Moonlighting Idea: Bumper Sticker Advertising

    July 3, 2002

Have you ever noticed that many of the best moonlighting moneymakers seem to fall into two categories: either “Duh, I don’t believe I didn’t think of that” or “Cool, I wish I’d thought of that!” Well, this issue’s Real Ideas for Real Parents idea is a little of both. The concept is remarkably simple, yet on the whole, it’s a fairly unique idea.

We see them everywhere and everyday; some make us laugh, some make us think, and many unconsciously cement a business name in our minds. But, we never think about where they come from–about who thinks up the slogans, writes them, makes them, and markets them–or how we can use them to make some extra money. Of course, I’m talking about bumper stickers.

If you have a flair for words, a dash of artistic sense (or know someone who does), and you’re a “people person”, a bumper sticker advertising service may be right up your alley.

The basic idea goes like this: you arrange for 100-200 people who are willing to make a few dollars by “wearing” a bumper sticker on their cars, then you sell that “bumper ad space” to local businesses.

Talk to your friends, co-workers, and family members. Let them know you’ll pay them $10 to “wear” a bumper sticker on their cars for three months. You can even place a classified ad in your free weekly paper saying you’ll pay people simply to place a bumper sticker on their cars. People will line up at the chance to be paid something so simple!

If you aren’t the artsy type, ask friends or family how much they’d ask to draw an illustration, if needed. Frequently, they are supportive enough to do you the favor in exchange for “a cut”.

Check with your local printer to see how much it will cost to print your bumper stickers. For now, a general idea is to count on them costing about $1 each.

Before you visit local businesses, figure your costs, then add your profit to determine your selling price.

For 100 stickers “worn” for three months, figure $100 for the stickers. At $10 per wearer, you’ll pay them $1000. Your weekly recruitment classified ad should cost less than $5 per week, but we’ll use that as an example, so $60 for advertising. Excluding your time and incidental expenses, your cost for a 12-week run is $1160. This seems like a lot, but stay with me …

Your selling price will be on a “per car” basis. Remember that the client business will get *hundreds* of “ad exposures” for every week, for every car, for twelve weeks! If you sell three months of “ad space” for $5 per car, per week your will gross $6000. Less your figured costs of $1160, you’ll clear $4840, or $403 per week — for just one contract, and for only 100 cars. What if you line up 150, or even 200 cars?. And once your client business sees how effective this method of advertising is, you will (almost guaranteed) have a reliable recurring sale in place.

Two or three business clients every 3 months — heck, even one — can make for a very lucrative moonlighting business. In fact, it’s something I’m seriously considering doing myself! If I do, I’ll revisit this topic next year and let you know how it’s going!

Coutesy of: Mike Morgan owns Bison Creek Author Services <>. He is the publisher of “The Moonlighting Parent Newsletter”, a free email newsletter sent biweekly, and the moderator of the “Article Post – Short Pieces” (AP-Shorts) publisher-author exchange. <>

Copyright 2002, Mike Morgan

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