Fastlane Competition - August update 1
by, Aug 6th, 2012 at 08:47 AM (2675 Views)
Entering the ecommerce world importing products requires sharp focus. I can import something nobody else has, but then very few people will be looking for it. I can import something everybody has, but then I have a ton of competition.
My goal is to import products that meet the following criteria:
- No, or few, established brands for the product
- Fills a definite need
- Relatively small - makes inbound and outbound shipping cheap
I began my search by looking thru the "Bargain Buys" section on alibaba.com. I looked at all the offerings and focused on things I thought were interesting or that I would buy. A USB powered personal A/C blower caught my eye. I went to Amazon and searched for that same item and found that most of them get poor reviews. Okay, I don't want to sell something that people don't like. I then looked at what else people were buying on Amazon and found that Cool Scarves were being bought up, and they got generally positive reviews. I went back to Alibaba and found there are many companies offering Cool Scarves. There's another affiliate site called AliExpress that has many of the same products on Alibaba, but they will sell you much smaller quantities for a greater unit price. This is great for testing a product.
Going back to Amazon, I realized there were no established brand names for the cool scarves. In fact, there weren't many sellers at all. I decided to buy a small order from AliExpress to test the product and the market.
I chose the name Weather Oasis to be my brand name, because I want to convey a sense of relief from extreme temperatures. It also works for products to keep you warm in cold weather, since you think of deserts.
I registered weatheroasis as an eBay user. I bought a bunch of cheap things on eBay listings using BIN in order to ramp up good user reviews.
I took Sue's (Chewsy) advice and signed up with The Seller's Sourcebook for my eBay template. In order to unify a brand image, I wanted to keep my listings looking the same. I found a template that conveys the Weather Oasis feeling I was going after and will use that for my listings. I also used that to create my ME page.
I've used Alty's services to create good copy for the listing. With some minor tweaks here and there, I think I've got a solid listing. I still need to improve the photos and I also need to get a video in there.
Now that I know the product, I need to identify some permanent suppliers. I've gotten some good response from several possible vendors, and I'm going thru a lot of iterations to narrow them down and place an order.
I also need to get my winter lineup organized. That will start in the coming days.