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Let Me Explain Merch Buying - The Daily Duranie

Let Me Explain Merch Buying

Last week, my blogger partner wrote a fantastic blog about how what really matters in the world of fandom is one’s memories and experiences. If you have not read it, I recommend doing so. You can find it here. I enjoy blogs that got me thinking and this one definitely did. I could not argue with her premise that memories and friendships are more important than stuff, merchandise, and memorabilia. That being said, is it wrong to collect? Is it wrong to buy? Why do I? Now, before I dive into those deeper questions, let me be clear. She wasn’t criticizing people who buy merchandise, at least I didn’t take it that way. No, it was more about why stuff doesn’t matter much to her. I have to admit that I like to buy memorabilia. I don’t think there is anything wrong about doing so but her blog forced me to think about why I do. Here’s what I came up with:

Support

Buying merchandise is one way that I can support the artist. Bands and musical artists don’t get the money they once did from selling albums. People don’t buy music like they used to since there are other methods to hear and listen to music. Yes, they go on tour and sell tickets. Yes, ticket prices are out of control. How much of that goes to the band/artist? My guess, not knowing the ins and outs of the music industry, is that they do not get as much as we might think. From what I do know, some of the money they make from concert tickets pay for things like studio costs, producers, etc., which again limits their personal profits. Merchandise, on the other hand, probably provides more of the extra profits. Yes, of course, you can buy stuff at concerts but you can always buy merchandise on their website. I bet they make even more profits there. Now, I’m sure that many of you are saying: “Why do you care? They make a lot of money. You don’t have to worry about what they make.” That’s true. That being said, this is the one way that I know that I can tangibly and visually show my support. I don’t need to but I want to.

Happy

This leads me right to the next idea. Here’s the thing. Seeing Duran merchandise or wearing a Duran t-shirt makes me happy. Fandom should be fun and should make me feel good. When I wear a Duran shirt or hang out in my Duran filled office, I feel like I’m in my happy place. Does that feel as good as seeing the band perform live or hanging out with my friends? No, of course, it does not, but it is something in between those times. It also makes me feel closer to the band, the people I’m a fan of, in a weird way. It shows that I’m thinking about the band. Interestingly enough, it also feel closer to other fans.

Signal

When I wear a Duran shirt or a Duran mask or something like this, it is a signal to others. It tells people that I’m a fan. It tells them that I’m such a big fan that I am shouting it out, loudly and proudly. I remember, as a kid, whenever I would see someone wearing a Duran shirt. I knew that we shared something. We were both fans. We both loved these five guys and the music that they make. It was an instant connection, which isn’t easy to find anywhere ever, but especially when you are an awkward kid. Even now, as an adult, I loved seeing people wear shirts about things and people that I like. It makes me smile and reminds me that I’m not alone in my fandom.

So, what about the rest of you? How many of you are more like me in that you do buy some merchandise or are you more like Rhonda, not buying much? If you are more like me, why do you do it?

-A

By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.

3 comments

  1. I limit my spending, but that’s because I have limited the space for my collection to a small spot in my house. I once had so much stuff, I didn’t even know what I had. Now I find my joy in selling merch and memorabilia to others, enhancing their collections and seeing where around the world all those great things go. I love the “just being there” part and taking it all in. Sharing memories, making memories. And a little bit of buying now and then, especially when there’s a new project.

  2. I posted in that thread and do see both points (which aren’t opposite really). Since the pandemic I have been decluttering and got rid of things I normally wouldn’t. I’m not as obsessed with material objects either. Having said that, my number one thing to buy at concerts is the tour book. In almost every DD concert I attended I bought a tour book, and the one time I didn’t was because it was the same book I bought at a previous show. I like taking out the tour books and reading them or looking at them. I’ve been considering displaying my Astronaut tour book with the stages, it’s so cool. I did buy a shirt at the reunion tour but in general don’t buy them. I prefer something I can keep and not wear out. I have also bought buttons and photos at various concerts. I do wish Duran Duran had more merchandise like other bands. For example, at a U2 show I bought a poster, as far as I know, haven’t seen one at their shows (at least not for years).

  3. I am less materialistic than I was when I was younger, or is it just limited funds now that I have bills to pay? Probably both, so I have narrowed my Duran merch purchases to T-shirts, tour books, and of course their music and DVD’s of performances .My collection is small, but a person could go broke trying to have it all.

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