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Online Coffee Business?

This is a discussion on Online Coffee Business? within the Coffee Industry Forum forums, part of the Coffee Industry category; I've seen a number of online coffee businesses and in fact I am building one right now myself. Under the rules, I don't think I'm ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2004
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    Online Coffee Business?

    I've seen a number of online coffee businesses and in fact I am building one right now myself. Under the rules, I don't think I'm allowed to say what it is, but you can send me a private message if you want to know.

    Anyway, my question is whether any of you are currently involved with an online coffee business and if so what is your biggest plus and what is the biggest negative.

    Thanks,
    Howard

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2003
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    Medina, Ohio
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    online coffee biz

    Hi Howard

    Welcome to the forum, I started my online store about a year ago and it is doing pretty good, we are building a good customer base and have stayed out of the red. For whatever reason, we have sold way more tea than we have coffee. It's not even close, tea orders out perform our coffee by 15 to 1 on our site. I dont have any answeres other than the way search engines have us indexed. I have no method of advertising other than search engines and word of mouth. We do our share of coffee. In fact we will be looking into getting our own roasting equipment someday but for know intermediary is the way to go. Good luck in your venture. Hope all works well for you. If you need any advice let me know. Oh and remember if you dont take care of the customers, the web is a dangerous place to do business, people will shread you if they feel that you are not being honest or if you dont take care of them.

    Ron
    www.mightybeancoffee.com (shameless plug)

  4. #3
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle,Washington USA
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    Hey Howard:

    We're a roaster and have had our site for several years. The biggest thing I've found is to create a good image and maintain it. What I mean is to keep it as fresh as possible. We've changed the look (feel) 3 times in 7 years, and each time we've made it easier for our customers to shop and pleasing for them to visit. The worst thing that's happened to us was one of the domain registration companies dropped the ball and someone else got one of our company domain names which a lot of our traffic was sent to. The result was the loss of a large number of our customers without knowing how to find us. This company could not explain how this happened and only offered us an apology and in the meantime sales dropped like the falling rain. Since then we had to rebuild our presence. So I would advise you to make sure the company you choose to register your domain name with is a credible one.
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the advice

    Ron,

    Thanks for the advice. You said...

    It's not even close, tea orders out perform our coffee by 15 to 1 on our site.
    Well, I guess it's good we're going to have tea too (as well as some chocolate). We intend for all of our coffee to be "Fair Trade" coffee and shipped within 24-36 hours of roasting for freshness.

    I agree too, on taking care of the customer. That's going to be a main focus of our company (CoffeeFair).

    -Howard
    CoffeeFair

  6. #5
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    austin
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    ebeans software

    Howard,

    Take a look at this software it is well worth it if you're looking to run a coffee business online. Go to ww.scullyinteractive.com. It's a big plus for me. I cannot begin to list all the functions it can do!!

    Mark
    Faracafe

  7. #6
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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/Bukit Sentul, West Java
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    This looks bloody good Mark, I'am going to see if they can do this for roasters based outside of the US.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  8. #7
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2004
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    1
    Hi,

    I too would like to start an online coffee business, though I am only planning on targetting my local upstate area.

    I am having trouble finding industry information, I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction! Thanks for any help! And good luck Howard!

  9. #8
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    Mar 2004
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    North Carolina
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    Hi all:

    I have become very interested in a coffee biz. I am working as an engineer and I do some freelance website development. But a coffee biz. sounds very appealing to me both for social reasons and also financial reasons. My goal is to make a decent living, not to become a millionaire.

    I would really like to start a coffee bar. But I am too afraid to take that much loan. So, I was thinking maybe online coffee biz might be a good starting point for me. I have a few questions regarding online biz..

    1. Do you do the roasting etc at home? or do you have to do it in a commercial location? I guess doing this at home will cause too many problems. I do have a friend who has a small grocery. I can perhaps rent a little space from him.

    2. How do you send your roasted coffee to the customers?

    3. Can anyone give me a brief overview of what I would need to start online coffee business? Mainly, I am interested to know what kind of equipments I will need.

    Thanks for any help. I truly appreciate it.

    S.A

  10. #9
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    Mar 2004
    Location
    CA, USA
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    Coffee Business in Slovakia

    Hi all,

    We are the only one who is doing spciality coffee in Slovakia and it is very tough. Anyway. We closed our cafe and shop and selling only via internet. We made one portal system which deals only with topics about coffee. We have discussion forum, articles, reviews etc. Here we get all coffee fans. The second page we have is a internet shop. I do not have to say that the coffee portal links to the shop this is the only way how could we atract some customers.
    If internet shop is done right it can cost you nothing to make it. Well maybe 8 bucks for a domain.... We are very stingy and we use free mail, free host, free scripts. once you install the scripts you can do the page administration via a webpage. you just login as an admin. To maintain a shop costs us no money,only time... well check it for yourself. sorry the content is in slovak, but i guess you will get the idea:

    portal : http://greenplantation.srv.hu
    shop: http://valcs.srv.hu

    soon we will have a new shop where you can change languages and also currencies. our only problem is how to accept CC, but we already found one bank we can cooperate with. i do not want to bore you, but if you want to know more just ask...
    Probat LG3, Behmor 1600, coffee01.com, greenplantation.com

  11. #10
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    Mar 2004
    Location
    CA, USA
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    web page design

    yes i absolutelly agree, but that costs $$$$$$.... my point was that you can make your own web page with a great functional atributes (is this the right word????) like forums, coments, making a very own online community. For my portal i use free PHP-Nuke portal system (there are at least 5 other one) and for my shop i use free java script nopecart, which i will change now for zencart with multiple currency and alnguage choice. and that is in europe vital, because we are soooo many and sooo different.
    but i totally agree on the promotion. that what i lack on my portal. my problem is a bit complicated, because my market is in Slovakia so i have only a 5mil market with a limited internet access (what is improoving) and a huge misstrust towards the internet as a shopping tool. you guys over the see you are lucky one in this respect.
    Probat LG3, Behmor 1600, coffee01.com, greenplantation.com

 

 
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