Dennis Altman refused to spend $3000 and wait nine weeks to get the electronic air suspension on his Range Rover fixed at the dealership. “I hung up still laughing, when I settled down I hit Google and started learning. I’ve worked on cars since I was 14, my 7 years in the US Navy I trained and worked as a pneumatic and hydraulics mechanic on nuclear powered submarines so I knew I could tackle this problem.
Dennis quickly realized that there was a market out there for Range Rover parts, since the dealers took so long and charged so much. ” I did a little brain-storming with my wife and friends, my wife made up a logo and I bought enough orings to put a 10 oring kits on eBay for $12. each in Jan ’06. I figured if they sold by the end of the month I would be happy, and have some beer money. They sold out in less than a week and I’ve been growing since.”Within a few days of serious digging I had found almost everything I needed to repair it for about $400. I had the suspension running in an afternoon,” said Dennis.
Rover-Renovations started on eBay, but Dennis found that eBay was not scalable to his operations for selling Range Rover parts. “EBay was good for low volume, but more than 3-5 orders/day was killing me, it took 10 minutes to process an order and print shipping labels. I think recently eBay has gone downhill, kind of like a good antique market that has let in junk-sellers and the good dealers stop coming. I keep a few things listed there just to drive traffic to my store, I get maybe one order/month through eBay and I dread the email. I have few ‘problem’ customers and 90% of them purchase through eBay.”
After trying out a Yahoo store, Dennis used Volusion’s Yahoo Import tool to quickly switch his entire store to Volusion’s platform. “My Ystore import was almost 2 years ago, so I don’t remember much of the import other than I was amazed at how fast it was. I only had to setup my categories and payment settings (I already had my merchant account), do some smoothing and transfer my DNS settings.”
Since switching to Volusion, Dennis now gets 51% of his traffic from natural search results. “Volusion has helped my marketing immensely by saving me the time of worrying about SEO, it just happens automatically. I don’t have to constantly comb over my site for improvements,” said Dennis.
Dennis has big plans for www.rover-renovations.com. “I plan on leaving the day job in the next 6 months (several outside factors are going into the exact date) and going full time at running Rover Renovations. I am constantly adding to my product-line with a goal of being THE place to go for all things Range Rover. It is a small niche, and I want to own it.”