I am planning on opening an Internet business, any helpful advice?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by terenkleo, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. terenkleo

    terenkleo
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    I am starting with an ebay business, but within the next 5 years I would like o have a full blown Internet business. I already know what I will be selling, and several sources to purchase from, My husband and I have been in the industry for almost 8 years, in many different aspects. But neither of us have ever been involved in internet sales. We will also be opening a storefront, but in this day and age you can't get by without the internet side of things. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

    We are talking Kitchenand Bath industry. We have a lot of knowledge in this area already (not that you can have too much)
     
  2. Mark T

    Mark T
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    You should start reading and subscribing to blogs that talks about Online Marketing, the process, the steps and strategies that you need to learn and know before starting up your business online. Internet Marketing can be done in several ways these days, and what you need is some one who will guide you through on your business online.
     
  3. GekiDan

    GekiDan
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    In addition to what's already said, you could check out other ebay stores that are selling similar products like yours.
    Do you plan to sell it within the locality only? Or do you want international customers?
     
  4. ProScribe

    ProScribe
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    Here is a technique you can use to learn a little about what is selling in your market.

    Go the category that you are interested.

    Then click on "Ebay top rated sellers" from the left hand side menu. This will sort by top rated sellers.

    Then click on it on "buy it now" to remove people using the auction format

    This will give you a list of serious sellers and you can what kinds of products they are selling. If you click
    through on one of the products and look at the history box, which will have a number in it, and click on it
    you can see how fast they are shifting this particular product. You should also look and see if they are selling
    more of the same product under other listings.

    If other people can sell the product then you can too, just write a better description or make a better offer, lower
    price etc.
     
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  5. Chrisanova

    Chrisanova
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    ProScribe: I actually need to modify your answer.

    The best way to gauge a current, accurate Price Point on eBay, is by:

    (1) Typing in the Make, Model, Manuf. Part #, etc, in the eBay search box at top.......whatever is the lowest common denominator (like a Google search).

    (2) Go to "Completed Sales" button on the left.

    (3) Sort by "Highest First" drop-down option (mid-top right).

    You will discover a pattern in the way people sell their items, AND the Means & Medians of what is acceptable to the "market" at any given time.

    Prices in GREEN have SOLD.
    Prices in RED have NOT SOLD.

    That is the single fastest way.
     
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  6. Chrisanova

    Chrisanova
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    Rule #1: COST.
    eBay is a value market, and most products like yours will do 40%-80% of retail, based on things like popularity (iPod was doing 95%-100% even for REFURBS back in 2005.), shipping costs, scarcity......all the usual suspects.

    But the general attitude of being on eBay in the first place, is VALUE.

    If you've got an exceptional cost nailed down from suppliers, you are good.
    Keep in mind eBay fees are a ripoff as well.

    Rule #2: TAKE GOOD PHOTOS.
    Don't skimp on your photos.
    I have passed up buying many things, because I had doubts about them -- -something easily rectified if the seller had put effort into 2 or 3 more photos, and better photos (pure laziness).

    Rule #3: SHOP THE COMPETITION.
    See my response to ProScribe below.

    Rule #4: DISCIPLINE on SIZE & WEIGHT.
    Keep the eBay stuff to a rule of 18"x18"x18" cube on what you will ship. (or maybe 24" cube max)
    Keep the cubic under 14,000 inches.

    SHIPPING is a whopper for some of the items in your industry.

    From trying to develop eBay businesses for several billion-dollar companies, I can promise you that when try to go outside of a convenient weight or measurement, then the nightmares begin -- and despite all their promises, FedEx, UPS, or USPS cannot solve them.
     
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  7. jcworlditsme

    jcworlditsme
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    I would say the most important thing to any business is to be as unique as possible and sell yourself as best as possible too.
     
  8. Matt Damon

    Matt Damon
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    I would say the most element to any company enterprise is to be as exclusive as possible and offer yourself as best as possible too.
     
  9. ProScribe

    ProScribe
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    Excellent answer there from Chrisanova, I certainly learnt a few things even if the OP didn't

     
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  10. DeniseTaylor

    DeniseTaylor
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    Here's what I would do, if I were you.

    On Ebay, I would study the completed eBay listings to see what has sold in the past 30 days. I would analyze that information, because that right there gives you what people are buying. Then I would try to emulate what those successful sales people did.

    In regards to the listings - I know that just making generic posts like people used to do in the old days with Classified Ads - it doesn't work well. There's too much competition and unless you have a really marketable item with no competition, a listing like that won't get noticed. You don't want to spam your want to riches, because that won't work either.

    What does work on the Net is emotion. Creating listings that appeal to emotions has proven to create sales. Whether those emotions are greed, laziness or vanity, outlining a products benefits appeals to these types of things. Example: Instead of saying that you have a vacuum cleaner for sale and all of it's many (and boring) features, tell people how they will be able to get out of cleaning more and have more free time to do things they love. And with mother-in-law comes over, she will be the envy of your beautifully clean house! (Or something like that.)

    The Internet is about capturing emotion and gaining trust. When you're able to do that, you can convert visits into sales.

    ---

    Now as far as having a website, here's my advice for that.

    Since your business involves kitchen and bath, your site should be based on that niche. You should then research keywords that people use to get information related to your industry. Those keywords and that information is what you should put on your site. Write lots of content with lots of information related to kitchens and baths. Get links to those pages.

    Then, when your site is gaining traffic and you become a sought-after resource online for this information, you link your information website to your eBay store and you have just created a non-stop traffic funnel that will result in an eBay business that almost runs itself.

    If you have the products to sell and the background for the merchandising, you're part way there. Now it's a matter of taking that product and putting into a virtual space in a way that is proven to work and voila! Your internet presence works. and it can work for you 24/7.

    Good luck!
     
  11. LifeOnYourTerms

    LifeOnYourTerms
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    Youtube may be a useful resource so prospects can relate to you more by seeing and hearing you. I have used that resource and i think it can be helpful.
     
  12. Mark T

    Mark T
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    It is not just being unique, but being or maintaining the credibility of your products in eBay is what mostly matters. Even when you are selling same products with other, if you appear more credible then that is your advantage.
     
  13. Mark T

    Mark T
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    Oopps. Wrong quote ... >>> but look, both Matt Damon and jcworlditsme has the same post - same thought almost!
     
  14. ThirdSEO

    ThirdSEO
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    terenkleo,

    My advice would be to drop the idea of opening a storefront for your business. Going that route dramatically increases your monthly overhead. Stick to the online business and make it thrive.

    There's a lot of money to be made on eBay, especially if you dominate a niche for a certain product. There's going to be a lot of competition, but be creative and find ways around your obstacles. Internet sales can be really fun (especially when you're receiving fat checks in the mail every month) but sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get things rolling. Be patient and keep working at growing your online business and you'll end up being very successful. Good luck!
     
  15. GekiDan

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    You can use YouTube to show reviews of your products that you can link on your sites.
    For example, to entice people to buy PRODUCT 1, you can link a video review there about certain features of that product.

    In turn, you can also add a link to your shop on that video's description to lead people where they could buy it.
     
  16. amac

    amac
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    With Magento and other open source software, combined with AWS and other inexpensive hosting, you can literally run your store for next to nothing in the beginning. Assuming you or your partner don't know (or aren't confident) enough to program/design your storefront yourselves, I'd reach out to a local IT consultancy to implement this for you. Alternatively, you could use a marketplace such as Elance or oDesk though these bring their own challenges i.e project management, communication etc.

    eBay stores is still a good solution IMO in this situation, as are others such as Yahoo Stores.
     
  17. jmason1919

    jmason1919
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    i have gotten ripped off by ALOT of scammers so be careful what ever you do. i found a program that cost me $100 bucks to get started but it was actually legit
     
  18. Shahrier

    Shahrier
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    Hi amac. If you are planning on making an eCommerce business with a low cost, I suggest you acquire some cheap hosting (upgrade as you become more successful) and use a free eCommerce software such as Zen Cart.

    eBay stores do work well so you can use that, but you can also use both an eBay store and a website to maximize your online sales.
     
  19. daytrader

    daytrader
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    I've planing it years ago but I'm reluctant to proceed as internet connection nowadays is getting cheaper. People probably figured its a lot better to subscribe to an internet service provider.
     
  20. EditingAudio

    EditingAudio
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    Google Adwords & Microsoft Adcenter
     

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