• 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!

  2. Forum *Official* Book Discussion
    Atomic Habits by James Clear

    The forum has voted to discuss this book. Grab it, discussion begins soon!
    Buy: Buy | Discuss: Atomic Habits, by James Clear (Review | Discuss)

GOLD! Ask me anything about eCommerce (2012)

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by biophase, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    Hey everyone, I've been getting alot of PMs lately about my ecommerce stores so I thought I'd just start a thread where you can post questions abouy anything ecommerce (suppliers, platforms, credit card processors, SEO, dropshipping, etc...) and I will try to answer them here.
     
  2. frenchy
    Offline

    frenchy New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Paris
    Rep Bank:
    $49
    Great post. I do have a few questions to ask you then (sorry If i do some english mistakes...):

    I'm launching a new e-commerce website in France. I built the whole website by myself because the idea is a bit special as regards to the payment process. I built the entire code so that every purchaser can set their own price for the product they want. Every time a purchase is done, the website automatically updates the statistics and reckon what is the best price (according to the demand) that gives the best profit. At the end of the selling period, a table comes out with all the bets done by all the purchasers, showing for every price (or price range) the demand and profit. Thus, the best price (which gives the highest profit) is automatically reckoned and the seller can easily figure out at what price he can make the highest profit. The purchasers who have set a price equal or higher to the best-profit-price win the product at the price they set; the ones who have set a price lower loose the product and nothing is debited from their credit card (their payments are unlocked). I must say that all that code is working perfectly now, it's on the internet now and doing very good.:cool:

    Therefore, when I sell a product on my website, I would like to "lock" or to "hold" the payement done by the purchaser until the end of the selling period (which varies according to the product - let's say 2 or 3 days in average). It's not allowed to debit the credit car unless the purchaser has won the products, hence the need to hold the payement until we know if the purchaser has won or not.

    I would like to know if there's a payement website (like paypal) that could enable me to "lock" the payment until the end of the sell, and then debit the credit card (if the purchaser has won the product) or "unlock" the payment in the case where the purchaser has lost? Do you know anything that could help me as regards to that?

    I hope everything is understandable, let me know if something is not clear ;-)

    Thanks
    :thumbsup:
     
    Leo Hendrix and nordien1978 like this.
  3. puckman
    Offline

    puckman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $417
    sure, can you tell us your background, your experience/success in ecommerce?
     
    Fenix likes this.
  4. andviv
    Offline

    andviv Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    5,392
    Likes Received:
    2,140
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Rep Bank:
    $3,287
    Do a search for his posts, he has posted lots and lots of info.

    Follow the links in his signature.
     
    Fenix, qvantage and ositaability like this.
  5. Phantom
    Offline

    Phantom New Contributor

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $53
    Thank you for doing this! For finding dropshippers, do you use big eCommerce warehouses like world wide brands or do you contact companies in the niche that you're interested in and try to set up an agreement.
     
  6. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    You can do this by setting your payment processor to authorize a transaction instead of a capturing a sale.

    Basically it's a what a rental company would do for your deposit. They charge $1000 on your card so that amount is put aside on your card and when you return whatever you rented they can either cancel the charge (it never shows up on your card) or send the charge through (if you damage what you rented).

    To do this you need a real credit card payment processor, not paypal or google checkout, etc...
     
    OliverR, Leo Hendrix, Fenix and 4 others like this.
  7. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    I've found WWB to be decent but it's better to just directly contact companies. If you have a niche, then you have no need for WWB. In fact, I don't dropship anymore so I would rather find companies that don't dropship.
     
    Mike351, OliverR and Djinn91 like this.
  8. MJ DeMarco
    Offline

    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    27,173
    Likes Received:
    86,485
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $365,717
    Admin Post
    Kenric, how about some photos of your operation and warehouse? I think it furthers evidences that you are actually out there, living it, and doing it - not talking about it. Thanks for this thread.
     
    Aphotic, qvantage, Neeraj and 2 others like this.
  9. frenchy
    Offline

    frenchy New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Paris
    Rep Bank:
    $49
    Thanks. Would you advise me to do that directly with my bank or with a particular payment processor on the internet?
     
  10. Whole Paradigm
    Offline

    Whole Paradigm Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    165
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $370
    Kenric,

    When running multiple ecommerce sites, what types of systems do you have in place to help keep track of sales, emails from customers, etc? So that it's less overwhelming and easy to maintain...


    Thanks for starting this thread,

    Cory
     
    Fenix, Neeraj and Djinn91 like this.
  11. puckman
    Offline

    puckman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $417
    thanks.

    1) Would you recommend using Magento for a 1 man shop? Magento was a giant pain when we rolled it out, across a team. Now that I am on my own, starting stores, I am wondering if its too much for a small operation like mine. I would initially build the store and back end, with occasional help. Most good Magento guys I know charge $90/hr, not cheap. From my experience Magento is a giant undertaking, not sure if its good for small operations.

    2) Whats your POV on Wordpress ecommerce stores? Worth it? Again, I am a small operation, building a lot on my own.

    3) At what point in an ecommerce company lifecycle do you introduce marketing(SEM, FB ads, Display ads, etc)? From my experience we were live and grew quickly for two years before we spent any money on marketing. We were in a high growth niche with lots of exposure from sponsorships and events. Now its our largest expense.

    4) What do you do to identify new trends in retail? Example, in the next few years, wireless electrical charging is going to be huge. It will be in the iphone, and I imagine a cottage retail industry to be created. Do you have any voodoo to spot these quiet potential retail opportunities?
     
    Leo Hendrix, Fenix and Slick like this.
  12. PatrickP
    Offline

    PatrickP Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Rep Bank:
    $947
    Great thread and great idea.

    I have often thought of how nice it would be to have drop shippers but it seems Kenric started that way but not buys his stuff upfront and then ships it out.

    Question Kenric, Was it tough to build up the money to buy, warehouse and ship out all the items you sell on your websites as opposed to having companies drop ship for you?
     
    Fenix and qvantage like this.
  13. LightHouse
    Offline

    LightHouse Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    3,978
    Likes Received:
    5,341
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Rep Bank:
    $29,388
    Nice thread! 2x on what Mj said, the warehouse is impressive.
     
  14. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    You need to sign up for a merchant account and get a payment processor. I use Chase paymentech with authorize.net. But there are tons out there like First data, group ISO. All of them should be able to authorize and not capture a sale.
     
    OliverR, Fenix, leonbenj and 2 others like this.
  15. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    The backend of most stores can keep track of everything for you. I recently started using Webgility to manage sales, shipments and quickbooks stuff.

    All the phone calls come to a single line. I'm just using Gmail and its labels to organize everything. I was going to go to a help desk ticketing system but it wasn't user friendly enough. I could see me going there in the future.
     
    OliverR, Fenix, Twista and 2 others like this.
  16. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    1) I'm not sure what the hang up is. Magento is pretty powerful. Being a one person shop doesn't mean you would need less features in a cart. I don't use free software because it is normally a pain so I just pay for commercial software and then you get their support.

    2) I think WP carts are getting pretty good. Professional software is so cheap these days, I always wonder why people starting stores are too cheap to shell out their money. If you don't have enough confidence in yourself to make back the $300 or the $30 a month, you should not be starting a business.

    Now, with that said, if you don't have the money, then go with a free cart until you can afford a paid one. I did that for 6 months. I should have done it from the start. You will probably think the same thing once you start free and go to paid.

    3) I instantly start SEO and PPC from day one. Even when I rank #1 on google, I still spend on PPC. It's marketing, people constantly see your ad and your website name every time they search.

    4) I don't do much of that now. I'm not looking to expand with more stores or niches. I'm changing gears a little this year.
     
    OliverR, Fenix, Twista and 8 others like this.
  17. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    Dropshipping is nice. But it limits your stores. Imagine you sell shoes and Nike and Reebok tells you that they don't dropship. Only Addidas and Puma dropship. Now you have a store that is limited to 2 brands. At some point you need to decide if you are happy selling only 50% of the possible products in your store. If you are, that's fine. But how do you grow that way?

    So you then decide that you sell enough Addidas and Pumas that you can afford to buy a truckload of Nikes. Bring them to your house and BAM now you got 3 of the 4 brands. Sales increase, and you bring in Reebok. It's a natural progression.

    The shipping out part is easy. No real skill involved with that. I just got a Fedex account, bought boxes and started shipping. In many ways, this is much better than dropshipping because you know what you have in stock. You don't have to call your dropshipper every time somebody asks a question.
     
  18. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    Warehouse is messy. I won't be posting any pictures of it. :)
     
  19. hedgehog757
    Offline

    hedgehog757 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    75
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    Rep Bank:
    $207
    Great Thread! Thanks for posting it. I use First Data with Authorize.net for my current business. Although I have never captured a credit card without charging it. I never had reason to as of yet, so I have no idea how to do that.
     
    leonbenj likes this.
  20. puckman
    Offline

    puckman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $417
    cool, from what I know the all in one paid solutions are limited in features, and migrating to a bigger platform(magento) is challenging. cost is no concern.

    What do you recommend for paid solutions?
     
  21. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    You can set this in your authorize.net admin panel when you log in.
     
    GlobalWealth likes this.
  22. PatrickP
    Offline

    PatrickP Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Rep Bank:
    $947

    Thank you for the info.


    I imagine you have to have tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory correct?
     
  23. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    Which all in one paids solutions are you talking about?

    bigcommerce, volusion, cs-cart have tons of features.
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. biophase
    Online

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    26,094
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $175,662
    I have decent inventory, but not that much. I could always have more. It's a balancing act.
     
    leonbenj likes this.
  25. puckman
    Offline

    puckman Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $417
    thanks, online retail is my background, and in the past startups and larger co's I have worked with/for, it was all home grown and dev'd. Unless of course you use a shop like Alexander Interactive.
     

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page