A couple of Canadian pranksters may have inadvertently become successful entrepreneurs. When Troy Paquette and his partner started “bottling” fresh air and selling it on eBay, they were doing it mostly as a goof. While chatting with some friends who live in heavily polluted areas, Paquette joked about packing up some fresh Canadian air and shipping it around the world.
Now, it seems as though the improbable venture has taken off.
“Essentially we’re selling air,” said Paquette, co-founder of Vitality Air. “Clean, beautiful, fresh Banff mountain air.”
The company’s first product was a humble ziplock bag “filled” with fresh air from the Canadian rockies. It sold on eBay for 99 cents. A second bag, however, sold for an astonishing $168 USD. That’s when Paquette and his partner decided to take the endeavor seriously as a business.
Their methods have improved–the company no longer uses ziplock bags, but rather cans of air. They cost between $15 and $46, depending on size. People from China, Iran, Afghanistan, and other places where breathing may be optional have purchased cans from Vitality Air.
Paquette says he believes China’s air pollution is the primary reason sales have been so strong.
“The air is just so bad that people just want it now,” Paquette says. “They don’t want one can.”
The men are in talks with distributors in China and elsewhere. Some regions are even considering stocking the product in stores.
“It’s something we never expected in our wildest dreams.”
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