How A Controversial Product Earned $100K In A Month [Dropshipping Case Study]
In the dynamic world of ecommerce, where the next big thing is always just around the corner, the story of a controversial product that generated $100,000 in sales in just one month is not just intriguing – it’s educational. This case study delves into the journey of Mikey, an entrepreneur who leveraged the power of dropshipping, social media, and strategic risk-taking to achieve phenomenal success. So, whether you’re a total beginner in ecommerce or simply curious, prepare to uncover the secrets of a winning product and the strategies that made it a sensation.
What’s the controversial product?
What is this mysterious product? Referred to as a “ruler for your grass,” the item in question was discovered through a unique and targeted exploration on TikTok.
By creating a new account dedicated solely to dropshipping products, the entrepreneur manipulated the platform’s algorithm to showcase an array of potential products.
Among these, one particular item caught his attention due to its viral potential yet low market saturation – the Copper Roller.
The initial excitement was met with a significant challenge: sourcing the product.
It was nowhere to be found on AliExpress, a common go-to for dropshippers. This hurdle is often where beginners might retreat, but our entrepreneur pressed on.
Mikey discovered a workaround: providing a supplier with an Alibaba link or a TikTok video could potentially source the elusive item.
The TikTok and Instagram Reels promotions strategy
Once the product was in his hands, the entrepreneur immediately shifted his focus to promoting it. He set up two new TikTok accounts, one targeted at the UK audience and the other at the US, to dip his toes into the market. Mikey’s initial videos took inspiration from the already successful Copper Roller TikTok profile but fell short of going viral. However, a stroke of creativity soon changed the game.
He added a fake comment — “that ain’t no broccoli roller” — under one of the videos, sparking curiosity and driving engagement. This subtle yet clever twist served as a hint about the product’s true purpose without outright revealing it, cleverly starting to convert views into actual sales.
The view count on one particular video skyrocketed from 40,000 to a staggering 3.6 million, catapulting sales alongside it. Simply by including the website link in the video description, the entrepreneur initially saw sales of nearly $500 from 200,000 views. As the views continued to climb, so did the sales, eventually reaching $18,000.
This impressive conversion rate showcased not just the controversial product’s allure but also the effectiveness of a well-planned promotional strategy. But the entrepreneur didn’t stop at TikTok.
Understanding the risk of relying on a single platform, he expanded his reach to Instagram Reels. Despite the platform’s reputation for quickly banning new accounts, he shared a series of steps he’d taken to circumvent this issue, though it wasn’t a foolproof solution. The expansion to Instagram paid off handsomely, with Reels bringing in millions of views and thousands in sales, proving that a well-marketed, controversial product can indeed find its audience anywhere.
However, it’s also a cautionary note that such paths, while lucrative, come with their own set of challenges and risks.
Facing the challenges of selling a controversial product
Mikey’s venture into selling the “ruler for your grass” quickly hit its first major snag when TikTok, a primary marketing platform, issued a community guideline strike against his product videos. This wasn’t just a minor hiccup, it led to a significant drop in sales, highlighting the stringent and often unpredictable nature of social media regulations.
But the hurdles didn’t end there. As Mikey navigated the volatile waters of promotion, TikTok’s response grew more severe, with a series of bans that eventually led to the shutdown of his US account. This was a stark reminder of the delicate balance required when promoting products that tread the line of controversy.
The challenges extended beyond social media. Mikey faced a critical moment when Shopify, the backbone of his online store, held his funds for review. The rapid success and nature of his product caught the platform’s attention, risking classification as paraphernalia and potential blacklisting from major payment processors like PayPal and Stripe. This was a dire prospect that could jeopardize his entire business.
Undeterred, Mikey sought out high-risk payment processors, a quest filled with rejections and dead ends until he found We Transact. This partnership came with its own set of conditions, notably a six-month hold on ten percent of sales, a safety net for the processor but another complexity for Mikey to manage.
While the path was rocky, the resilience and adaptability I developed were invaluable, turning each obstacle into a stepping stone towards sustained success.
The journey from discovering a controversial product to earning $100,000 in a month is filled with lessons. It underscores the importance of persistence, platform diversification, strategic risk-taking, and the power of understanding and leveraging social media algorithms. It also highlights the necessity of navigating the logistical and legal challenges that come with rapid success.
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