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Saturday, June 27, 2009


So once in a while I like to do a "Bloginage" which is a takeoff of the word "blog" and "badinage." The word badinage, which I learned in a game of cranium, basically means "banter." So I'm just gonna banter a bit, giving some snippets of random stuff...

So about the upcoming leave of absence (or SEEF3M), the analogy I had earlier was I felt like I had senioritis. You know, when all you can think of is graduating and being free from all this homework. Well, since I'm a little over a month away now, I have a new analogy from my college days: It feels like final exam month. I have all this stuff I need to get done at work before I can leave for summer vacation!

I've inched my way out of the dip... The new project I'm looking at trying out is a single use wipe for use on the exterior of cars. It's not a ground breaking idea, but it'll let me learn about selling a physical product. Also, I'm thinking this as an example of a commercial innovation: the product is very similar (if not the same) as an existing product, but you position it in a way so it solves a different problem for the consumer.

I had a short meeting with the wipes vendor and learned about the typical issues with this kind of business model. Minimum order quantity is 50,000 wipes. The cost isn't too bad (in the thosands of dollars for 50K wipes). But then I figured in fulfillment and shipping costs, and I'd prob at best break even if I charged $0.50 a wipe. Adam, how do you make money using this model? :) Next step is some testing with people...

I've gotten some buzz on NotTheBookstore.com, as 3 students have signed up for my mailing list in the same week. The mailing list is invaluable; these are people who voluntarily want to be reminded to buy your product. I haven't rolled out the new site yet, but I've gotten to the point now where I've redesigned one page and have sent it in to my programmer.

I find it interesting that Brad was in "The Dip" just as I was at the same time...

I've always wondered if this blog would ever make money for us. It's been great as a way to get inspiration and meet people similar to you in this journey, so even if it doesn't make me a penny it'll be worth it. But last week, someone bought a copy of the E-Myth that I blogged about. So our first pennies of revenue! Funny how such a small thing inspires you so much...

As usual, things just kinda flow when you just start writing and instead of a bunch of small snippets I end up with a pretty long post!



Adam McFarland said...

Dale -

Cool idea with the wipe...but I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not really much of a car guy (I know the irony). My partners would probably be better at assessing the market for it. I'm having trouble visualizing it, but the obvious answer to your question is to sell 'em for $2 a pop. More if you can. You need to make a margin greater than 50% of retail value in my opinion because your resellers (us) are going to expect a margin around 50%. So if $0.50 is break even, retail it for $2 and resell it for $1. If you don't think that people will pay $2 for it, either because it's too low of quality or because comparable products are way cheaper, than you might have a problem and might want to reconsider.

Just my 2 cents :)

Good luck!


Dale said...

Hmm, I was assuming doing the whole shebang, i.e. production, fulfillment, etc. which is why it was $0.50. I hadn't thought about going through a reseller. Now I understand the role of resellers!

Good "rule of thumb" on the margin for the reseller. It's little nuggets like this that really help. So a reseller typically would look for a 50% margin?

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