E-commerce, is it really profitable?

Discussion in 'eCommerce' started by Anders Kjeldsen, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Anders Kjeldsen

    Anders Kjeldsen Neophyte

    Hi all,

    I am new in this forum. I seek advice, as I am doing research to start my own business.

    My big advantage is that I actually have money to start the business and to sustain myself along the way. I don’t need to work a day job while I am launching my business, and I don’t need to attract investors.

    Since I am opening this business with my own money, I am looking for an opportunity with low risk, which with hard work and an initial investment could have a good chance of generating a decent return.

    My eyes have fallen on ecommerce, as it looks like something you can start with a low investment and expand incrementally as revenue grows. But even though ecommerce is growing all over the world, margins seem to be razor thin and completion high. I do not know whether it would actually work.

    Another big doubt I have about ecommerce is that there are so many dubious sites offering you services and promising that they have the formula to make you a millionaire. It makes you wonder if there really is anything in it for a small player, or just a lot of well, suckers like me trying to open an ecommerce, and a lot of vultures feasting on them.

    So I have to questions for you wise people.

    1. Is it really possible to make a decent return on an online store as a small player? Have any of you tried it?

    2. The Internet is full of ‘start your own business with no money, and without quitting your day job’. What about ‘start your own business with money, dedicated only to this’. Any ideas of which industry could give a decent return with low risk?


    I am educated in business and political science, I have lived in Brazil for the last four years helping foreign companies inter the Brazilian market. Brazil has market of 200 million people a large penetration of credit cards and a fast growing ecommerce industry. Should any of you be interested in bringing your business to Brazil please let me know.
  2. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    What type of items are you planing on selling?
  3. Anders Kjeldsen

    Anders Kjeldsen Neophyte

    I'm not quite sure yet.
  4. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    Well that is a pretty important thing, a lot depends on what you are selling if there is money to be made. ;)
  5. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Black Jacq! Give Me My Coins!! ♠

    I just finished building an eCommerce site for a client who'll be selling hundreds of items. Of course it can be a profitable venture. You've just got to make sure folks know about your product and your site. So you'd need to do a fair bit of advertising. But yes. Definitely worth the time and effort, of course depending on the product(s) your selling and their quality. Welcome to TAZ Anders KjeldsenAnders Kjeldsen

  6. Felipe01

    Felipe01 Participant

    Welcome, this board.What type of business you gone to start??
  7. NuWebHosting.com

    NuWebHosting.com Enthusiast

    With Ecommerce, just depends on how many people know about your products and well, really buy them. There are also multiple channels as well. In the long run, it's a very unique venture.
  8. Lozza94

    Lozza94 Aspirant

    More than that, it's about choosing the right niche. You need to choose a niche which is not too saturated, has acceptable profit margins etc.
  9. Matteo

    Matteo Neophyte

    Go with what you know. It's much easier and fun if you sell something you have interest in and know about.
  10. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

    The niche is important, but you will need to know what your selling. So you must also willing to learn what you are selling.
  11. Jamie Hennings

    Jamie Hennings Neophyte

    Before starting the e-commerce business you will have to be specific what kind of audience you want to address. If you will be able to know your customer base then it will help you in selecting the products. If you want to deal in everything like Amazon then you need to attract sellers because you can't just buy things and sell it to customers. You can work as a platform between sellers and customers.
  12. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

    Even if, as most other members wrote before, what you're selling is important, for me, the most important is:
    "Are you planning to Sell or to Resell?".

    And because my English level is not professional, what I mean is: "Are you planing to sell your own products, or selling other's manufacturers products".

    I know many people who're selling their own products and they got a 6 digits amount in Euros in less than a year, even if the amount of sales was not high. But think that (for example) they were selling for 10 Euros a product that cost them only a few cents, if not nothing (someone is selling wooden diagrams).

    From the other side, if you plan to resell (eg gadgets) take in account 2 important factors:
    1. How much you can earn per sale?
    2. Can you keep your prices low compared to competition?
    If you're still in search what to sell, the only that I can advice you is to do something that I would like to do if I had money (... if I was a richman as a song says) :)
    I found many computer accessories (eg USB sticks, SSD etc) in very low prices in China. I was surprised when, for example, I found a 1TB USB at $15, with free shipping, while in my local market, the biggest store sells a 256GB stick for 139.90 Euros, so around $150. 10 times more !! And for 1/4 of capacity !!.

    There are so many products that you can sell. And if they're tangible products is better to choose those with light weight.
  13. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

    As for your eShop. Don't ignore Facebook. I've a friend who is selling Watches (again from China) and sells like crazy using a normal Facebook profile. Not even using some addons that I seen for Facebook shops.

    I remember them one by one.... Sorry :) .... Do you know how my neighbor here makes a lot of money? He is selling (again using Facebook), replacements for cars keys. Don't know if I'm understandable. I mean the plastic area of the car's key having buttons to activate/deactivate alarm etc. Price? 35 Euros each. He never told me how much is his cost (always smiles when I'm asking) but don't think that is more than 10 Euros each.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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