What have you changed this year? How's it working out?

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Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,616
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
12 Jun 2014
We're already nearly halfway through 2014! I don't know about you, but for me it's going like a flash.

So it's a good time to reflect. What have you changed in your business this year? Is there anything you have started or stopped doing, or made changes to? Has the change been for the better or the worse?

[Last edited: 16 Jun 2014]
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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London United Kingdom
Easiliving
Kudos: 36
Joined: May 12, 2014
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
18 Jun 2014
We've just added free delivery on all orders over £25 on www.easiliving.com so far it seems to be working!
Supplier
United States United States
Jordan Malik
Kudos: 81
Joined: May 29, 2014
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
18 Jun 2014
Great question Andy. My discovery this year was the only thing that's guaranteed to happen to your business is change. (I'm referring to selling on Amazon here.) Amazon seller rules change, restrictions change, profit margins change, customers change. Most online sellers quit when any combination hits, but my lesson is: pivot. I learned to adapt (which simply means 'zig-ging' when others zag). I learned to stop following trends and instead deliver to the very small niche audiences (the 'long tail'). My specialty now is acquiring inventory that costs me under $1/pc and selling it for $9+, leaving me a pre-ta net profit of $4 to $6 per item (ROI of 400%+). Most other sellers would turn their nose up at this ("it's not sexy enough"/"what will my peers think of me?", which leaves plenty of opportunity for me.
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,358
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
19 Jun 2014
This year I left my "regular" gig (20+ years in insurance) to do ecommerce fulltime. It has been a very busy time over these last 4 months!

1. Eliminated stamped mail shipping for small Amazon orders. Found I got better results using tracking and providing improved customer service.

2. Started using Appeagle for dynamic pricing (review on Webretailer coming soon!)

3. Switched from Blackthorne to SixBit (again, a review coming soon).

4. Rewrote parts of my inventory synch file.

5. 50% complete of a pricing synch to automatically synch prices from my AppEagle driven Amazon price to all my marketplaces on an hourly basis.

6. Decreased overhead expenses by watching expenses on a regular basis.

7. Implemented new shipping process for international orders resulting in significantly reduced costs.

8. Started exploring marketing options (specifically Facebook ads) to increase sales. Jury is still out!

9. Managed to increase participation of Social Media for my ecommerce site for Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately I cannot fathom how Google+ fits into this.

With all that, for the 2nd half of the year I plan to start a software company to commercialize some of the ecommerce tools I wrote. Have already started converting code to allow for easy integration into multiple platforms - Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux.
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,358
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
19 Jun 2014
Nothing wrong with this. I regular sell items in the $5.99 range (with Free Shipping). Profits are not huge but profits exist there! As long as you have priced your overhead appropriately, you will make money all day long. Assuming you are doing your own fulfilling (no employee), and paying yourself $100,000 per year, it only costs about $.80 in labor, cheaper if you have an employee. Bottom feeding isn't sexy but results is what counts!
Herefordshire United Kingdom
john628
Kudos: 39
Joined: Jun 17, 2014
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
19 Jun 2014
Reducing the cost of an expedited delivery upgrade option has paid off for us. Especially later in the week when we are a little quieter normally. John
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,616
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
19 Jun 2014

john wrote:

Reducing the cost of an expedited delivery upgrade option has paid off for us. Especially later in the week when we are a little quieter normally. John
Thanks for posting John! So how does that work? Do you run an upgraded delivery promotion in the second half of each week, or is it just that people need items more quickly when it gets later in the week - e.g. for a weekend project? (I see you sell tools)
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Leicestershire United Kingdom
Crucial Music
Kudos: 124
Joined: May 25, 2011
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
19 Jun 2014
I sell on eBay and Amazon and this year have been increasing my Amazon sales simply by using the FBA service for everything I sell. Results have greatly outstripped eBay sales However the increasing costs and ever-changing regulations on both eBay and Amazon are at last forcing me to look at selling via my own site. I had tried this some years ago without success and laziness took me back to these sites.

Am also playing around with "FREE" postage on eBay - with mixed results.

On a personal note my wife has joined the business (having been made redundant in her education employment) and this has allowed me to be more creative.
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,226
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
26 Jun 2014
Free postage on ebay, Amazon and Rakuten was a must for us, however concentrating on our own website is starting to pay dividends.

International sales are also a must do. 80% of our sales are now non UK. We will now concentrate on international rather than UK sales.
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Ct. United States
bellamariehomegarden1
Kudos: 48
Joined: Mar 10, 2015
Re: What have you changed this year? How's it working out?
10 Mar 2015
@Andy HI my name is Carolyn DeLucia i just joined , i have an on line Home & Garden store for about a year and a half now . I learned so much during this time, I have researched all the best ways to market my on line business , it could be expensive, i am deciding to go with Pricefalls this year , it is 20.00 a month which isnt bad, plus they take 7-12 percent of each sale , from what i understand they advertise on all the major on line places so hopefully i will get more sales . Its nice to be a part of this community, thank you Carolyn

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