Australia’s Oz Robots has earned recognition over the last two years as a leader in the automated vacuum cleaner market. We sat down with co-founder Bryn Chapman to learn more about the company’s beginnings and its impressive rise to prominence.
Mr. Chapman, choosing to start a new business is a risky venture. What inspired you to take on the challenge?
I have always found buying and selling online interesting and challenging. Before starting Oz Robots, I was a founder of one of Australia’s largest online Consumer Electrics companies. It was a great learning experience, and it enabled me to eventually move on to a new niche.
Your new niche is a pretty specific one. What gave you the idea to sell robotic vacuum cleaners?
Around six years ago, I used to vacuum our home every Saturday afternoon. I never enjoyed the task and after injuring my back playing sports I was unable to vacuum. I thought there must be an easier way and after some research, I purchased one of iRobot’s first robot vacuum cleaners. I found it to be both easy to use and extremely efficient. The only issue was that Australia had very few spares or models to choose from. It was then that I began importing a few to test the market. To cut a long story short, after a very short time, we are now Australia’s largest robot vacuum cleaner online store.
Let’s fill in that short story a little bit. Did you run into any unexpected obstacles along the way?
I first started selling Robot Vacuum Cleaners on eBay. I was actually the first person in Australia selling these items on the auction site and soon realized that eBay is very price competitive. Buyers shopping on eBay are not interested in service; they only go for the best price. It was therefore difficult to offer the type of service that I wanted to offer my customers. I found that eBay fees are also extremely expensive. I was forced to close down the eBay store and after deliberating for a year, I started Oz Robots and haven’t looked back.
Oz Robots is located on level two at 608 Harris Street in Ultimo, NSW. Learn more about the company online at www.ozrobots.com.au or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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