don't pay to use a website/company. get out there and do it on your own. flyers, posters, play more shows, promote stuff online, hand out CDs, etc. don't be lazy.
Pretty much this. You can steal this idea from me..I got thousands lol. If you have an album coming out soon, play a few shows before the album comes out. While at these shows, set up 2 tables if you can. One to have regular merch on there and something shorter in the back of the first table. Set up 2 or 3 "mystery boxes". In front of each box, set up a cup of water. Bring some ping pong balls and basically do "Carnival Style Beer Pong". For each "purchase" at the merch table (like a t-shirt or sticker or button..etc.), you get a ping pong ball. The way I did it was if you got a t-shirt, you get 2 balls (lol) and the button/sticker is one. If you sink the shot, you win the mystery box. My box 1 had an exclusive t-shirt and the advanced copy of the album. Box 2 had the album, used guitar picks that was used on the album and handwritten lyrics to 5 songs out of 10. Box 3 had an autographed album, handwritten lyrics to the other 5 tracks and a pair of drum sticks used on the album. If they miss the shot, give them a demo of your most popular 3 songs as a consolation prize. When I did it with my friend's band, they racked up close to 60 dollars and gave away 2 boxes. It really doesn't cost you anything in the end. You still make money off the initial purchase, you give away free music that people will remember how they got it and you'll gain new fans..guaranteed.