silhouettes of concert crowd in front of bright stage lights

6 Tips For Selling Your CDs at Gigs

By Dwight Brown

Selling CDs at gigs can be a cash cow.

You’ve got a wide profit margin because the cost of CD Duplication is minimal compared to the price fans will pay for them. And, selling CDs gets your music out there to fans who will recommend your music.

Tempt audiences at your performances, keep these 6 tips in mind, and you’ll sell CDs and make money:  

  1. Pricing. Charge $10 for an album and $5 for a single and most fans won’t think twice about buying one or more CDs. Selling two CDs for a bargain price is irresistible. Keep prices at $5 increments, and you won’t have to mess with small change. 
  2. Giveaways. Consider rolling the price of a CD into the admission charge. It’s like you’re giving them away, but you’re not. Or hand out a few as door prizes—and watch the rest of the audience have CD envy. 
  3. Special CDs.  Selling CDs that are live recordings, impromptu sessions or feature songs that are not on an official release makes fans feel like they’re buying something special. These “quasi-bootleg” CDs become collectors’ items. 
  4. Concession stands. Mark the title, price clearly and keep CDs at eye level. If you’re selling more than one CD, put them in groups. Concession stand helpers who are personable and/or attractive entice fans to buy more. 
  5. Easy payments:  Take cash, checks and credit cards, which are easy to process thanks to smart phone/tablet mobile apps and dongles (hardware that offers a secure connection). 
  6. Strong shows = strong sales. Connect with you your fans on stage, win them over with a memorable performance and they’ll want a CD to take home that recreates that cool experience. It’s that easy.

Selling CDs at gigs can help you finance your next recording session or tour. If CDs aren’t your thing, USB flash drives work too. You can get started with TuneCore’s CD Duplication service.

  • Steve Kolbus

    You guys are nuts if you think any decent band should sell a CD for $10,00. We sell them like hotcakes at our shows to fans from all over the world for $20.00, A $10.00 price says I’m not worth much and it whore’s up the market for the next band. If you want me to take the advise you publish seriously, Don’t insult me by suggesting I give my music away at bargain prices.

    • tunecore

      Hey Steve,

      That’s awesome! $20 is a price point that’ll ensure you make plenty of dough after your gigs. Our advising of a $10 price point is rooted in the idea that if you’re playing for brand new fans, a full album at $10 is a great deal and will likely entice those who just heard you play for the first time to make the purchase should the be on the fence about it, whereas a more dedicated fan is willing to pay $20.

      We love that you’re reading our blog, but it’s important to keep in mind we’re doing our best to speak to a wide range of TuneCore (and otherwise) independent artists at different levels. Our goal is to educate and empower artists of varying stages in their musical journeys :)

      Ultimately, aside from being happy that you’re reading, we’re happy you’re providing feedback, too! Keep rockin’, sounds like you’ve got a great thing going! Let us know if there are any new topics you’d love for us to cover.

      • Brian Benedict

        I understand where Tunecore and Steve are both coming from. Being from a Small Town I’ve been a member of small bands and friends of local musicians up to national acts. In small town USA $10 is probably good for a band playing moose lodges, Eagles and the rest of the critter circuit. I know plenty of entertainers happy to perform every weekend busting out whatever gig they can to make ends meet. I also understand the time, energy and money that’s spent on making a CD. The bottom line is you have to know yourself, your crowd, the venue and location to determine your price.

        I really enjoy Tunecore and all they do. Thanks for your diverse topics and support.

        • tunecore

          Awesome points all around, Brian! It’s certainly important to have a good feel for your audience when establishing price points.

          Thanks for the feedback and support, we’re happy to have you as a member of the TuneCore community!