America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HasyunUSA and WeeBIKE- now separate websites

During one of my recent late night insomniac episodes, I found the mental fortitude to set up a new retail website to separate the Kid’s Bikes we sell from the Merino Wool Underwear we sell. The wool apparel can still be found at http://www.weebike.com/, but the storefront gives very little indication of this, so those who are interested in kid’s bikes, primarily see kid’s bikes.

To make our Google Adwords campaign for wool underwear more effective, it seemed pretty obvious to us that those who want to buy wool are not interested in kid’s bikes, nor are they interested in buying wool from a site where kid’s bikes are featured. For this reason, http://www.hasyunusa.com/ was born. As simple and plain-jane as this site appears, it is no easy task to get the domain name transferred over and get the merchant account codes, certificates and passwords installed. This Hasyun site took me about 2 hours to create, and it’s automatically populated with everything that I have in my Ebay store, within a minute of launch. This meant that I had to go in and delete all the non-wool items, but this only takes a few minutes. So now you know.

Some of you also know that I am sponsoring the ArcenCiel Racing Team with a combination of merchandise, discounts and cash. The ass-end of their kit is going to look something like this:

It’s an honor to be affiliated with such a classy bunch of masters. I won’t drop names here but the initials of TB, RR, DK, BM et al represent incredibly strong men who ride all winter long and win races regularly. They are also an older group who has an appreciation for wool cycling apparel.

We’ve been in business 2-1/2 years and so far, so good. We haven’t lost any money, and we’re blessed that a lot of our money is sitting tight in the form of inventory. This means growth! Even so, every cent we have made that didn’t go towards purchasing more inventory, has gone towards the support and cash sponsorship of the M1 Racing/WeeBIKE.com Racing Team. We have been covering nearly all entry fees for our riders and we are probably the only team offering prize-matching- something which a few of our guys have done very well with- our team won six races last season.

All this cash outlay means we are basically running the operation hand to mouth. We recently had to take a loan from a family member so that we could put a deposit down on a home, said loan being in anticipation of my tax return check. Don’t let the 2 retail websites and the 6 blogs fool you: we are not wealthy people. I own a rental property in West Warwick and I rent a condo in East Greenwich so my son can go to a good school. Some very attractively priced FannieMae foreclosures are hitting the market right now and you can pick them up for only 3% down if you get a Homepath mortgage. Go to Homepath.com and you will find everything you need to know, including the listings for your area. It’s free. This is where we found the house we are buying, which is in the Cowesett area of Warwick. Buy on weakness, sell on strength!

There was some point which I needed to make but it’s lost on me at the moment.. Indeed- here it is. It would please us immensely of the racing community which we support could consider reciprocating and maybe thinking about buying some of our Hasyun Wool Underwear or one of our many brands of kid’s bikes. We have sold wool underwear and bikes to people all over the world, but our recent decision NOT to open a brick and mortar retail store was directly linked to the fact that we are selling to people everywhere EXCEPT in New England. I don’t know how any kind of overhead can possibly be supported when the community you live in is not spending any money. We’re nonplussed, but grateful for all of the hundreds of customers which we have in places like UK, Russia, Israel, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Some local sales will make it a lot easier to have enough cash to close on this property which we are trying to buy.

This morning I was flipping through my new Velonews and discovered one of the product promos was for a short sleeve merino wool base layer, by a company called Capo. This “limited edition” item is selling for $80, and from the picture I found of it online, it’s practically see-thru, and no indication is given of exactly how much wool is used to construct it, or where it’s made. As a person engaged in the wool trade, I can tell you that the cost of this piece is probably about $7-10, depending upon the volume. The rest of the $70 mark-up goes to cover overhead, advertising, distribution, fancy web design, freight, customs, packaging, and expensive ads in Velonews. If you detect a little bit of frustration, you are right-on.

We sell a high quality short sleeve merino wool blend base layer for $29.95, plus $2.95 for shipping. Our competition, be it Capo, Ibex or Smartwool, is engaged in some kind of delusional price-point which only the wealthy and ignorant can afford to pay. There is no way that any of the people I train and ride and race with can afford that kind of dough for a paper thin wool undershirt of unknown wool content and unknown origin. That being said, I want to announce that our introductory period for our apparel is ending on February 28th. On March 1st the new price of our 75% merino wool blend short sleeve base layer will be adjusted to $39.95, which is still ½ the price of the boutique brands. For select teams in the New England area, I will be sharing one of two Coupon Codes which can be used at checkout. One will be for 10% off and for teams which I sponsor, it is a LOT more.


We have recently added two types of long underwear for men: black in 75% merino wool blend, and beige in 100% merino wool. Please go to the website and browse the selection: http://www.hasyunusa.com/ These are both reasonably priced for $38.95 and $39.95, respectively.

Let me tell you what happened to me last night.. Some of you have heard that I’m in the middle of a very nasty chest/head cold. Well last night I was feeling a little better, and I went to bed with my Hasyun Merino Wool base layer as a pajama top, because I had the feeling that it would be a night where I am going to sweat buckets. Four hours later, I awoke to heed nature’s call. Lying on my back, the covers pulled up to my neck, I felt very snug and comfortable. It wasn’t until I threw the covers off of me that I realized that I was lying in a pool of sweat, the sheets, blankets, wool shirt and flannel bottoms all soaked through completely. The important distinction to make though, is that wool retains 70% of it’s insulating properties even after it is soaked through. With any other type of undershirt, I probably would have woken up 3-4 times to change shirts. This means that the wool shirt allowed me to get more rest, and keep warm too. For the record, I have one Hasyun base layer which I bought 3 years ago- and it fits me better and better with each washing. Seems to have a ‘memory’ relative to my body shape. These things are built to last with flat stitched seams using a double knit interlock fabric.

Well I’ve said a lot more here than I expected to, but hopefully you have learned a few things about our business, about the teams we sponsor and where to go find foreclosed homes. Thanks for reading.

9 comments:

Il Bruce said...

At least that is the part of the AEC uni most people (your target demo) are going to.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Bruce my brain is mush- what is AEC?

Il Bruce said...

Arc en Ciel

Il Bruce said...

Should also be "going to see"

Murat Altinbasak said...

Aha. Thanks Bruce. Yes I definitely got myself some tail, figuratively speaking.

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Glenn_in_MA said...

The pricing on your wool base items seems unbelievable...worth trying IMHO!

Curious though, why are you allowing advertising for ibex and other wool ".coms" on your site...I know it's through Google, but...

Murat Altinbasak said...

Glenn,
Good question. If curiosity gets the best of people and I make a few bucks for their clicks, why not? If anyone is clicking the Ibex link, it's mostly to validate the $80 price I told them about. They'll be back. If they go and buy the $80 base layers, then good riddance. I want to sell to intelligent, educated consumers, not to people who blindly attach value to a brand that buys from a Chinese sweatshop.