I was going to continue on with another business idea to make money, but I thought I would discuss online auctions first. It still ties in with having your own store, but can be used on it’s own as well if you want to get your feet wet in the online selling world but aren’t ready to set up your own website.
Now, I know everyone knows and seems to use eBay as the number one auction site,but I have found over the last few years that not everyone is still feeling the love.
eBay is getting so competitive these days, some people just can’t be bothered.
From the sellers point of view, unless you have your own unique product, that only you posses, you have to compete with everyone else trying to sell the same product as cheap as possible to get the sale. So, therefore, no room for profit eventually.
Also, the more people post, the more you have to promote to make your ad stand out(like paying extra for Bold,etc.)Therein, the price of your listing just doubled. Once upon a time it was affordable to post on eBay. .25c and you were good to go. Now the average costs you about $2.00.
That can get pricey if you are posting a list of items and only one or two sell with a profit of only $5.00. When I first tried this it cost me $95.00 for the first 2 weeks of posting.Ouch. That was something I could not afford on a regular basis. I started scanning around for other auction listing sites, I found and tried and few, now I use a combination of using the website traffic that goes to those auction sites, and my own online store website. Every few weeks I go and post about 20 items on www.ioffer.com or www.webidz.com and see how they are received. If they seem to sell, I keep it up, if not, I try something else.
I like these 2 sites of all the ones I have checked because they allow you to set up an online store on their site for free(up to 500 products), they can be listed as Buy now,with bidding,or make an offer options. I like to just pay a certain price online when I shop. Some people get a thrill out of haggling, and others love to compete with bidding. So having all the choices available at once is good. Once again,no charge to list the item either, unless you want multiple pictures, and special features, then it is .5c a piece. You also can leave your items up as long as you want. Unlike the auctions on eBay, the items don’t end in the 3, 7 and 10 day cycles. The competition is still there for other sellers selling the same items at low costs, but not as many as in the eBay community.
That brings me to the buyers point of view. Great for low prices, but as more people list,you have to scan through pages to find a good deal. Alot of the sellers only sell to Americans to keep the costs low for shipping.
The big thing for todays resellers is using dropshippers. What dropshipping is, is a company who has the inventory stored in a warehouse allows you to sell their products with out physically buying the items first. Then when you have a buyer for the item you put the order in to the company and they will dropship the item to your customer without their own company info on the box. That way, you pay a wholesale price they ask for and sell it to your customer for a retail price, you collect the money, give the lower price to the company when you place the order for the customer, and the difference is your profit. I use this method for most of my products. As you start making more money you can just go to wholesale sites, buy more products at even cheaper wholesale prices, and earn more profit. You will have to store the merchandise yourself by then, so usually most people wait to proceed to that step when they can afford a storage space or extra room in the house for their storeroom.
Dropshippers can be found online, but you have to do alot of research and spend a few dollars to find good ones. Most of them say they are, but they are what is known as “middlemen.” You would still get a discount, the profit margin would just be a little bit smaller. A good place to get into even though it is pricey to start is OneSource, brought to you by www.WorldwideBrands.com It costs $299. to sign up but it provides so many viable good sources it is worth the money in the long run. One time fee. There are other cheaper sites, but they are not quite as extensive. If you prefer to go that route, I recommend Shopster.com They have the option you can make a store through them, so you would not have to invest in a hosting site for $20 a month as well. Lots of products there. The profit markup isn’t quite as high as with worldwidebrands, but still good enough to learn the ropes with. They ship worldwide as well. Other big sites like Doba.com, only ship to the US.Shopster has good customer service to help you out. They are offering a 7 day free trial for you to check it out and see what you think. Then it is $29.95 a month with a one time $99 startup fee.
If you are interested in starting up your own online store, want to try the dropshipping method, and would love to have this great opportunity to try your own business online with relatively low start up costs, check into one of these two companies. Then remember, for promoting your products, use the auction sites as well as your website. Also, ioffer.com has a promotional tool you can use to create flyers for your products. You could print some of those out, and try putting them up around your neighborhood, or door to door mailboxes. You can promote in so many ways. They don’t all have to be costly either.