Big plans for Bubs Duds

09/09/2003 - 22:00


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FRUSTRATION with the lack of online stores provided a Perth mother with the incentive to start her own Internet-based baby products business.

FRUSTRATION with the lack of online stores provided a Perth mother with the incentive to start her own Internet-based baby products business.

Bubs Duds founder Brooke McCallum said she recognised the need for an Internet-based second-hand baby store when pregnant with her now one-year-old son.

Working long hours at Perth network integrator The Net Effect (which was bought by Alphawest in late 2001), Mrs McCallum said she had intended to make the most of the required purchases for her baby online.

However, she found there was a lack of sites selling good quality second-hand baby products and decided it was an untapped niche market.

Launched in November 2002, Bubs Duds offers a complete range of second-hand baby producs including nursery equipment, prams, toys, books and clothes, predominantly to customers in regional Australia and throughout NSW.

Mrs McCallum said the merchandise was hand picked from local markets and private sellers, ensuring that the condition of the goods was ‘as new’ without the new product price tag.

“Each item is individually photographed and displayed on the website, along with a detailed description to give customers as much information as possible,” she said.

Mrs McCallum said her six years with The Net Effect provided her with the business and IT skills to get Bubs Duds operational.

The Internet was the ideal medium for the store, she said, because it offered the opportunity to care for her son as well as run the business.

“Currently 98 per cent of our orders are placed online via our secure payment gateway,” she said.

The service also facilitates targeting prospective customers in remote and regional Australia.

“About 70 per cent of our orders are from rural customers who seem more adept at online ordering,” Mrs McCallum said.

NSW accounts for 70 per cent of Bubs Duds’ customers, with Perth making up just 10 per cent.

She said most of the advertising for Bubs Duds was done online through banner advertising and reciprocal links with associated sites.

In addition to targeting customers already comfortable with making purchases online, Mrs McCallum said online advertising provided a measurable medium.

“Online is more measurable and I am able to tell exactly how many customers have arrived at the site through clicked banners and then how many customers have made a purchase,” she said.

The business has secured a distribution arrangement with Australia Post, signed in June this year once volumes of sales reached a certain level.

“When we first got started we found it really difficult convincing people, like banks and advertisers, that this was an idea that was going to work,” Mrs McCallum said.

However, the site now averages 220 visitors a day from across Australia.

Mrs McCallum said she planned to open a Bubs Duds store in the Perth metropolitan area in the next two years, which would operate as both a retail outlet and a meeting place for mothers and children.


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