Vuvuzelas are driving the entire world crazy. Spectators from all over the world may be complaining that the horrible noise from the horns blown at the World Cup games in South Africa is keeping them from enjoying the matches. But a number of Israeli Internet entrepreneurs have found a way to make money off the phenomenon.
Oron Barber of AllDings has been working since June 2009 on the www.buy-vuvuzela.com site, and now is reaping the fruits of the efforts.
He's managed to put the site at the top of Google's search rankings when you search for "buy vuvuzela" or "where to buy vuvuzela" by using search engine optimization techniques. Even typing in just the word "vuvuzela" puts them high up on the first page of search results.
"We worked on setting up the site for three months before the World Cup, after last year when we realized that FIFA approved the horns, it would be a good business," Barber told TheMarker.
The site does not actually sell the horns, but merely serves as an intermediary to connect buyers and sellers. In other words, buyers order and the site sends the orders on to suppliers it works with - and pays AllDings.
Barber admits that it is possible to order directly from suppliers, and the price may even be lower.
"There is no doubt that everyone can buy [directly] from the supplier. We simply offer a convenient way for those who want to buy vuvuzelas over the Internet," he said.
So far the site has sold some 20,000 to 30,000 horns.
"We are sending vuvuzelas to the entire world, but very few in Israel," said Barber. "We have sales to Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and Algeria. Most of our sales are to Europe, particularly Britain."
Barber is not the only ones trying to make money off of vuvuzelas, and there are competitors on the Internet - Israeli and otherwise. www.vuvuzela.co.il is all in Hebrew, but is also packed with information and history - as well as how to order. The site's owner, Avi Hazan, said he now works only with wholesalers such as toy shops.
"We saw the vuvuzelas a year ago at the Confederation Cup, we saw clips on YouTube and it excited us," he said. Hazan says he has already sold thousands in Israel, and they go for about NIS 30 in stores. Hazan and his partners are actually in the business of building Internet sites and interactive marketing, but say it is fun to sell the horns.
As to whether the vuvuzelas take away from the game, Hazan disagrees: "As soon as you have one you will no longer be annoyed. Maybe now that it has reached Israel, 2,000 fans at a league game will sound like 20,000 fans."