Expending Business - Online

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Sergio Fetter
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Expending Business - Online

Postby Sergio Fetter » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 2:16PM

Hey guys
Does anyone have any experience with online stores.
I am seriously thinking about selling cabinets online. You know the same ones that you can probably buy either at Lowe's or Home Depot.

Does anyone have any comments about that? Or any other idea?

Thanks!
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DanEpps
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby DanEpps » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 2:45PM

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. How much is your current marketing budget?
2. How much do you intend to budget for online marketing?
3. Are you going to have a nice, professionally developed site or is it going to be just whatever the ISP offers?
3a. How much are you willing to budget for a professionally developed site?
4. How much time are you willing to devote to operating a web store?
5. This is the big one...do you REALLY think you can compete on price with Home Depot and Lowe's?

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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Sergio Fetter » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 3:08PM

Dan,
Thanks for the reply.
I already have a web store for other items. I have been expending that, not only on my web page, but also at ebay.com and amazon.com.

1. I am not sure quite yet, I am still kind looking around to see what I need to do.
2. The budget will increase once the sale also increase. You know how it goes.
3. As I said, I already have a site, but it not that flashy. I guess I could use some face lifting. Do you think that having a flashy site would impress the customer more than prices?
4. I am thinking that the time that I spend will be proportionally related with the sales. In other words... lots of sales, lots of time.
5. Absolutely. I can bit their prices by far. In a 10x10 kitchen, they charge $3,500.00, I can sell a very similar kitchen for $1,700.00.

What do you think?
Sergio Fetter
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Michael S Murray » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 3:23PM

Sergio,
Exactly where is your $1700 kitchen coming from?
Do you own a custom cabinet shop or are you a reseller?
Depending on your answers, I might be able to help you.
Mike Murray
Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface
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http://www.versatilecabinet.com

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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Sergio Fetter » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 3:54PM

Hello Michael,
Thanks for your reply.
I do both. It just depends on your needs. I have supplied large multi-family jobs, as well as small little jobs.
For instance, I brought these cabinets from China. Now they are all wood, and great quality. They were exclusively a job, but because of the great price and the success that it was in those jobs, we are opening to the public. I got another container ready to be shipped, and some stock in my warehouse. If you need in a large qty, I will be glad to work out a deal.
Here I posted a picture of it here, but if you need more pics and details, just email me.
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Michael S Murray » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 4:38PM

Sergio,
I might be wrong and apologize if I am, but I am guessing your custom cabinet shop consists of a circular saw, maybe a miter box, and some shim shingles.This forum and software is for custom cabinetmakers, not some one trying to put custom cabinetmakers on the soup line.Even most of the cabinets at home depot and lowes you talking about undercutting by 50% are made in the united states and provide jobs for americans It is also not for someone using it to just do design work and selling chinese cabinets or even reselling domestic cabinets.
As far as your pictures or my interest in them, what in the world would make you think that I would be interested in looking at a couple pictures of generic looking cabinets? And what exactly do you think you might have to gain by sharing them with others on this forum who are struggling to keep their shops and feed their families? I will not be helping with any more of your posts, please respect the time of us who are trying to run a business and make payroll for ourselves and our employees who are feeding their families.
Mike Murray

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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby DanEpps » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 5:06PM

Sergio Fetter wrote:Dan,
Thanks for the reply.
I already have a web store for other items. I have been expending that, not only on my web page, but also at ebay.com and amazon.com.

1. I am not sure quite yet, I am still kind looking around to see what I need to do.
2. The budget will increase once the sale also increase. You know how it goes.
3. As I said, I already have a site, but it not that flashy. I guess I could use some face lifting. Do you think that having a flashy site would impress the customer more than prices?
4. I am thinking that the time that I spend will be proportionally related with the sales. In other words... lots of sales, lots of time.
5. Absolutely. I can bit their prices by far. In a 10x10 kitchen, they charge $3,500.00, I can sell a very similar kitchen for $1,700.00.

What do you think?


1. So you aren't doing any marketing for your shop? I asked about your CURRENT marketing budget, not for your new venture.
2. It sounds like you have absolutely no business plan for this venture. Without a plan you are sailing in unknown waters.
3. I didn't say "flashy", I said "nice, professionally developed." Do you expect potential customers to take you seriously? If so, you absolutely MUST put the time, effort and money into planning and developing your site.
4. You have it backward...you have to first invest the time to produce the sales.
5. It sounds like you are selling garbage for that price! Like Mike Murray, I think you are asking your questions in the wrong forum.

You cannot just put up a web site and expect the world to beat a path to your door. You have to invest lots of time, effort and money--LOTS of each. Furthermore, any business venture starts with sound business and marketing plans. These are two separate plans and should be professionally developed. Part of the planning process is to create a pro forma budget for everything involved in the new venture.

You are flying blind and eventually you will crash into a hillside!

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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Damon Nabors » Tue, Mar 17 2009, 9:42PM

It's cabinets like these that create a lot of misconception. Everyone wants to call themselves custom cabinetmakers and I know you have not mentioned custom but I would guess you are going to try and market these as custom cabinets. There is nothing custom about these cabinets. Those cabinets would maybe make it in an apartment or nice rental unit but not in our custom homes. I personally do not like the use of filler strips like the one covering the seem on the wall or the one under the upper sink cabinet to cover the light. I guess if the customer wants a custom end panel, you just throw a door on the side of the cabinet.
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Neville Bastian
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Neville Bastian » Wed, Mar 18 2009, 3:31AM

Well Sergio I guess you are just trying to make a dollar like all of us.
In my small town someone is doing the same as you bringing in plywood cabinets and granite tops from China.They also bring in kit horse floats and spas.
Another firm which is like your Home Depot is bringing in melamine cabinets, postformed tops in 4 colours and vinyl foil doors from China.
I was hoping they would be too hard for the average punter but I was wrong. Now they have introduced Corian copy Chinese tops.
These imports were a nuisance to me because having to cut joins for people in the laminated bench tops when I was short staffed now work has really slowed I'm starting to blame people like you Sergio for my lack of work. I have 3 apprentices and two 2 trade assistants who I may have to reduce their hours or suspend till work improves.

Maybe Ken needs to bring out a book on how to market yourself as a custom cabinet maker? or how to use your Thermwood to blast the imports out of the water?
It seems people want you to employ their son or daughter, do the smaller low profit jobs and be around when required to do non standard cabinetwork job even though they support these imported kitchens & laundry cabinets. We need to find a way to be noticed in the market place so when they see you Sergio they also see us small individual cabinetmakers.

As much as I like doing custom work it is really hard pricing it and I don't think software will ever be able to it accurately. Its the kitchens that I like doing because they are easier to time estimate. Trying to set yourself apart from the flat pack brigade is the next hurdle.

Regards

Neville
Neville Australia

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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Michael S Murray » Wed, Mar 18 2009, 10:24AM

Sergio,
Maybe this will hit home for you.
The very software you are using to sell your chinese cabinets is provided to you by a company who refuses to sell machinery to China due to their political practices. This hurts them I am sure. I am also sure that there business is slow right now due to the economy and the imports. So to make a very long story short, your sticking a knife in to the very people that are unknowingly helping you. Next time you need help on the forum and no one answers, including the thermwood payed techs, maybe it will be because they had to cut back on support due to low router sales to USA and other Countries playing on a level field. hint(china is not one of them)
Mike Murray

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mike@versatilecabinet.com

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DanEpps
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby DanEpps » Wed, Mar 18 2009, 10:49AM

I think Sergio has left the building.

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Neville Bastian
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Neville Bastian » Wed, Mar 18 2009, 5:54PM

Maybe Sergio has left the building driving a Chinese made Chery SUV?

Oh no I may have given him something else America needs. More foreign cars :oops:


Regards

Neville
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Re: Expending Business - Online

Postby Gary Puckett » Wed, Mar 18 2009, 9:18PM

Sergio,

I am a one man shop, do everything by hand and I can beat Home Depot and Lowes prices on kitchens and bath any day of the week.
Also the cabinets I make are all 3/4 plywood not 1/2 particle board melamine.

Just think of what the shops here in the U.S. can do that have a Thermwood :wink:

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