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GOLD! How I find suppliers for my Ecommerce Stores

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biophase

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Many people always email me and ask me how I pick my niche product and how I find dropshippers or suppliers. There’s no exact science in finding a niche products. Alot of it is trial and error. You may find a decent niche product that has little competition and then find out that the wholesalers will only sell to you for $440 and the product has a $500 retail price. That is not a good product.



It’s hard to explain how to find the product. Sometimes it’s just comes to you while you are surfing the web or shopping in a mall. Other times, you realize you need to buy something and find out that you can’t find many stores that carry it.


Once I find a niche that looks promising I do a google search on it and write down the contact information for all the manufacturers. There should not be too many manufacturers if you are truly looking at a niche product. Once I have the contact info, I shoot out an email like the one below:
Hello,
I am launching a new online store that will sell only WIDGETS. My store will carry about 30-35 total products from various brands of WIDGEST. I would like to carry your WIDGETS in my store.


If you are interested I can fax you my business license, EIN number, etc… I would like to know if you offer dropshipping and if not, what your wholesale order requirements are. I prefer to pay by credit card for my orders, but can purchase on PO’s and pay invoices also.


A little background about me, I create and run online retail niche stores for a living. I purposely target niches because I feel that I can instantly compete from day one and I can concentrate on providing great customer service, aggressive marketing for my products. This is much easier to do efficiently and effectively if I target a specific niche. My store will also all include a very active blog that will be updated frequently. The blog will run promotions, contests and product reviews. All of which will generate relevant, fresh content about your WIDGETS and your brand.


Please let me know if you have any questions, feel free to call me or reply to this email.


Thank you.
I usually get a few responses, maybe about 40%. If the niche has 10 manufacturers, 4 or 10 may be enough to open a store. I usually send a follow-up email a few days later. This usually gets me a few more responses. So if I get enough manufacturers to field a store of 30-50 products, I feel that I can move forward to the next step.


The next step is to evaluate the margins. In most of the responses, the manufacturers include their wholesale price list. I go through and calculate profit margins and wholesale requirements. They also usually tell me if they do or don’t dropship.


If they dropship great! If not, you have to look at their minimums. As long as their minimums are small like $200 order total or 6 total products, I feel that I can deal with it. Let’s say I’m selling a $100 product and the wholesale price is $50 and I only need to order a $200 minimum. I will wait till someone orders 1 and then I’ll order 4 for $200. I sell one for $100 and have 3 in stock. This capital outlay isn’t that bad.


Based on all this data, I decide if I can profitably create a store.


I am moving to a stock and ship type of system now because I feel that I can afford to stock products now. As my ebizes grow and I continually add more, I can sell the same stock in all my stores which gives me a better chance of not getting stuck with stuff. Worst case scenario with stock is that you offload it on ebay at cost.


Questions? Ask away.
 

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andviv

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Great thread bio. Rep++

I moved the other conversation to its own thread, did not want to lose this info with the other topic going on there at the same time.
 

Sparlin

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Thanks for the post.

I had a few questions if you don’t mind addressing them.

First of all, you reference going to manufacturers rather than wholesalers. There is an obvious advantage to this, but from what I’ve read, most manufactures will not deal with retailers directly. Did I misunderstand your point or do you actually go straight to the production source?

In your example using $440 wholesale and $500 retail, you say it would not be worth it to you. I understand it is an 8% mark up (minus shipping cost, etc), but to the average Joe a $60 dollar mark up is ½ a day’s salary. What would you consider worthwhile? I’m not trying to be contrary, just remember there are a lot of us currently in the “slow” lane.
Some would say it’s better to sell 3 items at 24% (3 x 8%) rather than 1 item at 20%. What criteria do you use to determine what your time is worth? I realize that would be answered differently by each individual, but how do you balance a “cheaper to the masses” (Walmart) strategy and a “quality is worth it” (Saks 5th Avenue) approach?

I’m fairly comfortable with my source of wholesalers, but could you address the “phony” wholesalers (middle, middle, man) that people are sure to find on the web?


It seems you are niche specific (one product line and accessories). As you progress from drop shipper to light bulk retailer, do you plan on consolidating all products on one website, or having several independent websites that have links to the others?

Final question, how many product lines did you have and how much time elapsed before you considered yourself “in the fast lane”?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but you did offer. I think there are several here that could benefit from your insights.

Thanks again.:thumbsup:
 

biophase

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Have you ever looked at worldwidebrands.com? I'm thinking about giving up the cash so i can try it out?

Yes, I'm a member. Their list of dropshippers is pretty extensive but I haven't been able to find a niche product using it so far. I think its worth the price but they basically give you a list and you have to do alot of research yourself.
 

werbl

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Great post Biophase!

I've had good luck finding suppliers by contacting the manufacturers directly. If I'm looking to sell Wilson tennis rackets in my store, I dig up relevant phone numbers on the Wilson site and call whatever number seems most appropriate. Then I explain that I work for a retailer and we're very interested in carrying some of their products. I ask if they offer wholesale pricing directly, if not, I ask if they can give me contact info for their distributor(s). This has worked perfectly almost every time. At first I would send emails, but found that responses took forever, if they came at all. Once in a while a company will say that they're not currently looking for any new retailers. In that case I politely thank them and call back about a month later to see if anything has changed.

I did sign up for a Worldwide Brands membership, but was pretty disappointed. In the niches I'm interested in, the products available have been very slim. Lots of cheap knock-off accessories too. I wish I would have realized earlier that even better info is available almost for free by making a phone call.

Biophase, I was wondering if you could talk about your marketing strategy a bit. Once an ecommerce site is up and running for a while, pulling in a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in profit a month, how did you make the jump to the next level? Aside from SEO, Adwords etc, what else would you recommend? I always read that blogs should be started, join social networking sites etc, but are strategies like that really enough to go from an obscure, minor player in your niche to a market leader? Also, do you feel that there is a sweet spot for advertising / marketing spending, and how do you arrive at that point for your different sites?

Thanks!
 

Sparlin

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I've had good luck finding suppliers by contacting the manufacturers directly. If I'm looking to sell Wilson tennis rackets in my store, I dig up relevant phone numbers on the Wilson site and call whatever number seems most appropriate. Then I explain that I work for a retailer and we're very interested in carrying some of their products. I ask if they offer wholesale pricing directly, if not, I ask if they can give me contact info for their distributor(s). This has worked perfectly almost every time. At first I would send emails, but found that responses took forever, if they came at all. Once in a while a company will say that they're not currently looking for any new retailers. In that case I politely thank them and call back about a month later to see if anything has changed.

I did sign up for a Worldwide Brands membership, but was pretty disappointed. In the niches I'm interested in, the products available have been very slim. Lots of cheap knock-off accessories too. I wish I would have realized earlier that even better info is available almost for free by making a phone call.


Nice post, thanks. I know this was directed to Biophase, but if I may comment. It seemed like it was either boom or bust on world wide brands. I think the main issue is that their search feature is not as good as it could be. I was unable to find some items using their search box, or if I did it was cheaper quality. However when I started going through the suppliers one by one, I was finding more of the name brands and better quality items. For example, I used to be in law enforcement and was able to find the same exact items that our agency used. Sorry Biophase, I'll try to quit jumping in on your thread.
 

wildambitions

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Biophase, I was wondering if you could talk about your marketing strategy a bit. Once an ecommerce site is up and running for a while, pulling in a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in profit a month, how did you make the jump to the next level? Aside from SEO, Adwords etc, what else would you recommend? I always read that blogs should be started, join social networking sites etc, but are strategies like that really enough to go from an obscure, minor player in your niche to a market leader? Also, do you feel that there is a sweet spot for advertising / marketing spending, and how do you arrive at that point for your different sites?


http://www.thefastlanetomillions.co...igh-google-page-ranking-backlinks-forums.html
More info that Kenric has posted. And be sure to follow his blog! Great stuff.

Another thing you might be interested in attending and/or purchasing the videos from the Fastlane Meet-ups. Kenric has participated in each. Fastlane Get Together

:)
 

biophase

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Great post Biophase!

Biophase, I was wondering if you could talk about your marketing strategy a bit. Once an ecommerce site is up and running for a while, pulling in a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in profit a month, how did you make the jump to the next level? Aside from SEO, Adwords etc, what else would you recommend? I always read that blogs should be started, join social networking sites etc, but are strategies like that really enough to go from an obscure, minor player in your niche to a market leader? Also, do you feel that there is a sweet spot for advertising / marketing spending, and how do you arrive at that point for your different sites?

Thanks!

With niches I think the main limitation is your niche. There is only so much traffic you can squeeze from it. If you are selling tennis rackets only, your customer base is very small. In a perfect world, your store is ranked #1 on all search engines for any tennis racket based search. Let's just say its searched for 50,000 times a month and you get all 50,000 clicks. At this point your site is pretty much at its max potential, as is.

You can certainly SEO for terms like tennis balls, tennis courts, but do you really want this traffic?

To expand you sell decide to sell tennis balls or tennis shoes. Once you do that, a whole new niche and set of keywords develops and you start from square one again.

Blogs should be started from day one on an ecommerce store. You need your store to be dynamic and your products and their descriptions don't change. Therefore, you need a blog to keep up with content. For example, your blog can cover a major tennis tournament by writing your opinion of the players, the matches, etc... Trust me, you will get a ton of visitors searching for that tourney coverage. They will visit your blog and hopefully click into your store.

I don't use social networking at all. I guess I don't feel that they are buyers. People who join a facebook group about tennis rackets aren't really looking to buy a tennis racket IMO. My stores have myspace friends and FB friends, but I don't do much for it.

One important thing is to get the myspace, facebook and twitter URLs of your stores. You don't want someone else getting them.

I've started using youtube to market. I make little videos and post them under my store youtube accounts. The videos are informational about my products. If you did a video of you holding a new racket, showing all angles, details and explaining features, people interested in purchasing that racket will watch it. I add the videos to my blog also.

My goal is to spend no money on advertising in the future. A few of my stores have no marketing expenses. On my new store with the yoga bags, I'm going to try something new. I'm going to spend $0 on adwords or PPC and spend it all on SEO. I think I can rank high on the front page within 2 months.
 

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biophase

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Nice post, thanks. I know this was directed to Biophase, but if I may comment. It seemed like it was either boom or bust on world wide brands. I think the main issue is that their search feature is not as good as it could be. I was unable to find some items using their search box, or if I did it was cheaper quality. However when I started going through the suppliers one by one, I was finding more of the name brands and better quality items. For example, I used to be in law enforcement and was able to find the same exact items that our agency used. Sorry Biophase, I'll try to quit jumping in on your thread.

WWB makes the search hard on purpose. If it was easy, it would be in an excel file. Problem is that people would just download it and send it to all their friends.

I've found decent stuff on WWB, but you have to understand that there are manufacturers and there are wholesalers and distributors. You won't get good prices from wholesalers or distributors because they are another middleman in the supply chain.
 

biophase

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Thanks for the post.

I had a few questions if you don’t mind addressing them.

First of all, you reference going to manufacturers rather than wholesalers. There is an obvious advantage to this, but from what I’ve read, most manufactures will not deal with retailers directly. Did I misunderstand your point or do you actually go straight to the production source?

In niche markets some manufacturers will deal with you. If they don't just make your store the best store out there and they'll contact you later wanting you to carry their stuff. :)

In your example using $440 wholesale and $500 retail, you say it would not be worth it to you. I understand it is an 8% mark up (minus shipping cost, etc), but to the average Joe a $60 dollar mark up is ½ a day’s salary. What would you consider worthwhile? I’m not trying to be contrary, just remember there are a lot of us currently in the “slow” lane.

Remember that a $500 sale will be $490 in your pocket due to credit card fees. Depending on how your store does shipping you may have additional costs. If you are doing PPC and paying $1.00 a click, you need to make a sale every 50 clicks to break even.

A $50 profit on a sale is very good. But a $500 product is not going to be flying off the shelves. How many do you think you'd sell a month? It's much easier to try to make $50 on a $100 product.

You also have to account for chargebacks and fraud. If the buyer uses a stolen credit card you are out $440. You have to sell 9 of them just to break even.

Some would say it’s better to sell 3 items at 24% (3 x 8%) rather than 1 item at 20%. What criteria do you use to determine what your time is worth? I realize that would be answered differently by each individual, but how do you balance a “cheaper to the masses” (Walmart) strategy and a “quality is worth it” (Saks 5th Avenue) approach?

I do carry $20 products in my store just because I want my stores to have the largest selection possible. But I would not want to box and ship a product for a $4 profit. I may do that if I use a dropshipper, but can you imagine packing 25 boxes for $4 each and then driving them to the post office? I guess I can see it being worth $100, but over the years I've gotten lazy.

I'd rather sell fewer at higher margins than more and low margins. Less paperwork and aggravation.

I’m fairly comfortable with my source of wholesalers, but could you address the “phony” wholesalers (middle, middle, man) that people are sure to find on the web?

Off the top of my head I can think of doba. Any place that comes up when you type in dropshippers in Google I pretty much avoid.

I can be a phony wholesaler too. It's easy, I just put on my site that I am looking for retailers. Then people call me and I just give them a price inbetween my manufacturer's price and my retail price. :) It's easy to figure out eventually. You'll know the people you are buying are getting it from somewhere else.

It seems you are niche specific (one product line and accessories). As you progress from drop shipper to light bulk retailer, do you plan on consolidating all products on one website, or having several independent websites that have links to the others?

I think that you need synergies in your stores. They go through a natural progression. So imagine that I start with ghillie suits. Then I open up a new store selling knives. Then a store selling scopes and firearm accessories. Then outdoor gear. All these products are related and at any time I can decide to put scopes in my ghillie suit store. I would never close down my niche sites to consolidate. Why do that? I can see opening up a hunting superstore but why shutdown a profitably site that ranks high?

Many online stores have 3-10 stores selling the same thing. If you search for bats, I think the top 5 stores are all owned by the same company. Do a search for tool shed, I believe the 3 of the top 10 were the same company. Online, you can multiply businesses like rabbits. ;)

Snowbank gave me the idea to open more than one niche store at a time. I thought why not? Why not just start with 3 niche stores in the same niche? Why not dominate the niche from the start. I can probably have 10 stores blanket the front page of google in a niche if I wanted to.

Final question, how many product lines did you have and how much time elapsed before you considered yourself “in the fast lane”?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but you did offer. I think there are several here that could benefit from your insights.

Thanks again.:thumbsup:

I dont consider myself fastlane moneywise. If you look at my other posts you'll see that I value time alot more than money. I'll give up money to spend my time how I want to.

My niche stores usually are profitable from day one. You can tell real quick how they will go. Sometimes I find out that I don't care about my product in a certain niche. This will definitely make the store a pain and it won't be successful.
 

ATL_JB

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Thanks for all the great information. Biophase, so have you completely migrated from Volusion to the shopping cart software you mentioned in your blog. I was thinking of using Volusion for my ecommerce store.

Thanks!
Speed+
 

biophase

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Thanks for all the great information. Biophase, so have you completely migrated from Volusion to the shopping cart software you mentioned in your blog. I was thinking of using Volusion for my ecommerce store.

Thanks!
Speed+

The problem with Volusion is the bandwidth fees. Your store can easily cost you hundreds of dollars a month in bandwidth. You also cannot easily add a blog or forums to your URL with Volusion because you have to point your domain to their DNS. To me, the software was limiting in that fashion. I think the software and usability of the store is fine. But the bandwidth costs makes it a very expensive ecommerce package.

Do a google search on Volusion bandwidth or monthly costs.
 

I85

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In your example using $440 wholesale and $500 retail, you say it would not be worth it to you. I understand it is an 8% mark up (minus shipping cost, etc), but to the average Joe a $60 dollar mark up is ½ a day’s salary. What would you consider worthwhile? I’m not trying to be contrary, just remember there are a lot of us currently in the “slow” lane.
Some would say it’s better to sell 3 items at 24% (3 x 8%) rather than 1 item at 20%. What criteria do you use to determine what your time is worth? I realize that would be answered differently by each individual, but how do you balance a “cheaper to the masses” (Walmart) strategy and a “quality is worth it” (Saks 5th Avenue) approach?
If you sell something for $500shipped and have $440 into the product alone, you're not going to be making much. Once you figure shipping, shipping materials, payment processing, storage, paying to have the item packaged etc. you will be looking at a very minimal profit.

Say you have 8 product all using those numbers:
Min. order is 4 each $440ea shipped
8*4*440=$14080 will be needed just for the min. order

Say you pay 2.5% fee on the payment each item is now at $487.50
Now well will say shipping/packing/storage etc runs $12(with shipping prices these days, that gonna be a pretty small item...$500 insurance alone isn't cheap, assuming you purchase it. If you use paypal you will need sig. confirmation, another couple dollars) You will also probably being doing the packing/shipping yourself at this price asl well as storing the items at home.
$487.5-$12=$475.5-440=$35.5 Say you sell of the inventory in 4 weeks, 1 of each per week.
So in 4 weeks you have sold all 32 items for a total net of $1136. Nowhere near enough for most people to even think of quitting their job.
This also doesn't include many other things. Are you going to need to purchase any items now or in the near future? New comp, printer, packing supplies(tape gun, peanut dispense, bubble wrap rolls etc), are you going to be spending any money/time on marketing etc. These will have to come out of the profit somewhere. What if you get ripped of on one of them? There goes almost half the profit for the month as well. That would affect you much more than someone making $20k/month.


Say you had $140k+ to use, what if you now sell 80 products a week instead of 8.
Your four week "profit" is now at $11360. Of course you still have the other expenses above, but do you need more computers, printers, etc to sell 8 products/week vs. 80? I doubt it. Also, say they hire someone to do all shipping and customer service for $400/week.
They are now making (11360-(400*4))=9760 or about $117k/yr and they are only using their time to locate new items and market the site.

Of course some items will move faster than others and so forth, but for an apples to apples comparison I left all variables the same, for the most part.

What I am trying to say is that as your networth increases, so will the value of your time. Well, at least the way I see it. It's also about balancing your time:money. If you're making $100/hr but only have enough products to work 4 hours a week, you're still only making $400/week. Of course you could spend the rest of the time at a job, making $15/hr for 40 hours($600). That would be $1k a week.
Now what if you were to find enough low/mid end products to supply you with work for 45 hours a week @ $25/hr. That is an extra $625/week or about $2700/month. You may be "buying a job", but if you are currently working a normal job, then why not? Once you have built up enough capital, you should know this process like the back of your hand and have no problem finding an employee to do 95% of the work while taking 40% of the pay. Your S has now become a B.

How much free time do you have? How much cash do you have? What are you goals and the timeline for these goals? All of these will play a part in figuring out what type of return you feel necessary.




Some would say it’s better to sell 3 items at 24% (3 x 8%) rather than 1 item at 20%. What criteria do you use to determine what your time is worth? I realize that would be answered differently by each individual, but how do you balance a “cheaper to the masses” (Walmart) strategy and a “quality is worth it” (Saks 5th Avenue) approach?
Assuming the items are of similar value, consume the same amount of time and have a similar turnover rate..then I can't see why you would want to sell 3 times as many items for a 25%(20% vs 24%) more money. Unless your labor is cheap enough and you have a huge sum of money, it just doesn't make sense to me. If I am missing something please let em know.

As for Walmart and Saks, that is up to what the business is trying to accomplish. Walmart will never have the markup that Saks does, but Saks will also never have the turnover Walmart does. I don't think either is "wrong", it more about what you are trying to do with your business.
 

ATL_JB

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The problem with Volusion is the bandwidth fees. Your store can easily cost you hundreds of dollars a month in bandwidth. You also cannot easily add a blog or forums to your URL with Volusion because you have to point your domain to their DNS. To me, the software was limiting in that fashion. I think the software and usability of the store is fine. But the bandwidth costs makes it a very expensive ecommerce package.

Do a google search on Volusion bandwidth or monthly costs.


Thanks! I will do! I am thinking of creating a store for members only! I have several suppliers (manufacturers) that should give me a wide range of merchandise for my store. I am thinking of charging a membership fee and selling the products at my cost (plus shipping and other associated fees).
 

TaxGuy

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I dont consider myself fastlane moneywise. If you look at my other posts you'll see that I value time alot more than money. I'll give up money to spend my time how I want to.

I think that SL of yours begs otherwise :p

But I feel this is what most of us here are shooting for... time more so than money, especially if done properly it looks like Ecommerce is a low-risk/high-reward vehicle, in comparison to the other major avenues(real estate, stocks and B&M business), not to mention how many great free or low-cost resources there are such as the 30 Day Challenge, these forums(including most of your posts ;)), 4HWW and its forums, etc, etc.

With that in mind it can also be deceiving as with anything worthwhile it takes making wise decisions and hard work sprinkled with a little bit of luck which I feel discourages most, but the positive of that is less competition and a more rewarding feeling when you've achieved success!
 

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I think that SL of yours begs otherwise :p

But I feel this is what most of us here are shooting for... time more so than money, especially if done properly it looks like Ecommerce is a low-risk/high-reward vehicle, in comparison to the other major avenues(real estate, stocks and B&M business), not to mention how many great free or low-cost resources there are such as the 30 Day Challenge, these forums(including most of your posts ;)), 4HWW and its forums, etc, etc.

With that in mind it can also be deceiving as with anything worthwhile it takes making wise decisions and hard work sprinkled with a little bit of luck which I feel discourages most, but the positive of that is less competition and a more rewarding feeling when you've achieved success!

Almost any e-business you can make money at, the challenge is making good money then moving up from there. A lot of folks think its just a templete + paypal = profit.... thats just not true. making 2k-5k a mo is "easy" makeing 10k + a bit more work and so on and so forth. I have easy in quotes because it would be easier to me now knowing what i know rather than when i started where i made maybe 2k the 2nd half of the year from the site (started in july or something i dont remember). Once you have a well built site and the tools and components you need its all about promotion/marketing/and SEO. those are not easy and ever evolving. there is a lot to learn thats why i tell people to stop reading and get into it, you will learn better by doing and adjusting than reading out of date content.
 

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biophase

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Almost any e-business you can make money at, the challenge is making good money then moving up from there. A lot of folks think its just a templete + paypal = profit.... thats just not true. making 2k-5k a mo is "easy" makeing 10k + a bit more work and so on and so forth. I have easy in quotes because it would be easier to me now knowing what i know rather than when i started where i made maybe 2k the 2nd half of the year from the site (started in july or something i dont remember). Once you have a well built site and the tools and components you need its all about promotion/marketing/and SEO. those are not easy and ever evolving. there is a lot to learn thats why i tell people to stop reading and get into it, you will learn better by doing and adjusting than reading out of date content.

Let me just add that competition is very aggressive and will probably just get worse in the entire ebiz industry. Many new affordable cart options are out there which let anyone jump into any industry within days and bid up the PPC prices. I have seen many (10+) new stores in my niches in the past 2 years. About 50% are gone and the other 50 are still trying to get a foothold. This means heavy price competition and constant SEO'ing of their sites. I believe that the value in your stores are now in search engine rankings, site reviews and customer service.

Just this weekend I was shopping for a new SLR camera. 10 stores had it within a $20 price range ($425-$450 free shipping). How do I pick one? I probably recognized 5 out of the 10 stores as "been around a while in the camera industry" and never heard of the other 5. So I just chose one of the first 5. As a new store, you will be one of the bottom 5 until you get some traction and get established.
 

TaxGuy

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I dont consider myself fastlane moneywise. If you look at my other posts you'll see that I value time alot more than money. I'll give up money to spend my time how I want to.

My niche stores usually are profitable from day one. You can tell real quick how they will go. Sometimes I find out that I don't care about my product in a certain niche. This will definitely make the store a pain and it won't be successful.

I know I quoted this before, but more than 6 months later and still stuck in the slowlane the bolded points are really what I'm trying to shoot for... much like what the 4HWW teaches I don't necessarily intend to be a millionaire and especially after following your posts and meeting you at B&P last year I have to say that you are a great role model for the "New Rich" lifestyle :)

Right now the missus and I as part of the Shopify contest from 4HWW are working on starting an online shop, centered around running as it is one of the few interests of mine where I will spend good money on high quality products and ultimately has become by default, my #1 interest among the hundreds of hobbies/interests I have. Thus the second bolded part about finding something that is profitable from day one where I can really care about my products(a la Hair Club For Men- lol, "I'm not just the president, I'm a member").

So this thread as well as a few others are helping us sift through the hundreds of dropshipping sources to find where we will look for products while I also try to find more running forums and join local running clubs to find out the needs of the community beyond my own as an up and coming distance runner :smxB:

Almost any e-business you can make money at, the challenge is making good money then moving up from there. A lot of folks think its just a templete + paypal = profit.... thats just not true. making 2k-5k a mo is "easy" makeing 10k + a bit more work and so on and so forth. I have easy in quotes because it would be easier to me now knowing what i know rather than when i started where i made maybe 2k the 2nd half of the year from the site (started in july or something i dont remember). Once you have a well built site and the tools and components you need its all about promotion/marketing/and SEO. those are not easy and ever evolving. there is a lot to learn thats why i tell people to stop reading and get into it, you will learn better by doing and adjusting than reading out of date content.

This is the challenge, even $2k/mo seems daunting as I tend to way overestimate the competition and at the same time underestimate my own abilities and also realize that like all challenges(including running a marathon), it must be broken down and like my running progression from just finishing marathon #1(the $2k/mo equivalent) to cutting about 3.5 minutes/mile and 25% off my time on marathon #2($5-10k/mo) to future goals of qualifying for Boston($10k+/mo) and running a marathon every week.
 

biophase

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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Jul 25, 2007
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Scottsdale, AZ
If you are having trouble finding a product that dropships maybe you want to look into one that you need to stock. Or do what some people do, they build a store and sell products and if they make any sales they go to the store and buy them retail and ship them out. They lose money on the first few sales but it proves the store is working. Then go find a supplier for that product.
 

ZDS

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 2, 2008
498
167
97
Ok, so I am thinking about launching an ecommerce store to go along with my video blog. I don't plan on heavily using my video blog to market it(don't want to turn my show into a sells pitch), however I will have a link on my site to it.

Do you think I should run the store on a separate URL/Website and then just add a link to my site, or make it an extension of my website, not sure which one yet.


I was planning on carrying computer mice/keyboards - possibility stylized/art worked one from their favorite games. (Maybe a wider product line depending on what I suppliers i find.) - Only thing I am worried about is attacking this niche, it seems like it may be very hard to break into.

Thoughts? Thanks! :)

Edit: I also thought about maybe making it JUST gaming/mmo merchandise, from shirts - coffee mugs/computer bags/mice etc etc. Making it much more niche based.

The URL, MMOAccessories.com is available, but it seems a bit wordy.
 

SAGAD_01

New Contributor
Oct 8, 2009
9
1
8
been sitting on the idea of having my own e biz for some time...

i learned a lot from his thread...

just want to ask opinions here...

i'm from the Philippines and some of you may know, ARNIS or KALI originated here...

anyway, it seems that arnis sticks are overpriced...

for example, a particular kind of stick is being sold on line at $25 average...

my cost for this item may be around $3-$6...and i can drive it lower if i really would go for it...

a quick search at google doesn't yield any prominent player selling the item...

question, does this mean that there might not be enough customers for the item(s)?

am i better of approaching this on a B2B method?

thanks all...
 

Bond

Contributor
Dec 13, 2009
440
66
36
been sitting on the idea of having my own e biz for some time...

i learned a lot from his thread...

just want to ask opinions here...

i'm from the Philippines and some of you may know, ARNIS or KALI originated here...

anyway, it seems that arnis sticks are overpriced...

for example, a particular kind of stick is being sold on line at $25 average...

my cost for this item may be around $3-$6...and i can drive it lower if i really would go for it...

a quick search at google doesn't yield any prominent player selling the item...

question, does this mean that there might not be enough customers for the item(s)?

am i better of approaching this on a B2B method?

thanks all...

A quick google adwords check gives me:

Kalis sticks 1600 exact searches in december
Arnis sticks 590 "
knife fighting 9900 "
Silat 9900 "
Arnis 6600 "
escrima sticks 2900 "


Maybe you can create something more that just selling the sticks to attract more sales...
 

SAGAD_01

New Contributor
Oct 8, 2009
9
1
8
being the newbie that i am, i take it those figures shows a sign of hope for this business?

thanks for the stats...appreciate it
 

Bond

Contributor
Dec 13, 2009
440
66
36
being the newbie that i am, i take it those figures shows a sign of hope for this business?

thanks for the stats...appreciate it

What i've seen is that people prefer searches above 2000 to get into a niche but i guess those stats aren't bad at all, you just need to bring TARGETED traffic into your site...
10 sales a day with a profit of $20/each is not bad to begin....
 

SAGAD_01

New Contributor
Oct 8, 2009
9
1
8
$200 a day profit? from our part of the world here, that's way, way more than enough to get me started...w/ my current status, that would be heaven for me...really

man, you just gave the green signal...thanks!

an idea im thinking of, i live near a revered century old church here, i could give a "blessed talisman" for any items bought at my store...any serious student of arnis wold somehow appreciate the value of the item...they don't necessarily have to believe in the talisman, it would be sort of a novelty item...

ok...so at the top of my head...

a website...
several info (web)sites?
social networking
a newsletter

would that be enough to do list?

again, thanks
 

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