As the Super PACs are dumping billions of dollars into the presidential campaigns this election season, only a small portion of those dollars were used to create official merchandise – yard signs, buttons, bumper stickers. Rather, the majority of political merchandise we purchase is created by unauthorized merchants attempting to entertain and sell.
According to TIME Magazine, Jim Gamble, owner of Right Wing Stuff, an online shop for snarky conservative merchandise, earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing what is now his full-time job. Gamble isn’t the only one having fun with creative merchandise this political season. According to the Chicago Tribune, Darin Kraetsch, CEO of Flip Flop Shops, is selling shoes imprinted with the candidate’s faces. “We always laugh because ‘flip-flop’ is so synonymous with politics. This year, we decided to pull the trigger and have some fun with it,” Kraetsch said. “For people who are frustrated with the government walking all over them, this is a chance to fight back.”
Other online retailers are focusing on fashion. www.GlamSparkleNGlitz.com, a site selling a variety of Swarovski crystal embellished merchandise, has manufactured fun and fashionable Presidential Tank Tops for women. “We listened to our customers. Women don’t want to wear oversized T-Shirts, so we created and manufactured these fun and unique American Apparel embellished tank tops,” said the company’s CEO, Karen Glazer. “They have been a best seller.”