Selling pet supplies online has its own set of challenges. Sure, there’s no rent to pay and you can work in your pajamas if that’s what makes you happy, but out there in cyberspace it’s a cut throat world! Take, for instance, a site like PetGuys.com. Their motto is: “Where you find pet supplies at wholesale price$”. And indeed that’s exactly what you’ll find. While this is great for consumers, it’s wreaking havoc with retail pricing, both online and in the brick and mortar world. The Pet Guys are essentially distributors selling direct to consumers.
I recently sold my company Lucy The Wonder Dog after 10 years because of the problem with distributors and wholesalers and, in some cases, manufacturers selling direct. I mean, if I’m buying an item from my distributor for $1 and selling it for $1.50, my distributor probably paid 75 cents. Now if that same distributor sells direct to the consumer for 90 cents or $1.10 (they’re still making money), how am I supposed to compete with that? Talk about rabid competition!
So while it’s great to be a consumer, pricing online is totally out of whack! I would sometimes console myself by walking through the aisles of PetCo or PetSmart and see how much more they were charging than I was online. While I might be selling the item I bought for $1 for $1.50, they were selling it for $3! Where will it end?