NICHE CATALOGS

Gifts Fit for a President If you’re looking for a $995 medallion of President Bush, we’ve got a catalog for you.

Now that the drama of the 2000 presidential election is behind us, the American people have embraced George W. Bush as our 43rd president. Or at least that’s what the Presidential Inaugural Committee is counting on with its commemorative gifts catalog and Website.

InauguralGiftShop.com sells memorabilia from the inauguration of George W. Bush. Products range from typical souvenirs such as key chains ($4.95), shot glasses ($7.95), and paperweights ($24.95) to more-novel products such as official inaugural license plates ($50-$65), which can be personalized. For big spenders, the site also sells a limited-edition, three-piece medallion bearing Bush’s face, set in bronze, silver, and 14-karat gold, for $995.

InauguralGiftShop.com is a division of GOPShoppe.com, a 10-year-old Beltsville, MD-based marketer of Republican Party memorabilia. “We were the master vendor for the 2000 Republican National Convention,” says owner Brian Harlin, who launched InauguralGiftShop.com the first week of January. Harlin says an undisclosed percentage of the Website and catalog profits goes to the Presidential Inaugural Committee members, who in turn donate those proceeds to the charities of their choice. InauguralGiftShop boasts annual combined Web and print sales of $1.2 million.

The InauguralGiftShop.com print catalog is mailed to 600,000 donors to the Republican Party. But, Harlin says, Republicans aren’t the only people buying the inaugural products. “The inauguration is a bipartisan event,” he says. “Members of both parties purchase souvenirs.” Harlin says the average order size is about $100. The majority of print catalog buyers have been older voters, while the company’s Website shoppers tend to be younger.

While the InauguralGiftShop Website and catalog come around but once every four years, Harlin says that GOPShoppe.com is busy year-round manufacturing Republican memorabilia: “We manufacture products for all of the Republican campaigns each year.”

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