The Red Cap Aside Trump Souvenirs Are A Hard Sell
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WASHINGTON On a recent trip to Washington for a research symposium, Michelle Beermann veered into a nearby gift shop, drawn by the prospect of adding to her new bust collection.
The 24-year-old stood in front of the display in White House Gifts, carefully weighing the faux bronze and marble options Presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama among them before choosing a bust of Abraham Lincoln, her favorite president, to join the ranks of William Shakespeare, George Washington and various figures of Greek mythology in her home.
And while Ms. Beermann, a student at the University of Illinois, plans to eventually add those two other presidents to her collection, she is adamant that a bust of President Trump will not be among them.
Im just not a fan of his, for political reasons, Ms. Beermann said. I didnt want him staring at me.
Her sentiments reflect an unusual quandary for some distributors of presidential merchandise: Just over six months into the Trump presidency, how do you successfully market a divisive president?
This is difficult for us as a retailer to determine what to sell, said Jim Warlick, who owns White House Gifts. The demand for what he describes as anti-Trump items regularly matches or eclipses the selling power of merchandise for the 45th president with one notable exception.
Her items still do not sell.
Autographed Trump Hats And Books Sold On His Website Were Signed By Machine
The items were signed with an autopen machine.
— Throughout now-President-elect Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, countless money was raised by offering signed items in exchange for a donation.
These items offered on his website, including signed hats and signed copies of his book “The Art of the Deal,” were heavily advertised on social media and by Trump himself. But what some buyers may not have realized is that it seems Trump didn’t actually sign any of the items available for purchase on his website with his own hand. Instead, the autographs all appear to have been done by an autopen machine, a device used to automatically sign a signature.
The use of an autopen machine only became evident to some after Trump won the election, when opportunists who had purchased such items off Trump’s website took to eBay to re-sell what they believed would be a more valuable John Hancock.
Whether selling an automated pen signature is disingenuous is a matter of one’s opinion of the disclosures made.
But many say they missed the disclosure.
Another man, who said he bought his hat for $183 with the intent to flip it if Trump won, was thrilled when he sold it on eBay for $510. Contacted by ABC News after the sale, the seller said he was shocked.
That seller said he is contacting the buyer to see if he wants a refund. “It would be nice if I could also get a refund from the Trump campaign,” the man said.
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Trump Fathers Day Coffee Mug
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Presidential campaign flags are nothing new. Presidential campaign flags have been used since the 1840s to advertise and show support for a Presidential candidate.
Up until the early 20th century, Presidential campaign flags were mostly made of cotton.
Many early campaign flags consisted of a US Flag with a portrait of the candidate and their campaign slogan printed over them.
Presidential campaigns have passed out hats at rallies and sold hats for the greater part of the 19th century.
Hats of different styles have been used by campaigns to provide a uniform feel and unity of support.
Devout supporters go out of their way to obtain a presidential campaign hat.
Winter beanies are popular during cold weather so people can keep their heads warm while showing support for their favorite candidate.
The 2016 Trump campaign capitalized on hats emblazoned with Make America Great Again.
The Trump 2016 hats were nothing short of popular and in high demand.
Presidential campaigns and the weather both heat up during the summer. There is nothing better to keep you cool than a Presidential campaign t-shirt.
Paired with a campaign hat, a campaign t-shirt makes you a walking billboard for your favorite candidate.
Presidential collector coins are popular items for gifts and to put on display in homes and offices.
Get Them As Low As I Can And Sell As High As I Can
Luis Lopez from Texas has been working the rally circuit for two years. He only goes to Trump rallies, about 50, he said, and is also a Trump supporter. For Lopez, vendoring is a full-time gig.
Im married to this thing, no divorce here, right man? said Lopez to a man selling with him.
He gets his wares from all over – D.C., China, I know that. Everywhere. It doesnt matter. Most important is getting his stuff for as for as low as possible and then selling as high as possible.
Lopez originally started selling Obama gear.
I didnt know that politics was good. After that I stuck with it. Trumps way better than Obama, Ill tell you that, said Lopez.
When traveling from rally to rally, Lopez said he will sometimes see the same vendors again and again.
Later on when he has more rallies, three or four in one day, you wont see everybody, Lopez said. When its slow like this, everybodys in the same spot.
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Im Here To Help America
Everybody likes our hats, said Biskit as he worked the parking lot outside of the Trump rally in Lexington. Theres a demand for it.
Biskit, whose full name is Bart Godinez, owns the Down N Dirty Hat Company, which is well-known for selling cowboy hats at country music festivals all across the country.
Biskit also sells at Trump rallies, saying that his hats are equally popular at both country music festivals and rallies.
Well sell out of this he predicted of his stock for the night in Lexington. He said he sells a lot of hats after rallies because people leave them pumped up.
A Republican, Biskit has been following the rally tour for a while – so long that he says he cant remember when he started.
Biskit started the Down N Dirty Hat Company about 20 years ago. He sees the business as combining politics with business.
I find ways with the support of the American people to help other American people, said Biskit.
One of those ways is through charity.
Two years ago, Biskit was the exclusive hat vendor at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas when the festival was attacked in the largest mass shooting in America, leaving 58 people dead.
Since then, proceeds from Down N Dirty hats have gone to help those affected by shooting.
The special edition #VegasStrong hat sent a check to a victim with every 25 hats sold.
Vendors tote their merchandise down West Vine Street as the ‘Keep America Great’ rally begins inside Rupp Arena.
How To Get The New Maga Hat
The hat itself is quite new. Instead of spelling out Make America Great Again as old versions have, it simply uses the acronym MAGA. The word is spelled out in white, edged in gold. According to the ex-POTUS, he turned designer himself for this one. “I just designed our BRAND NEW MAGA Hat and I want YOU to have it,” he said in his email. There are two versions of the hat available – an unsigned version that costs $40 and a signed version that requires a donation.
You can pick up the unsigned version now from Trump’s merch store. It’s called the ‘Special Edition MAGA hat’, as opposed to the earlier versions, which have now been renamed ‘Classic MAGA hat’ and ‘MAGA 45 hat’. The signed version though isn’t for everyone. It’s not available in the store just yet, and can only be ordered from Trump’s email. He says, “Youve always been one of my most LOYAL supporters, so I dont want you to have just ANY hat I want YOU to have the MAGA Hat that I personally HAND-SIGNED for YOU.” That signature will require a donation of $25, 50, $100, or $250.
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Donald Trump Spent Nearly $11m On Himself And $32569988 On Those Red Hats
Campaign disclosures reveal billionaire candidate gave himself a huge loan, but high-paid hipster hat-maker staffed by Latinos displays a deeper irony
First published on Mon 1 Feb 2016 05.03 GMT
The billionaire mogul-turned-presidential candidate Donald Trump lent his own campaign more than $10.8m in a loan that amounts to a bet on himself, government-mandated disclosures revealed on Sunday. His campaign also appears to have spent well more than $325,000 on those Make America Great Again hats.
It was almost the top reveal of a last-minute bid for transparency required by the Federal Election Commission , as the deadline for the final 2015 reports on donations and financing ran up against the morning of the first 2016 voting day of the campaign for the White House.
The disclosures led to all sorts of fascinating insights into the campaigns: Jeb Bushs average donations per day plunged along with his poll numbers, from more than $500,000 to less than $90,000 over the course of October, November and December. A Super Pac associated with Hillary Clinton spent $300 on shredding, and got millions from the billionaire George Soros.
These Vendors Made A Killing Selling Trump Swag
Meet the vendors selling unauthorized swag to the Trump faithful.
The unofficial merchandise sellers of the Donald J. Trump campaign are a savvy band of roving capitalists. Theyre well-traveled , shrewd in business, often unattached romantically. They deal with all kinds of people. Many have been on the road for months, trailing the campaign trail from rally to rally, selling knock-off hats, buttons, and flags to the Trump faithful.
Since the early days of the primaries, business has boomed for the fringe caravan one seller paid his tuition and bought a new car on the Donald’s tailored coattails. Others say they sell thousands of dollars’ worth of gear on good days, in cities like Naples, Florida.
Some are true believers, who parlayed their passion for the candidate into a profitable side gig. Others are professedly apolitical, their only allegiance to a solvent crowd theyd just as soon be selling pennants outside a ballgame. The sellers treat the candidate as a brand, like they would a beer, a car, or a sports team. Often, theyre among the only people of color in the overwhelmingly white crowds that many Trump rallies draw.
But as Election Day approaches, theyre preparing for the end of the tour. As the traveling Trump carnival enters its final days, the merchants are loading their tents back into their pickups and drawing up plans for what comes next. They dont expect to see an election cycle as bankable as this one again soon.
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Everyone Takes Pictures Everyone Loves It
Many of the vendors sell the same products mostly hats, shirts, buttons and flags. Mike Selvi and his three business partners, who declined to give their names, hope that having a novel product will set them apart.
That novel item is Trumpios boxes modeled after Cheerios, but featuring the president. The product is not FDA-approved and is not fit for consumption, which is written on the box.
Selvi and his business partners said everyone loves Trumpios because they get a good laugh out of it, a statement verified by the laughter of a man walking by. Selvi also said that having a unique product helps them stand apart from other vendors.
I feel like that gives us the advantage, he said, and his business partners agreed, saying that Trumpios could one day become an antique and appreciate in value.
The group of four, who are from Chicago, created Trumpios as a way to fund their start-up company, Delta Armory. Selvi described the website as e-commerce for guns, and 70% of the proceeds from their vendor work go to the business.
We wanted to fund our start-up company and we wanted also to fund the Trump campaign and the NRA and Rebuild the Wall, said Selvi.
The 30% of profit that does not go to Delta Armory is donated to those three groups, making Trumpios a more explicitly political vendor stand than most. Selvi and his partners said they are 100% Trump supporters, and that for them, Trumpios are both politics and business.
‘if Screaming Was A Hat’
While Trump supporters may be thrilled to get their hands on a Trump-designed item, the wider internet didn’t seem to be too pleased. “Trump supporter: “Dont you dare raise my taxes even a nickel!” Also Trump supporter: “This special edition January 6 MAGA hat only cost me $46 and shipping!” one person tweeted. Another said, “Why don’t we defund fat daddio instead? He claimed to be the “designer” of an updated MAGA hat. Is he kidding? He is no closer to being a designer than he is to being a candidate with political experience. And his hat is UGLY, just like fat daddio & 1992 pics of Epstein & DJT.”
Trump supporter: “Dont you dare raise my taxes even a nickel!”Also Trump supporter: “This special edition January 6 MAGA hat only cost me $46 and shipping!”
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