A roll of toilet paper imprinted with the likeness of Osama Bin Laden and the phrase “Wipe out terrorism!” is one of the best-sellers at AlbertsGifts.com, the consumer Website of Pittsburgh-based manufacturer/marketer Albert Elovitz.
Launched in December 2000 to supplement Albert Elovitz’s wholesale division, AimGifts, the site sells 11,000 novelty gifts, ranging from cuff links to teapots. But response to the site was slow, with only about two sales a day, until Sept. 11, says owner/founder Albert Elovitz. Then sales took off for products related to the tragedy, such as FDNY and NYPD hats, American flags, and a World Trade Center snow globe. Elovitz attributes the sales hike to media attention about his products following the attacks.
The site now racks up about 50 sales a day and 7,000 hits a week, with 65%-75% of buyers repeat visitors. To show customers he appreciates their business, Elovitz sends a free gift package, which includes World Trade Center T-shirts, a small American flag, and a Statue of Liberty water bottle, with all orders. He promotes the business by including the company name and URL on all his products, and in December, the company put up 10 billboards in Pittsburgh. Elovitz also sends targeted e-mails, and he is considering sending a national direct mail piece to target groups.