My Favorite Ads

eRelyx will succeed or fail based on my ability to attract customers to the website.  There are plenty of people who want to buy authenticated pre-owned luxury watches.  Hopefully I can convince those people to buy those watches from eRelyx.

As I thought about advertising options for the site, I remembered a few infomercials.  These infomercials provide me with plenty of ideas…ideas to avoid.  I think I’ll just stick with Google Adwords and banner ads.

Check out a few of my favorite infomercials (just click on the product name to view video):

#1: Shake Weight

Percentage of purchases that were joke gifts?  Probably >95%.  Does it really matter?  Probably not.  The folks marketing the Shake Weight knew what they were doing when they made that video.  And they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

#2: Pajama Jeans

What?  Jeans aren’t comfortable.  News to me.  I presume that these are meant to be worn to the office.  Because if you’re just running errands, just wear sweat pants.  Does anyone work for a company that allows Pajama Jeans?

My favorite line – “Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you can’t look sharp.”  Yes.  Those look sharp.

BTW – these are brought to us by the inventor of the tuxedo t-shirt, right?

#3:  The Back Up

This line is what really sells it – “Enabling access to your shotgun while in the lying position in your bed.”

I can just see it now.

“Honey.  I think there’s someone in the house.”

“No big deal.  Don’t even worry about sitting up or getting out of bed to check it out.  We’ll just lie here calmly.  And if someone comes in,  Blamm-o.  And we’re back to sleeping like nothing ever happened.”

#4:  Tiddy Bear

“Now with the Tiddy Bear, I really enjoy traveling again.”

So does the Tiddy Bear.  Yesterday he was sitting in a kid’s toy chest.  Today, he’s sitting in…well…your chest.

#5: The Hawaii Chair

I actually have this product.  I wrote a note to share my thoughts.  See below:

#6: Uro Club

This commercial also has some amazing one-liners.

“Appears that you’re just checking out your club.”  I can see it now:

“What’s that guy doing over there?”

“Oh.  Don’t worry about it.  He’s just checking out his club underneath his apron.”

My other favorite line: “No embarrassing moments.”  Right.

#7: The iJoy Ride

My favorite part is the guy’s face.  And his outfit.  Looks to me like you could use this in the office.  Just like the Hawaii Chair.  So…you’re getting paid to lose weight.  Brilliant!

#8: Rejuveniquie

(This one is scary. Might want to have your Uro Club handy to avoid any accidents)

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My life as an entrepreneur: two observations (Part 2 of 2)

As I mentioned in Part 1 of 2, I have two main observations when I look back at my first few months as an entrepreneur.  Yesterday, I told you that observation #1 is that I have become very cheap.  So what is observation #2?  Read on.

Observation #1 – I have become incredibly cheap

Observation #2 – Money doesn’t buy happiness (corny, I know)

Why do I say that?  Because I’m earning and spending a lot less than I did last year, but I’m just as happy – maybe happier.  Why?  Because I’m doing what I love.

When I was l working long hours as a consultant, I would buy things to take my mind off of work-induced stress.  Buying stuff would give me something to get excited about.  I would buy the latest gadgets.  I would buy DVDs like candy.  I would buy new clothes just because they looked nice.  I’m not sure that I really even loved the stuff that I bought.  I think I just liked the idea of buying things.  Perhaps the dozens of unopened DVDs sitting on my bookshelf are proof of that.

These days I’m not buying those things.  And you know what?  I don’t miss them.

(Having said that, I do hope that I am able to build a wildly successful business selling authenticated pre-owned luxury watches)

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I’m a man of my word

Success! (if this is confusing, read the previous post)

I was right – she was surprised.

Flowers should look great when the lilies open. (Did I just say that? Maybe if my neighbor reads this and realizes that I know what a lily is she’ll let me handle the planters instead of hiring an expensive professional).

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My life as an entrepreneur: two observations (Part 1 of 2)

A few months ago I took the plunge – I became an entrepreneur. As I look back at my experiences so far, I have two major observations. I will reveal my first observation in this post – you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the second.

Observation #1 – I have become incredibly cheap.

Don’t believe me? Read below:

  • I went over four months without getting a haircut. I normally get my hair cut every 5-6 weeks. When I finally decided to get a haircut, I called around to local salons to see who offered first-time customer discounts. (I briefly considered SuperCuts)
  • I get excited when the Shaw’s cashier hands me a “$10 off a $100 order” coupon
  • I went to a bar with a former coworker and I asked the waitress if there were any drink specials. (It pains me to write / admit this one)
  • My former consulting firm allowed me to keep my office as I get my pre-owned authenticated watch business off the ground. I have walked to the office more times in the last three months than I did in the in my five years with the consulting firm. Before, I always took the train. The train is less than $2 a trip.
  • I started using my American Express Membership Rewards points
  • I bought Jim Beam at the grocery store
  • I have not paid for one UFC PPV event
  • I offered to spruce up the planters in front of my condo when one of my neighbors suggested hiring a professional landscaper to do the job
  • I went out in Cambridge the other night…and took the T instead of a cab
  • I didn’t buy the iPad (yet)
  • I thought about bringing my lunch to work
  • I reduced my Netflix subscription from 2 movies per month to 1 movie per month. I think that’ll save me $4/month
  • I considered a layover when I bought plane tickets for my upcoming vacation to Florida
  • I haven’t bought my fiancée flowers in months. That changes today. (Don’t worry – she won’t read this, so it’ll be a surprise)

Stay tuned for Observation #2.

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How prevalent are fake Rolex watches? Read on.

Counterfeit products are out there.  Anyone who has walked the streets of New York City knows this.  Anyone who has Googled Rolex, Cartier, or Louis Vuitton knows this (try it).  One thing that we often fail to understand is the magnitude of the problem.  There is an article in today’s Washington Post that sheds some light on the problem.

According to the article, a steamroller recently crushed 7,000 counterfeit Rolex watches seized from an individual named Binh Cam Tran, who is currently serving a six year sentence in federal prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods.  Those 7,000 Rolex watches likely represent the tip of the iceberg – “Authorities say Tran fabricated hundreds of thousands of fake Rolex watches in his home near Philadelphia. Officials seized about 24,000 counterfeit watches and enough parts to create 1 million more.”

Am I reading this correctly?  One man (and likely a few of his henchmen) has created hundreds of thousands of fake Rolex watches?  And he had parts to create 1 million more?

And BTW – what did the authorities do with the remaining 17,000 counterfeit watches that they seized?  Am I the only one that wants to know the answer to that question?

Check out the entire article along with some really cool pictures:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/27/AR2010042701955.html

Makes you want to buy your pre-owned luxury watches from a trustworthy retailer, like eRelyx.

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Are celebrities reading the eRelyx blog?

A couple of weeks ago I told a friend to consider a Montblanc Timewalker:  http://www.erelyx.com/blog/index.php/article/some-friendly-watch-advice/

Today, the Montblanc Timewalker was featured in US Weekly.  Page 85 – The US Buzzzz-O-Meter.  Apparently it’s being worn by Taylor Lautner and Gerard Butler.

Let me get this straight.  I post a blog recommending the Montblanc Timewalker.  Days later, celebrities are spotted wearing that watch.  That can only mean one thing – celebrities are reading my blog and listening to my watch advice.

Tell your friends.

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You know the economy is struggling when…

…there’s a new stainless steel Rolex Daytona with a white face sitting in the display case at a local watch jeweler.

I was walking through the mall the other day and walked past a Ross Simons.  I noticed the Daytona in the display case and stopped dead in my tracks.  I swear it was kind of like spotting Big Foot – although if I spotted Big Foot I’d probably sprint in the other direction instead of standing two feet away staring. (So maybe it was more like spotting Gisele)

I wanted to buy it.  What an opportunity!  It could be the first watch that I sell on eRelyx.  Problem is, I don’t have a pay check and it’s a $10K watch.  I bet I could have bought it and sold it for at least a $2,000 profit (yes, the pre-owned versions often sell for more than the new ones).  However, I know myself – I definitely would have kept it!  That always happens with me.

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Let the branding begin

Just got the new t-shirts!  They look great.  Navy blue with a grey logo.  T-shirts are broken in – nice and soft.  Slimmer fit.

Wasn’t planning on selling them, but if I get enough interest (>10) I could place another order.  Feel free to check out the t-shirts: http://www.customink.com/styles/canvas-distressed-vintage-t/161500; They’re ~$30 each.

Email me at greg@eRelyx.com if you’re interested (put “t-shirt” in the subject line).  I’ll follow-up by Friday, April 30th.

Thanks,

Greg

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The amazing diversity at entrepreneurial panels

I went to a panel on the state of angel investing the other night.  The diversity at this type of event is fantastic.  There are boring MBAs like me.  There are fashionably dressed investors hoping to stumble upon the next Google or eRelyx.  There are young college kids looking for jobs.  There are neatly dressed lawyers looking for business.  There are a few random people looking for the free food.   There are computer wizards wearing stained hooded sweatshirts and tattered jeans.  And finally, there are supermodels.  Okay…no supermodels.

At this event, I was most interested in the computer wizard wearing the uber-casual outfit.  Who shows up to a networking event dressed in tattered jeans and a stained hooded sweatshirt?  At first, I was thinking, “Crazy computer kid.  You’re so funny.”  But after I thought about it, I realized that he was just wearing his standard uniform.  Just like a bankers wear a pinstripe suits.  Just like the MBAs where grey slacks and blue button downs.  Just like Lebron James wears a basketball uniform.  Computer programmers wear comfortable clothing that is not going to get in the way of coding for 48 hours straight.  They only care about impressing people with their code.  Amen.  I’m on your side.  I see the light.  Sorry for ever questioning you.

I’m looking to hire a computer whiz for my company.  And when he (or she) shows up to the interview, I hope he’s wearing comfy, stained clothing.  I want the guy who just cares about his damn code.  Not what he looks like.  (Although I DO hope he cares about what he smells like…my office space is a bit cramped).

And for the record – I wish I was a computer geek.  Their skills are in such high demand these days.  Unfortunately, I gave up the dream halfway through my college career – it became very clear that my computer skills would never match up with those of my classmates.  I was certainly envious.  No doubt about it.

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Cartier Watch Rumors

Want to buy a new Cartier Tank, Roadster, Santos, or Ballon Bleu?  Well, in the near future you’ll need to buy it from a Cartier boutique – at least according to a couple of my sources.

Long’s Jewelers is currently offering 30% off on all Cartier watches – a move that seems to be consistent with the aforementioned rumor.

So why would Cartier pull its watches from its retail partners?  There are probably two reasons:

  1. They want to increase the exclusivity of the brand – some could argue that wide distribution has taken some of the luster off of the brand
  2. They want to ramp up their ecommerce business – Cartier recently began selling several of its watch models online

It will be interesting to see how this impacts sales – surely there will be a negative hit in the short term, but will it pay off in the long run?

Surely retailers like Tourneau can’t be happy – I would guess that Cartier is their second best selling brand behind Rolex.

What does this mean for the pre-owned market?  Well, narrower distribution usually leads to higher pricing.  So in my eyes, pre-owned Cartier watches are going to see a boost in value.

Can anyone confirm the rumors?

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