The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

  1. Rob
  2. November 7, 2010 10:04 pm

The first couple of years trading online were a minefield, to say the least.  Anyone coming to the market now (as thousands have), merely need to check out 100 or so of their favourite sites, find out who built them, and create a shortlist of prospective suppliers.  Back in 2001/2 there were no really established developers with a portfolio of commercially successful clients.  Trial and error was the order of the day.  I dealt with all sorts… fantastic creatives who didn’t know what SEO was; Technical wizards who couldn’t design a page; SEO “gurus” who could hardly start a PC – you name it!  The learning curve was pretty near vertical, and I quickly realized that I had to learn fast, to avoid burning thousands experimenting with various “experts”.

I won’t name any of the companies I’ve used over the years here whether good, bad or ugly, but feel free to contact me if you require advise, consultation or referalls.  I’ve learned a lot from some horrible mistakes, and, ultimately, quit trading in the Menswear industry entirely, but I’ve also built a vast wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts, and had a very successful decade trading Men’s designer brands online. One company, however that I have no hesitation in recommending wholeheartedly is Actinic. The company has been around since 1996 and has built a really solid, dependable range of products. For an online start-up, you really can’t go far wrong with Actinic Express. Actinic products are very search-engine friendly, scaleable and versatile. There is a whole suite of products to upgrade to as your business grows.


Severing ties with our first developer was a tough decision, but I now needed to capitalize on the web shopping revolution that was just beginning to gather pace – cue site number 2.  There’s no decent archived page of this site unfortunately…..  It was built by a local firm using a fantastic software package, with customisations, and began to attract some great traffic…..   But, these guys couldn’t keep up the pace, or deliver developments in time…. cue acrimonious sacking, cue site number 3!  This was built using the same software, by the best web developers I used in over 10 years of online trading.

Of course, bagga wasn’t the first website to launch selling designer menswear, but for a long time we were one of the best known and fastest-growing in the industry.

This site was incredibly simple, and incredibly effective and profitable.

To read a really interesting story of probably the first in the business, I would recommend this brilliant book:

Boo Hoo: A Dot Com Story

We’re now up to Autumn 2005. What’s next?……..


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