Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We began selling online via auction in 2002. We realised that listing individual items each day was very time consuming, so we decided we needed to find products that would sell over and over again, but would only have to be photographed once. We settled on satin bed linen because we could see it was an untapped market. Since 2005 we have extended the range to include chandeliers, lighting, and other luxury homewares. We sourced all our products online from overseas manufacturers.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
A friend told us about selling at auction online so we started by selling a bottle of Calvin Klein perfume sourced from a garage sale for $5. Because we didn't have a camera, we did our best to describe the product in every detail and by auction end it sold for $37. We sell across multiple platforms: eBay, Wayfair, MyDeal, and our website www.ivoryanddeene.com.au.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We try and keep a personal aspect to our business and communicate to each customer when we make a sale using email or telephone. We use Parcel Solutions to import our sales from eBay and Shopify into eParcel for easy processing and have found this system works well. All our parcels and packed on site by our dedicated team. Australia Post are our preferred shipper, they collect from our warehouse at the same time each day and are consistent and reliable.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Keep your site clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate, and remember the customer is the most important person in your business.