003: Nick Molnar – Selling ICE in Australia

Nick Molnar launched leading American online jeweller Ice.com in Australia in December 2012 under the local brand Iceonline.com.au.

Prior to launching Ice in Australia and New Zealand, Nick was an Investment Analyst for one of Australasia’s largest Venture Capitalist funds, M. H. Carnegie & Co.

Having developed a critical understanding of Australian retail and consumer landscape, Nick recognized a significant gap in the Australian market; the ability to purchase quality jewellery at affordable prices, as per the Ice legacy.

By introducing Ice to Australia, marking the first international expansion, Nick was able to satisfy this market gap and redefine the jewellery landscape in Australia.

Impact Person

Nick's boss of the Venture Capital Firm he used to work for, Mark Carnegie.  Mark told Nick “you're not using this to its full capacity”.  As a result, Nick did more market research, confirming that Mark was right.  Nick shifted into the higher volume, lower price product.  That turned the company around and in the next month they ended up turning over what they did in the previous year, and 12 months later they sold the most amount of jewelry on eBay in Australia.  Mark has continued to help Nick by constantly asking the probing questions.  Nick admits that everytime Mark asks those questions, they seem to double their business.

Failure

Tapping into certain products.  Most products come from outside Australia.  The biggest failure is around shipment times around America.  They ship from all over the NY, L.A., Ohio and everywhere in the states all the way to Sydney and then they Express Post it out through the local network. No matter how well and accurate you explain it all, people just want that better service.  Especially the eBay customer.

Success

“We do a lot of work with eBay.  Regularly on the homepage of eBay, do Valentine's promotions, Christmas promotions, eBay Deals, etc.  About 12 mos. ago when eBay contacted us for a deal, and we went back with the best possible deal we could offer them.  We ended up selling 500 units in 6 hours.  It just shows the power of the eBay customer.  I think a lot of people discount eBay.  They see it as a discount marketplace.  It's just not true”.  Nick then goes on to refer to building the eBay Store and Listing in the right way, and even indirectly plugs Auction Pro Templates as they did Nick's eBay Store and Listing.  “You can make it a very professional store to the point where people don't even realize they're on eBay.  They think they're on your website.  It allows you to build brand equity.  It's not just a place where people sell at home anymore.  It's a proper marketplace”.

Nick talks about another deal they ran last week they sold 1350 products in 12 hours.  And that was at a $1 profit.  But what it did was brought a lot of traffic to their store. People that bought other things have now gone through their process, have met them and are comfortable with them.  To buy jewelry online you want to be able to trust the person, know they are real.

Interesting Moments

  • “Always listen to people that are smarter than you, which is most people”.
  • “Being able to sell shear volume.  Work really, really hard through your own site to drive revenue.  Your paying for every for every person that visits your site.  Where this just shows the power of getting eBay right.  People can do extremely well with eBay and it's doing the basic things right”.
  • “With persistance, you will look back and see that your failures weren't that great, and they shouldn't have detoured you as much as they did at the time “.

Helpful Tool Links

  • Magento – recommends for everyone.  Nick says they can get 6000 products live in a matter of hours because they understand how the modules work.
  • Thermal printer to stop paying rediculous prices on ink.  It will add a lot of value in the long run.
  • Terapeak
  • Structure tittles and description around what people are looking for.

Contact Information

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