I Went Searching for the Strangest Products Sold on Amazon
I’ll do anything to avoid returning to the cubicle. It’s half the reason I write.
More bluntly, I’m not above drop-shipping Bob Ross Waffle Irons en masse or sewing custom pink Sean Kernan kittens mittens for old ladies in Nebraska.
I was curious about what people were willing to sell on Amazon.
“Tell me, Amazon sellers, how weird are you willing to get?”
As I rapelled down this marketing wormhole, I was actually quite inspired and amused by the creations I encountered.
I felt a bit like Darwin, minus intelligence.
When Your Teddy Bear Isn’t Enough
You’ve often wanted to own very large animals from the Serengeti your whole life. Don’t even pretend you haven’t because I know it’s true.
Unfortunately, there are obvious complications: cleaning up after them, feeding them, keeping them out back, taking them for walks, not getting mauled.
That’s all changed.
I came across a seller providing life-sized teddy bears for insanely low, low prices.
I’m guessing these are only sold to a billionaire’s cranky daughter. I could totally see this on a vintage episode of My Sweet 16 on MTV.
The “Gamification” of Your Kitchen
An Amazon seller, Swagasaurus Rex, is selling a magnetized sticker that turns any appliance into a Gameboy.
You can even do it on your freezer and it allows you to write notes on it:
It feels like there’s a word for this that hasn’t been invented yet, sort of like when we ‘anthropomorphize’ animals, putting dresses on them and talking to them in our sing-songy voice.
Also, if I did this, my girlfriend would be horrified.
When Bugs Are the Solution
This product seems crazy but has a great application.
I’ve actually bought several of these bags all at once and it wasn’t to “release the Kraken” on my enemies. Ladybugs are excellent for gardening, which I express no shame in enjoying.
They’ll clear out all the small bugs that eat your flowers, especially aphids.
So even though they look super cute and harmless, Ladybugs are actually Garden T-Rex’s.
It Seems Gross but It’s Brilliant
I don’t even want to know who is buying this. But it’s for sale.
The product in and of itself is actually great marketing.
Why? They have one available for sale, and I don’t think they’ve even sold one yet, but it's received thousands of joke reviews.
If anything, the product has brought tons of attention to the seller's channel. To their credit, they incorporated some pretty hilarious promotional images.
To All the Cat Ladies and Cat Dudes
This one is a really great present, albeit with an initial gross interpretation.
It’s a Zen Kitty Litter Box.
I don’t think it’s actually for the cat to use, thankfully. But I wouldn’t let the cat near it.
It would be a nice office piece (if you work at home).
The Obvious Solution to an Empty Toothpaste Bottle
The only thing I hate more than a full trashcan that’s becoming a mountain because people refuse to take it out is a 95% empty bottle of toothpaste.
This is why I buy them in packs of three or five. I hate being at the mercy of a tiny tube, causing an eclipse with my massive beautiful biceps as I flex to press the paste out (that’s sarcasm, ps).
If that describes you, you’re in luck:
My initial reaction was, “Why not just use that $9.99 to buy a few new things of toothpaste?”
But upon further thought, I admire its resourcefulness. You’ll get more bang for your buck in the long run. It’s rather innovative. Scarcity is certainly a source of demand.
Need I say more? Note the timestamps.
And even if you love the president, you have to admit this is a clever product.
They’ve sold thousands of pairs already and offer a number of actual tweets on each side of the shoes.
The creator, Sam Morrison, continues to make a lucrative business out of this product. His apartment is filled with boxes of the sandals:
What you can learn from this
Did you notice a trend with all of these products? Most involve bridging intangibles (social media, unreasonably wild animals, evasive toothpaste) with reality.
Great inventions are often just combinations of seemingly disparate elements. Think big and wacky. Connect distant dots.
Most of the products I’ve highlighted are product bait. They’ve generated real sales, both through indirect traffic to other products, and people paying for joke products. Come to the dark side.