I get dozens of emails every day. (Don’t we all?) Unfortunately a lot of those emails border on spam. There are people shooting out thousands of emails looking for any website owner to promote their stuff.
I’m a bit of a sucker. I write too many of these people back. Fortunately, I have a couple of form letters that makes responding to most requests very quick.
Because a lot of these are quasi-spam to start with, writing back the people is help only once in a blue moon.
Today, I’d like to tell you about one of those blue moons. The initial email wasn’t as spammy as most, but it start off with the general, “I’ve been reading your website and I’m a fan of your work.” I don’t think anyone writing me with such words have taken 30 seconds to leave a thoughtful comment on any of my articles.
The email continued on to say that the company was starting an Indiegogo campaign. The company is an alternative to Craigslist, OfferUp or any of those community sites where you might physically trade products in exchange for money. One of the reasons why an alternative is necessary is because there are a lot of scams on Craigslist. There are so many scams that Craigslist even has a page about it. You might not think that cashier’s checks could lead to a scam, but they can.
It seems like whenever we post something on Craigslist the first two people to contact us will be scammers. So I’ll all for an alternative that fixes the problem.
Introducing Want It
The company that is hoping to change all this is called Want It. Here’s a video introduction about how it works.
I hope you were able to watch that video as it really explained it better than I could.
Right off the top, I have to ask you to keep your expectations fairly low. The company is really new and the founder is bootstrapping it. This isn’t a case where they got $10 million in venture capital funding. I have some doubts about their ability to compete against the big companies and build a critical mass of listings. It’s a ginormous challenge.
There are probably dozens of reasons why Want It won’t work out. However, that describes just about every start-up in all of history, right? Instead of dwelling on the negative, let me give you two of the reasons why it will work out:
- It solves a problem. I really can’t express how big this Craigslist scamming problem feels to me.
- The founder himself. I’ve exchanged a lot of emails with Redmond Parker and one impression I got is that he’s all hustle all the time. One of the reasons why I chose the name Lazy Man is because I can’t seem to manage the motivation/drive to take an idea and bring it to life. Parker appears to be just the opposite to me.
Want It is raising some money through Indiegogo. They are raffling some cool items. At least people tell me they are cool, but I’m not hip enough to recognize a few of them. You may be interested in the Coachella tickets. It seems like the odds of you winning them are pretty high given the few people who have supported the campaign thus far.
I’ve made a couple of very minor suggestions to Parker and he’s agreed they are good ideas and implemented them. That’s one of the really cool things about working with a company at this stage. It reminds me when I saw Mint and Credit Karma were just offices with boxes piled up to the ceiling and not even a beta product to show off. Sometimes companies do make it big.
Want It is offering readers a “special perk” if you click through this link to the Indiegogo campaign. That perk is unlimited featured listings for life for $49. Everyone else will pay $69-79. You get to beta test the application (which is kind of a silly perk to pay for, but whatever) and entry in the raffle for the Coachella tickets.
If the company flames out, you’ll likely lost your money and get nothing. Featured listings only mean something if the company exists and does well. The raffle entries really only count if you win the raffle. So rather than looking at this as a “What in it for me?” situation, I’d like to twist it around and say, “Thinking of it as investing in a person or as investing in entrepreneurism itself.”
For full disclosure, I was going to this write up as a sponsored post, which is a fairly high rate. However, I felt strongly enough about the idea and the character/hustle of Parker that I took no money. Instead, I’ll be receiving featured listings for life and no Coachella entries (good luck to everyone else). I’ll see you at the beta test.