Is there money in stickers?

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benwatto
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2 May 12 03:46:20 am
I've been selling bits and pieces on eBay since September last year. So far I have sold toys, second hand random items, and stickers. Most of my sales have been for stickers and I'm gradually phasing out my other stuff, soon I plan to only stock stickers.

One thing I have noticed though, while I am selling them, (sell thru just above 50%) I do have to sell a LOT to make any decent money. Even though I can easily put 400%+ on the wholesale price, this still equates to about $2 - $5 profit on most sales. Take out fees and ...well you can see the picture.

I haven't got an eBay store, I am waiting for them to finish the changes they're making to store subscriptions, so I will be opening my store this month. I'm also about to change my eBay username to something more fitting to a sticker seller.

My question is are there any experienced sellers out there who could advise whether this is a good plan or not? Maybe someone tried and it worked well, or maybe didn't? I feel that with a store and some marketing on my behalf I can make this work and get my sales volume to a point where I'm making good money. Am I dreaming???

(BTW by "good money" I mean enough to supplement my income, perhaps an extra $40k - 50k/yr or so)

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fm1234
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2 May 12 02:26:18 pm
50% sell-through? 400% markup? What I think you should do, is just sell me your business and quit before the stress kills you.

But seriously ... the problem with the approach is that there is indeed money in very small purchases, but the only way to make it like that is with volume. Plan B is to maximise your profit per customer. You can do this in all kinds of ways, but just off the top of my head, some ideas which you might consider testing:

1) If your averaging say $1 per sale actual in-pocket profit, start offering every customer who buys a set of koala stickers your MEGA STUPID KOALA VALUE PACK which has either a truly ridiculous number of stickers, or some combination of stickers, stamps, posters etc. which is priced with a substantially lower margin, but a nominal profit of $5. Not everyone will take you up on it, but you have an excellent qualified buyer there; it's silly to not at least try to upsell them. Don't mention it in your eBay listings -- offer it privately when confirming the sale. If you get bites at $5 try a $10 package. If that does well try a $15 package. etc. etc. etc. Somewhere in there you'll find a price point where people just love to load up on product, and if you're making $1 per order and upsell even one out of five of those orders at $5 profit on the upsell, you just doubled your profit.

2) Inserts. If you can source something that is tangentially related, even say art supplies or stuffed animals (not sure what kind of stickers you're selling, so I'm just throwing out rough examples of course) then spend a little money on some nice glossy tri-folds and enclose one in each shipment. I would not expect a huge response, but it is something where you can "price up." And if people are buying the stickers for their kids, you know the kids are going to want to take that glossy and start harrassing Mom for an early birthday present.

3) Fundraisers. If you're getting any volume at all of customers who are buying stickers in quantity for a school, church, social group etc. put together a price list of just-over-cost stuff and send it to them along with a letter about what a great fundraising tool your products can be.

4) Personalisation. Get some stock photography and vector art, grab your kid or your sister's kid or any kid whose parent is ok with it, and make some photos of the kid with cartoon characters on the moon, or under the sea, or whatever, and once again hit those established customers with the idea of how much better their lives will be if they order some custom stickers of their kids, pets, etc. I am not 100% on this but I think Zazzle has stickers available that can be customised like this. A pricery option, but again the object is not to cash on a single sale, but to provide many opportunities to add to your bottom line on an existing profitable customer.

Hope this makes sense. The most important thing that you bear in mind right now is that, based on your raw sales data, you have found a winner! Now you should be focusing on expanding the availability and choices, increasing your profit per customer, and -- also crucial -- making it super easy for your customers to tell their friends about you. If you don't have a website, slap yourself hard and then set one up, even if it's one relevant image and a link to your eBay profile. Get a super easy to remember and spell domain name -- if your stickers are mainly kid-oriented, you have another advantage here since your domain name can be any stupid crap you want, as long as it's pronounceable.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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fudjj
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2 May 12 09:11:47 pm
Some great ideas there from Frank, but just to add to those, try increasing your customer base be using other selling platforms to list as well.


Mark (fudjj)

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fm1234
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2 May 12 09:55:10 pm
Right Marc, but to be clear, that's just what I'm saying when I say he should have a site and make it social. For all intents and purposes, eBay has become less and less a sales platform for me than it is a lead generation source. I make crap money off of my eBay sales, but good money off of the repeat and related sales to the customers I find on eBay.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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fm1234
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2 May 12 09:57:01 pm
And come to think of it, the "reverse upsell" could be a good way to generate leads on eBay for such a high-profit item. eg. put the MEGA STUPID KOALA VALUE PACK on eBay for $0.01 with no reserve and free shipping. People will go stupid over it, ideally enough that you'll at least break even on it, and those bidders who are outbid can be sent second chance and similar offers on which you will profit if they convert.

Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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benwatto
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3 May 12 06:11:13 am
Thanks Frank and Marc, some great ideas that I'll definitely use. (I saved this page to my computer so I never lose it)

I saw just a couple of days ago facebook now has stores, does anyone know what its like selling on there?

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fm1234
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3 May 12 03:28:50 pm
Selling on FB is hit and miss, but I would think that with stickers it's an easy thing to get people sharing, especially if you sell the sort of "message stickers" that people will post and repost.

Come to think of it, having JPGs of some of your better stickers that could also double as the kind of crap people post on Facebook all the time anyway, from humourous to risqué to inspirational to whatever else, might not be a bad idea. Just post the picture, one per day on your page, and let those that go viral go viral.

As far as the store concept itself goes, I have used Payvment.com to set up shop on FB and found it super simple to operate, and that it works well in almost any browser or platform (something which is absolutely a must for getting a Facebook or Twitter presence -- stick to things which render/perform well on phones! So many people miss this point.)


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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benwatto
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8 May 12 09:28:13 am
Cheers again Frank!

Another question, can I set up a store on my private facebook page or do I need to set up a different business account?

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the-wholesale-forums-uk
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9 May 12 05:28:06 am
Hi Ben,

You can setup a storefront on Facebook by using an ecommerce solution like Payvment. However, there are some stores who find success simply by setting up a business page on Facebook where they post photos of their products.

What's great about a business page is that people who are not in your friend's list also get to see your products compared to a private profile page. You can use the latter though to promote your 'business page' to encourage likes from your own circle.

I hope this helps :)

Lace


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fm1234
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9 May 12 01:26:19 pm
Seconded. You can set it up on your personal accoount, but why would you? What if you sell the business next year? That consideration, plus the public visibility aspect, all but dictate that a business page is the way to go.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna

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