Great Business Idea: Very Inspiring story MyWhiteWalls.com

MyWhiteWalls.comI follow r/Entrepreneur on Reddit.com and I recommend you do too. Because every once in a while there is a post by interesting high achieving people.

For example two days ago there was a post by jwitham2002 which was celebrating his 5 year anniversary of being in business.

In a nutshell his company MyWhiteWalls.com sells hand painted oil paintings at very affordable prices with a huge selection of very attractive designs.

MyWhiteWalls.com gurantees

  • Free shipping within USA
  • And the 110% price gurantee where if you find the same oil painting at a cheaper price than theirs they will reduce their price until it is 90% of the competitors price.
  • Each painting comes carefully stretched and gallery wrapped. Ready to Hang, all you need is a simple nail or hanging tack.

Prices

Single Canvasses sell for $99 on their site

2-piece sets sell for between $99 to $199

3- piece sets sell for between $99 and $230

Even the 5-piece sets sell for about $200

It looks like he tries to achieve a sales price of $200 on most items.

My White Walls story

At 23 Jwitham had secured a job as a SEO Director for a travel company making around $65k per year. But he wanted to do his own thing. So he spent about a year researching and writing the business plan for MyWhiteWalls.com. According to his plan he required about $100 000 of finance to make it happen. So he saved up $10 000 and went around trying to secure financing for the remainder. He was denied a small business loan by the banks in his area but finally managed to secure the funding from a family friend. He guaranteed to repay the loan plus interest of $30 000 within the first year. Which is a return of 33% on his investment for the investor.

With the $100 000 he used $80 000 to purchase a large consignment of stock. About 4500 Oil paintings.

The other $20 000 was mainly used for warehouse space and PPC advertising.

For the first 7 months he did everything himself while he was paying back the loan. Activities such as

– Customer Service

– Packing and Shipping Orders

– Managing the Ad’s

– Search engine optimisation for the website

– Product feeds

Luckily the website picked up and became popular really quickly and he was able to pay back the full $120 000 within 7 months. After which he hired an employee to deal with shipping and customer service so that he could focus on Marketing and Expansion only.

That is pretty incredible to pay back the full $120 000 in 7 months. It shows proof that his concepts of affordable oil paintings would be popular and in high demand in America.

Peak moments in the past 5 years.

Jwitham says that the peak moment for his business was getting a contract from Overstock.com as one of their primary vendors for wall art. He supplies a lot of the wall art and it is now the largest sales channel outside of his website.

Low moments

On the other end of the spectrum Jwitham says he was sued for copyright infringement as he was selling oil paintings that had just been copied from another artist. The wholesaler that he purchased the 1000’s of paintings from had copied 90% of the paintings of another artist.

Moral of the story research well before you buy anything new. Especially with a creative product like wall art which can infringe on other peoples copyrights.

Who are his customers

Jwitham based his marketing plan on who he expected his customers to be. His assumption was that his customers would be new home owners, housewives and office decorators. He was proven correct based on the success he achieved.

How does he advertise

Having tried every form of online advertising possible Adwords is the only thing that has ever worked consistently. Using paid per click advertising on Bing and Google at the outset to buy targeted traffic while the website was still new. Now he gets quite a bit of organic traffic because he ranks highly for his targeted keywords.

I think there is still space for traditional advertising. If you are targeting housewives, office decorators and new home buyers there are popular magazines that cater to those target audiences.

Even advertising on Facebook could prove profitable as you could target very specific people with your advertising budget and using their likes, employment details or relationship status to filter and target prospective customers.

Affiliate programmes

MyWhiteWalls.com’s affiliate programme also seems to generate many sales.

We have a $200 average order, and have seen conversion rates as high as 12% when traffic is highly targeted.. Any serious affiliate marketer can earn HUGE revenues by pushing this program through SEO, PPC, e-mail marketing, niche sites, etc.. It all works!

In an earlier post to Reddit. A dropshipper used MyWhiteWalls.com as an example of a profitable niche dropshipping opportunity.

He said on average he was able to achieve 3% conversion with his targeted websites. With commissions starting at 15% on $200 you make around $30 per conversion or $90 for every 100 people that you refer to the website through your affiliate link. This means that if you can spend less than $90 on advertising to refer the 100 people then you are making money.

Where does he get his inventory

According to this comment Jwitham sources all the oil paintings from China. Using Alibaba.com and Made-in-China.com he was able to make a connection with a medium size factory in China that specializes in creating quality hand painted oil-paintings.

When asked how does he avoid getting scammed he said:

“Only talk to GOLD suppliers.. Preferably ones who have Audits available for download. Alibaba will have 3rd party audits of the large Gold suppliers.
When in doubt.. Use Escrow.com to pay them. Many factories will accept it.”

What are his margins on each sale

Because all the inventory is shipped from China he worked out that he needed to import at least a 20 foot shipping container worth of product to make it feasible. Because of the way bulk price breaks work if he was to order one 20 foot shipping container. The cost price per painting would be around $40 per piece.

But if he ordered a couple of 40 foot containers the price per painting would drop to just $18 each.

By ordering in bulk he was able to halve his cost price per unit and make his selection of paintings available for sale much bigger.

He also noted that when you start with small inventory numbers the big players like Overstock.com and Amazon Prime will not work with you. You need large inventory counts to meet the demand.

I am assuming that each individual canvas painting cost around $18.

As such

Cost                              Sales Price

Single Canvas paintings            $18                                 $99

Double Canvas paintings          $36                                $99 ~ $200

Triple Canvas paintings            $54                                ± $200

Quadruple Canvas paintings    $72                                ± $200

This assumption that every canvas painting costs $18 even if part of a set may be wrong. But it’s probably close to the average.

What is amazing though is the markup that he is able to achieve if the assumption is correct. For a single canvas his markup is over 400%. It leaves a huge margin for making the sale, stock losses, Delivery expenses, returns and customer service. All the while selling at prices that are much cheaper than he would be able to commission from wholesalers in America.

What are the risks

His first order of 4500 oil paintings cost about $80 000 to purchase and ship to his warehouses in America. Though according to Jwitham the retail value of the product was about $600 000. His thought process was that if he couldn’t sell the product retail. Directly to the customer. He could still become a wholesaler and pay back the $120 000  loan from the proceeds. He was super confident that the plan would work. And had meticulously researched the margins, customer demand and tools necessary to succeed.

What tools does he use to run the business.

To run the website he uses Volusion software.

For monitoring PPC ads, SEO traffic, Conversions, Bounces and internal search he uses Google Analytics, SEO Powersuite and internal Volusion Statistics.

In hind sight he says that he would rather have gone with BigComerce as a Shopping Cart and Ecommerce software as it is feature rich.

Whats new?

Last year MyWhiteWalls.com opened up an art gallery at the popular West Shore Plaza shopping center in Tampa Florida. From his comments online is that been a success.

“In a good mall with heavy traffic though.. It’s profitable either way. My store is averaging about $20k per month in sales this year. Holiday sales is where you make all your money though. I did $45k in December at the mall”

Jwitham’s newest project is ModaSunglass.com where he wholesales Designer Sunglasses usually for around $25 for a set of 12 sunglasses. With free delivery on orders over $200. This is incredibly inexpensive for at set of sunglasses. Around $2 per piece.

My final thoughts

This is the kind of Niche product that is highly vialble for an online business.

The margins are high: Every product he lists has a markup of at least 100%.

Alternatives are Expensive: To buy a similar 5 piece oil painted canvas in America it could cost over $1000 whereas his are all around the $200 dollar mark.

It is an in demand product: E.g. here is a graph from Google Trends which shows the popularity and number of searches for some of the terms that MyWhiteWalls.com is targeting with its PPC advertising:

Google Trends Graph

Last 12 months of search trends for the keywords Wall Art, Abstract Art and Canvas art in North America.

A good back up plan: If everything had failed and he was unable to find one customer to purchase his artwork at retail value he could have sold the stock wholesale in America to pay back the loan. There is a demand for the product so even if he could not sell it he would have found someone else to do it for him.

This example shows me that there are high margin products out there. I would love to hear from you the readers if you know of more niche products like this that have high margins and suit the online ecommerce business platform.

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8 Responses to “Great Business Idea: Very Inspiring story MyWhiteWalls.com”

  1. Great stuff bro, really interesting! Keep it going!!

  2. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  3. Good day! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your great info
    you have got here on this post. I will be
    returning to your blog for more soon.

  4. Thank you, I have recently been looking for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I have
    came upon so far. But, what concerning the conclusion?
    Are you certain about the supply?

    • cdogmaximilian Says:

      The supply of Artwork? Its a difficult question because he invested so much money to import from abroad. You would have to spend a lot of time vetting your suppliers. Even get references when buying that much product.

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