Veteran merchandiser Steve Gerstman has launched Cut Merch, a tour merchandise company focused on DIY bands and other acts that might be under the radar of major merchandising companies.

After a year of development and a soft launch earlier this year, Cut Merch is now fully underway.

"Bands are more involved than ever in their merchandise business and have adopted a very DIY approach, as well as a reluctance to give up their rights," Gerstman tells "They are quickly starting to realize that, much like you don't need a major label to sell records, you don't need a traditional merchandise company to sell t-shirts."

Cut Merch is an evolution of "supply" merch deals where merchandisers simply supply product to bands on the road, as opposed to the full-service deals that most merch companies prefer. The difference with Cut, according to Gerstman, is bands and managers can service their own merch needs through the Cut Merch Web site.

"[Bands] can go online, log into their merch page, and see what they've sold, what they've ordered, click a button and re-order, or re-route orders," Gerstman explains. "We're holding goods for them in our warehouse. If they run out of a certain product, for example, they can click a button and we ship it where they need it."

Cut also provides forecasting, design, and sales tracking tools, but if a band desires more personalized service, that's also available, says Gerstman.

While baby bands are an obvious target, managers with more developed acts and/or multiple clients are also tapping into the service, including Chad Jensen at Fitzgerald-Hartley, whose clients Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Colbie Caillat and Robert Cray are all on Cut Merch. Jensen says Cut has been "very cost effective" for his clients.

Other accounts include Dave Kaplan Management clients Brian Setzer, Stray Cats, and Tea Leaf Green; Hot Buttered Rum, Quintanilla family projects, and Auralust.

Gerstman continues to operate SGS, a traditional boutique merchandiser with such clients as Eric Clapton, Stray Cats, and Queen.