When Gillian Zonruiter left England to live in the US, she couldn’t have predicted the disappointment she’d find in, well, what she didn’t find.
Her love for English furniture was met with a totally lacking market for the distinctively styled pieces. She quickly realized that if she wanted access to this type of furniture, it was up to her. And so was born, Streets of London Antiques.
Gillian began by converting an old tavern into a shop and importing pieces from England. Every item she imports is one of a kind, and a few stylistically similar local items are up for grabs as well.
Once she was up and running, Gillian realized that a specialty shop like hers wasn’t a hub for foot traffic. So she took to the internet. Beginning with Ruby Lane, a vintage marketplace, then moving on to Etsy, Chairish, eBay, and an internal online shop.
“I was amazed that people were willing to buy these items sight unseen,” Gillian says, speaking to the love and value these timeless pieces hold for their devotees.
Another surprise for Gillian was how difficult it was to ship the large antique furniture. She recalls the frustration of trying to figure out the processes and the confusion of it all.
Making shipping feel approachable and affordable for her customers was a challenge for Gillian. “Pricing a shipment on Etsy was difficult — when you have to put ‘email for quotes’ or ‘send zip code for shipping quotes’ you run the risk of losing them. It’s not a good start,” she says, “if they need to take additional steps, you may miss the sale.“
Seeking a solution, Gillian turn to uShip to ship her antique furniture. The affordable, predictive pricing, fast delivery time, ease of booking and efficiency in price comparison made it an easy choice for her.
“Finding uShip has made a big difference in my business,” Gillian says. Thanks to the uShip’s pricing tool, her customers can find out right away how much they can expect to pay for shipping.
“The quicker they can have the shipping information, the quicker they can make a decision.”
After using the platform for a while, Gillian’s honed the details of making uShip work well for Streets of London’s sales. Rather than offering free shipping on all items, with costs rolled into their prices, she’s chosen transparent pricing with the option to calculate shipping before checkout. On high-dollar items with strong margins, she’ll occasionally offer free shipping as a selling point.
She’s also nailed down exactly how to make uShip’s pricing options work in her favor. Prices on the marketplace weren’t what she was hoping, so she turned to the Name Your Price (NYP) option. With this method, shipping customers let carriers know what they’d like to pay for the shipment, and carriers can accept or offer another price on the shipment. Gillian found that through NYP, she was getting affordable rates that would make cross-country shipping viable for just about any shipment.
“I’m happy with the service,” Gillian says.
It’s no wonder – she now spends her days delivering the beautiful pieces that bring her joy to others who share it. Making a living off of her passion, while fine-tuning the details of her craft, Gillian has truly captured her market in a practical and lucrative fashion.