How to Make Money In the Divorce Market

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How to Make Money in the Divorce Market
Sometimes I slip up in my goal not to watch TV.  Unfortunately for me, because of my schedule this usually means I’m catching some daytime programming.

But the other day Dr. Oz wasn’t bad.  He had this piece on plastic surgery practices that give discounts to women who are recently divorced.  This brings up obvious ethical questions:  are they preying on the insecure?  I’d argue that with the exception of people who have had terrible accidents or health problems that require this type of surgery, they always are.  So why would it be so surprising that they market to the recently divorced?

Then I got to thinking:  who else markets to the recently divorced?

How to Make Money With Vacation Packages

This Huffington Post article highlights some pretty amazing places for divorcees.  There’s a cruiseline that offers special packages for divorced dads and their kids.  The Heartbreak Hotel in Holland/Belgium gives couples the full treatment:  financial counseling, psychologists and lawyers so that you can check out legally split and educated.  The Montreal VIP Club has (what I consider to be) a pretty sleazy package for men.

A spa in Seattle has a great package for divorcees as well.  I bet if you searched you could find one in your locality. There’s a divorce market everywhere, and there are plenty of businesses interested in how to make money off of it.

These were the first places my mind went when I started on this train of thought.  Then somehow I ended up here:

This guy is (almost) genius.

I found out shortly after my divorce that two of my friends in a state I had moved away from were going through the same process.  We talked and half-joked about how there should be a universal way of telling people you’re splitting up. Because sometimes telling people is awkward unless you get the direct question, “How are things with insert ex’s name here?”  Something like a wedding announcement, only for the other end of things.

Italian photographer Gianni Fasolini almost does just that.  (Source.)  He’s  a wedding photographer that has also taken up divorce photography.  His clients pay him to take pictures similar to engagement photos (holding hands, kissing, shaking hands, etc.)  I applaud him for seeing an opening in the market, but I’m not quite sure he’s going about it the right way.  Most couples I know that are going through a divorce aren’t going to end up in the same picture.

Perhaps it’s different in Italy.  I don’t know.  But maybe he could do pictures of couples walking away from each other.  “We’re Parting Ways.”  Or just one of the partners in the couple.  “Back on the Market.”  Or one of the partners and their kids.  “Our New Family.”

And then there’s this.

I found all this divorce swag on Cafe Press.  It’s all meant to be humorous.  But I think my favorite is probably the “Get Out Card.”

There’s a market out there.

With one in every two marriages failing in this country, there’s definitely a huge market out there.  I think people don’t talk about it or immediately think about it because there’s a fading taboo veiling the entire process.  It is a sad time and process, but if you produce a product specific to this time period in people’s lives, there are plenty who will buy it.

The divorce swag makes me think of girlfriends propping up their friend so she doesn’t drown herself in wine.  Fasolini makes me think of the conundrum my friends and I faced.  The vacation packages are pretty specific all across the board.  Then there’s the age old strip club, which can either lead to divorce or cater to those men who have recently gone through it.

I think if you’re going to open a business in that market you should be ethical about it.  The plastic surgeons probably aren’t.  But that doesn’t mean they’re not smart, and optimizing their customer base.

*This article was first published on April 8, 2013.  Thankfully, my schedule has changed, and I no longer have the opportunity to watch daytime TV.*

15 thoughts on “How to Make Money In the Divorce Market

  1. Holly@ClubThrifty

    The plastic surgery part is kinda sad. Ironically, I just dreamt that I got new breast implants last night =/ Anyway, It does seem like they are being insensitive at the very least.

  2. Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird

    Ew, the plastic surgery is definitely skeevy.

    There should totally be a way to let EVERYONE know that you’re divorced so people don’t bring up the ex. I had a huge issue with this where I work because my ex also used to work there. Very annoying.

  3. Budget and the Beach

    Yeah it does feel like they are preying on someone’s vulnerability. And now at least FB lets the world know when you are single/divorced/it’s complicated. Actually it’s always awkward to see someone go from married to single. ON the other hand, when my ex boyfriend broke up with me, I wanted to get a spa treatment and asked if there was a “recently dumped” discount. 🙂 So maybe people are looking for that kind of thing too.

  4. Cat Alford @ BudgetBlonde

    This was so interesting. I love reading blog posts that are totally different and new. Who knew there was such a large market for this? It may be preying on the vulnerable but many of the other links show a lot of support and ingenuity!

  5. Marie King

    Unfortunately there is a market for everything. Being recently divorced, it’s amazing what you’ll Google search late at night when you can’t sleep. Hint: Everything about being divorced, single, dating, how to deal, getting back out there, etc. (at least that’s how it was for me. I actually found a website for an author named Johnny Mac, that I found really interesting. Yes, it does market to those who are divorced among others, but I found it helpful since he is also divorced. I ordered his book “The Club Rules” and I would absolutely recommend it. With all the junk out there that actually is preying on those in vulnerable situations, there is still a lot out there to help and I personally am thankful for it!

  6. vmorgan456

    I just don’t see a couple getting a divorce taking a picture together. Wouldn’t want it to be on my wall! You know I hear of divorce all the time just didn’t know the statistics were that bad now. As for the plastic surgeons they should be ashamed. I couldn’t live with myself preying on the recently divorced. A great post especially for times such as this.

  7. Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful

    Really interesting topic to bring up! Like you said, there’s definitely a market out there. It’s a little weird to think there’s a photographer making money off of that (I like your idea better), but it just goes to show you what people will pay for. I agree that the swag seems more comforting than anything. When you see a product that you think represents you/what you’re going through, you feel less alone.


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