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NOTABLE! Dominating Online Ecom. Starting A New Store From 0

hughjasle

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Was inspired while sitting here at the airport reading some recent threads and decided to have a go at another "progress" thread.

My last one is here, when I first started getting into ecom: HERE

I learned a LOT while doing that and keeping a progress thread was a nice way of logging it so I want to do it again. This time I actually know what I'm doing, or at least more than I did before lol.

I have already started so I'm going to have to play catch up for a bit on this thread, but have yet to start making any money so you get to miss all the long boring parts and jump right into the fun part.

Just a quick recap of where I'm at with the store:

  • Set up a new store on shopify (lol lots go into this step)
  • Set up all the social media names/pages/etc
  • loaded it up with product from various sources
  • spoke with manufacturers (foreign and domestic) whose products fit the store's theme
  • Currently, building up the FB page and audience via facebook posts and ads.

TBC..
 

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hughjasle

hughjasle

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First why I'm building a new store. The last store is still up and running and bringing in profits. I have just learned there are better ways of doing things and it is harder to change things after they are already moving compared to just doing it right from the beginning. That and I want to expand beyond the theme/niche of the other store (one of those things that are hard to change once you begin. Think of how hard it would be for Toys-R-Us to start selling Guns, ammo, & hunting gear).

Some of the things I'm going to be focusing on with this store: Multiple streams of traffic (Facebook, Google, Native, Email, Amazon, Jane.com, etc.) My last store was almost purely based on Facebook traffic. I love facebook, but it can be brutal sometimes. Anyone who has been running any Facebook traffic the past couple months knows of the craziness you have to constantly deal with that makes consistent profits, not so consistent.

I am going to introduce some dropshipping for the first time. My main focus will still be importing and branding, but I will offer dropshipped items this time. Mostly to fill my store up with more goods as well as an easy way to test new items.

The focus this time will be building an audience around the theme of the store. My last store was started as community built around a single product. I have successfully added more and more products, but they are all related to that first single product/category as I mentioned earlier. I want a customer base that I can continually hit up for each new product, repeat buys etc. via emails and social group interactions. This is just free money when done right. You already paid to acquire these customers, so use them!! Increase that LTV of each customer. If you can do this, then you can afford to give away product at a loss, then things really start sky-rocketing.

I want note that I'm not doing this alone either. Way too much work to maintain other business interests and do all this properly. I have a partner who I have been with for a couple years now I think. He is a quiet member of this forum as well. We have spent a good amount of money this past year on paid masterminds and courses and building friendships with guys who dominate their fields. From guys who crush amazon in the 8 figure+ range to email savants who know how all the ins and outs of getting your emails read and customers back. This has been crucial in opening our eyes to how dumb we've been in the past lol. The friendships and knowledge we've gained well worth the price paid to attend these events.
 
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hughjasle

hughjasle

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Build to sell.

A lot of what got this new project started was speaking with business brokers who specialize in online businesses. Hearing what they know and putting them on my team has helped us understand what we need to have to be able to sell well and for the highest multiple. Really it's just common sense stuff, but it's nice having it confirmed.

Here's a quick example. He sells amazon business all the time. A typical amazon business can get 2-3x their annual profits. HOWEVER, if that same business had a solid record of sales OFF amazon as well, that multiple would jump to 4-5x as those have a higher demand and rightfully so. Less points of possible failure for the future owner.

While amazon is not my main focus for this store, it is now on the map and I'm taking action to learn what I can about it from guys who know it and either directly adding them to the team or indirectly.

In this next month I have to start narrowing down and testing a lot of different product types to get the ball rolling. It took a lot of time and effort getting the backend properly set up. Much more complicated than just setting up a Shopify store like I was used to before. Glad it's about done and time for the fun stuff. Paid traffic and product selection :)
 
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hughjasle

hughjasle

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I'll try and update this when I can, but really there isn't much to report on at this point. Most of my time and days are spent hunting for new products, fine tuning the layout or flow of the site, funnels, etc.

I just spent 5 hours looking for products and only came out with ideas for 2-3 products. Lots of rubbish out there. I don't want things that everyone else can get. I like looking at existing products and seeing how I can put my own twist on it.

Sometimes ideas will flow to you left and right, sometimes it can take weeks to come up with just 1 good idea.
 

Dan1el

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I'll try and update this when I can, but really there isn't much to report on at this point. Most of my time and days are spent hunting for new products, fine tuning the layout or flow of the site, funnels, etc.

I just spent 5 hours looking for products and only came out with ideas for 2-3 products. Lots of rubbish out there. I don't want things that everyone else can get. I like looking at existing products and seeing how I can put my own twist on it.

Sometimes ideas will flow to you left and right, sometimes it can take weeks to come up with just 1 good idea.
What do your process of finding products look like? Any specific way of doing it you recommend over another?

Thank you for doing this by the way! Im currently a couple of pages into your old progress thread. Tons of value.
 

mosdef

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I'll try and update this when I can, but really there isn't much to report on at this point. Most of my time and days are spent hunting for new products, fine tuning the layout or flow of the site, funnels, etc.

I just spent 5 hours looking for products and only came out with ideas for 2-3 products. Lots of rubbish out there. I don't want things that everyone else can get. I like looking at existing products and seeing how I can put my own twist on it.

Sometimes ideas will flow to you left and right, sometimes it can take weeks to come up with just 1 good idea.
this where i am now also. Spent 3.5h last night and didnt find much. Either you give up or you push through.
 

KSR

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Do you find that in order to add your own twist to a product that you need to order in high volumes? If not, how do you convince a manufacturer to custom make the item for smaller amounts?
 

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LPPC

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If I understand it correctly, you have selected a theme/category of the store beforehand and now you are looking for products to match the theme of the store? For you have selected women jewellery as the theme and you are looking for jewellery as products to sell..
 
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hughjasle

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What do your process of finding products look like? Any specific way of doing it you recommend over another?

Thank you for doing this by the way! Im currently a couple of pages into your old progress thread. Tons of value.
No right or wrong way. If I have nothing in mind and am looking for something from scratch, I just browse sites like alibaba, aliexpress, Jane.com, Amazon, wish, etc and look at their top sellers and other products to see if anything sparks my interest or if I see an obvious way I could make something better.
 
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hughjasle

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Do you find that in order to add your own twist to a product that you need to order in high volumes? If not, how do you convince a manufacturer to custom make the item for smaller amounts?
I don't usually have a problem. If one manufacturer won't do it, another will. Just go into it knowing you cant get just one or two lol, you will have to order a fair amount.
 

KSR

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I don't usually have a problem. If one manufacturer won't do it, another will. Just go into it knowing you cant get just one or two lol, you will have to order a fair amount.
What quantity do you think is fair/usually order?
 
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hughjasle

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What quantity do you think is fair/usually order?
Totally depends on the product and the change. If it's just a color print change on a piece of paper, then only 10 pieces, and no real additional fee. Maybe $50 for them to go out and get the color or something stupid.

If it is something that requires a new mold, then I wouldn't expect anything under $5-10k worth of product.
 
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hughjasle

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If I understand it correctly, you have selected a theme/category of the store beforehand and now you are looking for products to match the theme of the store? For you have selected women jewellery as the theme and you are looking for jewellery as products to sell..
This is correct. I knew what area I wanted to be in as I know how to reach and more so, how to relate to the audience so it is easier for me to create ads and know how to add value. I asking know that this audience is willing to spend money and buy things online and do impulse buying.
 

KSR

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Totally depends on the product and the change. If it's just a color print change on a piece of paper, then only 10 pieces, and no real additional fee. Maybe $50 for them to go out and get the color or something stupid.

If it is something that requires a new mold, then I wouldn't expect anything under $5-10k worth of product.
Thanks a heap man, very helpful. If you have any other manufacturing tips - I'd love to know them.
 
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hughjasle

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100% read the book that Walter hay wrote. I'll edit and link this post to it when I'm back to a computer.

edit: Don't know the rules for outside links. So go to @Walter Hay 's profile or any of his posts and click on the link he has in his signature area under each post. That is where you can purchase his book. 100% worth it for anyone doing importing.
 
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KSR

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100% read the book that Walter hay wrote. I'll edit and link this post to it when I'm back to a computer.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
Absolute legend! Cheers. I've always wanted to know the ins and outs of bringing a product to life.
 

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hughjasle

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Another day spent shuffling through products and speaking with manufacturers.

Regarding picking products:

Look for products that solve a problem. Products that are a must have.

If you are a digger and see this shovel that can dig by itself, that is a must have. A shovel with a gold handle is nice, but it's not a must have. Which is easier to sell?

I don't 100% avoid anything (yet), but I do caution myself against many things that I know are difficult to import/ship. Things like products that need any kind of regulation. Some products are worth all the hassle, most are not.
 

LPPC

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Another day spent shuffling through products and speaking with manufacturers.

Regarding picking products:

Look for products that solve a problem. Products that are a must have.

If you are a digger and see this shovel that can dig by itself, that is a must have. A shovel with a gold handle is nice, but it's not a must have. Which is easier to sell?

I don't 100% avoid anything (yet), but I do caution myself against many things that I know are difficult to import/ship. Things like products that need any kind of regulation. Some products are worth all the hassle, most are not.
Very helpful! Thank you. +reps
 

JAJT

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I really love how you are taking a "team" and "knowledge based" approach to this.

You have a partner, you've paid for masterminds and courses, you've reached out to the folks you'll be working with in the future and figuring out what you need to get to where you want to go.

All amazing methodology. Sounds like you have very little reason not to succeed if you keep going this way.

Curious - are you planning to go the "with the crowd" on this and sell high demand, high competition products and play a ranking / traffic game, or are you going to follow something more like the "Biophase approach" who chooses extremely low competition products and builds out a quality brand worthy of people seeking it out?
 
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hughjasle

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Curious - are you planning to go the "with the crowd" on this and sell high demand, high competition products and play a ranking / traffic game, or are you going to follow something more like the "Biophase approach" who chooses extremely low competition products and builds out a quality brand worthy of people seeking it out?
It will be a mix of both. I did the mentoring with Biophase (amazing btw and worth it for anyone looking to do amazon), and found that doing so only opened up another new world of products.

Some products that don't fit the model that he tries to fill (low competition type stuff) work VERY well on paid traffic. And products that I wouldn't be able to profitably run paid traffic to work fantastic with his model.

As for what I'm running, it will be both hot products as well as low quantity products. Hot products bring loads cheap eyeballs to the store that turn into customers. A quality brand built by offering quality products, stellar customer service, and top notch marketing keeps those customers returning over and over.
 

LPPC

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It will be a mix of both. I did the mentoring with Biophase (amazing btw and worth it for anyone looking to do amazon), and found that doing so only opened up another new world of products.

Some products that don't fit the model that he tries to fill (low competition type stuff) work VERY well on paid traffic. And products that I wouldn't be able to profitably run paid traffic to work fantastic with his model.

As for what I'm running, it will be both hot products as well as low quantity products. Hot products bring loads cheap eyeballs to the store that turn into customers. A quality brand built by offering quality products, stellar customer service, and top notch marketing keeps those customers returning over and over.
Do you improve the hot products too (make it better, different than the competition)? Or do you just make sure that it's of good quality? Thank you.
 
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hughjasle

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Do you improve the hot products too (make it better, different than the competition)? Or do you just make sure that it's of good quality? Thank you.
I'll let you know when I get there. Some products would be difficult to customize, like the ones I'm getting that are patented products. For those I'm working with the patent holder and white labeling through them so customizing beyond branding is out of the question. To be fair those aren't 'hot' products, but they are good quality products with no competition and within my business theme. BUT, if they did own a hot product, the same restrictions would apply.

The hot products are not the main business. They just bring in cash when they are around. Those who focus solely on hot products find themselves out of work every 2 months.

The real money is in building and turning those hot product chasers into returning customers to buy more and more from your store and grow the store year over year.
 
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hughjasle

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SUCCESS!
After days (or really weeks) of searching for good products/ideas, today it all started paying off. Found a site that lists off how many people "like" random viral products posted to there site. While searching through it and understanding which products gathered way more likes than others, multiple ideas for new products hit me left and right. I am confident I will have at least one new winner product out of the list I created today. Feels good to see progress like that.

Additionally spent a lot of time setting learning more tricks for Amazon and setting things up better there for the last site's products as we'll use that experience to launch hard and fast with our new store once we get products in.

The goal this week is to get 4 of these products up and listed on the site and create ads for them to test demand and get things moving.
 

FreedomforEarl

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I got a new product and I know it will be fire, they are working it out with customs now, ! will sell some on Ebay since I have sold on here for 19-20 years. But I want to branch out and get me a online store , maybe shoptify. I am nervous but I have to do this. Any ideas on starting a new web base business . Any help will be good. Tired about to head to bed.
 

FreedomforEarl

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I'll try and update this when I can, but really there isn't much to report on at this point. Most of my time and days are spent hunting for new products, fine tuning the layout or flow of the site, funnels, etc.

I just spent 5 hours looking for products and only came out with ideas for 2-3 products. Lots of rubbish out there. I don't want things that everyone else can get. I like looking at existing products and seeing how I can put my own twist on it.

Sometimes ideas will flow to you left and right, sometimes it can take weeks to come up with just 1 good idea.
I just got back from Thailand and there is so much junk there I stopped looking, but I did find one item but I contacted the manufacture and I am waiting for a response !
 

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