Call Dibs STRONG at SXSW 2014!

You’ve seen the articles – veterans make great entrepreneurs. Google it. We dare you!!

This week our Call Dibs co-founders hit the open road and headed out from Oakland, CA to SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX.

Call Dibs Co-founders, Anthony and Derek

Call Dibs Co-founders, Anthony and Derek

Anthony Garcia (Army Veteran) and Derek Artz extend an open invitation to other military entrepreneurs, service members, veterans, milspouses, and anyone else interested in meeting up at The Brass House in downtown Austin ( located at San Jacinto and 2nd Street). Join them and the rest of the Call Dibs Team on Friday, 7 March at 18:00.

Brass

“We chose to host our meet-up at the Brass House, since it’s owned by Marines. The owners told us, ‘everyone says they want to open a bar, but we did it.’ That statement sums up the veteran entrepreneur,” says Garcia.

SXSW is an annual series of festivals and conferences for the Film, Music, and Interactive Technology industries.  It’s a great place for early stage startups and businesses to showcase their products and network with industry leaders. It’s also an amazing experience for those interested in technology… and it’s in Austin!

Kristin, Army Brat and co-founder

Kristin, Army Brat and Team Member

Throughout the week, the Call Dibs team and community members plan to attend various events to help spread the 65 Million Strong message. The military community is STRONG and our mission is to close the technology lag gap!

We will be attending the 6 Mar Capital Factory Startup Crawl, the 7 Mar Sparefoot.com 2014 Party, the 8 Mar The McCombs School of Business Texas MBA and MSTC Entrepreneurship Night, and the 8 Mar Cornell Reception at SXSW Interactive.

Hope to see you Friday!

Erica McMannes Call Dibs, Brand Manager *Proud Army Spouse*

Erica McMannes
Call Dibs, Brand Manager
*Proud Army Spouse*

 

President’s Day Deals

This weekend we observe President’s Day in honor of George Washington’s birthday in February and the remembrance of our previous Presidents. Many families take to the open roads to enjoy this weekend and we hope you all have a safe time. There are a number of places throughout the country providing perks to the Military community and their families too. From ski resorts to car dealerships, you can find an additional savings on top of the usual President’s Day deals. The most important thing you can do is just ask. Bring your ID or Proof of Service and see what deals come your way.

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Premium Outlets: Presidents’ Day Sale Fri – Mon, Feb 15 – 18

Don’t miss the annual President’s Day Sale at Premium Outlet Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico. Enjoy extra discounts on top of already low outlet prices. Military Appreciation: Members of the military, veterans and their families can show their IDs at the on-site Information Center all year long to receive a free VIP Coupon Book.

Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) strives to enrich the lives of our Military and Veterans by providing reintegration opportunities and family bonding experiences through socially interactive events. Find a great event in your area today!

Massage Envy Military Discount Program

Join Massage Envy now and save $60 per year

Massage Envy is happy to announce our new Military Discount Program. All active military personnel can now join Massage Envy at a savings of $60* a year. Just ask our friendly front desk associate for details.

ProFlowers

Proflowers is offering a military discount on select flowers for Valentine’s Day and everyday! A special page dedicated to military couples features roses, tulips, and more priced from $25 to $100 so there’s something for every budget. Also, for a limited time, ProFlowers is offering 20% off all orders of $39.99 or more.

Chicago Auto Show Feb. 8-17

Personnel who currently serve in the active duty, National Guard or Reserves and hold valid military ID are admitted free to the show.

West Virginia’s Snowshoe Resort

50% off midweek and value season lift tickets.

25% off weekend and holiday lift tickets.

10% off lodging anytime summer or winter.

Know about another great deal this weekend? Let us know and we’ll pass the word along.

Sometimes ‘boxing’ up your feelings is the best way to go!

Everyone deals with the inevitable separations of military life in their own ways, and though there is no replacement for our service member, the little things can be a big help.

My husband and I spent the first half of our marriage apart more than together (not a rare story for military couples). I wanted to crawl into every dufflebag that deployed with him but quickly realized that was not realistic or good for either of us in general. Before the days of Pinterest or viral Facebook ideas, I got creative and made him what I named, “Me in a Box”. (Please note: I also invented this before J.T. made a certain SNL skit popular; moving on…)

The concept was easy – buy a small box, small enough to fit discreetly in a footlocker or dufflebag, and fill it with miniature items that symbolized me and our relationship. I found a 4 in. x 4 in. box on clearance at Michaels, decoupaged a few stickers and a little framed picture of myself on the lid. I found small things around the house that had memories or purchased small items that would remind him of me: wooden ladybug, small glass figurine of a dog, coins from a recent trip to Italy, a piece of lace, a pin from our college alma mater, a mini vial of Givenchy perfume, and so on. When I set out on this project, I found  myself absorbed and focused on how good it was making me feel and how much he would love it. I was totally unaware of the special moment it would create outside of what I was expecting.

Most of the items for the box were easily found, but I really wanted a small sample vial of a Givenchy perfume. My sister and I visited about 4 department stores and no one had any. I was pretty bummed, but we had one last stop at a Macy’s in Raleigh, N.C. A graceful, older woman in her seventies was working the counter and apologetically told me the same news – they had no samples. Sitting there on the counter was a very cool collector set of 7 miniature Givenchy bottles for holiday purchases, but I didn’t have $100 to spend.

The sales woman struck up conversation and asked, why I was interested in just a sample bottle if I knew I liked it so much? I explained my project to her and then grew quickly concerned as her head dropped and her eyes filled with tears. She could barely control the shake in her voice as she turned her back to me, picked up a phone, and talked for a few moments. She turned to me and said, “I’ve checked with the manager and I’d like you to have this without a purchase.”

She was GIVING me the entire collector set of little bottles?! I hesitantly replied with a confused thank you and asked why? She said, “I lost my young husband in Vietnam and would have wanted him to have every piece of me that he could carry with him too.” She then thanked me for my dedication as a young military spouse and our sacrifices as a young couple.

Wow!

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So in the spirit of military relationships, love, and the upcoming Valentine’s Day – take a moment to find/make something special for the one you love. There are some suggestions below to get you inspired, whether you’re missing a friend, sibling, child, parent, or significant other. You never know how the energy and good intentions will affect those around you!

Ideas for boxing up those feelings:
*Local postcards and pictures
*A puzzle piece from one the kids like to complete
*A personalized Road ID for them to wear when they go out for a run
*An earring or hair accessory
*Handprint crafts 
*Personalized or photo bookmark
*A piece from a board game you played together
*A special ornament from the Christmas tree
*A favorite coffee mug from home or design-your-own 
*A clean wrapper or take-out receipt from a favorite food/restaurant
*A dryer sheet or freshly-laundered pillowcase

P.S. Don’t forget about yourself and your kids, if you have them. Try a Hero Doll or Daddy Doll! Please share your ideas with us. Feel free to post in the comments below or post on our Call Dibs Facebook Page.

 

Erica McMannes Call Dibs, Brand Manager *Proud Army Spouse*

Erica McMannes
Call Dibs, Brand Manager
*Proud Army Spouse*

Extra! Extra! Read all about it… and Comment!

You haven’t heard from us in awhile. Why, you may ask? Because we have been restructuring our teams and dedicating all our resources towards some very BIG and exciting new developments.

During the next 5 months, we will be unveiling some amazing updates to Call Dibs, all leading up to our biggest release yet in June. So keep in touch, follow Call Dibs on Facebook and Call Dibs on Twitter and let us know what you think.

Here at Call Dibs, we have the unique opportunity to be an active part of the military community, but are also immersed in the newest and best developments in technology and social networks. After many months of receiving user feedback and studying the role of comments in digital communities, our tech team got to work, and this weekend, we will be releasing an update that will provide the Call Dibs community the ability to comment on listings.

The private message option to communicate securely with a seller will still be available as well. Comments will allow more communication and relationship building between users within their respective military communities. But don’t worry, we’ve also built in the ability for a seller to “delete” a comment if they find it undesirable on their listing.

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Call Dibs is not just a place to sell and buy items – it is a community.

People can definitely meet in communities or social networks. But community is where they develop these relationships. Community can form anywhere, even on a social network site. It is a natural tendency for human to congregate around similar interest and goals. There are many interesting dynamics between communities and social network…both of them have very [real] roles in the human society; that is why they are the most stable social structure in human history. -Michael Wu, Ph.D. (Community Vs. Social Network).

As we continue to develop the platform to allow for more connectivity and relationship building, we foresee it becoming a vital tool for military members and their families to communicate and assist each other, during times of transition and the general hustle and bustle of daily military life.

Merry Christmas from Call Dibs

The Call Dibs team would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

No matter why, where, or how you celebrate, the winter holidays are a time for military families around the world to join together and make new memories, cherish old ones, and talk about adventures to come in the year ahead.

As our military lives also come with tragedy and heartache, during this time we want to reach out to those who have lost a beloved soldier and take a moment to honor and remember their sacrifice.

While many service members are fortunate to be home for the holidays, spending time with their families and friend, many more are serving abroad and in harm’s way at this very moment. These service members and their families must not be forgotten either.

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On a lighter note, the holidays are all about tradition, and we´re excited to kick off a new tradition of our own starting today:

The Call Dibs 12 Days of Christmas

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… the perfect present for hosting a New Years Party!”

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for an exciting 12 days of celebrating ahead.

Happy Holidays,
Your friends at Call Dibs

Holiday Giving & Saving Ideas

With just two weeks left until Christmas, here are some ideas to help you save money and still give meaningful gifts for the holidays!

Creative Giving

Looking for a little gift inspiration for friends and family on your Christmas gift exchange list? Here’s an idea from Erica McMannes, Call Dibs Director of Promotions: Make it a Pinterest Christmas!

Erica did this last year, making Modge Podge Christmas Blocks for her nephew’s first Christmas and up-cycling a thrift store find with some paint, corkboard, and fabric to make jewelry boards for her sisters.

DIY Jewelry Board

DIY Wooden Block

Pinterest is a great site for ideas and inspiration. We’ve pinned some things to help, so check out Call Dibs on Pinterest.

Green Giving

It’s natural to want to de-clutter after Christmas. So why not do it before the holidays?

Gift your infant swing, highchair, or other infant items to a family member or friend who may have just had a baby; or give children’s books your kids have grown out of to little ones. You’ll be giving them something they need while also being green :)

Charitable Giving

We all have a lot to be thankful for during the holidays. One to express thankfulness is to help out those who may be less fortunate.

Give a donation or participate in an Angel Tree. Donate in a family member’s name and then let them know you did so in a Christmas Card. They’ll be happy to know that your gift to them was giving a child or family in need something special. Your children can also participate in goodwill towards others by donating one of their Christmas gifts to another child.

Angel Tree Giving

Time and Talent Giving

This time of year it’s important to keep in mind the true spirit of the holidays. As a military family we are all spread out across the U.S., and for some of you across the world. Having the opportunity to get all of my family gathered in one area is rare. This year our gift to one another is making it home for the holiday. What matters most is the time we get to share when we are all together. Instead of giving gifts share an experience or give of your special talents.

  • Give a private yoga lesson
  • Make a piece of artwork by painting or sewing
  • Change someone’s oil
  • Babysit a friend’s kids for a night
  • Give the gift of making a memory. Plan a night out or an event for everyone to enjoy together, then take a picture and send it to those who were there to cherish the good time.

Kids Giving

Make a meaningful gift that includes your kids. Take candid pictures of your little ones and photo collage them for Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. Help kids do a craft and personalize it ie: cookies, ceramics, or pictures.

Giving something homemade and/or handmade just gives your gift an added sentiment.

Wherever you find yourself this season, all of us at Call Dibs wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday!!

Don’t Have a Jacket Attack…Call Dibs!

It happens…but it doesn’t have to. Whether you’ve just spent three years in the squalor of Fort Polk heat or are just traveling to see family at Fort Drum over the holidays, you may have just realized (as I did) that the ENTIRE family needs winter gear.

Being rather thrifty, I panicked at the thought of needing to outfit a family of four with winter gear: boots, coats, hats, jackets, the works. As I was trying to wrap my brain around completing this daunting task, I told myself, “stop having a jacket attack, you’ll figure it out.” And I did!

By combining a few searches on Call Dibs with a few visits to local thrift stores, I was able to buy high quality, gently-used winter outfits for both of my boys — for UNDER $40 bucks! If I had purchased every item brand new my total would have been closer to $250.00.  

I love using tools at my fingertips to take care of my family, within a budget, and Call Dibs once again came to rescue. So spare yourself the “jacket attack” and utilize tools designed to assist military families and the greater military community with buying and selling, like Call Dibs!

Here are a few great winter listings currently available.

(See I even did some of the work for you!)

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~Happy Holidays~

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Erica McMannes
Call Dibs, Director of Promotions

Cyber Monday

Black Thursday… Black Friday… Cyber Monday… good grief!

Here at Call Dibs we mostly avoided the rush of holiday shoppers, opting instead to spend the long weekend with friends and family. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?

That being said, Christmas is only 23 days away. (Can you believe it?!?) If you haven’t already made your list and checked it twice, now is a good time to get started.

Call Dibs can help with both holiday gift giving and making some extra cash during the holidays.

You’ll find all kinds of cool things for sale on Call Dibs, including video games, electronics, books, DVDs, clothing, and a whole lot more. Check out what’s new!

A few things to keep in mind when shopping on Call Dibs:

  • Prices are negotiable. If you’re interested in something, make the seller an offer!
  • Many items can be easily shipped. Don’t feel like you need to limit your search to only your surrounding area.

Selling is just as easy as shopping on Call Dibs. If you’re looking to make some money or just make room for new stuff, it’s free to list your items using the app on your iPhone, iPad, laptop or computer.

Your items will be seen by thousands of Call Dibs shoppers just like you. So what are you waiting for?

Happy shopping and happy selling!
– Daniel Strickland, Call Dibs Marketing Director and Navy Veteran

Top 6 “Friendating” Tips From Those Who Know Best

A few months ago, when I was in the middle of a PCS and in the throes of moving chaos, I shared the concept of “friendating.”

Things have settled down now and I’ve received some great suggestions from fellow milspouses and Call Dibs users across the world. I’ve put together a list of top 6 tips for making your way through the meanderings of making new friends! We’ve been doing it since Kindergarten, right? So we should be experts, right? I actually find it to be quite the opposite, so reading others’ experiences and gathering an arsenal of resources can really help!

Extend your Military Community! Tell your friends and your battle buddies!

  1. Friendating as a Military Spouse
  2. The Ever-Changing Life of a Military Wife: Military Friends
  3. Friendships in the Military – Finding New Friends After PCS Relocation
  4. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old
  5. Army Wives Club: Meet Other Army Spouses/SOs
  6. Not So New Normal: Only For a Season

Keep the ideas and suggestions coming! I’ll continue to update and share more resources as they come.

Happy Friending!

Erica McMannes  Dir. of Promotions Call Dibs/Adjacent Apps

Erica McMannes
Dir. of Promotions
Call Dibs/Adjacent Apps

Giving Thanks

Since we launched in June 2012 in Monterey, California, Call Dibs has assisted in selling over $300K worth of goods – ranging from electronics to cars and clothes.

It has taken us a little over a year to discover and define what our community members require to buy and sell goods before and after a PCS. It’s also taken this long for our military entrepreneurs and power users to learn how to effectively make sales.

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2014 will be exciting for many reasons. We’ll be making some significant updates to Call Dibs. We’ll be growing our business, adding some new faces to the team, and begin working on a new product for our military community.

Thank you all for using Call Dibs! If it were not for our first adopters providing feedback and sharing Call Dibs with our community, our success would not have been possible.

Enjoy this Thanksgiving and keep our Warriors, especially those who are away from home, in your thoughts and prayers.

Best Wishes,

Anthony – Call Dibs CEO and Army Veteran

Erica and Anthony - Call Dibs Team Members

Erica and Anthony – Call Dibs Team Members

 

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