I started vpets in a spare bedroom at a rented house in Burwood, NSW.
In the early days, about four 1.2m heavy-duty shelves were enough to store most of my goods.
When I outgrew this arrangement, I started renting self-storage warehouse units at Storage Plus Kingsgrove and eventually at Kennards Self Storage Homebush to store the goods that would not fit into my house.
All this time I was packing and shipping orders from my Burwood home. Whenever I ran out of stock at home, I would drive to the self-storage warehouse unit and bring back whatever I needed back home. This was not an efficient way of working but it worked for a while.
As my orders grew, I could no longer stack a lot of boxes outside my house without exposing them to the weather. Neither could I go on holiday because there was no one else to help me pack and ship the boxes.
Solution: Third Party Logistics (3PL) Warehouses in Sydney
I searched for a couple of Third Party Logistics (3PL) warehouses in Sydney and found two that were willing to work with me.
I needed to free up my time to work on other parts of the business. I was spending too much time doing the logistics, packing and shipping that I could not spend enough time on other things.
It was necessary to start the business with whatever I had and do what I did to save money but that way of operating was unsustainable as my orders grew.
I decided to move my goods to a 3PL warehouse in Sydney in 2021 but I found it necessary to do it in stages.
I Asked My Landlord To Reduce My Rent and They Said No!
I decided to move house in January 2021 after my request to reduce my rent was denied by my landlord.
I was paying about $50 too much per week in the current market when similar and better houses in the area were struggling to get tenants and charging up to $70 less per week.
I decided it was time to move after almost five and a half years of renting that old house since the owners did not seem to have an idea of how bad the rental market is. The house needed new paint and some repairs but I put up with it while I was there.
They were going to have to reduce rent for me or their new tenant. They took a gamble that I was not going to move out and they lost that bet.
I started moving in mid-February 2021 after I found a small granny flat to rent by myself.
I no longer wish to share my living space with dirty housemates or make my living space look like a warehouse.
Therefore, packing and shipping from home were not going to be an option for me anymore.
Stage One: Move All Goods to Kennards Self Storage and Start Shipping Out of Their Warehouse
These were all the shelves I moved from my Burwood home to Kennards Self Storage Homebush on 20 February 2021.
I started packing and shipping all my orders from Kennards Self Storage Homebush on 25 February 2021.
I stack the boxes nicely in a corner of the loading area with clear instructions for the courier drivers to ask the reception about where my boxes are.
I soon realised that the courier drivers operating in the Homebush area do not pick up parcels every day. Even if they come, they may be too lazy to go ask the reception to direct them to the place to pick up the boxes. It is simply easier to mark the parcels as “not there” and drive off. That’s less work for them and they can get away with it.
I use Sendle.com to ship my parcels and they, in turn, use CouriersPlease and Fastway courier. If my parcels do not get picked up on the day it was meant to be picked up, Sendle.com sends their own people to pick up the parcels the day after and drops them off at a depot.
This has been causing shipping delays since 25 February 2021 and it has been a very frustrating experience for me and my customers.
The parcels are ready for collection but are being picked up at least one business day late.
Stage Two: Move Goods From Kennards Self Storage to 3PL Warehouse
I just sold all my shelves yesterday.
Now, I have a lot more room in my storage unit to move stuff around and organise my goods.
I am in the process of organising my goods into two groups – One for vpets.com.com online sales and the other for vegan markets.
I wish to keep the stock separate so that I can keep track of my stock levels in a more efficient way.
Once the organisation of my goods is complete, I plan to call the 3PL warehouse to send their truck to pick up all the goods I plan to store at their warehouse.
I will move the rest of the vegan market goods to a smaller self-storage unit.
There will be a transition period as I move my goods to the 3PL warehouse and connect my online shopping cart to their systems.
This is where I am right now and I appreciate your patience and understanding over the next month or two.