In this tight economy, keeping costs down is important for your business to survive. From sourcing the products you sell to ensuring that shipping and fulfillment costs are kept to a minimum — all without sacrificing quality – you constantly need to find ways where and how you can reduce your costs and save.
Take the case when I was actively selling vintage postcards (my hobby) on eBay. Given the price of most sold postcards and increasing eBay fees, I knew that I needed to cut on expenses if I wanted to keep a bigger share of the profit. I searched high and low for inexpensive padded mailers to be used for shipping the often-fragile items. The problem was that shipping costs were about a third of the price of a case of padded mailers. That’s when I discovered that Overstock was selling the same padded mailers at the same low price as the eBay sellers, but with one huge difference – a significantly lower shipping price – which meant more profits in my pocket.
That’s why I’m excited that Overstock.com has decided to branch out and offer products catering to the business owners. They recently launched a new website called O.biz http://www.o.biz that allows small and home-based business owners to get great deals and save. This new site offers business owners products at low costs with the unbeatable low $2.95 shipping fee. (And no, PowerHomeBiz.com is not an affiliate of Overstock.com or O.biz).
I talked with Overstock.com President Jonathan Johnson about their new site O.biz and how it can help small business owners like us.
What is o.biz and how different is it from Overstock?
O.biz is a site brought to you by Overstock.com that offers great deals on business products. While the O.biz site maintains the same look and feel as the Overstock.com site, the products available on O.biz are for commercial use, industrial grade, reseller-oriented and packaged in bulk quantities. O.biz is the perfect place to go to stock up for your business, especially since your entire order still ships for only $2.95.
What were the needs that you saw in the market that o.biz could address?
Businesses are always looking for the best deals. Often however, businesses can’t meet the minimum order quantities of some of the larger manufacturers and brand names out there. Sometimes businesses venture into a new category conservatively, purchasing smaller case quantities to test the selection and overall “fit” before moving forward. O.biz is a perfect solution for both these situations.
O.biz also provides non-bulk products that are commercial-grade intended for use by restaurants, caterers, and others in the hospitality industry. We saw a need for brand name products in these three categories at great values. We also saw a need to help these businesses locate new, chic product.
How can small and home-based businesses benefit from o.biz?
O.biz serves small and home-based businesses in three ways. First, O.biz offers products for the day-to-day operations of the business such as receipt paper, anti-fatigue mats, janitorial supplies and other needs. Second, O.biz offers thousands of products for restaurant owners, caterers, bed & breakfast operators and others in the hospitality industries. Third, many small and home-based businesses purchase products on O.biz and then resell them at a notable markup.
Your site offers wholesale products. How does o.biz compare with other wholesale sites out there?
Unlike many other online wholesale sites, O.biz does not require customers to sign up or pay a fee to see pricing. Anybody can purchase products on O.biz. O.biz is easy to use and aesthetically-pleasing. We also have products that are hard to find elsewhere online.
What are your plans for o.biz, particularly with regards to the small business market?
The plan for O.biz is to listen and be responsive to the needs of small and mid-sized businesses nationwide. O.biz will never be a catch-all site with all business products are available in the market; rather it will identify products and services that these businesses need and then find great deals on them.