Tim O'Bryant Member Since September 2009

"They taught me the value of drop shipping, and that, if I’m selling online, then I should work with suppliers that are willing to drop-ship their products to my customers. They recommended Doba because of its reputation, ease of use, and huge catalog of products. I currently have a 15 percent profit margin. Last month I made $2,100. Not bad for a part-time job that I can manage anywhere."

Tell us about yourself and your online business.

I’m a stay at home dad with four kids. I do woodworking and some home remodeling as well as taking care of the family. I decided a year ago to start an online business and open up my own website. I figured it was good way to earn a little extra money from home, and something I could grow in my spare time. I was open to selling pretty much anything, but I knew that whatever I sold I wanted it to be drop-shipped so I wouldn’t have to carry inventory. The last thing I needed was to build another room to store products and worry about packaging and shipping. It took a while and it took quite a bit of work, but after some time I found my product niche — portable air-conditioners and space heaters.

How did you get started with Doba?

My plan was to get some help and professional advice to make sure I was building the right online business. I ended up finding a company that specialized in helping people start and grow an online business. They taught me the value of drop shipping, and that, if I’m selling online, then I should work with suppliers that are willing to drop-ship their products to my customers. They recommended Doba because of its reputation, ease of use, and huge catalog of products. As I was browsing the Doba catalog I found that they had suppliers offering products in two of the niche categories I was investigating. Price comparisons led me to believe I could sell them. It simplified the process, so I signed up with Doba. As time went on, I kept checking the product catalog. Pretty soon a new portable air-conditioner supplier was added. After comparing prices of their products online I realized I could make a pretty good profit selling them on my website. This supplier also has free shipping, which enabled me to make more money and be much more competitive online.

What were you hoping to accomplish by becoming a Doba member?

I wanted to build an online business over time. I wasn’t in any hurry. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decisions and building a business that provided some extra cash for my family. Where do you currently sell products (your own website, eBay, Amazon, etc.)?

Right now I only sell on my website. I don’t use any auction sites because I’ve found that I can make a better margin selling on my own site.

What is your website address (URL)?

www.portablehomeair.com

How much money are you able to make with Doba?

I currently have a 15 percent profit margin. Last month I made $2,100. Not bad for a part-time job that I can manage anywhere.

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

Portable air-conditioners and space heaters. The pricing on Doba is great, so I can make a decent profit. Plus, one of the suppliers offers free shipping. Portable air-conditioner sales are seasonal during hot months, and this will be my first full winter offering space heaters. Hopefully this will keep sales coming in while air-conditioner sales are slow.

What have you done to make your business stand out in order to sell more products?

I offer free shipping. One of the concerns people have when buying online is that shipping costs will drive the price higher than a traditional brick and mortar store. I offer free shipping — plus my products are cheaper than if they bought them from a store. It overcomes the price issue real quick. Even with the discounts and free shipping I am still able to make about a 15 percent profit margin.

Why did you choose to drop ship products rather than purchasing inventory in bulk?

Drop shipping is the model that makes the most sense if you are selling online. Online shoppers don’t expect to touch and feel products. They usually do their research online, and in some cases see products in a local store. They figure out exactly what they want, then look for the best price from a trustworthy company. In construction we were always moving things, and we’d say, “no use moving it twice.” Same thing here. Why ship a product from my supplier to my house and then ship it again to my buyer? Double shipping wastes time and money. It’s better for everyone to have it shipped straight from the supplier to my customer. It also limits my risk of carrying inventory. I’m not out any money if I don’t sell the product – and I really like that.