Jerry Rodriguez Member Since April 2009

"I kicked the tires on a lot of drop shipping programs. I found Doba to be head and shoulders above the rest from a system integration standpoint."

How did you get started with Doba?

I had been dabbling as an online eBayer since 2003 so I decided I would give online retailing a shot and see where that road took me. Drop shipping and just-in-time inventory were concepts I was familiar with, so I knew that would be my business model for my online business. By reading and researching and then doing more reading and researching — I “kicked the tires” on a lot of drop-shipping programs — I found Doba to be head and shoulders above the rest from a system integration standpoint.

How does Doba help grow your retail business?

Access. That is the word that comes to mind. Access to many suppliers without having to establish a business relationship with each and every one. I can test drive a supplier or product line without having to make a major commitment to volume purchases. I decided from the beginning that I would only sell products that would be evaluated and determined to be a great value (reasonable price + excellent quality = great value) for my customers.

Where do you currently sell products (your own website, eBay, Amazon, etc)?

We sell our products on our own website and on other sites like eBay, eCrater, etc., as long as we can be competitive with our product pricing on those sites. We no longer sell on Amazon because I don’t believe they really support small retailers and specifically, drop shippers.

What is your website address (URL)?

Where did the name come from?

It’s a long story, but let’s face it — how can you forget Wacky Hippo!

On average, what is your profit margin in selling drop-ship products from the Doba catalog?

At this point of the process, profit margin is not a major driver. High margins do not necessarily equal high profits. While obviously we do want to be profitable, at this point growing the business and developing a customer base has a higher priority. It is very difficult to be profitable selling on sites like eBay. But — and this is a big but — eBay is a great source for attracting customers and getting great exposure for your business. So, from that sense, I see eBay as a very important component of increasing traffic to our own website.

Do you have a particular product niche, and if so, what is it and why did you pick it?

After doing a lot of searching and testing — with some successes and many failures — we have settled on compact specialty appliances and high-end motorized toys, which I call extreme toys. These products fit the drop-ship profile and the average unit-selling price fits our business model.

What have you done to make your business stand out. In other words, why would someone buy from you instead of your competitor?

Great value and great customer service. The great value (reasonable price + excellent quality = great value) initially brings the customer to us, and an unmatched customer service keeps them coming back. We proactively communicate with our customers through each step of the fulfillment process. The other little thing we do is treat each customer as a personal friend.

Why did you choose to drop ship products rather than purchase inventory?

Most of the products we sell are bulky and fit the drop-ship product profile. It’s a great way to start up an online business.

What percentage of your product SKU’s are drop shipped?

It’s 100 percent right now. But I have some down-the-road plans to expand some other concepts that we have been considering. Stay tuned!