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GOLD! Ask me anything about eCommerce (2012)

Shdreams

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Has Anyone ever convinced manufacturers for product photos to post on there site before even making a purchase. To test the product. Assuming at least a sample has been ordered with the manufacturer before of a different product? Clearly I'm going for minimal Invested start up. Crooked or smart
?
 

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FastlaneTiger

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I'm pretty new to E-commerce and one thing that I can't get is why people need an other E-commerce store where there are many already.
 

G_Alexander

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I'm pretty new to E-commerce and one thing that I can't get is why people need an other E-commerce store where there are many already.
Why did people need Facebook when Myspace, LiveJournal and Friendster existed? Premium quality.
 

sle3pyguii

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Hi Biophase,

Just had a question. I did my usual Alibaba browsing today and found something I thought would be good to try out (cheap + good margins). However, I realized that it has been sold in the past outside of Amazon, but it is no longer being sold anywhere.
From what I can tell, it's not a copyrighted/trademarked piece and was basically just sourced from a Chinese factory.

I don't plan on selling strictly out of the box like the previous person did. I'm going to throw in a related accessory with the item when I sell it.

Should I invest a bit into this product? I'm going to focus strictly on Amazon FBA for this project first.
 

Chris90120

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Oct 17, 2014
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Hey BioPhase,
Thanks for all your informative information but with regards to online auction ecommerce where would I start? In other words, focusing on selling a certain category of niche products on a wordpress website which integrates an auction/bid system. What would you recommend in terms of how I would earn revenue? Should I take a fee for a listing, advertising or?
 

GravyBoat

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Has Anyone ever convinced manufacturers for product photos to post on there site before even making a purchase. To test the product. Assuming at least a sample has been ordered with the manufacturer before of a different product? Clearly I'm going for minimal Invested start up. Crooked or smart
?
Awesome idea, one I had in fact for a while, but I couldn't get any NON WATERMARKED pictures from the suppliers/MFG's. If you could somehow photoshop that out and take "preorders" you could possibly test a market. Or, you could create a landing page and just collect emails.

Try it and let us know it it works!

Gravy
 

Twista

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Thank you biophase and the rest of contrubitors for taking the time to give out golden information. It took me almost a week to finish between school and work and my slow reading but it was totally worth it. A lot of questions have been answered by reading this thread. I can't wait to open my ecommerce store!

I will be coming back to this thread as a reference. Again, biophase, thank you for starting this thread!
 

MoneyDoc

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Awesome idea, one I had in fact for a while, but I couldn't get any NON WATERMARKED pictures from the suppliers/MFG's. If you could somehow photoshop that out and take "preorders" you could possibly test a market. Or, you could create a landing page and just collect emails.

Try it and let us know it it works!

Gravy
If you're using alibaba, just ask the supplier to provide you with pictures without their company logo so that you can show your clients. Works for me every single time.
 

GravyBoat

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If you're using alibaba, just ask the supplier to provide you with pictures without their company logo so that you can show your clients. Works for me every single time.
Cool part is you're even telling the truth at that point :D
Have you done any market tests using this method?
 

MoneyDoc

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Cool part is you're even telling the truth at that point :D
Have you done any market tests using this method?
Yeah. Threw up a couple of lander pages using photos from the suppliers. So far I've found two good niches..
 

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Xel

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Biophase, this thread has helped give me the motivation to venture out into the e-commerce world as well.
I plan to start a B2B site in teh near future.
The products I will be offering are very expensive and are traditionaly handled with quotes.
Each product will have a series of user selected customizations.
I think the store should function liek a normal e-commerce store minus the two points above.

How would you go about implementing a shopping cart that does't "checkout" but generates a quote instead?
Can it be done by modifying already existing e-commerce software or would you need to start from scratch?
 

Deon

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I'm pretty new to E-commerce and one thing that I can't get is why people need an other E-commerce store where there are many already.
What's the point of opening a restaurant when there are so many restaurants? What's the point of opening a store when there are so many stores? What's the point of opening a bar or night club when there so many other ones?

Because you are solving a problem in a way others have not. Maybe you offer better customer service or a better product. Maybe you are making it easier for people to order the product or understand it, etc.

Plus, if you want to sell your own product, why wouldn't you create a website to sell it? You can send it to other online stores of course, but that would reduce your margins of course. So why not have your own e-commerce store selling your product, then having your product sold in other online stores as well... win-win.
 

vap3

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Nov 11, 2013
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Shipping time would be a big issue. If you are going to have long shipping times, then you probably need to compete on price. I don't mind getting something in 2 weeks from Aliexpress when the price is 1/3 off. I would carry some stock at your house, just 1 of each product. But it sounds like the product is big? and double shipping would ruin your margins?

wow the guy at Aliexpress is making a killer living! What platform is he using to host his store? Is that magneto? I am impressed
 

vap3

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Nov 11, 2013
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oh if Aliexpressed is owned by Jack Ma then ok I can see why he is king haha. I thought it was a regular joe blow like you and me that opened that site, but shit it is a nice site and for small guys to compete it is going to take some serious brains
 

Deon

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oh if Aliexpressed is owned by Jack Ma then ok I can see why he is king haha. I thought it was a regular joe blow like you and me that opened that site, but shit it is a nice site and for small guys to compete it is going to take some serious brains
haha yeah it's part of AliBaba :)
 
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biophase

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Hi Biophase,

Just had a question. I did my usual Alibaba browsing today and found something I thought would be good to try out (cheap + good margins). However, I realized that it has been sold in the past outside of Amazon, but it is no longer being sold anywhere.
From what I can tell, it's not a copyrighted/trademarked piece and was basically just sourced from a Chinese factory.

I don't plan on selling strictly out of the box like the previous person did. I'm going to throw in a related accessory with the item when I sell it.

Should I invest a bit into this product? I'm going to focus strictly on Amazon FBA for this project first.
Find out why it's not being sold anywhere now. Maybe no demand?
 
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biophase

biophase

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Biophase, this thread has helped give me the motivation to venture out into the e-commerce world as well.
I plan to start a B2B site in teh near future.
The products I will be offering are very expensive and are traditionaly handled with quotes.
Each product will have a series of user selected customizations.
I think the store should function liek a normal e-commerce store minus the two points above.

How would you go about implementing a shopping cart that does't "checkout" but generates a quote instead?
Can it be done by modifying already existing e-commerce software or would you need to start from scratch?
You may not need a shopping cart for this. If you are quoting products, I would use wufoo or formstack forms to get submissions and then follow up with phone calls. I would go with a standard old model. Quote, phone call, email followup, PO & invoice or credit card over the phone and ship model.
 

Xel

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Great advice above, thank you very much.
I have decided to go with form submission, follow up, PO & invoice as you suggested.
I think the shopping cart route would have added too much complication resulting in a lower conversion rate.
I have outsourced the web design and hope to be up and running in the near future.
 

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vap3

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hi biophase, I appreciate the time you are sparing to help us all out! If I was interested in paying a small fee for you to take a look at my website and recommend any optimizations would you be interested? Just for reference I'm running my store on woocommerce.
 
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GuestUser156

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Hi @biophase

If opening up a store in a niche with a few small competitors, how would you usually plan to beat these guys?

I know you're focused on customer service, but what else do you offer, that makes them choose you?
 
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biophase

biophase

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Hi @biophase

If opening up a store in a niche with a few small competitors, how would you usually plan to beat these guys?

I know you're focused on customer service, but what else do you offer, that makes them choose you?
Make your product better than theirs. Sell something that your competitors don't.
 

The Grind

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Make your product better than theirs. Sell something that your competitors don't.
When you say "make your product better than theirs". Do you mean, contact the supplier your getting the item from, ask them if they can make x y z changes to the product? Then test the "new" product?
 
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biophase

biophase

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When you say "make your product better than theirs". Do you mean, contact the supplier your getting the item from, ask them if they can make x y z changes to the product? Then test the "new" product?
I doubt your supplier will do that for you. But if they will, great.

You need to sidestep them and find a manufacturer, design and make a product. OR find another product that is complimentary and bundle it together with your supplier's product. You can't sell the same thing as the other stores or you just become another store competing with the big boys.
 

The Grind

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I doubt your supplier will do that for you. But if they will, great.

You need to sidestep them and find a manufacturer, design and make a product. OR find another product that is complimentary and bundle it together with your supplier's product. You can't sell the same thing as the other stores or you just become another store competing with the big boys.
So basically invent a new product
 
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biophase

biophase

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So basically invent a new product
Well no. Make yours better. I'm responding to the poster who had a store in a small niche. Let's say his niche is desk lamps. Maybe he sells a bunch of silver or black swing arm desk lamps. But none of his suppliers make a red or blue one. So he makes those. Now he sells something his competitors don't.
 
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GuestUser156

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Make your product better than theirs. Sell something that your competitors don't.
Thanks. I'd prefer to do that too, but let's say you have to go into this niche and sell (almost) the exact same thing as them.
It's like a subscription box each month, but the competitors do it besides their regular business, so nobody's really putting much effort into it.
 
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the5thpgriff

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Hey guys I'm starting an ecomm site using wordpress. I've heard people talk about BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento but I was thinking about starting with WooCommerce... does anyone have any experience/reviews on woocommerce??

Thanks! Any info is greatly appreciated.
 

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