Everyone loves being able to represent the candidates and causes they care about and we make it easy for you to build your own store so your supporters can do just that. We’ve seen everything from bumper stickers to baby onesies sold on ActBlue, so the sky’s the limit — just follow our simple guidelines so you can keep your team on track and your donors happy.
Note: While selling merchandise is fun, it’s also hard work, which is why you’ll notice a lot of strong suggestions from us throughout this section. We’ve seen campaigns and organizations face difficulties with this in the past and run into “swagsasters.” We want to provide you with the guidance you need to avoid those issues and be successful in selling merchandise if you choose to.
You need to make sure you have the infrastructure for fulfillment before you start selling your goods. Donors will expect to receive what they’ve purchased in a timely manner. Once you have that infrastructure in place, you'll be ready to follow the instructions below.
Visit your campaign or organization’s Dashboard and click “Sell Merchandise” under the “Start Fundraising” prompt on the “Metrics” tab.
On the first page of the form you’ll fill out the usual stuff, as well as a customer service email and phone number, and a shipping time frame. All of these boxes are required, and they’re very important. You'll need to monitor the email address and phone number you enter regularly. Donors will always have questions about their orders, and you need to make sure your team can be responsive.
Adding a shipping timeframe cuts down on donor questions, but make sure it is reasonable and accurate. If you know you can’t deliver the product in 1-2 weeks, don’t promise that timeframe. Honesty is the best policy here, and you’ll maintain stronger donor relationships if they know what to expect!
Next, upload all of the gifts you want to sell. You’ll need to give each one a name and a price and upload an image of the gift so donors know what they’re purchasing. If you have a finite number of goods, you can also add a limit.
Once you’ve sold all the available merchandise, the option will disappear from the form. Make sure you don’t accidentally sell more merchandise than your vendors are prepared to make! Hit save once you’re satisfied with the information.
Click “edit image, description and options” in order to give your item a description or add variations, like sizes or colors. Type in an option that you’re offering (i.e. size) and enter the various choices (i.e., S,M,L) separated by commas and save the changes.
You can access your contributor information as usual for reporting purposes. Please note that items sold are considered gifts in return for a contribution to your organization, and your organization is responsible for producing and shipping your goods in a timely fashion. The following message will be displayed on the store contribution form:
The items on this page are being offered as a gift by “Your Organization” in gratitude for a contribution at the designated level. The estimated shipping time for the gifts is in 1-2 weeks.
“Your Organization” is solely responsible for producing and shipping your gift. If you have questions about your gift, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 555-555-5555.
Producing and Shipping
You can download a CSV of all of the orders your page has received. This will help make the order fulfillment process a little bit smoother.
We strongly recommend that you have all of your vendors set up before you start selling any gifts, and that you have a dedicated team member who will be in charge of fulfilling orders. Selling t-shirts or bumper stickers is a great way to bring supporters into your campaign or let them show their solidarity with your cause, but if they receive their purchase months after they placed their order, they’ll be left feeling disappointed.