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It can be fun getting an unknown package delivered. “What could it be,” you may wonder before you rip off the packaging to discover the contents. Maybe you get an item you really love, or one you’re not so fond of. In the end, though, must of us can identify with the excitement of the unopened shipped box, that “Wells Fargo Wagon” moment as is sung about in The Music Man.
Given this pretty predictable excitement, the idea of getting something in the mail has been marketed perfectly by a store called the Somethingstore. Betting on the fact that most people don’t often receive packages in the mail, the company asks you to give $10 US Dollars (USD) and then sends you something in the mail. The gimmick is, you’ll have no idea what that something is until you open the box.
There are a wide range of products that may be significantly worth more or slightly less $10 USD value. You might get a video game, an electric razor, a piece of jewelry or a big floppy hat. Customers who use the Somethingstore are sometimes pleased by surprise purchases, and sometimes not, but most enjoy the experience, which is offered at a pretty low price. You cannot return items as you might when you favorite auntie sends you a gift you hate, but you can regift the item to someone else who might like it.
The idea for the Somethingstore must be credited to its inventor, Sami Bay, who launched his unusual web site and concept in late 2007. Based in New York, Bay’s store, which operates on the Internet only, is quickly becoming a popular trend. Bay believes that most of the somethings sent have to have a high value, so that customers will repeat and buy more things. Value is mixed between high and more moderate, with some customers receiving something worth much more than they paid, like $25 USD gift cards to major retailers, and others receiving a “something” approximately valued at $10 USD or less.
Bay’s irreverent website for Somethingstore makes clear that this is supposed to be a fun and funny experience for consumers. His list of things that won’t be sent are an example of the sense of humor that pervades the Somethingstore concept. Noted exclusions are things like body parts and rare animals.
So if you’re in the mood to get a surprise package, and have $10 USD on hand, you can visit the Somethingstore online and take your chances on receiving a fun, or not so terrific gift. Shipping within the US is currently free. Shipping to Canada currently costs just under $5 USD, and elsewhere shipping costs are about $9 USD. As of August 2008, the Somethingstore offers gender specific items for men and women, and also gender specific "somethings" for boys and girls.