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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Wanna' See How The Mail Order Shoppe began?
    My parents owned a trophy shop. When they died, there were still trophy orders. I volunteered to do it "for a few weeks"

    The trophy business works like this: The local Country Club has a tournament with a $10,000 budget for trophies. The tourney treasurer blows 9 grand on his mistress and comes to me saying "I need $9000 in awards for only $1000"

    Plus, after my millionth "Most Improved Bowler" trophy I was ready to cut my wrists!

    I took the engraving machine to a flea market on weekends - in Hewlett, LI - and made gag trophies. World's Worst Whatever. The Horses Arse Award, etc.

    Boy! Were we a hit! There were lines outside waiting for us to open! When the flea market closed at 9pm, there were still lines!

    Here's a pic I found. The beer trophies were all real beer. I would buy cases of beer and give them to the flea market security guards and other vendors for free. I just said... DON'T DENT THE CANS". FREE BEER? I was very popular

    So if anyone wonders why I just do personalized gifts... free beer
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2005
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    and having fun

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    You are very creative and an excellent marketer.

    Love your ideas!

    Is that you in the pic?

  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Billy, that's a great story that still inspires
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  5. #5
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Depends... you gonna' make fun of my beard? Yea, it's me.

    I posted in the Affiliate Summit thread that you never know what idea will be successful...

    My best idea back then was sooooooooo successful...

    When you cut a plate that says Joe/Best Bowler, the plate is actually 18x18, you trim it down to 4x1... you always end up with scraps of metal

    I drove a really bad car being held together with duct tape...

    And I took one of the 2" x 3" scraps and engraved

    This Car was Custom Built
    for
    Billy Kay

    put it in my car.

    It became my best seller.

    Every one who came into the shop for real trophies, would leave with what we would now call an upsell item - a $10 car plate that was supposed to be scrap

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Cool and funny! Nothing like making making lemonade from the lemons you were given.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Billy is pretty good at making lemonade
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Every time I see you with a beard I say to my self that you really are Rupert Holmes and you are on the lamb because of the pina colada song....
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay View Post
    Depends... you gonna' make fun of my beard? Yea, it's me.
    I was going to make fun of how YOUNG you look in the picture! What was that, like 30 years ago?
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Electronic Cigarettes's Avatar
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    hahhah that pretty funny. If it is a lucrative business, then why not keep running it.

  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Love this story! It's SO "Billy K!"
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    Repeat - "It's SO "Billy K!""

  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    +1
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Are you still wearing your watch like that?

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Fab story! Billy K—born to entertain! (& isn't that what good promotion is all about?!)
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Why didn't we continue?

    The engraving equipment required TWO people to carry, and at some point, my brother was unavailable

    Technically, the trophy biz is still in the family. We sold or (or gave it) to my cousins. My cousin Joe was the Fire Chief in Seaford, LI, and a cop, so they ONLY do cop and firemen stuff - no little league or bowling trophies.

    Speaking of free beer...

    I already told you a country club would have a certain budget, blow some on a wife or mistress...

    The trophy shop was moved to an old Knights of Columbus hall - complete with bar. And dad would ply the person with alcohol until they revealed their actual budget

    When I got the business, it was like working at a bar! I had to announce "Last Call"!

    Best,
    Billy

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Billy I love this story and even better w/ the pic!

    It all makes sense now.... LOL

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