Current bitcoin block reward.

Proposed method to email crypto-coins directly.

Below are some ideas I have been working on to allow direct off-blockchain transfer of Bitcoin Private Keys while preventing Double-Spend and Counterfeiting . There is a reference to tamper-proof Physical Bitcoin as DA BOMB- Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknotes. These Physical Bitcoins and their digitally encrypted representations are the basis for off-blockchain exchange of value. Off-Blockchain exchanges are completely private and as fast as sending an email.

FAST BITCOIN

Daily settlement between corporations, instant settlement on trading or funded shopping channels, physical bitcoin possession for investors .
Each platform which offers FAST BITCOIN will purchase a large amount of DA BOMB to power their digital envelope re-sale network. All networks will be compatible and fungible assets composed of.
When a customer places an order for DA BOMB I load a certain amount of BTC in various denominations onto a selection of bitcoin wallets, which are then manufactured as physical bitcoin.
This amount of BTC is the amount this customer can spend on the FAST BITCOIN network.
The Bitcoin the customer spends never moves on the BTC Blockchain.
The envelope containing the customer’s BTC is credited or debited a certain combination of addresses that contain a known amount of BTC, adding up to the exact amount of the transaction.
Transactions can only be made in ROUND NUMBERS of a certain resolution, such as 0.0001 BTC , and the resolution will be finer at a later date to account for the rise of value of BTC in the future.
The contents of a customer’s envelope will be maintained to allow for making change and to account for his spending or funding of his account.
The main issuer of FAST BITCOIN will be Satoshi Bitcoin Incorporated, with other platforms buying enough DA BOMB to issue their own FAST BITCOIN on their own shopping platforms.
Customers can always write to the platform and request that their remaining envelope balance be mailed to their physical address.
The envelope contents are tracked on a separate blockchain, the FAST BITCOIN blockchain.
Customers can use their physical bitcoin like paper money, or break the hologram seal and view the private key to use as regular bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain.
Only TRUSTED NODES are on the FAST BITCOIN Blockchain. The Network is composed of the corporate members who offer FAST BITCOIN shopping at their websites, and join by invitation only. Large networks can fuel their own branded shopping tokens with FAST BITCOIN after paying a co-branding fee, or simply use FAST BITCOIN without re-branding to their own token name.
Software can equate all prices at a website to the token value of choice on the platform, so that the shopper may make purchases via FAST BITCOIN while referring to prices in stable fiat equivalent tokens, or re-branded token values.
The customer’s purchasing power varies with the price of Bitcoin, but the visible prices remain stable.
The customer may buy a StableCoin (not Tethers) to fund all or part of their account, or switch from BTC to StableCoin at will; or let the system do this for him. BTC going up, funding remains in BTC, BTC going down, Funding switches too StableCoin.
A purely electronic version of FAST BITCOIN will rely on a hardware device to store the private keys offline and always in encrypted form when connected to the internet.
There is object “A” : the FAST BITCOIN Wallet
There is object “B” : the individual private keys
The system works with a combination of Master System Key Encryption and Asymmetrical Key Encryption.
The Hardware device is called a SPLIT WALLET. It is a combination of a HOT WALLET and a COLD WALLET. The two halves of the split wallet can only communicate with each other when the device is unplugged from the device being used to access the Internet.
The Master System Key resides on the Cold Wallet and can’t be viewed without destroying the function of the Hardware Wallet.
To send bitcoin to a person on the network, the hardware wallet takes the addresses needed to add up to the desired amount and encrypts them with the PUBLIC KEY of the receiving device.
The BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN is used as a KEY SERVER to store the PUBLIC KEY of every device manufactured, linked to its registration number and owner identity. The OWNER IDENTITY is an EMAIL ADDRESS which is [[email protected]_BITCOIN.COM](mailto:[email protected]_bitcoin.com) .
The addresses are encrypted by the SYSTEM MASTER KEY , then by the RECIPIENT PUBLIC KEY and emailed to the above email address.
The whole network is sustained by a peer-to-peer email remailer network. Software on the machine used by the hardware device to connect to the INTERNET is designed to run a peer-to-peer email remailer node.
As well as sending the recipient an email via the re-mailer network, an entry is made on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN containing the double encrypted bitcoin private keys, recipient email address, and transaction identifier . This also contains the device registration number as part of the owner email address.
Thus even if the domain is blocked from sending email the information needed to use the bitcoin is available from the data stored on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN.
The value of Bitcoin Cash does not impact the cost of sending bitcoin, since the transaction sizes to record data on its blockchain are very small.

When FAST BITCOIN is sent to a recipient, he must plug his hardware device into a laptop, phone, or other internet device to download the keys to the device. At this time while the hardware device is still connected to the internet the just received FAST BITCOIN will not yet be available to spend. It will show on the device as STILL ENCRYPTED. The user unplugs the device from the internet and then transfers the amount from the COLD SIDE to the HOT SIDE of his wallet while offline. If he wishes he may leave this amount on the COLD SIDE or transfer up to the entire contents of the SPLIT WALLET to the HOT SIDE to enable immediate spending as soon as connected to the internet.
The COLD SIDE contains the SYSTEM MASTER KEY and decrypts the PRIVATE BITCOIN KEYS in order to enable spending.
The hardware device checks the bitcoin blockchain to verify the amount of bitcoin held by each bitcoin private key, and also checks that the private keys it contains map properly to the public bitcoin keys used to view the balance on the device when it is connected to the internet.

DA Bomb

Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb)
Bitcoin Metal Wallet Cold Storage on BTC Blockchain. A Crypto-Currency version of money, which may be exchanged for fiat currency.
Other major cryptos such as Ethereum , LiteCoin, and Bitcoin Cash may be substituted for bitcoin without affecting the usefulness of this offering. These versions will come out later, using the same physical format. (hopefully patented)
The design of the card should be modified enough from any existing patents to be patentable itself. The manufacturing, loading and documenting of the card should be done by proprietary and open-source software. This process should be patented as well or be part of the same patent.
These are physical BTC coins, in the form of a metal card the size and shape of a credit card. The Bitcoin Wallet is composed of two sets of engraved alpha-numeric and QR codes highlighted by black ink. One set is public and is on the outside of the card. A pull-tab almost exactly like the kind on a soup can is removed from the front of the card to reveal the inner contents . This is the engraving of the private key which is required to spend the BTC. Viewing it or detecting the exact nature of this code is equivalent to ownership of the associated BTC.
The public key on the outside of the card is used to deposit to or send to the card. In normal operations the card would come loaded with a certain amount of BTC.
The cards will be protected by security features and the quality control process during their manufacture.
The cards will be dipped in a coating of compounds to indicate a unique identity for each card, with short lengths of coloured fibres and paint floating on the surface of the clear lacquer compound and creating a unique visual identity. Each card is photographed and the image file uploaded to a database with the blockchain address and item id from manufacture all associated together.
A label is created and affixed to the outside of the card. On it are the blockchain address, photo of the untampered card, and amount of BTC deposited to card.
The private keys are not retained in file form at the manufacturer’s facility, or recorded in any way.
Before the key is deleted from memory and fully erased from all data storage devices, the photo of the engraving of it is compared to the key via character recognition software. When photo verifies as true then key is deleted from memory. Now the card is tracked by my own “in-house” item id, linked in the database to the blockchain address which displays the public key, and the photo file of the card. The card is photographed twice, the photo of the private key is deleted just after verifying the engraving matches the private key. The photo of the exterior of the card showing the paint lines and fibre positions on the card is kept on file. The offline computer takes the photo of the private key, the online computer takes the photo of the card after dipping.
The card is meant to circumvent the horribly high fees associated with using BTC as a payment method. Possession of the card is deemed to be legally equivalent to the ability to spend the associated BTC available via the private key. The nature of the tamper proof and hack proof aspects of the card manufacture lends credence to the continued value of the card as it is passed through consecutive transactions. The fees which would have been normally paid to enable these transactions on the Blockchain, will now have been saved by the people utilizing the physical Bitcoin cards. The Bitcoin transactions on the Blockchain are enabled by paying fees to “bitcoin miners”, who use large amounts of energy and computing power to solve complicated mathematical problems in order to process transactions and also to earn newly created bitcoins, of which there will only ever be 21,000,000. The fees for bitcoin transactions have become so high that paying for an item with bitcoin wouldn’t make sense for anything under $280 or so; and you had better be rich enough not to care about the $30 to $75 fee to buy just about any size purchase.
Instead of this, cold wallets containing small denominations of BTC can be exchanged via strong encryption and sending password and wallet via different delivery modes; or by physical bitcoin wallets.
At any time one may pull the tab on the metal card and reveal the private key, in order to obtain control of the BTC for use in a different cold wallet, or an online wallet. You will now have to pay transaction fees as per your new wallet details.
There is an instant financial advantage as soon as a group of people trust the value of physical bitcoin in transactions. All the miner fees for each transaction done with physical bitcoin are saved by the group. These transactions are valued in BTC, worth real dollars if exchanged for dollars; but with the dollar value always changing.
Volatility is a fact of life with Bitcoin (BTC), but the market has always trended upwards if you wait long enough. And the value has often nose-dived as well, in an unpredictable manner. A lot of people are holding (or “hodling”) BTC as a very risky and speculative investment, hoping the price will go up.
There is a great demand for bitcoin and that demand is going to increase in the near future.
How will I pay to load the BTC on to the cards? The cards will be loaded on an “on-demand” order process. The cards can be made up to a certain stage, where they have been dipped in tamper-proofing but not yet labeled. Up to this point they can be any denomination (amount) of BTC. When the payment for the order is taken at the online website then the card is loaded, labeled and shipped to the customer.
Besides the metal coin wallets denominated in various amounts of BTC; there will be “piggy-bank” versions of the card available. The BTC is loaded onto the card via the visible wallet public key engraved on the front of the card. The card owner can be paid debts owed to him via the public key. The card owner can send any amount of BTC to this receive address and it will become associated via the blockchain with the private key hidden inside the card. To spend the BTC loaded onto the card he will have to view the private key and send it to the hot wallet he uses online. Technical advice about fees, security, hacking and safety will be available at the company website, as well as many other helpful resources.
The denominated versions of the card are identical to the piggy-bank versions except for the label. The label covers the “receive” address on the denominated versions, as no further deposits to the blockchain are needed. The label on the piggy-bank version doesn’t cover the public key address, has a photo of the card and the manufacturer’s ID number. It also has a link to the Blockchain.info webpage associated with the public key address. Anyone with this address can see how much BTC is associated with the Public Key shown here.
Thus the intact tamper-proof BTC Card can be used with confidence, as the public key can be viewed on the Blockchain by anyone. As long as the amount on the card label matches the amount shown on the Blockchain.info webpage then the card’s private key can be trusted. This renders the card a form of “trust-less” currency equivalent to legal tender in value and usefulness .
The card format and manufacturing process is tested to obtain a hack proof product. The private key is not detectable by examination or any technical means without opening the pull-tab. This is essential to prevent theft and fraud. The card can not be opened, viewed , and sealed again.
A card without a label would be suspect, a card which had been opened and re-sealed obvious. Checking the blockchain address reveals the status of the BTC in question in any event.
The manufacturing process is outlined below:

The engraving is deep enough to be permanent but still not detected while wallet card is in closed position. The alpha-numeric and QR code versions of the keys are engraved and inked.
After the engraving, the private key is deleted from memory of the engraving controlling computer. This computer is never connected to the internet. Only verified software is used on this computer.
A separate computer controls the camera, label maker, and database connection to the internet.

The same file is used to generate the labels.
Addresses are checked for BTC before coin Cards are offered for sale. A second stamp is placed on label when transaction confirms.
Coin is offered for sale at Amazon.com if allowed.
Coins can be exchanged as if fiat currency, with full confidence in BTC amount displayed on seal.
Sale price on Amazon will reflect BTC amount cost when loaded- possibly a great deal if BTC has gone up since loading, or actual cost of production plus 2%, plus miner fee and distribution fee.
Savings could be significant if BTC surges in value after coins are minted. coins are bought at time of minting by purchases of BTC at market price.
“Would you like to buy some free money?”
Demand for product is assured, as the value once for sale at Amazon increases over time. You will not be able to find cheaper bitcoin anywhere, sometimes. A small portion of my stock at Amazon will remain on sale at a very low price when the Bitcoin price rises. I plan on adjusting the price of my stock to reflect the current price of Bitcoin at the time; but not all of it, and not immediately. Every time the price of BTC increases by 10%, I will reset the price of my cards to initial values.
The initial values are the current price of BTC plus 2% , miner fees and distribution costs. As the market price increases after loading the cards, they are more and more of a deal for the customer.
This forms the basis of a great promotional value to sell the metal card coin wallets.
The profit.
Profit is calculated to be 2% of the BTC value when minted. Values from 0.001 BTC to 1 BTC are minted. This generates from $0.18 Cad to $180 CAD per card depending on value. I will focus on minting in the 0.01 to 0.11 BTC range, with profits of $1.80 to $19.80 a card.
customer pays: Cost of BTC when minted
miner fees, distribution fees, 2% over cost fee, Cost of manufacture. I estimate all costs not BTC or profit to be about $11 Cad per card.
Price of card is: BTC cost + 2% + $11.00 .
After purchase the card can be traded for cash, items or value of services. Miner fees are saved by every person after the initial purchaser of the card.
I want to mint around 1000 cards a day. This averages out to $18,000 profit per day.
The plan is to produce only lower value coin wallets until cash reserves are big enough to pay for larger denominations.
Customers can order from the lower denominations in stock or special order cards of any amount that they pay for at the time, shipped after production on demand.
This involves simply loading the customer’s purchase of BTC onto the card address and attaching the label.
As the price of BTC rises then stock available and loaded previously will be a special discount offer until the price resets after a ten percent increase in the BTC market value.
When selling the BTC coin metal cards at Amazon.com :

Card is dipped in clear sealer with paint filaments floating in dip tank. Also small lengths of coloured fibre are floating in the resin coating. The unique pattern formed is photographed and printed on label stored in database with item number. Private key is not stored.
Sell in vending machines in Japan, Airports,New York Subway System, Pizza Hut, etc.
On the Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb), the blockchain webpage address of the public key is displayed. To check that BTC are in the account, just go to that page. Unless tampered with, BTC amount will match that shown on label.
Full label is artwork, denomination in BTC, photo and blockchain.info webpage address associated with public key.
This idea is patentable due to the unique packaging of the cold bitcoin wallet in a pull-tab metal card. In this writing read “coin” as “card” as well. The card is evolved out of a sardine can with a pull tab lid closure, with very short sides and pressed flat all around the edge.
The goal is to have a design where the pull tab can easily be removed by an adult. It should be hard for a child to open without being shown how. The card should be only slightly thicker than a regular credit card, and not open while in a leather wallet’s card holder.The pull tab should not open accidentally while being carried in a wallet. The pull tab will be manufactured so that it must be rotated by 180 degrees before opening. A small screwdriver, nail file or fingernail must be placed into a small slot to twist the pull tab into the correct position to open, before this it is restrained by a shallow metal lip on the top of the card.
Research and development are required for this idea to be a success. The manufacturing process, security features and bitcoin loading and labeling must all be tested and verified as hack and tamper-proof. The customer must never receive a hacked or empty or unloaded card after purchase and delivery.
Attempts at fraud by the customer will be obvious. Only Intact cards will be accepted for refund. Product must always ship in perfect condition, as customer can only return intact card for full refund, no opened, missing or tampered with cards will be credited to customer for refund, and this will be part of the agreement with the customer at time of purchase. Before refund the balance of the card must match the denomination on the label.
Notes on manufacturing process:



In the above I refer to not recording the private keys and deleting the server records as soon as the cards have been manufactured and checked for accuracy. please note that the recording of the private key for a certain amount of DA BOMB is required to power the FAST BITCOIN encrypted private key network.

thank-you
submitted by bubbleHead3 to emailcoin [link] [comments]

Comparison of fundraisers with token rewards: Cosmos, Rchain, Agoras (Tau-Chain), Ethereum (Classic), Ripple, BitShares/Steem, Nextcoin

This site www.icocountdown.com claims to know the dates of these cryptocurrency fundraisers including:
Cosmos looks better than these other projects. Tendermint has been running some version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine with Eris DB for a long time.
Cosmos fundraiser has no mention of payment methods, only prices in USD, suggesting that an oracle will be required if Bitcoin payments are to be allowed, and/or payment processors may deny payments (as they often do for prepaid "credit cards") or they will have to re-open sales/issuance after the deadline which is a betrayal of the other buyers. Will there be (government) records of all those who buy the atom tokens? What will be the difference in price for those who are recorded in the government/corporate/network database vs those who do not? Is this designed to be resistant to hackers and regulators, or just hackers?
Many cryptocurrencies that aren't issued by PoW, change their commitments after selling tokens (eg MaidSafe, Ripple/Stellar, Synereo). Ethereum Foundation has abandoned the commitment to immutability and depends on governments and reddit.com censorship tools, to enforce a trademark over the "immutable" chain. Those who have stuck to their commitments AFAIK include Nextcoin, and BitShares/Steem. (For emerging research on how to decentralize cryptocurrency issuance without PoW see /webofcredit.)

Cosmos Fundraiser

Is this some Intellectual Property? Perhaps reddit.com (spam/censorship filter) will allow a version to be posted here:
Cosmos Plan
Oct 6th, 2016 - The details in this plan override what is currently in the whitepaper, and all other plans published prior.
Cosmos Network Foundation (CNF) is a non-profit Switzerland Foundation. Its purpose is to conduct a Fundraiser designed to collect donations, to contract with entities and their agents for the development of the Cosmos Essential Software and Services (CESS), and to help foster a community around the CESS.
CNF is planning a Fundraiser for future staking tokens, called “atoms”, that give the holder limited license to validate the Cosmos Hub and Dex. The contributions made in connection with the Fundraiser will go to the CNF to develop the CESS.
All in Bits, Inc. (AIB) is a for-profit Delaware C-Corp behind Tendermint. The CNF has contracted with AIB to develop the CESS.
The CNF has received several commitments for donations from various individuals that will be tied to a portion of future atoms. The CNF’s initial donors committed an amount equal to 5% of CNF’s initial donation goal. Further, the CNF has entered into a number of strategic partnerships and received commitments for donations from interested individuals pre-Fundraiser for an amount equal to [ XX %] of the CNF fundraising goal.
THE PREFUND IS CLOSED FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. If you have to ask about the prefund now, you don’t qualify. The only exception is for strategic partners, such as crypto exchanges, who would make ideal validators.
The CNF reserves the right to receive further donations in the future from strategic partners at a discount rate of up to 25%.
Before the first day the Fundraiser is opened, the total number of atoms granted, the total amount of donations received, and a pseudonymous list of distinct persons and entities along with their discount rates, will be published.
The projected date of the Fundraiser for all other parties, notwithstanding the initial donors and pre-Fundraiser donors, is Q1 of 2017.
At most the Fundraiser will last for 6 weeks. Note that after the Fundraiser, no more atoms will be distributed by the CNF (unless approved by the on-chain governance mechanism).
Governance can approve proposals for the creation of new atoms. For further information concerning the proposed on-chain governance mechanism for the creation of more atoms, please see the whitepaper for details.
The atoms will not be available for use until after genesis day. At the earliest, genesis day is estimated to be sometime in Q3 2017. Even after genesis day however, there is an initial vesting period.
Atoms will vest over a period of two years after Genesis. Unvested atoms cannot be transferred until vested. Unvested atoms will vest over time, at a rate of 1/(24x365x2) of the account’s initial (genesis) atoms, every hour.
In the first day of the Fundraiser, suggested donations per atom will be $0.10. A discount of 25% for strategic funders implies an atom price of $0.075. A discount of 12% for Pre-Fundraisers implies an atom price of $0.088.
The CNF’s fundraising goal may be capped. More details will be released soon.
After the Fundraiser, the total number of atoms distributed multiplied by 1/3 is inflated and allocated for the CNF, AIB, and the Initial Donors.
On Genesis day, the distribution of atoms will be split between: CNF (10%) AIB (10%) Initial Donors (5%) Pre-Fundraiser Donors + Fundraiser Donors (75%)
Upon completion of the Fundraiser, all atom holders, including the CNF and AIB play the Delegation Game in a special purpose Ethereum smart contract (which holds no Ether). The top 100 validators after delegation will be chosen as validators on Genesis. For more information on the Delegation Game please refer to the white paper for details.
Every validator must participate in governance, or else run the risk that they will become inactivated and eventually unbonded. Delegators who delegate atoms to such validators will also likewise get their delegated atoms inactivated and eventually unbonded.
1/5 of the total number of atoms will be inflated every year and distributed back to the bonded and active atom holders (validators and delegators) for their work validating and securing the ledger.
The Unbonding Period is 1 month long.
Inactive or unbonded atom holders do not earn the inflationary atoms, and are thus taxed. This makes atoms ill-suited as a medium of exchange or a store of value. Instead, atoms are a tool, like Bitcoin miners are a tool.
Bonding atoms and staking them put the atoms at risk of slashing. Validators must run the sanctioned consensus protocol without deviation, or risk losing some or all of their atoms. Running the Cosmos sanctioned consensus protocol requires expert ability to run secure servers that must take extraordinary measures to prevent hacking. Delegators must choose who to validate to wisely, or risk losing those portions of atoms delegated to the incompetent, malicious, or hacked validator.
Tokens are virtual concepts on the blockchain. All mentions of tokens, like atoms, as if they were physical objects, are an approximation of what they actually represent. As we have observed with the ETH/ETC hard-fork, political tensions can cause the ledger to split. Furthermore, there is no central entity that is responsible for the upkeep of the blockchain. Atoms are not a claim to anything or anyone, not even the Cosmos Network Foundation. The software may be buggy, and even its underlying theory may be flawed, causing confusion, contention, and critical network failure for all those participating in the Cosmos network.
The CNF, AIB, all donors as well as any atom token holders or any Cosmos network participant, understand and accept that the Cosmos Network is still in an early development stage, and its application is experimental in nature that carries significant operational, technological, regulatory, reputational risk. Nothing contained herein represents any form of warranty. All participants in the Cosmos Network understand and agree, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, that no Cosmos Network participant will hold any of the developers, contractors, third parties or any other Cosmos Network participant liable for any and all damages or injury caused by or related to the use of, or inability to use, the Cosmos Network and the CESS under any cause of action in all jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, actions for breach of warranty, breach of contract, negligence, Nor shall any developers, contractors, third parties or Cosmos Network participants be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages, including for loss of profits, goodwill or data, in any way arising out of the use of, or the inability to use of the Cosmos Network and the CESS
All atom holders are free to fork, slash, and hack each other in accordance with the spirit of the Cosmos Constitution.
All validators and delegators must abide by the Cosmos Constitution.
A more fleshed out list of risks will be published soon.
A roadmap and the constitution will be released soon.
submitted by habbodabi to TheCosmos [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I sell on ebay for a living. Ask me anything.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-08-22
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What's the weirdest thing you've sold? How many hours would you say you work per week? What's the most valuable thing you've sold? Weirdest, that's hard to say since I collect oddities myself. Vintage jock straps would make the list. Link to imgur.com Link to imgur.com
Why were these links already purple for me? They were on the front page of WTF a few weeks back so maybe you looked at them back then.
Annual gross sales? Net profit? Where do you buy your stuff from? $110,000, $60,000 and I buy mostly at auction.
Does it get exhausting ALWAYS having to look for new product? Sometimes. That's honestly the easiest part though. The shipping is the biggest pain.
What's the shipping process like, especially on your bigger items? And how do you deal with having to potentially ship multiple big items around the same time? Sometimes I will spend an entire day just packaging. I bubble wrap my item and then put an two inch layer of foam cubes all the way around. Sometimes I will have to re-size a box or two.
What was the Black Keys experience like? And does it provide a steady income or does it come in spurts instead? It's all about averages. I sold the Black Keys a very rare drum machine. I shipped it to their studio but never talked to any of them.
How did you know it was them? One of their names was on the account and it was being shipped to the studio where they were recording in Nashville.
Have you ever been dicked by PayPal or ebay? Oh yea.
Elaborate … It's happened more than once. I had one customer who eBay allowed to return a package that they had accidentally run over with their car. The customer claimed that the post office had delivered it that way but I talked to their postmaster who said that was not the case.
That is not that bad compared to some stuff I have heard. This one guy sold a tape machine for >$5000 and the buyer claimed he never got it, and then the buyer got a full refund without any argument. I've had customers try to rip me off for more but I won the cases.
Do you have a lawyer or something, or you just spend hours on the phone arguing? On occasion I've been able to point out to them that the buyer is leaving a large amount of negative feedback which indicates fraud. In short though, you have to waist a lot of time on the phone talking to them.
Do you think if eBay where to start accepting bitcoin as a usable currency on their site that you would accept them for your transactions? I doubt it. ebay owns paypal so I think they want to keep as much of the profits as possible.
What sale has been the most special to you and why? I remember one customer who purchased a Christmas ornament from me. They were really excited and thankful because it was one that they had had before their house burned down.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to sell big ticket items ($500+ such as iPads, computers, cameras, etc.)? The last time I sold on ebay, I was scammed out of an iPad. The buyer claimed SNAD, by saying that I sent him and empty iPad box. Of course Paypal sided with him after I appealed the claim. What has been your strategy towards mitigating fraud? That's a hard one. Although in recent years ebay has gotten better at dealing with fraud it is still a pain in the neck to deal with their support team. There is no sure fire way to avoid fraud. Always buy insurance and if you are worried about fraud you can take additional steps like taking video the item working and taking pictures of your packaging process. When you have an issue with fraud also check the buyers feedback and feedback given to see if you can see a history of fraud. This can help when talking to an ebay rep.
How did you find your niche? I don't have a niche per say. I've found that it is better to have a well rounded knowledge. If you buy enough of any item though you will become more and more familiar with it.
If you had to set a standardised size for italian meatballs, What would be the diameter (in cm) of said meatballs? 2"
What are your primary marketing resources? Search marketing? FB? Newsletters? Word of mouth? Anything else? How much are your marketing costs? I don't do any marketing of my own. ebay spends a huge amount of money marketing their auctions. I don't do many consignments so it doesn't matter if people know who I am.
But you sell only very niche, special interest items. How do people find your stuff if you don't advertise it? Are there people searching specifically for the book 1639 The Use of The Lord Verulam Viscount English Law Book 17th Century? Not many if any. That's why the key words "English Law Book 17th Century" are in the title. Some items take a long long time to sell. I do sell other items such as cameras and audio equipment that sell much quicker as they have a much broader appeal. I also keep 400-500 items listed because like you said, there aren't many people looking for some of my items.
What's a good week's worth of income for you? About how many hours a day do you work? I try to make a profit of about $1,200 a week. I don't always work the same number of hours but I probably work 40-50.
That[s pretty good I would think that this would take a lot longer like 80-100, good job. Was it way longer at the start until you got 'faster' or always like that. I've only done this full time for 3 years so I had lots of time to practice while I sold part time. I was much slower when I started but luckily I didn't have to do it to make a living at that point.
How old are you? How far do you expect to grow this business? Will you be making six figures next year? What uni did you attend. I am 32. I will not be making six figures next year. I am still a few years away from that. I attended Cincinnati State. My degree is in Graphic Design. I was a graphic designer for 5 years.
Did you start your business out of necessity or out of opportunity? I was 18 when I started. My brother was 16 and we sold as partners. We've always been hustlers so we saw it as a fun opportunity.
Worst thing that happened to you during a sale? How about worst purchase. I once purchased hundreds of brand new shoes of of craigslist with plans of reselling them. Turned out, none of them matched.
Were they supposed to match? If they were what did you do? They were supposed to match but were just in a couple of giant boxes. There wasn't really anything I could do because after I noticed there was no way to find the buyer.
Sucks man. Well maybe someone else got the same shipment except they got the other shoes instead lol. Ha ha, I think they were display shoes from a store.
How bad is paypal to deal with? Terrible if their is an issue. They are getting better though.
What does eBay charge you for each listing? What about PayPal? It depends on what category that you list in. This calculator can help you figure that out Link to www.newlifeauctions.com
Do you have to file taxes in every state with income/franchise taxes? I assume you have a CPA that handles it. No, I only have to file taxes in the state of my residence.
Are you expecting a massive drop when the laws change regarding online sales? No. A large percentage of my customers are fairly wealthy.
Why did you stop graphic designing? It didn't pay enough, my boss was a jerk, and I hated working regular hours.
I'm guessing less than 60k then? Yes, far less. I was worth a lot more but it was a tough market.
How can I get started? Start by selling small things that you have sitting around your house. Don't go big, start small and work your way up.
What if I run out of things to sell? Do I buy things online and sell for a higher $$? Yes.
Any good items to sell for starters? Cameras? furniture? antiques? Stick with what you now best. Do your research on recent ebay sales of the same item to figure out how much you will make.
What kind of auctions do you buy from? Any tips for sellers that you can give us? I buy mostly from estate and consignment auctions. My best tip is research, research, research. When you buy don't be impulsive. Know your market.
Do you have a target market? I always wondered if it would be wise to try to market to a niche on ebay or just put all sorts of things out there. Ebay has gotten so big, it attracts a diverse crowd looking for all kinds of goods. I sell a huge variety of items so my target market varies from item to item. If you have an eBay store you can ad categories so if a person finds one of your items they can easy find other like items that you have for sale. You can also list in your sales that you offer combined shipping to encourage people to buy more than one thing.
Interesting, I've been seriously considering hustling and makin some money by going around to garage sales in my area. You can get some great deals. Once I bought a 5.1 receiver for $5 and then turned around and sold it to a friend for $30. I imagine I could extend that to ebay. If you have some free time and a little extra money I say give it a shot. Plus the hunt can be fun.
Do customers try to scam you ever? Occasionally but it is rare. That happens more with consumer electronics while I deal more with vintage, antique, and business.
Do you list items for sale that you are interested in buying beforehand, to see if you can make profit? No I do not. That's a dangerous game of chicken and violates ebay policy.
Do you pay federal income tax? Has the IRS every given you a hard time? I do. I've not had any issues.
Is it worth it? The commission they take must be ridiculous! How do you protect yourself from fraudulent buyers. I've heard ebay is very buyer biased. You have to calculate the fees when purching things for resale. It it is always worth it for me. Make sure you insure your packages, take lots of pictures, and don't be afraid to block a buyer.
Any tips you'd like to add? I'm a 15yo who does the occasional sell on ebay so would love some! Thanks! :) My tip would be to do your research. Check completed items to figure out what the average sale price of an item is. And if you need to check fees use a fee calculator like this one Link to www.newlifeauctions.com
How much would you take for your 6ft Mid Century Industrial Age Machine Work Bench w/ Cast Iron Legs & 2 Drawers? I think I almost broke my back moving that monster. I'm open to offers. If you picked it up it would be less.
How to you figure out what to charge for shipping ahead of time? Do you ship all items even oversized ones? I use a postal scale to estimate shipping costs. For items over 80lbs you have to use a freight service.
Vague answer. Care to elaborate? Sorry, when you are listing an item you have the choice to either choose flat rate, estimated, or freight. For most items I choose estimated. I weigh the item, ad what I estimate the packing material will weight (it depends on the size but generally a pound or two) enter that information on the form, and ad a handling charge to cover insurance and packing material. For items listed as freight the buyer has to contacted me and I get a quote from my rep at freightquote.com
When is the best day and time to end a auction item? It depends on what you are selling. I would normally try to end on any day but Friday or Saturday, early evening.
What's the largest amount of profit you made from a single sale? Probably $2,000.
How much 'time off' do you give yourself? And what do you do about listings when you're on vacation? Don schedule any to end during that time? I sell mostly store items so when I go out of town I shut down my store sales. I've taken two weeks off this Summer.
Ever made a substantial loss on something? Not more than a few hundred.
Whats the most profitable item youve sold? I once made over 2k off of an accordion.
What's the beat and cheapest place to ship from? Box supplies also? Thank you. I ship using USPS. UPS is generally cheaper for large items. I get a lot of my boxes and supplies from friends and family but when I buy them I use Link to amshipping.com
Where do you store all this stuff? Currently at my house.
Can you explain your process, maybe give us a run down on your workflow? Do you have a minimum ratio you are looking for? How you minimize shipping costs? When you say you buy at auction, does that include ebay? If so, primarily ebay? I start my week by making a list of all of the auctions that I plan on researching. After that it's pretty much just buying, listing, shipping. It's not the same everyday. My profit margin depends on how much has to be invested in the item, estimated time it takes to turn it over, and the difficulty in shipping it. Higher priced items generally have a lower margin of profit. I buy everything from audio equipment to books at auctions. I don't buy to resell on eBay.
I notice you do pretty much everything as a Buy-It-Now/Make Offer -- there's only nine things as an auction listing. Is there a reason for that? In recent years it's been my experience that for most items buy it nows get you the most money. The issue I have is a lot of my items are high dollar, niche items. There may only be a couple of people looking for them so if I sell them at auction I run the risk of them going very cheap.
Also: wifey and I are antique dealers, and so are my in-laws, and our experience, my inlaw's experience, and even what we hear from other dealers is that eBay sales are way, way down for antiques. What do you think you're doing different that keeps the sales coming? I stay on top of buying trends. What people are buying is constantly changing. People in their 30s and 40s are now major buyers while people in their 70s and 80s are dying. Therefore the prices for things from the 1980s are up while things from the 1950s are way down. I don't just buy based on what I was able to sell 5 years ago. I check the current prices.
What method should I use to pay the ebay sellers fee? - Paypal or by Debit? I use paypal which is directly linked to my checking account. That way I if transferred all of my funds out of my paypal it can pull it from my checking. Both Debit and Paypal will essentially work the same way though. The only issue would be if you didn't have any money when the bill was automatically paid.
What is your opinion on the eBay Buyer Protection? Do you ever get buyers who will receive an item, say it was not received as described, try to get a refund, send the item back and then turns out nothing was wrong with the item? Buyer protection is pretty one sided. I had a package sent back once that was "not as described" that was never opened. I've also had people try to work the system for a refund while keeping the item. Luckily though most buyers are honest.
You've said that you mainly get your items from auctions? I've spent a lot of time watching Auction related shows on Discovery but I've never been there myself. I'd like to try acquire an item there and then resell it on ebay? Can I get an interesting product at an auction for around 100 pounds (~155 USD) Can you share some of your auction techniques? Such as how do you know that a particular item you're bidding on will sell at a bigger price? Thanks. I don't buy at storage auctions. Plus those shows are rather scripted and set unrealistic expectations. A lot of estate auctions will have a list of some of the items that will be up for sale that you can get in advance or there will be a preview before the auction starts. Write down the items of interest and then search ebay for those items to see what recent sales have ended at.
I have an old Spirograph set that I'd like to sell on Ebay. Have never done that before, could you tell me how to go about that? Do I have to type in a lot of info, or is it all automatic? I mean, how do I get paid for instance? What do I need to set up? You will have to set up a paypal and an ebay seller account. You will have to type in all of the information yourself. The process from start to finish is too much to type out but they will walk you through it. You will get paid through paypal and then have the option to transfer it to your bank account.
Why are you currently selling women uniform shirts? Why not?
What would you say is your least favorite thing about eBay? And in your opinion, what would be the best thing eBay could change to help benefit the sellers? The high fees. The best fix would be to either lower the fees or to change the way that they deal with buyer complaints.
Do you operate under an official business? If so, what type? I pay taxes under my name. At this point I've not seen the advantages of becoming an LLC.
What do you sell primarily? I sell a lot of antique books and vintage audio equipment.
I'm always looking to expand and branch out. I sell online too. My sales are nothing compared to your sales. My goal is to have a six figure salary before I am thirty, that I have created myself. Last year, I got 1/5th of the way. This year, I look to surpass that. Do you import a lot of goods to resale? I really try to stay away from that. What do your products really include? Do you hate the IRS as much as I do? I buy all of my items locally. And yes, I hate the IRS. I pay them way too much money.
How did you get started? I attended an auction with my mother and my brother when I was 18 and my brother was 16. We have both always been hustlers to some degree and this seemed like a fun way to make some money. We started off dealing mostly in vintage board and video games.
When exporting to place's outside of the US e.g. countries in the EU have you ever been screwed over by the exchange rate or import tax? I have not. Paypal converts foreign currency to USD before it goes into my account. The buyer is responsible for all import taxes.
How do you deal with storage for all of the merchandise, packing materials ect. and do you pack and ship yourself? Any tips on making that a smooth or at least decent experience? I'll admit, I'm not really that good at this. I did purchase another building to put my inventory in but it is not yet ready for the move. I do most of the packaging myself but I do higher some family members from time to time to work for me.
I see on eBay too for a living, but my average sold item is $31, so I have to do a lot more volume. Been using eBay since 1998. How do you feel about the lack of power that sellers have now? Have you ever been scammed by a buyer taking advantage of the "Buyer Protection Program"? The buyer does have too much power. I agree. Fortunately ebay has recently taken steps towards fixing that. They aren't there yet though. It doesn't happen often but I have been scammed on a couple occasions. I have also won cases as well.
Does the international shipping charges depend on what country you're shipping to, or is it a flat rate or something? It varies by country. There are also different shipping restrictions for each country.
Do you use terapeak? How do you SEO your titles and listings? I do not. I generally search complete items and see what key words were used to fetch the highest price. Sometimes some creative thinking works just as well.
How much time do you spend working daily? Are your hours predictable? I probably average 8. Its not real predictable as it is determined but where I am buying from that day and what inventory I have to list and ship.
Would you trust people selling pills on eBay? Do you think a lot of them are fake? I wasn't ware that there were people selling pills on ebay. I would look at their feedback to see if they have a history of satisfied customers.
Do you use flat rate boxes or plain boxes? What's the cheapest way to ship non-media items? I use plain boxes. Flat rate priority can be a savings if you are either mailing heavy smaller items or you ship a lot to far away places.
What percent profit would you say you have on each item you sell? There is no standard. It varies from 25% to 200,000%
Funny that this is an AMA right now - this is my SO's store. Link to stores.ebay.com. Within the past few weeks he has been begging me to quit my full time job and work with him and I'm very tempted, your thoughts after quitting? Was it a good decision? It's certainly not for everyone but I've never regretted it.
Do you have health insurance? No.
Any advice for people who would want to sell manufactured items, i.e. cell phone cases, how do you go about starting this up? Where do you find people to produce items for you? This is outside my area of expertise. Sorry.
What freight service do you use? I use freightquote.com
What made you start selling on eBay for a living? I sold on ebay on the side for 12 years. I was a graphic designer and I just got tired of working for someone that I didn't like for pay that wasn't what it should be. So I quit and started working full time selling on ebay.
If you were to sell products that are fairly commonplace, is there any way to get your listing to consistently appear higher in search results, or do you list so many that you get more people coming to your channel? Yes, you have to earn the "top rated seller" status. When you search by "best match" it puts the sellers with a "top rated seller" status at the top. Link to pages.ebay.com
What was the most valuable/unique thing you've ever sold? Most valuable would be a set of coins that I sold for $5,600. Most unique is a hard one. I sold quite a few screen used props from the movie Ben Hur which were pretty unique.
Ever thought of opening a pawn shop? Not sure what the marketplace is where you live, but you could do both (ebay/physical store). I prefer to sell my own inventory. Dealing with cosigners ads an additional degree of difficulty and aggravation. Plus it would require me to keep business hours.
How do you do all the accounting? This may be the first year I may actually hit the point where I get sent a tax form, and I'm wondering what I should be doing in the mean time to prepare for tax season. Thanks! I use turbo tax. I keep my records using a simple spread sheet. It is very basic with line items for total month sales, fees, and a breakdown of purchases.
Congrats on your sales. Your descriptions are very sparse. Do you feel descriptions are overrated? You do not have any info on shipping costs, payment parameters such as when payment is due, etc. Thanks & continued success. If an item isn't unique then a long description isn't normally needed. Most people find the item because that is specifically what they are searching for.
Do you remember what was so special about the coins? I collect coins a little and I'm just curious It was a proof set. I can't remember the year. There was one gold coin and the rest were silver. The rare one was actually the silver dollar because it was only produced for that set.
Have you ever considered buying your own Online-Store to save the ebay and paypal fees? What is your opinion on these? A lot of my items are so niche that it would be very difficult to attract the right buyers with my own store.
Are you able to hookup Google Analytics, to see your customer demographics? Not sure if ebay is that robust for the users... I am not. ebay has some analytic but they are geared more towards the items that you've sold than the buyers themselves.
That's really interesting. You don't happen to have a picture, do you? Not that I could easily located and I can't for the life of me remember what year the proof set was. I only made $400 off of the purchase but I knew that I could flip it and make that money within 2 weeks so it was still a good buy.
Have you ever tries etsy? I have not. esty tends to work better for hand made items. At least that's been my experience.
Ever consider getting into Amazon with more predictable products and using FBA to save yourself some trouble? I also sell on Amazon. I've found that Amazon is good for selling more mainstream items.
What is the most overpriced thing you have ever bought? The most I've ever lost is maybe $300. The most I've spent on a single item is 5k.
How many hours would you say you work a week? 40-50. Sometimes more, some less.
Do you find it worth it? Yes.
I bet your house is very interesting. Does it smell a bit dusty though? My house is very interesting. I collect oddities and art.
Do you still ship to Italy ? :p. Some things, like Ben Hur props.
How's Steve Carrel? I feel like there is a joke in here somewhere but since I am oblivious to it I'm just going to say, "he is doing well but his mom is a bit under the weather."
Can you approximate your yearly income? 60k.
Use registered post for anything valuable. Signature required on delivery. USPS requires signature confirmation for anything insured for over $200.
OP did ... Yep, the answer is of course me. My more recent purchases which are not pictured are two WWII practice bombs and a piece of one of the popes robes.
You can see the fees on eBay itself. They're ridiculous. I believe it's 9% of the final value fee and PayPal is around 3% or so. There's a few categories that have flat rate listings I believe, like autos. They also cut into your shipping costs as well. They are category specific and vary from 4-9% on ebay. 10% would be a good average to use.
Why is it people with 0 feed back keep buying my shit but never pay. You can change your settings to not allow 0 feedback buyers to bid.
I just wanted to tell you that you have a typo in the description of your Industrial Age Work Bench. you wrote "Pleas ask all questions before purchasing" ;) I'll have to fix that. It's certainly not my fist typo ha ha.
Hello, I was wondering how far from your house do you usually go to find this stuff, and also, what the luckiest find you ever had was. Thanks. Not normally more than a 45 minute drive. I once found a book on a shelf at a second hand store that was 29 cents that I resold for $250. As far as luck goes I was lucky to even see it at the store.
Last updated: 2013-08-26 18:57 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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[Table] IamA founder of Tindie, "Etsy for Tech". Started on /r/Arduino, team of 5, just finished fundraising (pitching 50+ investors), and have now closed $1m+ in funding. This is a follow up to last year's AMA, for anyone interested in startups/tech/Silicon Valley/open hardware. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-12-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
As a maker, why should I sell my goods on your site instead of amazon? As a buyer, why should I buy from you instead of amazon/ebay? Great questions - as a maker, our rates are lower than Amazon - flat 5% of the order. We also reach a core audience of people like you, which tends to mean you'll sell more on Tindie vs Amazon. As an example, one seller sold exclusively on Amazon, opened a Tindie store, and we began out selling Amazon. He closed his Amazon store and now sells exclusively on Tindie.
As a buyer, you are joining a community of likeminded people from all over the world and in different niches. Some like audio, some drones, others lighting. In the new year we are launching more features to build out the community side of the site. We are a community marketplace - community comes first. We can do a better job on the community side, and those features are currently being built.
As an example, one seller sold exclusively on Amazon, opened a Tindie store, and we began out selling Amazon. He closed his Amazon store and now sells exclusively on Tindie. Amazon has a flat fee you must pay $40 a month When you sell out many times over, inventory management becomes a huge issue.
Many reasons but here are two- * * Amazon has a flat fee you must pay $40 a month.* Easier inventory management when you have to just make sure 1 site is right vs multiple. When you sell out many times over, inventory management becomes a huge issue. But, that's three reasons. How can you run a successful business if you can't even count? Link to static.fjcdn.com
I have a desire to learn a programming language and have messed around with python and java on codeacademy. What would you recommend as the next step? Books? More beginner tutorials? Poking around on github? Sounds like you are now at the crossroad where people either keep going, or 'never have the time.' When I started, I'd get the occasional comment online, 'You'll never figure it out.' It's a pretty accurate statement for most. Most don't figure it out. If you can put your head down and just grit it out, you'll get to the other side.
If you want to grit it out, start with Learn Python the Hard Way. Then figure out a project you want to build and go build it. You'll pick things up as you go. You'll think you have it about 10 times before you really have a solid understanding. There were many times I'd talk to my friends and say "Oh I figured it out." I was wrong 10 times :)
It took 1 year to get to n00b level. The next year is when things settle in. After 2 years, you'll have a solid foundation to keep honing your skills. You won't know everything, but you can hack together projects, & figure things out.
Also checkout Stackoverflow. Learning how to properly break down my problems into questions was a great exercise. It helped me understand what the real problem is vs what I thought it was.
Did you eventually start working as an engineer or was programming geared towards side projects and building Tindie? I did - my first job after learning how to code was as a developer advocate. Not 'coding' but putting what I learned to good use. That company was acquired, and I eventually became a web engineer at the company which acquired us. That was my last job before starting Tindie.
My local hackerspace, a 501(c)3, is just getting started. We're thinking of making some products to generate some funding... would Tindie be the right marketplace for us? Oh cool! Yep! We have members of hackspaces all over the globe on Tindie. Sounds like a perfect fit. If you have any questions, just pm me and we can help!
What sort of things did you do for market validation? Good question - the only market validation I did was ask the question on /Arduino. There wasn't a marketplace for this type of hardware (we are still the only "big" site doing what we are doing). The space is emerging now.
Did you have personal experience with this type of thing, people you knew who needed something like this, or some other type of research? You are right. The big question I got from investors is actually - 'How big is the market?' Unfortunately there isn't a good answer for that bc the market is growing / being defined now. Arduino/Raspberry Pi/Drones/3D printers are all just getting started and all growing like weeds. If those platforms become as big as we think they will, then a site like Tindie will have to emerge.
Also, how do you go about estimating market potential? The one thing we look at is the components market is a massive, multibillion dollar market. The type of components that are on Tindie, generally speaking, first come to market on Tindie. The market potential is entirely untapped. However having orders from gov't agencies & large businesses is very reassuring that there is a much greater opportunity than just hobbyists (which is what most people thing on first glance).
What's been your biggest challenge as CEO of your own start-up? Great questions -
What's the most frequent challenge you saw when working across various start-ups in the Valley? Biggest Challenge as CEO - Communication, balancing expectations, keeping everyone on the same page from users, employees to investors. You'll constantly hear, "Did you see X?" when someone thinks it is a competitor. Chances are it isn't and they have their own idea of what the business is which is different than your own.
What words of wisdom do you have for someone wanting to create their own start-up? Wisdom to start a startup - If it is a tech startup, one of your cofounders must be technical. Either yourself or your cofounder. If you can't build the first version/ a proof of concept yourself, start there. If you aren't technical, and don't know anyone technical, learn. In the valley you hear, "I'm looking for a techincal cofounder." so many times its crazy. You either already know someone (a good friend usually) or you don't. Trust me , you won't 'find' a techincal cofounder.
Thanks for your time (and sorry for all of the questions) No worries - these were excellent questions. Keep 'em coming!
You'd be shocked how many random emails I get with businesses proposals. Are these the recreate facebook type of deals where you do all the work and they get to be the owner for giving you the idea of facebook? It runs the gamut from sales, hiring, marketing, partnerships, you name it.
Did you have a good breakfast? Eh, coffee, leftovers, and IRC. We have a channel on Freenode I hop in every morning to check in with users (Tindarians) and make sure everything is right with the world.
(hash)tindie on Freenode ftw
You've mentioned a few times how you shouldn't outsource development to a third party. Can you elaborate on this? Why not? What was your experience? What should you do instead if you're a n00b coder (like myself)? Sure thing - if you hire a 3rd party, you will always have to pay someone else to iterate on the site. There is a 0% chance it will be right on the first shot. Therefore its really an invitation to spend a lot of money down the road - not just the upfront cost you are spending to get your idea made. This is what I did with Knowble - it cost something like $20k+. Please learn from my mistake :) You'll have to iterate, make changes, learn as you go. If you know how to code, then you can make those changes yourself. You'll do it in the morning/nights/weekends and it will only cost you your time.
What advice do you have for me as a student? Thank you, I think what you're doing is awesome! Very cool! Getting press / outside attention is very difficult (if you don't pay for PR - we don't pay for PR). Write blog posts, like to those sites. The link love will go a long way (over time). Most of the companies that you read about on TechCrunch, PandoDaily, etc are paying for PR which is why they get listed on all of those blogs and have stories come out at the same time (embargoes). As a student, build something! Just keep building things. You have some free time - take full advantage of it. Also meet your peers. Build a network of other students in your class. Some will go to Google, Twitter, the next Google, the next Twitter. Increase your chances of doing well by meeting as many super smart people as you can. Build projects with them. Just make things and learn from experience.
I'm also a CS student and for the longest time I've been interested in Arduino. How did you get started tinkering and where would you recommend someone such as myself begin so as to eventually purchase from your website? There are tons of beginner Arduino books. Arduino also has some great tutorials: Link to arduino.cc
In this age, if you have a CS background, Google is your friend :)
Did some more reading. I personally feel a lot of excitement for how well you're doing lol, congrats! What we're you doing before the 5 year run in the valley? How did you get started there? Learn to do the things you don't know yourself.
NEVER outsource development to a 3rd party company.
Learn how to code.
If you don't know how to code, don't bring on another person that doesn't know how to code.
So what compelled you to go from NC to CA? How did you start getting acquainted with people there? Joined Yelp. Yelp was maybe 40-50 people at that point. Flew myself for the interview, got the job, packed my car and hit the road.
As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, my question is this: what was the process like of getting the company from an idea to something you would be able to pitch to investors? The site was already live, we had products, orders, traffic. The sales early on were ~doubling month over month. Sure they were small but that seems like a very good sign. As it kept growing, people around me connected me with other people interested in the space. The first investor I got was someone that was in my network already, but I didn't know him. He also invests in early stage companies, understands marketplaces, and believes in the changes we are seeing in the hardware space. From introductory call to email saying, "I'd like to invest" was about 12 - 18 hours.
How did you fund the project initially? Spend time/money to get a VERY polished pitch deck.
How did you go about finding investors? If an investor says "stay in touch, I'm interested" thats a No.
Did you have to refine or iterate your idea at all in the process? We didn't have to iterate on the site, but I did iterate on the messaging/how I frame what we are doing depending upon the investor, and how that message was received by the last investor. I was constantly iterating what I said from pitch to pitch.
Would you feel that taking a year off to learn python was a worthwhile decision? With no coding background, can I learn it in a year? Definitely - 100% worthwile. I had saved up enough to live for a year without a paycheck (without healthcare...not smart but I did it). If you are interested, go for it. While you still have a job start learning HTML, CSS, some basic things. Give yourself some sort of foundation before taking the plunge. After a year won't be able to get a job as an engineer, but it will definitely help in the long run. I have never regretted that decision.
Any recommendations on resources to learn HTML and CSS? I have some programming skills (C, assembly, VHDL) and found the code academy stuff to be too slow and had a hard time seeing how to really apply it. Link to webdesign.tutsplus.com
I <3 Tuts / Envato.
How much did a year of free time cost you? Rent was $710 a month, Food ~$200-300. Add in taxes & other spending. $20k ish.
There are many exciting developments in hobby-level electronics development. First things like Arduino, now affordable ARM processors. In addition to cheap accelerometers, laser cutting for enclosures, 3d printing, etc. What trends and fads are you seeing that are exciting to you? What kind of products do you think we will see in Tindie next year? Five years from now? Ten? AirPi - Two 17yr olds in London built a shield for Raspberry Pi to turn it into a weather station. Brilliant, cheap product that I never saw coming and has done amazingly. They had to incorporate in the UK, take a loan from their parents, and just shipped hundreds of preorders they got on Tindie. The only thing I know for certain is we will have tens of thousands of hardware companies emerge over the next few years because it is becoming cheaper to prototype and easier to manufacture in lower volumes. Yes "hardware is hard" but it is getting easier and that only opens the door for more people to come in.
Tapster - a robot for manual app testing on mobile devices. EVERY mobile app developer in the world should have one bc of the time you'll save.
How did you come up with the name Tindie? Indie Tech...Tech Indie... Tindie.
The domain was available. Best $7 I've spent.
Amazing site! Just found it. Question/Suggestion ... I'm looking for a site that will accept commissions for one-off projects based on boards like Arduino or Raspberry. Any chance you're site will offer such a market? Thanks! Can you break down "will accept commissions?" Just want to make sure I fully understand what you are looking for.
Hi there. I have been looking into creating a website my self, and I was just curious as to how you build a user base for something like this? How did you get people to sell on Tindie when it first began? Good question - you'll need to figure out where your initial users are and tell them what you are doing. Get people in your corner. As you build the site, give them updates, let them sign up before the site is live. If you don't have enough users on day 1, do more to drive more users to the site. Launch only when you have some amount of users (few hundred or maybe a few thousand is the best case scenario). You'll never be ready to launch but definitely give yourself some momentum before opening the doors.
I did this by keeping everyone on /Arduino in the loop. As I found a name, a domain, logo, I'd share those updates. Sellers were able to sign up and "stock the shelves" prior to launch which meant once I opened the site for transactions, we had ~20 sellers/ products on the site and orders on day 1.
Have you considered reaching out to the Bitcoin mining community? Their hardware seems to fit into your site. We haven't but I'm 100% open to Bitcoin mining products on the site.
Have you considered accepting Bitcoin? We haven't due to its volatility.
Who is your favorite ninja turtle? Easy one - Michelangelo!
Do you plan on taking currencies like bitcoin, megacoin, etc? Not right now. Bitcoin is too volatile. From talking with other marketplaces that implemented Bitcoin, the % of transactions that come through are very, very small. Most people seem to be holding Bitcoins as an investment strategy (the gold analogy). I think that is true. At this point, we can get a much bigger bang for our engineering buck by working on other features vs implementing/maintaing Bitcoin or a similar digital currency.
Why did you decide to go to the valley for this? For someone thinking of starting an e-shop startup, what would you advise? I had been in SF for 4 years, then moved to Portland after the last company I was at was acquired. I moved back bc missed friends and our head of engineering is in Mountain View too. Made sense from a personal perspective.
Would I move to the valley if I didn't already have a connection to the area? I'm not sure. It is definitely cheaper to live somewhere else. However it is more difficult to get into the community from outside the area. If you live in the the valley, you'll constantly hear about startups/tech and meet people who are part of the scene. It's easier to be a part of the conversation if you are in the area.
I've heard from many of my friends in the industry that moving to SF is also a risk as many of the big companies pose a risk at hiring your engineers. Many of them end up moving their companies back to Canada where Engineers are much cheaper for the same quality. Very true. It is very common for people to stay at a job for one year, vest 25% of your options, and leave for the next hot startup. It is valuable to have a presence in the valley - but not necessary for your team to all be there. I'm a huge fan of distributed businesses.
So what's your take on the interest level in hardware overall? Do you think things being sold on the site will continue to increase in complexity? Or will they be limited in scope and cost in the future because people are more interested in the low end of things? Hey Chris! I think it will gain in complexity - esp as parts come down in price, and manufacturing lower quantities becomes more accessible. The opportunities only get magnified as those two trends accelerate.
I think we will always have low level / low end products, but the sky is the limit - in terms of price point and customers. We already have products that cost pennies to $1k+. We will begin to have more consumerish products - but I think those will fuel growth in hardware. The more interesting products emerge, the more interested people will jump into diy. Very cyclical. Arduino & Raspberry Pi just make that first step so much easier. Gateway hardware drugs.
This looks awesome, I'm surprised I've never heard of it. My question: how hard is it really to start your own business and what are some obstacles no one hears about? It is difficult but not impossible. Things to plan for: taxes & attorney fees. You'll want to set up your business correctly if you plan on raising outside investment. If you don't do that right up front, you'll get bit when you fundraise. The legal fees we'll have for this financing round will be over $10k I bet (probably more)
Any suggestions on where to find and learn how to do this hardware stuff? Where did you learn to it? Was there any doubt while creating this project? Did you think about giving up? Google is your best friend. There are books, tutorials, but just dive in. If you have some coding background just get started. Fortunately that is where I started so its more a process of picking something up and playing around (vs starting from 0).
Question: how much equity did you give up for the investment you've gained? Thanks! A this point it is just closing and collecting checks so the final % will be set in a few weeks once we have a definitive amount closed with this round. However the answer you are looking for is 20%-25%.
I have a question. What stage was Tindie in when you pitched to the investors? (users/revenue) What was is about Tindie that made them decide to invest? At this time last year, I forget where we were with users but we had $3600 in sales that month which would be about 100 orders. When talking to early stage investors, it is very much a gamble. The chance of failure much higher, but then again the opportunity is great. I haven't asked them point blank, but I think it ultimately boils down to they have an idea of how the world will work in the future, and you fit in that narrative.
I have a very refined idea for a web/mobile app start up. I have done months of research on the problem/solution I am building but I have no experience designing websites. Thus, I will need to pitch investors to fund development. What are any tips or resources to get in touch with potential investors? Unfortunately you need to get it built. With out a product & traction, it will be very tough sailing
Do you accept Bitcoin and if not can we expect it in the future? We don't right now and don't have any plans to in the future. Copying answer from another question "Bitcoin is too volatile. From talking with other marketplaces that implemented Bitcoin, the % of transactions that come through are very, very small. Most people seem to be holding Bitcoins as an investment strategy (the gold analogy). I think that is true. At this point, we can get a much bigger bang for our engineering buck by working on other features vs implementing/maintaing Bitcoin or a similar digital currency."
I'm an idea guy; I have new ideas everyday and am actually executing a few of them. My roadblock right now is getting it out there and selling it (to consumers, to investors). I have a new idea that, while the product is different than yours, could rope in every business sector. I've never built a business model; all of my stuff is from the idea point of view. I get an idea, find out if it's been done, and then make it work. What can I do to get the word out there and find investors? What kind of cut do you think is fair for investors? Build it. Unfortunately "ideas are cheap." You have to build it before anything else.
We are a startup who has built it (4+ years of work). Its a business administration product. We are in desperate need of sales and marketing department. How do we approach investors? If you are growing like a weed, they should be approaching you (at least some should). Based on the tone of your question, it sounds like that may not be the case?
As a maker who is currently in final stages of getting a product ready (ie 2nd round of PCB prototypes) any advice about how I go about getting it ready to sell on tindie? How do I determine a good initial batch size to order, handle shipping, refunds etc? Good question - once you are ready, you can list it as a Fundraiser (our version of crowfunding which really is just accepting preorders). It has to hit the min # of units sold to 'live' where we bill the orders and you fulfill those ordered. That will give you a good idea of the initial demand. Shipping & handling you'll need to do a little testing on your end bc it depends where you are located & the shipping service you select. Refunds we can handle on our end. You'll just need to tell us which orders to refund. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at support(at) tindie.com. More than happy to help!
How did you get in front of 50 investors? Thanks for the AMA I kind of see now what I need to do for my Start Up getting rejected 10 times shouldn't be a big deal I guess. 100% from networking. Friend introducing me to someone else, who says you should talk to X. That person sends the intro, and then schedule a meeting. Cold emails don't get you very far with the top investors who are constantly being bombarded with pitches.
This is very interesting. How is the actual pitching process? I mean, once you get introduced, do you pitch to them in a Shark Tank style? over coffee/lunch? And which aspects of Tindie was the biggest seller to the investors? My background.
How did you come up with the idea.
Why now?
What are you doing?
Traction.
Future plans.
The team.
Some were more presentation style with a slideshow and just run through the deck where the investor most likely will interrupt you from time to time with questions on your points/assumptions.
0 were like Shark Tank.
I think the main thing we have going for us is our team -very strong with startup experience at well known companies/ great engineers. Next is our traction and position in the space.
Thanks for the answer! I thought you were a one man team before getting some funding. How did you get a team together when nothing was really proven? Ah at that point it was just myself and I had built everything up until that point. The site was live, we had products, orders, early traction.
of all congrats on the success with your start up and initial funding. What is the number one thing you would say investors look for in a start up? What helped you achieve success while pitching your ideas? Depends ultimately on the investor and if they are the lead or a follow on investor. The lead must believe in the space, have some idea of what is going, and therefore be passionate about the opportunity.
Follow on investors might know something about the space, might not. The one thing I didn't realize is how much they just "pile on." Most investors look for a signal by another big name investor, and if they are investing, looks good and they want in! The pile on mentality is alive and well.
So are you saying that funding is closed and you are not accepting any new investors? Right - the round is closed. The docs are written. The lead investors have already wired their funds. Now just emailing the smaller investors, getting signatures and the wires for their commitments.
1.) What was the toughest question you were asked during pitches? 2.) Any questions worth mentioning a company should be able to answer that they don't think about? 2) I don't think there is any particular question - just think ahead of what they will ask you. Have your questions down cold. Answer & then shut up. Don't be afraid of silence.
3.) Our products are similar in the sense of the needed co-creation so I'm interested in your marketing strategy on both fronts. (finding sellers and finding buyers) 3) Sellers & Customers has been word of mouth. We haven't don't much on the direct marketing side, so I don't have very good advice on that.
4.) I'm sure not everyone has been full time with the company, so how did you manage a team of 5 part-timers and making sure deadlines were met, goals accomplished, etc.? 1) Market size. There isn't a good answer. You can come up with many different answers with many different data points but at the end of the day, no one knows 4) Everyone is full -time.
I'm trying to convince some friends of mine to get serious about taking an idea of there's to an angel to see if they (we) could get funding. So my question is, what did you need to take to investors in the form of demos/research/etc. to get them to take you seriously enough to give you your first (and subsequent) rounds of funding? Build it first. If you get traction on the idea/project, investors will be interested. If it is just an idea, you'll have a very tough time. The only real answer - build it and they will come (if it is a great project and they see potential).
Makers / producers of open source hardware and products? What niche do you feel is currently not being addressed in the open source hardware arena? I think any hardware product today should have an open equivalent. The opportunity is just sitting there for someone to build an open version of X. Open source if a flywheel. Once you get it started and there is a community to support it, it only becomes stronger and better. At the end of the day, I don't see much difference btwn producer vs educator. If you have an open project, part of your job will be education. Just start working on something. At the end of the day, if you want to produce it and sell it you can. If not, no harm/no foul.
Hi Thank you for doing this. My question is, how hard it is to work with VC/Angel people? Do they push you really hard? Good question - some investors you won't get along with. You'll have different ideas/ look at the world differently/ it just isn't a fit. If that is the case, probably not a good fit as a major investor in your company. The can email you rather frequently - don't want to hate that part of your job...
I'm 19 and have no marketable skills beyond being the designated local tech geek. In terms of coding, I could mess around with the variables in JavaScript, but that's about it. Would I have any use in your organization? If not, what would you recommend the first thing I do to set down that path? Unfortunately not. Get more experienced & become a solid JS developer. Build projects, open the code, get feedback, critiqued by the JS community. You'll have a lot of value as a seasoned JS dev (esp as Node picks up traction)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on patents for DIY hardware! Let's say I've got a hardware design idea, but I know it's an evolution of existing technology. How do I go about researching conflicting patents that could prevent me from bringing my idea to market, what steps should I take to differentiate my idea from similar products, and at what point (if any) do I need to see an attorney? I'm anti-patent. It is a huge time/money suck and ultimately hinders innovation. I'm not the best person to ask on researching your design/idea/ etc but I'd probably just go ahead build it and go for it. Any time you spend looking for conflicting patents, someone else will launch their version and get a leg up.
Plans for the international market? Already international! We have customers in over 60 countries, sellers in over 40. I haven't looked lately but those were the numbers about a month or two ago.
Thank you for shipping to India! \o/
Hello Tindie. I am just now incorporating as of January 1st (LLC) with friends in the tech industry for our first start-up. They are all NASA employees and MIT grads with extensive tech background, but my background is in Public Policy and Regulations development. Are there tools on your website for new start ups in the tech field, or could you offer any recommendations as to navigating pitfalls for someone without extensive tech background? We can definitely do a better job on that end. Since you all have an engineering background, most likely the biggest problem will come in execution - sourcing manufacturers, parts, work abroad vs a domestic manufacturer. PM me and we can definitely help!
What has been your biggest regret starting Tindie? No regrets so far. It's been a huge learning experience- esp this year. If I were still at my old job, I'd have been constantly wondering whether or not this could take off. Happy I took the plunge.
HAve you ever thought to add Music Tech to the site? I know a lot of people who are into buying and creating their own midi controllers/instruments. OR have I overlooked something? We have it :) Link to www.tindie.com
How many register sellers and buyers do you have? Sellers: Over 300.
Last updated: 2013-12-06 11:10 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: I used to make fake IDs. AMA.

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Date: 2012-12-12
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Questions Answers
How much did it cost to make the IDs? How much did you sell them for? Did they scan? Ended up costing me only a few bucks to make them after I really got it all going and eliminated waste. I would sell them for anywhere from $80-$150. They did scan. Getting them to scan really is not that hard, at all. Many use a barcode format that you can find online. I can also tell you that manufacturers have developed applications where generating one is as easy as typing in information and clicking "ok"
In the fine tradition of IAMA, can you provide proof that you are who you say you are? I dont make them nor do i have any left over. when i stopped making them, i destroyed the fakes I personally used and sold all of my equipment. if you can come up with other ways i could provide proof, by all means i'll try my best to provide some.
Some sort of ID perhaps? PROOF: Link to bayimg.com
What was the most common reason people made fake IDs? Demand and the profit margin-- there's thousands and thousands of 18-20 year olds out there who just want to get a beer with their friends and are willing to pay hundreds to do so. Making a $90 profit per ID, aint bad either. Think 30-40 IDs a week...for months...
If the pay's so good, why'd you stop making IDs? The risk wasn't worth it anymore. you hardly ever find novelty ID makers based out of the US stay in business for more than like 6 months because it gets perpetually harder to keep your business under wraps and secret. the temptation to grow keeps on getting stronger but if you keep on growing, you blow your cover. one of the reasons ID chief stayed in business for so long was because they didn't give a shit if every teenager knew to order from him; nobody in the US could touch him.
Why not? Because china doesn't exactly care about counterfeit anything...whether it be ID cards or iPhones.
Is it illegal to make fake IDs? Are there ways round it? The legality around it is very blurred. a lot of vendors will sell them as "novelty IDs" that are supposed to be used as "props" in movies. anyone who is familiar with ID chief knows that classic "these are movie props" line. it varies based on state and the legality gets complicated. but there's a reason why there aren't any fake id stores.
Tl;dr-- yes, very illegal. some ways around it but you'd be dumb to think you could do it legally.
Not that I think you should by any means, but did you ever feel guilty about it? Allowing underage kids to drink? No, but I also used my own discretionary policy. If a kid sent me his picture and he was clearly 14, I wasn't making one for him. If I thought that the customer was clearly over ~25, I also wouldn't make them one as I did not want my IDs being used for anything other than fooling a doorman. I also did not make under-18 IDs, even though I always got a ton of ~16 year olds begging me to so they could buy cigarettes.
Why would someone want an under-18 ID to buy cigarettes? It's my understanding that the smoking age is 18 in all states except for the four where it's 19. My apologies-- an under 21 ID. not under 18.
So, a guy orders a fake ID, you make it, but how do you send it? I mean if it's a cop on the other end then there would be no problem to track from whom it came from, right? At least in my country you have to show a passport to sending bureau before sending stuff. How do you get around that? USPS. i folded a paper up with the ID inside and put it in a white security envelope. i printed the address on and put a stamp on and drove over to the next town at night and dumped them into a stand-alone blue USPS box. all anonymous and federally protected.
Is it better getting a fake ID from the same state someone lives in, or lie and get one from out of state (like Alaska as you mentioned) that is easy to copy and with the least flaws? Simply curious. Always get an out of state ID. a bouncer in your state will have seen so many real IDs that a fake would stick out immediately.
How would one test the quality of a fake ID after aquiring it? Other than comparing it to your real license? What should you look for that liquor store owners look for? Bend it. look for the laminate creasing. if it creases, no good. if there are air bubbles or spotty dark areas under the laminate, no good. look for microprinting-- almost every single ID has it. if there's no microprinting, no good. test the barcode out online and get a blacklight to test the UV on it. find a copy of a bar book either online or through someone you know who works at any place that sells liquor and compare it with the image in the book.
What would you do if a customer threatened to report you? / Has that ever happened to you? A customer could have threatened, but they could never have done anything. you can't report a fake id business to the better business bureau, and you cant go to the police and say i was practicing bad business when you have my card in your back pocket. all of my business was done entirely online and none of it was ever conducted in person. nobody knew who i was, and nobody will ever know. but on the topic, this is how people eventually get shut down-- they shit where they eat and have bad blood with someone who they did eye-to-eye business with..that's a big no no in the novelty ID industry.
If all your business was online, how did you determine that someone wasn't a cop? If i sent to a cop, they would have no way of tracking me. they'd just have a shiny fake ID. there's literally no way of tracking a good vendor down without the usage of technology i can only assume the federal government has.
What about money? If you got paid in cash, it seems like they could just track you to your mailing address and/or stake out your PO box. And if it's electronic, why couldn't they just subpoena the facilitator of the online transaction? Never took cash, but payment is the most risky thing. but how do you open a bank account so you can create a paypal account? or pick up a western union transaction? or create any other account? a drivers license! guess what i made! ;)
Granted, I'm sure the police have bigger fish to fry. But I'm just curious as to how you avoided these sorts of risks. But on a serious note, the police did have bigger fish to fry and payment was generally safe. i always preferred to get WU because i could just use a fake to pick it up in any city.
Can you Make me one? No.
I tried. A valiant attempt.
Would it be possible for me to make my own? Possible? yes. at the price it'd cost you to start up, though, and get everything you'd need, you're better off paying someone.
just what would I need? Cards, laminate pouches, a professional laminator, a cutting press, two top-of-the-line photo inkjet printers, UV ink, a blacklight, barcoding software, a barcode scanner, photoshop, holograms, a bar book, and templates.
You figure that would run about tree fitty? Eh. rough estimates: cards and lams= $50, laminator= 100 (could get away with a cheap one), cutting press= 30, two printers=400, UV ink=80, barcoding software= free online, scanner= free online, photoshop=free online, holograms= 20+shipping from china, bar book= free online, templates= free online. so, no, probably looking at around 700.
Where did you dig up a free bar book? They're passed around through our circles online. would be hard to find one online without knowing exactly where to look, i suppose.
Would there still be a fake ID business if the drinking age was lowered to lets say, 18 or 19? what would the usage be for? only thing I can think would be to go see movies as this was an issue when I was in high school 15 years ago. Yeah, and i'm only saying this because there's a ton of british kids across the ocean who order british or EU fakes from other vendors (EU fakes are hard as hell to replicate) and the drinking age is lower over there.
Any idea how hard it would be to fake one of these Irish cards? Link to www.agecard.ie. Harder than most US cards, but not impossible. the two main things i see as problems are the window and the embossed object.
Has anyone been busted with an ID you made? If yes, has that person demanded a refund or tried to harm you in some way? Im sure people have. i've had them ask for a refund before, i don't give it out. i checked each ID I sent out and i only refunded/remade if there was an error on the card that i created. 90% of using a fake ID that a legit vendor makes (aka one that actually looks like a real one) is how you use it. if you go up to a door man and act timid and anxious, he'll obviously inspect it more and be doubtful. if you go up like you own the place and act like your fake is your real drivers license, you're ten times more likely to get through.
How long did it take to make one ID once you had the materials? I know it must differ a lot, but say, longest and shortest times? Easiest state and hardest? Once i really got going, about 10-15 per ID. when i started, much longer as photoshop took forever. easiest state was probably any state out west other than california...i had templates for every single state plus DC and some canadian provinces...i could make any state i wanted so all that mattered was what holograms I had for the most part. hardest states were those with flexible ID cards such as new york or minnesota.
What are the flaws of ID chief ids? Multiple, multiple flaws in all of his IDs. microprinting is almost always not there, sometimes they wouldn't scan, UV ink is of dubious quality, coloring is way off, especially on his famous PA IDs. laminate creasing, etc., i could go on and on. they'll usually pass out of state but an experienced bouncer can catch one very quickly.
What are the chances of being caught? The chances of me getting caught, in my own operation, were slim to none .
I see. Would you mind recommending good sites to buy from if I PM you? Really cant do that, sorry, but i promise if you look hard enough online you will find multiple vendors. just keep searching. you can PM me but i cannot give you recommendations.
I compared it to a real one, it was pretty good man. Idk why you're hating on him. I mean, it's gotten me into bars, liquor stores, clubs, and 21+ events. His other states seem iffy, I'll give you that. But the PA one (and the only other good one I saw when compared to a legitimate one was South Carolina) was good. Relax bro. However, you seem pretty cool. Mind if I PM you about something? I'm not hating on him, i'm just saying that the quality of his IDs were like anything else massproduced out of china. here-- Link to sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net . ALL of Chief's IDs had that same laminate look on them. you'll definitely get in with them most places but it's definitely not instate quality. sure. PM away.
2 questions if you will... 1- Ever get requests for older people trying to pass off being younger? If so, why? 2- Did you only fake the DOB, or did you give them fake names too? If so, what's the reason for a fake name in addition to a fake DOB? 1- can't say i ever had that. i have had older people wanting an ID that said they were their own age; i wouldn't make that as i didn't want my IDs being used to board airplanes or other things like that. 2- it was entirely up to the customer. i had an order form where whatever the customer would type, i'd print it, and send it out in the mail. that way if there was an error, it almost always wasn't on me. many would put a fake name down, in fear of getting it taken away and tracked down for it. the reality is that this would rarely happen and that most bouncers just take the ID and throw it away. also, if you were to give a fake ID to a bouncer with a cop next to him (or if you were really stupid, to the cop), you could be charged with many other crimes if you were trying to represent someone you actually weren't, rather than just misrepresenting your age and possessing a forged document.
Just asking if it has ever come across your mind that selling some underage kid a fake id leads to them drinking and possibly driving and maybe killing / injuring someone? No because if he didn't have my ID he'd still get booze from his older brother and then get behind the wheel and maybe kill someone. i don't believe that the level of proper judgment changes from 18 to 21 in most people, so i should feel no more guilty than the DMV who gives an alcoholic 21 year old a license.
Really? What do you mean by that? Is it a scam? Yep, 100%
Hardest state to make an ID for? New virginias, new texas, new york.
How did you deal with the flexibility and texture of the NY id's? Plus the vine wave looks like a bitch. EDIT: just read the next comment about the vine, ignore that part. I didn't make NY IDs but i know some who have and i know how to make them. you have to buy various materials online and get lamination temperatures just right. i have only seen one vendor successfully get the NY to completely bend like a real one does and go back to normal afterwards. on a real new york ID, 3M makes the materials for the sine wave. it's a retroflective material that appears to "float" and shows up as a thin black line on a retroflective viewer. many vendors either print the sin wave on or stamp it on with various chemicals and pigments. in the bar book, the sine wave is depicted as a "grey security wave going across the card" and the picture shows literally just that-- so they pass all the time with someone who doesn't typically handle NY IDs.
New York I understand but the others? Why so? New virginia looks like this:Link to s1.aecdn.com
That image in the right (kinda bottom) corner is actually printed on see-through plastic that's embedded into the card. so, for obvious reasons, that's hard to duplicate.
New texas has laser engraving, embossing, and many other security features all over it. it has actually been faked already but the price of doing it is $200+.
New york has been faked and is done frequently. i have only seen one vendor out there that can do it correctly but the sine wave that goes across the NY ID has never been duplicated correctly.
That's crazy. I didn't even know that IDs got as complex as to have a second picture in the plastic. Cool stuff thanks for sharing! No problem! i'd expect also that in the next 10 years or so, all states' IDs will be just as complex.
So you workin at mcdonalds now or what? No i attend a top-100 university, i'm a double major, applying to law schools. not the answer you thought i'd give huh?
What kind of information show up in the magnetic strip? Literally everything on the front of your DL. name, address, DOB, license number, expiration date, etc. There they're so that the government can do a quick scan to enter your information instead of typing it all out. a handheld scanner that a doorman would use will typically only show DOB. there are new scanners coming out on the market called multipoint scanners that literally scan the entire front of a DL and verify it that way. some vendors have been able to fool those but in the coming years, they will be next-to-impossible to crack.
I could've sworn I had seen Camel using the front ID scanner in their promotional deal on verifying if they indeed are 18. It's possible-- they're around in certain places, but not widespread by any means yet.
If you ever wanted to get back in, Tor is huge for this kind of stuff. Did you use Tor? I did, yes.
Why? Because DMVs are beginning to use high tech dot matrix printers instead of just normal printers and that will be extremely hard to replicate. someone will do it, but it'll be hard.
How much money did you make? Lawyedoctor salary.
So how does one go about making these with a hologram and legit picture? What do you mean? where do i get them? or how are they made?
Yes. Holograms come from china. as to how they're made, it varies based on the state. Here's a rough description: 1) buy teslin and butterfly pouches. 2) buy UV ink and two photo printers 3) download templates online and photoshop them how you see fit. 4) photoshop name, photo, DOB, etc onto the card. 5) generate a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back. 6) click print. 7) laminate 9) put hologram ontop 10) sandpaper the edges, sandpaper the front, rub it around on the desk, etc, so it doesn't look like it just popped out of the DMV's printer when the customer uses it for the first time. obviously a bit more complicated than that, etc., but that's a very rough process.
Do you know any websites with more details? Yes
So yours are made out of laminated paper? All IDs in Québec are made of plastic now. I guess it requires much more equipment. There's many different types of plastic. teslin, PVC, etc., are all different forms of plastic. i can tell you with 100% certainty that your Quebec ID is made out of teslin.
Wow, that's cool to know. Did you actually make some plastic IDs, or just laminated paper ones? Well there's no such thing as a laminated paper ID anymore. to use basic terminology, all IDs are plastic. that means that your quebec ID that's made out of teslin looks and (upon first touch) feels the same as my ID that's made out of PVC. there's different kinds of plastics, though, and all states use something different. most states use either teslin or PVC. novelty vendors like to use teslin more because it's easier to print on. the exceptions to these are states like new york; new york IDs are supposed to bend, and making those is an entirely different story.
Why is it that new york IDs are supposed to bend? Is there something they're used for differently or is it just what the state decided to do? That's what the state decided to do, presumably for security. it works to a certain extent-- they're hard to make a good replica of.
I believe the new thing to ask is how many blunts do you smoke in a day. So, how many blunts do you smoke in a day?? Zero.
How did the clients end up paying you? Bitcoin, WU, moneypac, paypal...
How did you first get into the business? Who taught you the trade? Curiosity. i read some peoples accounts of doing it online and i really wanted to get into it, idk for the thrill or the money or what. i taught myself the trade...once you figure out where to look, there's tons of resources out there and a whole community.
Have any of your prior customers asked for an id with the surname 'McLovin"? Hahah, nope..not that i can remember, at least. that's just a recipe for getting it taken. i didn't make hawaiis...
Forgive me if this is an obvious question that I'm just oblivious to, but why are New York ID's so hard to make? Is there something special about them or something? Rather than being a plastic card, they're actually layers of thin, bendable "plastic" laminated together.when the card isn't being bent, it looks like a normal ID card, but you could roll it up into a small little tube if you wanted to and it'd still go back to normal.
What made you stop? It wasn't worth the risk anymore and i wanted to focus on school.
Do you think Fake ID's that scan will continue to be doable in the future? or is anti-faking tech going to eventually and permanently put a stop to small-scale operations. Yes, i do. if the DMV can make it, someone else can also. the question is not if it can be made but whether or not it will be cost effective. when IDs began to look like how they are now, everyone started to say "oh shit, no more fake IDs...there's no way someone can replicate that hologram." and then some chinese guy did, and everyone lost their shit, and now they'll make them even tougher, and some chinese guy will do it again.
Some ID's in Canada are not using laminate. They are using plastic. Sure that's easy enough. But now they have raised ink and edges on the plastic card. Is there a way around this you know of? Or do you have to buy the special printer that does raised ink as well? Yes, people have figured it out and replicated it. if the DMV can do it, someone else can also. it involves special ink and printers and materials, but you can do it .
Hahaha, God bless some Chinese guy, may he enable my, and my future off-springs' public drunkeness for generations to come. But I mean, if they found a really lock solid way of ID security that required like 3k investment in tech to replicate, wouldn't the Era of affordable ID's for college and high school students be permanently over? Nope. ok lets put it this way-- i made roughly $100 in profit off of each ID; if they put RFID chips or something in them in the future, i could jack the price up to $200. Lets say I sold 40 a week...for an entire year..that's about $200,000 a year. i could afford a 3K RFID machine or something of the likes and make about 400,000 a year.
Would it be better to use a fake ID, or a real ID from someone who looks remotely like you and is over 21? It's tricky. if the door man is really good, you're almost SOL with both. if it's a bad door man, you're better with a fake ID. i caution against using a real ID if they're not your twin because these days a lot of fake IDs replicate almost, if not all, of the security features and it would take a really good bouncer to spot a fake one if you're using it correctly.
Tl;din a nutshell-- get a fake one.
"if you're using it correctly." Excuse me if this is a weird question, Im over 21. How exactly do you "use" a fake I.D wrong? Scenario 1: customer gives ID to the bartender before being asked for it and then orders something stupid scenario 2: customer looks anxious and acts awkward with the ID.
Are Canadian IDs easier or harder to make? And did you have any requests from up north? It depends on the province, they're just like the states. i did not have any requests as i would not ship out of the country.
If I were to want to purchase a fake id right now, where would you recommend I purchase it from? I cannot tell you. sorry. there are multiple places online.
Where can I find someone to make a fake ID for me? There are many, many places online that sell them still.
Why? what's wromg with them? They're all fake "companies" based overseas.
How did you make them? Youtube how to make a fake id or something like that and other vendors have videos that show roughly how they do it.
Could you make any state ID? i know some are more intricate than others.. like a CA ID is pretty damn detailed. Yes, i know how to make any state ID. the new CA ID has been faked already.
Yes, i have templates for the 50 states, DC, canadian provinces, sweden and the UK, and even passports.
Alaskan here, can you tell me what about them makes them so easy? I'm of age, but had an out of state fake and am really curious. The UV and the microprinting is pretty easy to replicate and since there are so few, it's not like a PA or an OH (where every bouncer in my region knows where to look to tell if its a fake or not)
UV being... the hologram? and micro printing be the tiny print running around the border? Thanks for the reply. No, UV being ultraviolet ink that only shows up under a black light. Link to fakeidtrainers.com
With the newish Florida ID's, There is a hologram with your name under your main picture. Is there anyway to get around that these days? or are you required to use standard holograms? Yeah, the new florida fakes are replicated all the time, cheaply too.
Have you ever faked a new Michigan ID? They look like this. I have the template for it.
What do you do for a living now? Im a student...see above.
Where did you get your customers? Online, various message boards, TOR, college kids, word of mouth.
Is it really as easy as Jason Bourne made it look? Like an exacto knife and some laminate? I'd say its even easier once you get the hang of it..
How did you avoid having your internet traced? ToOnion browser.
You sold on the Silk Road huh? I did.
In Minnesota the back ground of the ID has a holo gram, I don't know if thats the case for every state, but if so how could you put the hologram in the fake? Link to bayimg.com . that's what i have for minnesota, but i never made them.
Did you have a fake id when you were young? assuming youre over 21. Yeah, i made them when i was under 21.
Wait, so you can't tell us where to get an ID, I get that. Say I were to PM you a list of sites I've found, could you verify if they are either legit or not legit then? You can PM me, but I'm not promising anything
Are oranges still used to make the glue? No?
Can you go through the process. Example. Person contacts me for ID, fills out order form i check for new orders, copy and paste everything into a template on photoshop photoshop their photo so it looks like it was taken at the dmv make finishing touches in photoshop generate barcode print onto card feed the same card through a printer with UV ink laminate put hologram on, heat again cut and sand the card down print address onto envelope, wrap the card in paper, send it out
Person contacts you for ID 2...
Easiest state to copy with the least flaws or oblivious marks its fake. Alaska.
There's a site called Link to fake21.ph. Never used it tbh, but seems legit. Not legit. very not legit.
Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah. And in some counties in new york.
30x profit. Not cool, man. Supply and demand ;)
You can charge whatever you want. You are the one taking on all the risk. Using a fake ID is more risky then running a modern ID business.
Last updated: 2012-12-16 17:24 UTC | Next update: 2012-12-16 23:24 UTC
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