Newbie seeking advice on trading online

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  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 13 Jul 09
  • Karma:
20 Jul 09 04:12:45 pm

First off, sorry for making a long post - I guess I have a lot on my mind ;p

Quick about me and my trading experience
I've tried to learn as much as I can about making money over the Internet over the last 5 years or so. I've been through the mill of everything from 'make 1000/hour' nonsense offers to building several e-commerce stores for other companies for over 9 years, mostly with the ZenCart application and by creating custom modules for their needs.

This has often let me hung dry with the short end of the money-making while making others richer than myself. I really want to change this, and turn things around to my own and my family's benefit.

Guilty as charged, by myself...
While I'm not proud of it, I will be honest about it - I am guilty of major procrastination. I'm careful, very careful. On the bright side, this has caused me to loose minimal amount of money while learning about the darker forms of online marketing and money-making which only leads to failure or short-term success. And it has protected me against bad contracts and business deals.

On the negative side, I'm having a hard time initiating any kind of serious business. 'There's always something better that can be done...' something I'll probably never find.

A definitive problem I've had - Marketing
It is my belief that pretty much anything can be sold, if marketed to the right target. Where I always seem to fail, is on the marketing bit. This is truly my biggest challenge to overcome in order for success.

Even with proper SEO and content driven web managment, it just doesn't seem to cut it alone. I always seem to reach for PPC, which I have a hard time of converting into a profit.

I've never actually had my own stock of products, I've always tried to make my business happen purely through affiliates/dropshippers and store-scripts such as BANS and scripts I've made myself towards CJ products. You can check it out here on my devblog: Link hidden: Login to view

These sites made a small buck for me, about $140 USD over a 3-4 week period. I still felt like I was drowning in the big Internet sea of similar sites. And have now decided to move on. A big problem with affiliate-only sites and blogs, is that they are frowned upon by both engines and consumers it seems.

A continuous battle for success
So now I have registered on Salehoo in order to perhaps try buying a small stock of starter-products and import them to Norway (expensive toll fees to be sure, 25% of product value as minimum). I'm still searching for nice wholesale sites and thinking about how I want to play it out.

Question about marketing
My ultimate goal is to earn just over $15.000 USD monthly, by selling and marketing almost exclusively online. I got 2 challenges, products/targeted market and the marketing itself.

For products, I'd like to find a low-risk return niche like knives, tools, things that can't break easily (e.g. electronic goods) and will need many costly returns on my behalf. Also perhaps a high return value per item, instead of many sales in order to make a profit. But these are choices I'll have to make for myself.

My question is mainly about marketing. Is it naive to think that I might be able to cover the marketing I need, by using purely online auction houses? I was thinking and 2 big, very popular online auction sites within Norway. Maybe stretch out to and some other branches as well if turns out good for me.

I know this will drive a lot of traffic, and perhaps a high return profit if I choose my products carefully with low competition or competitive prices at least. I was thinking of setting up my own online store of products, and perhaps try make it known through the auction houses as a cheap way of marketing.

Any constructive input is appreciated
I've had these thoughts in my head for some time now, and it would be nice to get some fresh perspective on them from someone else with more experience than me at online trading. Even just to let me know if I'm on the right track, or just thinking crazy.

On an additional note, I've been thinking about selling my own resources as well. Perhaps writing a few guides of how to perform simple IT tasks, e.g. within web development. And try to sell them... I got plenty of knowledge, but I imagine it's hard to sell stuff like that, as it's easily stolen and redistributed by someone else after first purchase... But that thought might just be another product of my procrastination nature, holding me back. I created an IT support system a while ago marketed only through PPC, through submitting tickets you'd have to pay for on a website. There were many questions, but noone that actually wanted to pay for any answers.

I hope I can within a few weeks start something that can be long-term and less stressful and exhausting for me than my current dayjob. Thank you to anyone who bothered reading this entire post :) And thank you for any tips and help you may have for me.

I'd very much like to reach other norwegian traders from this forum who already are successful, to learn from. I might be able to offer some technical services for free in return.

Site Admin
  • Posts: 6496
  • Joined: 27 Jul 07
  • Karma:
20 Jul 09 10:06:50 pm
Hi logical_insane,

You really do have some issues on your mind : )

I'll do my best to fill in a few dark spots for you.

1. Looking for local members, I just noticed that another member has made a similar post looking for Europe based members. He is located in the UK, but does have some good trading experience, until recently operating his own drop shipping supplies company.

I would suggest sending him a PM to buddy up with as he is also looking for some script work at the moment I believe.

Regarding your previous attempts at making a success out of online sales. Very little doubt that success would not be high when trying to make money from drop shipping. As you say, everything can be sold if marketed correctly, however there is some qualifying criteria for that.

eBay is the biggest drop shipping platform on the planet, and trying to compete against those prices is hard, really hard in most cases. The problem with any online business is that no matter how well it's marketed, if it's drop ship based you still really need to compete with ebay prices because most shoppers will use that as a price comparison.

Those that really make a strong success out of sales do it buying in volume. You not only get discounted stock because of the volume investment, but you have full control over your business, you're not relying on a second party to make you look good as you need with a drop shipping platform.

Yes, it does take money, but it is a business after all and there aren't too many businesses around that run on nothing. Usually works that the greater the investment, the greater the reward potential..........and of course that is counter balanced by the greater the risk!

Regarding selling your own resources. Knowledge is power and is what most seek. Yes, you would be subject to pirating for sure, but you would have to balance your earnings against that to see if it was going to be viable for you.

That would of course require you to take the step in the first place, but once you have completed your work, it's there forever and has the potential to generate income for you on an ongoing basis. May not be retirement money, but the more income streams you generate the better you will be off.

Procrastination, yep, the enemy of quite a few. Developing a single minded focus will always benefit you. Trust me, I know what it's like to have 367 ideas all floating around in your head at the one time, and each day you wake up it's a different idea that captures your interest than it was yesterday.

It's get's you now where trying to do everything at once. Slow down, pick what you believe the be the best idea, and base that on all the data you have in front of you. From there focus on that only, at least until you have it developed to a stage where you are happy.

You'll be surprised at how once you have that one idea developed the rest will start falling into place.

: )

Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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Full Member
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 13 Jul 09
  • Karma:
21 Jul 09 12:30:17 am
Thank you for taking your time to write your feedback fudjj.

You make some solid points, I appreciate them. I suppose I already knew some of them in the back of my head, but it helps to get them reflected by someone else.

I'm yet to import my first minor stock of goods (was thinking of trying out a $4-500 stock to begin with) through suppliers listed on this site. I was initially interested in dealing with pc games out of personal interest, but the only suppliers I found only have outdated games. But there are many other categories I'm looking at.

I'm currently researching the costs involved to see if I can make a profit out of any of it at the same time. Norway custom taxes adds a 25% product value fee on top of the shipping costs, and that's with the toll-free goods.

Clothes and other selected goods even have additional taxes on top of that. I also need to look at the local shipping costs around Norway to see what wares I could sell without the shipping becoming a too negative factor for the customers. It would be nice with something that's competitive against buying it in a local store, and of course against other online resellers.

I like your point about having more control over the business by having your own stock, not relying on a third party when dropshipping. Although, if it's local it can be a nice venture I think, as you can have a close contact with your partner(s).

I don't have too much money to start out with, so I hope get started with some smart choices from the beginning in this game. Moving out of the low-risk affiliate world is new to me, but it feels like the right move to make if I want to get serious about making a profit through my own business. I might be better off trying to make it locally instead of importing overseas... I will check out my opportunities by taking a few trips around the city and consider stores that could use an 'online-touch'.

I'll also consider the possibility of creating some virtual products or services out of my knowledge and learned resources over the last 10-14 years. It would be nice to know that it wasn't all a waste. I like doing what I'm doing, but more on a hobby basis, not for a living. Some of the project managers I've had have been a pure energy-sucking nightmare, and the wage just isnt worth it. For a business, I'd prefer to run a simple business model that I can control myself, and grow bigger over a stable long-term period.

I suppose living in Norway might make me a small resource in itself, by having me as a gateway into the norwegian market. I might not be well-connected or filthy rich, but I can write and speak very formal and presentable norwegian and gain norwegian customers trust. Which might present a challenge for a foreign business manager who wants their product(s) into the norwegian market. I'm also very familiar with the biggest local online auction sites.

But now I'm just rambling on... :) Sorry.

I'm in contact with bevsey, he actually contacted me himself. I'll see what he has in mind. Thanks for the tip though.

Site Admin
  • Posts: 6496
  • Joined: 27 Jul 07
  • Karma:
21 Jul 09 01:28:31 am
No problems at all insane, it's easy to see that you are a clear thinker and that counts for a lot in this game.

You are highlighting a lot of right key areas to focus on. Such as import duties and local transport market. These are things that have a huge impact on this type of business.

Will be interesting to follow your progress here on the forum.

Don't worry about bevsey, he grows on you...LIKE A WART...LOL, especially with a cricket win under his wings lol. You guys may well be in a good position to help each other.

Just drop me a line anytime if I can be of any help at all.


Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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