Forget Something in Your Contract?

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Negotiation
Forget Something In Your Contract

Forget Something In Your Contract - by Jeri Goldstein     

Did you forget something in your contract?

You’ve got your contract ready to send. Now look it over one more time. Forget anything?

Did you include the merchandise clause? Yes, the one that spells out exactly what percentage the venue or organization gets. Who does the selling—one of your people or one of theirs?

This item may have been overlooked during your negotiations. But unfortunately, when it comes time to settle the gig, after you’ve had your best night of sales ever, the venue representative won’t forget to collect their percentage.

OK, pick up your jaw from the floor. This nasty surprise could have been avoided had you included this discussion in your negotiations and this paragraph in your contract. No, not just for this last gig, but every time you book a gig.

You would be surprised to know that most venues, even small non-profit organizations have become aware of the fact that merchandise sales are an extra income stream for them. Whether they ask for $1.00 per item or a hefty 35% of all merch sold, this effects your bottom line.

Begin to protect yourself by bringing up the subject and negotiating the lowest possible amount you can.

Once you know what the percentage of their take will be, you may adjust your sales price up, accordingly.

While on tour in Chicago, we discovered every venue around the city had agreed to charge each act that sold merchandise, 35%. So, we priced the merchandise higher to accommodate the percentage. To our surprise, we sold more merch that night than we ever expected.

So, get out in front of this discussion and protect yourself. Set a reminder to initiate the discussion and make a habit of including the outcome of that discussion in a paragraph in your contract. If they take nothing, state that in the contract. Whatever the amount or percentage, state it in the contract. Who will sell and be the responsible party for the merchandise table and your stuff? State it in the contract. When and with whom will you settle after the gig.

Now there are no unwelcome surprises. You are once again in charge and have a plan. Never again will you forget something in your contract that is this important.

Have you ever been surprised when the venue person comes over to your merch table to ask for their cut?
Have you set up a systematic method to discuss this touchy topic?

Leave me a comment on the blog below.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.

Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image. Check out her work at

Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, “Future Dance.”

And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, seminars, online courses and retreats, visit me at

I’m Jeri Goldstein, Thanks for listening.

1 comment… add one
  • Shaun Eli Breidbart September 2, 2019, 9:23 am

    Every venue had agreed to charge the same percentage (and they admitted this)? That’s a violation of anti-trust law.

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