• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 40,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

EXECUTION A Slightly Different Approach To Ecomm

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by WinTheDay, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. WinTheDay
    Offline

    WinTheDay Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $489
    Thought a lot about when would be the best time to start this execution thread. I thought about after I started raking in lots of money but then a lot of people would miss out the smaller steps it took me to get to that point. So I just decided to start it today.

    Currently running my own Shopify store, very niche centered store. When first starting this store at the end of December I was faced with a few problems. The main one being capital, everyone usually does the routine place order from China, sell on Amazon and its a hit or miss. I was in talks with a supplier on Alibaba and was so close to forking over $400 USD for inventory in a different niche but noticed that the sellers on amazon inventory never moved. It was always at 999 four days straight, so I passed.

    Then I thought, well dropshipping? It's not dead..if someone told you it was dead they are really saying they can't see why people would order your product and wait 2-3 weeks for it to come when they can just use Amazon or virtually any other store and get it in 1-3 days.

    So I came to the conclusion that I don't like the idea of having customers wait so long for a product it just doesn't feel right to me but if they are okay with it I'll give it a shot. Loaded up products from AliExpress posted on IG, found influences etc...less than 4 sales. None complained about shipping time but I assume that's why many didn't buy.

    Fast forward a few days, realized I hated this business model and thought if I can just find a winner through dropshipping I would order in bulk to decrease shipping times, but I did something better.

    I found a US Supplier that allows me to dropship their products for FREE and they ship products within 3 days in the US.

    Hmmmm, this is where it gets easy and I rake in all the profits right? WRONG, not YET.
    So I browse but obviously the selection is limited compared to the big boys like Alibaba and Aliexpress, and the worst part is their prices are NEARLY retail, so it causes me to have prices that are slightly above market. Which would be fine if I was a big brand that created a cult following, but I'm the new kid on the block.

    So far I've done Facebook advertising, Bing Ads, Adwords, Influencer Marketing, and a little Pinterest ads(I know..), with my main focus being on FB ads.

    So far FB Ad spend is about $350 USD, seems like every other week FB is having an "algorithm" change and this affects stats. Lately the traffic has been better but I am failing to really convert said traffic, meaning they are interested in products but landing page is not doing its job.

    I'm in the hole around $420 USD, with most being from the Almighty Facebook. I haven't done the math but if I had to take a guess this number would be pretty close.

    Short Term Goals
    - Turn A Profit lol
    - Find a winner, scale it then import it.
    - Stop sucking at FB ads

    Currently, I have a FB campaign running two different ad sets and monitoring them closely and always looking at my suppliers inventory for better products. I will say this is a very passionate niche, and they spend a lot of money. So I just need to get better.
     
  2. Walter Hay
    Offline

    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    World citizen
    Rep Bank:
    $49,102
    I only want to comment on the sentence quoted. There is a big flaw in the oft-recommended idea of validating a product by dropshipping from a supplier on Aliexpress, then buying in bulk from suppliers on Alibaba.

    To find suppliers on Alibaba for the same product, you are limited to generic products, and if they are being sold on Aliexpress they are so commonplace that you could struggle to compete.

    I have often been asked to help locate the manufacturer on Alibaba of a specific product being bought from a supplier on Aliexpress. It often proves impossible, so if anyone wants to go down this route, they should work in reverse to some extent.
    • First locate the manufacturer on Alibaba.
    • Then locate a supplier (retailer) on Aliexpress.
    • Validate by dropshipping.
    There is however, a method of product validation that doesn't involve Aliexpress, or big outlay.
    • Locate a manufacturer.
    • Place a sample order for a very small quantity.
    • Validate by selling direct to consumers on whatever sales medium you prefer.
    I have taught many hundreds of people how to persuade manufacturers to accept orders way, way smaller than the big MOQs normally quoted.

    Walter
     
  3. Merging Left
    Offline

    Merging Left Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    364
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,360
    Amazon won't let you buy more than 999 of a product. So if they have 4,000 units at Amazon's warehouse, you'll only see 999 available on their page. Even if they sold 500 units that day and now they have 3,500 units left. They could have 5,000 units on day 1 of your search, sell 500 units per day, and you would only see 999 4 days straight. In other words, you have no idea how much they're selling; you cannot conclude they're not making sales.

    FYI
     
    WinTheDay and 1step like this.
  4. WinTheDay
    Offline

    WinTheDay Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $489
    Actually I never looked at it in that perspective and I thank you for taking the time out to provide a helpful insight. My biggest fear was always getting stuck with unmovable inventory but if I can negotiate a very small sample order then I guess its worth a shot.

    I will try both of your methods above.

    Thanks again big guy.
     
    Walter Hay likes this.
  5. WinTheDay
    Offline

    WinTheDay Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $489
    Damn didn't even know that lol.

    Is there anyway to actually know how much someone is moving on amazon?
     
  6. jcvlds
    Online

    jcvlds Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    119
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mexico > Texas > Florida
    Rep Bank:
    $623
    Perhaps with one of the Amazon third party tools that help with product research and can show you estimated sales p/month based on their Sales Rank (on AMZ) and number of reviews.. there's some sort of formula they use to get an estimated sales p/month
     
    fKMARG likes this.
  7. WinTheDay
    Offline

    WinTheDay Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $489
    Taking Walt's advice of Supplier>Retailer> Validate

    Spoke with a suppler and can get 20 samples items for a reasonable price, also found a retailer that I will test the market with. Will run tests and if item is validated I will place that order.

    In the mean time I will look for more Supplier>Retailer items to test on the daily until I find a winner.
    Also trying to determine where my market likes to hang out online and talk about their problems.
     
    Walter Hay and Merging Left like this.
  8. WinTheDay
    Offline

    WinTheDay Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $489
    Quick update...been bust with finals and semester coming to an end and planning my 2 week stay overseas.

    Ended up changing directions and closing my last store to focus on a new direction.
    New store has been up and running since maybe 2-3 weeks ago.
    Made my first couple sales this past weekend, revenue at around $200+.
    Plan to take this company to a few thousand a month as I am honing in on my target audience.

    Already talking to different suppliers and will white label when the time is right for that.
    The biggest difference between this store and the last is product research/selection. I believe that is making all the difference.

    My short term goal is to hit $1k revenue before I leave the country for a few weeks, that way I will be able to easily keep it consistent while away. Other than that last week of Uni before summer break. Plan to take this thing far over the next few weeks.
     
  9. RichieB
    Offline

    RichieB New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK, Leeds
    Rep Bank:
    $29
    I never liked the whole waiting 2-3 weeks dropshipping...I wouldn't wait! (we are so custom to quick delivery).
    My thoughts on this was start the store slow and only buy a few of each of your listings or if you don't want to put up some capital. Sell the products that are on airmail quick delivery at breakeven price to test if the products sell then once you've found a couple of winners ship a big order over and ship yourself to improve shipping times to your customers.
    Check your competition on their delivery times too!. You might have an edge.
     
  10. inputchip
    Offline

    inputchip Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    647
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Rep Bank:
    $4,287
    @Walter Hay, what are your techniques for doing this other than the old "claiming company policy requires a small initial order of XX units and then increase from there?" Currently in the works of a 1500 unit MOQ, I would prefer if I could talk them down to around 200-500 to validate.
     
    jcvlds likes this.
  11. Walter Hay
    Offline

    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    World citizen
    Rep Bank:
    $49,102
    I have answered this question several times on the forum. Here are a couple of those posts: GOLD! - Ask me anything about eCommerce (Ongoing)
    GOLD! - Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.

    Walter
     
    inputchip likes this.

Share This Page