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Success Stories

How a Trained Corporate Lawyer Became a Successful Dropshipping Business Owner

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | March 7th, 2022
Numerous of BrandsGateway’s success stories share a similar narrative. Individuals who, before getting into the dropshipping industry, were following a different career path until they realized that they needed a change. Nadia’s story is no different. Her journey with BrandsGateway began when she decided to leave her corporate job and build her own business. Today, Nadia is managing a successful dropshipping business full-time, 7 days a week, while taking care of 3 kids, 2 of them being toddlers. In this interview, Nadia shares her story - what was the kick that motivated her to take this life-changing step, how did she come across and decide to team up with BrandsGateway, and what is the key to starting and managing a successful dropshipping business. 1. Could you tell us more about yourself and your dropshipping business? Were you pursuing a different career path before this? What made you decide to get into the dropshipping industry in the first place? I’m a trained lawyer who chose to downshift due to family priorities and too much stress at work. I left my corporate career and never looked back. Before starting my dropshipping business I’ve sold second-hand designer clothing on eBay, which I’ve sourced from thrift stores in my area. 2. From your point of view, how much investment does one need to get started with dropshipping? Depending on the specifics of the platforms a dropshipper chooses to sell on, the subscription cost might be the only investment needed. In other cases, several thousand euros might be needed at the start of dropshipping to cover management software costs, subscriptions, the timeframe between purchasing the item and receiving payment, etc. When I found BrandsGateway I was finally able to streamline my dropshipping business and scale it. 3. What would you say are the biggest challenges in the dropshipping business in general? Finding reliable partners to work with is on top of my list. When I found BrandsGateway I was finally able to streamline my dropshipping business and scale it. 4. Why did you decide to focus specifically on the luxury clothing and accessories niche? What advantages does the luxury fashion industry bring? Luxury clothing offers great opportunities for profits, due to the good margin levels. I’m confident in the high quality of the items and that the client will most likely like his purchase. Also, luxury items keep their value, generate more buzz, are more liked and searched for and there is less competition than the mall brand market. 5. Where did you get familiar with BrandsGateway and what made you decide that we are the right fit for you? In your opinion, what are some of the most important features to look into when selecting a supplier? I’m located in Europe and before starting my dropshipping business, I researched extensively and gathered reviews and feedback for several suppliers located in Europe. BrandsGateway was by far the most recommended and I felt confident to start a partnership with you. I’m very happy with my choice. I’ve been using your services for about 9 months and can confirm all the good reviews for BrandsGateway. For this period I received good customer service with regard to the setup of my business, customer issues, returns, item specific, and other business details. All items are authentic, with good descriptions, duly packaged and shipped in time with tracking, returns are processed quickly and payments and refunds are managed without any issues. These are the specifics I’m looking for in a supplier. I can confirm all the good reviews for BrandsGateway. For this period I received good customer service with regard to the setup of my business, customer issues, returns, item specific, and other business details. 6. How long are you with BrandsGateway? And based on our collaboration so far, how would you describe your experience with us? Are you satisfied with the services we provide? We started in May so we’ve been using your services for about 9 months now. As I have just said, I’m very happy with the service. The areas I’d recommend BrandsGateway might improve on are the clothing product pictures (some platforms require clothing not to be worn by a model on pictures) and the unification of terms (colors, materials, language used) in the product description database. 7. What are the numbers you are making with BrandsGateway’s inventory per month? What was the highest profit you made selling our products? Currently, we’re selling just part of the inventory and only on several platforms and we have several hundred to several thousand euros in revenue per month. We’re in the process of launching several more platforms and I’m confident we’ll reach several thousand euro net profit per month and will be selling several hundred items every month. Up until now, our most expensive item sold was a Dolce & Gabbana dress we sold for 1899 EUR. The BrandsGateway price was 458 EUR. All BrandsGateway's items are authentic, with good descriptions, duly packaged and shipped in time with tracking, returns are processed quickly and payments and refunds are managed without any issues. 8. What are some of the favorite brands and categories of products you mostly order from BrandsGateway? From your experience in the niche of luxury fashion so far, which products do you think are the most demanding, and which are your best sellers? Interestingly, our most popular BrandsGateway items are sunglasses and frames. More specifically, the higher-end brands. The BrandsGateway price is very, very competitive. As for which brands are most popular, this really depends on the specific market, platform, and audience but I’d say the Dolce & Gabbana items are most popular and liked by users, but not necessarily the most sold. 9. What would be your advice to beginners looking into starting a dropshipping business? Tell us a lesson you have learned when you were first starting in the industry, something that you would like to share with the readers. I’d say before starting your dropshipping business have a clear plan where to sell your items and the specifics of that platform. Be focused on one type of product at a time and then little by little you can add on other product categories and/or other platforms.

Success Stories

Get Inspired: How This Dropshipper Moved from Offline Retail to Dropshipping

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | November 10th, 2021
BrandsGateway's network of dropshippers and wholesale buyers is expanding at a fast pace, and we are enthusiastic about sharing their stories filled with experiences and lessons learned to those looking at pursuing a dropshipping business. This success story is dedicated to a dropshipper who joined BrandsGateway's network of dropshippers in 2020, prior to the pandemic taking hold across the globe. We asked this dropshipper about the decision to start a dropshipping business, more specifically for selling branded apparel and accessories supplied by BrandsGateway, about his challenges and plans for the future. [dropshipping_page_cta] 1. Could you tell us more about yourself and your dropshipping business? Were you pursuing a different career path before this? What made you decide to get into the dropshipping industry in the first place? I started my company in France approximately one year ago. With a bit of money and through contacts I have in Italy, I decided to buy clothes stocks. At first, I started an offline retail business but unfortunately, because of Covid-19, I didn’t have much success, as people were quickly turning to online shopping. Then I moved to Italy and started selling to Switzerland but very soon another lockdown was imposed and the borders between the two countries were closed for 6 months. This is when I decided to dedicate myself to starting an online business, so I turned to the dropshipping model.

Success Stories

How One Dropshipper Made $187,000 in Sales During the Peak Holiday Season

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | September 21st, 2021
In the role of a dropshipping supplier, BrandsGateway is devoted to building a wide network of dropshippers to whom it will deliver premium services and help them thrive in the dropshipping industry. Therefore, every story of customer success that is born from this tireless dedication and commitment is a story that BrandsGateway’s team takes pride in. As the peak holiday season is approaching, our dropshippers are preparing their marketing plans and strategies at full speed. For this reason, we decided to talk to one of our most successful dropshippers who has been part of our journey for more than a year. We took interest in knowing more about the personal and professional story before getting into the dropshipping industry and the journey with BrandsGateway. In addition, we will delve into our dropshipper's success last year and this years’ plans for the holiday season that is at our doorstep. 1. How long have you been dropshipping with BrandsGateway, and what made you decide to work with us? I joined in April of 2020 when I lost my bank job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had some previous experience with eCommerce dropshipping from platforms like Oberlo but decided early on that I didn’t want to continue with suppliers from China. I researched high ticket categories and suppliers that could offer fast shipping, and that is when I discovered BrandsGateway. I was intrigued by the brands you offered and the high-profit margins.

Success Stories

How Covid-19 Helped a Dropshipper to Get Out of Her Comfort Zone and Start Her Own Dropshipping Business

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | July 15th, 2021
BrandsGateway’s success stories are about inspiring and motivating people who are thinking about starting their own dropshipping business. This is the reason why we continuously share our customers’ stories, not only of those who are deep in the dropshipping game and are earning big profits but also of those who are newbies. One of our beginner dropshippers who has an inspiring story to share with BrandsGateway’s audience is Herdis Jenssen who is the founder and CEO of the dropshipping store named Fash Dash. Her journey with BrandsGateway started a few months ago when she decided to establish her own online clothing boutique. Even though Herdis still hasn’t brought her dropshipping business to its fullest potential, she has so much to share about her life story - what inspired her to get into the dropshipping business and connect with BrandsGateway as a dropshipping supplier, as well as what were her beginner’s mistakes from which she learned quite a lot. “I started dropshipping with BrandsGateway in March 2021 and had my first sale a month later, in April. I must emphasize that I haven’t worked hard to get sales and my profit so far has been average, so I know that I need to step it up. It’s necessary to put in the time and the effort, and when you do that, then you will get sales, undoubtedly, I know that. When I work I get sales, but at the moment I’m managing two websites because, aside from having a store, I’m also a pole dance instructor so I have a website where I hold online classes which take some of my time as well. I’m in the progress, and I will work more for Fash Dash I’m certain. I plan on fully focusing on my fashion store because I want it to be my main source of income so I have to turn it around and put my other business in the second place. I need to switch them around because I want dropshipping to be my primary business”, says Herdis. Before starting her dropshipping store, Herdis worked full-time as an office coworker at a Taxi central close to the airport, and then because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she lost her job which, as she explains, was the kick that she needed to start something of her own. “I have spent 22 years in that business which was too long and I promised myself I wouldn’t dedicate so much time of my life to that business. Speaking sincerely, I wanted to drop out of that job many years earlier but I didn’t dare to do that. I’ve always had this dream about owning an online fashion store but I guess I needed this kick. The thing I needed was to not have a job anymore. I wanted this for several years, and I even bought my domain name 3 years ago, and I'm just starting out now”, she adds. Herdis says that her inspiration has always been working for herself. At the moment she is managing two businesses. However, going forward, she is planning on putting the dropshipping business in the main focus as she has always been passionate about selling fashion products. “I’m a person who likes to work on my own. I do cooperate well with other people but I’m really enjoying working for myself and for my family. I wanted to see if I can make it on my own - so that is where I’m now - I have to make it on my own. I have a website for online classes for pole dancing, and my online dropshipping store named Fash Dash. When it comes to the store, it was my wish to have something nice to offer. I wanted to offer quality products and I’ve always wanted to sell luxury dresses and bags because that is a very typical girly thing so that is mainly why I got into this business and why I chose BrandsGateway as my supplier”, says Herdis. To the question of whether she had previous knowledge of dropshipping and how she came across BrandsGateway, she says that she knew how the business model worked beforehand because she did a lot of research and sent a lot of emails to lots of places. “I found BrandsGateway when I googled about dropshipping clothing and I think you were the first one that popped up in the results. I have been looking around and there are more suppliers, of course, but BrandsGateway is the one that I fell for. The first reason for this is because you make the dropshipping process very easy. For example, my store is based on Shopify and I find the experience very simple and easy because everything is perfectly synced with your plugin. Your stock is very easily transferred to my Shopify store and it is updated in real-time which means I won’t sell anything that is out of stock”, highlights Herdis. Additionally, she says that she finds BrandsGateway’s customer support fantastic which is crucial in dropshipping. “When you are dropshipping, you need to get answers kind of quickly because you need to answer to your own customers. As we are going through all of it step by step, we need great customer support from our supplier. Before partnering up with you I read about BrandsGateway, I read customers’ reviews and they were all great, which made it easier for me to choose you. Lastly, you have quality clothing and accessories which I love. One thing I would wish for is for you to have a bigger availability of some items because there are some things that are just one piece or just one size in stock”, she concludes. With Fash Dash, Herdis doesn’t put an accent on only one category or product niche but she is marketing the whole catalog that BrandsGateway brings, including women’s and men’s clothing, bags, sunglasses, and watches. “I have all of BrandsGateway’s stock imported in my Fash Dash store, so I’m marketing all of the women’s and men’s products and categories. Until now, the best selling products are from Just Cavalli and Michael Kors. Going forward I’m hoping to sell Dolce & Gabbana because you have a lot of Dolce & Gabbana collections in your inventory and the pieces that you offer are very exclusive and that is really what I want to sell. Of course, any sale is a good sale so I will be happy to sell any of the luxury brands that you have in your catalog, but Dolce & Gabbana is something that I consider premium”, Herdis adds. At the moment, Herdis focuses on selling in her home country - Norway, but she has been targeting the USA and India as well. When it comes to other European countries, she is a bit hesitant because of the dense competition. However, her plan and strategy going forward are to target a worldwide audience interested in buying luxury products from renowned brands. “My plan is to reach for the world - that is my dream. Until now, my sales have been mostly in Norway, however, I’m experimenting with other countries and I’m targeting the USA and India as well. These are the two regions where I have been advertising the products that I sell, and I must admit that I get a better response from India. Therefore, I think that I will focus on India in the future as well because I get the feeling that this audience is very interested in branded products. For now, I’m promoting my website and building my email list and I’ve noticed that I get quite a lot of responses from India”, she says. Herdis also mentions that she hasn’t been fully dedicated to the advertising of her store because of the lack of time she spends on her other business, so, of the few marketing efforts that she has done, she has gotten a good response from India and that is the reason why she thinks that this audience has the potential to be part of her marketing strategy in the future as well. “I also plan on continuing targeting the USA, however, until now I’ve gotten a lower response rate and I think that this is due to the fact that many other dropshippers are targeting the USA so I will be one in a million there and I don’t want that. Moreover, I want to target other European countries besides Norway, however, I know that there are as well a lot of other websites targeting Europe and at the moment I wouldn’t want to compete with them. It would be easier for my dropshipping store to stand out if, for now, I target countries without a very dense competition”, she adds. Speaking of channels for marketing and advertising, Herdis points out that she is using Facebook for advertising, but she also plans on using Google, Instagram, and Twitter advertising as well. “I want to try a lot of different sales channels, but for now, I have used only Facebook Ads. In reality, I haven’t put much effort and I believe that when I step it up I will have better results. I have made up my mind, that I’m going to succeed, and I think that this is crucial - you have to really decide to succeed and to dedicate yourself. If you don’t do that you will just fall back and it won’t turn out to anything. So you need to dedicate yourself and set up a plan, get a good daily routine because if you don’t, everything will be a mess and you won’t be able to keep track of anything. So I’m really learning every day and I have attended webinars and meetings and I have read a lot and I think I have learned a lot. However, I still have a lot to learn because the world is changing all the time, all the marketing strategies are changing every day and you have to keep up in order to be successful and to reach your preferred target audience”, she concludes. In addition to all of the above-mentioned knowledge sources that Herdis uses, she is also reading articles published on BrandsGateway’s blog, and as she points out “you have covered a lot of different topics and I plan on following your articles going forward”. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is influencing everyone’s lives, and countless people have lost their jobs, for Herdis, the crisis turned out to be exactly what she needed for a long time. She considers Covid-19 the deciding factor for kickstarting her dropshipping business. Although she lost her full-time job, she got the chance to start something of her own which makes her truly happy. “Because of the Covid-19, as you already know, we had to move everything online so I started giving online coaching classes for pole dancing. The pandemic turned out well for me, honestly, because even though I lost my full-time job I got the time to start focusing on other things that I’ve always dreamed of doing. It really kicked me out of my comfort zone which is exactly what I needed. When I lost my job, it was overwhelming, and it might sound crazy to you but I was actually relieved because I wanted to leave for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I had a really great time and a good income there, but I’ve always wanted to have something on my own and now I’m standing right in the middle of it and it is really fun for me. It is so fun, even though it is hard, you learn a lot about how to manage everything by yourself. You need to have self-discipline and to learn how to set up your own strategy”, she says joyfully. Talking about what challenges she is encountering while managing her online store, Herdis says that at the moment her biggest challenge is the lack of time because she is devoted to two businesses that require a substantial commitment. Another aspect that generally influences one business’ success is the amount of money that one has aside because, as she adds, “if you don’t have at least a little money aside it’s difficult to market your business and the products that you sell”. Selling BrandsGateway’s catalog is a seamless process for Herdis as until now she hasn’t gotten any inquiries for product returns because so far everyone has been satisfied with what they receive. Additionally, she highlights that in terms of customer inquiries and requirements, she receives zero questions and complaints, especially when it comes to the bags that she sells. “I mostly get questions about clothing, specifically about sizing and when a certain product will be in stock again. When it comes to the accessories, mainly for the bags I get zero questions - they are just being sold and I’m just getting money which is great”, she finishes. Finally, when asked about what is her advice to people who want to start dropshipping and if she has some lessons learned to share with the readers, Herdis emphasizes that as a beginner she made numerous mistakes but that shouldn’t be discouraging for anyone thinking about getting into this industry “One of the many things that I did wrong was finding the right platform. So, first of all, to anyone who is a newbie in dropshipping, I would say find your ideal platform. If you want to have your own website, find a good platform that is cooperative, such as Shopify. Next, find a dropshipping supplier like BrandsGateway - with a big and wide-ranging catalog, and that offers a plugin to make everything run smoothly. For example, my website is loading very fast even though I have thousands of products which is exactly what every dropshipper needs. Shopify has a lot of website themes, some free and some paid, so my mistake there was that I went with a paid theme because I thought it would look nice and I shouldn’t have done that. I should have looked more for free themes and should have tried them out. I ended up using a free theme that looks better than the one I paid for. Therefore, when starting, it’s important to do some research and to don’t expect it to be very easy. Of course, if you put in the time and work, it will be easy and you will make money. But it is not like you can just sit around all day and expect that people will come to you and you will make big profits without any effort”, she sums up. Finally, she concludes - “put the effort in, do research and follow people that know what they are doing and learn from them. Struggling on your own without asking questions will get you nowhere”.

Success Stories

From Software Engineering to Dropshipping Success

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | April 14th, 2021
As BrandsGateway continuously grows, we strive to improve our services and deliver even better experiences for our existing and new dropshippers. One dropshipper who has been loyal to our services for two years and counting is Assaf who joined BrandsGateway with the idea of starting a lucrative business on his own. Assaf has always been passionate about starting his own business, and as he emphasizes that “at some point, I decided to give it a shot and going into dropshipping seemed like the best option, as the investment is relatively low compared to a brick-and-mortar business.” Before getting into the dropshipping industry Assaf was working as a software engineer at a large company in Israel. Today, he mainly sells through the online store he built from scratch using the Shopify platform. To the question - how much investment one needs to start a dropshipping business, he states that for one to make dropshipping their main income, it requires some investment and effort. “Personally, I do it as a full-time job and, of course, the more effort I spent the better I can get the business growing. If you are learning by yourself, it’s possible to save a lot of money. However, generally, to get started with it more seriously, one needs an investment of a few thousand dollars for building the online store, contracting with suppliers, and advertising on different platforms. Assaf has been working closely with BrandsGateway’s team for more than two years. He decided that he wanted to sell luxury clothes so he started looking for dropshipping suppliers that would satisfy his needs and requirements. “I got in contact with you guys, and I think the good thing about your services is that the profit margins for selling premium products are pretty good. There are dropshippers that want to focus on small products with small profits but that’s not the right approach I’m looking for. I’m more interested in selling products with larger profits, so I decided to focus on premium products like high-end fashion. I was looking for products that would allow me to get a large amount of profit with a smaller number of sales. The reason why I got in contact with BrandsGateway was that you have high-fashion products with relatively high prices that can ensure significant profit”, explains Assaf. Assaf’s online store based on Shopify is focused mostly on selling both women’s and men’s clothing with a special accent on premium items by Dolce & Gabbana. Discussing the luxury fashion industry and his personal experience, he notes that women’s clothing is the most popular category when it comes to selling online. Register here to check wholesale Dolce & Gabbana dresses “It usually goes to women’s clothing, specifically there is a big interest for dresses but sometimes because of the higher prices the selling can take up to some quite of time. However, there is a big interest in the category of dresses, and I get a lot of queries about measures and prices. Additionally, there is also interest in shoes which are relatively less expensive than dresses. When it comes to men’s clothing - suits are among the most popular products alongside blazers. For example, for one sale of a male’s suit I got a profit of a bit more than $1000”, he adds. Speaking on the topic of how much he earns by selling BrandsGateway’s portfolio of luxury clothing, Assaf says that the sale of the male suit of around $1000 was his highest profit since he started working with BrandsGateway. “On a monthly basis, for example, in the beginning, I was making around $2000 in profit, but it really depends on the time of the year, the holidays, and the process of advertising. I’m constantly changing the advertising approach because I’m still learning. At first, I was working with some advertising agencies but then I’ve decided to do it myself, so I’m currently learning new policies of advertising”, concludes Assaf. Register here to check wholesale Dolce & Gabbana men's suits Since as a team we seek to do our utmost to bring out the very best of our services and provide a constant superior experience for our dropshippers and their end customers, we asked Assaf to share what he thinks are the main strengths and weaknesses of our services. With reference to strengths, he points out that communication is BrandsGateway’s best trait. “Communication is one of the most important things for me when working with a dropshipping supplier. I’m working with other suppliers as well and the communication is usually based on robotic mailing. On the other hand, BrandsGateway’s customer support is based on communication with people which is a big advantage. When communicating with you I always get answers from people that really care and want to help me. It’s good to know that there’s someone on the other side that is willing to take care of me and my customers’ issues. Therefore, whether I need help from someone at the warehouse or anything else, I really feel like your team cares to provide dedicated support”, says Assaf. He continues explaining how communication is very important, especially for dropshippers - “We are in the middle, and we want our customers to feel like we are really giving them support and we can’t do it without our supplier, so the great thing for me is the communication I have with your team”, he adds. When it comes to weaknesses, Assaf mentions that sometimes he feels like it takes a while for the warehouse to answer some of his questions. For example, usually, the questions that his customers have are related to measurements of the products and sometimes the warehouse can take a while to check them and give him an answer. “Now with the Covid-19 situation, I understand that there are some issues and the warehouse can’t check some of the products and their sizes and measurements. Sometimes this can create issues for me because my customers start to look for products somewhere else. So, I think that this is one aspect that could be improved - when it comes to this kind of questions, BrandsGateway to manage to check their products faster”, concludes Assaf. Addressing how important it is for anyone to educate themselves before getting into the dropshipping industry Assaf comments that since the beginning he is constantly learning through the internet, BrandsGateway’s blog, and YouTube videos, and tutorials. In addition, he was listening to some of Udemy’s courses about dropshipping and selling online. Assaf believes that there is a lot to learn through the internet. In the end, he emphasizes that he made a lot of mistakes during this time and that he was teaching himself the hard way sometimes. When asked about what the future holds and what are his plans about expanding and targeting different markets, Assaf notes that currently, his focus is mostly on the USA market. Since dropshipping is his full-time job he emphasizes that he would like to expand and start focusing on the European market as well. “It should be easier from the shipping and the tax point of view which is sometimes difficult with the prices when moving the products between regions. So, once my online store starts earning more money I will have the opportunity to start advertising in more places. For now, this is my plan”, he adds. Finally, for those seeking to enter the dropshipping industry, Assaf advises them to be prepared, as the business does take effort and preparation. Especially if one wants to make it a full-time job with a solid income. “You need to really learn how everything works and how dropshippers work with different platforms. For example, I work a lot with Shopify and it’s important to understand how to automate the processes, and so on. In conclusion, you can make it a part-time job but if you really want to be successful in this industry, then you should really do your research. Read how people work with suppliers, how they work with different platforms, and learn all the pros and cons before you start investing money in advertising. I, for example, have spent a lot of money before I started to make my profits. You need to be prepared for this and make good research before jumping into the water”, finishes Assaf.

Success Stories

How One Wholesale Buyer Auctions BrandsGateway’s Branded Watches on Live TV

Posted by Nedina Gjorgjieva | March 5th, 2021
Working extensively on expanding their network of wholesale buyers, BrandsGateway recently teamed up with a new client who specializes in selling luxury goods, specifically jewelry and branded watches, in quite different and, for many, intriguing and entertaining ways. In particular, George Tsagarakis has devoted 31 years of his life to building a successful business for selling luxury goods through live TV auctions. Undoubtedly, from all of the wholesale buyers in BrandsGateway’s network, George is the only one, so far, that offers this unique approach to selling jewelry and designer watches - one that gives a whole other dimension to the business of selling luxury items. Selling luxury goods through live TV auctions is not an easy job, and George does it in a masterful way. George has been working in the field of jewelry, precious stones, and artwork for three decades and counting. And it’s fair to say that he managed to fearlessly come out on top of everything that has crossed his path and turned it to his advantage by transforming and adapting his business to the new times and advances. George started his business in 1989 in Greece, specifically in the period when private broadcasting (radio and television) was legalized in the country. Up until that moment, he emphasizes that they had only government-owned channels in Greece. “I opened the Gallery Tsagarakis in 1989 and since then I’m using it for selling art, especially antiques - which is what I specialize in. Apart from that, we sell furniture, paintings, china, porcelain, and other collectibles, and silver stuff. Sometime later I had the idea to continue with jewelry, so I started with diamonds since diamondology is what I specialize in”, says George. From this emerged the idea for him to try and sell his artworks and jewelry through infomercials. As he points out - “at first it seemed very strange, but then, it went really well, so nowadays we are considered one of the most popular companies on the Greek territory.” “Afterward, I grew my business and opened 22 stores in Greece and four other countries, including Cyprus, Spain, Bulgaria, and Egypt with 180 people working for me. To emphasize, in reality, we are auctioneers - we have an auction house and we are mainly selling all kinds of jewelry. Now we have an everyday live show on television and our own studios where we broadcast it from Greece and Cyprus”, he adds. George expanded his business on a large scale during that time until the emergence of the crisis in Greece. As he explains - “the last government we had was a very bad experience because everything went down - it was a communist government, which is so strange for this country - the country of democrats to have a communist party. They went down now after 4 and a half years but we had a very hard time. I closed most of my stores, I kept one here in Athens and one in the Hilton hotel in Cyprus. A model of Gant watch auctioned on GT Tsangarakis live After the closure of many of his stores, George continued running the television business and hosting everyday live auctions. He still sells all kinds of precious jewelry, diamonds, antique jewelry, victorian, Art-Deco, Art-Nuvo, retro style, vintage jewelry from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even modern contemporary jewelry from different Italian designers, including Carlo Palmiero. GT Tsangarakis live auctions last for 2 to 3 hours and during that time the audience is bidding through their phones, regardless of their location in the country. Recently, with the idea to expand his portfolio with watches from brands like Esprit, Gant, and Juicy Couture, George decided to reach out to BrandsGateway and start a collaboration. So, his live shows were enriched with BrandsGateway’s watches aside from his usual jewelry pieces. Speaking of challenges and obstacles, Covid-19 is yet another of the challenges brought to George that made him broaden his horizon and start thinking about growing his business in yet another direction. At the moment, he and his team are preparing to launch their platform for online auctions - GTB Online Auctions. A model of Esprit watch auctioned on GT Tsangarakis live “The Covid-19 has shown to be good for us. Understandably, nobody wants to go on like this but, on the other hand, in our business, it’s good because the market is closed, all the stores are closed and we are the only company in Greece that does this type of live TV auctions where people can buy and even sell their jewelry to us. Particularly, our income went up to more than 50% because we are selling high-end pieces on television and delivering them to our customers’ homes in Greece and Cyprus. And we are running around 320.000 customers in this small country”, George points out. “These challenging times provided us with the opportunity to look beyond TV auctions and got us to the decision to start a platform for online auctions. The idea with these online auctions is to attract more customers, for example, between 30 and 40 years, because now our customers are mostly ladies ranging between 55 and 80 years, and also to expand our portfolio and sell more of BrandsGateway’s products, aside from the watches and sunglasses,” he adds. George specializes in high-end jewelry and precious stones, but as he emphasizes - “sometimes people wish to buy different things at more convenient prices, for example, for a present. This is where BrandsGateway’s branded women’s and men’s watches come as the perfect offer.” He finds the women’s watches by Esprit and Juicy Couture, and the men’s watches by Gant as the perfect fit for people who want to buy more affordable yet branded and luxury models of watches either for themselves or as a gift. When it comes to the watches he notes that branded watches like those that BrandsGateway offers - with an elegant and luxurious look decorated with gold and silver details, as well as with stones or Swarovski crystals are very popular and sellable. George sells BrandsGateway’s collection of watches through his TV infomercials and on his official website. To give a better perspective of the volume of branded watches that he purchases from BrandsGateway - in just two weeks he managed to sell 250 watches. When it comes to the other luxury items featured in the extensive BrandsGateway’s portfolio, George additionally purchases casual women’s clothing by Silvian Heach, stylish women’s sunglasses by Dsquared², and elegant men’s shoes by Dolce & Gabbana. Having BrandsGateway as his supplier of luxury watches, sunglasses, shoes, and clothing, George highlights that the service and support he receives from BrandsGateway’s team has been perfect. To the question - How did he hear about BrandsGateway and whether he is satisfied with the profit he has gained so far he explains that after doing research on stocks and luxury products, he came across BrandsGateway’s portfolio of branded products and decided to feature them in his collection and selling them through live auctions and on his official website. A model of gold-plated Esprit watch auctioned on GT Tsangarakis live Talking about other channels that he uses for selling his products, George says - “After working for 31 years with television, infomercials have shown to be the most effective way for us to sell our products, so this is our top channel at the moment. We are also using social media, however, with much less success since our target audience is of older age and is not very familiar with social media channels and the Internet. This is the reason why we will be launching a new platform for online auctions - to focus on a younger audience as well. And we have high hopes that our products - BrandsGateway’s items included, would be sold very well.” Asked about what the future holds and whether he is looking into expanding towards other selection of branded items, like the rest of what BrandsGateway specializes in, such as luxury accessories and handbags, George adds that he was selling handbags before when he was supplying them from private sources at 20% off the retail price and we selling them at 50% off. However, they managed to sell 4.000 handbags for two years and decided to move onto other types of items. Finally, he emphasizes that the experience he had with BrandsGateway’s team so far was perfect. One thing he wishes for is an expanded portfolio - an element that BrandsGateway’s team is already working on as they announced the arrival of new brands and products, particularly in the categories of branded watches and sunglasses for women and men. “The watches that you have are great for selling at the moment on the live TV shows, however, with our new platform coming live, I think there would be a possibility also for other products of the BrandsGateway portfolio”, states George. In the end, to those thinking about breaking into the business of selling luxury goods, especially watches, George gives the advice to look into offering anything that is good looking, gold or silver plated, with stones or crystals and that is of at least 30-40 mm, and more specifically branded.

Success Stories

How Florida Retail Fashion Boutique Owner Found Success with BrandsGateway

Posted by Armin Hodjikj | November 9th, 2020
Rovena Kafilaj from Tampa, Florida, USA, always knew that having her own fashion boutique was something meant to happen. It was a dream, and just like every true entrepreneur, she never gave up. Opening a clothing store wouldn’t be possible without Rovena’s family support or factors like finding the perfect retail location, of course, but finding the right clothing supplier was the key factor for her. Rovena found BrandsGateway while searching online for high-end fashion suppliers and, once she established contact with us, she never looked back. Now Rovena is the proud owner of a new but already successful retail store in Tampa, Florida, located in a high-end shopping mall. She is one of the many wholesale customers of BrandsGateway, and her knowledge and experience are a great inspiration to be shared with our community. In the following interview, Rovena, in her own words, explains why BrandsGateway was the key to her store’s success and how she advises others to choose the same route as she did. 1. Can you please tell us a bit about how and when did you start your business? Rovena: I wanted to have a fashion boutique for a long time, but being a mother of four children, I simply had no time to focus on anything else. When I realized that I have the time to start working on my business, the next obstacle was where do I find these nice luxury clothes to sell in my boutique? Obviously, I got online and started searching for suppliers. One of the first results I checked was BrandsGateway. What made me really happy was the opportunity to establish direct communication with you guys on WhatsApp. I was really happy with the initial contact as it was explained to me what you offer, the terms of delivery, brands, etc. I really liked the extensive selection of Dolce & Gabbana items which you offer, and that was it I realized that this was the right partner for me. The next step was to find the right retail spot and, luckily, there was a spot in one of the best malls in the area where I live. Getting into a mall is not an easy task, but I had the patience and, after a small delay in the approval procedure, I finally could start my new business. As soon as that happened, I agreed with your CEO, Michael, to come to Sweden and visit one of the warehouses, to be precise, the Dolce & Gabbana vendor’s warehouse. It meant a lot to me that I was able to meet the people behind this operation and handpick the items I would like to purchase. BrandsGateway is the supplier of luxury clothing for this retail fashion boutique located in a high-end shopping mall, in Tampa, Florida. I started researching suppliers in June 2019 and opened my store in January 2020. As you can see, it took a while for everything to get into the right place so my business could launch. As you know, the Coronavirus hit in March 2020, and the mall was closed for a few months, however, I did not mind it too much as the first two months of my business running were actually really good. It is an advantage for me to have the fashion boutique in a mall as mine is the only store that offers this kind of apparel, the majority of the other stores are brands, which mainly design different styles so that makes my store unique. 2. How are you dealing with the current situation with the Coronavirus affecting the business? Rovena: The situation is not great but obviously it has nothing to do with the products I sell. It’s very tough now, October is one of the worst months that this mall has ever seen in traffic. We’ll see how it will go in November, the holiday season is coming and there is optimism that the situation will get better. It’s also a possibility that people are saving during this month so there’s enough for gifts in November and December. Black Friday is coming, as well, and promotions always increase sales. The business is not in danger right now but we all hope for this situation to go away as soon as possible. 3. Can you describe your experience with BrandsGateway so far? Rovena: The experience with BrandsGateway has been amazing, and I couldn’t be happier that I have found you to be my business partner. The customer support is spot on, the attention of your team to our needs as customers is invaluable, and I feel like this is your company’s biggest competitive advantage. Especially in the beginning when I just opened my store, your team was available to help me any time of the day. I never hesitate to reach out to you guys for anything that I need. I consider you to be my true business partner. Sometimes maybe I ask too many questions, but the support is just great, and all my questions are resolved timely. By selling the products that BrandsGateway has in its portfolio, you can differentiate your clothing store from the crowd. BrandsGateway is the only supplier I work with right now, and I had customers asking for more brand differentiation. I expressed this to your support a few months ago, and I noticed that you have expanded your brand selection which I really like. Additionally, I was told you guys are bringing a few more big brands in the coming period so, even if I never find another supplier, your stock selection is looking great at least to what my customers demand. 4. What are some of the benefits of working with us? Rovena: It is crucial to have a perfect relationship with your business partners. With BrandsGateway, it’s almost like I have had a personal relationship with you since day one. I can rely on you, on the product selection, on the delivery time, packaging, I never have any issues with customs, etc. Sometimes, I even ask for people at the warehouse to show me around on their phone camera so I can see the goods on the video with my own eyes. I am like that, sometimes too demanding but, luckily, the guys at BrandsGateway understand how much this means for my business. BrandsGateway's product selection is ideal for starting an online or retail fashion store. 5. What makes us unique as a supplier? Rovena: I think that what makes you unique is the product selection and the amazing prices you offer. This makes it unique for anyone with not too high of a budget to purchase stock from you and start selling clothes, regardless if it’s online or in a retail fashion boutique. It’s crucial to take advantage of the prices and the discounts you offer, which are almost impossible to find in other places. Anyone can buy your products and start their business, it’s not simple, the road to success is hard and takes a lot of work, but this is an opportunity which you must seize. 6. Who is your typical customer? Rovena: My fashion boutique is attracting a younger audience, mostly in their 20s or early 30s and the majority are men. The most popular items I sell are T-shirts and shoes. Luckily you have a huge selection of really nice men’s t-shirts and men’s shoes, so that’s being sold like crazy. 7. What was the best day in sales which you’ve had with our inventory? Rovena: I won’t take as an example a single day but a few days around Father’s Day and I think that from your stock only in those few days I sold about $6.000 worth of stock. Those were a really nice few days. 8. How much time does it take you to sell the goods which you purchase from BrandsGateway? Rovena: It depends on the items which I purchase. The t-shirts, especially the demanded models disappear from the shelves in a week or two. Some items can take a month to be sold so it all depends on how good a product is and the season of the year. That’s where your expertise comes in hand and that’s why I take advice from you when I purchase stock. When I say customer service is important this is one of the key features which makes BrandsGateway special for me. That’s why I like calling you my business partner, not just my supplier!

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