Week 8 Blog Post – Cruisin’

Apr 20, 2020

Another week another blog post. It’s been a pretty smooth week. We are thrilled to have around 250 users currently, and our users us it a lot! We did get quite a bit of feedback and it mainly revolved around one thing, better search and more products, so we’ve been chipping away at that.

The Extension

This week was mainly backend stuff. We are moving from simpler brands that manufacture exclusively in the United States, to brands that manufacture in a few countries. It’s much more difficult to classify them, so we are building a bunch of tools in the backend to make it easier. In the coming week that will continue, and then once those tools are up and working we will be trying to improve the search.


We had a stupid realization this week, everyone wants masks and we barely have any! So we spent a couple days finding made in the USA toilet paper, facemasks, face shield, disinfecting soap, stuff like that. It’s been a real pain because it’s always going out of stock, so it’s been like whackamole running around trying to find listings that will stay up for more than a day. Other than that we added 10,000 listings, but we did tweak how we deal with listings with a variety of sizes and colours, so I imagine that affected it.

Content Creation

We did a great piece on Jezebel Inc. a glass maker out of New Mexico, in the coming week we have a couple articles coming out. One of a new format that we haven’t done yet, where we look at a specific issue related to manufacturing abroad, and we also have a company profile coming out. The company profiles are going so so I think, they just don’t get many readers at all. I could be much more strategic about the companies we do, the companies featured so far are ones that I like. But we would get a lot more views if we did popular companies and companies that would share the articles themselves, it’s something I will think about in the coming weeks.

The Website

It’s been a really great week in terms of traffic. It’s funny thinking back to the first one of these I did, where I think we had around 10 viewers a day. These days we get 150-200 daily unique visits to our website! I’m thrilled, all the posting I’ve done out there has appealed to some people. I feel I’ve got a much better handle on what type of content and where to post, though I’m sure I have a lot of room for improvement.

I haven’t been so diligent reaching out to people on Reddit/Twitter/Facebook in the past week because I’ve been researching. We have gotten quite a bit of feedback on the extension. Pretty much no one deletes it, however we’ve gotten some suggestion on three things, I figured I would mention them here:

  1. Firefox. We’ve had half a dozen requests for Firefox, but it’s not a large priority at the moment. Every extra browser we start to serve will require maintenance, and right now we are desperate adding features and functionality. We don’t want to slow that down until we’ve got something really awesome, so I don’t see us adding support for other browsers for months.
  2. Other countries. We intend to do other countries, starting with English speaking countries and then Europe, possibly simultaneously depending on how things go. That won’t be for a while though, and is dependant on us either seeing a lot more growth or finding a way to monetize. A lot of things that we have planned are dependant on one of those things. A lot of extensions are made by programmers in their spare time, but ours isn’t like that. I was thinking about it the other day, and figure around 85% of our time has been spent purely researching. 2 out of 4 employees are only on research, I spend half my time on it and the developer spends most of his time on it too. We currently really have no idea how we can start to generate income. The FAQ here does talk about affiliates, but that is very unlikely, particularly with Amazon dropping their rates so much this week. So we have a lot of features and things we want to do, but we won’t be committing to any of them until we have a clearer view of what the future holds.
  3. Search! This is the most important one in our view. We both need more products and a better search engine. We have discovered, unfortunately, that we need way more products than we anticipated at the start. This week I’ve been spending a lot of my time helping out the research team find more companies and add them to our database, because the single most important thing by a long shot currently is to make the extension really awesome, and we will do that by making our core feature work very well.

That’s it for this week! I’ve been thinking of making a supplementary post about business models and stuff, we’ve been talking extensively about it internally, we will see. Shoot me an email if you’ve got any feedback on the extension or if there is anything you want to say.

Gareth Struivig de Groot is the founder of Buy Localized. He originally hails from Vancouver, and he is passionate about helping people get informed about where the things they purchase come from.
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