LOS ANGELES-YEREVAN — The September 27th bombing of Artsakh was a rude wake up call to ALL Armenians around the world!
Whether you were in Artsakh, Yerevan, Paris, Los Angeles, or Sydney, Toronto, Lisbon or Caracas, more than ever before, Armenians felt their Armenian blood boiling with a sense of patriotism. They came together as one to rally against the enemy in support of their brothers and sisters who were at war.
No more was the question whether you were HayastanaHAY, IranaHAY, LipanaHAY, SuryaHAY or FransaHay, you were HAY and you carried the same ancient Armenian blood in your veins.
In early October of 2020, in the midst of the war against Artsakh, Lilit Odabashian decided to create a Facebook group that would share information about Armenian products so that Armenians would support Armenian manufacturers and Armenian businesses. The Buy Armenian brand was born!
Almost overnight, the Buy Armenian Facebook group grew to 20 thousand members. Vendors in Armenia began to receive orders from around the globe. Many Armenia-based businesses began to run out of inventory and had to start working overtime, and adding more employees to their small businesses.
It was a breath of fresh air to businesses who had suffered from the effects of the Corona virus and then the war! Within six months, the membership rose to over 40 thousand!
As has been true throughout Armenian history, the microeconomic stimulus seemed too good to be true, as natural and competitive challenges began to surface: customers in the Diaspora weren’t being able to pay with credit cards, or PayPal; it became too cumbersome to order from different vendors at the same time, contacting them through Facebook or private messaging and then what seemed to be the final nail in the coffin was the increase in shipping rates by threefold, fourfold and even sometimes fivefold!
Customers knew that they were not only making purchases of products they like, but that they were helping their compatriots during dire needs.
However, the shipping issue could not be something that even the most dedicated Armenian could deal with. Vendors complained, customers cancelled their order, even the admins of Buy Armenian did their best to dissuade and appeal to the management of the main shipping company of Armenia, but it was to no avail! The shipping company was a private business that had not increased its rates for 20 years and it was losing money shipping products to the Diaspora!
The initiative to buy Armenian was too important to set aside. So many people in Armenia and the Diaspora were benefiting, seeing how critical this movement was, Buy Armenian decided to venture into developing a global online marketplace where Armenian products and services would be sold online and feature Armenian businesses from Armenia and the Diaspora.
There was only one way this was going to succeed and that was the issue of shipping. It took two months of interviewing and negotiating with different shipping companies and finally, it became obvious that Buy Armenian needed to start its own shipping company, while at the same time developing an online marketplace that provided a great shopping experience for Armenians in the Diaspora as well as allowing vendors to spend as little money as possible to showcase their quality products.
On April 11th, BuyArmenian.com officially launched. At the time of launch, there were almost 350 vendors, mostly from Armenia, as well as 1500 products listed on the site. Now, only a week post launch, the number of vendors has surpassed 500 and there are over 2800 products listed and rising, daily. Buy Armenian, the original, largest and most comprehensive Armenian online marketplace, ready to serve the Armenian Diaspora as it purchases Armenian products from Armenia and abroad. The shopping is easy and user friendly, the vendor rates are minimal to allow for maximal retention of earnings, and as important, the fastest and least expensive shipping from Armenia to the US, Canada and soon to Russia, Europe, Australia, South America and the Middle East.