It was an unforgettable moment in political history. Vice President Joe Biden was overheard whispering “This is a big @#!& deal!” shortly after the health care bill was passed. While some of us may have stared at the television in shock, a few others had the idea to turn that moment into a money maker.
One particular entrepreneur went on to the create-your-own-merchandise site, Zazzle.com, and created a line of t-shirts with the Vice President’s quote. The shirts were available to buy within hours of the news and they quickly began selling like hot cakes. Over the next few days the shirts spread virally and thousands were sold. The entrepreneur finished that week with tens of thousands of dollars in profit for only a few minutes of work and zero investment.
If you aren’t familiar with sites like Zazzle.com and CafePress.com, they are marketplaces that allow anybody to create custom made merchandise to sell to consumers around the world. The products are made to order and are only created when a sale has been made.
If you’ve got a great sense of humor, start thinking about funny moments of phrases from your life that might be good a t-shirt or a bumper sticker. Of course, you can also win the t-shirt game just by being quick to capitalize on a moment in history like the vice president swearing into a hot microphone.
If you are interested in giving this a try, there are a few things you will need to know…
Creating Your Product
Opening a shop on Zazzle.com or Cafepress.com doesn’t require any great skill nor a degree in graphic design. Both sites are equipped with an easy to use editor that allows anyone to create a professional looking design. The editor is similar to the “Paint” program on Windows and will allow you to create text and hand drawn images. If you are familiar with graphic design, you can also upload your own graphics and artwork.
Once you have created a design, the sites will allow you to choose which products you would like your image imposed on and sold in your online store. There are hundreds of choices from t-shirts to bumper stickers to canvass bags.
Selling Your Product
Be sure to choose a good name for your product because the way most people will find it is through a search engine. For example, in the case of the vice president foul quote, the creator named the shirt with popular searches in mind like Joe Biden, Vice President, Big #@$ deal, etc.
The single best way to advertise your product is to get it seen in use. Get friends and family members to start wearing your t-shirt. Put a bumper sticker on your own car. If other people think it is funny, they will be curious enough to start looking online for your product.
If you are looking to kick up your advertising another notch, you could always try a Google Adwords campaign for some inexpensive exposure.
Making the Sale
The great thing about selling on these sites is that the process is completely automated. Once a buyer finds your product and purchases it, the company takes care of the payment processing, production, and shipping. There is no need to carry a stock of products as they only create the product once it has been sold.
Both Zazzle and CafePress charge a commission on the final sale and then send you a check for the remainder.
Remember, there is never any limit to the number of products you can have in your online store and the more funny t-shirts/stickers that you can come up with, the more money you will potentially make!
What do you think? Are you funny enough to come up with your own t-shirt?
Good luck Penny Hoarders!