These days, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with friends, family and acquaintances instantly. If you’ve got an internet connection and a social media account, you can communicate with TONS of people at the touch of a button. Or skip that step entirely and just draft up a text message to the person you want to talk to.
Yes, communication is easier and faster than ever before. So in an era where Post Offices are trying to figure out how to keep their business alive, it’s unthinkable that someone could make money sending the equivalent of a tweet through snail mail – scrawled on a vegetable, no less – right?
Well despite his girlfriend claiming so, it’s a business model that has been working for one young man down in Texas.
That’s Alex Craig, the 24-year-old behind PotatoParcel.com. The whole point behind the business is to anonymously send someone a message scrawled on a potato. That’s it, that’s all. The idea came about one night while he was out with his girlfriend, and she told him he wouldn’t sell a single potato. Now he’s making about $10,000 a month from it.
How does it work? Well first, you go to the website and choose your type of potato. $7.99 gets you a medium potato with a message of up to 100 characters scrawled on it. For another two bucks, you can upgrade to the large potato and 140 characters – so you can essentially mail a tweet on a potato.
From there, type your message. It can be anything from “Happy Birthday,” or “Congrats on Graduation” to “You’re getting evicted” or one of my favourite simple phrases, “Get bent.”
Then, Craig takes a black marker, writes your message on your potato, wraps it with a little strip of paper advertising the website, and stuffs it in an envelope to be mailed out. There’s no catch, and nothing hidden inside. It really is just a potato with black marker on it.
Here’s a look at the behind-the-scenes work going on. The cool thing is that he can run this whole business from the comfort of his kitchen.
The website does have a few suggestions on how to use Potato Parcels.
[All Via potatoparcel.com]
The company does recommend sending birthday greetings or congratulating people on the birth of a child, but no message is off limits. Here’s some of the custom messages people have been sending to their friends, family members, or even enemies.
[All via dailymail.co.uk]
Each potato includes this little slip inviting recipients to “Potato it Forward.”
Probably my favourite use of a potato of all the different ones I’ve seen is this one, on which someone inscribed a classic Mitch Hedberg (RIP) one-liner:
It’s a crazy business idea, and probably even more crazy because it somehow is working so well. But you know, you can buy a bag of potatoes AND a marker for less than $10 (I’m pretty sure, anyway). So, for less than the price of one of these, you could scrawl your own messages and send them to friends and family members yourself. Here in Canada, you’d have to do that anyway, because they only ship to the United States and now the UK too.
If you were to send a Potato Parcel, who would you send it to, and what would it say?