SAN FRANCISCO – With two laptops, one server and no venture capital, Tom Johnson, founder of www.rubylane.com, used his kitchen table as his office to begin a simple e-commerce website. Today, celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Ruby Lane is the premier online site for antiques, art, vintage collectables and jewelry.
“It’s been an amazing decade,” says Johnson. “It’s hard to imagine it all started in my kitchen. We’ve come a long way, increasing the number of vendors we support from 1 to 1,750, and the number of items sold on the site each week has increased from 27 to 3,600. But our proudest accomplishment is that we have been able to build a reputation as the premier online venue for antiques, art, vintage collectables and jewelry.”
In just one year, Ruby Lane rapidly grew in popularity and was named one of the top 20 fastest growing sites in 1999 by Media Matrix, with a visit growth of 38% per week. Over the site’s 10 year history buyers and sellers around the world have come to rely on Ruby Lane to maintain a secure and user-friendly one-stop venue that not only includes a great selection, but offers exceptional customer service and support that has helped over a half million registered users.
Throughout the past 10 years numerous features and services have been added to the site to enhance the user’s experience and assist the rapidly growing number of vendors utilizing the site to sell their one-of-a-kind collectables and antiques. Features included Monthly Finds, where vendors can profile single items sent to subscribers, Participatory Print Ad Campaigns, where vendors can take part in advertising their goods, Exclusive Programs that feature vendors who exclusively use Ruby Lane to sell their items, and the Quality Assurance Program, that assures consumers that each item sold on Ruby Lane is authentic and of high quality. In addition, Ruby Lane incorporated a Return Policy to ensure customer satisfaction, Live Help for users to chat directly with a member of Ruby Lane’s Customer Service team and receive on-line assistance, and the addition of their blog, Notes from The Lane (http://blog.rubylane.com). Notes from The Lane is the most recent addition offering a wide range of articles on topics relating to antiques & art, vintage collectibles and jewelry, as well as loads of tips on how to succeed as a seller in the online marketplace. It serves as a participatory venue for all visitors, both Ruby Lane sellers and shoppers.
“We have worked diligently with our vendors and visitors to create a user-friendly shopping experience, similar to actually strolling within a romantic European shopping district in an exclusive neighborhood of an old-world city,” says Johnson. “Our commitment to all our users remains seated in quality items and customer service.”
Additional milestones include:
Going from just 7 vendors to more than 1,700
Starting with 366 collectibles listed on the site to more than 300,000 today
1 registrant to over 1/2 million registrants
The number of employees has grown from 2 to 15 professionals
In the first week of business an average of 27 items were sold each week, now roughly 3,600 items are sold weekly
Initially roughly 100 items were added daily, now 750,000 are projected to be added in 2008
About Ruby Lane
Founder Tom Johnson combined his passion for collecting with enterprise technological know-how to create Ruby Lane, the world’s premier online shopping destination for antiques, collectibles, fine art, and jewelry. Named after his mother, Ruby, and bringing together over 1,700 individually-owned shops offering unique items from around the world, Ruby Lane offers more than 300,000 items in inventory ranging from antique furniture to depression glass, fine china, vintage jewelry, heirloom linens, books, stamps, paintings, sculpture, hand-blown glass, ceramics, and more. Ruby Lane goes beyond a typical e-commerce website and offers a user-friendly shopping experience, similar to actually strolling within a romantic European shopping district in an exclusive neighborhood of an old-world city. This year marks Ruby Lane’s 10 year anniversary. For more information please visit www.rubylane.com and http://blog.rubylane.com.