Sarnia’s Rod Weed and Nancy Crawford say a frustrating experience buying a jet ski on Kijiji planted the seed for a new business venture.
“I read the description of a jet ski online and I called about it,” said Weed. “They said it was in good condition and it looked fine in the photo.”
But when he drove up to Grand Bend to pick it up, it was missing parts and the seat was ripped. He left disappointed.
“That’s four hours of my life I won’t get back,” he said. “We got to thinking there has to be a better way.”
That’s how the concept for You Video Market.Com took shape.
Weed and Crawford launched their new website just days ago with its first 25 videos. You Video Market.Com has eight sales categories that include everything from residential property such as jewelry or boats, to marketing small businesses and selling real estate.
“It’s been five months in the making,” said Crawford. “It’s evolved as we created it because we’re listening to what people are telling us.”
For instance, when one Sarnia businessman told her he wanted to make a video promoting his services to other businesses, the Business-to-Business category was developed.
To be community-minded, You Video Market.Com also posts a weekly video featuring an animal up for adoption at the Humane Society and offers discounts to not-for-profits.
Weed and Crawford say the strength of You Video Market.Com is that it’s personal, it’s inexpensive and it connects local buyers and local sellers.
“Now if someone like me wants to buy a jet ski, they can look for one on our site and the video will show them the engine with the hood up and the condition of the seat,” he said. “They can see for themselves if it’s in good condition.”
“I really like that it is all local and features local people,” said Crawford. “We won’t accept professionally-made commercials.”
She has trained to be the videographer and run the website. When a customer calls, she arrives with a small camera to shoot a video no longer than one minute. Residential customers who want to send in a short video do not pay.
If Crawford makes and edits the video, the cost is $10 to householders.
Businesses pay $300 a month to post their commercials, which can be changed up every two weeks. If anyone wants to buy one of Crawford’s videos to post elsewhere, they pay $100 to $200.
Weed and Crawford pitched their business plan to CBC’s Dragon’s Den when the television show held auditions in Sarnia last month. They haven’t heard yet, but they’re hopeful they’ll be invited to make a pitch in Toronto in front of the Dragons.
“We did well. They said they liked our energy,” Weed said of his Sarnia audition. “The feedback for our idea was really good.”
You Video Market.Com is online at www.youvideomarket.com. Crawford said there is a 24-hour turnaround time for her to film a video, edit it and upload it, but videos sent by non-commercial vendors via cell phone will be uploaded right away at no charge.
Call her at 519-466-8844 or reach Rod Weed at 519-381-3980.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.