Since Donald Trump’s mugshot was released on Thursday fans and critics of the former president are selling t-shirts, mugs, posters — and turning a real profit.
Mark Romano via Etsy/Fulton County sheriff’s office
Donald Trump’s mugshot was released to the public on Thursday by the Fulton County Sheriff’s office.
Fans and critics of Trump are now selling mugs, t-shirts, and other merch with the mugshot.
Some independent sellers say the mugshot merch has helped them turn a profit for the first time.
It wasn’t long after Donald Trump surrendered to authorities at the Fulton Country Jail that his mugshot became a public good.
The photo — taken after a sprawling indictment that brought 13 criminal charges against Trump and his top allies for their attempts to overturn the 2020 election — is one for the history books.
In the days since the mugshot has been released, though, fans and critics of the former president have not shied away from monetizing it. Listings for mugs, t-shirts, and other novelties emblazoned with the image have proliferated across online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay. Trump’s own campaign is selling beverage coolers, t-shirts, and posters plastered with the image, and the tagline: Never Surrender!
While some sellers say they’re making political statements through the items they’re selling, others suggest their focus is capitalizing on an unprecedented moment in the news cycle — and American history.
Take a closer look at the gold mine of merchandise that’s been put up for sale in the days since the mugshot was released.
Screenshot from Official Trump Store
In exchange, donors were told they’d receive a t-shirt with Trump’s mugshot and the phrase “Never Surrender!” (The former president surrendered to authorities Thursday.)
The Trump campaign seemed pretty enthusiastic about capitalizing on Trump’s mugshot even before it was released on Thursday. Back in April, when Trump was hit with an indictment from the Manhattan DA’s office, the Trump campaign began pedaling merchandise with a fake mugshot of the former president.
Screenshot from Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.
Items on the site include $25 mugs, $34 t-shirts, a pair of beverage coolers for $16, and a set of two vinyl bumper stickers for $12.
Screenshot from Shop Don Jr.
“Free Trump Merch! To be clear all profits from this on my Web Store are going to be donated to the Legal Defense Fund to fight the tyranny & insanity we’re seeing before us. Unlike many, I won’t try to profit from this but will do what I can to help,” he wrote on X.
Screenshot from Etsy.com
Mark Romano — who sells the mug under an Etsy shop he recently opened called TerriblyGoodGifts — told Insider through a message on Etsy’s site that he listed the mug on Friday, and has already sold several dozen.
Romano said his goal was to come up with a design that captured the historic nature of the event and put it in the right perspective. He added that had been thinking of a design even in the days leading up to Trump surrendering to authorities in Fulton County.
“This is not something to be proud of, which is how I knew Trump would spin it. This is serious,” he wrote. “That is why I left his name off my design and instead used his assigned inmate number underneath the words “Fulton County Jail.”
He added, “If I am seeking to make any statement, it is that Donald Trump is finally being treated like anyone else would be treated, as he should be. Justice in America should be blind. The powerful should get no special privilege.”
Laura Brown, who runs an Etsy shop called FearlessFindsGifts, told Insider through a message on Etsy that she’s sold around 100 mugs since she listed the item on Thursday. She said that the mugs have helped her turn a profit for the first time since she launched her store in May.
Brown, who came up with the design herself, also said, “I knew the mugshot was going to enter the zeitgeist and I wanted to create something that kept a focus on the myriad of crimes that were committed. This way, every time you look at the mug, you might see another thing he’s been charged with and think about how serious these charges really are.”
She added, “The mugshot has fallen through the cultural looking glass awfully quick, and I think it’s really important that Americans don’t allow Trump to monetize his mugshot as a way to distract us from the things he’s been accused of.”
Screenshot from eBay.com
This t-shirt is listed for around $23 on eBay, and approximately 32 have been sold in the past 24 hours, according to eBay’s estimates.
Multiple sellers across eBay and Etsy told Insider that they initially listed t-shirts soon after Trump’s mugshot was released. Once they realized how much traction the t-shirts were getting they said they began listing other merchandise.
This sweatshirt in which Trump and his conspirators are transposed onto the color-blocked grid touted by the Eras Tour is listed for close to $20 by shirtsyouwantco on Etsy. It’s also one of many similar items listed by the Etsy store.
The seller who runs shirtsyouwantco told Insider through a message on Etsy that “as a real Swiftie ( a Taylor Swift Fan) i got inspired by her Era Tour Design and immediately started designing and creating my design and started printing it on shirts and sweatshirts and tote bags.”
The Lincoln Project
On the Lincoln Project’s website the listing for the shot glass notes, “Here’s to f**king around and finding out, Donald. Celebrate Trump’s newest criminal indictment with your very own mug-shot. Cheers! *Reusable with any future indictments*.”
In an email to Insider, a spokesperson for The Lincoln Project wrote, “The merchandise allows Americans to express how angry and fed up they are with Trump and his MAGA cohorts. Our supporters are hopeful that Trump may finally be held accountable for his crimes while trying to overthrow the election.”
The spokesperson added, “the money we raise is turned around and goes right back into our our work to prevent Trump and other MAGA candidates from winning in 2024.”
Screenshot from Etsy.com
It’s one among several items with Trump’s mugshot including t-shirts, mouse pads, cotton totes, and baby onesies that’s been listed by the Etsy store, KismetWorkshop.
Joseph Bodur — the UK-based seller who runs KismetWorkshop — told Insider in a message through Etsy that he’s sold 63 items with Trump’s mugshot over the past couple of days and earned a little more than $1,120.
“My store usually sells nothing like this,” he said, explaining that he initially posted the t-shirts as a joke. When he realized people were actually buying them he began printing Trump’s mugshot on other items.
And if you’re wondering about the lemons, he explained, “with regards to the design, i wanted to highlight how bitter Trump seems in the photo, hence i added a few lemons to the advert. There is also a idiom in the UK, ‘he has face like he’s sucking on a lemon’.”
The seller who operates the Etsy store, CoolStuff8691, told Insider by email that he listed the pillow on Friday, and has sold four so far. He added, “I love the global shopping spree that immediately follows viral moments in the news and online. I knew those would sell!
In a message to Insider on Etsy, Mariane Maynard said she listed the toilet paper rolls on her Etsy store, MamasAHotMess, on Thursday night soon after the mugshot was released. Since then, she said she’s received 25 orders and is expecting several more to come in throughout the weekend. “That’s all I’m doing this weekend is printing Trump toilet paper LOL,” she told Insider in a message on Etsy.
She added, “I’ve been waiting a long time for this mugshot. I knew it would be a hit with people. Hopefully it gives people some laughs during this crazy period of politics.”