Maker Interview: Raja Kapur of FidgetHQ
Raja is the owner of FidgetHQ – One of the larger fidget spinner sites out there. I had a nice phone call with him earlier today where we got to know some cool stuff about how he got started.
What did you do before the Fidget Spinner craze?
Before fidgets got really popular, I was a software developer. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and writing code is still currently my day job.
If you’re working a 9-5, who’s running Fidget HQ?
My wife runs the day to day operations while I mostly handle the product development side of things.
So the great customer service we’ve heard about has nothing to do with you?
Haha. Well, I can’t be handling customer service emails while I’m at work, and the customers deserve a level of customer service that she can provide. I did set the initial pace and standards for our customer service levels, and still maintain close ties to the community, but my wife has been the driving force behind evolving it for quite some time now.
Why not go full time with Fidget HQ?
You never know how long fidget spinners will be popular for. I would say the peak popularity was around April to July and it’s slowing down now, but the passionate collectors will always be around.
Tell me how you started the business?
Lets flash back to around December of 2016. I saw this facebook video of a spinning object and it had over 1 million views. It piqued got interested and found out they were called fidget spinners.
Most of them were over $100 and I wasn’t willing to pay that, so I went on alibaba.
Back in the day, the sellers mostly had torqbar clones and random crap with tons of sharp edges.
In February of 2017, someone posted a picture of the C3 by Cigreen and wanted to purchase it. Since the manufacturers won’t sell individuals, I organized a group buy with about 15 other people.
Their minimum order quanity was 20 pieces, so I kept the extras.
Demand quickly skyrocketed for these group buys and a month later, the average purchase had around 200 customers. At that point, I decided to turn the facebook group we made for these group buys into Fidget HQ and become a retailer.
So Fidget HQ was born around early March?
That’s correct. Initially, we just sold the overstock from the group buys but I kept finding more and more unique products that people wanted. The key was finding great products at the sub $50 price level so everyone could afford something high quality.
What have you spent your fidget spinner riches on?
Not much! The splurgiest item I bought was a tungsten TriFDGT with damasteel bluetongue buttons.
BOOOOO! I was expecting to hear Ferrari or Lambo with a FidgetHQ custom wrap on it. So… what was your biggest breakthrough in the fidget spinner business?
Actually investing in a custom design. After the kong, I was still mostly reselling. The Zentri nano was our first real original design and the community loved it.
Speaking of the Zentri, how many do you think are out in the wild?
My guess is around 30,000.
What’s the most number of packages you’ve sent out in a day?
Over 300. We had to package them all by ourselves at our home and then drive 30 minutes to the nearest post office hub. It was like the perfect storm with all these pre-orders arriving on the same day.
What’s the future of the industry?
I think it’s going to slow down drastically. You know that even the manufacturer’s businesses are slowing down when a Cigreen rep tries to sell you a singing flower pot. Seriously. Look at their instagram page.
We’re still going to be developing new products. We have a Tri Quasar in the works along with a damasteel bluetongue Zentri nano.
Our goal is to shift a lot into accessories – bringing exotics to everyone at an affordable price.