It was late in May 2013 when I heard a chime. It was that familiar distinctive sound. Like a doorbell. The chime was about a notification on my Mac. It was a direct message from Marissa, a former officemate. She was going to send some materials to me via email. I said sure. Minutes after reading through her deck, I was hooked. So began my journey into online retailing. Epicness was born.
From the perspective of the seller, the Juanstore idea is simple. It makes online selling, easy. Create an account— as simple as tying your JuanStore account with your Facebook (that’s it!). Name your store. Pick items you want to sell. And BOOM. You’re good to go.
Juan Store takes care of everything. Like, literally, everything. The inventory, the stocking, theirs. You pick up to 30 items from their list of cool stuff, and you’re all set. There is a huge variety of items. Home and living items like this stainless cocktail shaker. There are toys for kids, and organic, reusable diapers too. There are items for the ladies— watches, and bags. There are mud soaps, hand sanitizes, coffee, and of course, gadgets, phone cases, portable speakers, headphones, and others. You can change the line up anytime you want. It is as simple as pointing, and clicking and saving. That’s it. You can change as frequently as you want to change the entire set of items— or just remove one and swap another. Doesn’t matter so long as you meet their 30 items on the list.
What if you want to sell your own stuff? How does Juan Store take care of this?
Sure you can do this. All you need is to submit the appropriate documentation to them. The usual business permits, is necessary of course.
I’ve sold mainly small items. Notebooks, and iPad bag for men. They ship really quickly. The iPad bag shipped within 24 hours of payment.
Paying is easy. As a merchant, it’s great that Juan Store facilitates all this. For the buyer, whip up your Credit Card or Debit Card, and route it via Paypal and you’re done. You can also go and pay via Dragonpay (online banking and over-the-counter).
They do charge an additional PHP50 for shipping in Manila.
The thing that I haven’t been satisfied with is the lack of shipping outside of Manila. It doesn’t ship to Batangas, for example. They do ship to Laguna though. They also ship to Cebu City, and as far away as Zamboanga and Davao in the South, and also up North to places like Dau, and as far as Baguio.
For Juan Store, they believe this curated discovery of taste is the way to go for selling.
Juan Store of course takes the 70% cut of the selling. They after all, provide everything, and merchants opening up their store are basically, agents on commission. Which is fine. For a merchant like me, the innovation is the easy of use by which they can set something like this. They really take the complexity out of the whole business of e-commerce. To extend this is to extend the product line of things people are interested in.
How is it that I managed to sell?
People basically see the automatic Facebook posts and the tweets. When you open your Juan Store, there is a setting there for publishing your store items online. I just think of it as advertising. “To take advantage of my network.” That sounds awful, reading it back to myself.
There is some hesitancy on my part though. I don’t know when it starts being spammy. Juan Store doesn’t auto post frequently mind you. It is simply for me— a matter of being how tacky. You get me right?
Right before I signed up for JuanStore, Marissa sent me a deck explaining what Juan Store was about. It also contained who ran it. Certified geek technopreneur Timothy Go, and backed by such directors as Manny Ayala (Chairman of Moanima), and Nix Nolledo (Co-Founder of IMMAP) were enough to convince me that this is a serious venture.
Looking at the months I’ve been a member, the question now in my head is: how do you sell more? Is it because people aren’t interested in the items? Hard to pay? Hesitant to buy stuff online? I’ve certainly asked people about it. There is always that mistrust at the back of your head that the item you bought won’t get delivered.
I’ve long since moved passed it. Online shopping for me is about getting things, the local stores don’t normally have, or cheaper items. For others, who frequent online stores, it is about saving time. Who has time to shop during weekends when you would rather spend it with family and loved ones?
What about people who want to sell items? I think Juan Store is a perfect avenue for people who want to get a taste of online selling. Certainly, I think this is the Multiply idea, version 2.0. There are other variations of the same idea. People buy and sell items all the time on Facebook, for example. Juan Store, and others like it is the step towards formalizing, and democratizing online selling. Juan Store makes it easier for the buyer and the seller to get together online. It’s brilliant and simple.
Looking back now, I think the choice of “Epicness” as a name for my juanstore was serendipitous. The experience as a merchant is epicness. When I hear from buyers that they got the package, and love the items, I hope that too was an Epicness experience for them.