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Mob Rules

Here are the rules we’ve developed for running cash mobs. THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTED RULES!!! Feel free to change them and let us know if your changes are better and why they work. We’re always interested in variations and suggestions!

    1. The mob date and meeting location must be announced at least a week in advance via Twitter, Facebook, media and/or email.
    2. The amount to spend will not be more than $20, although people can spend more if they wish.
    3. The business must have products that cost less than $20 for both men and women.
    4. The business must be locally owned and independently operated.
    5. The business owner must give back to the community in some way.
    6. The business owner must approve the Cash Mob before the mob is announced.
    7. The business must be within one block of a locally-owned watering hole.
    8. Cash Mobbers must join us for celebratory drinks after the successful mob.
    9. The Cash Mob will occur during the evening on a weekday or on a weekend.
    10. Pictures will be posted to the blog after the Cash Mob.
    11. Parking or public transportation must be available.

12. Organizers cannot benefit financially from organizing the Cash Mob.

At the mob, there are three rules:

  1. Spend $20;
  2. Meet three people you didn’t know before;
  3. HAVE FUN!!!

88 Comments

  1. jane patton says:

    Can someone clarify…
    At one point rules say to keep the mob secret, and then, again they say: check with the business owner.

    Which is it? and is the reference to “business owner” meaning the one ato be mobbed or business neighbors of the one to be mobbed?
    Thanks,

    • Andrew Samtoy says:

      Thanks Jane! We keep the location secret from the mobbers, but we definitely tell the person who owns the business so that they can plan for a large influx of people in their business! We reveal the business to be mobbed when we’ve all gathered. If you try something different, please let us know how it turns out!

      • Judy Stone says:

        I manage a local non-profit thrift that has been in business for 32 years. Want to plan a mob however, I am not sure what the logic is for keeping it a secret from the mobbers. Why do that ir you really want people to show up….isn’t it best if they know in advance?

      • KBJ says:

        To answer Judy’s question, we keep the location secret from our mobbers (http://cashmobnj08742.wordpress.com) to keep it fun and surprising. It helps create the sense of an Event. Also, since the goal is to help the businesses, it generally prevents folks from thinking “Oh, I’m not really interested in that store, I think I’ll pass this week…”

    • Jenny is the owner and instructor of a locally owned gym that has personally changed my life and the lives of many others. My hope is to bring attention to this physically intensive and emotionally supportive gym so it can survive in economically rough times. Please share and support a cash mob at this establishment. Pnw crossfit.

  2. divinecynic says:

    “one block within a local watering hole”
    ok, what about smaller towns, where the local watering holes may be more than a mile away?

    • Andrew Samtoy says:

      These are just suggestions; feel free to change them according to your needs and situation!

    • Cyndy Salins says:

      I was wondering, too . . . we live in a dry area, and the closest “watering hole” is an hour away. lol!!

      • Andrew Samtoy says:

        Well…no cash mobs for you.

        KIDDING, you don’t HAVE to get a drink afterward. Hit up a diner and get a milkshake instead – that’s what we’re doing next month!

        Andrew

  3. jgodsey says:

    there is a typo
    3) The amount to spend will not be above $20, although people can spend more if they wish.

    will not be ‘Above’ $20?

  4. I’m thinking about an Baltimore area mob, but our store location (which is in need of some local support) is kinda removed from everything else. The closest store to us is at least a mile.

    From reading about cash mobs, it seems like they need to be a little more localized (like a Main Street). Hmm. Might we still be a candidate for such a thing?

  5. Katie says:

    Any way you can set one up for Gas City Indiana? Such a small town but with a HUGE pass. AKA “Boom Town”, and home of the duck tail run festival (james dean)

  6. alice says:

    I own a florist in Stratford CT — might be a great thign to do on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day… hmmmmm

  7. Karen says:

    Have you thought about integrating these cash mobs to also raise money for non-profits, that are also struggling in this economy? I was wondering if there would be a way to ask the stores that you choose to donate a portion of their profits from the cash mob to a chosen charity. Then you are doing a double good deed! It could even just be a donation jar at the shop for that day, that could then be turned in to the chosen charity as a check, or given as cash afterwards.

    I run a small non-profit dedicated to helping patients with rare autoinflammatory diseases, http://www.nomidalliance.org and we were working with other organizations to collect donations in February in honor of Rare Disease Day, which is on February 29th (leap day, but it is on Feb. 28th in other years) to help patients with rare diseases. Here is more info about rare diseases: http://rarediseaseday.us/

    There are over 30 million people in the US affected by a rare disease, and over 6,800 different conditions. Under 300 of these diseases have beneficial medications or treatments that help patients, and over half are children with these diseases.

    Global Genes Project will help rare disease orgs develop methods to collect donations that can be used in stores, offices or anywhere , and we are considering using some of their materials for in store donations. http://www.globalgenesproject.org/resources.php

    Thanks for considering this idea to help non-profits of any kind. There are so many that are in need of support, so you could pick one in your community, and be a big hero.

    Karen Durrant
    nomidalliance.org

    • Andrew Samtoy says:

      We actually did that in December in Cleveland – we had a canned food drive in conjunction with the mob.

      Mobsters – anyone else do something to support charity during their mob?

    • Our plans as we go forward are to do a mix of local businesses and local charity/non-profits that many are not aware of. We have a sponsor business that is interested in providing space for us to do mobs that showcase these non-profits.

  8. cliff says:

    What about a reno or decorating mob?
    Can groups help clean, decorate, or renovate a store/restaurant that needs a facelift?

    • Andrew Samtoy says:

      Cliff –

      I think this is a great idea! Imagine a volunteer mob, picking up trash or scrubbing away graffiti…I think you should run with this!

      Andrew

      • Adrienne says:

        A group I know did what they called “Guerilla Gardening” a couple of years ago. They had a local diner they liked to visit that was in a less lovely part of our downtown OKC area and noticed there were some neglected flowerbeds in front. Under cover of night, they stopped by one evening and completely cleaned up surrounding sidewalk and the beds and planted them with fresh plants. They hoped it would encourage and bless the owners as well as encourage others to stop by the diner and increase their business. I don’t know what has happened since, but I like to think it at a minimum brought joy to the owners. I don’t recommend doing things that might be dangerous or illegal, but anonymous, legal acts of genuine kindness can be very uplifting.

      • Andrew Samtoy says:

        A tip of the hat to that caveat. Great idea, though!

      • Cat Rucklos says:

        Like this idea as well. Great site Andrew!!! Thank you for being a forward thinker… Perhaps a radio interview??? message me details when you can. Best Wishes! ~Cat Rucklos

    • Marlene says:

      you can call it ‘Trash Mob’

  9. Jerry Bresin says:

    Has anyone approached you about having a cash mob in the UK?

  10. tungtwystr says:

    Curious as to why you don’t announce what the business is… What is the benefit?

  11. Sarah Jones says:

    A group that I am a part of just met last night & we are trying to organize monthly cash mobs here in Tacoma, WA for all of our great local small businesses!

    I work for a local small nonprofit & find this all very inspiring….so I myself am going to try & organize something like this that will just be for nonprofits!

  12. Karen says:

    Great idea Sarah, and I am glad to hear so many of these cash mobs are doing charitable efforts, along with supporting small businesses. Thank you!

  13. tracy says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! As a small business owner, I almost exclusively spend my money with independent businesses. Our business also works to organize lots of community events and activities, and makes numerous donations to neighborhood groups as well.

    I would absolutely appreciate some consideration for a future event in Chicago – this year we have $6K in license renewals (we have 2 locations) and even if we see a little bit of growth in our business, it’s still going to be quite a struggle with the day to day expenses.

    If you are looking for a location in Lincoln Square or Logan Square in Chicago, I’d love to talk to someone.

    Thanks & either way – you should be commended for this type of grass-roots, totally indie/DIY type of behavior! I’m certain there are & will continue to be some very grateful businesses around the country this year!

  14. linda says:

    so i can set my own cash mob i just have to follow the rules laid out?

    • Andrew Samtoy says:

      Sure – and these are just suggestions! If you think something won’t work for you, experiment and let us know how it went. Be sure to let us know where you are and how others can find you and we’ll add you to the “Near You” page!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  15. Chris B says:

    How would one get a mob set up for his business? I have been a hard working, dedicated to quality pizzeria/Italian eatery owner for a little over 5 years, who with the “Giants” of pizza in town has struggled the whole way. We have city parking right next door and a locally owned bar next to us as well. My wife is back at work full time to help out and I am thinking about selling and doing the same. I love what I’ve created, it’s just getting to be too much! I still get “new customers” from our town after 5 years. Word of mouth, as I cannot afford million dollar TV ads.

  16. faux nomme says:

    Thank you, Andrew. You are an absolutely beautiful human being with that gorgeous heart of yours. Thank you for making the world shine just a little bit brighter. Big hug!

  17. [...] To learn more about Cash Mobs and the “rules” (just some good ideas) for organizing them, check out http://cashmobs.wordpress.com/rules-2/.  [...]

  18. John says:

    I own a small guitar shop in Milford CT – Route 1 Guitars – route1guitars.com I need a cash mob! :)

  19. Amy Allison says:

    Andrew, As a small business owner for over 10 years (4 of those in retail), I thank you so much for this great idea. One suggestion for your rules: Pay in cash, if possible. Small business owners are crunched with so much overhead and if you can save them money on their credit card service fees, all the better. Many people don’t realize that the merchant pays fees everytime they swipe a card. Educating the participants may encourage them to always make a conscious effort to pay in cash at small businesses. Thanks again.

  20. tracy kellner says:

    Excellent point, Amy! The average consumer does not know that those Rewards-based credit cards are funded by the merchants. That trip you took on your miles to Hawaii last year? Funded by all the merchants- NOT the credit card companies, as most think!

    We have some customers who try to pay with cash/check or debit card at our business as much as they can, and save the rewards cards & other credit cards for the larger chains, since they afford the processing fees more than smaller merchants (and are likely paying a lower percentage based on volume anyway)

  21. [...] group in Cleveland started a website with “Mob Rules” to help other communities get started. One such rule recommends choosing stores that are [...]

  22. Tawnya says:

    Have you found that the people socialize pretty easily? What do you do if everyone goes to a local coffee place? I would really like to start this here… I’m not really that huge of a leader but it seems to be an awesome idea, and our town has tons of local shops full of great things.
    I would be worried that if we went to a place after, there wouldn’t be anything for me to do.. :s

  23. Geary LeBell says:

    I would be interested in hearing about how the local business selection process works. Who chooses / recommends a local business for a cash mob? By what criteria is a winner selected? How exactly is the local business need for a cash mob qualified?

    Businesses always want to increase sales and profit and I can see a wide array of local business claiming they would benefit from a cash mob, with some being in a better financial situation than others.

    Put another way, how do you select a local business that is “truly” in need and will benefit from a cash mob?

  24. [...] by cash mobbers in Cleveland has turned into a forum for tips to organize a successful event (hint: Incorporate booze whenever [...]

  25. Michael says:

    I love this idea! There is a small mom & pop Mexican restaurant in Garden Grove, CA (in Orange County) that would like to participate in a cash mob. The location/business meets all the requirements, but I have a few questions for clarification:

    1. The restaurant offers margaritas and beers. Can that count as the drinking portion, or do we need to ask a local bar to participate as well?
    2. Does the minimum amount have to be $20 or can it be less since most orders for one person do not exceed $10 unless alcohol is purchased.
    3. Do you have any suggestions for getting local media involved? Any tricks that have worked in the past for getting optimum exposure?
    4. Any suggestions for getting the city involved other than the Chamber of Commerce?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  26. [...] blogging site has even come out called “Mob Rules” of what to do during a mobbing and areas across the country where cash mobs are [...]

  27. [...] know over the course of the evening). The general guidelines for setting up a Cash Mob can be found here. So far, it looks like Cardiff and Orkney are running Cash Mobs in the UK, and they have been [...]

  28. [...] suggested guidelines for flash mobbing can be found on Chris’s site the overbearing rules are that the business must be locally owned, the mob date must be announced a [...]

  29. [...] by cash mobbers in Cleveland has turned into a forum for tips to organize a successful event (hint: Incorporate booze whenever [...]

  30. [...] group in Cleveland has created a list of Mob Rules to help aspiring mobsters. (#8: The business must be within one block of a locally-owned watering [...]

  31. [...] social proveniente da Oltreoceano. Come ogni movimento che si rispetti il Cash Mob ha un proprio manifesto, che riporto integralmente, evidenziando i due aspetti secondo me più interessanti, cioè la [...]

  32. [...] eine open-source Aktion kann man keine fixe Regel durchsetzen, daher sind diese optional, um den Erfolg des Cash-Mobs zu sichern. Die wichtigsten [...]

  33. I waht to do a cash mob for the Northshore Tavern in Omaha,NE.We want to coordinate this with The Nebraska Childrens Home Society.This is the only free adoption service in the U.S..They also do many other things for children and their families.I know that the owners,Dave and Jodi,would donate at least 10% of sales to this charity as they adopted their daughter from this wonderful organization.

  34. My question is: where do you gather before the mob to announce the site of the mob business? At the post mob site? In the neigborhood of the business to be mobbed?

  35. [...] Cash Mob Rules [...]

  36. Erin Chambers says:

    I’m hosting the 1st Cash Mob in Manitou Springs, CO. on April 10.
    I did tell people the location to give them an idea of what they can shop for specifically: books.
    My Book Club can buy a book on our list and most of them are attending.
    The stores in our small town are usually small and get crowded so I warned the business owner to get extra help and put things out in our price range(min $10)
    Wish me luck!
    Erin

  37. [...] are some “Mob Rules” that must be [...]

  38. LRO says:

    After seeing a few stories about cash mobs, I decided to start one myself here in Phoenix, AZ. I keep mine a secret, this way if it does not work, no one is disappointed and if it works, it is a GREAT surprise!

    Great blog here glad I found you.

    Leila

  39. Michael Tomlinson says:

    I live in a little town called Abita Springs, Louisiana (Home of Abita Beer) and there is a little grocery store called Artigues Market, which by the way is right next door to a honky-tonk and across the street from the Abita Pub. I was in there yesterday and saw a flyer for the Abita Cash Mob Social Club for a mob at 2pm on June 2nd, 2012.

    I am not very knowledgeable on Tweets nor Facebook so the question is must one be a Facebooker or Tweeter to do this? I think the concept is super and will definitely be there on June 2nd. Is this group the original Cash Mob folks and who actually invented the Cash Mob.

    Thanks so much and have a good day.

  40. Robin Reed says:

    Is there any “Cash Mob 101″ online where I can learn how to set one up? I have heard about them but not participated in one yet. There is a great indie book store near me that could really use it.

  41. steven says:

    Hi Andrew can we add studio city ca cash mob to the list? twitter.com/CMStudioCity

  42. [...] unison at a certain time, a new phenomenon is popping up across the nation: “cash mobs.” Cash mobs are designed to spur on the shop local movement by organizing a group of people to meet at a [...]

  43. Looking for assistance on setting up a cash mob for NON Profit local shelter in Hardin County Kentucky

  44. rose says:

    My uncle owns a restaraunt for 25 years or so…he is always giving back to the community…i would like to startt a cash mob there..any advice?? (regarding local watering hole..he has a liquor license there..does it count??)

  45. Amy Ragsdale says:

    I am an artist that is promoting and participating in a weekend Open Studio Tour. You can check out all the info at http://www.TurtleArtTour.com I’d like to do a weekend Cash Mob, that would include all the artists studios. Can’t really be a secret. Also, your rules state that organizers can not benefit… that would sort of defeating the purpose, since I am both a volunteer organizer and one of the artist. Any suggestions? Thanks

  46. Tony says:

    Looking to “run a mob” in a small city with the purpose of providing some students with job-shadowing experiences, increasing revenue and exposure for a local organic market/deli/bakery, and for collecting donations for my students (I’m a teacher for a non-profit agency that is partnered with public schools) so that we can plan more events and purchase more resources for our program! Will update with more details when event happens! Thought this would be a great idea fulfilling multiple purposes while simultaneously giving back to the business community and kids in the community in so many ways…kudos to the concept!

  47. […] and interact with people in your community.  Be sure to remember the three original rules from the official Cash Mob website: spend $20, meet three new people, and have […]

  48. Jenny is the owner and instructor of a locally owned gym that has personally changed my life and the lives of many others. My hope is to bring attention to this physically intensive and emotionally supportive gym so it can survive in economically rough times. Please share and support a cash mob at this establishment. Pnw crossfit.

  49. […] mob. This is a similar concept, specifically designed to support small businesses. There are very few rules for a cash mob (if wouldn’t be much of a “mob” with a bunch of rules, would it?), […]

  50. Debbie says:

    We have a CASH MOB in our town GROVE, OK, (Population 7200) once a month, the Fourth Wednesday, at 9AM, of each month. Wednesday will be our 15th MOB. We put all the Retail Members of the Grove Area Merchants and the Grove Area Chamber in a bag, and draw a name the week before. Then we put the info on Facebook, talk about it on the Local Radio Station and Newspapers and send out emails to get everyone excited. We ask that they spend at least $10.00 Cash, but most spend more. It’s been a great way for the merchants and locals to get to know each other. We usually have at least 60 people show up. By doing it at 9AM, even if you own a shop, you can still come. We have 33 merchants that are in the drawing. Once you have been drawn, your name is out of the hat. I was worried that it would not stay as popular after the first few, but we still have amazing crowds, and the store owners really appreciate the business.

  51. Dawna says:

    I have a business in a small neighborhood with many shops, as will as restaurants, is it possible to invite a cash mob to the whole street? We also have been trying to get a “Third Thursday” Late night shopping started It would be great if we can tie the two events together, Is Thursday the 20th of March too soon?

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