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Dollar fall boosts accessory sales

ONE of Perth’s newest e-commerce entrepreneurs is celebrating the poor performance of the Aussie dollar.

Perth-based mobileextras.com.au, an Internet mobile phone accessory shop, has found it is increasingly getting orders over the Net from Europe and Asia as off-shore buyers cash in on the low exchange rate

The site was created early this year by 31-year-old Kylie Hodgkinson, who worked in the mobile phone sales market for more than six years.

“ I saw the potential in the fast-growing mobile phone accessory market because many people see their mobile phone as an extension of their personality,” she said.

“I started to look into the idea of opening a shop, but the high costs and the thought of going broke was very real.

“I realised that I would also be stuck in the shop all day.

“It was suggested that I look into Internet shopping and at that time I had no knowledge of computers, email, Internet or anything else in that field.

“I spent six months learning all about it and was very excited about the potential and the flexibility it offered me.

“It took me $20,000 and six months to set up the system, and we have been on-line for six months.

“During that time I had to learn about running an on-line mail-out business.

“It is only now that we have started to tell people we are here.

“If I had got orders for 100 items a day in the beginning I would have been unable to cope.

“Now we have a structure. And any order we get before 2pm goes out that day and is with the customer usually the next day.

“But while the business has been building very successfully I didn’t plan on going international.

“We set up as an Australian company to service Australia – we didn’t even have a postage rate for overseas.

“I have been taken by surprise by the level of international sales.”

Products on mobileextras.com.au such as heat-sensitive phone covers and covers made of fake fur have proved the most popular.

“People want to put their personal stamp on their phones,” she said. “And we are the only dedicated accessory site in Australia focusing on that.”

She says that the bulk of her range comes from WA suppliers which means she doesn’t have to have a huge inventory.

But the more innovative and offbeat items she buys in from manufacturers in the UK and Taiwan.

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