Sell Merchandise in your bar.

It’s not just about making more money.

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Freebies or for profit?

Give out freebies first, you can make profit later. Unless you are already a massive bar that has not yet sold merchandise. You will always need to introduce merchandise as a freebie. It’s quite arrogant for a small bar to turn around and start selling hats and pens.

Cheap ways to make promotional merchandise?

The best way we think to test the market is set up a printful shop this is cheap and simple. But you are not going to make millions. Because you are only doing small batch the room for profit is small.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

What is the reason?

You need a reason for merchandise. If you are just a normal bar with nothing what really stands out why would anyone buy your hat? Features that stand out do not need to be crazy or over the top you just need something a little bit different.

Some ways to stand out

  • Cool logo- if people love your logo and it looks good, they will wear it.
  • Touristy areas, if you’re in a tourist area don’t advertise your bars name in the main spot on a Merchandise. Use something the town is famous for and have your brand on the side.
  • If you are a niche bar, find something to do with that niche.

Merchandise and success

If you have a really nice bar, great income, selling strategies and quality service but you’re not selling anything related to your bar yet you’re missing out on some serious money-making opportunities. More importantly you are missing out on an opportunity to spread your brand.

If you’re just thinking of making some hats and selling them for $29.95 you must be dreaming. Hard Rock Cafe did not wake up one day and start selling T-shirts, it was rather a very profitable mistake. Hard Rock Cafe accidentally made too many shirts for a local soccer team they sponsored and decided to give extra ones to good customers. This lead to all the other merchandise we see today.

If your bar is loved by everyone who visits, what are you waiting for?

Make some hats and start giving them away (to customers you know will wear it, it’s no good in a cupboard)

If you need any more reasons to sell merchandise in your bar here you go:

  • Customer experience People like to get into things. The more they like it, the more they want to be related to it. That’s why if people already love your bar you should offer them something so they can’t forget about it. This will also work as a marketing tool. If you see at least three non-related persons wearing the same shirt from a certain place you get curious!
  • Extra income: it’s really hard to pick something to generate extra income for your bar/pub and that’s when merchandise can be helpful. If your sales are great in general, why should you stop? Creating interesting merchandise that people would surely buy will generate an extra income for your bar. Remember to not get greedy- $50 for a hat is ridiculous.

How to start selling merchandise in your bar.

Once you’ve decided you want/have to sell merchandise in your bar, you have to decide what to sell and how to sell it.

  • What: You have to start simple when it comes to selling merchandise in your bar. Why? Because your merchandise might not be sucessful. Start with just 2 or 3 articles, and if they are selling build up to 10 and so on.
  • Where:  You can get these products made in so many different places. Finding a cheap Chinese company might sound like a good idea, but there is a better, but more expensive option. Support your local so your locals support you. Going to a local company will probably cost more, but they are going to want to help you to sell them. This is also a great way to increase your local network. Printful is also a great option.
  • How: Nowadays there are a lot of different ways of selling stuff. You can start your own physical shop inside your bar. If that goes well, go online. You need to have a website or at least a Facebook page. You can also try selling merchandise in Amazon or eBay.
merchandise sales
Photo by Talles Alves on Unsplash

Other reasons.

Need more reasons to start selling merchandise? Some people don’t even think about the money, but think about the impact and awareness merchandise will create about your brand.

Want an example? Everyone knows a Hard Rock Café shirt or cap when they see one. Which when hungry most people will go for a brand they trust. Seeing 100’s of Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts and hats builds trust.

Let’s also not forget about the fact that the company has made millions of dollars out of a logo with three words and a freaking circle!

With the right amount of effort, talent and luck your bar could be the next one to make millions out of a simple t-shirt! 

Let us know what you think below.


Jason Masson

Jason Masson

22 just out of college and love to find new and interesting drinking spots. My favourite bar is the next one I visit.

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Do you know any good ways to create merch.


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