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The Journey to bring BoatPickers to Life…

What you see today on www.BoatPickers.com.au was no easy feat. It has taken 2 years of development, endless hours, COVID setbacks and only now is the Team starting to see the light…

In 2018, Andrew began building the first iteration of BoatPickers on his own, from his home office in Redland Bay, QLD.

“It was just an idea” Andrew said. It all came about when Japan Post purchased Toll Holdings and Andrew accepted Redundancy from his role as National Key Business Development Executive and had made the decision to spend a year focusing on his sideline Soft Plastic Fishing Lure Business (Gobblers Lures).

Business on the Lures was already really pretty good…but to replace the income he was earning at Toll, and a 2nd baby on the way…it needed to kick into a whole other level to ensure he could sustain replacing full time work with his passion for Lure Making.

Over the past 7 years making Lures, Andrew got a unique insight into the inner workings of the Fishing & Boating community, and now he was relying on making income from selling Lures as his main form of income.

Amazon was launching in Australia, and Andrew was invited to be a test pilot business for their platform. Based on Amazon’s success in the USA, Andrew invested heavily by purchasing a Custom Lure Production Machine to increase the output of his Lure Making thinking that Amazon may be the solution to sell enough Lures he had been looking for.

Andrew ran the math and realised if he could produce enough Lures using the machine to make production faster and sell Lure Kits on Amazon…he would be home and hosed…but, the Amazon platform was super difficult, had restrictions on how images displayed (white background only) wasn’t conducive to showing off how well the Lures worked by displaying images or video of the fish caught on the Lures…which is why people buy them…and Andrew soon realised this avenue was going to be a useful as getting snagged on the reef…

Facebook wasn’t helping to much with recent changes to their algorithm and introducing “Boost Posts”. Andrew was relying on this avenue for marketing like so many others who had found a way to get their products and services out to heaps of people.

Andrew had built his Facebook page to around 6,800 Organic followers at that time…but he discovered his post engagement had fallen dramatically since they fiddled with the way Facebook delivered content to users. So what now? Images & Videos that used to get a few thousand views were now getting 500… a far cry from the 6,800 odd you would at least expect from Page followers alone…

Was there another way? Andrew ran Ads for the Lures in the Fishing Magazines for 6 months straight, but he had no idea if it was working or not. He couldn’t track the views, didn’t see a huge increase in sales at all. More wasted money…

The more Andrew looked at ways of Marketing his Lures, the more he discovered the road blocks.

Where could Andrew market his Lures on a platform for free or cheaply enough to make it viable? Andrew persisted with Facebook but constantly got blocked from posting. If this was all Andrew had to rely on..it wasn’t going to work well enough to turn Gobblers Lures into his full time gig.

Andrew tried posting Lure Kits on Gumtree, and it somewhat worked, but it cost $25 for a standout Ad, and the sales of one Lure Kit per Ad wasn’t going to cut it. It would be much better if it was specific to his target market. Andrew needed to reach more Fisho’s!

Andrew look at placing Banner Ads on the “Boats for Sale” type websites…but it was very expensive when you weigh up selling a packet of Soft Plastics for $10 each and he couldn’t post an Ad directly on their platform for Fishing Lures…and you had to “Wait for your slot”.

This is where the concept for BoatPickers came about. The more Andrew looked, the more he released nothing like this existed in Australia.

Andrew turned his full attention to working out a way to build a platform that catered to Selling & Advertising everything in the Marine industry. If he was finding these problems in marketing boating and fishing related products, services & items, he was sure everyone else was too!

You would think there is nothing super complicated about starting a new Classifieds Platform for the Marine Industry…and that’s what Andrew thought too…but the journey to bring BoatPickers to life didn’t come easily…

Andrew worked night and day building the first BoatPickers Platform…but ran into many issues with trying to use his limited coding ability to make the site do what he wanted it to do, and eventually broke it trying.

Andrew called in help from Developers…and they tried to work with what Andrew had already built, but their suggestion was to rip it down, as damaging as that may be, and re-build it from scratch at considerable expense, with their help… (F^*rk bugger!)

The hard decision was made, but it was necessary to achieve the goal of building a site that allowed anyone from the Marine Industry to have access to a fair platform they could use to reliably advertise anything they liked in Marine in a cost effective and targeted way!

Now hooked and clearly seeing the glaring opportunity, Andrew made the hard decision to sell Gobblers Lures to get enough money to fund the build of the new platform. There was no turning back…

Luckily, at the same time, a fellow Lure Maker could see what Andrew was doing for the industry and asked if he needed an investor for BoatPickers. Andrew was a bit reluctant at first because the site he just spent 8 months straight building needed to be re-built and this was explained in depth. The investor suggested that some additional coin may help a long way toward that, so An agreement was made and BoatPickers was in a position to give this thing a popper go…

Fast forward to March 2020, COVID setbacks, delays in building the new platform, BoatPickers was finally starting to come together toward the end of the year.

The platform has continued to evolve this year (2021), although it has not been smooth, Andrew knew that the idea he had for a Marine Marketplace that catered for Everything Marine had been floating out in the wild for some time now, and it was only a matter of time before other players started to realise what a great idea it was.

We are super please with the way the platform is heading now. All the intricate problems have been solved and the Platform is starting to do exactly what Andrew had anticipated and planned for.

There is still much more to do, but if you value having access to a specific Marine Marketplace with no barriers on cost…then we hope you love the idea of BoatPickers as much as we do.

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