Archive for February, 2014

Online gift registry aims to become largest in New Zealand

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

Online gift registry The Lovely has one goal in mind and that’s to be the biggest in New Zealand.

Set up by George Kivell and Sarah Melrose last July  due to the pair’s frustration with the registry offering in New Zealand when planning their own weddings, the e-business plans to become the largest gift registry in New Zealand by 2017, with 5,000 users forecast by the end of the year.

If the duo makes it to 5,000 users that would mean a return of $250,000 for their investment of $15,000.

However, The Lovely expects most revenue will come from retailers paying for their products to appear in the featured section of the site.

Kivell and Melrose, who both work in the design industry, say they also plan to launch the site in Australia and further afield.

Melrose says the fact that the site is geared for all celebrations and no physical stock is held would allow the concept to translate to international clientele easily.

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Kiwi woman opens online store just weeks before giving birth

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Photo credit; Frank de Kleine on Flickr

Photo credit; Frank de Kleine on Flickr

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind, Kiwi woman Sandy Hayer opened her online business Tummy Mummy NZ just weeks before giving birth to her youngest daughter.

The online store sells products from the Earth Mama Angel Baby range of care products for mums and babies. Hayer used the products in the UK and set up the business in New Zealand in 2012 when she realised she couldn’t get her hands on the products here.

“I used the Earth Mama range of products during pregnancy and postpartum recovery with my first child when I lived in the UK and when I found out they didn’t deliver to New Zealand I was horrified!” Hayer says. “I felt that the products needed to be available here so I guess I had a ‘lightbulb moment’ and took the opportunity. I was quite relaxed about it though as at that time I had no great goals other than to make the products available to other mothers and their families.”

Hayer says it’s been challenging balancing the business with raising two young children, but it’s rewarding to be able to help mothers and babies and it’s also rewarding to be able to have a flexible schedule while raising her children.

Plans for the business include trying to increase sales.

“This year I’d like to see an increase in sales particularly for our gift bundles within corporate offices,” the entrepreneur says. “I’m looking forward to heading to the city to meet with companies and show the quality of this range that is 100% free of all toxic chemicals, which I believe all products should be – especially for newborns and children.”

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New domain name extensions coming to NZ

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Photo credit; Tristan the Booklight on Flickr

Photo credit; Tristan the Booklight on Flickr

New Zealand domain name registration provider Freeparking is getting ready to help Kiwis to register the influx of brand new internet domain names as soon as they are released.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is expected to release hundreds of new domain name extensions such as .BIKE, .ESTATE and .CAMERA.

“Customer feedback across the industry indicates that the introduction of hundreds of new domain name extensions within a relatively short period of time will create confusion and uncertainty among web users and SMEs in New Zealand and internationally,” says Maria Brosnan, Business Manager at Freeparking. “As a leading domain name registration and web services provider, we have made it our mission at Freeparking to ensure New Zealand small businesses are provided with the highest level of support to navigate such an historic change and take advantage of the new marketing opportunities arising from this event”

To help New Zealand businesses and marketers in what’s regarded by industry analysts as the biggest change to the Internet since its inception; Freeparking has released a dedicated online pre-registration Watchlist through which customers will be able to submit their expression of interest for any new domain name extension.

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Parcel volumes up as more Kiwis order online

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Photo credit; Lydia on Flickr

Photo credit; Lydia on Flickr

While overall mail volumes continue to decline, parcel volumes are on the rise, growing by 4% per year.

The rise in parcel shipments is due to the fact that more Kiwis are ordering items online, New Zealand Post chief operating officer Ashley Smout said.

But the rise in parcel volume cannot stop the fall of general mail volume, which is falling at a rate of about 8% per year. Smout said the decline was the biggest ever in 2013, compared with between 5% and 6% in the past.

He said the company is meeting this challenge with more advanced sorting procedures to reduce the amount of manual sorting and providing posties with different modes of transport.

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Kiwi takes pawning online

Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Photo credit; Joel Kramer on Flickr

Photo credit; Joel Kramer on Flickr

Kiwis no longer have to leave the comfort of their own homes when they want to pawn possessions, thanks for Queenstown resident Samantha Bell.

Bell has opened New Zealand’s first ever online pawn shop.

These online versions of the classic brick and mortar money lenders have already been successful in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

And now Bell’s company, Plej, has successfully brought the practice to the islands, acquiring a physical premises in Queenstown last April after having successfully launched its website prior to that.

Plej offers short-term loans of $100 to $10,000, secured against things like jewellery and watches, sports gear, collectibles, art and antiques, offering three-month loans, which incur monthly interest of 10-20%, depending on the amount borrowed.

That works out to a total of $300 of interest on a $1000 loan, or $60 on the smallest available $100 loan, for the three-month term.

“There were online pawnbrokers in the UK, States, Canada- but nobody was doing it in New Zealand,” Bell says.

After proving their identity, customers are sent courier bags to ship their items to Queenstown, where they are valued and securely stored. At the end of the three months they repay the loan to have their items couriered back to them.

By law, anything that isn’t reclaimed has to be sold either at an auction house or through sites like Trade Me.

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