Copy Critique: "If Arnold & Hulk had a baby; this barbell would be their son's D"

21 replies
Wanted to gather some feedback on my sales copy. I love copywriting and I want to be really good at it. So don't worry about fault-finding or being too critical. I can take it.

Selling a barbell on Carosell, here's the page:

https://carousell.com/p/45435747/
#copy #good #sales
  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Why do so many new copywriters think it's all about "creativity" and "attitude"?... If they're not swaggering in making Godfather and gun references, they're flippant and snide like the copy you've got there.

    Like your prospect is gonna say: "haha that guy's arrogant. He's kicking ass and takin' names! I wanna be just like him. I'm gettin' that barbell!"

    1. That's a whole lot of words to sell a barbell. If you really want to sell it, you might want to bring the price down from $180 to something more reasonable. New ones cost less than that. Pricing it right would help more than any fancy copywriting...

    2. Don't play up the fact that it's been collecting rust, dust and paint for 16 years. Especially not right at the opener. Is that somehow a selling point? You might explain that stuff later in the copy as some sort of "damaging admission" or so...

    3. Don't call your prospects "pussies".

    4.While your headline is intriguing, you let the reader down by not unpacking it in your copy. How is your barbell like Arnold's (or the Hulk's) appendages? Does that mean it's long? ... or stronger than normal barbells? (...or maybe tiny, thanks to steroids? ) Point being, your headline makes a promise. Your copy has to follow through...

    5. You might sell the thing anyway. It's a one-off and some lonesome soul might buy. That won't mean that you've written great copy. You haven't. If you were selling $180 barbells to a real market, you'd need much better copy than that.

    Copywriting isn't all about entertainment. You gotta play up some real benefits for your prospective buyer, even if it's just "image".
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      I know why you're selling it.

      I don't know why I, or anyone else, for that matter, should buy it.

      There's writing there, but no copywriting.
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  • It is AR-NEE or SHWAR-TZUNN-EGGUAR.

    Who in hell is 'Arnold'?

    An' I figure The Rock is a better contemporary mass-appeal match than Hogan.

    (Prolly if you are sellin' barbells, there is some hot guy nonea us have even heard of who kinda pumponiche rocks.

    Match that guy up with Arnie an' I figure you got a more appealin' baby.)

    Other than that, you are bein' too smack an' no down, an' the flow is kinda jumpy insteada pumpy.

    Plus, first line is a Terminator.

    If you are gonna lead with ME ME ME ME ME, do not also mention your wallet.

    I would drop an amended version of your opener in at the end — 'hey, listen this was cool equipment toned me up, an' I hate to let 'em go [**because they are NOT covered in rust an' paint!**] but I figure they still gonna do the biz for the right person' typea thing.

    Unless you are sellin' milf porn, it is usually a good idea not to mention milf porn.

    Hit on the kit, an' pitch to the bulgin' sinews waitin' to throb on out from workin' with the 'bells.

    Pussy, porn, grandma, etc — alla this stuff makes a lotta presumptions about your potential buyers an' kinda insults 'em.

    If you are hopin' they will spring to their feet, bawlin', "I'll show ya what happens when ya call ME a pussy, pal — I am gonna frickin' BUY them barbells right offya!" — they prolly will not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

      Unless you are sellin' milf porn, it is usually a good idea.
      At first, I read this and thought to myself: "Oh man, Princess Balestra just being weird again..." But no... milf porn. It's in there. It definitely made it into this guy's salesletter about a barbell.

      Going to have to agree with PB here... probably shouldn't tell your potential customers that they watch "milf porn"... Yikes.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmaster555
    The attitude alone would probably turn a lot of people off just because they don't want to meet you lmao.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Suit
      Quite the contrary, I've been getting heaps of interest on this.. Copy was specifically targeted towards gym freaks. I know cause I was one. These are the only people who would own an olympic size barbell at home. lmao all you want, copy maybe humorous but this is no joke.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I suggest you do a google sarch for

        20kg olympic sized barbell

        Then look at the copy and facts on some of those sites. Those sites treat potential buyers like "workout experts" - rather than 'gym freaks".

        You asked for feedback but then argued with it. If you have "heaps of interest" and can't sell your ONE product...your copy is attracting the wrong audience.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Suit
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          I suggest you do a google sarch for

          20kg olympic sized barbell

          Then look at the copy and facts on some of those sites. Those sites treat potential buyers like "workout experts" - rather than 'gym freaks".

          You asked for feedback but then argued with it. If you have "heaps of interest" and can't sell your ONE product...your copy is attracting the wrong audience.
          Thank you all!

          'Interest means nothing if you aren't converting'. Ooo I like that.

          Again, not being defensive, just learning, asking questions.
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      • Profile picture of the author dmaster555
        Originally Posted by Black Suit View Post

        Quite the contrary, I've been getting heaps of interest on this.. Copy was specifically targeted towards gym freaks. I know cause I was one. These are the only people who would own an olympic size barbell at home. lmao all you want, copy maybe humorous but this is no joke.
        I know what niche you're targeting. I am part of that community myself.

        But you say you got "heaps" of interest, but has it sold?

        Nope.

        Welcome to learning copywriting.

        No need to get defensive because you didn't get the answers you expected to hear.

        Lots of interest means nothing if you aren't converting. Your copy literally does nothing to make the bar desirable and it does everything to make you sound like a douchebag trying to sell a hunk of metal. And my intention isn't to name call. It is just literally what you come across as.

        Remember, you are not bodybuilding.com, you are a guy on Carosell selling an Olympic bar. The approach is completely different.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Suit
      Now i'm not trying to defend myself for this copy. Out of the 4 of you who replied, anyone of you know my target audience? These are not your average joes that goes to cali fitness and spend 30 min on elliptical.

      Dirty bar; they dont give a shit.

      Calling them pussies for not wanting to add more weight to a 20kg bar; they'll nod in agreement.

      This copy isn't for the masses, it's a very small niche.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        What you said notwithstanding, your text doesn't even begin to hint to the reason people should buy your bar. Just because they're gym freaks and you have a barbell to sell isn't sufficient. There are other sellers...
        Why choose to buy your stick?

        Originally Posted by Black Suit View Post

        Quite the contrary, I've been getting heaps of interest on this.. Copy was specifically targeted towards gym freaks. I know cause I was one. These are the only people who would own an olympic size barbell at home. lmao all you want, copy maybe humorous but this is no joke.
        Originally Posted by Black Suit View Post

        Now i'm not trying to defend myself for this copy. Out of the 4 of you who replied, anyone of you know my target audience? These are not your average joes that goes to cali fitness and spend 30 min on elliptical.

        Dirty bar; they dont give a shit.

        Calling them pussies for not wanting to add more weight to a 20kg bar; they'll nod in agreement.

        This copy isn't for the masses, it's a very small niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author mustafavanancio
    What would you say is the biggest selling point or benefit that you have clearly spelt out in your copy?
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    • Stoopid thing is, nonea this would apply to toppa the range lipstick.
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      Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author wecoach
    As Olympic Weightlifting coach let me tell you that a 16 years old barbell is usually out of the new bad quality chinese barbell market, you should use that in your text. May you tell me barbell brand, or anything that barbell have writed on it...
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Suit
      I have no idea what the brand is.

      So I shouldn't sell this?
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      • Profile picture of the author wecoach
        Originally Posted by Black Suit View Post

        I have no idea what the brand is.

        So I shouldn't sell this?
        If you dont need it, sell it. I ask you because, if it is a IWF approved barbell, then you can ask for 250us$ or maybe more, but if it is just a generic barbell not.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Suit
          Cool,thanks for the tip! Will try to find out the brand.
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        • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
          Originally Posted by wecoach View Post

          If you dont need it, sell it. I ask you because, if it is a IWF approved barbell, then you can ask for 250us$ or maybe more, but if it is just a generic barbell not.
          This is really what you are looking for -- interesting angles you can use as hooks.

          The one-legged golfer.

          That's why research is so important and time consuming.

          Creativity is fine, but stretch that canvas over a solid frame of research and fact-finding.
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          Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
          - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Rhadoo7
    Seems like a really well made and hilarious sales copy, especially that it's posted on a site where most people write plain and simple product descriptions. If I was in need of a barbell I would definitely pick this one over others, simply because it was presented in a totally different way.
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  • Profile picture of the author salesfart
    Good luck getting any good at copywriting when you ask for help, but "know too much" to take the advice.

    Not even a word was edited from your sales page.

    And not surprisingly, it hasn't sold. Good luck figuring that out buddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author dgaunn4114
    Sometimes it is useful to be colorful, perhaps even offensive, in copy, but I do not believe this is one of those times. Personally, I see myself as a nice friendly guy, who has a decent workout set in my basement, but your ad suggests to me I'd go to your house and pick up your bar and you'd be like "Hey pussy...nice thin arms you got there, you even lift bro?" For many people going to pickup a bar at a dude's house they only know from the internet is already an inherently risky proposition.

    Instead, if you want to make it funny, I'd make it more self-effacing, joking about how you no longer give a shit about being in shape cuz you love food and you're getting fat. Like it or not fat people are non-threatening. A sentence along these lines: "I like World of Warcraft and cheesy poofs too much. Buy my barely used workout bar." Most people let their guard down just reading those words vs. "Hey pussy, can you even lift this bar?" And the fat thing is a great way to imply but not state directly that your bar hasn't been used much. Implication is often more powerful than a direct statement here.

    I also think a picture of a bunch of weight on it demonstrating its strength would be helpful, very visual selling point.

    That being said, an ad like this can be useful because it will sometimes go viral. If people think the ad is funny they will share it and in this way you may get a lot of exposure. Anyways, my point is any approach can work if you are strategic about it.
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