How did you get started selling online?

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Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
How did you get started selling online?
22 May 2014
I'd love to hear how you got into selling online!

Did you start as a hobby, grow from an existing business, or begin some other way?
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
andrewjtitcombe
Kudos: 22
Joined: May 20, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
22 May 2014
I ran a mail order business while I was still at school selling stamps when philately was still a popular hobby I had customers worldwide and advertised in Australian, American and French magazines Remember this was well before the internet made the world smaller (and first class postage was 3d which (= 2p at the most)

However, the Head threatened to expel me if I didn’t stop the business So I did! Ironically years later I became a small business advisor at the same school for their Young Enterprise Groups. Back then though I was obviously not a Richard Branson although I was keen to be a pop star once I discovered music

I took up learning guitar and writing songs. I co-wrote the Carlisle United song when they had reached Division One in the 70s as well as the official Carlisle Great Fair Song (an historic pageant) around the same time. Also co-wrote the song about Eddie Stobart lorries that took British fun-folk artistes, The Wurzels, back into the UK Top 100 after many years of being off the scene. In 2008 I had songs in the European Country Radio charts especially in Italy and have also written advertising jingles and music for radio programmes.

Music had taken over from stamps as a must-do hobby and so I determined to make a living at it A day job and East End pub gigs paid the rent for a while but I found a record shop for sale and was hooked into retail again. Creative music went out the window as I added several more record shops around London but got rid of our shops & moved out of London just before downloads decimated the record shop scene

Later I moved online to get my business re-started. eBay and later Amazon were there to carry me through and since then I have sold online and continue to learn that online selling is a never-ending learning curve

My advice is to have a passion for what you want to do as a business Enjoy it AND always keep up with business trends
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: How did you get started selling online?
28 May 2014
I had sold household things off and on over several years. One day I went into a local store and the owner was bragging about selling on eBay. Basically, the guy was nice but no business man. I figured I could do it too. I did $20k the first year and was hooked.
United States United States
julia530
Kudos: 29
Joined: May 14, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
29 May 2014
I'm not actually selling items online, but promoting a free service for jewelry retailers called findmyringsize.com that helps web retailers improve their conversion rate and save money on returns and resizing. However, looks like selling online will be unavoidable for most small businesses.
Julia Crocus
Community Manager
findmyringsize.com
getruler.com
Supplier
United States United States
Jordan Malik
Kudos: 81
Joined: May 29, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
29 May 2014
Out of necessity. I was a co-founder of a disastrous, doomed high tech startup from 1999 to 2001 (it was doomed because of the other co-founder). We went belly-up and I had to claim personal bankruptcy and liquidate all the company's assets. One way I did that was to sell our equipment/servers etc on eBay (I had only used my eBay account as a buyer before that). But after that, I caught the bug and today I enjoy a nice revenue stream from selling on Amazon/eBay and I get paid to teach others how to do the same via my published books, software and services - see JordanMalik.com.

Andy, thanks for giving me the opportunity to answer this! I love your site.

-Jordan Malik
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: How did you get started selling online?
29 May 2014
Thank you for your stories!

If anyone else would like to share theirs, please go for it. It doesn't have to be worthy of the morning papers, it's just really fascinating to hear all the different ways people get into this business
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Myrtle Beach, SC United States
birchline
Kudos: 36
Joined: Jun 10, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
12 Jun 2014
I have been selling (at first part time and then full time) on eBay and Amazon for the past five years and in 2013 I started considering opening my own e-commerce site. We have only just begun to set up and everyday is filled with learning opportunities and successes but its an exciting adventure!
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: How did you get started selling online?
12 Jun 2014

birchline wrote:

everyday is filled with learning opportunities and successes but its an exciting adventure!
Great to hear from you and great outlook! There's always more to learn.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
Cheshire United Kingdom
jfallows
Kudos: 86
Joined: Jan 27, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
18 Jun 2014
We had an existing wholesale business when my wife started having babies (now got 3. And done thanks!) in 2003.
The daily traipse into Manchester while dropping the little un off at nursery wasn't working for anyone so we dipped our toe into ebay without a clue of what we were doing.
Ten years and 127,000 feedbacks later and with our own store, we are currently expanding onto the overseas marketplaces of eBay and Amazon. Online retail took over the wholesale side some years ago and is now the main focus.
Most of our nephews and nieces have paid their way through college with wages from picking and packing
Artemis Greece
Petertamb
Kudos: 49
Joined: Jun 18, 2014
Re: How did you get started selling online?
20 Jun 2014
Hello
My name is Peter
I was working in Athens International airport as a computer technician for 13 years till they changed our contracts and sent 12 of us home for not signing the new contract that was lowering our pay checks from 1100€ t? 500€ so having 4 kids I had to find an alternative way of making money and supporting my family. So I started dropshipping part time from 2010 making a few bucks here a there Importing gadgets from china witch works great but still looking for better suppliers to work with that sell internationally.

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