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Sold My First E-Commerce Website

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by TheFinePrint, Jun 12, 2016.

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  1. TheFinePrint

    TheFinePrint Newbie

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    Hey everybody,

    A while back I wanted to utilize my design skills to make money and I figured that the best way to do that was by selling my designs on a product. I created an e-comm site selling fraternity and sorority apparel and went after t-shirt swap blogs on facebook. I thought I was going to make a fortune and I barely scraped 1k. I went back to the drawing board and began researching microniches.

    I discovered a healthy amount of people searching for state themed t-shirts and then I realized how competitive that market was. However, with my design skills, branding expertise, and content I could write I felt that I was still a force to be reckoned with. I went after the craft beer enthusiasts and built my website around that audience. State themed craft beer t-shirts. I created a series of blogs about beer reviews, brewery reviews, and event promotion calendars. I connected these blogs posts on my brands social media to the breweries social media and found several small facebook groups to post in. The blog posts contained 500+ words, 3-5 images to accompany the text, links to the breweries websites, and an inpost advertisement for my websites t-shirt store.

    I found there were plenty of blogs to write about, even if they already existed on another site, I took the content, changed it around, and made it strictly social media. No facebook advertisements, no SEO. I began selling 3-4 shirts a night for two weeks straight followed by 2-3 shirts a night for a month or so after. The 5-10 shirts a day came shortly after that when my articles started resurfacing on personal pages or groups I didn't have access to. Around that time the breweries I had wrote about started re-sharing those articles about them and I got more traffic to my website resulting in 15-16 shirts every other day for a 3 solid months.

    However, I starting hating dealing with customers who complained about literally everything under the sun and because it was e-commerce I was unable to satisfy the returns or exchanges or shipping expectations the customers were looking for and I ended up suffering severe low customer reviews on my facebook page. I decided that as my sales were winding down I would try to flip the website on Flippa and keep the website alive just with a different owner. I had that website for about 8 months total and I sold it for $15,000.

    What I learned was to research, research, research your niche until you basically become them and instead of voicing your opinions in the comments, you should make your own blog and voice your opinion as an entity.

    It also didn't take too long per day. The initial website design took me about 12-20 hours, then the products took me (admittedly) some time to create and mock up. After that I just sat on the blogs every night and read what people were saying, asking for, wanting and I created blog posts that gave them what they wanted. Maybe 2-3 hours a night. Not even all at once either. I'd come home from school, pop open my laptop lid and read e-mails, handle customer support, and process orders. Then I'd make dinner and hang out with the girlfriend, after words I would come back to check on any e-mail replies and see what other group members were chatting about while I dug through social media to see what was going on in the brewery world. My girl and I would settle down in bed or on the couch to watch tv while I wrote 2-3 blog posts in an hour or two. It was stress free, fun, and didn't require a ton of attention.

    That's my journey. If you have questions, feel free to ask!

    Thanks for reading!
     
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  2. zebestof230

    zebestof230 Junior Member

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    Nice journey, I have a few questions :
    How much did you earn those month ? You said you were selling 15 T-shirts a day, but what was your margin ? 1$ ? 10$ ?
    And what were you using to sell your t-shirts ? TeeSpring ? If not, can you name it please ? Thank you :)
    And finally, where were you selling ? US ?
     
  3. TheFinePrint

    TheFinePrint Newbie

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    @zebestof230 I made about 11,000-12,000 from sales in the 8 months I was running it. Less than a thousand in the first month. My profit margin was $10 and I was using PrintAura. I sold exclusively in North America.
     
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  4. ignotus

    ignotus Junior Member

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    As google (and its 16 companies) slowly take over and manipulate SEO, it's important for owners to find ways making money without SEO. Invaluable skill to have as the years come by.
    Excellent flip, though, 15k seems a bit small for 3-4 sales a day.
     
  5. danixp12

    danixp12 Registered Member

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    Good advice
     
  6. TheFinePrint

    TheFinePrint Newbie

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    @ignotus I was a college student desperate for cash. I valued the site lower than its income because I felt that the sales were declining and could not be sustained into something of long term value. Did I mention I was a broke college student desperate for cash?
     
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