads at The Merch Desk?

In theory yes. 

If selling digital downloads is going to help you as an artist, then we’re happy to give it a go. Just get in touch, and we will discuss options for what kind of digital downloads we can and can’t sell.

I already had some merch made. Can I sell it on here?

Not to start with. 

Here’s why: One of the reasons we can keep our costs to $1 per item includes the absence of the need to store merch. All our shipping is being managed and handled by our printing partner because they are shipping product they produce. We are initially focussing our efforts on helping our artists to design, produce and sell high-quality products which are created as part of our collaboration.

Depending on demand there is the potential for us to offer this service in the future, but pricing will be higher to reflect storage, packing and other costs, and our need to bring some staff on board, which is not something that initially rocks our socks off. If this is something that would be important to you, please let us know.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one. 

Really, there’s not. We don’t have thousands of dollars to give to local artists, but we do have years of experience in digital marketing, eCommerce, website development and drop-shipping, so that’s what we’re giving.

I’m not an artist, can I help support what you’re doing?

Hell yes.

Buy some merch and rep it. The artist gets some cash, you’ll look fabulous, and we’ll get $1 from the sale of each item to help cover our costs – everyone wins.