Forget Holiday Cards, Send a Potato

November 27, 2015

11:02 am

During the holiday season everyone gets a barrage of holiday cards. If you’re like me, you open the card, read it, and then promptly throw it away. Occasionally there may be some money or a gift card between the card stock paper, but there is nothing really unique about a greeting card. However, a few months ago I stumbled upon a new, unique way to send someone a message through the mail, a potato.

Yes, America’s favorite legume, the spud, can in fact be a viable replacement for greeting cards, and one particular entrepreneur has made a successful business of it. From sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving to orange-painted potatoes for Halloween, these are the perfect way to tell people exactly how you feel. From sweet to hateful, Potato Parcel is a slightly safer alternative to glitter bombs, poop (yes, it’s a thing), and even the evil teddy bear that never stops singing.

Interestingly enough, this is actually not the first business of it’s kind. While Potato Parcel sends their potato with a specific message on it and within an envelope, Mail a Spud was the original.

Mail a Spud throws some stamps on a potato, you add your desired person’s address, and off it goes. Apparently as long as the item is not prohibited by the USPS, you can just add some stamps on it and throw it right in the mailbox. Both services also allow you to send the taters anonymously.

Launched in May of this year, the site has sold more than $40,000 worth of potato parcels. After an initial viral push, Founder Alex Craig made a profit of more than $13,000, and prior to that and average of $2,000 per month for it’s initial three months after launch.

The site and business has since been sold for $42,000 through Flippa, and since that time has expanded to other countries and to include other offerings. Prior to the acquisition they had two sizes of potatoes being sent, which have since been turned into only a single size offering.

I sent my wife one; she was not impressed.

potato parcel

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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