The Pet Rock niche was one of those trends that comes and goes in the blink of an eye. It still was able to make one man very very rich, Gary Dahl the creator of the pet rock fad became a millionaire almost overnight.
In 1975, Gary Dahl began to sell these smooth stones from a Mexican beach he had been visiting. He marketed them as pet rocks, actual live pets that is, they came with their own cardboard box which had breathing holes. While his new trend only did last about six months, Gary Dahl was able to capitalize off it and become very rich.
His business rocked up about 1.5 million sales of pet rocks, when you factor in each one cost $4, well Dahl became a millionaire. Dahl got the idea of creating the humorous gift of a pet rock from listening to his friends to complain non-stop about their pets. You see the amazing thing about a pet rock is that it does not need to be fed, groomed, walked, watered or anything. You would not need any vet visits or extra costs to keep your new pet rock alive.
First, he created a 32-page instruction pamphlet that had many suggestions and tutorials of how to care for your pet rock. Of course, it was all written to be funny and was very humorous. The pet rock instruction manual was filled with different types of puns and gags. He was sure to always refer to the rocks as actual pets, thus striving the funniness home.
The manual even had instructions on how to teach your pet rock how to sit and stay or roll over! He also made sound business decisions, being able to acquire all the stones he needed for about a penny each. The straw he put in the boxes he was able to get for free, so the only true expenses were the cardboard boxes and printing the manuals.
With the money he made, Gary went on to open a bar in Los Gatos, California and in 2012 years after the fad had ended the Pet Rock brand was re-launched! Though it was not as successful.