As we are in the ecommerce Carrara marble and natural stone market we often buy product from our competitors.  We pride ourselves on operating our business with the lowest possible cost.  No frills marketing campaigns and allocating all resources to quality and price.  Essentially gambling on word of mouth and referrals being the major driving force behind our business.

This strategy has worked incredibly well. Given the fact we buy full containers direct from Italy we wonder how is it possible that our competitors offer the same or even lower prices.  So like any consumer (or researcher in this case) we order samples to find out.

This is our findings.  You cannot beat our prices  genuine Italian marble subway tiles sold from $7SF-$8SF.  However this is the way our prices are beaten or matched.

Number 1.  Or option one for competitors. “Make it smaller and thinner”

Standard Tiles thickness is recommended to be 3/8″ thick or 10mm.  For our competitors to compete against us they sell 6mm 1/4″ thick tiles at $7.95SF

So this explains how competitor #1 is able to sell close to our pricing, just make a lower quality product (that simple).  Our factory can produce this 1/4″ thick tile and we could then sell it for $6.00SF.  But we would prefer to keep our standards high.  Thicker tiles, less breakage during shipping and less damage during the cutting process.  Our Carrara Venato is $7.00SF and Carrara Bianco is $7.95SF we prefer to not to compromise quality to make an extra $1 or $2SF.

Number 2. Or the second option to compete against us.  “Buy from Turkey and Call it Carrara”.

You can see the lack of veining and if you could see the tile it glitters or has a crystal effect to it.

Turkish white marble is cheap and by cheap I mean USD $16m2.  That (dividing by 10.76) equates to $1.48SF this is the cost price from Turkey.  This means that from Turkey you can get white slightly glittery marble with some gray tones for $1.48SF.  So it is pretty easy to see why this product can be sold for $6.95SF (True Italian Carrara – as in the stuff from Carrara Italy) is more than 2x the cost.

Having a white marble, then calling it “Turkish White” or “Carrara White” or any other name and selling it for $6.95SF is far more profitable than importing Italian Carrara and selling it for $7.50SF.

Conclusion. For us we really on quality and selling in collections – we are proud of our business.  We know we cannot compete against someone on Ebay importing a container of Turkish tiles and selling them as Carrara for $6SF.  That is not our market.  We aim for the highest quality and keep our costs as low as possible to deliver an exceptional product at exceptional prices.  We aim to sell complete bathrooms with matching collections of Italian marble in Carrara or Calacatta.

Thank you for taking the time to read my competitor analysis – I will in 6 months order more samples and go over the process again.  Making sure our customers get the best quality and best deal.  Any questions please email me or call 800-308-9359.

PS – We did not mention any competitors names – we do not want to waste money on a lawsuit (we do not want to add any unnecessary costs to our products) – regardless of what we say is the truth – people love to sue.

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