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What to do when a celebrity purchases from your website

10 August 2010 13 CommentsBy Sarah Shaw

Ok, so are you doing the dance of joy?    This can be a really controversial topic as some people feel you shouldn’t promote this as it’s a breach of privacy – but my take is that if they bought it, and didn’t have an assistant do it under a different name, they are willing for you to use their name.  I see this as a great opportunity to get the word out and get your self some press! If you feel uncertain about this, you can always contact them directly and ask permission!

Remember: The media wants to know about this the minute it happens, not months later when you get around to it.  You have to act quickly to capitalize on this luck and try to turn it into more sales FAST!

So what can you do to spread the good news?

  • Get a photo of the celebrity and put it on your website home page saying they bought the item
  • Use the same photo on the item page on your website
  • Send out an email blast to your list showing the product and celeb photo with a call to action to buy it.  Perhaps offer a special promotion for a day or two.
  • Post all over social media – again, a special promotion can help here too.
  • Create a “One Sheet” which is a single page promoting the product and celeb and send that immediately to the media outlets you want to be in.  Be sure to only list retail prices when sending anything to the media.
  • Send the “One Sheet” to your current store list as well your dream stores to show what a superstar you are.  Be sure to only list wholesale prices when contacting stores with stories like these.
  • Add the “One Sheet” to your Press page

Good luck!

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13 Comments »

  • Janet Bernasconi said:

    Hi Sarah,

    Great information. I did just as you posted. I have had a few encounters with important people and made sure the make the most of it to help my business. I made sure to add it to my press page which sure does help.
    Just wanted to thank you for your valuable advice. I just hope that I get more celebrities to shop at my website.
    Have a great day,
    Janet Bernasconi
    Janets Creative Pillows

  • Lana said:

    Great ideas! Hopefully I will have the chance to put them to use someday.

  • EC (Lisa) Stewart said:

    What about in the event that I *think* it’s a real celeb (like Michael Moore) but don’t know because it’s such a common name?

    Or, how about when I watch a video with Elvira Kurtz and she’s wearing a very similar Bacchus pendant but I can’t get a great look because well, she’s standing on stage and the video is quite bitmapped?

    Should I just call them up and ask, “Hey are you thee Michael Moore?” or “Hey Elvira, I love your standup, are you wearing my pendant?”

    Lisa
    @ecstewart

  • Darla Arni said:

    Great quick, to the point and manageable ideas! Thanks so much.

  • Shirley Green said:

    I would respect their privacy and NOT publicize unless they send a “testimonial”. Then I would ask (so you have it in writing) if I could pulicize on my website.

  • Carol Roth said:

    Hi Sarah:

    I like your stuff and think you have valuable advice, but in this instance I respectfully disagree with this strategy. How would you feel if someone posted your information all over their site as a customer? I think many people would feel violated and you risk losing that celebrity as a long-term raving fan because you show a lack of discretion.

    Why not reach out to that celebrity with a follow-up, see how they like the product and cultivate the relationship? Get their permission to post information or an endorsement, then utlize the strategies you have set forth.

    Word travels fast and long-term respectful customer relationships are much more powerful than a quickie PR hit!

  • Jullian Kramer-Johnson said:

    I take it this happened to you recently Sarah? Either way, yes, what Lisa said…it would have to be a stand out artist with a very unique name before I made that call! The last thing you’d want to do is brag that a celeb purchased from you and their PR people come back and deny the claim. Alternatively if their attorney sends a cease a dismiss order regarding using their name and likeness to promote your product.

    Unless the celeb purchases from you “in person” and you’re able to take a snap shot with them in your establishment, it’s pretty cheesy to go off an Internet sale or use copy written photos from the website to create a one-sheet about the sale. Restaurateurs have the best angle on this approach, except instead of sending out a press release, they frame the pictures for patrons to see…

  • jen said:

    what about the celeb photos – aren’t they copywrited?

  • Lee Romano Sequeira said:

    This was a perfect post, since we just had a popular female celebrity purchase our instant breast lift tape from our site (knew it was her by her Beverly Hills address, thanks to GOOGLE).

    Problem is, since it’s a personal matter (lifting the “girls”) I wonder if we should even post a photo of her on the product page, or simply state that ‘Ms. XXXX shopped at GoodtoBeYou’ — thoughts please?

    Thanks!
    ~ Lee
    @goodtobeyou

  • Sarah Shaw (author) said:

    Thanks for all your great comments – love the controversy! I am of the school that if you KNOW it is the real person (and yes do whatever it takes to find out if not sure), then I feel that they are up for grabs.

    Most celebs know that if they purchase from a website and use their real name (most of them have assistants do the buying to hide their identity), that most likely a savvy Entreprenette is going to seize the moment. I have never been served with a cease and desist, nor has anyone else I know for posting on our websites.

    Obviously, the most polite way to approach is to contact their “people” and confirm the purchase and ask permission……but they don’t always answer the phone!

    You each need to make your own choice in this matter. Good luck!

  • Keren said:

    Lee –

    I feel that it would NOT be a good idea to advertise something with personal nature like that without clear permission. Good way to make enemies! I wouldn’t use her name at all, unless it’s something you say to people you meet in person “so and so bought my product”. A one sheet seems completely inappropriate.

    And to everyone –

    Unless someone is an A or B lister celeb, I am not so sure that they have assistants buying stuff for them. I am not sure that I agree with Sarah that they are “up for grabs” if they purchase from the website. Something does feel not quite right with that approach. But unless they buy something personal (like a breast lift…) I think it’s ok to advertise it even though I haven’t personally done it when that happened.

    I really doubt any lawyers would go after you if you said something like “so and so bought my bracelet”. They got better things to do, and besides if they just take it down.

    Keren -
    kerenjewelry.com

  • El at Tantalizing Stitches said:

    I also disagree. Maybe if they come into your brick and mortar store then it would be okay. But on my website, I clearly state my respect for privacy and only use the information provided to send the item to the customer.

  • John said:

    I agree with your view.your article is excellent. I have been examination out some of your stories and i can state pretty nice stuff. I look onward your next editorial. Its a great post.

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