Behind the scenes at our “Real. Love.” photo-shoot

This past Saturday, the eRelyx team got together at Dante restaurant in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass for our Valentine’s Day photoshoot. Our models and crew were true sports, braving less-than-20-degree Boston winter weather (in a strapless gown, no less) and toiling away for hours making sure to get just the right shot.

Joined by our dynamic model duo, Max & Krista and some old friends- Patek, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega and Cartier- the day was spent shooting beautiful people wearing beautiful jewelry (courtesy of our friends at Isabel Harvey) and beautiful watches in a beautiful locale…and, as you can probably guess, the resulting photos were none other than…well…beautiful.

But we wanted to take you behind the camera and give you a glimpse into what it takes to get the perfect picture- a lot of hard work, dedication, heart and ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. So, here are some favorites from our shoot, bloopers and all, as well as a short video of what its really like on the set with eRelyx.

This is your peek behind the scenes at “Real. Love.”

eRelyx wants to give a very big, enthusiastic thank you to Dante for so graciously allowing us to use his amazing restaurant as the set for our shoot, and also to our friends at Isabel Harvey whose beautiful line of jewelry absolutely perfected Krista’s look. The gorgeous red dresses featured on Krista are picks from Rent the Runway.

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Real. Holiday.

‘Twas the eve of Thanksgiving and all through the house plenty of creatures were stirring (not including a mouse).

The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care, in preparation that eRelyx soon would be there.

The lights were strung, glowing green, blue and red, while visions of watches danced through our heads.

The team with their cameras and the model in her dress, had just settled in for a long winter’s…PHOTO SHOOT.

We kicked off the holiday season early last week with a very-merry eRelyx Photo Shoot!

Our model enacted scenes from what would be the best Christmas ever- playing dress-up with some of our favorite watches like a Panerai, Chanel J12, and Rolex.

Check out the Gallery below with a sneak peak at some of the uncut shots and keep on the lookout for the finished ads as they run through out December!


Sneak Peek at the eRelyx Website

As the days (months) pass, we’re getting closer and closer to the official launch of eRelyx. There are still a lot of loose ends to tie up, but we’re getting closer.  Hopefully there won’t be too many bumps in the road (it would be naive to expect smooth sailing).

One of the big hurdles is developing a beautiful, intuitive, clean website.  We’re getting there! Check out a screenshot from the front page (it will be a bit wider…and prices and watch info will pop up as you hover over a watch).  Still some adjustments to be made, but it’s getting close.

In the next couple of weeks I will be reaching out to several of you to help me test the site. Stay tuned.

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CSI eRelyx

A few weeks ago I blogged about BP CEO Tony Hayward’s watch (click here to read the blog).

I’m pretty sure that TMZ took notice.  Why do I think they read my blog?  Well, they used Tony’s watch to identify him in a photo with a beautiful woman (not his wife).  Read the TMZ story here.

eRelyx – selling luxury watches, solving crimes.

Thanks PK and KM for the tip!

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Does Customer Service Matter?

Of course it does…but maybe not in every single industry.

For authenticated pre-owned luxury watches?  Absolutely.

For restaurants? Definitely.

For airlines?  Hmmm.  Probably not.  Sure, they say they care about customer service.  And some level of customer service is table stakes.  But I would argue that most airlines don’t really care.  Why?

1. Customer service is such a small consideration when people travel.  There are two dominant selection criteria that trump all others – time (including travel time, departure/arrival time, and number of connections) and price.  Then there’s FF miles.  Then maybe availability of TV/Internet.  If customer service was so important, then Orbitz, Expedia, et al would include that as a search criteria.  (Hey, Zagat includes it for restaurants, right?)

2. Customers have short memories.  I’ve had terrible travel experiences and I can’t remember which airlines have been the offenders.

3. Other airlines haven’t raised the bar.  Does one airline offer better service than another?  Probably.  You hear all about Southwest.  But have any of the major carriers stepped up?  Not that I’m aware of.

4. Customers’ options are limited.  During my recent nightmare experience with Delta, I told them to put me on another airline.  The agent’s response – “No other airline flies direct from MSP to BOS.”  Hello monopoly!  My response, “Well why don’t you guys raise your prices?”  Her response, “Don’t give the execs any ideas.”

Why am I so upset with the airlines?  I paid good money to get from point A to point B on a certain day.  They didn’t deliver.  First, there were mechanical problems with the plane.  Fine.  It happens.  Then, after having a seat reserved on the next flight out of town the next day, I was told that they accidentally withdrew my reservation.  Now the first two flights the next day were overbooked.  They admitted their mistake.  So I got to fly out on the third flight the following day.

What did I get?

1. An apology.

2. A free night in a hotel room.  Gee, thanks.

3. A $10 voucher for dinner and a $6 voucher for breakfast.  I checked Zagat, and the only places with prices that low have poor customer service.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  Airlines don’t place any value on customer service.

No extra miles.  No free flight.  Unacceptable.

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Another Ripped Elbow

Dear Brooks Brothers-

I think that we should spend some time apart.  I was willing to overlook the fact that you spend time with almost every other guy in the city.  But now that your elbows are constantly ripping, it’s clear that you’re trying to send me a message – it’s time to move on.  We had a good run.

Let’s try to make this amicable.  Don’t be jealous if you see me around town with Thomas Pink or Charles Tyrwhitt.  Who knows, I may even try out the CEO Shirt.

I’m not closing the door on getting back together – but you’ll have to change.

Please keep in touch,


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Developing Trust

As I develop an online marketplace for authenticated pre-owned luxury watches, people often ask me the following question:  How are you going to develop trust with your customers?

The question is certainly very relevant.  If eRelyx can’t develop trust with its customers, the business is bound to fail.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one thing alone that eRelyx can do to gain trust.  Trust must be earned through a combination of activities/strategies.  Here is my take on what online businesses like eRelyx can do to earn the trust of their customers:

  1. Be accessible to your customers. An email address isn’t enough.  When push comes to shove, people want to speak to a real person.  Put a phone number on the website.
  2. Give your company a face. Post pictures of the management team (and others) on your website.  Customers like to know that they are dealing with real people – not robots.
  3. Look professional. If you are trying to build a real business, spend some money/time on your website.  Looks aren’t everything, but I’d be more inclined to trust a well-built, polished website as opposed to one that’s filled with clip art and held together by tape and bubblegum.
  4. Embrace social media. I spent hours and hours on the phone interviewing web development firms.  One of the things that convinced me to hire the firm that I did was their Facebook page.  The firm had hundreds of followers who endorsed their services.  Like it or not, Facebook and Twitter matter.
  5. (Really 4a) Let your customers do your talking for you. Sure, you can tell people that you’re trust-worthy until you’re blue in the face, but it’s more credible coming from your customers.  Have your current customers write testimonials.  Tell prospective customers to post questions/concerns on your Facebook page or Twitter.  Current customers not responding?  Then you probably need to do more to exceed their expectations.
  6. Partner with established, credible companies.  If possible, develop partnerships with other trusted brands.  Ever heard the expression, “Guilt by association”?  The reverse (positive) is also true.
  7. Blog.  And be yourself. It’s hard for customers to relate to you if all you blog about is your business, products, and/or services.  Too many people blog solely to increase their search rankings.  That’s important, but why not write about stuff that will also make your readers relate to you as a person?  Make them know that you’re real – that you have real feelings, real emotions.   You’ve given your business a face by posting your picture.  Now give it a heart with your blog.
  8. Exceed expectations. You need to exceed your customers’ expectations so that they’ll help out with points 4 and 5.  The goal is not to develop satisfied customers.  The goal is to develop customers who promote your business.

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I love Entourage

As fans, there are so many reasons to love Entourage.  There are just as many reasons for advertisers to love it.

Looking to market your product(s) to 18-40 year old men?  Getting your product placed in an episode of Entourage will likely give sales a major boost.  Most male viewers relate to one of the Entourage guys in one way or another – and let’s face it – we’re all a touch jealous.  Sure, there’s the stardom, the crazy parties, and the girls (more on that later), but there’s also the amazing collection of toys and gadgets.

If you’re a smartphone manufacturer, you want the audience to see Ari and E toting around your latest creation.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Blackberry make a huge push this season – they’re losing the “cool” battle with Apple and HTC.

If you’re a car manufacturer, your brand would get a huge boost if Vince bought E the latest model.  Or if Turtle chauffeured the boys in your car.  Many of the top brands have made appearances on the show – Aston Martin, Maserati, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, etc.  It’ll be interesting to see which car manufacturer ponies up the money this season.  Might be a great way for a manufacturer to pitch their latest hybrid model and give it the “cool factor” that will help drive sales with the younger male crowd.  Be careful though, it has to be believable – there’s no way that Mark Wahlberg will let his boys roll around in a Prius.

Finally, I think watches will play a bigger role on Entourage this season.  Ari has already sported a few luxury watches like Audemars Piguet, but I think that you’ll see the boys up their game in this department.  And why wouldn’t watch manufacturers want their brand on the show?  I wouldn’t be surprised if brands like Panerai, Breitling, Rolex, and/or Cartier join the watch fray this season.  For me, watches are the 4th leg of the man-stool (in no particular order): 1. Cars 2. Gadgets 3. Watches 4. Women.

And speaking of women – one of the reasons that Entourage does so well with the male crowd is the ladies.  Here are the top five women of Entourage:

5.  (tie) Carla Gugino and Perrey Reeves.  Sure, Entourage is dominated by women in their 20s.  However, it’s these two 30-somethings that often steal the screen.  Carla sizzles as Vince’s agent/love interest Amanda Daniels.  Perrey plays Mrs. Gold – Ari’s strong, opinionated, sexy wife.

4.  Leighton Meester.  Leighton is known for her role as Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, but she also made three appearances on Entourage as Justine Chapin, a self-proclaimed virgin who has a strong crush on Vince.

3.  Jessica Alba.  Okay, so Jessica was only on the show for a few minutes.  And it was way back in 2004.  But it’s Jessica Alba.  Good enough for me.

2.  Malin Akerman.  Malin played Sloan’s friend Tori.  She made a big splash in her short time on the show – let’s just say that she, Sloan, and E got really close…at the same time.

1. Emmanuelle Chriqui.  There’s not much to say about Emmanuelle, who plays E’s now-fiancee Sloan.  She’s cute and she’s cool.  What’s not to love?

And speaking of the women of Entourage, the website “The Frisky” is reporting that Mark Wahlberg is developing a female version of the show.  My first reaction – We don’t need another Sex in the City.  However, if Mark Wahlberg is involved, it’s bound to be infinitely more exciting (at least from the male perspective).

Check out our previous post discussing the reasons why we love Entourage – click here.

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(Photos by PR Photos)


Monday Mailbag: June 21, 2010

Dear readers-

I apologize for being so slow to respond to your blog comments.  Things have been very busy over here at the eRelyx headquarters.  The good news is that the eRelyx brand continues to gain recognition.  People all over the world (France, Chile, etc.) love reading our blog about pre-owned luxury watches, entrepreneurship, and celebrities.  And apparently we’re all over the radio waves.  Fantastic.

I wasn’t able to respond to all of your (unedited) comments, but I did have time to address a few.  Please read on.

Comment 1: I like your post. Your blog is fantastic.

Response 1: Thanks Mom.  I appreciate your support…as always.

Comment 2: How many bears does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Response 2: I love jokes.  Do tell!  Wait.  What kind of bears are you talking about?  That has to make a difference, right?  Anyone?

Comment 3: Will a bigger stag hang out with a smaller one during the roar and get the smaller one to go out first to investigate any intruders/ other roars?

Response 3: Wait.  Does this have something to do with the bear joke?  I’m confused.

Comment 4: Boy, that is some high-class web site

Response 4: Thanks.  Although it’s becoming a venue for readers to test out their bear jokes.

Comment 5: Your reviews are pretty informed and valuable. Have you considered writing professionally? Like a periodical or anything?

Response 5: Haha.  Very funny.  Okay people.  Enough with the jokes.

Comment 6: Merci pour votre article très intéressant

Response 6: De rien. Did that make any sense?  Do we have anyone French speakers out there?  I’m pretty sure the reader was thanking me for my very interesting article.  But those of you who know me know that French was my worst subject in high school.

Comment 7: Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

Response 7: Seriously.  Right?  Apparently I’m all over Google France…so that’s good (tres bien, I think)

Comment 8: I am prepared to suspend my disbelief to take pleasure in a very good show

Response 8: I hope you’ve got plenty of time on your hands.

Comment 9: Which creature inside the morning goes on 4 legs, at mid-day on two, and inside the evening upon 3, and the greater legs it has, the weaker it be?

Response 9: Here we go again.  I don’t know.  Just tell me the answer.  A guy recovering from a hangover who eventually rallies to go out to a club with attractive patrons?

Comment 10: Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Response 10: Ummmm.  Good luck in college.  Let me guess – you’re not an English major.

Comment 11: Howdy, your site is on air in the radio! Good job mate. Your posts are truly great and bookmarked. Regards

Response 11: eRelyx has landed.  Before you know it, we’ll be the largest marketplace for authentic pre-owned luxury watches.  Look out world!

Comment 12: Hey quite decent blog!!?! Man .. Attractive .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your weblog and take the feeds also…

Response 12: Wait.  What’s attractive?  The blog?  Or are you talking about me? The only reason is because at one point in my life I tried to model.  Turns out I wasn’t good looking enough.  But, your words have given me hope.  If eRelyx doesn’t pan out, I may give the modeling thing a run again.

Comment 13: In case you have to try and do it, you may at the same time take action appropriate

Response 13: How did you know I was thinking about modeling again?  It literally entered my mind as a possibility five minutes ago.  And if by “action” you mean “plastic surgery” you can forget about it. (I’m an entrepreneur – I don’t have that kind of money).

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Is Entourage the Best Show on TV?

It’s almost time for the new season of Entourage.  Finally.  It must be one of the best shows on TV, right (along with Friday Night Lights)?

There are so many things to love.

1.  Kevin Dillon does an amazing job playing the painful Johnny Drama.  I love and hate him at the same time.

2. The “entourage” lives a life that we all envy in one way or another – they have money, fame, girls, cars, and plenty of time to sit around and just hang out with each other.

3. Emmanuelle Chriqui.

4. It’s on HBO.

5. Perrey Reeves.  She does an amazing job playing Ari’s strong, confident (and great looking) wife.

6. Jeremy Piven.  He does  a great job of playing a ruthless agent / boss / husband Ari Gold.  Plus, he wears amazing luxury watches.  Tune in to check out what he’s wearing this season (and if you don’t have HBO, I’ll keep you informed).

What’s your favorite part of Entourage?  Stay tuned for more posts as the Entourage season unfolds.

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(Photos by PR Photos)