Pens Into Gold More About Michael Senoff
Years ago and still today the key for me is finding a product that has a mass-market appeal and took up very little space, cost very little to make, and could be sold with a high profit margin. After searching through import catalogues and checking out products at trade shows, I made my discovery. Eureka! Pens were the answer. Simple and inexpensive to make, yet with mass market appeal, pens were to be the instruments for writing the next phase of my marketing success.
A pen that identified counterfeit currency captured my attention. You swipe it on real money and the ink stays yellow. Swipe it on counterfeit, and the ink leaves a black streak. The secret is a basic chemical interaction between the ink and the starch found in almost all types of paper, except the paper used by the US Treasury to print bills.
I called pen manufacturers and ordered sample pens, took them apart and began experimenting with making my own. I learned the key parts of a pen: barrel, tip, filter and reservoir. I discovered that the “miracle” starch detector was plain iodine. Yep. The stuff you put on your skinned knee or cut finger. The interaction between starch and iodine was textbook high school chemistry. The Blue-Black Complex simplified.
It took me a few months to figure out how to load the barrels with iodine. My first try was with a pen barrel made of aluminum that turned the iodine white. Another attempt resulted in failure when I used a different filter system. But this also failed. The iodine was eating away the cellophane wrapping, what a mess! After months of research, calls to my filter manufacturer, and more testing in my one bedroom apartment, I had finally developed a specially designed filter that could handle the iodine formula.
Once I found the right combinations, I was off and selling. I didn’t have a phone, so I spent my mornings making phone calls at Zanzabar, a nearby coffee shop on Garnet Ave about three blocks from the ocean in Pacific Beach. I was using all my sprint free minutes I’d received from a long distance phone service promotion.
Money Detector Factory
Wanda Lead Pen Assembler||
Tools of the Trade|
Ron, ready to hit the streets|
My direct sale force
Bob Direct Salesman|
<<Post Card Promotion>>
Cash Cop Promo Post Card|
Complete Direct Selling Kit|
I now knew everything there was to know about manufacturing and marketing, pens so began looking to expand my product line. When I first stumbled on the “Red Eye” pen, I didn’t even know what caused “Red Eyes” in photos. Pot smoking? Staying up all night?
These pens were selling for $7.95 each. I knew I could make the same pens for about 25 cents each. The blue color ink cost me about $20 a gallon. One gallon of ink will make 3000 pens. I went into production, purchased a list of one-hour photo labs from a list broker.
Rather than simply offering my red eye pens wholesale, I let the retail stores know because I was the manufacturer, I could sell to them at a lower price. I also provided retailers a way to display the merchandise and provided their customers with a sample “Red Eye” photo to test the pen’s effectiveness.
My pens are displayed at point-of-purchase displays I designed and manufactured myself. Each display comes with up to 100 pens and a huge stack of test photos to demonstrate the pen’s effectiveness. The test photo challenges lookers to "Test Your Skill" and invites the customer to test the red-eye remover pen before buying it. I gave the retailer a proven way to sell pens to his customers. Other red eye pens manufacturers simply shove an order form and invoice in front of the retailer and ask them to buy a dozen at a time for $3 each--and then good luck.
Red Eye Pen Display
Stacks of Red Eye Pen Display
Try It Before You Buy It Offer||
Test Your Skill Offer|
Within a year, I had placed my own “Red Eye” pens in over 1,000 one-hour photo shops.
Suddenly Success, at Last!
More About Michael Senoff
I founded my now successful firm, JS & M’s Marketing, with five pens: -one that detects counterfeit money - one that detects pH in paper-one that is a vanishing ink pen-one that marks property with invisible, permanent ink-
one that eliminates red-eye from photographs
Note: I no longer manufacture the Counterfeit detector pens, due to patent disputes.
All of my pens are hand-assembled, piece by piece---no machinery-- by part time home workers. I had tried selling various products --with minimal success-- before hitting "pay dirt" with the counterfeit currency detection pen. Below are nine photos of my current pen making operation as of November 2002
Back of my home "The Factory"||
Pen Parts 100,000 pen fit in a closet||
The anatomy of a felt tip pen|
|My son's baby sitter making pens
||Drop the filters in the whole
||500 pens ready to ship for a customer|
I learned how to manufacture my pens in a one-bedroom studio apartment when I was without resources. With my low overhead, I was able to beat all competitor prices. I built the business one phone call at a time. Some days I spent 10 hours on the phone, until my ear was aching.
Now that I have a thriving business, I use the US mail, a fax machine and an administrative assistant who I have never personally met to do my grunt work. When you can generate leads at will by using direct marketing and have calls coming to you rather then having to go out cold calling for prospects, your life will change. Your chances for a sale are increased dramatically and you spare yourself the rejection and stress of cold calling.
My Red Eye pens have been sold in over 1200 one-hour photo labs and camera retail stores worldwide. My marketing secret is to provide solutions for the retailer. I come to the retailer and say, “I am a manufacture not a wholesaler. Try my red eye pens with no risk at half the cost. Try out my proprietary retail display to merchandise your red eye pens, try my red eye pen test photos to demonstrate how my pens work to your customer before they buy” Because I sell them a solution and a system along with the merchandise, they’ll stay with my products for years to come.
My method helped me sell 100 pens per store while everyone else in the market was selling a dozen. I offered a 100% --better then risk free --money back guarantee. If the customer wasn’t happy, they didn’t pay a dime. I offered to pick the pens up and even pay the shipping to get them sent back.
Pet Eye Pen||
Red Eye Pen|
Vanishing Ink Pen||
ID Invisible ink pen|
Invisible Ink pen
Invisible ink shows up under UV light
This positioning is what marketing is all about. To learn more, including how you can write your own success story manufacturing and selling my pen brands, click here.
How Red Eye Pens Made Me RICH!
My pens were “cash cows” that made it possible for me to move into a house, marry a wonderful woman and start a family. The financial cushion provided by the steady income stream gave me time to explore more marketing opportunities. I now had a customer base of over 1,000 loyal accounts. It was time to leverage that. I was learning to up sell. To joint venture. I was driven to succeed at even higher levels.
To expand and refine my marketing skills, I began to reread and to study the masters in depth. Jay Abraham. Tony Robbins. I watched videos. And studied even more. I learned effective, powerful teaching methods. Now I want to teach others. To lead others to discover the marketing secrets of the great marketing gurus.
This site is my chance to change the lives of thousands of people by making the
hard to find interviews available. Instead of being able to reach and affect only a handful of people, with my web site, I can reach and affect thousands of people. It’s my way of paying back some of the good fortune that good marketing brought into my life.
Everything that I’ve accomplished can be accomplished by anyone reading this. (Yes, that’s right, I mean you.)
I reached my goals. I’m earning good money, and still get to spend every day at home with my family. When my young son wakes up in the morning, I’m here. When he’s ready for lunch, I’m here. Whether it’s dinner, a bath, a bedtime story or a romp on the sofa, I’m here.
I took charge of my life, and it’s great. I can’t imagine it any other way. That big orange van that was my dad’s rolling bedroom placed miles between him and his family. I keep my work and my family life inches apart.
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