Jun 13, 2024 1 min read

Australian merch companies say they are owed $250,000 by Merchbar

receiving payments from merch platform Mechbar late last year and are now owed more than $250,000. But a Merchbar spokesperson says those claims are “simply not accurate”

Australian merch companies say they are owed $250,000 by Merchbar

Two Australian merchandise companies say they are together owed more than $250,000 from Merchbar, the music merchandise platform that also integrates with YouTube and Spotify.

According to a report from The Music Network, both Sound Merch and Love Police ATM say that they stopped receiving payments from Merchbar in relation to the sale of their products on the platform late last year. Sound Merch adds that it has paid the artists it works with for all the products that were sold between the payments stopping and it deciding to halt sales via Merchbar, increasing its losses. 

“Sound Merch is a small Australian business of 25 employees”, says the company’s Tim Everist. “This is a massive loss to our business – most don’t recover after a hit like this. We have covered the merch losses incurred by our bands and paid them accordingly. Now Sound Merch shoulders the debt owed to us from Merchbar”. 

Merchbar was quite buzzy within the music industry for a time, in part because of its integrations with YouTube and Spotify, making it easier for artists to promote their merchandise via those platforms. However, there are now other options for artists and music merchandise companies wanting to promote their products in that way. In particular Shopify, which also has partnerships with both YouTube and Spotify. 

Following up the TMN report, Hybebot notes that Merchbar has also been getting lots of negative customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot of late. Disgruntled merch buyers have complained about products not being shipped and unresponsive customer service. Meanwhile, according to an out of office responder, co-founder and CEO Ed Afton is currently on indefinite leave. 

Responding to TMN itself, a spokesperson for Merchbar said the allegations made by Sound Merch and Love Police ATM are “simply not accurate”, adding that they couldn’t comment any further because of “mutual confidentiality provisions within our partnership agreements”.

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