June 18, 2011 at 13:25 #5957
A number of our fine bloggers also sell tea in the marketplace, and while some are doing well, others are still waiting for their business to take off. The question is; why is there a difference, which leads me to ask what are buyers looking for from sellers?
I can’t speak for others but here’s what I look for when browsing tea sales. Bear in mind this is my personal opinion, not Tea Trade’s official view.
First, the price has to be right. That to me is even more important than the tea being sold. That’s because if it is well priced, a bit of clever sales blurb might convince me to try a tea I wasn’t actually looking for.
When I see a third party tea sale, as in: “Vendor A “sells tea they procured from “Vendor B”, I always look at Vendor B’s website, to compare their pricing to Vendor A’s. I won’t buy from “A”, if I can get the same tea at less from the original source. And for that I factor in the shipping costs that both “A” and “B” charge.
I think it’s hard selling tea from another online vendor, because it’s difficult for the reseller to stay competitive. For me (as customer) it only works if I can buy something that’s not available from the original seller. A clever combo pack that the original vendor doesn’t offer. Or a blend no longer for sale – however, I have to be pretty obsessed with that tea, if it’s priced higher than something similar on the original vendor’s site.
What I really like is when sellers offer “mix and match” sales, a lot of different samples from different tea companies. Nobody else gives me the opportunity to buy a pack of “every-company tea” and sip my way through them.
Own blends. I like teas that nobody else has, which means sellers aren’t directly competing with any “Vendor Bs” for pricing. Perhaps even a custom blend, with a few base teas and/or added flavors to choose from.
One reason a certain seller will get custom from me soon, is that the person has a mix of prices, with some sample offers at a low intro price I can’t refuse.
I think if sellers price their tea as competitively as possible, it’s easier to build up a loyal customer base. Everyone wants to make money, but it’s best to make a little, than none at all.
“Shipping included” I love that, but maybe others don’t. For me, I want to see the total, a low price means little if the shipping bumps it up way higher.
To sum it up; I like a good price, originality, and marketing that lures me in. By that I mean good copy writing that peeks my interest. Or a “special” on a tea. I don’t always know what tea I want to try, a good seller knows how to guide me along. And they talk about their Tea Trade teas. On their blogs, on here, anywhere they have a social presence.
Anyway, that’s me. What do others think? I’d love to know what buyers are looking for? And sellers, what would you look for if you were buying?
June 20, 2011 at 17:12 #5958
I definitely agree with @jackie on the competition stuff. I don’t mind paying for shipping, because I know that I will have to pay for it somehow and I would rather it be labelled ‘shipping’. Low price is always important. The seller should be making a bit, but not much unless it is a larger quantity, that is how the tea business works. If I see peach flavored black tea for $40/lb, I will likely never bother to look at that vendor again (^^;). Also, in our house, we drink mainly unflavored teas. We would like to see FRESH darjeeling, blacks, greens, oolongs without the words peach, raspberry, green apple or vanilla anywhere near them. I would definitely try 100g of a fresh first-flush darjeeling in a heartbeat!
June 23, 2011 at 15:59 #5959
What I want from the marketplace is something unique at a reasonable price (which is a personal and changing concept).
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