The Something Store
May 12, 2008 8:54 AM   Subscribe

 
It's true, you can't get something for nothing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:58 AM on May 12, 2008


It's kind of like when Woot sells Bags of Crap (aka Banjo of Consternation).

I'd try it, but with my luck I'd probably get a Chia Dong.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:58 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


However, you can get nothing for £3.49, so I guess it all evens out in the end.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's the dollar store, with $9 shipping. Oh and you can't see what you are buying.

Pass.
posted by DU at 9:00 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Our empire in decline.
posted by Nelson at 9:02 AM on May 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'd rather have the $10.

If this company is successful, I want all complaints about the economy, mortgage crisis, and corporate greed to cease immediately.

Send you $10 and you send me whatever you want? How about you send me something, and I send you whatever I think it's worth. Or how about I send you ten bucks and then trace the shipment back to you so I hunt you like game. Or whatever.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:07 AM on May 12, 2008 [18 favorites]


Pepsi Something.
posted by fatllama at 9:08 AM on May 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wish there was an American Woot. This "Something" store is brilliant marketing. I should make one next time I want to get rid of stuff and don't have the energy for a garage sale.
posted by misha at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2008


I just ordered one something. Ten bucks? That's like a lunch and a half. Or a seventh of a tank of gas. I'm hoping for the belly-dancing costume, but I'll probably get something useless like the GPS. I'll let you guys know when it comes.
posted by Plutor at 9:11 AM on May 12, 2008




I'd prefer a Little Something Something, myself.
posted by jonmc at 9:17 AM on May 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


All Blinged-Out Cabbage, all the time!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:19 AM on May 12, 2008


Also: something, something... something.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:21 AM on May 12, 2008


I was hoping this was some sort of joke or commentary, but it looks like it is real. Frightening.
posted by ssg at 9:24 AM on May 12, 2008


For $10, I won't kick you hard in the nuts. For $5, I'll only gently kick your nuts.
posted by ColdChef at 9:27 AM on May 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are times I wish I were rich. Seriously rich, (no... make that Rich!), like more-money-than-I-could-ever-reasonably-spend kind of Rich!

I would love to create a site like this. Most of the stuff I would send out would be of the $1 item with $9 shipping, but every couple of ten thousand orders, I would send out something cool, like a $1,000 dollar TV or something. And once in a while, I'd send someone a BMW or an Audi, and then, just for fun, once in a million, I'd buy someone a house.

And I would deny it to the hilt. I would employ armies of skilled lawyers who would cross every T and dot every I in an effort to make sure that no one could ever prove I had anything to do with these windfalls.

Just because that would make it fun.
posted by quin at 9:29 AM on May 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


If this company is successful, I want all complaints about the economy, mortgage crisis, and corporate greed to cease immediately.

Unstated, but OBVIOUSLY 100% true, assumption: Poor, homeless, exploited people are the ones driving the bulk of ecommerce.
posted by DU at 9:30 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


So how much for a beefy T that reads I was kicked gently in the nuts by ColdChef and all I got was gangrene!
posted by nola at 9:30 AM on May 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I already have a something and I like to think it isn't little.
posted by srboisvert at 9:30 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


For $10, I won't kick you hard in the nuts. For $5, I'll only gently kick your nuts.

So, by that logic, you should caress my nuts for free.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2008 [26 favorites]


Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring 2.0.
posted by sciurus at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2008


As an alternative, here's a listing of thousands of charities. Pick one at random without looking, and give $10. Simple and fun! (I got the Snow Leopard Trust of Washington.)
posted by naju at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


Does this remind anyone of THX-1138? Remember how they buy things just to bring them home and toss them into the disintegrator? And it's a little funky box?
posted by Eideteker at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2008


Why don't you get yourself a little something?

I already have enough useless consumer goods in my apartment, thank you very much.
posted by lekvar at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2008


So, by that logic, you should caress my nuts for free.

Or tickle them for a quater, at least.
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2008




There's a psychology to online ordering that caters to the fact that people simply like to get packages in the mail, and it becomes addicting for some people.

Add a lottery component, along with it being somewhat whacky and Christmas-morning-not-sure-what-I'm-going-to-get-but-it-might-be-cool, and you get all kinds of people who will sign up for this.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


There is already a book about this. (My kids love it.)
posted by msalt at 9:50 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: For $5, I'll gently kick your nuts.
posted by msalt at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


If this company is successful, I want all complaints about the economy, mortgage crisis, and corporate greed to cease immediately.

I'm pretty sure that you already want all those complaints to cease unconditionally.

I fail to see the connection to this silly little store.
posted by Project F at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


How much to gently massage my nuts?
posted by absalom at 9:57 AM on May 12, 2008


naju: that's a truly great idea.
posted by Project F at 9:58 AM on May 12, 2008


I'd prefer a Little Something Something, myself.

Check out the Blow girls, three doors down.
posted by rokusan at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2008


How much to gently massage my nuts?

$5, same as on Metafilter.

Seriously, though, how exactly is this different from gambling? "Send us your money and you might get a valuable prize!!!!"
posted by Avenger at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2008


Why don't you get yourself a little something?

You had me at pinched cheek!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:08 AM on May 12, 2008


Isn't there a similar scam on ebay where you buy cards with pre-loaded value anywhere from $0.01 to $200? With guess what value being more common?
posted by prefpara at 10:13 AM on May 12, 2008


I gotta say, I'm kind of intrigued by this. I'm not sure I'm ten bucks worth of intrigued, but I am tempted.
posted by bondcliff at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2008


It's worth it if you don't open the box, leave it out as conversation piece, a mystery. The mystery is better than the content.
posted by stbalbach at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just bought 'something' for two of my friends. As for the cost, who cares, it's $10. That's less than I paid to have Mr. T as the voice on my GPS.
posted by Project F at 10:22 AM on May 12, 2008


That's definately a difficult business model to mess up. You give them $10, they give you something.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2008


I'd just like to express my joy at the dozens of people who paid $5 to have the right to express their opinion that it's silly to waste $10 on the internets.
posted by Project F at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2008 [29 favorites]


This is the part of the thread where I say "20 bucks, same as in town."
posted by Jofus at 10:30 AM on May 12, 2008


stbalbach: "It's worth it if you don't open the box, leave it out as conversation piece, a mystery. The mystery is better than the content."

Then you come uncomfortably close to being the pretentious J.J. Abrams.
posted by pedmands at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I like the "Something Not" legal disclaimer.
posted by Pants! at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2008


Interesting series of articles on the strange allure of dollar stores (and part two).
posted by msaleem at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2008


Jofus: "This is the part of the thread where I say "20 bucks, same as in town.""

So you're saying this website is half price? Or that I should have bought two?
posted by Plutor at 11:12 AM on May 12, 2008


Wow, this is some kind of peak moment for commerce: we've automated and monetized a replacement for the birthday gift from your great-aunt.

If you Google "SomethingStore" you can find out what people got, as they love to share this detail on blogs.

What I'm curious about is what they don't give you - what's the deal with the business model? The merchandise kind of looks like what they have at our local discounter, BigLots (panini machine, Fossil watches, clothes from catalog companies, utensils, etc). So they must just bid on lots and send the stuff around. But someone mentioned getting an iPod, so perhaps they are salting the deliveries to keep the money flowing in.

They're gonna make a mint. It's a crazy idea, but it just might work. This is the kind of thing they make musicals about.
posted by Miko at 11:46 AM on May 12, 2008


Greetings, friends. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've
got the power inside you right now. So, use it, and send one dollar to
Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay, eternal
happiness is just a dollar away.

Mr. Burns: One dollar for eternal happiness. Mmmm ... I'd be happier with the dollar.


Same thing, only they send you something you won't want, and you're ten times poorer.
posted by inthe80s at 11:49 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, they list stuff they refuse to send, which is a total dealbreaker for me: Body parts; Organs or other body parts; body fluids; stem cells; embryos

posted by mecran01 at 11:57 AM on May 12, 2008


In the great entreprenuerial spirit of competition, I hereby offer the same deal to all MeFites: Send me $10, and I'll send you something.

Actually, today only, because you're a special crowd, I'm offering you the special "Friends and Family" of only $9. That's right, $9, for which I guarantee you something!

Imagine the surprise and joy you'll feel when you get something in the mail from me - for a whole dollar cheaper than those Other Guys!

email in profile.
posted by Miko at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's worth it if you don't open the box, leave it out as conversation piece, a mystery. The mystery is better than the content.

Schroedinger's Tchotchke!
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


No embryos?!

Pass.
posted by sir_rubixalot at 12:23 PM on May 12, 2008


Well, I'm something of a sucker. I think. I'll let you know next week.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2008


They're gonna make a mint. It's a crazy idea, but it just might work. This is the kind of thing they make musicals about.

Haaaa. They've made musicals about far stranger topics.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:27 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Instead of someTHING, can I just get SOME for ten bucks?
posted by tadellin at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2008


Miko: "They're gonna make a mint. It's a crazy idea, but it just might work. This is the kind of thing they make musicals about."

MARCO: ♫ I have an idea for a website that sells random things ♪
MARCO: [works at keybord for 45 minutes]
INTERMISSION
MARCO: [works at keybord for 38 minutes]
MARCO: ♬ God, I have to pee ♫

It practically writes itself.
posted by Plutor at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


No, screw you, HTML entities
posted by Plutor at 12:39 PM on May 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


This would actually work pretty well if you had people that you needed to get a gift for, but didn't actually feel like going out and buying them something or putting any energy into thinking about what they might want (or don't know enough to be able to figure that out). Just send in your $10, they get some random gift, ostensibly from you.
posted by LionIndex at 12:48 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cute idea. But about 5,000 somethings ordered in the last 6 1/2 months, according to the site (and I'm guessing the busiest months were right before Xmas, after which activity has tailed off considerably). So . . .

1. $50,000 in revenue
2. Minus $10,000 in shipping costs (@ say, $2 each)
3. Minus $15,000 in product costs (@ say, $3 each)
4. Minus other overhead expenses
5. ?????
6. Lack of profit!

And even if #4 = 0, it's still around $3,500 per month in pre-tax profit, for a completely unscalable business with little or no barrier to entry.

Good luck!

Kibbutz
Raining On Entrepeneurial Parades Since 1984
posted by Kibbutz at 12:49 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


nebulawindphone wins.
posted by ImJustRick at 12:50 PM on May 12, 2008


3. Minus $15,000 in product costs (@ say, $3 each)

This is where your math is off, assuming they're buying bulk lots. Which, from their merchandise, it looks like they are. They are likely to be spending much much less on the items than this.

I also wondered if there is product planting going on - in other words, if they're selling their service to distributors to generate buzz about products. However, after looking at the products, most are not the kind of item that gets promoted in that way.
posted by Miko at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2008


Isn't there a similar scam on ebay where you buy cards with pre-loaded value anywhere from $0.01 to $200? With guess what value being more common?
Wild West grifter Soapy Smith would be proud.
posted by zamboni at 1:01 PM on May 12, 2008


Founder Sami Bay describes the business plan.
posted by Miko at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2008


This is where your math is off

Miko, I'm assuming you're right, and I hope so for their sake. And actually, I thought my math was off in point #5, as well (heh heh).
posted by Kibbutz at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2008


Heh.

No, I don't think they're making a lot of money, but I once went to this trade show on the piers in Manhattan where bulk goods (like this stuff) were auctioned off to dollar stores and discounters...and the stuff was really cheap, sold in giant cases for not that much. So I'm guessing they're using sources like that. Kind of capital-intensive though.
posted by Miko at 1:07 PM on May 12, 2008


That's definitely a difficult business model to mess up. You give them $10, they give you something.
You'd think it'd be hard to mess that up, but: Verizon.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:11 PM on May 12, 2008


I prefer The Boring Store, but that's just me.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 1:13 PM on May 12, 2008


Because God knows we won't destroy the planet soon enough simply buying identifiable crap.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:21 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


We do not provide any items or services that are illegal to trade in United States, for example.... Illegal drugs and drug accessories, including psychoactive and herbal drugs such as salvia and magic mushrooms; materials promoting use of illegal drugs or accessories.

This shop sucks.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:27 PM on May 12, 2008


Send me ten bucks and I'll send you a random bicycle part.
posted by fixedgear at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2008


First thought
I doubt I'd be so lucky though...
posted by YAMWAK at 1:47 PM on May 12, 2008


You know what? I'm in, too. Same deal as miko-- send me $9, I'll mail something to anywhere in the United States. I'm dead serious, and you'll probably get something fairly cool, because I've got boxes of stuff in the basement that I never unpacked when I moved two-and-a-half years ago. Books, toys, souvenirs from Japan-- you name it. E-mail's in the profile, PayPal accepted. Buy something from me!
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:55 PM on May 12, 2008


Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
posted by sy at 1:59 PM on May 12, 2008


Send me $10 and I'll send you a random bill from my wallet.

(Umm, wait a second. *removes everything but the ones*)

Okay, any bill chosen at random!
posted by Bonzai at 2:02 PM on May 12, 2008


I ordered one "something". I like stbalbach's idea of not opening it, although I'm sure I will.

And I am about to be overcome taking up Miko or Butt on their offer.

Jesus, you can lose $10 easily in one pull of a slot machine in Vegas. People losing their minds up-thread about how THIS is the problem with America. For those counting pennies, I'd like to remind you there is a fantastically expensive "war" going on.

In fact, the war could have bought 34 million of these boxes TODAY. By next week, the war could have bought one of these boxes for every person in America.

I would rather have whatever is in the box than sit through Speed Racer at the theater.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:21 PM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Only ten of your American dollars? I HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE. Except my self-respect.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:53 PM on May 12, 2008


My family did a Yankee Gift Swap at Christmas a year and a half ago. One person carefully wrapped a box containing a $25 scratch card. Brilliant! Do you keep it -- not scratching off the foil, of course, until the exchange is over -- or force your brother-in-law to trade you the Twins Deluxe Beer Can Roasting Set for it?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:06 PM on May 12, 2008


Hey, that's awesome! You can buy yourself an item to re-gift next Festivus!
posted by nosila at 3:58 PM on May 12, 2008


Eventually, we plan to make money on volume.

Volume of marketing data collected, he means.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:11 PM on May 12, 2008


For $10, shouldn't they call it "Dime Bag"?
posted by Tube at 4:12 PM on May 12, 2008


Add me to the list of "I'll mail you something" people. I don't even want ten bucks up front, I'm leaving my apartment soon and I need to downsize. I'd be happy to start mailing stuff out across country, to be honest it'll probably be a USB cable or a book. I have lots of both. If you really like it then you could send me money for it, or for shipping, or some cookies. (Outside US must provide payment up front.)
posted by Science! at 4:39 PM on May 12, 2008


Hey, I have takers. I'm already having fun planning my Somethings.
posted by Miko at 5:02 PM on May 12, 2008


The best thing about this thread is YAMWAK having introduced me to Dresden Codak.

The second-best thing was a very close second, the offer by three MeFites to do their own version of the SomethingStore -- which is WAY more tempting than the real thing.

Heck, I'd offer to do it for just $8 and undercut the market, but I just don't have the time.... (or, okay, enough stuff worth $8, I'll admit).
posted by gohlkus at 5:45 PM on May 12, 2008


Science! do you really live on the bering strait? if so I would love something. I might even send you cookies
posted by ShawnString at 7:34 PM on May 12, 2008


No, that's just a cool seeming place to live. I'm a born bred and current midwesterner, want a package from Kansas?
posted by Science! at 7:43 PM on May 12, 2008


I decided to do the fiscally responsible thing. Instead of applying my $600 economic stimulus check to my credit cards or popping the money into a CD I bought 60 somethings instead.
posted by kscottz at 7:59 PM on May 12, 2008


This is like opening a booster pack from a trading card game. $10 in, something out. Opening things up is fun.

...so is reading this thread. I love Metafilter sometimes. =)
posted by andreaazure at 10:53 PM on May 12, 2008


This is where your math is off, assuming they're buying bulk lots

Which is true--except the larger the bulk of their lots, the less product-differentiation they have (and the more likely it is that customers like kscottz are to be disappointed). And the smaller the lots are, the more likely that the cost-per-item is higher.

Interesting concept, though, from both a business model and consumer standpoint.
posted by Kibbutz at 9:01 AM on May 13, 2008


And I confess, that in a weak moment, I will likely purchase one of their items (maybe your life is like a box of chocolates, but mine is more like this movie).
posted by Kibbutz at 9:04 AM on May 13, 2008


A mystery box....that could be anything!

It could even be a boat!!
posted by samsara at 10:04 AM on May 13, 2008


What is the point? I don't really get it

Is this scrounging 2.0?
posted by bargainhunter at 4:18 PM on May 13, 2008


What is the point? I don't really get it

Is this scrounging 2.0?
posted by bargainhunter at 7:18 PM on May 13 [+] [!]


Eponywha...?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:54 PM on May 13, 2008


I just want to ask any of you that DID go for the Something to report back here on what you got in the box, please!
posted by misha at 3:28 PM on May 14, 2008


I got Something from Miko instead of Something from that website, and it's *awesome*.
posted by headspace at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2008


Boo! So far I've only received two nothings!
posted by iamkimiam at 8:29 AM on May 23, 2008


My Something came today. It's a somewhat standard looking canvas laptop bag. Coincidentally, I dug my old (Pentium III 300MHz) laptop out of the closet this week, and couldn't find my old bag (I bet a certain someone brought it to Goodwill). My only complaint is that it's navy blue.

A co-worker of mine got a Something, too, and it's much smaller (maybe the size of a softball, but lighter). He's out today and Monday's a holiday, so it won't be opened until Tuesday.

Successful? I'd say so. Am I going to buy a Something Else? Unlikely, except maybe to ship directly to sorta-friends with a sense of adventure for birthdays or holidays.
posted by Plutor at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2008


Miko sent me a Something also-- actually several Somethings. They rule. There's no way I could have gotten Something that cool from some dumb old website.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:33 AM on May 23, 2008


I actually got these two cool somethings from the Something Store today! I consider this a success!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:49 AM on May 23, 2008


You got a necklace, and a coffee-drinking cat?
posted by msalt at 11:11 AM on May 23, 2008


Yeah, I wouldn't have thought that a cat would ship nearly that well.
posted by quin at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2008


I got a remote control car. Watch your toes!
posted by maurice at 2:59 PM on May 24, 2008


i got an eggling. it's pretty heartwrenchingly adorable.
posted by kerning at 12:35 PM on May 27, 2008


I ordered 2 somethings from each of the following something vendors:

The Something Store: result.

Miko: result.

Faint of Butt: result.

When ranked by my 5 year old nephew, the Something Store's offering fell fall short of Miko and Faint of Butt's offerings, and I have to agree.

I can't choose between Miko and Faint of Butt's offerings. Miko included food, but Faint of Butt included a book I'd meant to read for years. It's clear they're tied for mega-first place.
posted by Project F at 5:08 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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