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  #1  
Old 08-29-2015, 10:57 AM
151 151 is offline
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new business question, for online parts buyers/sellers. Advice needed.

The reason I ask,

My company was selected to participate in a start up accelerator (think shark tank without the cameras). One of the first things we need to do is get out and talk with potential customers.

My business connects online resellers (people like us selling used parts etc) with freight companies that can ship these things. We are making this so simple and so quick that anyone can do it online, even with no shipping or computer experience.

Right now anyone can ship small parts, it's super easy. Shipping large or heavy things is harder. There are ways to do it, but none of the current options are very user friendly.

Have you ever wanted to buy or sell something online but did not because it was too big and heavy? Or maybe you sold something big, but made it a local pick up only?

Please leave any comments you have. Any info I can gather will be a huge help in getting this business off the ground.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2015, 11:16 AM
joe joe is offline
 
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Good luck but being a middleman is going to be a hard sell. Regardless if the seller is a business or private seller, it's the sellers job to give the buyer an accurate shipping quote and his job to ship it. Shipping costs what it costs. Don't see where adding a brokers % fee to the cost is going to make things easier or cheaper to either party. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2015, 11:18 AM
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autogatto autogatto is offline
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I deal with shipping daily because of my job and shipping is a nightmare no matter what.

For sure a company that makes it easier on the average person that wants to sell a used part the might be heavy or bulky would be great. Still the major issue will most likely remain. And it is the ridiculous costs involved in shipping parts. Fedex and UPS have such high rates for both individuals and businesses that most of the times they really are the ones that kill sales.

This said a company that helps in the process would certainly help. So what would your company exactly do? Pick up the shipments and handle the rest of it or just give a "link" to a range of shippers with maybe provide "quotes" from different vendors (i.e. like a search engine for shipments)?
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2015, 11:40 AM
151 151 is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Joe, I happen to agree 100% about it being the sellers job to ship. In my experience that's just the way things are done. Some of our advisors and investors disagree...

One thing I'd like to point out is that shipping cost actually vary greatly depending on who you buy from. Even two sellers using the same truckline will get different pricing based on which broker gives the truckline the most business.

It is a normal volume discount way of pricing things.

Still, at least initially I am not trying to compete, or get business, based on price alone. We are going after the business of people who without us would not ship at all.

If you have more thoughts please keep 'em coming!

Last edited by 151 : 08-29-2015 at 11:47 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2015, 11:46 AM
151 151 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autogatto
I deal with shipping daily because of my job and shipping is a nightmare no matter what.

For sure a company that makes it easier on the average person that wants to sell a used part the might be heavy or bulky would be great. Still the major issue will most likely remain. And it is the ridiculous costs involved in shipping parts. Fedex and UPS have such high rates for both individuals and businesses that most of the times they really are the ones that kill sales.

This said a company that helps in the process would certainly help. So what would your company exactly do? Pick up the shipments and handle the rest of it or just give a "link" to a range of shippers with maybe provide "quotes" from different vendors (i.e. like a search engine for shipments)?

Awesome! thanks AG.

Simplicity is exactly what we are going to offer. As you are aware, for a person not working in shipping, booking a freight shipment is tough. I too have worked in logistics for years and it can still be confusing.

To answer your questions, yes we would arrange for first and last mile pick up and delivery. That might happen with the carriers own truck, or be done by a 3rd party, depending on the situation.

We would (via our site) provide a very simple interface for getting a quote, choosing one of many carriers, making payment, and then booking a shipment.

The biggest part of this is the different methods we use to "arrange" the shipping behind the scenes. Our methods make it possible for nearly anyone to successfully book a shipment, even without any shipping experience.

I'd really like to hear more of your ideas. Please feel free to post away or send me a message anytime.

Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2015, 03:22 PM
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DBX11 DBX11 is offline
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I think since a seller may make money and a buyer is spending that the most a middle man could make would be to pick up and deliver like a vehicle shipping company going many miles overestimating fuel costs and handling fees. Otherwise you must deploy several other employed across the geographical area to obtain enough items to keep fuel in your Prius unless your using your j10/20. Which would be awesome and I'd love to see those picturesque photos.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2015, 05:36 PM
151 151 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBX11
I think since a seller may make money and a buyer is spending that the most a middle man could make would be to pick up and deliver like a vehicle shipping company going many miles overestimating fuel costs and handling fees. Otherwise you must deploy several other employed across the geographical area to obtain enough items to keep fuel in your Prius unless your using your j10/20. Which would be awesome and I'd love to see those picturesque photos.

DBX,

We do not have any plans to load up our grand wagoneers and drive across the country! But I will say thats not a bad idea...

I'll give you an example of what sort of service we are offering.

My father had a really nice spare dirt track car engine in his shop last year. He had already sol his car and most of the spare parts. The retail cost of this engine was around $20K.

In his local area there were not many interested buyers and his highest offer was for less than half the value. (This was a new unused engine, with all receipts etc.)

If he had access to a great transportation system and a website to book a shipment that was super simple to use, we believe he could have found a buyer somewhere out there in the whole country, that would give him much more money for the engine he was selling.

But he did not know of an easy way to ship, so the engine just sat in his shop until he finally gave in and sold it for much less than it was worth.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2015, 01:21 AM
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babywag babywag is offline
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:02 AM
151 151 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babywag

Thanks BW, those guys have definitely got a good plan in place. They are offering a similar service to us. The biggest difference being we are not limited to engines or other drivetrain parts.

Have you ever wanted to buy or sell a big jeep part but did not due to the shipping?
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2015, 05:56 AM
151 151 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 20, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autogatto
I deal with shipping daily because of my job and shipping is a nightmare no matter what.

For sure a company that makes it easier on the average person that wants to sell a used part the might be heavy or bulky would be great. Still the major issue will most likely remain. And it is the ridiculous costs involved in shipping parts. Fedex and UPS have such high rates for both individuals and businesses that most of the times they really are the ones that kill sales.

This said a company that helps in the process would certainly help. So what would your company exactly do? Pick up the shipments and handle the rest of it or just give a "link" to a range of shippers with maybe provide "quotes" from different vendors (i.e. like a search engine for shipments)?

AG, we are nearing the end of our customer discovery and with your experience I think your feedback is very important. If we can connect for a few minutes one day soon, your input would be a huge help. I will message you my email if you have just a minute please let me know.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2015, 07:14 PM
phil c phil c is offline
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I think Fastenal beat you to the punch

They'll ship heavy items store to store for a very reasonable cost. They're in every major metro area. And a ton of mid, small markets as well.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2015, 08:03 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil c
They'll ship heavy items store to store for a very reasonable cost. They're in every major metro area. And a ton of mid, small markets as well.
They won't ship the west coast.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2015, 01:28 AM
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cma cma is offline
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yes. i have always troubles with big parts....

acually i am thinking of shipping a NP229 and a AMC 360 to Europe. If you want to start a example you can PM me for further details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 151
The reason I ask,

My company was selected to participate in a start up accelerator (think shark tank without the cameras). One of the first things we need to do is get out and talk with potential customers.

My business connects online resellers (people like us selling used parts etc) with freight companies that can ship these things. We are making this so simple and so quick that anyone can do it online, even with no shipping or computer experience.

Right now anyone can ship small parts, it's super easy. Shipping large or heavy things is harder. There are ways to do it, but none of the current options are very user friendly.

Have you ever wanted to buy or sell something online but did not because it was too big and heavy? Or maybe you sold something big, but made it a local pick up only?

Please leave any comments you have. Any info I can gather will be a huge help in getting this business off the ground.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2015, 06:28 AM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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I ship all the time [I shipped my pants!] and when I have to go freight it is often cost prohibitive. Often the shipping is more than the cost of the parts. Also as stated, the carriers I use provide a 70-90% discount to certain customers. Really! How does that help a customer relationship when the initial quote is $100 but then your able to manage it down to $10! I've also shipped a motor 1500 miles and was quoted $800 after all the discounts but then told the shipper it has to be under $500 and they said OK. Why not $500 as the initial quote?! Lastly, UPS and FeDex USPS require that I box everything. However, I see the same carriers shipping big heavy items [leaf springs] with only a tag. Why cant I do that? I've asked.....
The best deal for freight so far is 3PL with Fastenal. They can ship a pallet anywhere for less than $200
So yes, If you could provide reasonable rates without all the markup CRAP, that would be awesome!!!!

Last edited by rocklaurence : 09-06-2015 at 06:42 AM.
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