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Ecommerce Journey to $100,000 in 5 Months

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by CharlyG, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    I have been meaning to post this 3 weeks ago, but being ecommerce related, this coming Friday is a really important deadline.

    The goal is to make $100,000 by April 1st. I have been an ecommerce developer for the last 10 years working with smaller sites all the way up to Fortune 10 companies. The plan is to stick with ecommerce since it's really the only thing I know. In order to hit $100,000 in 5 months, I will do the following:


    • Sell on eBay
    • Sell on my own sites
    • Use those sites as case studies/proof to get freelance work
    • Finally, sell of those sites once they are established and profitable

    I haven't really ruled out doing other stuff, but it will likely be related to ecommerce in some way.

    There are a few caveats to how I am going about this, however. First, I have been selling on eBay for several years and still have a lot of items that I bought with the intention to resell. Most of it is from 2012 or older, and I don't have plans on going back through it all to figure out how much I spent on it. That's going to distort the revenue a little as 1 wholesale order cost me $13,000. Since part of that is left, and I am not factoring that in, I could do $8,000 on eBay right now with no expenses. It's going to make it impossible for anyone to follow along with me and get the exact same results since I have upfront expenses from years ago that I am not reporting. 2+ year old inventory isn't likely going to be hot sellers anymore, so it shouldn't drastically change anything.

    Also, I already own several domains. Similar to above, I didn't factor in the years of registration fees and hosting into this. I have had 2 ecommerce sites up and running, with 5 more created in the past 3 weeks (the reason why I never got around to posting this). One site is basically seasonal and my "supplier" is my brother. The second site is really niche focused and has generated on average $322.29 in sales per month over the last 15 months.

    TL;DR - Make $100,000 from November 1st through March 31st using eBay, ecommerce sites, freelancing, and site flipping, however, I am not starting entirely from scratch.
     
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  2. AnthonyCorleone

    AnthonyCorleone Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    100k on eCommerce with good products is easy task can easy brake that point on your 2nd-3ed month run if everything do right
    the only think I wonder what kind a products are you going to sell ?
     
  3. royserpa

    royserpa Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Inb4 April 1st OP posts "Made 100k boys!"
     
  4. zubidoo

    zubidoo Regular Member

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    I started an ecommerce site 7 months ago and already hit 100k revenue. Profit is a different story. :(
     
  5. FastService247

    FastService247 Power Member

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    hey whats your website ? can you show me ?
     
  6. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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  7. LostConnection

    LostConnection Senior Member

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  8. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP

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    TL;DR

    Hi Charles Mullen

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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  10. KardoseR

    KardoseR Regular Member

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    The chat i had with him on skype is even funnier.
    Code:
    Me: Why your thread got deleted?
    Him: Unecessary drama and its not allowed to have investors in JV's anymore for some reason.
    Me: its because of the scams that happened in 2012
    Him: i never scammed anybody no[12:17:22] Charlie M: listen
    [12:17:25] Charlie M: listen closely
    [12:17:32] Charlie M: there were a bunch of people I turned down for the opportunity
    [12:17:43] Charlie M: and they started to attack me seneslessly
    [12:17:46] Charlie M: stick to the facts or I will remove you
    [12:17:50] Charlie M: and block you permanently
    Me: i didnt call you a scammer...
    did they provide any proof of me scamming anybody?
    [12:18:11] Charlie M: you just did
    [12:18:13] Charlie M: above
    [12:18:15] Charlie M: ....
    [12:18:18] Charlie M: who the hell did i scam?
    [12:18:21] Charlie M: i never scammed anybody
    
    Me: ITS BECAUSE OF SCAMS IN 2012, I DIDNT SAY YOU SCAMMED ANYONE..
    what scams?
    [12:18:35] Charlie M: what scams?
    [12:18:37] Charlie M: what proof do you have?
    [12:18:46] Charlie M: I was barely on BHW on 2012
    [12:18:52] Charlie M: I didn't start using BHW until this year
    [12:18:57] Charlie M: get your fucking facts straight
    [12:19:02] Charlie M: because you're wasting my goddamn fucking time
    [12:19:08] Charlie M: stupid fucking losers
    [12:19:08] Charlie M: get the fuck out of my face
    
    [12:20:17] Charlie M: because I've never scammed anybody before
    [12:20:17] Charlie M: no one has any proof
    [12:20:19] Charlie M: they're all fake
    [12:20:22] Charlie M: just like you
    [12:20:23] Charlie M: youre fake
    [12:20:27] Charlie M: now leave me the fuck alone
    Dude cant even hold a conversation and is paranoyd and cant understand a word of what people say lol
     
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  11. LostConnection

    LostConnection Senior Member

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    No, but you should have realized saying "the scams in 2012" to a person as sociopath as our dear Charles will make him go apeshit.
     
  12. royserpa

    royserpa Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Had a feeling he was him, though im not sure im glad i let you know bro!

    Lets see if he is our chrlie lol
     
  13. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    Update so far, I received 4 orders through the websites and 2 from eBay. Not really that great, but most of the advertising starts today. There were a few other sites I intended to get up and running, but now I am thinking I should focus on the sites that are up and work on getting orders instead of setting up more. A lot of sites with no sales isn't as good as a few sites with sales.

    I sent out Black Friday specials for two sites earlier this week (which happen to be the two sites that received sales). MailChimp has been the mailing list I normally go with, but for a couple of the sites, the products are against their terms of service. I have been looking at a few other mailing lists. I went with SendinBlue, for one site, mainly because I had the most eBay sales from those products. I sent out the email to all previous customers which exceeded the 2,000 free tier limit of MailChimp. I could have just paid for an account, but with the goal of selling the site at some point, I don't want the monthly recurring cost to scare of buyers.

    SendinBlue was the only mailing list that allowed for more than 2,000 email addresses, however, it limits the emails sent per day to 300. This means that any campaign I send out takes 9 days to complete. The Black Friday email had to be sent on Wednesday of last week in order for it to complete in time. It's turning out to be a real inconvenience.

    Another site will be using Campayn, which the first email is scheduled to be sent today. In order to get more freelance work, I will be setting up another newsletter about that, but will be going with a custom solution using Amazon SES since that's less of a newsletter or more individual emails. At the same time, I am thinking it might be worth it to work on a mailing list for website sales, so I have at least a few leads when it comes time to sell the sites.

    Soon, I will post how much I have actually received from the orders along with expenses, but as of right now, I haven't calculated it.

    Profit is what I am focusing on. Revenue isn't a real concern except that it will likely help the sell the site if it's doing more in revenue.

    Finding good products that can be bought cheap enough to make a profit from a reliable source with limited competition, especially from China, that can be stocked and shipped easily is a pretty difficult task. Each site is different, but the general categories of products are apparel, home decor/gifts, children's toys, and entertainment.

    I plan on keeping the sites private, at least until they are sold, to avoid this thread from affecting sales....or someone doing negative SEO against them.

    That is not me.
     
  14. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    The oldest two sites got a total of 5 orders combined. The new sites didn't do well at all. Seems like the big flaw in my plan was that after the Black Friday deal sites went live, the sites got traffic, but only for Friday. Starting on Saturday, the traffic dropped to 0 or 1 unique views per day.

    I will need to work on SEO and possibly running ads to those sites, but in order to keep money coming in, I moved a lot of the products to eBay. eBay sales started 2 days ago with a lot of auctions ending Monday. I doubt there will be much action until then, but I am thinking eBay is the better option leading up until Christmas followed by paid ads. Any SEO work done now won't have any real affect quick enough.

    Most of the cost was a wholesale order I placed to fill one of the website orders that came in. I bought was was needed to fill that order and then some extra stuff I thought I could sell quick. Those are the products that are listed on eBay and ending Monday, so I am hoping that after Monday, I will be profitable.

    Sales: $538
    Cost: $1243
    Total Profit: -705
     
  15. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    After shifting focus to eBay, things have gotten a little better, but I still ran into a few problems. First, doing a buy it now/best offer listing is far more profitable, but takes a lot longer to get something sold. Listing items for $1 with free shipping basically guarantees they will sell, but could very likely lose money. Selling the same items, the best offer listing was $89 or best offer, and got offers between $50 and $65. Selling the same item as an auction starting at $1 resulted in winning bids between $5.50 and $19. The best offer listing only got an offer once every few weeks, while the $1 listing was sold every time I listed one. The big issue is the average cost of shipping it was $7.55. The $5.50 winning bid was a big money loser while waiting for the $65 offers takes too much time to sell through all the items.

    I have come up with 2 new strategies. First, I will do the same $1 auctions, but this time charge for shipping. I am hoping that the $5.50 bids still come in even though there will be an additional $7.55 shipping charge added to the bid. This should at least make it less likely that I lose money.

    Second, instead of waiting for people who really want the item to make higher offers and attracting bargain hunters at $1, I will try to get "middle men" to bid by listing the items in little wholesale lots. The descriptions will be written to focus more on the benefits of buying the lots and then reselling individually to the people who would pay $65 each. I am hoping the promise of $65 per item encourages more bids on the lots. Even if it doesn't, it would at least help get rid of the items quicker so I could use that money towards something else.

    Also, expenses are up. I had to buy some shipping supplies to ship out the eBay auctions. I also had Facebook ads running for the gift site. It resulted in 0 direct sales, but the ads did get a lot of interaction on Facebook. I probably should have stopped the ads sooner as Christmas is the big holiday for gifts. After that, the site will be less busy until Valentines day and then Easter, other than a few birthdays along the way. The gift site is the one site I am not too sure I will sell, so I am okay with the ads that take a while to generate a return on investment.

    With expenses being up, it's kind of misleading. Cost of items sold actually includes the cost of items I bought to sell, but haven't yet. It's the full invoice amount for the wholesale order. Shipping supplies are the same way. It's all the supplies I bought, and not just the supplies I used. They are one time expenses that crush the profit early on, but won't be an issue later. Another thing that isn't helping too much are the auctions that ended with a winning bidder who hasn't paid for the item.

    Sales from websites: $347
    Sales from eBay: $1319
    Cost of items sold: $1134
    Cost to ship items: $251
    Cost of shipping supplies: $95
    Cost of ads: $173

    Total Profit: $12
     
  16. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    More eBay sales happened, with most being last minute Christmas shopping. It's been a little annoying as most people immediately send me messages after purchasing crying about how they need items delivered in time since they are presents.

    I sold my first site this week. It didn't go that great, but at least I got the ball rolling. Since Christmas shopping is basically over and I am already 2 months into my 5 month plan (and not doing too great), I am shifting focus from the ecommerce sites and more into the freelance development and site selling.

    I set up one site that will be the main freelancing site with Amazon SES and began contacting a few people about doing some potential work. For the website selling, I set up a different site with Mandrill to begin promoting that. I probably shouldn't have waiting this long to do this, but I can't change the past.

    Total sales: $2232
    Expenses: $2069
    Profit: $163

    The big expense that came up now is the November 16 to December 15th eBay fee invoice. The number 1 expense was shipping labels at $330 followed by eBay fees at $252.
     
  17. infoasian

    infoasian Supreme Member

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    Wow, that sucks. Why sell for such low margins?
     
  18. QuantumBlue

    QuantumBlue Newbie

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    Good luck on your journey. My goal is to make similar amount by april by selling advertising and content writing services.
     
  19. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    Most of this stuff I already bought, with some of it being 3 years old. Everything has been losing value the longer I hold it. Now, I just want to get whatever I can out of it to put the money into something else.

    I have been slacking a little over the past few weeks. I haven't had anything on eBay, but did have one site still get some orders. I have mainly been focused on selling websites. After talking to Flippa's support, a week went by without a reply. I finally heard back, and am hoping to get a few more sites listed tomorrow. I also managed to get 12 auctions listed on eBay.

    The gamble over the last few weeks were ads. The sales I have been getting off eBay were with the sites that I had a mailing list and was at least a little established. In order to help sell off the sites, I figured I should build up my list. The original plan was 5 months, and I am half way through that. The theory was I could get some ads going now to get a list big enough to sell some sites, and then work on building up the list over the next 2.5 months to have a sizable list to sell off all the sites right at the end.

    Ads cost a little over $1,000, specifically, they were $1,080. They didn't do as well as I would have liked. A lot of subscribers on my list seem to be Russian, despite paying extra for country specific traffic to include US, CA, and UK. Overall, I got the list up to about 500 subscribers. I will send out the first email after I get the sites on Flippa. Another site I am running, the gift site, will also have an email go out, probably tomorrow, with a Valentines Day promotion.

    Total Sales: $2490.44
    Expenses: $3108.65
    Profit: -618.21

    The ads took me negative in terms of profit, but hopefully will pay off in the long run.
     
  20. CharlyG

    CharlyG Newbie

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    ...I forgot to update this.

    Solo ads were definitely a waste of money. I have a feeling one of the seller screwed me over and either sent bot traffic or duplicated the stats to only send me half of what I paid for, but made it look like I got all the traffic. My stats show I didn't receive all of what I paid for, and the seller just wanted to fight about it. I sent an offer to everyone who subscribed for free Amazon gift cards. I got a total of 0 people who took me up on it. The $1,080 was definitely a waste, and with the gift cards, I am pretty sure I was sent garbage traffic and not buyers.

    I had a few more website sales, but right now, the biggest issue I face is selling the sites and not getting paid. I have over $750 in unpaid website sales. A $20 payment is supposed to be on the way. If I would just get the money, I would be way better off. I have also been slacking on eBay lately, but I did get a couple of Etsy orders after being on there for 6 months.

    Total Sales: $3062.68
    Expenses: $3602.51
    Profit: -539.83

    If I didn't buy the solo ads and I was paid for all sales, I would be up about $1300...which is still way short of the goal, but at least it's positive. Knowing now what doesn't work, I have a few ideas to try to turn this around, but meeting the goal seems unlikely at this point.