Thursday, January 03, 2008

How To Make Money From 'Wants'

Along the lines of Million Dollar Homepage in the “that’ll never work… will it?” category, 2007 saw the successful launch of Wants For Sale. The innovative project by New York artist Justin Gignac and his girlfriend Christine might just be my favorite idea of the year.

The premise is simple: Justin and Christine paint pictures of things they want and then sell them for the exact price of the item. The things they’re after range from $12.70 for an order of buffalo wings to $1,056.07 for a single month’s rent check. My favorite: $1 million for “financial security.”

The Wants For Sale project has done surprisingly well since it debuted earlier this year. The couple has so far collected a Nintendo Wii, some Xbox games, a fancy sushi dinner at trendy New York hot spot Nobu, some clothes, a gym membership, and a handful of food items, among other things. They’re still waiting for someone to fund the iPhone they covet.

The idea is innovative, and one that is likely to only work once. But of course it wouldn’t have worked at all if Justin and Christine didn’t have the primo illustration skills that they possess (they also do commissioned paintings of things other people want).

Wants for Sale was so successful that it even gave birth to a spin-off project, Needs for Sale, which is the same basic premise, but with all proceeds going to charity. Between the two sites, the artists have raised over $2800 for various charitable causes this year.

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