November 28, 2012, 12:49 PM

Vat19.com: YouTube-built

Online gift retailer Vat19 has racked up more than 200,000 subscribers and 160 million views on YouTube

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Jamie Salvatori, owner of novelty e-retailer Vat19.com began his career in TV commercial production. So, when he decided in 2006 to begin selling online, using YouTube as a primary marketing media was a natural choice. The merchant’s silly videos feature staff members chomping on 5-pound gummy bears and kicking around 6-foot-tall inflatable soccer balls. Vat19 has racked up more than 200,000 subscribers and 160 million views on YouTube, and says it gets at least 35% of its new customers from the social network. Vat19, which calls itself a “purveyor of curiously awesome products,” is also active on Facebook, where the merchant aims to connect personally with shoppers and convey a sense of its offbeat personality. “In the end,” Salvatori says, “you’re going to buy from the people you like the best.”

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