Selling merch at comic cons is a success when you own your brand and know your audience. Merch sellers can be all-stars on the convention floor if they implement the right strategies to showcase their merch.
Conventions are back in full swing. This gives fandom merch sellers the opportunity to market directly to their target audience. And that includes local and national conventions. New York Comic Con that happened earlier this month was a prime opportunity for merch.
Spreadshop encourages self-expression and self-promotion, which makes selling merch at comic conventions the perfect combination. For first-time sellers, it can be an overwhelming environment. That’s why we’re here to break down the best strategies to generate interest in your merch. And hopefully you’ll leave with some future customers ready to support you and your fandom merch!
Avoid Copyrighted Material
We get it. You want to rep the things you love most: Star Wars, Legend of Zelda, Lord of the Rings. Copyright turns that into a tricky situation.
These major franchises are all copyrighted works owned by an individual or company. That means logos, photos and even quotes are off limits. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with merch at comic cons. There’s a way to make fandom merch that’s copyright friendly. The people at these conventions are likely big fans of these franchises. That means they know everything there is to know about that fandom. Use that to your advantage.
If someone is going to your shop because they love Star Wars as much as you do, they probably already have all the essential merch. They’re looking for something that’s unique that they wouldn’t be able to find on merch normally, let alone official merch.
Make designs that reference obscure scenes or long-debated fan theories. It’s going to set you apart and keep you out of the courtroom.
Make Your Merch an Extension of You
Merch might not be your main gig or even the main reason you’re at a comic convention. If that’s the case, your merch at comic cons should be an extension of your brand.
If you’re a comic book artist, it would make sense for you to have a logo of some kind. Create stickers using that design and consider giving them away for FREE to bring awareness to your business. This makes for a more personable option than a business card.
You can even make designs using artwork straight out of your comics. Tease future releases with unseen artwork on merch to build momentum leading up to the launch date.
For other vendors like toy collectors or cosplay prop makers, you should sell merch that’s an extension of that passion. Use insider phrases or puns that only those involved in the scene would understand. They’ll feel seen and be moved to support your business if you explore that niche interest.
Use QR Codes
Anyone with a smartphone can download a QR reader app that allows them to scan QR codes. This makes it easy for convention goers to access websites or direct links for merch at comic cons. Seeing it written out on a banner or business card doesn’t guarantee instant engagement.
Make a poster with your Spreadshop name, some brief info and a QR code that will take people to your shop. This is an instant attention grabber for anyone who sees your booth on the convention floor. You can make QR codes feel more personal by putting them on little flyers, too.
QR codes are also helpful if you run out of a particular size or style. You can direct convention goers to your shop right then and there so they don’t leave totally empty handed. This is a tactic that’s going to prove incredibly useful for other comic conventions or networking events in the future.
Have Exclusive Designs
Comic conventions are a place to create special memories. Merch at comic cons helps fans commemorate their time in style with exclusive, limited edition designs. Thanks to print on-demand, Spreadshop makes it easy for shop owners to get limited runs on designs. You can get all you need for the convention without being stuck with hundreds of t-shirts after the fact.
It’s important to tie these exclusive designs to the theme of your merch or business. You can boost your brand and still keep it connected to the overall energy of the con. That’s how you make money with your merch. You need to cash in and seek out the opportunities in front of you.
The success of these exclusive designs will help your merch. You’ll learn how to tailor options for your customers or the audience you’re targeting. Each item in your shop should have value and feel integral to your brand.
Display Your Merch
At comic conventions, having a good display at your table is essential in attracting convention goers. Your merch should be visible from every angle of the convention floor. This can be achieved with hanging racks, shelves and printed banners.
Veteran convention vendors will attest that it’s well worth the investment. No one is going to pay any notice to your merch at comic cons if it’s just arranged on a table. It’s not fair to all the hard work you put in. You should show your merch off proudly.
It’s going to help bring attention to your table and create conversations. People will feel inclined to ask questions and get to know you when they see your work on display.
Speak to Your Fandom
Merch sellers will be able to attract new customers when they stick to that original source of inspiration: fandom. If there’s a love and passion for something like a graphic novel or anime, selling merch at comic cons is going to come naturally. Fellow fans will be on board when they see you have designs that speak to fandom culture.
You want to have merch on display that’s going to make convention goers stop and take notice. These can be those exclusive designs or fun fandom things in general. Maybe someone’s not familiar with a quote or a character mashup you have on display. This is a great entry point for them to get to know you and your merch. And who knows, you might have converted someone into a lifelong fan.
Spreadshop gives people the power to express their passions and make a profit. Selling merch at comic cons allows shop owners the opportunity to connect with an interested community.
Launch your Spreadshop today to start showing your fandom some love. We’ll see you on the convention floor in no time!