What's the best way to start selling online - thru auction sites like eBay or thru my own webstore?

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tesseract
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14 May 12 09:14:10 pm
So I wanted to get into this business of online selling. I have sold onlien before for fun, to get a little extra money, but never as a business. I did a lot of searching before I found Salehoo. I spent a lot of time looking through training materials, going through suppliers in the directory. Researching prices and products, I have spent hours doing this. I started out selling on Amazon, where I sold before, but I've sold about three products in the last month, which isn't much help from a business standpoint. That really isn't enough, obviously. I tried selling on Ebay recently, but I haven't really been selling anything there either. I have sold stuff on both sites for fun before in the past, but I am not sure what I am doing wrong. At first I was trying to sell consumer electronics, because it's what I know. But I realized that it is an incredibly competitive market, got new suppliers, and started trying to sell other products of different varieties. Even trying some products Salehoo suggested, to give them a go. And still not selling. I would lower my prices even more, which I have been doing. But if I lower them too much more, I am not going to make a profit at all. There is not much point selling a product if I take a loss every time I sell it.

For a new seller, is making a profit and selling volume on Amazon and Ebay usually this hard? Would making my own ecommerce website perhaps be a better strategy for starting out? Are there any tips and tricks that have worked for any of you? Any tips for beginning sellers? I have read a lot of training materials but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have put a lot of work into this so far and it feels like I am really not accomplishing anything. I have tried dropshipping, liquidation sites (are those recommended or not by the more experienced sellers?), and wholesale. I'm sorry if I do not have enough information or something, but I am not really sure how to get things up and running. Any idea's?

Site Admin
fudjj
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14 May 12 09:47:43 pm
Hi Tessseract, and welcome to SaleHoo,

Without overwhelming you even more with a stack of suggestions, let's just start at the start and see if we can work out where you are going wrong.

Now you say you are lowering your prices to try and sell stock, but you don't mention that you are lowering them to compete with others sellers. So the first question is how well do you know your competition?

That is the sellers in the same space that are selling the same thing or very close to it.

You don't just have to carefully research products, but you need to research the complete market, and that includes suppliers and other sellers.

When developing a business plan, there is a simple process that you should put in place, and it's called a SWOT analysis.

S - Your Strengths
W - Your Weaknesses
O - Your Identifiable Opportunities
T - Your Identifiable Threats

You should set aside 4 pages, one for each. You don't have to fill each page, but you do want to get as much as you can on each page. A detailed SWOT analysis means that you have researched your business model well, and it gives you a basic blue print to work from.

For example, clearly identifying your threats, such as competitors, means you can put processes in place that will increase your over all strengths, which in turn will reduce your weaknesses and may then increase your opportunities.

It's about understanding your business and to do that well, you have to understand your market. Making the jump from selling a few things for fun to developing it as a business model is no simple jump. Yes, getting any experience in online sales through any means is valuable, but you have to put solid core business principals in place to take it to the next level if you want to develop a long term successful business.


Mark (fudjj)

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tesseract
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14 May 12 10:06:45 pm
Thanks for the advice, while I have spent some time looking at my competition, it has not been nearly as complete as it should have been. As in, it was more a side effect of research product prices in general, I didn't really spend much time looking at competitors. In hindsight I probably should have.

That is helpful, I will spend more time trying to understand what my strengths and weaknesses are, what opportunities I have, what things might threaten my success. Basically I guess I really need to look at this from the ground up and try to figure out where I am going wrong and where I can go right.

One other question, would you recommend building an online store of my own just yet, or would it be better to wait until I can get my selling on other sites working first, and figure out a better business model? Basically should I rethink my strategy and get things working a little better before I go making the jump to my own website?

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fudjj
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14 May 12 10:41:35 pm
No problems, definitely stripping that right down and building your business model on a better foundation of research is a great idea.

In regards to building your own site, that I think should be part of your overall business plan, but closer to the end than the start. It's about putting in processes that would ultimately lead to the development of your own site, processes such as successful selling platforms such as an eBay and so on, that can then be used as a sales funnel for your primary site long term.

The biggest issue you will even have with your own site is generating traffic flow. Everything else is relatively simple, it's actually generating numbers through the door that is the hard part, so keep it as a long term goal, then utilise other platforms to establish a market that you can then take advantage of later on.

Cheers


Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager
SaleHoo.com

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richelle_salehoo
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15 May 12 01:24:35 am
Hi and welcome to SaleHoo, Tesseract :)

Marc's given you great advice on how to start as he always does!

If this is your first time selling online, selling through eBay and other auction sites might be a good way to get your feet wet, before taking the bigger and deeper plunge required in setting up your own online store.

This way you can work on your feedback and overall reputation as an online seller (which you can later on use to back you up when you open your store). Also selling through auction sites will give you the chance to practice your selling/listing skills! Plus will be a good source of traffic for your future webstore.

To help you find suitable products to sell, I recommend trying out our [url=Link hidden: Login to view Research Labs[/url].

Good luck with your research! Don't let all the info overwhelm you, make it a challenge and inspiration :)

PS When your ready to start your store, you might want to check out [url=Link hidden: Login to view Stores[/url]


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!

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