Are you struggling with where to start? Should you dropship or buy wholesale? Should you sell on sites like eBay or set up your own store? Can you get refunds if it all goes belly up?
This thread will answer some common questions. :)
Question 1: What should I sell to begin with?
If you have no experience at all thus far, try selling some items you no longer need from around the house first. The risk is extremely low and you'll get a taste for the overall process.
You can make some cash, and maybe even find a great product along the way that sells well. If that happens, when you do start selling on a bigger scale, you have an idea of something you could source.
Question 2: Where should I source new products from?
You've got 4 main supply options to consider:
- Surplus (liquidation)
- Second hand
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Each have their own benefits and disadvantages, you really should research all 4 of those to see what platform best suits. Once again: If you don't feel ready for these options, you can always start off by listing some things from around the house that you have no further use for.
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Question 3: Should I sell the most "hot selling" items? Or is that too competitive?
It's natural to want to sell the most sought after items on eBay, but it's not always a good option for sellers to try. The problem you have is, all the hottest selling products are always the most competitive to try and sell. Big sellers buy large volumes of stock and then sell at prices you just can't match, especially if you're dropshipping.
If you're dropshipping or buying smaller volumes of stock wholesale, you might do better to avoid the most popular selling items, in favour of some items that sell a bit slower but have much less competition. The strategy that many use is to find products that fit into this type of category or niche market if you like, and then replicate that.
There's more information on "niche market" type selling in this thread: "Link hidden: Login to view".
One option is to Link hidden: Login to view to find products that are selling well, but don't have too much competition. Of course, there's more than just sell rate and competition to finding a good product, but the video there will help you with the kinds of things to consider when looking at what to sell.
Question 4: Where to start selling? Sites like eBay or my own online store?
It's not usually a good idea to start with an online store. Ultimately, an independent web store is where you need to be aiming, but you need to have some experience behind you and the cashflow to market it or it's just a waste of time.
So for starters, try selling on sites like eBay, and keep it simple and low cost to kick it off. When you're getting the hang of it, try expanding what you sell. Then, when you're moving stock well and you've got a real feel for selling online, consider starting your own online store.
Question 5: What will I do if a customer wants a refund on a wholesale or dropship item?
If you're dealing in new products then refunds are something you'll probably have to have a system for as customers expect some sort of guarantees on new products.
If you are dropshipping, then you need to be aware of your suppliers requirements and you simply have to parrot that. If you are wholesaling, then you will have to again, be aware of the manufacturer's warranty terms and formulate a policy around those.
A final note:
It can be very daunting to know exactly when and where to jump in. Focus on keeping it simple and low cost to kick it off. Keep the risk to a minimum, especially if cashflow is a BIG issue. The term "learning to crawl before you can walk" in this type of business is absolutely true.
Remember you can always post questions in the forums when you need help along the way.