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My secret weapon.

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There are a number of sellers on eBay that sell lanyards ten for $10 with free shipping. Here's my story.

A local game retailer closed. They had 350 lanyards in about 15 styles, including Mario, Zelda, Assassin's Creed, Batman, Transformers and a few others. I bought them for $300.

We took them to a local convention, Bak-Anime (Bakersfield Anime Con).

WE DID NOT SELL THEM. We gave them to people who signed up for Extra Life, OR, we gave them to people who made a $5 donation (not a sale).

It went kinda like this. Out of every 10 lanyards we had, two people signed up and eight people donated $5. So, roughly $10 worth of lanyards generated $40 and two new recruits. We raised $700 at that one event (over two days).

Problem was, we were going to run out of lanyards fast. Then I found out we could get them from eBay for basically the same thing we paid the store that was closing - a buck a piece.

So, I bought a few to try it out and add a few different styles to the ones we had. They were a hit, too.

Right now, this is how it's working for us. 10 lanyards generates $40 and two recruits. $10 of the $40 replaces all ten lanyards. $30 of the $40 goes to the hospital.

Do you want to know how it's working?

Out of 170 hospitals, Bakersfield is #2 behind Boston in recruits (and just BARELY behind, with 450 recruits), and we're #10 in fundraising (with $5,428).

One of our first recruits raised $125 her first day. And it cost us a $1 lanyard to recruit her.

A student we met at the Avengers premier started a team at his high school. It's not on the books yet but he said a team member already got a $2,000 check donated. (Still waiting to see proof of that but waiting with all fingers crossed.)

We currently have almost 100 different lanyards for people to choose from, and we take them to local cons and expos, movie premiers, game midnight launches, events on the college campus, and more. The lanyards are divided into four basic types: Games (Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon), Movies (Star Wars, Transformers, Batman), Anime (One Piece, Dragonball Z, Attack on Titan) and Cartoons (Mickey, Minnie, Stitch, Nightmare Before Christmas). Every event we go to, different stuff is in demand.

We also added some little charms for a $1 donation. 20 cost about $7. They hang from the lanyards. We got Jack Skellington, four Eevieloutions Pokemon, four Mario mushrooms, some Frozen and My Little Pony charms, and people eat them up.

These things are like flashing neon lights to get people to walk up to your table so you can tell them about the program.

I will say that we have an event at the college, but last year, a women brought her son and stayed to play games with him. A college student told her it was nice to see and he'd do anything to get his mom to play games with him. So we are trying to focus our recruitment toward getting families to create family teams, raise money as a team, and spend Extra Life Saturday just playing games at home as a family. People have responded well to this idea, both parents and kids.




Edited by SpaceGhost2K

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That is fantastic! People love little items, but it's great to hear that it's sparking them to fundraise as well. Keep up the great work!

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Guest vttym

This really is a great idea, and the best part is that it doesn't cost a lot of money to get up and running with it. I love the idea of a table of these things bringing people over - people love lanyards at cons!

Are you buying from eBay storefronts that consistently have these, or just scouring eBay and grabbing what you can? Any search terms or links we should use in particular?

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There are a couple of sellers I buy from most of the time:



Then there are others I only buy from once in a while:



herpop (mostly charms)

I only ordered from go-gift1225 once and the order never arrived. I got a refund and the interactions were pleasant. I'm just not convinced they ever actually shipped.

I try to avoid buying random mixed lots because you could end up with some real meh stuff. With the charms it's cheap enough that I'll take the chance and I've gotten some really cool things. I think 100 charms is about $25. I might go for a larger lot next time to see if I get more obscure charms that way. Here's a picture of the last lot of random charms I got:


I had half the ponies, the Frozen charms (all but one Olaf), the Baymaxes and the Pokemon charms before I got the mixed lot, but I included them in the picture so I could show everything I had on me. I got this three days ago, and the Disney Princesses, the Jack and Sally, the Pooh and Eeyores, and both Marias from Aristocats are gone already.

However, there are some of them where you can pay $10 and get five of two styles (Batman black/yellow, Capt America shield/character, Star Wars logo empty/filled, Pokemon yellow/blue/green/pink). This is a way for you to increase your selection without having to buy ten of only a single thing.

If these take off for you, you'll eventually find yourself wanting to buy more than 10. Batman Logos, Minecraft Creeper, Star Wars, Dragonball Z won't last through a single event (midnight launch, convention, movie premier). I have to buy 20 of those at a time or I spend more time waiting to get them than I do having them. BTW, shipping is free but they're coming from Hong Kong. If you have a small order it will come USPS and will take about a week and a half. If it's a larger order they use DHL and it takes about 5-6 days. I'm in Cali so if you're east coast I don't know how much time that might add to the delivery time.

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