Attracting more than 750 new customers daily, online wholesaler DollarDays International set a new record for sales in a single month when April sales increased 199% year-over-year, says president, COO and founder Marc Joseph. April also set a new record for number of orders, rising 205% over April 2003, he adds.
Joseph attributes the growth to a growing comfort level among small, independent retailers to buy their inventory online. “A couple of years ago, people were still tentative about going online to buy wholesale products,” he says. “But now online wholesaling has become the next wave to hit the Internet.”
The company’s web site, DollarDays.com, serves more than 187,000 U.S. merchants, including single mom-and-pop gift shops and small regional chains of general merchandise stores, Joseph says. The online wholesaler offers about 30,000 consumer products, including toys, household décor, apparel, electronics and seasonal merchandise. Joseph says his growth is also due to DollarDays’ emphasis on customer service, which offers a staff of about 20 customer service reps with retail experience who help merchants new to online ordering fashion their inventory buying plans.
Joseph, a former merchandise executive for Federated Department Stores Inc. who also once operated a wholesale business for grocery and drug stores, founded DollarDays in 1998, selling to retailers partly online and partly through more traditional means of appearing at trade shows and making sales calls. He took the operation completely online in 2001, when he secured venture capital from Boston-based CP Baker & Co. DollarDays has been profitable since 2003, Joseph says.
Dollar Days also provides services to help brick-and-mortar retailers set up their own online retail web sites, and it helps distributors establish their own business-to-business web sites.