Nutranutra owner and founder Paul DeLalla announced the industry's first online auction site, Nutranutra.com, last month at Supply Side West. Picture eBay for suppliers, distributors, retailers and wholesalers in the nutrition industry.
"We are creating a marketplace," DeLalla said. "Right now, to purchase anything in the industry, you need to make 10 to 15 phone calls, all within your own circle of associates. This site will help buyers and sellers expand their circles, make finding and selling items easier and expand branding and marketability for individuals and businesses."
The site intends to feature all kinds of items including warehouse and shipping machinery, retail equipment and materials as well as manufacturing, packaging and laboratory equipment.
Additionally, Nutranutra.com will open an online auction market for raw materials and dietary supplements. At present, detailed information must accompany any raw materials offering, including country of origin and description of quality testing done on the product as well as the option to attach a certificate of analysis and other documentation.
"We are screening very carefully," DeLalla said. "Our biggest concern is raw materials. We don't want to become a swap meet for garbage in the industry."
DeLalla said that while the company is working toward a system of best practices and full disclosure, the final assurance details of auctioning herbs, supplements and materials will need to be worked out as the site unfolds. In the meantime, he is keeping close tabs on the site.
"I am working with a number of CEOs in the ingredients industry to come up with the best solutions to manage raw materials." DeLalla said. "And I can monitor everything on the site. It will not be possible for someone to auction ephedra, for example."
Nutranutra.com will also be a place where retailers can buy and sell any and all retail-related equipment.
"The retail category is for anything used in stores," DeLalla said. "Items such as juice machines, refrigeration, or even promotional materials or displays can be listed. Even overruns on manufactured items and inventory such as supplements and vitamins can be listed."
Like eBay, in addition to an in-house screening process, Nutranutra.com will rely on buyer feedback as a community quality-rating mechanism.
There is no fee to register and browse the site, and basic listing fees are based on a small percentage of the sale price with a cap at $250. A la carte fees for uploading images and adding special features can be selected for less than a dollar each. An average listing with picture and features will run around $15.?
"We are very excited about the opportunities this presents for the marketplace," DeLalla said.