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?
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 email@example.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!
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!
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.