Drop-Shipping Journal – Pt. III

Plan A failed

I never did get round to adding another chapter to my riveting (but short-lived) adventures in drop-shipping, circa 2017.

So for those of you who’ve been patiently waiting on the edge of your seat – for the last two and a half years – here’s another instalment.

Picking up from part two, despite what my sales stats were telling me, I thought that Donald Trump t-shirt could be a winner. Like the man himself, it was big, it was bold, and it was in your face! If you wanted to show your support, or just wanted to troll, it was the perfect apparel.

I just thought I was obviously aiming it at the wrong market, here in the UK.

So I had the genius idea to trying selling it in the US of A! And being the budding marketing guru that I am, I even thought to look up state population, along with the percentage of the vote that Trump took in each state. I was looking for the biggest concentration of Trump voters and Google was telling me that was to be found in Texas.

Damn, I felt proud of myself. I was already imagining myself releasing a $997 product on how to be a drop-shipping success like me. A free webinar and eBook at the very least.

So I got myself a free multi-currency plugin, which kinda worked. It wasn’t linked direct to currency rates as per some (i.e. paid for ones), but you could look up the day’s exchange rate and plug it in manually. Failing a major market crash, that was good enough to do a short term ad run I reckoned.

So thus armed, I set up an ad to target the Trump heartland with my must-have piece of sartorial political elegance:

Donald Trump t-shirt
That’s still some good ad copy right there!

It fricking bombed.

It got less engagement than it did in the UK and was pretty much ignored. And I’d even been genius enough to think to set it to run to Texas time as well, starting it at 9am Dallas time, and letting it run till midnight.

But whereas the UK ad got comments, shares and tags (just no sales), this one did zilch.

That I did not expect.

I had some ideas on why that might’ve been, though. Like maybe, unbeknown to me, this particular t-shirt could’ve already been done to death in the Facebook news feed, and I may not have been the first the person to think they’d spotted a sure-fire market for “the Donald” merchandise in Texas.

Just maybe.

Plus for all I knew this t-shirt could’ve been for sale in every mall, gas station, and anywhere else with a hook to hang and sell it. And at a cheaper price than I was after.

The novelty factor I thought it had – here in the UK – may not have been in evidence on the ground in Texas.

Or maybe no one was overly keen to nail their political colours to the mast like that. Maybe MAGA hat wearers weren’t as plentiful in the Lone Star state as my UK based media may have led me believe.

I don’t know what happened.

I did know Texans were a tough audience to sell to, though. The public had spoken and the stats said to kill my ad. So I did.

But while writing that, I was thinking that maybe – maybe – I should try again(!) Now we’re getting into election 2020 season. Just one more push, as the gurus advocate. You can’t fail, you can only give up, and all that.

However, I wasn’t giving up just yet back in 2017, either. Despite what my sales stats were saying, this was a damn good idea – the political t-shirt – and the UK had just declared a snap general election, triggered by division over Brexit.

I saw another opportunity…

More to come.

[NB: Don’t infer anything re my personal politics from selling this item. I also had a similar Bernie Sanders t-shirt I was trying to flog. I was trying to make a buck, not a statement.]

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