The Something Store’s ‘Surprise Yourself’ Shipments: Innovative or Insane Business Idea?
SomethingStore.com is a weird and wacky business concept where your order remains a surprise. You pay, they ship you something and the best part is you will have no idea what's on its way!
I know it sounds like I'm making this up, and even the founders, based in Long Island, New York, state that they aren't sure whether the idea is brilliant or dumb. No doubt it's a risky way to start a business, especially when you can't fully advocate your own idea. But I'd say, based on the testimonials on their website, the creative thinking of these unique minded entrepreneurs appears to be paying off!
Their blog states that as of November 28, 2007; almost one year ago, they reached the 1,000 Somethings shipped mark. This happened one mere month after they opened up shop. Now, the counter displayed on their homepage shows that the numbers have continued to climb, at over 24,000 Something shipments. Not bad!
The products they're sending to consumers all around the globe truly are a random assortment of items. I will admit that when I heard about this concept, I expected that their ‘Somethings' would be junk, plain and simple. While the selections are a bit strange and all over the board, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are relatively practical (mostly) and appear to be of good quality. Likely, the most desirable items that have been shipped as seen on their Something Tracker , are a blue Ipod Shuffle or the Navigation 2100 GPS. The strangest? ‘S' and ‘P' keys from a computer keyboard or the freeze dried chives.
Perhaps they're buying items from retailers in bulk to draw a profit, or maybe they're just independently wealthy and very generous, because costs appear very reasonable for what you get (well, some of the time anyways). For delivery of one Something within the US, they charge $10 USD, shipping included. For orders shipping to Canada, it's $14.75 USD or $18.75 USD for international deliveries. Of course, if you really want to surprise yourself, you can order up to three or five Somethings, depending upon your location and they'll arrive within 7-14 days!
It's like your birthday every time you open the gift you bought yourself from the Something Store. And just like when you tear open the wrapping on your birthday gifts, you need to prepare for possible dissatisfaction. If your surprise disappoints you (say for instance you got the chives) there are absolutely no refunds or returns. It's a gamble when you choose to order and all part of the experience.
While I can't be certain, I'm guessing that the Something Store has made their unusual business concept a success. Proving that where there's a will, there's a way...and apparently a market of people who are consumers out of curiosity for the strange.
Next time that unusual business idea crosses your mind, entrepreneurs, don't dismiss it. You may just have found the next big business idea to enter the files of the weird and wacky.