Potato Parcel

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A selfie with a Potato Parcel message reading "Birds Tho".

Potato Parcel (or PotatoParcel.com) is an American company and website for delivering potatoes with personalized messages, which are limited to 140 characters or one picture.[1][2][3][4]

History[edit]

In January 2014, a similar company Mail A Spud (or MailASpud.com) based in Brooklyn, New York founded by Sean Din began with the mission statement "with the philosophy that everyone could use a potato every now and then."[2][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][excessive citations]

In May 2015, Potato Parcel was founded by mobile app developer Alex Craig, a 24-year-old University of North Texas alum, and was later promoted on Reddit.[4][7][10][11][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][excessive citations] Originally, Potato Parcel was based in Dallas, Texas.[2] Large potatoes cost $9.99 (or $10[6][14][19]) while medium-sized ones $7.99 (or $8[14][19]).[2][4][15][18][20][excessive citations] Craig said he would buy the potatoes from the local neighborhood Walmart.[18] Reportedly, profits per month ranged between $10,000[4][6][7][8][10][13][14][15][16][17][21][22][excessive citations] and $13,000.[5][9] Potato Parcel has proved popular on websites like Twitter.[15]

Neither Mail A Spud nor the company endorses eating the potato due to health concerns.[2][3][6][20][23][excessive citations] In an email interview with MarketWatch's Kathleen Burke, Craig said "I wanted to create a brand new way of sending a message outside of apps and technology by allowing anyone to send an anonymous message…on a potato."[2][7][20] In August 27, 2015, the company was sold to marketplace website Flippa for $42,000.[9][11] Previously, Flippa bought the viral website ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com from creator Matthew Carpentor for $85,000.[10][11][15]

In October 2015, Potato Parcel was sold to Bay Area entrepreneur Riad Bekhit for $40,000 and moved to San Bruno, California. Bekhit says he uses a Pilot G2 gel roller pens to write messages. Since the move, new products include Lump of Coal Potato (a potato that is spray-painted black), Potato Pal (a potato with a picture of someone’s face), Potato Postcard (a postcard pasted onto a potato), and Spooky Tater (a potato painted to look like a pumpkin).[12][19][24] A burlap sack is also available for shipping.[23] In April 2016, Bekhit said profits per month ranged between $20,000 and $25,000.[12][24] Potato Parcel has expanded shipping to Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom.[1][12][19][23]

Potato Parcel also inspired a number of other delivery companies. Another company of the same name based in Australia delivers at the cost of $10 and a message of 15 words or less.[5] Potato Parcel also inspired Brick or Potato, which allows the customer to choose between a brick or potato with a personalized message at the cost of £6.99.[25] Potato Messenger, started by two art students Will Richards and Daniel Butson, mailed 1,000 potatoes to Parliament House, Canberra painted and arranged as the rainbow flag to protest for marriage equality in Australia.[21] It also inspired Bananas Gone Wild, founded by electrocardiogram technician Davonte Wilson of Plano, Texas, and Nannergram, founded by Konnor Willison and based in Lehi, Utah, which delivers bananas with personalized messages.[2][26][27] There is also Eggplant Mail, which delivers eggplants.[28][29]

Reception[edit]

Cosmopolitan's Tess Koman reviewed Potato Parcel with "It's the new glitter-bombing, but way more depressing."[30] Tech Cocktail's Elliot Volkman said "these are the perfect way to tell people exactly how you feel."[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Atkins, Amy (March 16, 2016). "Potato Parcel". Boise Weekly. Boise Weekly. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Burke, Kathleen (August 26, 2015). "People are spending $14 to send message-bearing potatoes". MarketWatch. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Swanson, Lauren (June 1, 2016). "6 gifts you can anonymously send to your mortal enemies". Revelist. Revelist Media. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Vare, Rosie (August 21, 2015). "New company lets you send messages on potatoes". AOL Money UK. AOL. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Beattie, Andrea (November 11, 2015). "These Quirky Businesses Are Just Too Brilliant To Fail". The Huffington Post Australia. The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Hailey, Caroline (September 14, 2015). "7 Dumb Ways People Make Money". GOBankingRates. ConsumerTrack Inc. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Pomranz, Mike (August 26, 2016). "Sending Potatoes Through the Mail Seems to Be a Booming Industry". Food & Wine. Time Inc. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Thompson, Elaine (June 3, 2016). "Potato passes postal policy muster in Southbridge". Telegram & Gazette. GateHouse Media. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Volkman, Elliot (November 27, 2015). "Forget Holiday Cards, Send a Potato". Tech Cocktail. Tech.Co. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Whitten, Sarah (August 19, 2015). "This guy makes $10,000 a month shipping potatoes". CNBC. CNBC LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Whitten, Sarah (August 28, 2015). "Viral potato website goes on sale". CNBC. CNBC LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d Woolf, Nicky (January 26, 2016). "When cards won't do the trick, say it with a potato in the mail". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Goins, David (August 13, 2015). "N. Texas man turns 'dumbest idea ever' into big business". WFAA. WFAA-TV. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d Lewis, Ashley (August 19, 2015). "Potato Parcel founder, 24, makes $10K each month writing on potatoes and sending them away". New York Daily News. NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d e Taylor, Kate (August 14, 2015). "Forget Glitter: The New Thing to Ship Your Enemies Is a Potato". Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  16. ^ a b McAuley, Dana (August 20, 2015). "Cheese posties, flat-packed shoes, personalised potatoes: These are the world's weirdest businesses". News.com.au. News Corp Australia. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Pilon, Annie (August 24, 2015). "This Entrepreneur will Send Your Message — Via Potato?". Small Business Trends. Small Business Trends LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Robertson, Lindsey (August 18, 2015). "Who knew mailing personalized potatoes could rake in so much cash?". Mashable. Mashable.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d e Truong, Alice (March 13, 2016). "A business that sends messages on potatoes makes $25,000 a month and is inspiring copycats". Quartz. Atlantic Media Co. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c Quirk, Mary Beth (August 26, 2015). "We Live In A World Where An Internet Company Can Charge $14 To Put A Message On A Potato". Consumerist. Consumer Reports. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Buaya, Alisha; Bhole, Aneeta; Geary, Belinda Grant (September 24, 2015). "Australian potato messaging entrepreneurs take 1000 specially painted spuds to Parliament House so that they can show their support for marriage equality". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  22. ^ Wang, Jackie (February 14, 2016). "Send your friends (or enemies) a potato for a bargain". austin360. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Saxena, Jaya (February 29, 2016). "Every single website that mails messages on potatoes". The Daily Dot. DailyDot.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Bloom, Jonathan (April 26, 2016). "Bay Area man sprouts business idea using potatoes to send messages". ABC7. KGO-TV. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  25. ^ Scott, Ellen (October 9, 2015). "Website lets you send your friends a brick or a potato with a message". Metro News. Metro International. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  26. ^ Pomranz, Mike (April 25, 2016). "Banana Artist Says He'll Make $100,000 This Year". Food & Wine. Time Inc. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  27. ^ Sumitra (April 26, 2016). "Bananas Gone Wild- The Business of Decorating Bananas". Oddity Central. Odditycentral.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  28. ^ Diamond, Kelly (March 21, 2016). "Send your crush an eggplant in the mail". Mashable. Mashable.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  29. ^ Foley, Linds (March 22, 2016). "You Can Now Send A Real Life Eggplant Emoji By Post". MTV.co.uk. MTV. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  30. ^ Koman, Tess (June 9, 2015). "Would You Send Your Enemies a Potato With a Mean Message?". Cosmopolitan. Hearst. Retrieved August 11, 2016.

External links[edit]