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Online furniture niche - Why im going with shopify over amazon

SamUSA

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Hi entreprenuers
Good day!

Look I've had some success with amazon, I think amazon is great!

But

I believe that its only something that should be pursued with original product ideas, unless you already have an established brand. I wouldn't want to get back into it unless I designed a product (original) that fits in relation to the market I'm in.

Since I want quick turn around time & it's Q4, I've decided to start a new business venture.

Now I have been wanting to start a new e-commerce shop for awhile but I haven't made the dive because I kept hitting walls with my ideas. Either my niche was too broad, niche required expensive materials, I couldn't find a way to fit in the market, or the products that were selling were unstable.

I decided that I want to start a drop shipping store after reviewing a bunch of online stores I admire. In my early market research I dove into bls.gov and related sources, to discover that personal care and furniture were two MASSIVE consumer markets, especially for men age 34-55.

With a few philosophies on where the online market is going, I decided to go on a mens furniture expenditure (in a niche I will keep private for now) and I think its going to go well.

A few concerns:

- Price point (I found some oppurtunities to source cheap, not sure what my markup should be based on the audience I want)

- Adspend (when will I make my dollars back? I mean I am selling high ticket items and I dont want to spend over $500 my first month).

- Marketing campaigns (should I do a drip email strategy or stick with FB ads and trying to scale those?)

I already have the idea for the store layout, the copy, the customer experience. Just have to execute now.

REALLY INTERESTED to see what you guys think, I hope some of you leave some good feedback, I really need all the help I can get.

Thanks

-SamUSA
 

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broswoodwork

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I sell furniture on the internet, but can't for the life of me figure out how people sell furniture on the internet. It seems so technical when other people talk about... I just have email/ facebook/ etsy conversations with people about what they need and sell it to them.

Wish I could be of more help. :(
 

minivanman

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I sell what I guess might be close to furniture on the internet. I only sell locally and do not drop ship. I'd say the secret is.... sell something that people want. I didn't say that YOU want or YOU think is cool. For example, selling washers & dryers or bikes or baby strollers on the internet is easy, I can sell those all day long..... selling the back of a '57 Chevy made in to a badass looking bench.... not so easy.
 

Vairavan

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In your heart
but can't for the life of me figure out how people sell furniture on the internet.

There are lots of companies selling furniture online in India and they are huge:




All of them use Paid Traffic and Email Marketing.
 
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broswoodwork

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There are lots of companies selling furniture in India and they are huge:




All of them use paid traffic and email marketing.
Those prices are higher than I anticipated. Are these sites aimed at an exclusive upscale clientele?
 

broswoodwork

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Kind of.


View attachment 28019


I also heard Pepperfry only carry products with at least a 50% margin.
How do American made goods fare over there?

I've heard that in China "Made in USA" is synonymous with high-end extravagance. (One of my industrial roommates exported Amish made chests to China for more than he could sell them domestically) Is this a thing in India as well?
 
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SamUSA

SamUSA

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Ill go to the summit!

I had no idea chinese value american made goods so much, About to send a freight of lavish furniture over to AMZ.CN
 
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SamUSA

SamUSA

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I sell furniture on the internet, but can't for the life of me figure out how people sell furniture on the internet. It seems so technical when other people talk about... I just have email/ facebook/ etsy conversations with people about what they need and sell it to them.

Wish I could be of more help. :(
What kind of furniture do you sell? Are you drop shipping or do you make furniture? Do you know any designers?
 

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broswoodwork

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Ill go to the summit!

I had no idea chinese value american made goods so much, About to send a freight of lavish furniture over to AMZ.CN
Please don't do anything hasty based on my words.

I think there's already a lot of sharks in the water. My old roommate ran a mechanized furniture manufacturing facility out in the Midwest that produced more trucks of sawdust than most builders make trucks of furniture before he retired into import export.

Don't want to see your lunch get eaten bro. :)
 

biophase

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Since I want quick turn around time & it's Q4, I've decided to start a new business venture.
So many things about your post bother me. So, you are starting this because it's almost holiday season? Doesn't seem like a good "why" to be starting a business with.

With a few philosophies on where the online market is going, I decided to go on a mens furniture expenditure (in a niche I will keep private for now) and I think its going to go well.
You are basing your opinion on what? Because based on your questions below, you don't have a price point, known profit margin, marketing plan, etc...

So how can you write this, "and I think its going to go well". I'm just curious because I see no basis for this statement.

A few concerns:

- Price point (I found some opportunities to source cheap, not sure what my markup should be based on the audience I want)
- Adspend (when will I make my dollars back? I mean I am selling high ticket items and I dont want to spend over $500 my first month).
- Marketing campaigns (should I do a drip email strategy or stick with FB ads and trying to scale those?)
I already have the idea for the store layout, the copy, the customer experience. Just have to execute now.
What is the retail price of your furniture. Your question should not be what your markup should be, it should be what is a reasonable asking price for my product.

What do you think the avg CPC is for furniture? I'd guess that it's going to be $4-$5 per click based on the profit margins of furniture. So you are looking at 100 clicks a month?

Do you have an email list already?
 
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SamUSA

SamUSA

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All great questions man, and thank you for responding & trying to help!

1.) Holidays are obviously the biggest time for online shopping, its without the best time to start a brand. Black friday, cyber monday, christmas etc.

2.) BLS.gov and other consumer statistics say furniture is one of the highest grossing markets for online shoppers. I also found a niche I don't see many people exclusively doing, and its something I can personally relate too.

Content will be easy to create, there is potential for linkedin marketing (not just FB), Obviously price point varies because there are LEVELS to furniture. I see some desks go for $17k and some god for $900.

"I think its going to go well" Because I believe the market is undervalued, plus I don't see brands going after my same niche.

3.) So this is an interesting question! I am currently applying to be a retailer for several wholesale furniture sites, I am hoping I get approved for the mid priced stuff and the higher end stuff. For now though I may just test the market with some lower end furniture, 30% markup and up to 50% markup for the smaller price point items (like desk accessories, art, lighting).

CPC to checkout or CPC from FB to my website? Obviously I will make my targeting broad at first to collect data AND THAN begin to scale horizontally.

Email list: Nope, I am still kinda deciding if I should do a giveaway first to build that or just try to collect emails from my website visitors. What do you think?!

Thanks again for the reply bro and let me know what you think about all this!
 

biophase

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So your niche isn’t a product niche, it’s more like a theme niche?

I just don’t see how you build a list quickly by spending less than $500/mo. It’s mid October already. Running FB ads for $500 during holiday season seems like you’ll spend it in a day.

You talk about desks from $17k to $900. This whole thing seems so rushed to me. You seem like you are over the place.

What level of success did you have on Amazon?
 
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SamUSA

SamUSA

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So your niche isn’t a product niche, it’s more like a theme niche?

I just don’t see how you build a list quickly by spending less than $500/mo. It’s mid October already. Running FB ads for $500 during holiday season seems like you’ll spend it in a day.

You talk about desks from $17k to $900. This whole thing seems so rushed to me. You seem like you are over the place.

What level of success did you have on Amazon?
Its a set of products, like a theme niche yes.

Its not like my niche is bikepacking where I sell bags that strap to your MTB. Its like my niche is T-ball and I sell everything from the helmet to the bat.

With the furniture store, my value is in bringing the styles together, optimizing it for men, and keeping it minimal.

I know I seem all over the place, thats how I work.

I'll update everyone here with my store once its created!!
 

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You coming to the summit? I have an idea...
@broswoodwork have you approached restaurant and hotels chains, the corporate clients? Would you like a coupla leads?
One website of furniture porn will do. Just one B2B website, monty.
 
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pkom79

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I dont want to spend over $500 my first month).
What's your advertising budget, if you want to sell furniture that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars?

In my opinion few thousand dollars would be the absolute minimum in this niche.

Holidays are obviously the biggest time for online shopping, its without the best time to start a brand. Black friday, cyber monday, christmas etc.
It's also the most expensive time of the year for advertising.

On Black Friday/Cyber Monday customers are looking for deals. Will you be able to pay for ads and offer a 30% discount if you drop ship your products?

Furniture seems like a very hard niche to get into. It's much easier to sell $50 gadgets that are bought on impulse then big, heavy, expensive furniture that people expect to look awesome and last for years.

Unless you sell something really unique, I'm not sure how you will compete with companies like:
City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair. Not to mention Amazon, Target or IKEA.
 

minivanman

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Furniture seems like a very hard niche to get into. It's much easier to sell $50 gadgets that are bought on impulse then big, heavy, expensive furniture that people expect to look awesome and last for years.
$50 gadgets = $12 profit? So I need to sell 17 of them to make the profit that I will make on 1 washer and dryer set tomorrow at noon. PLUS, I get a dryer for free that I will sell for $135 by the time the sun goes down tomorrow. I understand that's not so with other large furniture but, my friend Marsha sold 3 pieces of furniture today. Neither of us will sell anything for under $100 profit..... not worth the energy. I think she said she made $415 profit so she would have had to sell 35 gadgets. We have about 35 used appliance stores on 1 street here, not to mention the others scattered around the metroplex..... I never even think about competing. I do my thing, they do theirs. Marsha sells her used furniture with a used furniture store on every corner..... she never even thinks about competing with stores. I had a guy drive 3.5 hours to buy 9 brand new washers and 3 dryers from me on Friday..... why didn't he go to Nebraska Furniture Mart or Best Buy or Home Depot?

Did you know, you didn't even mention the largest home furnishings store in North America..... it's not City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Amazon, Target or IKEA. It's Nebraska Furniture Mart with only 4 locations.
 

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50 gadgets = $12 profit?
That's your assumption.
So I need to sell 17 of them to make the profit that I will make on 1 washer and dryer set tomorrow at noon.
Can you sell 10 washers and dryers a day? Consistently? If you can, you have a great business.

I sold more than 200 units a day of a $25 product. More than 25,000 customers in total.

All I'm saying is it's much easier to sell a low-cost item, than an expensive one. Especially if you are not experienced.

Did you know, you didn't even mention the largest home furnishings store in North America..... it's not City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Amazon, Target or IKEA
I listed brands that I see actively advertising either online or on TV. Brands that most of the consumers know. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
 

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$50 gadgets = $12 profit? So I need to sell 17 of them to make the profit that I will make on 1 washer and dryer set tomorrow at noon. PLUS, I get a dryer for free that I will sell for $135 by the time the sun goes down tomorrow. I understand that's not so with other large furniture but, my friend Marsha sold 3 pieces of furniture today. Neither of us will sell anything for under $100 profit..... not worth the energy. I think she said she made $415 profit so she would have had to sell 35 gadgets. We have about 35 used appliance stores on 1 street here, not to mention the others scattered around the metroplex..... I never even think about competing. I do my thing, they do theirs. Marsha sells her used furniture with a used furniture store on every corner..... she never even thinks about competing with stores. I had a guy drive 3.5 hours to buy 9 brand new washers and 3 dryers from me on Friday..... why didn't he go to Nebraska Furniture Mart or Best Buy or Home Depot?

Did you know, you didn't even mention the largest home furnishings store in North America..... it's not City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Amazon, Target or IKEA. It's Nebraska Furniture Mart with only 4 locations.
I’m not sure where this post is coming from. But there are huge differences in these 2 markets.It’s not just the amount of profit per sale but the work required to get the sale. So you really can’t compare the effort between selling a $20 and a $500 product. Else everyone hear would just sell yachts and jets.

The original OP is trying to sell a high dollar product with a low ad spend and that is mutually exclusive.
 

broswoodwork

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@broswoodwork have you approached restaurant and hotels chains, the corporate clients? Would you like a coupla leads?
One website of furniture porn will do. Just one B2B website, monty.
I need to exercise the scale muscle a bit before any of that. Working on it. :)
 
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SamUSA

SamUSA

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$50 gadgets = $12 profit? So I need to sell 17 of them to make the profit that I will make on 1 washer and dryer set tomorrow at noon. PLUS, I get a dryer for free that I will sell for $135 by the time the sun goes down tomorrow. I understand that's not so with other large furniture but, my friend Marsha sold 3 pieces of furniture today. Neither of us will sell anything for under $100 profit..... not worth the energy. I think she said she made $415 profit so she would have had to sell 35 gadgets. We have about 35 used appliance stores on 1 street here, not to mention the others scattered around the metroplex..... I never even think about competing. I do my thing, they do theirs. Marsha sells her used furniture with a used furniture store on every corner..... she never even thinks about competing with stores. I had a guy drive 3.5 hours to buy 9 brand new washers and 3 dryers from me on Friday..... why didn't he go to Nebraska Furniture Mart or Best Buy or Home Depot?

Did you know, you didn't even mention the largest home furnishings store in North America..... it's not City Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Amazon, Target or IKEA. It's Nebraska Furniture Mart with only 4 locations.
Love this
 

minivanman

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I’m not sure where this post is coming from. But there are huge differences in these 2 markets.It’s not just the amount of profit per sale but the work required to get the sale. So you really can’t compare the effort between selling a $20 and a $500 product. Else everyone hear would just sell yachts and jets.

The original OP is trying to sell a high dollar product with a low ad spend and that is mutually exclusive.
What work goes in to a sale? Tuesday my grandson posted my van for sale, 30 seconds later it sold (no joke, he posted, I went in to take a piss and it sold while I was pissing. TMI I know but it's what happened). Wednesday he posted a bed for sale, within 1 hour it sold. Every day I post washers & dryers for sale and they all sell. I post and walk away, I hear my phone ding so I go back to the computer and get their information. I have a 30 set limit per month but I could easily sell 100 sets (200 pieces) a month without even trying. Before I set my limit I was selling 55-60 sets a month without really trying. My friend Marsha sells furniture, sometimes $100-$500-$2000-$10,000 pieces (she only sells antique stuff), I've taught her how to write an ad and it usually sells within a week. She posts the ad.... walks away and it sells itself. What work is everyone else putting in to the sales? Am I missing something that everyone else is doing (not doing)? Or do you mean for those that have these stores and deal with Amazon/ebay/etc and go through all of that hassle and strict RULES? Yeah, I can see that. I understand Facebook/5Miles/OfferUp has their rules but nothing like Amazon/ebay. Against my wifes wishes (she hates when I do stuff like this), I am about to start selling something that I have an unlimited amount of. I will still only sell on those sites and probably sell a ton of them. I'm going to let my grandson do these sales. He will post a few ads, go to school and at the end of the day, probably have a boatload of sales. y'all keep Amazon/ebay/online stores :) But if I'm missing something, please let me know, really.
 

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What work goes in to a sale? Tuesday my grandson posted my van for sale, 30 seconds later it sold (no joke, he posted, I went in to take a piss and it sold while I was pissing. TMI I know but it's what happened). Wednesday he posted a bed for sale, within 1 hour it sold. Every day I post washers & dryers for sale and they all sell. I post and walk away, I hear my phone ding so I go back to the computer and get their information. I have a 30 set limit per month but I could easily sell 100 sets (200 pieces) a month without even trying. Before I set my limit I was selling 55-60 sets a month without really trying. My friend Marsha sells furniture, sometimes $100-$500-$2000-$10,000 pieces (she only sells antique stuff), I've taught her how to write an ad and it usually sells within a week. She posts the ad.... walks away and it sells itself. What work is everyone else putting in to the sales? Am I missing something that everyone else is doing (not doing)? Or do you mean for those that have these stores and deal with Amazon/ebay/etc and go through all of that hassle and strict RULES? Yeah, I can see that. I understand Facebook/5Miles/OfferUp has their rules but nothing like Amazon/ebay. Against my wifes wishes (she hates when I do stuff like this), I am about to start selling something that I have an unlimited amount of. I will still only sell on those sites and probably sell a ton of them. I'm going to let my grandson do these sales. He will post a few ads, go to school and at the end of the day, probably have a boatload of sales. y'all keep Amazon/ebay/online stores :) But if I'm missing something, please let me know, really.
I think you are missing what goes into your sourcing. You don’t have 100 vans to sell. So that’s a one off sale each time. You may sell multiple different things but you need to account for the work in sourcing, storage and posting the ad. You look at the entire process of your sale.

If you could consistently sell vans in a simple post and get an easy supply, competition would come in and sell 100 vans a day.

The market is the market and everything balances out into time spent and effort.
 

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