Marketing: What You Will Learn From “Cat Butt Push Pins”
Ideas are everywhere and they don’t even need to be original.
If you’ve ever been on Ebay, then you know that once you click on one item, another dozen items will be suggested.
And while most of them are targeted towards you and what you’ve searched for, now and then something odd will pop up.
Like Cat Butt Push Pins.
I’m not making this up, it’s a real thing. Intrigued, I clicked on it and found that for about $15 you can buy six plastic push pins (like for a corkboard) that are in the shape of six different cat butts; Calico, tabby, black, etc.
Thinking the price was an anomaly, I searched on Ebay and found only one other listing, and that one cost $20.
Then I went to Amazon and found I could get their very last set of cat butt push pins sent to me for $17.99.
Walmart, on the other hand, would be glad to sell me a set for just $49.
That’s right… $49 for six plastic push pins in the shape of cat’s butts.
I might be in the wrong business.
This isn’t the point of this article but as an aside, here’s a business idea for you: Hire an artist to design 8 cat butt push pins for you, being sure to NOT copy the ones already out there.
Find a company – likely in China – that can cheaply manufacture push pins and get an initial run of these made.
You don’t even need fancy packaging yet.
Sell them on Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Mecari and any other website you can think of. Find your best price point where they sell quickly and yet you are making as much profit as possible (Hint: It will be lower than $49 and likely lower than $17.99).
Use your profits to design clever packaging and now get them into stores as well as continuing to sell on Amazon.
Okay, that’s one business idea, but it’s not even my point.
Here’s my point – or rather, my two points.
First of all, there are great ideas everywhere, and you don’t even need to be all that original. Clearly, there is a market for clever pushpins that isn’t being fully satisfied.
Pushpins are the sort of thing we take for granted, but one enterprising person said, “What if? What if I design these in the shape of cats’ butts?”
While his friends were falling on the floor laughing at him, he made a go of it.
And without competition, he’s selling these things for a ridiculous price, too. There is room for improvement here in quality, in appearance and in price.
Three opportunities in one.
What products do you take for granted that can be improved?
If you have no desire to get into physical products, that’s okay.
What virtual products need improving, revamping or even inventing?
During the pandemic sites like Zoom and Skype went crazy.
But what about people who want to talk online but don’t want to have to think about their appearance or the state of disarray their room might be in?
Clubhouse was invented – audio chat rooms, no video and no recordings.
Second, when you have a rabid, hungry market, you can sell them the darndest things.
People are PASSIONATE about cats and they will literally pay $17.99 for 6 pushpins if they are in the shape of cats’ butts.
To put this into perspective, a non-cat-butt-shaped pushpin costs a few cents at most, while these cost $3 apiece when bought in a set of 6.
That’s not just insane… it’s also a great example of how passions override common sense in purchasing and how you can take advantage of that in the market.