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        A low-key crowd funding campaign just proved that people want to bulletproof their kids.

        BulletSafe, a popular bulletproof vest company, is finding success with bulletproof panels for children’s backpacks. In just over 2 weeks their Indiegogo campaign met its financial goal and there are still 28 days left to go. Why did it succeed?

        It certainly didn’t succeed because of a hard selling pitchman or a slick campaign. “I made these for my kids and I can make one for you.” That was the soft-sell by Tom Nardone, of BulletSafe Bulletproof Vests. The accompanying video, which is poorly lit, featured his kids showing how lightweight and stain-proof the panel is. His wife is seen laundering it. You can view the campaign here:

        “I didn’t want to push. I’m not a big fan of fear-based marketing. I see bulletproof vests more as safety equipment than anything else. If you need one, we make a great vest at a price you can afford. If parents think their kids need a bulletproof panel for their backpack, we can make one parents can purchase.”

        The project is called the BulletSafe Bulletproof Backpack Panel and in 17 days it became the latest crowd funding success. For those not familiar with crowd funding, it involves raising small amounts of money from potential customers, usually through pre-orders. Retailers can participate too. Both customers and retailers have bought the backpack panel. Harry’s Army Surplus in Dearborn, Michigan, and Ann Arbor Arms ordered multiple panels at wholesale prices. "Customers come in all the time and ask for this type of thing. Having something for less than $100 will be a home run," said Rob Davis of Harry's.

        Participating in the crowd funding process gets you a discount. Eventually, these panels will sell for $99, but funders get one for $89. Retailers get free freight on a 6 pack of panels for $420.

        Does the public need such a product? One online comment pointed out: “In the 2009-10 school year there were 17 homicides of youth 5-18 years old at school, while over 700 children die every year from drowning… Teach your kids to swim!” Other people point out that your child might not have access to their backpack in an emergency situation. Many are shocked that such a product exists at all and see it as social commentary on the dangerous nature of guns and the level of paranoia in our society.

        What does the manufacturer think? “I understand all of those viewpoints and the statistical analysis is quite valid. But as a parent I also know that I protected my own children because I am able to and that other parents might want to do the same.”

        About BulletSafe makes a great bulletproof vest at an unbelievable price. Their level IIIA vest retails for only $299 and is available at over 60 retail locations nationwide. Their vest was designed to protect people who work at dangerous jobs and could not previously afford bulletproof vests.



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