December 3, 2020

Looks Like its Sadly Over 😢

Phil Spilsbury @philspil66

2020 has been a struggle but we got hit with another blow yesterday with the news that our main supplier has decided to close its doors and not supply independent traders anymore.

Their business had been in the hands of the same family for 100 years but had been under new ownership since 2019 and the Covid-19 situation has forced them to reevaluate how their business operates and with whom it trades with.

So with no notice they simply shut down their relationships with dozens of Indie-Traders like us.

So a blow to us and many other businesses that traded with them.

The obvious answer would appear to be to find another supplier, but the hard fact is that this company dominated the market and most of the other suppliers in this niche are much smaller and are also spread across the country, so it's just not cost-effective to travel large distances for small caches of stock.

We'd built up a lot of domain knowledge on these products and the customers that like them but it looks like we need to park that now and move on.

It's sad news as I've also had to retire a SaaS product this month too.

But it's now time to look ahead to 2021.

A lot of focus will be now shifting to our URL LInk Shortener business I run with @ronperkins and also a 2nd eBay business I've not got round to adding to Indie Hackers yet.

I know a lot of the businesses are SaaS on Indie Hackers but are people interested to hear about eBay type businesses? if so I'll add my other new eBay business on too.

As for Kizzyboutique, well we have a brand with lots of followers and we have a well-established eBay account with a lot of feedback so we might be able to come up with some ideas on how to leverage those.

So maybe its story is not quite over.....Let's see.

I'm most sad for our partner in this business as he'd been trading with this supplier since 1980 and they literally closed the door in his face yesterday and destroyed his 40-year old business with no notice or thanks or anything.

Life and business can be tough for sure!

  1. 2

    Hey @philspil66 sorry to hear the sad news. It's tough when the change in supply change effects the business so much.

    Does the supplier have any stock before they close? Is it maybe worth asking them if they might know anyone else in the market who could supply you? (they might be competitors but it's worth asking because you have nothing to lose)

    Don't give up hope, I am sure something will pop up. Luck does favour the good people.

    Look forward to hearing about your new ebay venture.

    1. 1

      No, unfortunately, they decided to switch from B2B to B2B/B2C. They've been hit by Covid and realized they could cut out all the Indie-Traders and take the product directly to end customers themselves. What I do know is they don't have the same sort of level of domain knowledge of the product that we had and other traders had.

      As for competitors, they were basically the biggest supplier of that type in the UK. Lots of little smaller ones dotted around but the level of effort needed to travel round the country trying to find the same level of stock means it would wipe out our margin.

      So it's time to draw a line under it and move onto the next idea.

  2. 2

    Good luck in the future buddy.

  3. 2

    Sorry to hear the news @philspil66 but if I know you - you will turn this around with another product line for sure! I have plenty of ideas for you that I can share with you offline.

    But for now, it's good news for and for our other businesses which we run together!

  4. 2

    Hi Phil.

    Sad to read this. But if its any consolation, 2020 year has been THE worst for many around the world. So we're kinda all in this together.

    Would love to hear from you with regards to the e-bay business.


    1. 1

      Yeh, I might add it on. Wasn't sure how many Indie Hackers were interested in eBay type businesses. I do SaaS too but eBay has always generated good money for us too.

Today's Top Milestones
  • Got interviewed by IH about how I grew Thankbox
    I was super happy to be invited to do an interview with IH about my journey building Thankbox. I spent a lot of time on it and aimed to capture as muc