The Search for the best supplier!
2007 was a very exciting time for us. Our new passion for rebounding made us want to share it with our world. We were doing talks anywhere and everywhere. Rooms full of curious sceptics suddenly changed to full on rebounding fans, and were all lining up to find out where to buy one! This was a problem for us too. Where could we find a supply of really good rebounders?
Low end units were available in shops but they had a hard and jarring bounce. There were however 2 other suppliers, one was a Health appliance company who had a high end units with a great bounce, but they were a bit too expensive for the average new rebounder fan. The other supplier was a Home shopping channel that had around 100 of JB Berns Urban Rebounder units in a store room. We bought them all and sold them instantly, at cost price to our students. We pleaded with both suppliers to import more for us because we couldn’t keep up with the demand, but they said rebounders weren’t a great seller and declined.
This was a disaster ….. there were no more great Rebounders available in South Africa! We knew that the public needed to be educated and informed about how great rebounding was, and how to use it properly but we also wanted to be able to recommend a good quality rebounder. So then we considered bringing them into South Africa ourselves, but how?
We started looking into the massive process of importing and knuckled down and hunted. Researching everywhere, calling everyone and anyone, no stone was left un-turned, we were determined to find the best supplier. Did we need a special licence? How would we find the best factory? There are thousands of factories all over the world but most of them were the low end jarring versions, how would we find the perfect one? We ended bringing in a house full of samples, and after some time, we finally found one of the best suppliers in the world!
However, an even bigger decision was how to finance it all. Do we take the huge gamble of a massive bank loan which could just about destroy our finances, to bring in a massive container full of quality Rebounders? We decided to take the plunge and do it!
There were so many things to consider. Do we fly them in or ship them in? What if the ship sank? Insurance? Accessories and parts? Where would we store them? Store rooms were arranged and the shipment was ordered! Gulp!
The sheer excitement and terror while standing at the door of our newly stocked storeroom, knowing that we were the only people in South Africa who could lay rebounders end to end and bounce our way around the streets was hilarious! 1100 trampolines were now ours.
Deciding on the business model of selling directly to our customers because we wanted to keep the costs to customers lower than conventional shops sales, was the right decision… But, we didn’t have an advertising budget, all our monies were now sitting in this lovely store room. So now the next step was…. to sell them!
More from this series
It was 2007. Our first order of 1100 trampolines were sitting proudly in our store room. Our excitement at now being the go-to supplier of quality rebounders in South Africa, was high. Our marketing plan was organic as we realized early on that most people thought...
Being the biggest and longest running importers, suppliers, writers and trainers in South Africa’s rebound industry – we are often asked: “How did it all start?” In the 1990s we were running our Natural Health training academy in Johannesburg,South Africa teaching...