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Merch Off! MP! Investigates the battle of the boybands’ merch stores as The Vamps take on 1D for the best stuff on offer…


Our crack team of investigative journalists take part in their biggest project yet. Reviewing, ranking and having a good ol’ nosey at the Merch Stores from One Direction and The Vamps. Must-buy, must-miss, choice, prices and delivery. Here’s what we found out.

Introduction
You love bands and bands love you and your money. Which is why official merchandise is available to buy at gigs, concerts and online stores. But when it comes to merch, are you getting a fair deal? We take a proper look at the merch stores of One Direction and new-kids-on-the-block The Vamps, and compare what’s on offer. MP! Investigates.

The ranges
Books, clothes, games, DVDs, toys, watches, blankets, dolls…  if you can make it, and stick a One Direction logo on it, it’s in their store. They’ve even got a singing toothbrush. Yes, really.

The Vamps: t-shirts, hoodies and a very cool necklace, but no bedding, calendars or books. We’d like to see some cheaper items too, like wristbands, stickers and badges. When it comes to variety, One Direction win hands down.

One Direction 1 :  The Vamps 0

Style
The Vamps range may be more limited, but they score loadsa points for style. Their simple and stylish logo-based designs look fantastic, whether on a t-shirt, baseball shirt or hoodie.

One Direction’s merch designs are a little bit less consistent, with some tackier looking items definitely worth avoiding. Even your little sister isn’t going to want these. Quality not quantity, guys.

One Direction 0 : The Vamps 1

Worst item
£6.99 for 3 glow-in-the dark 1D wristbands excluding delivery is too much even when your auntie’s paying. And that’s with a £3 discount. Avoid.

The Vamps? This aqua hoodie would probably be bottom of our shopping list. Aqua: not the most stylish of colours. We’re also unconvinced by this slouch beanie which even James couldn’t pull off.

One Direction 1 : The Vamps 1

The price
Not much difference here. We reckon nearly all merch is overpriced and want record labels to charge fans like you a lot less. But both stores are asking about the same for items of the same quality: t-shirts from £10-15 and hoodies at £30 – £40. That said, every single item in The Vamps store is currently on sale, so we’ll give them this one.

One Direction 0 : The Vamps 1

The delivery cost
Both send your items first class. A 1D t-shirt £2.45, The Vamps £2.50. 1D hoodie £3.45, The Vamps £4.00. Ouch. Why so high, lads?

Though subsequent items have a lower delivery cost, we’d like to see some special offers and free delivery on orders over a certain value. If Amazon can do it, then our favourite bands should too. We also found it really annoying that delivery prices in the 1D store were only confirmed during check out.

One Direction 1 : The Vamps 0

one direction merchThe best item
For One Direction? The Pillow Pet, obviously. Just look at it.  Part time pet, part time pillow and full-time snuggly, we loved them. For The Vamps, this necklace is probably their best offering as it’s chic, cute and decently priced. Overall 1D had more stuff that had us checking our wallet, begging mum, and saying wow… so they win this one.

One Direction 1 : The Vamps 0

Ease of use
Both websites are pretty easy to navigate: the 1D site pops open in a new window and their large range is clearly categorised. The Vamps’ site is simple and clear, with postage prices easy to discover.

One Direction 1 : The Vamps 1

CONCLUSION:

So, it’s a score of 5-4 to One Direction who just outclass The Vamps in the battle of the merch stores. Both sites are pretty good, but with just a few changes could be delivering a shopping experience as enjoyable as their artists’ tunes.

Got cash? Check out the Vamps’ merch site here and 1D’s here. Happy shopping!

What do you think? Which merch store do you prefer? What’s your favourite item? Good or bad experience when buying artist merchandise online? Leave a comment below.

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Written by Oliver Meakings

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