Drop Shipping & eCommerce Blog | Doba

Meet Doba Customer Marlon Hanks: The Online Retailer With a White Glove

Written by Josh Summerhays on December 9, 2013 in Online Retailer Spotlight
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For Marlon Hanks, marketing has always been the way he puts food on the table. Even in those times when, he says, ventures didn’t work out the way he planned, his approach has never wavered… he always puts his customers first.

What Hanks’ customers want these days are new and used electronics, and to make that happen he launched (and yes, that’s “.co” – not “.com”). Turns out, Marlon is a big fan of Doba. In fact, this Indianapolis-based entrepreneur won’t work with any other drop shipping operation. Here’s why…

Doba: How did you get started with Doba?

Marlon: I found out about Doba a few years back and I wanted to give it a try. I read an article that said we could source products through your website. That’s exactly what I needed. It was a good decision because you afford us the opportunity to connect our customers to exactly the products they want and need.

Doba: What company created the shopping cart you use on your website?

Marlon: We use Magento because as an open source platform, it allows us to do with it exactly what we want, including integrate ERP (enterprise resource planning) tools, MediaWorks, WordPress, Drupal, and other technologies we require to run our business online.

Doba: Where are the majority of your sales?

Marlon: While we have our own website, the majority of our sales come through eBay. We were selling on Amazon when we started with Doba, but through research, we found that eBay is a better marketplace to sell a lot of the products we carry.

Doba: Are you working with other drop shippers apart from Doba?

Marlon: No. I am reluctant to sign up with other drop shippers. We do work with manufacturers from time to time, and on occasion they have drop shipped for us, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Doba: What sort of profit margin do you have on the products fulfilled by Doba’s drop-ship suppliers?

Marlon: The average gross profit margin is about 15 percent. Some items carry a higher margin but we want to maintain that competitive edge, and so to be second or third is still great to us.

Doba: Do you have a particular product niche?

Marlon: Electronics is where we are starting. We have looked into apparel but found that reselling used electronics online is easier than selling used clothing online.

Doba: Do you warehouse any of the items you sell?

Marlon: Yes, we have a warehouse for our items, just in case a natural disaster or something else delays or cancels a customer shipment. It’s a way we can ensure a great buyer experience for our customers. We don't want a hurricane knocking out part of our business. We need those items to ship out.

Doba: What have you done to stand out from the competition?

Marlon: For us, it’s all about providing ‘white glove’ support. I quickly resolve my customers’ concerns and almost always make sure there’s a real person for them to speak with. While our emphasis is definitely on customer service, we also go out of our way to provide excellent product descriptions for all of the items we sell.

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