Last weekend at RTX 2013, the NerdFu duo (Steve & Sully) sat down with Loot Crate Co-Founder Matt Arevalo to find out more about their business and what members can expect over the upcoming months/years.
WHAT IS LOOT CRATE
Loot Crate is the monthly gear and swag club for those that live and embrace the geek and gaming lifestyle. Loot Crate is a product discovery box, connecting our subscribers, known as Looters, with the best new and emerging companies producing gear, snacks, toys, hardware, art, and other goodies for the geek and gaming market. Each month, Loot Crate handpicks 6-8 new items to include in the box, which are kept secret until the boxes are delivered!
Crates are delivered monthly to Loot Crate’s highly engaged members who enthusiastically produce unboxing videos, social promotions and other community-driven chatter around its contents.
LOOT CRATE – by the Numbers
Launch Date: July 2012
Subscribers: Over 15,000 currently – They started 11 months ago with 250 subscribers in the first month
Monthly Price: $19.37 ($13.37 + $6 S/H)
Employees: Made up of 8 people
Previously Included Brands & Products: Marvel, Gentle Giant, Nintendo, Funko, Blizzard, Capcom, DC/Warner Brothers and more
HOW LOOT CRATE GOT STARTED
Co-Founder Chris Davis attended a Startup weekend in Los Angeles and pitched the idea for Loot Crate to a room of 500 people. Crowds voted on the ideas and, at the end of the weekend there was a presentation in front of judges. Loot Crate didn’t win, but they were the only company already generating money at the end of the event.
Matt Arevalo brought his knowledge of working with big brands (like Microsoft, T-Mobile, EA) and the rest was history
CONVERSATION WITH MATT AREVALO
In the beginning, Loot Crate went from working with big comic book stores to get a “couple hundred of this, a couple hundred of that” to then working with big wholesalers, where they got “5,000 MegaMan air-fresheners,” to now working directly with Warner Brothers and EA in a collaborative effort for things like movies and video games.
Loot Crate is currently working with a “major video game publisher” to include unique items that you can’t get anywhere else.
Loot Crate is careful about not repeating items too frequently. As Matt said – “Sure, you’ll get the 70% of people who are like ‘this is amazing – I can add another one to my collection, I’ve been a subscriber to Loot Crate for six months and now I’ve got another awesome one’ but then you’ll inevitably have the people that are just like ‘aww man, are they running out of stuff to put in the boxes.’The only thing we have technically done twice was the 8-bit sunglasses…. The only reason we did it again was it was summer, it was a whole new color we did and it’s almost been a year since the last time we did it.”
Going the Extra Mile
Loot Crate has been very careful to make sure that the contents of their Loot boxes are high quality, even going so far as to become a medical device importer just to get these sunglasses with UV protection.
Loot Crate listens on social to what people say. They survey everybody after they send crates out to determine which items were well received and what items people didn’t really like.
Loot Crate responds to every customer email in about 24 hours.
This hard work shows on SubscriptionBoxes.com, where Loot Crate is the most popular and highest rated (with over 260 reviews and a 4.75/5 star rating)
If box arrives damaged, wet, etc. Loot Crate will replace any damaged items. All you have to do is notify them.
A newsletter goes out each month, after about 85% of fans have received their monthly crate, that reveals what was in the latest crate. Waiting helps to avoid spoilers for those that are farther away from the distribution center.
No retweets or unboxing photos go out during those first few days out of respect for people who haven’t gotten their crate yet.
Steve: Have you ever thought about offering “custom crates?” Maybe an option for someone to go in and build a custom crate of items to send to a friend as a gift?
Matt: “During the holidays, we had Ultimate Fan Crates (like a Dr Who fan-crate that had a lunchbox and sonic screwdriver) for $50-$60, but it actually contained like $80-$100 worth of stuff.” Ultimate Batman fan crate was another one. “We are going to be doing more of that stuff”
Their goal is to be significantly more than just a monthly box subscription service. Loot Crate is working with influencers, bloggers and fans to build a community and eventually offer different items on their website, at big discounts. There are about 50 influencers in their network currently.