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Onceit talks deep discounts and sale events

Kiwi high-end clearance ecommerce store Onceit works with more than 400 suppliers from New Zealand’s fashion, beauty and homewares industries to offload excess stock without brand damage. We had a chat with executive director Jay Goodey ahead of its once-yearly sale of sales.

The site revolves around offering designer goods at deep discounts, with an offering that changes every day as new sales are launched. It began with a handful of brand partners in 2010 and now clears more than 25,000 orders per month. Its big Christmas sale will launch on November 22 with more than 40 brands including Kathryn Wilson, Trilogy, Citta, Zambesi, Asics and more.

“We are really excited to be able to present our customers such an impressive calibre of brands at amazing prices all in the one place. We think our customers will be very surprised with the width of offer,” says Goodey.

We asked him to shed more light on Onceit’s philosophy around sales.

Tell us about the role that discount resellers like Onceit play in the retail ecosystem.

When we started Onceit our focus was on serving fashion brands selling seasonal products. We still very much are involved in moving seasonal stock but the main difference is now we see ourselves as a value proposition for customers.

For instance, homeware is less seasonal and therefore may be less about deep discounts but more about the inherent value of the item. So some furniture retailers are bringing in items just for our market and we don’t show a discount on the item but we may be able to sell a velvet couch for $1000 less than other retailers. 

Onceit relies on a discount mentality, but has managed to position itself as a premium retail destination regardless. It must be a tight line to walk. Can you tell us more about how you manage to juggle those two opposing paradigms?

Onceit have always tried to maintain brand integrity for our suppliers. We know that for fashion brands if they have to deal with excess inventory they want to move it in the most efficient way that will protect their brand position. Equally our customers vote with their wallets and respond well to brands they love, so that has focused our direction too.

It is something that is evolving particularly because we have branched out in to a lot of verticals and price points but I think it’s a strength of our market and it’s the reason why a lot of local and overseas brands see us as a viable option for stock.

Your unique proposition already revolves around deeply-discounted goods. How do you find extra margin to cut on this ‘Once a Year’ sale?

The beauty of online retail is that you can be relatively efficient in handling product which means we can work on slimmer margins and pass on savings to customers. We are also fortunate at Onceit to have big member base which means brands can access a lot of customers relatively easily so there is much less barriers to selling products at scale. 

What are your goals for this sale event?

For our customers, it’s a chance to get access to an amazing selection of brands and prices all in the one marketplace. And for our top suppliers it’s a chance to sell a high volume of items in very short time, and hopefully we break a few records for them along the way. 

This story first appeared at The Register.

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