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ECommerce success outside US. Anyone?

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Smuggo

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Hello everyone,

I wanted to start this thread to find people who were successful in eCommerce outside US or any country that has Amazon. I've been through some threads and most of them tell stories about 6-figures but they are mostly in America.

I know that "bring value to others" is most important thing, but I am living with that bias that you can't earn 6-figures doing eCommerce in Europe in a small country (Poland, no Amazon). That's why I want to kill it ASAP. And maybe it will help other to get rid of that belief, if it's false.
 

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RazorCut

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If you are living in a European country outside of the influence of Amazon then you have a distinct advantage as you are not competing with the biggest eCommerce bully in the world.

You also aren't competing with people who, without a ton of effort, can attach themselves to existing successful Amazon listings and drop the price to gain instant sales.

You can become a savvy eCommerce store owner, building a site that solely belongs to you. Learn marketing to drive the traffic and reap the rewards.

Do a search for the product(s) you want to offer and see what your competition is. You just need to beat them and a lot will probably be pretty mediocre.

Can you do 6 figures? Of course you can, 6 figures isn't much at all unless you live in a country with only 1000 citizens and they only earn $4 a week (and even then that's over $200k).

I live in a European country and owned eCommerce businesses doing over $1M a year with mostly just domestic sales.

As @Longinus said 'whats holding you back'?
 

srodrigo

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If you are living in a European country outside of the influence of Amazon then you have a distinct advantage as you are not competing with the biggest eCommerce bully in the world.

Could you provide a bit more context on this? Do you mean that Amazon monopolises the eCommerce business there and makes other eCommerce's lives hard? We also have Amazon in Europe (I use it much more to buy online than on any other eCommerce), but they don't have such an influence here?
 

RazorCut

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I am living with that bias that you can't earn 6-figures doing eCommerce in Europe in a small country (no Amazon)

From Smuggo post I took it they meant they didn't have Amazon trading in their country. Not knowing what country they are in (which bugs the crap out of me, as I personally think it should be made a site requirement so as to give some context when reading and replying). I mean why do you not want to disclose what country you are located in?

Anyway, in the US Amazon take around $1 for every $2 dollars of online retail spend. If you don't have to swim in waters where your competitor is a great white shark life is a lot easier, yes?
 

Smuggo

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From Smuggo post I took it they meant they didn't have Amazon trading in their country. Not knowing what country they are in (which bugs the crap out of me, as I personally think it should be made a site requirement so as to give some context when reading and replying). I mean why do you not want to disclose what country you are located in?

Anyway, in the US Amazon take around $1 for every $2 dollars of online retail spend. If you don't have to swim in waters where your competitor is a great white shark life is a lot easier, yes?

Sorry for that. I was sure I've added my country. Was in hurry and probably missed that. Fixed.
 

Smuggo

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Yes, I'm doing that amongst many others here. Progress thread on the inside. What's holding you back?

I think I can find tons of excuses that are actually not important (just laziness) , but I wanted to hear that it's possible here in Europe since I mostly hear about people success in US. RazorCut pointed some of the advantages and I am grateful for that.
 

Longinus

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With one single listing on Amazon.com, my product is available for 325 million people in the USA alone. To beat this in Europe, I need to list in at least 5 countries, with 5 different languages and 5 different regulations, let alone tax and VAT.
 

MitchC

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There’s a number of e-commerce businesses in New Zealand, an isolated country of 4 million people, making millions of dollars.

As others mentioned 100k is nothing. A coffee shop can make 100k easily
 

Smuggo

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With one single listing on Amazon.com, my product is available for 325 million people in the USA alone. To beat this in Europe, I need to list in at least 5 countries, with 5 different languages and 5 different regulations, let alone tax and VAT.

And that's also one of the reasons I am asking this question. I don't know much about regulations and if it's hard to implement but, let's say, I have access to the 10-20% of US population in a single country. So to achieve something like "American Dream" I would have to sell my products in other countries in Europe?

If you don't mind me asking. Do you sell your products like you described? Different countries ect.?

Edit:
There’s a number of e-commerce businesses in New Zealand, an isolated country of 4 million people, making millions of dollars.

As others mentioned 100k is nothing. A coffee shop can make 100k easily

Wow. Didn't know that. So my previous question is invalid now.
 

Longinus

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And that's also one of the reasons I am asking this question. I don't know much about regulations and if it's hard to implement but, let's say, I have access to the 10-20% of US population in a single country. So to achieve something like "American Dream" I would have to sell my products in other countries in Europe?

If you don't mind me asking. Do you sell your products like you described? Different countries ect.?

No, that's why I sell in USA only. The effort I put in one country, gives me the same revenue as I should do it in multiple smaller countries.

It doesn't need any regulations, it's easy actually. That's why many Chinese sellers are active on Amazon too.

Of course you can also sell in your own country and make good money, all depends on the market and your product. For me it would be impossible to sell the same volume in the Benelux only. The niche I'm in is also much bigger in America.
 

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Frank H.

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I've heard that some sellers have a 10% ACoS (and other good metrics) in territories such as Canada, however there are double duties. I think there is a lot of opportunity outside the US if you have solid connections in different countries. Make sure to do your DD on their culture and traditions.
 

Fabio1

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Do a search for the product(s) you want to offer and see what your competition is. You just need to beat them and a lot will probably be pretty mediocre.

Can you do 6 figures? Of course you can, 6 figures isn't much at all unless you live in a country with only 1000 citizens and they only earn $4 a week (and even then that's over $200k).


I totally agree, but I think it depends on a lot of factors such as the type op product, the percentage of people that need/want your product, the quality you’re offering etc. When offering products only in to small country, the scalability is limited.


For example, according to the central office for statistics, in 2016 there were 12.8 million people in the age of 15-75 in the Netherlands (about 75% of the entire Dutch population). Assuming (just for the example) that your product will eventually be bought by 1 in 5000 people, the potential sale is 2560 products. Assuming you can make a profit of ten dollar each, the total profit will be 25.600 dollar.

For Belgium it would be 16.950 dollar

Poland 57.000

UK 99.000,

Germany 124.500

US 487.500

China 2.079.000

I think this shows pretty much the differences in market potential when only serving people in your own country. According to the mathematics, you have to increase the potential sale market by either increase to the amount of potential customers (for example selling to other countries), increase the amount of products per person, increase the margins per product or increase your product line.
Did I forget something?

@RazorCut, since you have operated in the European market, may I ask to which of the potential factors to increase the volume (that I mentioned above) you have focused on?
 

RazorCut

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@RazorCut, since you have operated in the European market, may I ask to which of the potential factors to increase the volume (that I mentioned above) you have focused on?

It's not just increasing volume. That is only part of the equation. I'd much prefer to sell 12 products a year than 50,000 if the net profits were the same. I'll give you a short breakdown of how I scaled and the associated problems..

I found a relatively small niche in the jewellery and craft trade that was responsive to a single product I had imported in two colours (tested the market via eBay).

Once I knew there was demand we increased the original product to 10 different sizes, with the majority in 24 colours. All product was manufactured for us in India and Europe, and on each order we would increase the range. As a result we became the go-to place for the product as, although there were other sellers nobody had the sheer range and depth we had. In fact we even sold wholesale to our competitors. That created authority which created trust which created sales.

Then we added complimentary products until we had 1000+ and two warehouses. While this was going on we developed our own web site and built on Amazon. Also, as we now had the infrastructure in place and spare warehouse space, (plus business connections) we branched out into two other niches. Our two main eBay accounts both had well over 100k positive feedback each, so you can see even a small niche can scale.

We were probably running around 2000 products between the different niches in the end and sending them all over the world. The hardest part was finding quality manufactures and keeping ahead of the game.

By this I mean when it comes to selling on a shared platform like eBay and Amazon products have a life cycle. We would introduce a new line that would sell very well at good margins for several months until competitors caught on and found our supplier or sourced something similar. They would then offer it at a lower price in order to take market share.

You then get into a price war so you are selling less product at lower margins and the product that was part of your 80/20 strategy moves from the 20% to the 80% and you need to replace it with another high profit, high volume product. If you don't profits drop considerably.

The danger with Amazon and eBay is that if you dominate a category you stand out and become a prime target for competitors both large and small.
 

Fabio1

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@RazorCut,
thanks for the comprehensive answer.

So you didn’t used only one way, but several at the same time. And moreover, you were constantly aware of how the market and especially the competitors were moving and you anticipated adequately. Thanks for pointing to the limited life cycles of products on these platforms.

For me personally, I wouldn’t prefer to sell on these platforms where the run to be the cheapest is the order of the day. The big advantage, however, is that such platforms can provide momentum which is far more difficult I think for a brand website alone.
 

Walter Hay

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No, that's why I sell in USA only. The effort I put in one country, gives me the same revenue as I should do it in multiple smaller countries.

It doesn't need any regulations, it's easy actually. That's why many Chinese sellers are active on Amazon too.

Of course you can also sell in your own country and make good money, all depends on the market and your product. For me it would be impossible to sell the same volume in the Benelux only. The niche I'm in is also much bigger in America.
There are many people like you selling on Amazon USA although they are not in the USA. It certainly gives you access to the biggest market of all.

Walter
 

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