The unofficial merchandise sellers of the Donald J. Trump campaign are a savvy band of roving capitalists.
They're well-traveled (at times logging thousands of miles a week), shrewd in business, often unattached romantically. They deal with all kinds of people. Many have been on the road for months, trailing the campaign trail from rally to rally, selling knock-off hats, buttons, and flags to the Trump faithful.
Since the early days of the primaries, business has boomed for the fringe caravan — one seller paid his tuition and bought a new car on the Donald's tailored coattails. Others say they sell thousands of dollars' worth of gear on good days, in cities like Naples, Florida.
Some are true believers, who parlayed their passion for the candidate into a profitable side gig. Others are professedly apolitical, their only allegiance to a solvent crowd — they'd just as soon be selling pennants outside a ballgame; they treat the candidate as a brand, like they would a beer, a car, or a sports team. Often, they're among the only people of color in the overwhelmingly white crowds that many Trump rallies draw.
But as Election Day approaches, they're preparing for the end of the tour. As the traveling Trump carnival enters its final days, the merchants are loading their tents back into their pickups and drawing up plans for what comes next. They don't expect to see an election cycle as bankable as this one again soon.
As BuzzFeed News covered the Trump campaign this year, our reporters spoke with the vendors at rallies across the country. These are some of their stories.