The dot-com bubble has burst, but don't tell that to plastic scrap dealer Domino Plastics Co. Inc., which is crediting Internet-based orders for a 22 percent sales jump.
In short, the Setauket, N.Y.-based firm is partying like it's 1999.
Domino, founded in 1994 by industry veteran Mike Domino, launched its Web site in early 2001, after many plastics businesses already had grown disenchanted with the Internet. But frequent updating of the site and an influx of foreign business have made the effort pay off, Domino said in a recent telephone interview.
Domino's site is updated several times a day. The firm also just added a full-time employee to handle the site, which now accounts for about 30 percent of its total business.
``We actually post prices on the site, not just a description of what we have and a phone number to call to negotiate,'' Domino said. ``We want to get the information out there so we can get the material in and out as fast as possible.
``We've seen other [scrap] Web sites where people don't change the listings for months, or where they advertise material before they actually have it,'' he added. ``That's not what we want to do.''
Foreign sales also have boomed since Domino launced the site, at www.domplas.com. Before 2001, foreign sales accounted for about 10 percent of the firm's sales, while in 2002 they will bring in more than 25 percent.
The seven-employee firm expects to add a staff member in 2003. Sales for 2002 are expected to be around $10 million.
Domino deals in a variety of commodity and engineering resin scrap and typically sells to molders, recyclers and other end-users in amounts of 40,000 pounds or more.
``Every time we buy or sell, it's time-stamped and entered onto our site,'' Domino said. ``In the last couple of years we'd shifted from mailing out and faxing inventory lists to using e-mail and the Web site. It's a lot more efficient and less costly.''