Many martial arts school owners want to sell retail merchandise at their dojo, but they’re not sure how to get started. Should you start small and only stock a few items? If you put merchandise on display will it sell itself? Is selling retail merchandise even profitable? To get answers to all of these questions, we talked to an expert, Paul Reavlin, Founder of Revgear and Revgear University.

Founded in 1996, Revgear is well-known as the original fight sports brand and trusted martial arts equipment innovator. Paul Reavlin shared the following five recommendations for selling retail merchandise at your dojo.

Plan for Your Sales Process

To start, Reavlin recommends planning before you buy anything. For best results, you need a plan for how you’re going to sell the merchandise you’re thinking of stocking. Reavlin explained that you will always sell more merchandise by building the sale into your curriculum and your package pricing, rather than trying to sell merchandise a la carte.

Always Order Less Than You Think You Will Sell

It’s better to order less merchandise than you think you can sell, instead of ordering too much and ending up with stock that you can’t get rid of. Usually, if something is selling well, you can order more and get it before you run out of what you have.

Be Ready to Put in the Effort

One mistake school owners make is in thinking that the merchandise will sell itself if it’s stocked and on display. The problem is, it won’t. Just putting merchandise out on a shelf usually isn’t enough. Instead, Reavlin recommends setting a sales goal and working hard to achieve it. He says that the results will always mirror the effort you put in.

Stock Enough to Fill Your Display

Another mistake Reavlin sees is school owners building out a display and not stocking it well enough. He said if a display looks sparse or empty it’s not going to be appealing to customers. Then, they won’t buy. As an analogy, Reavlin says to think about a bread basket on the table at a restaurant. No one wants to take the last piece of bread- it’s just not compelling. Instead, when there are six pieces and the basket is overflowing, people feel tempted and grab some.

Partner with the Experts

It’s normal to have lots of questions when getting started with retail merchandise sales. The Revgear team loves helping schools set up their retail programs, and they also enjoy helping established programs grow. The Revgear team can walk you through the process of deciding what to stock, specifically finding products that can be built into your curriculum. That way, you’ll have the most success.

As you can see, selling retail merchandise takes some work, but the effort will absolutely be worth it in the end. Of course, you need a student management software that supports your retail merchandise program. With the right martial arts software, setting up your product catalog and selling merchandise is easy. You can post sales directly into your student accounts, and your inventory will reflect each transaction. The right software will also allow you to generate retail sales and accounting reports with a push of a button.


Is your student management software optimized for retail and all of the essential business components? Check out our free software checklist to find out.

Martial Arts Software Checklist