Web site pays off within months; a
world of opportunities awaits.
NEW YORK -
Don't tell David Taubenfeld he cannot do business via the Internet.
partner in family-owned BT Produce Co. Inc. not only conducts business on the
Internet, his company is profiting from it.
in Chile contacted me through our Web site and said he had some loquats to sell.
We ended up taking 400 boxes," he said. "Nobody else on the market had
them, and we ended making a couple of dollars a box. That paid for the site right
Taubenfeld has conducted several e-commerce
transactions in the past few months that he said probably paid for the site -
www.wholesaleproduce.com - 30 times over.
"When I first
proposed the Web site, people laughed," he recalled. "They told me nobody
will ever make money off the Internet."
Nobody is laughing
BT Produce receives e-mails from all over the
world - usually three or four a day - looking to buy or sell produce.
scrolled through the list of e-mail on the company's Web site and messages from
China, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Chile, Sri Lanka, Brazil and several U.S.
states rolled across his terminal screen.
said the Internet also comes in handy for brushing up on international export
had a chance to buy some Asian pears from (a grower in) China. We looked up the
USDA's Web site and found that that one province was allowed to ship to the U.S.,
so we ended up doing business with them," he said.
on BT Produce's Web site include About Us, Produce Lists, Let's Do Business, In
the News and Related Sites.
make the Web site accessible, Taubenfeld has connected the site to as many search
engines and produce terms as possible. So any time a browser used a key-word search
related to pratically any produce item or term, BT Produce's site would be among
the successful matches for the search. Business during the last few months has
gradually built from there.
said he has tried to make BT Produce's Web site user friendly, much like company
representatives do when they greet customers on the terminal market and take time
to show them around the product displays each morning.
customer counts, from the one who buys a box to the one who buys a truckload,"
he said. "The key is to buildlong-term relationships. If a customer has a
problem, you fix it."
has taken the same approach to building international customer relationships online.
received and e-mail from a guy who was looking to unload (several) pallers of
white peaches. He needed help, and we took them off his hands," Taubenfeld
said. "He was very happy, and we still make a couple of thousand dollars
successful business transactions keep customers coming back, he said
is very strong, and every customer counts," Taubenfeld said. "We
don't lose customers; we won't allow it."