When Tiffany Wilkie and her husband launched their wholesale closeout DVD business six years ago, they didn't know that they had a blockbuster on their hands. Yet as sales grew, they soon realized that even in an age of downloads and streaming video, many shoppers wanted to buy discount DVDs. "My husband and I started Mountain View Movies as a small eBay business in New Jersey," recalls Wilkie. "We quickly realized we had a strong business model on our hands, and decided to leave corporate America to pursue this business full time. I was a computer programmer, and Mike was an executive chef. We sold our home in New Jersey, left our jobs, and purchased a home in the western Catskill Mountains of New York state in 2005."
The company prospered, outgrowing its eBay roots and evolved into a sophisticated website. "The demand was intense and we knew there was a void in the industry that we could fill. Our passion to be one of the top DVD wholesalers helped us to tune into our customers needs and build our business around those needs," says Wilkie. The company now competes head to head with veteran wholesalers, still going strong in an industry that has seen other suppliers fall away.
Mountain View Movies sells to a wide range of customers, including video stores, discount outlets, video game retailers, specialty shops, independent retailers, rack jobbers, and flea market vendors. "All of our in-stock items can be found on our website, with real-time stock quantities," notes Wilkie. Customers can purchase either directly from the website or over the phone during business hours, Monday through Friday. The company focuses exclusively on selling from its own website now. Nowadays, the company operates out of rural New York state, with a warehouse in Davenport, NY, from which all orders are packed and shipped. There is also an office in Oneonta, NY, that handles customer service. Even in a down economy, the company is doing quite well, says Wilkie. "In the face of the economic crisis, Mountain View Movies has thrived and is having a record shattering 2011. We have loyal, repeat customers who depend on us for inventory. Our customers are the most important aspect of our business, and our focus is always to keep them 100 percent satisfied."
DVDs, Blu-rays and Games
The movie wholesaler currently carries brand new, retail ready DVDs, Blu-ray movies and video games, with an expanding product line. "We added video games in 2008 and Blu-rays in 2010," Wilkie explains. The number of titles in stock changes daily, and the company receives new shipments each week. "We normally have around 500 different titles to offer at any given time," she adds, "We believe that keeping our stock fresh is a big part of our success."
Adding Blu-ray movies presents some challenges because the new, higher-end format is not always available in the seconds supply channel. "We are continuing to focus on expanding our Blu-ray selection," Wilkie says, but she admits that, "because they are still new to the retail market, there are not many in the closeout markets. However, as Blu-rays continue to replace DVDs, we are expecting to have access to more in the closeout arena."
Mountain View Movies is making good ground with its new video game sales. Their $4.99 video games are extremely popular. Horror and Kids genres are also excellent sellers. "We have customers who resell at flea markets, where margins are smaller, and those who sell in brick and mortar stores, who can reach for higher margins," Wilkie explains. "We have many Amazon.com resellers who carefully research the items they purchase, buying low from us and selling high on Amazon. Every title yields a different profit." As a wholesaler, the company requires a $50 minimum, with no drop ship program available. On the website, DVDs are classified by genre, and each title has the actual cover image, a detailed description and an "At a glance" quick description, as well as the quantity remaining in stock, which is updated in real-time.
The company is taking several steps to be especially welcoming to first time customers. "We offer a ten percent discount to new customers, as well as free UPS shipping to all customers if the order is over $300," Wilkie says. Another added value is the company's expertise. "We also spend ample time speaking with our customers, determining their needs, and assisting with what may work best for them. Each customer is different, and we approach each customer as a unique case with unique needs," she adds.
The Joy Of Tech
As a tech professional, Wilkie started the company with an edge. "With my computer engineering background, I was able to develop our current website in-house. It is user-friendly and makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and we believe this has contributed greatly to the success of our business," she says. That's especially important for a company that generates 100 percent of its business online. The site has been live since 2006, and was revamped entirely in 2007. Wilkie continues to modify the website in response to shopper comments. "With customer feedback, we continue to make improvements so that the website better serves our customer base. We want the site to be as user-friendly for our customers as possible," she adds.
A big part of that success is making sure that web shoppers can find the site, and the company takes search engine rankings very seriously. "There are millions of websites on the Internet, so developing our website so that it organically appears at the top of the search engines for all relevant industry searches is absolutely vital to the success of our business," Wilkie explains. After years of practice, much research and lots of trial and error, Mountain View Movies is now the number one search result for its targeted industry search terms.
"First impressions are vital to the success of a business," notes Wilkie. "If a reseller is searching for 'wholesale DVDs' in a search engine, they will find us at the top. If they click to see what we are about, they find a professional website with a clear path to locating products they seek." However, keeping customers happy is more important than drawing them in the first place. "When you land on our site, you know you are dealing with a professional company you can trust. We have industry seals, testimonials, information about our company, and most importantly, the products our customers want," Wilkie emphasizes. Mountain View Movies also offers a complete product list download, which is a Microsoft Excel file of all stocked products. This is useful for customers who look up items by UPC, or need access to all the company's titles in an easy-to-read file.
The wholesaler also brings shoppers back by reaching out to them. "We email a newsletter each week, which includes all of our new stock for that week, their prices and images," says Wilkie. "If there are new specials or clearance items added, we include those as well. Our customers are directed to our website's 'New Stock' area, so all the latest arrivals can be found easily in one spot. Some titles sell out in seconds, so our customers need to be able to find the new items quickly and check out with ease."
For more information, contact:
Mountain View Movies
PO Box 165
Davenport, NY 13750
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