Panther RV Products began in 2011 as an e-commerce business catering to the RV, marine, and outdoor communities. Richard Sweet first started the company operating an RV repair shop in Vancouver and then later his son Ethan joined him to start the products side of the business, selling just a handful of products on eBay. Next, Ethan’s brother Jacob joined the company after serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan and together, they grew the online side of the business to what it is today.
In 2015, the repair side of the business closed, and they relocated operations to Washougal, where they warehouse their products and ship them worldwide. Moving operations to this area was an easy decision.
“My brother and I grew up in Washougal and due to the natural beauty, great community, and numerous available activities, we have never had a reason to leave the area,” said Ethan Sweet, partial owner and Chief Marketing Officer at the company. “Currently, my father and I live in Washougal, and this played a crucial role in our decision to move our business here when the opportunity presented itself.”
Panther RV Products provides a wide range of products for RVs, boats, or cargo vans, and also provides a variety of appliances, awnings, electrical, and plumbing components. While there has been steady growth over the last 12 years of business, they have seen significant growth in the last five years, specifically, when Jeff and John Corona joined the team as partners. Today, there are 15 employees, and the company averages monthly revenues of $600,000.
“We specialize in providing hard-to-find products, including various popular European brands that cater to the growing campervan market,” Ethan explained. “All of our products are warehoused here in Washougal, and we advertise our true stock online. This is especially important in today’s e-commerce world, as many online retailers rely on drop shipping, which can cause confusion and delays for customers. With us, customers know what products are available and when they will receive them. We have received a lot of positive feedback on this aspect resulting in a 4.9 Google Customer Reviews rating with many testimonials referencing this business practice.”
Right now, Panther RV Products is working on strengthening partnerships with vendors to provide customers with a more comprehensive shopping experience. Some of these partnerships are with AM Auto, Indel Webasto, and Fiamma, and they are working on adding new companies like Arvika and Renogy to their catalog to provide a wider range of products to the outdoor community.
Looking ahead, the team at Panther RV Products is hoping to offer free content on YouTube and social media with knowledge about their products, as well as easy-to-understand technical information that is not readily available. They hope that this is helpful for repair shops, outfitters, and other do-it-yourself customers in making decisions about what products they need.
“Our team is constantly striving to enhance our website and expand our catalog so that we can ultimately become a one-stop shop for all outdoor enthusiasts,” Ethan said.