Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
Have you ever wondered about an item for sale, with no way to verify its condition? Whenever someone buys a product on e-bay, for example, they are putting themselves at risk. However, there is now a unique service which will do the looking for you.
WeGoLook is a service that helps protect their clients from being scammed by looking into the things they hope to buy. Their service is available for nearly any high-priced item you would like to purchase but want to check on first, from animals to vehicles. They travel to the location, confirm its existence, fill out a personalized report, confirm specific details, provide 10 photos, and answer customer questions. At a time when dishonesty exists in online sales, their service provides the peace of mind many shoppers need.
I recently had the opportunity to ask the co-founder of WeGoLook, Robin Smith, a few questions about their unique service.
Tell us a little bit about WeGoLook.
WeGoLook.com is an online service which features a unique community of over 7,000 nationwide people “Lookers” who are dispatched in their local area to verify an eBay/craigslist item, auto, property, pinball machine, vacation home, exotic pet, job site construction progress, online dates and so so so much more! The Looker will complete an ONSITE personalized report which includes CURRENT photos, video, observation of a working demonstration, measurements, VIN/make/serial number check, odometer/hours reading, arranging transport of the item or delivering the item to a UPS or FedEx location for shipping, custom tasks and more!
WeGoLook.com uncovers the truth about the item our customers wish to purchase. Our customers have access to information which helps in negotiation plus avoid becoming victims of fraud or misrepresentation.
WeGoLook.com also assists business owners and property owners of second homes. Lookers can verify storm or tenant damage, collateral assets, rent roll, job site construction progress, take site photos/video and more.
Overall, WeGoLook helps our customers save time, travel expenses, money and avoid headaches caused by fraud/misrepresentation/disputes
How does your service work?
The WeGoLook service is very efficient and effective. Customers simply click on the services or order button on the WeGoLook website. Complete the order form with details of “What you want us to GoLook at” and the order is automatically sent to Lookers covering the zip code of item location. The Looker logs into their dashboard on our site, accepts the order and reviews the order details then travels to the site to make their observations and take photos/video/etc. The Looker uploads this information into their dashboard and the Customer Service Representatives at WeGoLook quickly review the completed order for quality control and it is pushed to the customer’s dashboard. The customer automatically receives an email notification and is able to review, print, share, save and email their report.
All WeGoLook reports include embedded coding in case the customer wishes to post the report on their listing (Sellers and Daters gain credibility).
How much does your service cost and what is included?
The basic WeGoLook report includes 10 current photos, verification of serial or VIN numbers, markings, observations of any visible damage and, depending on the item, specifics of hours/mileage/odometer readings, etc. The basic report is only $49. Customers may upgrade their report with video, working demonstrations, measurements and more by adding a la carte items listed under “additional services”.
What inspired it?
The initial inspiration for WeGoLook took place when Mark Caywood, co-founder, wanted to purchase an expensive projector on eBay but was not sure if the item actually existed or if the seller’s claims were valid. He thought it would be great if he could send a local reputable agent to inspect the item for him. We based the WeGoLook business model on verification of auction items, properties, autos and dates. Once we began brainstorming, we realized there is unlimited potential of what our Looker Community is capable of. The crowd sourcing and business-to-business applications are very beneficial to consumers and business owners alike.
When someone submits an auction/sale item for verification, approximately how long does it take for the report to be generated?
Once a customer places an order, our typical turn around time is 24-48 hours. However, if the customer needs us to expedite the “Look” within a few hours, we can accommodate them with a rush order charge.
What separates you from the competition?
There are four main strengths which makes WeGoLook stand out above the crowd.
1. Coverage. Our Looker community is over 7,000 strong and is comprised of mostly mobile notaries, process servers and field inspectors. Our Lookers sign a three-year non-compete agreement with us, are professionals in their field, have the tools and intelligence to complete the orders correctly, and are background check verified. There is no inspection or verification company with the nationwide coverage that we have.
2. Price. WeGoLook is committed to helping consumers mitigate risk. We have kept our costs as low as possible so that many online consumers can afford our $49 basic report. Try searching for any type of onsite inspection/verification and you will find prices starting elsewhere at $100 minimum.
3. Category Coverage. There is NO COMPANY offering onsite verification services for multiple categories. WeGoLook covers almost any item, property or person. Our Looks are unique: cell phone towers which are disguised as pine trees, warehouse lots of items, engines, vintage Fiesta Ware, to your typical real estate, auto or online date. Other companies offer specific inspection/verification of only one category such as boats or autos. WeGoLook covers it all!
4. Customer Experience. Our customers are now able to purchase items “sight unseen” with confidence. WeGoLook wants to make the experience of purchasing online even more positive by providing transport arrangement of large items and shipping services for smaller ones.
What are some goals you’d like to accomplish over the next year or so?
A few goals WeGoLook would like to reach over the next 12-18 months include:
1. Offering the WGL platform to larger companies such as craigslist, AutoTrader, Match.com, PayPal, etc. WeGoLook offers safety to buyers, sellers and daters plus helps customers avoid fraud, misrepresentation and lessen disputes. It is a no-brainer for companies of any size to offer our services to their customers.
2. Offer franchise opportunities in other countries. I would love for global consumers to order “Looks” not just in the US (as they can now) but anywhere in the world.
3. Become the automatic choice for: A. consumers of online products, real estate or dates, B. business owner or banks needing verification of assets or projects, and C. property owners of second homes needing visual confirmation of storm or tenant damage.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
I have learned so many lessons from creating and implementing this company but several stand out.
1. When the site developer says, “It will be ready in two weeks”….this is dev language for “two months”. Personally, my largest lifelong fault has been lack of patience. While working on creating this site, redesigning it twice, creating a back-end management tool and recruiting our Lookers/WGL team, I have learned to almost become patient. Without drugs or alcohol. ha ha Jokes aside, this has been a wonderful personal journey.
2. I have learned that some CEOs of large companies really don’t care about their customer safety and fraud issues. WeGoLook is an automatic solution to prevent much of the online fraud and crime. This has been quite a revelation but also makes me even more determined to help consumers.
3. Throughout this learning experience I have also met many incredible people and CEOs who do care…. and I am “Looking” forward to meeting more.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
To all of the skeptics who believe that a “most promising startup” can only originate from Silicon Valley or Austin, I would personally like to invite you to Oklahoma City, visit our office and catch a Thunder basketball game! You will not only have a new NBA team to cheer on, you will become a fan of WeGoLook!
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
1. Don’t give up. Even when you feel you are only “trudging along”….keep trudging. Don’t quit.
2. Don’t be intimidated by asking for what you want. The worse thing anyone can say is, “No” but at least you asked for it. When someone tells me “No” I just find another way to get to it…. my dad has said this for years about me but he rolls his eyes when he says it. ha ha
3. Spice it up! Think outside of the box….get creative….if something is not working for you….change it up a little and have some fun.
4. But most importantly, before you purchase sight unseen, Verify Before You Buy at www.WeGoLook.com!