While you’re cursing the latest round of snowfall, Kyle Waring sees cold cash outside.
His new business, Ship Snow, Yo, sells snow from his Manchester-by-the-Sea home, 30 miles north of Boston, and ships it anywhere in the U.S.
A light dusting Tuesday night pushed Boston’s seasonal snow total up to 100.2 inches, making it second to the winter of 1995-1996, that saw 107.6 inches.
The “historic Boston snow,” as Waring calls it, is selling like cold cakes at $20 for a 16.9-ounce water bottle. His new product — a shipment of 6 pounds of snow — runs $90 a pop.
And people are actually buying it.
“It started as a joke, and it sort of evolved,” said Waring, a product manager at GSN Games in Boston, who has a background in web development.
Waring launched ShipSnowYo.com after Winter Storm Juno in January, when the Boston region got roughly two feet of snow– an ominous a foreshadowing of the treacherous months to follow.
The idea came to Waring as he and his wife were shoveling their property.
“During the first big storm we were like, ‘This is ridiculous. We need to get rid of this. We should just ship it somewhere,’” said Waring’s wife, Jessica, 27.
Within no time, orders started coming in from California and Florida. As of Wednesday, the company had shipped more than 100 orders.
“Once [Kyle] gets an idea in his head he just runs with it. He came up with a website and a business plan and somehow made it happen,” said Jessica. “We are just having so much fun with it.”
The couple works together with Waring’s brother, Austin Waring, to collect, package and ship the snow.
ShipSnowYo.com’s prime customers seem to be companies that order the snow as gag gifts, and legit families in snow-free areas of the country.
Oddly enough, Waring has also gotten some orders from Massachusetts — also gag gifts. Snow in the mail. Just what every Bay Stater dreams of.
It may come as no surprise that the venture has perplexed some of the public.
“We live in a small town, so everyone in the surrounding post offices knows what we’re doing,” said Jessica.
While customers will likely end up opening their order to find a bottle of undrinkable water, according to John Chapman, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, there is nothing shady about Waring’s new business, since the website clearly notes the snow may melt.
“Businesses can have any refund policy they want, as long as it’s disclosed before payment,” Chapman said. “It just goes to show you that there’s a market for anything.”
Waring says he has indeed issued a few refunds already. The Warings have plans to keep the “snowmentum” going.
“As long as there is product to ship we will definitely be selling it,” said Waring. “If orders are still coming in, and we are unable to source [snow] in Boston we’ll look at alternative sources.”