Hours after Twinkie-maker Hostess announced its plans to close its doors forever, people flocked to stores to fill their shopping baskets with
boxes of the cream-filled sponge cakes and their sibling snacks — Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Zingers.
Late Friday and Saturday, the opportunists took to eBay and Craigslist. They began marketing their hoard to whimsical collectors and junk-food lovers for hundreds — and in some cases — thousands of dollars. That’s a fat profit margin, when you consider the retail price for a box of 10 Twinkies is roughly $5.
Greg Edmonds of Sherman, Texas is among those who believe Twinkies are worth more now that Hostess Brands Inc. has closed its bakeries. He lost his job as a sales representative eight months ago, so he is hoping to make some money feeding the appetites of Twinkie fans and connoisseurs.
After spending a couple hours driving around to stores Friday, Edmonds wound up with 16 boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. He started selling them Saturday on eBay, advertising three boxes for a hefty price of $300.
“I could really use the extra money since I’m unemployed,” Edmonds, 50, said. “I figure I better sell them pretty quickly because I am not sure how long this novelty is going to last.”
The company, which bills itself as “the world’s handmade marketplace”, focuses on home-made and vintage furniture, clothing and decorative items, with mass-produced merchandise strictly prohibited.
Chief executive Chad Dickerson said Australia was now the fourth-largest source of buyers and sellers for the company, which launched in the US in 2005 and made $US525 million in sales worldwide last year.
The site charges a flat US20c for listing an item for sale, and an additional 3.5 per cent commission on the sale price — well below online market leader eBay, which in Australia charges up to $3 per listing and 7.9 per cent sales commission.
Mr Dickerson, visiting Sydney for the Vivid Festival of creative arts, said the company had set up a physical showroom in Melbourne to highlight the quality of artists selling through the site, although the items on display were not for sale.
“It’s really to give people a sense of what is sold on Etsy,” he said. “We’re promoting it the same way as we do most of our marketing — through social media like our Facebook page and Twitter accounts, which both really help with word of mouth.”
Mr Dickerson is also conducting seminars for local designers on how to make the most of the site. “While we’re a business, we’re trying to do things to really help the selling community, not just our own bottom line,” he said.
“In the past we haven’t really invested in Australia, but now we’re putting our own people on the ground and investing in a big way to help train sellers to be successful.”
This month, the privately held company raised $US40m from a syndicate of venture capitalist funds in order to fund expansion projects, including a push into new markets outside the US.
Launched in 2005, the company boasts 875,000 sellers and 15 million users around the world.
Strange Random Craft Quote:
No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. – George Bernard Shaw
- Online Startup Takes Big Retailers To Task With New USA Shipping Service (prweb.com)
- From the Horse’s Blowhole (regretsy.com)
- Etsy raises $40 million for expansion (slashgear.com)
- The Maker Fakers: As Etsy Scales, the Definition of ‘Handmade’ Gets Slippery (betabeat.com)
- Etsy Raises $40 Million for International Expansion (bits.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Seafolly Sets Sail For St. Tropez (blogs.wsj.com)
- Here’s How Etsy Plans To Scale Without Losing Its Crafty, Handmade Aesthetic (businessinsider.com)
In the past few decades he has invested in and helped build some 80 Israeli start-ups – ranging from software firms to mobile phone and clean technology companies to name a few. Many of them he sold to international tech giants.
He played a part in the creation of Answers.com, invested in software solutions firm Gteko bought by Microsoft in 2006 and the Gifts Project acquired by eBay, in Airlink, Scopus, BrightCove and many others.
At times, Mr Vardi – or simply Yossi, as he wants to be called – may sound only half-serious, but when he talks about in which kind of start-up to invest his money, he certainly means what he says.
Yes, there are a few things driving the rapid rise of the country’s technology sector, not least government money and the army’s specialised high-tech units.
But for Yossi, it has always been about people.
Strange Random Technology Quote:
Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight? – Al Boliska
- Keen On… Yossi Vardi: Why the Next Major Paradigm Shift is Social TV (techcrunch.com)
- How Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub? (rightways.wordpress.com)
- MyHeritage.com Releases Innovative Technologies for Presenting Family Memories (prweb.com)
- Too foolish to fear failure (guardian.co.uk)
- eBay acquires the GiftsProject and Opening Social Center in Israel (vccafe.com)