It’s rare to find a store online that offers free or extremely reduced shipping expenses, but at Hoffman’s House of Treasures, the shipping is twenty cents for any size order – everyday. That’s because Julie Hoffman, owner of the online super site, also owns a separate mailing business that allows her to ship packages for almost nothing.
The cheap shipping is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hoffman’s online. Featuring candles, body sprays, soaps, perfumes, linen sprays, lotions and much more, Hoffman’s offers another unique angle: she also sells products for those that would like to get into a similar type of business.
Spray bottles, roll-on bottles, squirt bottles, soap molds, scents, colors and other bath and body product supplies are offered at the site at prices so cheap you won’t believe your eyes! The first time I shopped there I almost fell off my office chair when I saw how the cheap the prices were on products, bath and body supplies, and even mailing needs.
In an interview with Julie Hoffman, I’ve discovered more about her online business and hope to share some of my love for her and her products with you. Here’s what she had to say about a few aspects of her business:
Emma: Julie, how did you come up with the idea of Hoffman’s?
Julie: My daughter and I started this in my kitchen, after her pre-k class had made candles in her school, and she liked it. It really started that simple.
Emma: Where is your base company located?
Julie: We now operate out of a 4200 sq. ft. warehouse. We are located in Lonaconing, MD.
Emma: How long have you been in business?
Julie: My candle shop stared in May of 2001
Emma: What is it that you feel you can offer online customers that other stores can’t?
Julie: We offer quality products without the high prices. We offer really cheap shipping which I feel is one of our best selling points. We don’t spend a lot of money on fancy packaging which allows us to keep our pricing down as well.
Emma: How can you offer such cheap shipping?
Julie: My first and true business is a mail consolidation shop. “Hoffman Mailing Solutions”. We can offer the shipping that way due to the volume of mail that my mail shop produces.
Emma: How many people now have their own Hoffman’s business?
Julie: I have 24 sales representatives & 102 affiliates.
Emma: How can customers become distributors for Hoffman’s, or can they?
Julie: We have an affiliate sign up link on our sight. They just need to apply there. They earn 20% on all orders via their affiliate link and 5% off of any drop line affiliates.
Emma: Are you able to accommodate large bulk orders?
Julie: We sure are. We offer wholesale as well as retail.
Emma: What kind of guarantee do you give your customers when they order? (for example, what if they don’t like a particular fragrance after they’ve purchased it?) Julie: We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We handle these on an individual basis, still giving the customer that small business friendly touch.
Emma: What is it about your products that makes them top-quality?
Julie: We use the best ingredients and I make everything from scratch right at the shop. I also have a rule of thumb for all my employees: if you wouldn’t buy it, don’t expect my customers to buy it. In other words make the item as if you were taking it home with you.
Emma: How many scents do you now offer?
Julie: We currently have 278 scents with an additional 15 on the way for our fall & winter seasonal line.
Emma: Is there any way that people can earn free products or get free samples from Hoffman’s?
Julie: We usually run a contest or special every month. Some the contest offers free products, other times, a chance for a large product winning. The last contest we ran, was for 850 tarts.
Emma: What do you see as some of your goals for this year and future years online?
Julie: Each year our goal has been to double last years sales which we have successfully done so far. I want to retain my customers while adding new ones. I would like to grow our wholesale items list, and add our newest creation of mineral make up, as this year’s final goal. But I think as long as our quality stands firm, and we keep our customers happy and coming back, I will be satisfied.
Emma: Is there anything new at Hoffman’s we should know about?
Julie: We add new items weekly. We have just finished adding our seasonal products, and will be launching a new line of healthy living items. Our first will be a fabulous grapefruit extract lotion. I have been using this for the past month and love it.
Emma: How long does it take to receive a large order?
Julie: That varies. Right now we are shipping within a 24 hour window on all orders. But our volume varies so greatly that, day to day, our shipping will change due to that. I always post on our front page if there is an expected shipping delay for this reason. When we reopened from our annual inventory we received 472 orders in a 24 hour window which put us at a 5 day ship time.
Hoffman’s House of Treasure is a delight that will grab your attention as soon as you get there and will keep you in awe of prices, scents and more, from the minute you begin to browse. Send gift certificates, choose a selection to send to a friend, or have a sampling of several products for yourself. I guarantee you’ll love the list of scents, the scent descriptions, the vast amount of choices, the products themselves and, of course, that really cheap shipping!