3 Dumb Reasons Why You’re Not Making Enough Sales (Yet!)

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If you aren’t happy with the number of sales you are making, I’ll bet that it’s because of one of the three dumb reasons I have stated below. After a few years of working here at SaleHoo and watching our members’ businesses bloom (and occasionally bust), I’ve identified these three factors as being the crux of a lack of sales. Which one is holding you back most?

1. You procrastinate too much

Many new online retailers complain of having too little time to get started. This is perfectly understandable; most of us do have busy lives, trying to juggle all our priorities. However, if you want your business to succeed, you are going to have to quit procrastinating and make your business a priority.

? Take home tip: Start organizing yourself better by setting aside a time each week that you will work on your business. If you are just getting started, you might only need 20 minutes per day, or 2 hours per week to focus on it. During this time, set mini-goals that you want to achieve. For example, commit to taking photos of 5 of your items. In your next work session, write item descriptions for those items that you have photographed and get them listed on eBay (or wherever you are going to sell them).

If you are sitting there thinking “I don’t have any products to photograph yet”, then set a goal to contact 5 suppliers and get quotes. If you are stuck on what to sell, or need help finding suppliers, email us at support@salehoo.com. We are here to help!

If you are overwhelmed by the work that needs to get done, small, bite-sized goals like this will help you get started. Once the orders start rolling in, you won’t need to motivate yourself as much; it will just come naturally!

2. You thought making money online would be easy

Many new online retailers paint a picture in their head of an easy life at home, watching the sales roll in and packing orders while catching up on some daytime TV. The truth is, when your business starts to take off, you will be as busy as a mom with a newborn!

Furthermore, starting an online business requires a lot of time and dedication. Many people think that starting an online retail business is going to be a piece of cake. The truth is, the only difference between starting an online retail business compared with any other type of business (like opening a salon or starting a restaurant), is that you can do it on a shoestring budget.

My best advice to anyone who wants to get into online retail and start a successful business is to get ready to work your butt off! 

3. You didn’t do enough market research

This can be a real killer for online retailers. In fact, I could easily pinpoint this as the leading cause of a failed online retail business. So many new online retailers come to us asking for suppliers for iPods, Blackberry phones, designer jeans and the latest blockbuster DVDs. If you already understand why these items are NOT going to be profitable for you, then you are one step ahead of a lot of sellers. 

Market research, when done correctly, will help you accurately forecast how many monthly sales you will make and how much profit you will make on each sale. Market research is not simply taking a look around eBay at the ‘hot selling’ and deciding that it will be the right thing to sell. And it’s not selling something because you know a lot about it: It’s about crunching the numbers and finding a market that isn’t oversaturated. We’ve made this task automated and easy with our SaleHoo Research Lab, so make sure you use it!

? Take home tip: Use the SaleHoo Research Lab to test the viability of products you are researching. Look at the sell-through rate and go for products with a sell-through rate of at least 50%. You must also look at the average sale price and compare the prices to what suppliers can offer.

Remember to ALWAYS contact a supplier and ask them for their prices. Do not rely on the listed prices on their website. Test your product by buying some samples, listing them online and seeing how the market reacts.

What holds you back from making more money? Leave a comment below.


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Alice Delore

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  • Marissa Anderson 24th of May
    These ideas could make the difference between succeeding or failing to even start a business.
  • lruby58 24th of May
    I have been trying to sell Cosmetics on EBay without much success . I have listed about 10 different items twice and of coarse been charged by eBay because of a brand name. I have sold 3 out of twenty and then the time runs out for the sell only for me to have to relist and be charged again. It has been dry frustrating to say the least.!!!
  • Todd Nelson 24th of May
    great article I am very new I became a number about a month ago and with my membership I got one of the websites starting a gift basket online store still working on the site I have one supplier looking at two other ones but it is a lot of work and trying to learn how to write code for the website keyword research have not done a lot of product research which might be bad sometimes have a hard time staying focused and motivated. But reading the article was really a boost I do set time aside every day to work on the site and the business.Anymore tips would be great thanks.
  • Nora 24th of May
    Your blog is great--encourages me to be busier in small steps.
  • Katina Ms 24th of May
    Thank you Alice I've been at this thing for quite some time and have had very little success. I can find myself in all three of the areas you've stated below. I subscribe to Salehoo & didn't know some of the options and services you mentioned were even available to me so thank you for pointing this out. I know for me many times when I see some of the emails about the webinars showcasing anothers success I really pay it very little attention. It appears to be to good to be true. I will admit I need help my website www.kjstylez.com isn't doing well at all. Thank you for posting
  • Kerven Janvier 24th of May
    Thanks so much for this post. Made me think
  • Valerie Bryden 24th of May
    I have been trying to sell on ebay for a while now in the jewellrey section. I have had some success with it but it has been very hit and miss. I have sourced some products from China and have so far been lucky with everything arriving ok, not getting ripped off etc. However as i am on a limited budget all my money is now taken up with this inventory. I am now looking at possibly trying to sell off the stock i have and going into something different like candles, sunglasses etc, but as i have limited funds i can not afford to sign up for any programmes that show market trends. I obviously fall into cat 3 where i haven't done enough market research, so i was just wondering what you think about my choices for new stock. Thanks
  • Santosh Hawaldar 24th of May
    Hi Alice, this is Santosh & thanks for this above article. my problems are - People are visiting my site but they are not buying the products. - I'm using google adword for marketing & also have just created facebook page but not able to drive expected traffic. - Can you please tell me the marketing strategy to drive traffic to my site & also how to convert visitor to buyer
  • Ralph B. Martinez 24th of May
    Number 1 is my reason. That is why it is probably No. 1 on the list. Thanks
  • Lola Rutter 24th of May
    I have a very big problem with procrastination. I've also had some personal problems holding me back. I have a lot of things to sell, but most of what I sell is vintage or at least used. The amount of clutter around is a bit overwhelming too. I really can't afford to get into another market right now, plus I'm very leary about the future of ebay (where I sell). I'm not interested in making a fortune. I'm retired and would like to just make enough to be able to do some of the things I always wanted to.
  • bigbear40215 31st of May
    The funny thing about selling online is there seems to be an overabundance of info about selling and what to do but it seems harder to pinpoint what works for you. I question if it works or not I'm new to this and have just recently started to post items on eBay but have seen more discussions about how the different programs aren't working. Are there any of these programs that work i wish they would put a spreadsheet up that shows actual successes vs failures. The sites or articles seem to be very general and not specific. Unless you pay them dollars first how about I want a click to pay for these sites I think it will show which sites are a load of **** . These sites are doing just what we want, selling!!!! Its kind of ironic how we are all trying to sell and they are the ones who end up selling and increasing there traffic and when we look back hundreds of dollars later our success is fleeting. Help!
  • Joyce Knake 8th of June
    All the items are good, Alice. One of my biggest problems is FEAR. It seems everyone is trying to sell something or will try to sell you up after the initial investment. It's hard to find someone you can really trust to help you, especially if you are really operating on a shoe string which I think most of us are .My website has not had any success. I've been told that I need to look at my keywords and I'm now learning how to do more research on that. I've found someone I can trust so I'm looking forward to making money on line soon.