Crowdfunding is a world of risk and reward. Sometimes a developer burns the consumer with a lesser quality product. Sometimes a developer never makes the product. The backer has a tightrope to walk in determining whether a project is legitimate or if the campaign creator is just making free money.
This brings us to GARY. No, it is not Gary, Indiana (cue the Music Man track) it is a little piece of invention for keeping your headphones from tangling. Why is it called GARY? We still have not figured that out yet. But what we do know is that GARY is a little cable winder made to keep your headphone cables wound neatly and keep them from becoming a tangled mess in your pocket. Nifty, but it is not an incredibly new idea.
Want a GARY cause you hate those pesky tangled cables? The GARY is only 6£ ($7.50), which sounds pretty appealing. But things seem a little off with the spring-loaded cable winder.
Let me begin by revealing a few warning signs:
- Numerous misspellings
- Very little detail on the project schedule
- Very little detail on product specs or use
- Answers product comments with very vague responses
We also noticed that their project timeline differs from their estimated delivery to backers. Due to this discrepancy and failure to maintain the original deadline, Kickstarter forced them to cancel funding (not a great situation for GARY).
The other big, red flag that alarms me is that they successfully reached their Kickstarter goal and have recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign. While not immediately concerning, the IndieGoGo campaign is for the GARY 2.0 when the backer fulfillment for the 1.0 has not been achieved. The developers were kind enough to give us reasons for this:
- Raise initial funds as the factory requested a larger MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity).
- Due to all feedback we received, we decided to revise moldings and make GARY slimmer.
The second seems logical and understandable to some level. The first reason raises a question… was this not considered when developing the GARY 1.0? On the surface, this appears to be a situation of poor management.
I could continue, but I will hold off until I have more answers.
So the question still stands: Is GARY just a big scam? We have seen plenty of people burned by crowdfunding scams over the past few years, which makes investors much more hesitant. We will be doing our part in contacting the developers for more details on their product and their business strategy moving forward for a better proof of concept. We may even try to find out why it is called GARY for you all!
Invest wisely! Dollars are not cheap!