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Company lets customers 'buy time' - literally

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Company lets customers 'buy time' - literally
The team behind 'Get Your Time'. Photo: Miguel David Díaz.
13:30 CET+01:00
A start-up in the Canary Islands is selling a unique product – time. Customers can buy exclusive rights to a birth date, anniversary or even the September 11th attacks.

The company, ‘Get Your Time’, launched less than two weeks ago and has already sold days to more than 1,000 people.

"It’s a very abstract concept," company executive vice president Miguel David Díaz told The Local. "People say that it’s not possible to do, but the truth is that we’re doing it."

Díaz joined the currently three-person company after founder Lucas Ordieres came up with the idea when he inherited some land about two years ago.

"Lucas thought about how before people, the Earth did not belong to anyone, there were no borders or the concept of property," Díaz explained. "Without maps you would not know where, for example, the border is between France and Spain."

Díaz said that Ordieres then thought - what if one could apply the same concept of owning land to time?

Ordieres had his project registered as a physical entity by public notary and presented it to the United Nations in March of 2013 for approval - just as one might seek recognition of a new territory. The website was launched earlier this month.

Most customers use the site to buy someone's birthday or anniversary date as a gift. They can then personalize how the day appears on the site's calendar with a photo or message and receive a certificate online stating that they are the owner of those 24 hours.

A certificate issued by Get Your Time. Photo: Miguel David Díaz

"It is something unique to be able to have this exclusivity," Díaz said. "It’s a product of personal value."

Díaz said the company also intends for the site to be used by publicity agencies looking to promote events and products.

And the site even offers the opportunity to own historical dates. A standard day costs €4.99, but the price of a famous event depends on its historical value. 

For example, September 11th 2001 is valued at €291,000. Both the signing of the Spanish constitution in 1812 and the fall of the Berlin Wall are valued at €10,000. After news of the death of The Simpsons creator Sam Simon on March 8th, one customer bought the day and now values it to be worth €80,000.

Prices may go up for highly sought after dates and customers may end up trying to outbid one another as a day's owner can raise the price. A Uruguayan firm bought the day of the foundation of the Red Cross in order to auction it off for charitable donations.

Díaz said the company has plans to grow the site further and are currently in talks with agencies in countries including Singapore, Japan and Argentina about bringing the company to their countries.

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