Newbie Internet Retailer

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Olympia,WA United States
ssobhan101
Kudos: 37
Joined: Dec 17, 2014
Newbie Internet Retailer
19 Dec 2014
I am a 'Newbie" internet retailer and currently have a small EBAY store open, and hoping to expand into other marketplaces, including Amazon, where it is becoming more competitive daily. With shipping costs, on the rise, I am beginning to see a steep hill become steeper. As a small business wanting to use dropshipping as a starting point, it seems to becoming improbable, if not impossible ! I am looking for ways to get breaks on shipping costs. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, they would be deeply appreciated !
Supplier
Nottingham, United Kingdom United Kingdom
Parcelhub
Kudos: 173
Joined: Sep 16, 2014
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
21 Dec 2014

ssobhan101 wrote:

I am a 'Newbie" internet retailer and currently have a small EBAY store open, and hoping to expand into other marketplaces, including Amazon, where it is becoming more competitive daily. With shipping costs, on the rise, I am beginning to see a steep hill become steeper. As a small business wanting to use dropshipping as a starting point, it seems to becoming improbable, if not impossible ! I am looking for ways to get breaks on shipping costs. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, they would be deeply appreciated !
Dropshipping can be an excellent way to generate revenue in the short term, but isn't as big here as it is in the USA. Which types of products are you wanting to sell and are you building your own ecommerce site or just selling via eBay and Amazon? Thanks, Simon

[Last edited: 21 Dec 2014]
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Olympia,WA United States
ssobhan101
Kudos: 37
Joined: Dec 17, 2014
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
22 Dec 2014
@Parcelhub
Thank you for your reply !! I am currently selling on EBay ( I had to close my Amazon store in order to change the AStore format which was not working too well. My niche is Kitchen Cookware, dinnerware and flatware. My goal is to have my own Ecommerce site soon, but I would like to be able to generate some form of steady sales before that. I am using Facebook as a promotional platform.

Please COPY and PASTE in your browser to see.

www.facebook.com/pages/Olympia...022265?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Thank you for your assistance !
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,316
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
25 Dec 2014
Hi

Shipping costs are the biggest problem for any internet retailer that is just starting out. You don't have the volume to get the discounts and without the discounts you can't get the volume of sales.

One firm that I helped with their start up actually took a loss on sales for the first three months to get the volume of sales so they could get better prices on shipping. This obviously is not acceptable for all but has worked for them.

Another firm blatantly lied to a new courier about their sales figures. I don't endorse this, but they now spend £4k a month with them and they are both happy.

What I would suggest is that you get your own website up and running as soon as you can. There are platforms such as Magento and PrestaShop among others that are free. All you need is a domain name, host, a payment solution and time to set it up. That way you can offer a discount to people who have bought from ebay to buy from your website.

You can also direct your many facebook followers to your new website and not have to pay around 15% to ebay when they buy something.

Like I say to many people no solution fits everybody. It all depends on the items you are selling. If i were to buy the 28pc 12-Element High-Quality,Dishwasher Safe Heavy-Gauge SS Cookware Set via ebay I hope I wouldn't need to buy another one for a year or two. However if it was a great item and you offered a discount on your website of 10% my neighbour might be interested. Ebay fees around 15% own site fees 5% or less.

Look at other selling channels as well the more the merrier. Gets the sales figures up.

If I can help you further just post here or send me a PM

Regards

Ian
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
28 Dec 2014
I'd think carefully about having your own ecommerce site. It is difficult to launch and maintain an ecommerce site and then getting traffic and sales to that site is very, very difficult. I have been in this business almost 8 years and still have not cracked the traffic/sales problem on my own site in an effective manner. It is borderline profitable in terms of the cost of having a website and the marketing. While I can reduce dollar cost of the website (I have a nice site), I'd paid in other ways in the cost of managing it.
Supplier
UK United Kingdom
daytodayebay
Kudos: 484
Joined: Jun 24, 2014
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
29 Dec 2014
@ssobhan101

With regards to shipping cost, if you could find a group of businesses working together in a business centre, volume of shipments lowering the shipping cost. This has been good practice here in the UK with business centres accommodating multiple businesses.
DaytodayeBay.Your one stop eBay and Amazon Solution Provider
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,316
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
1 Jan 2015
Your own website does not have to cost a fortune.

If you get a good hosting package you can have your own e-commerce site up and running for a few dollars a month. The major cost comes from getting somebody to do all the design work for you.

As a new seller you probably have a few hours a day spare. That is the time to add products and adjust your own website.

On every sale you make via Amazon or ebay add your website details to your invoice and offer a discount to customers to buy direct from your website.

Promote your products on a facebook page, twitter or pinterest.

I recently helped with a PrestaShop for a client. It is not finished yet but it is costing £5 per month for hosting. It is basic and simple which is what the client wanted, but it took its first sale 2 weeks after going on-line which paid for the next 6 months hosting. That is without any adds, marketing or external links.

Obviously everything depends on what you are selling and the price you are charging. There is no straight forward answer.

Ian

[Last edited: 1 Jan 2015]
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Supplier
Manila Philippines
2nd Office
Kudos: 553
Joined: Aug 19, 2012
Re: Newbie Internet Retailer
2 Jan 2015
@ssobhan101

Most sellers start out with drop shipping and eventually move into fulfilling their own orders or using a 3rd party service. A good way to negotiate shipping prices is to first list as many items as you can onto eBay or Amazon, and to sign up with as many suppliers you can that will give you a good deal for products.

Once you start building up your business and you are shipping 30 to 50 orders a day, you should then talk to UPS or FedEX and tell them you want to negotiate rates. You can tell them you're growing very fast and expect to ship "X" amount of orders in the following few months. Since you already have a history of orders from drop shipping you can show this to them as proof so they know you are not lying and have more reason to give you better shipping rates. You can also try utilizing USPS flat rate boxes if you're shipping small items, this is usually cheaper then FedEx depending on what you're shipping.

You can also try signing up for a 3rd party logistics company for all of your warehousing needs as they will give you their discounted rates, since you're already a customer

Hope this helps and good luck with your business!
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