Small Business Profile - Wantboard

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1. What exactly does Wantboard Inc do?
Wantboard is an online marketplace that lets you request and buy items that aren’t available in your country.
For example, if there's an item that you want to buy, but it’s only available in Tokyo, we'll match you with someone who lives there, they'll buy the item for you, and ship it to you.
Our mission is to create a more accessible and inclusive world by making it easy for anyone to get anything from anywhere.
 
2. How long have you been in business?
A year and a half.
 
3. Where did the idea/inspiration stem from for Wantboard?
Mainly from the frustration of the complexity in dealing with most online retailers today.  Some won't ship, or items aren't available in my country.
Solving the scarcity of popular and niche items around the world is the problem that we're focused on.
Currently, many of the latest electronics, trendsetting fashions and niche, speciality items are difficult to
obtain outside their country of origin, even though demand for these items exists throughout the world.
 
4. What are some of the challenges you've faced?
1.) Building consumer confidence online
2.) Keeping up with demand
3.) Dealing with fraud
 
5. How did you overcome them?
1.) Continued on our principles of honesty, transparency and communication.  We give our customers as much information as possible and present all costs upfront. In fact, if we know they can get the product easier somewhere else, we'll let them know.
2.) We've grown our team, hired more staff, and recently moved our fulfillment operations to a new warehouse.  We've also expanded our product sourcing strategy to include new innovative channels like on the ground shoppers.  
3.) We've created processes that include checks and balances as well as customer identification and validation, to protect our own shoppers as well as anyone else who may or mat not shop online.

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6. What does the balance of 2018 look like?
We'll be working on upgrading our warehouse operations as well as launch new products and services like our "Virtual Shopping" Program
 
7. What do the next 3 years look like?
We expect to continue to grow and use that revenue to expand our service offering and our reach to new channels in new countries.
We're currently recruiting more on the ground shoppers in cities around the world and working improving our technology.
 
8. What advice do you have for others looking to start a small business?
When your passionate about your business, stick to your vision. Be dedicated, it's always hard to get these things off the ground.  But time and dedication will be rewarded with growth.

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9. How has operating in Mississauga benefited you/the company?

The Mississauga community has been a great customer base for us.  There are many shoppers in our demographic.
It's got a very diverse audience and we offer niche products to a variety of people, so there's no shortage of potential buyers.
Also we've opened our new warehouse in Mississauga close to the airport, this gives us a prime location being close to our customer base in the GTA as well as being close to most of our shipping partners at this logistics hub