E-commerce, is it really profitable?

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

  1. Anders Kjeldsen

    Anders Kjeldsen Neophyte

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    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?


    Background:

    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

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

    Anders Kjeldsen Neophyte

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    I'm not quite sure yet.
     
  4. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

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    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 ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    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

    J.
     
  6. Felipe01

    Felipe01 Participant

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

    NuWebHosting.com Enthusiast

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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 Developer

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    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 Developer

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    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.

    ...Updated.....
    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
  14. Shinjiru

    Shinjiru Aspirant

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    It's depends on what goods you are selling and which country is your focus. eCommerce in China market is very successful.
     
  15. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Honestly, it sounds to me like you want everyone else to do your homework for you. Research what you want to sell, what has good margins, easy customer service, is in demand and what you are passionate about. Or better yet, come up with something new that fulfills a need that isn't being met.
     
  16. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    It all depends in country A product Y sell fast with high profits but in country B it does not sell at all. So depending on what you want its like mysiteguy said do your homework to see what our country needs most.
     
  17. kingcool52

    kingcool52 Participant

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    Of course. E-commerce is a massive part of shopping now and if you can manage to do it right then you can make a lot of money. Obviously, it is not exactly the easiest thing to get into because you need to make sure your website is good enough, your marketing has to be perfect and you need to sell items that will make you a good enough profit.
     
  18. Samaira Singh

    Samaira Singh Neophyte

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    Creating an online store requires a couple of things to make the project a success. Building the store is easy but bringing in traffic to your website and subsequent conversions can be a tedious job. SEO, Logistics delivery, marketing etc needs to be done.
     
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