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Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by biophase, Aug 28, 2015.

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  1. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Paypal is good for samples and small orders. I used Trade Assurance by alibaba for my actual order of a few thousand $ once I paid him for the samples and it went OK. Paypal has a ridiculous 5-6% fee with chinese suppliers so for larger orders its usually steep
     
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  2. Ivan M.
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    Hello once again @biophase

    I guess I can tell you what I'm fully doing. Ok, here it goes. . . . .I have a system that allows me to monitor, order, fulfill and even put tracking #'s automatically when it starts to ship. I don't know if you're familiar with this system, it's called Profit Scraper (profitscraper.com). I am now dealing with 25 eBay accounts along with 25 Paypal accounts consecutively. How it works is that you have sold an item, it compares with the lower prices on Amazon and then orders the exact-same item but at a cheaper price. I only make $2-5 per item, but I was thinking to increase my sales, say at least 30-50 sales a day. I would at least bring around $100 a day, but for some reason, due to eBay fees, Profit Scraper fees ($.40 per auto order) it seems like I'm barely just scraping by.

    If you're familiar with this system, can you tell me some pointers how I can increase my profits? I'm making sales, but the profits are small (enough to by a cup of coffee daily). If you want to check out this system, by all means please check it out. I'll be waiting for your reply and no rush, I am a very patient man. Thanks ahead of time.
     
  3. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Honestly, you have exactly what you said, a system. You aren't really building the real business.

    It sounds like the only reason you're making money at the current level you are is because you have 25 separate eBay accounts.

    You should ask yourself two questions, if you get this to let's say $100 a day, will you feel secure? Do you feel that you can go out and buy a nice car, rent a nicer place, etc. or were you constantly be looking over your shoulder and hope your money machine doesn't crumble one day.

    The other question is, is this a business that you want to be in for 1-5 years. Would you be proud of this business? Would you tell your friends what you do?

    My answer to you is, you can implement all these things to get more traffic and more sales to your eBay accounts but all that work you put in can go to zero in one day. Do you really want to invest your time in that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  4. Ivan M.
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    Greetings @biophase,

    Thanks for your response.

    I know, it sounds like I'm being the passenger and not the driver during the fast-lane journey, but I really wasn't going to rely on this business model for the long term. This is just a springboard I'm trying to use to get me into the real business me and my wife are trying to start which is an online payment and transportation solution for Craigslist users. This will temporarily help me get there and fund the real business I'm trying to get into and then the business will run itself to where I don't have to rely on this system anymore.

    I can see your point. You're right, I don't just want to make $100 a day, more like I want to make at least 4 to 5 figures a month. Right now, me and my wife are just sharing 1 car of a family of 4 and it's driving (no pun intended) me crazy.

    I am open to other business models as a temporary springboard if you have any recommendations. Thanks again for the reply.
     
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  5. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So if you aren't going to rely on this business model long term, why start it? Why don't you start the real business that you want right now? I don't quite understand what an online payment and transportation solution for Craigslist users is. But why can't you start that today?

    It doesn't sound right. Imagine a chef saying, I'm going to open up a restaurant in 3 years, but first I'm going to learn how to sell stuff on ebay to fund my restaurant. Wouldn't it be better for him to get a job at a restaurant? So how does learning how to arbitrage on ebay get you closer to starting your other business?
     
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  6. Ivan M.
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    Answer(s) to the first question: My wife has discovered to do arbitrage and she's a stay-at-home mom. I came in to help her (us) with the business. Also, it keeps me from working 2 jobs in the meantime and gives me the freedom to come home and spend time with my kids at least in the meantime and provide the means to have extra time in the evenings to do business. I also like doing eCommerce as well coming from a street-learned IT background.

    Answer to the 2nd question: About the Craigslist business, my wife has also started that about 5 years ago and we haven't been able to get the business off the ground yet. It'll take a minute to explain the idea we have. But in order to franchise this business to other states (franchising), we kinda need a cash-flow system that'll provide support. Can't find any other way of cash-flowing this and we're not going to go back to loans and credit cards. Filed bankruptcy, twice because of it along with foreclosure, short sale and repo of my car. So in the meantime, we're putting our first business (Classified Convenience: www.clacov.com, still need some revisions, work etc.) on the back burner for now. "If interested in checking our website out, feel free to do so. It'll explain more in detail about our online business model"

    Hope this explains what we're trying to do, if not, I'll wait for your comment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  7. Ninjamin
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    Finally finished reading (plus note taking) this thread in 2 days.

    First of all, I want to thank @biophase for not only starting this thread but also your commitment to imparting your knowledge and experience to us all. Thanks also to everyone else that provided valuable insights. While I've only just started out, I look forward to making contributions to this thread and forum where I can.
     
  8. Weixin
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    Opinion on Shopify Dropshipping?
     
  9. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes, Don't do it.
     
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    What are some of the biggest technical issues you've had creating an e-commerce website?
     
  11. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So you are trying to franchise a business that doesn't make any money? Kinda seems like you are doing this backwards.

    Or am I understanding it wrong. Your business makes money right now but you need more money to do the franchising paperwork?
     
  12. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    There aren't many technical issues if you use a hosted cart. Then the only techy stuff you need to know is HTML or php to customize your template. Or just purchase a template and you don't need to know any coding.

    If you go selfhosted, then you'd need to know a lot more tech stuff like hosting, FTP, SSL, HTML, php and some light overall server and email setup knowledge.
     
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  13. Weixin
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    Can you explain why not?
    (Just curious)
     
  14. Scot
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    As a consumer, if I have to wait more than 3 days for shipping I'm not buying your stuff. You can thank Amazon for spoiling me.
     
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  15. amp0193
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    amp0193 Platinum Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I had an eBay customer railing on me because I took 2 days from payment to ship his item.

    I didn't apologize, as that's still pretty reasonable.

    Amazon is raising the bar of customer expectations for sure.
     
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  16. Scot
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    I only say that because my impression of drop shipping is 2+ week shipping from China. In 2017, I'm not waiting that long unless it's a custom design or handmade item on Etsy.

    Not saying it's the right mentality to have, but it's what customers expect.
     
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  17. Tarma
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    I'm torn.

    I'm not sure about starting an eCommerce and importing some product, leveraging Amazon FBA or just do the fulfillment and marketing myself. The goal is to build a brand and a cashflow system.

    Let's put this into perspective, using some CENTS.


    With Amazon:


    CONTROL - Not much, if I build a business solely using Amazon's FBA and anything happens, I'm pretty much screwed.

    ENTRY - Lower barrier, fierce competition. This is my deal breaker. My education is in marketing and yes, I know how create compelling Value Propositions, but I have ZERO experience in eCommerce. Do I really know how to deliver something better that the rest of the world? I doubt it. Especially if I'm going to sell on the U.S. marketplace. I sense a huge red flag.

    NEED - Self-explanatory.

    TIME - Well, here Amazon is a winner. No inventory, no shipping, and (I'm guessing here, correct me if I'm wrong) a good deal of marketing removed from the equation. Also Customer Service, Refunds, all handled by Amazon.

    SCALE - Pretty Awesome. I live in Italy, so scaling is a big concern for me. With Amazon I got to choose between 3 big markets: U.S., U.K. and Germany. I'll have a much greater audience and therefore volume of traffic and sales.

    BONUS: PRODUCTOCRACY - Amazon's reviews system is a clear pull.


    Without Amazon:


    CONTROL - Complete control.

    ENTRY - Higher barrier of entry. Fulfillment enters the equation. Marketing costs has to be accounted. I have to build the eCommerce. I'll have accessory monthly expenses (Shopify + Apps + Marketing tools). On the other hand, since I will only sell in Italy, the competition is DRASTICALLY lower, making the NEED way easier to satisfy. A saturated market in the U.S. might still be a blue ocean here.

    NEED - See above.

    TIME - All shipping will be done by myself. This is a big commitment. Although, that doesn't scare me, I have to consider that this won't be my only business (but hopefully, will replace the one I have now). Also, Customer Service: complains, refunds, all will be handled by me. I am a huge fan of excellent customer service, so I know I'll dedicate all the time necessary to it, even at the cost of neglecting other issues.

    SCALE - Not so good. I will be stuck serving the Italian market, at least at the beginning. The Italian market is, generally, less receptive (see below).

    BONUS: PRODUCTOCRACY - No reviews from Amazon. Italian consumers don't trust online purchasing like US consumers. US consumers are more accustomed to giving reviews and feedback, plus they tend to be more objective.


    I have a feel in my gut: if it's harder, it's probably the right way.
    I could use HelpMYDecision for this but, honestly, I'd really like to know what an experienced entrepreneur who is familiar with Amazon think about this.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM
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  18. Ivan M.
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    No my clacov business is not bringing any money as of yet. My eBay/Amazon business is bring in little money for now but not much, but it's something at least. We're still in the newbie phase for this part.

    As far as franchising, I'm going to test the market locally in FL before I start franchising to other states first. As soon as we get enough profit coming in from Clacov (temporary name), we can write up the framework and then franchise it to other states.
     
  19. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I'm surprised that you would take so long and think it is reasonable. As a customer I would be mad too.

    2 days (business days) is too long. I ship out almost everything same day. I never ship out more than 24 hours later unless it's a weekend.

    We are competing on customer service now in the ecommerce world.
     
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  20. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Can you explain what you meant by Shopify dropshipping?
     
  21. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You are comparing 2 different things here that aren't in the same ballpark.
    1) Selling on Amazon to US customers.
    2) Selling on your website to customers in Italy

    If I had to choose I'd sell to US customers on Amazon because the market is much larger.
     
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  22. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    This is what I don't understand. How do you even think of franchising something without even one successful location?

    You don't even know if this business is successful and you are talking about franchising it. You don't just "test" your market with your business. You start your business in your market and grow it.

    This is what you've said so far.

    I want to arbitrage on Ebay to make money to pay for the franchising costs for a business that is currently not making money.

    I think your thought process about this is all wrong here.
     
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  23. Weixin
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    Dropshipping via Aliexpress and making your website with Shopify.
    (My question wasn't constructed good enough , sorry)
     
  24. JByers210
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    I've found a product to majorly Improve compared to the other products being sold. There are only 6 competitors but they have around 20-30 reviews each and when I pulled up my amazon equivalent of jungle scout, it showed they all are profiting 1K a month. I've already bought samples but I'd like to know what you think. Is this a good place to be with such little competition and not being such a well known item? Is the best way to find out just selling it and seeing the results?
     
  25. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes, the value proposition is very low. You are selling a product that any other store can sell. Your delivery times are 1-2 weeks. You don't know or understand your product at all. Your store has no advantage whatsoever.
     
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