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Tulumba: A Leader in the Online Ethnic Market PDF Print E-mail
2008-06-15 11:03:33
New York - When Tulumba.com was first launched four years ago, the founder of the site stated that his goal was to “help consumers and Turkish goods find each other.” Within this four-year period the Tulumba portal has sold 700,000 products and has reached 100,000 customers. Seeing an initially high growth rate of 40 percent within the first two years, it later settled down to a 5-10 percent growth.
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Koray Yilmaz, a Tulumba.com partner. (Photo by Ayhan Kay)

“Thirty percent of our customer base comes from Turks living in the US,” states Koray Yılmaz, a Tulumba.com partner. He goes on to add, “What we do is actually quite crazy. It's exhausting to deal with this many details.”

Yılmaz is quick to point out, however, that in spite of their vast product range and large number of orders, customer complaints are almost nonexistent. Zafer Zamboğlu, a Tulumba regular who lives in San Francisco, stated that he had never come across any problems with ordering or receiving goods from the website. “There are often doubts associated with the professionalism of Turkish firms but we haven't witnessed that with this website,” he states. Dave Muldoon, a customer from Massachusetts, also expresses his happiness with the quick response time of the company to the orders he placed. “I saw that the products I ordered were mailed the same day and I received them in two days. It really is amazingly fast. I will definitely shop with them again.”

There are also famous names among Tulumba's customers. The Republican Party's 2008 presidential candidate John McCain and real estate mogul Donald Trump’s wife Melania Knauss Trump are among such names. Just this past September, McCain paid $158 for Turkish coffee and a traditional Turkish coffeepot.
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One of Tulumba.com?s customers is real estate mogul Donald Trump?s wife Melania Knauss Trump. (Photo: WENN)

Trump's wife, on the other hand, ordered a Turkish towel and Turkish bath bowl. After a prompt check to ensure that there was no consumer fraud, the site's owners realized that McCain and Trump were indeed the ones who had placed the orders.

Sixty-five percent of customers who find Tulumba do so from search engines. Fifteen percent live in New York and California. Florida, New Jersey, Texas, and Illinois round out the states with the most customers. Of all buyers, 25 percent have only bought once.

Tulumba wants to branch out into other ethnic markets by drawing on its four years of experience in providing products to the Turkish population in the US. Yılmaz states that their new website buyarabic.com is attempting to enter the Arab market in America, comprised of nearly 3 million people from 18 different countries. Having also researched the Greek and Iranian markets, Yılmaz maintains that in the near future they will also begin to sell goods targeted towards these two markets. He states, “We have put Tulumba.com on automatic pilot. It's at the point where it can coast along while still maintaining the same level of quality. Now we want to take what we have accumulated here and use it to expand into other ethnic markets.”

TURKISH DELIGHT AND TURKISH COFFEE
The most popular goods on Tulumba are Turkish delight and Turkish coffee. Of 68,000 goods offered on the site, 48,000 are books and the customers are divided evenly between Americans and Turks. In addition to goods, people can order telephone cards, flowers, and insurance.

The tulumba.com.tr address has recently opened and is offering e-trade services in Turkey. Customers can also find health and beauty care products through amazon.com. Yılmaz underscores their happiness with the Turkish film and music sales on amazon.com.

Tulumba.com was AKM Partners’ first investment and is the flagship of any future endeavors that the company will undertake. Yılmaz expresses their desire to open stores in various states in the coming years and adds, “These plans have everything to do with time and financing, of course. In order for expansion to take place we need time and patience.”
Last Updated ( 2008-07-15 07:04:54 )
 
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