Jamie Manning decided not to give up. After his first business endeavor SnagAStool shut down in September 2016, the MBA graduate at Suffolk University founded a new company called BaggaBox, which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
You may remember Manning for pitching SnagAStool as part of Season 6 of the reality show Shark Tank. Unfortunately for him, Kevin O’Leary didn’t quite buy the idea. Ultimately, Manning retired from the company and went back to working in the pharmaceutical industry.
SnagAStool was a mobile app to reserve seats at bars. BaggaBox, the latest attempt to success made by 34-year-old Manning, is a cinch-locking bag that you can anchor at your door and that is meant to prevent the theft of packages.
“I wanted to create a product rather than a service,” Manning told BostInno.
The idea for BaggaBox came to Manning while watching the news during Black Friday and Christmas, both in 2015 and 2016. He realized that many Americans bought their presents online and their packages were stolen, especially when the delivery person left them on the doorstep.
Manning decided that the simplest solution to address the problem was selling a bag made of heavy-duty waterproof canvas that was also lockable and cut-resistant. When you expect a package, you simply have to secure the BaggaBox to your door by using the long cable that serves also as a lock.
The fact that the delivery man doesn’t have to put in any additional effort when delivering a package in a Baggabox is an aspect of the business that Manning emphasizes a lot. In fact, one of the lessons he learned from SnagAStool was that his customers were both the bartenders and the people reserving their spot at the bar. They both had to be happy. Using SnagAstool couldn’t put any more tasks to do on the shoulders of bartenders because they already had a lot on their plates.
With that feedback in mind, Manning didn’t want to add complexity to the job of the delivery people. “Delivery people are running, they’re very busy, they throw the package on the porch and they leave. If it requires them to spend one additional minute locking up your bag, put the combination or anything like that, they’re not going to use the Baggabox.”
The delivery person just needs to drop the package in the bag and slide the cinch lock up the cable to tie the top of the bag. When the bag is locked, only the person with the key can open it.
The Baggabox comes in two sizes: a regular size (28 X 20 inches) and a ‘maxi’ size, that Manning calls the “MegaBaggabox” (39 X 32 inches). After an early bid, the regular will cost $49.99 and the “Mega” $69.99.
Manning admitted that BaggaBox has many competitors in the space of package theft. But according to him, it’s a good thing, because it validates that there’s a problem. Seattle-based PackageGuard, for example, produces a frisbee-size disk that you can place on your porch and notifies you when a package is placed on it or if a package is removed. Another Jamie, this time Jamie Siminoff, invented Ring, a virtual doorbell that records what happens on your porch.
Also, whoever expects a package may decide to use a lock box or have their packages delivered to an Amazon locker. In the first case, Manning pointed out that this solution is very expensive and not practical in an urban setting. Also, the second solution would eliminate the convenience of having a package delivered to your front door.
One thing is for sure. Manning had his idea for Baggabox at a very convenient time, since Amazon launched its one-hour and two-hour delivery service in Boston for Prime members less than a month ago.
As of today, the BaggaBox campaign on Kickstarter has raised $2,914 out of a goal of $7,500, which is the amount of money needed to manufacture the first batch of BaggaBoxes and keep doing research and development of the product. The campaign will remain online until Sunday, May 7. If the target goal isn’t reached by then, Manning said he will conduct more research among potential customers and launch a new crowdfunding campaign.
“Although we’re trying to prevent package theft, our ultimate goal is to make people feel a peace of mind,” Manning said.