Looking to start a E-Commerce business - 2019

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by metzerbiz, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. metzerbiz

    metzerbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Hi All,

    Just looking for a bit of advice. I'm looking to generate some extra income and looking into starting an e-commerce business. As someone with no prior experience in this field, it does seem a little daunting.

    I've been researching into Dropshipping (Using Shopify) as well as Amazon FBA. I know some of the pros and cons of each, but wanted to gauge opinions from some business minded folks as to suggestions on what I should go for.

    I'm based in UK, and would prefer my target market to be UK / Europe.

    Many thanks,
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: metzerbiz Member since: Mar 18, 2019
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    How much money do you have?

    Dropshipping can be cheap to set up but the marketing costs are often huge. The days when you could put up a simple site and do a bit of low cost promotion are long gone. It now takes a huge amount of effort and a fair wodge of cash to run successful ecommerce business.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Dropshipping can be made to work. Its also one of the things people seem to navigate to so expect lots to try it.

    You will tend to pay more than wholesale price for the goods and more postage than the post office would charge you (if using a dropshipping company). Profit per sale may only be a pound or two, however your risks are different.

    Amazon FBA would be where you buy stock, label it up and send it to amazon. Then when item sells amazon will send it out. With you getting the money about 3 or 4 weeks later.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Indeed it can, and many do it very successfully. But it ain't easy and many fall by the wayside. And expect to have to invest a decent wodge on marketing before you make a single sale.

    A good friend of mine only sells a few products. He get them in container loads from China and spends around £1000/month on marketing. But the products sell well and everyone makes money. The containers get delivered to the fulfillment centre where they are stored ready for dispatch. Ordering is fully automated, all the fulfillment centre has to do is put the invoice in the packaging, seal and stick the address label on the outside. It's a very slick operation because he invested a lot of time and effort researching the products, the supplier, the fulfillment centre and most importantly the marketing. He doesn't even have a website.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Yes, sadly it appears to be promoted as the easy method of making money.
    It can be - as your friend has done - if set up to run efficiently. Bet its taken considerable time, effort and planning to get there.

    Have come across dropshippers with a dozen sales a day or more. Making enough to pay the bills and have a little spending money. With a few million listings.
    Bad marketing / no money spent on marketing. And considerable expense buying software and stock list.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,540 8,971
    It has. But the investment paid off. He keeps the figures to himself but the first three products he sold paid off his mortgage in 5 years.They fell by the wayside as tastes and demand changed but he was ready with new products. I think he has a range of about 10 products in various colours and styles. It's this simplicity that makes the business to easy to manage.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. metzerbiz

    metzerbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Thanks for the info all. I probably have around £1000-1500 money to invest / lose in this attempt. I know with drop shipping, most of my money will be spent on advertising whereas with Amazon FBA most of my money will be used on bulk buying and some on advertising. I feel I would need alot more disposable cash to begin on Amazon FBA, thus I'm more inclined to start with Dropshipping (with Shopify / Oberlo) to gain experience into the whole e-commerce market and perhaps raise some revenue over time to venture into Amazon FBA.

    Currently trying to read all I can on the web / youtube regarding e-commerce and drop shipping.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: metzerbiz Member since: Mar 18, 2019
    #7
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    You could easily spend 3 or 4 times that sum. Per month.
    Can start on FBA with a box. Just one box of goods.

    You could do both - a dropship with one lot of stuff on your own site and some FBA stock.
    The amazon FBA system is effectively fire and forget.

    Or you could use another fulfilment company and sell goods wherever you wanted.

    Getting a website and putting stuff on it is the cheap part. Getting noticed among the many millions of other sites out there - time, effort, money...
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #8
  9. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Setting what to whom?
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. metzerbiz

    metzerbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I'm still researching into all the options. I was more inclined to sell to the UK/EU market, but seems like drop shipping times from China are quite lengthy here, compared to USA..
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: metzerbiz Member since: Mar 18, 2019
    #10
  11. TheWebDesignCompany

    TheWebDesignCompany UKBF Regular Full Member

    106 6
    Very true...
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: TheWebDesignCompany Member since: Mar 11, 2019
    #11
  12. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    Maybe wait a month or 2 to see what happens with Brexit as depending what happens will signal how you will be able to import/ export with the EU market... Alex
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #12
  13. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I repeatedly see ecommerce as being represented as an easy way to make a few quid.

    Has anyone seen the stats as to how many people start an ecommerce business and do not make a few quid?

    I have had 3 ecommerce businesses. One I have subsequently sold. All 3 have made money.

    The combined investment I made was just over £300k

    I am sure you can start up, build a free website, sell cotton buds for 1p, and become rich. Actually, no. I am not sure about that at all.

    Ecommerce is great fun. It is also hard work. If you skip the investment in website, and stock, it is harder work. But let me underline Fiscix point. You cannot skip the marketing. Not if you want to make anything like a living. Or even anything like a nice supplement to your living.
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #13
  14. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Or use a 3rd party site that already has buyers. Then just need to spend on marketing (as opposed to wanting to increase sales) where your product is unknown.
    If selling say a particular well known brand of speakers (and have permission of course to sell them there) then the marketing on a 3rd party site is less important than selling an unknown brand of speaker or own brand item.
    Marketing can help increase sales of course - though as in anything a business owner should keep an eye on return on investment. Have seen idiots spend multiple pounds per click to get the odd sale on amazon for an item not worth the cost of the sale.
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #14
  15. metzerbiz

    metzerbiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Whilst I definitely don't have that sort of money to put towards the business, my intentions are to learn as much as possible in starting this small business. Whether it succeeds or not I'm not too bothered just yet, but so long as I learn from any mistakes and perhaps do better in a second attempt!

    Cheers for the advice all
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: metzerbiz Member since: Mar 18, 2019
    #15
  16. Cloud Commerce Pro

    Cloud Commerce Pro UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 1
    If you're going to go FBA, you have to get it right - Amazon charges storage fees, and while they're not high, if you're not selling your products fast enough (which is quite likely when you first launch your product), your outgoings may end up higher than you expected. Clear and accurate stock tracking is a must!

    If you're selling products that aren't unique to you, you have the choice to individually sticker your products before sending them to Amazon (which has costs of its own) or co-mingle inventory. This doesn't sound too bad, but there are reports of companies ending up carrying the can for counterfeits that their goods were co-mingled with. Amazon just opened up Project Zero to crack down on counterfeit goods and unauthorised sellers, so this also needs watching for.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: Cloud Commerce Pro Member since: Jul 21, 2017
    #16
  17. Jamie Monumental

    Jamie Monumental UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    Marketing will be a big cost however if done correctly can be very lucrative
     
    Posted: Mar 25, 2019 By: Jamie Monumental Member since: Mar 25, 2019
    #17
  18. Taobao agent

    Taobao agent UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    I've been looking through about Amazon FBA videos from Youtube.
    Really interested in to be a seller on Amazon.
    However, I have no idea how can I start it.
    It seems to really complex.
    I need to learn more knowledge before starting to do it.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2019 By: Taobao agent Member since: Jul 23, 2018
    #18
  19. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Your signature says you offer an Amazon FBA service....
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #19
  20. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Awkward!
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #20