I am trying to start drop shipping business, I was thinking about selling batteries for laptops, you visit here to see my store.
I was researching comparisons of Terapeak vs Hammertap and came across your Power of Comparison reviews. My first reaction was that I was very impressed with your high Google page position. You obviously know something about SEO.
I was even more impressed, however, with your “My Story” description of yourself and what you have overcome. You are a great example of how people come to this country and become successful. Your tenacity, perseverence and work ethnic have served you well and will ensure your success. Unfortunately, many Americans have either forgotten or never learned those traits.
I am in the process of trying to open an eBay store and to that end, I purchased Janelle Elms “Profitable eBay Stores” DVD course. Unfortunately, I got through the first couple of lessons and quickly realized that without profitable products to sell, I wasn’t going to be too successful-even with the worlds most well thought out Storefront on eBay.
I’ve been a casual eBayer since 2004 but finally began to get serious about making a full time living on the web over the last year or so after being forced to leave my career because of heatlh reasons and the economy. I previously purchased the WWB database but haven’t used it much because I’ve been selling a lot of stuff from a family estate over the last year. Now the easy days of readily available merchandise are over and I have to find new products to sell.
Like you, I am very wary of all the scam artists. It took me a long time to figure out who the good guys are and believe me that’s a short list. I trust people like Chris Malta and Janelle Elms plus a few others, but that’s it. I get emails daily from many successful on-line companies that have only their own best interests at heart.
Long story short, I’d like to know what your experience is in dealing with many of the drop-ship suppliers on WWB? My concern is that much of their pricing is not going to allow me to enjoy decent profit margins. I previously used Hammertap for awhile but now Janelle Elms is recommending Terapeak for product Research. Terapeak also has this $67 book out that tells you step-by-step how to find profitable products to sell. Are you familiar with it and is it worth the cost? They, of course push you back to WWB for the database and Terapeak for Research.
Also, you mention affiliate marketing. Obviously, these guys all butter each others bread and that’s fine. You seem to be into affiliate marketing too. Since I don’t yet have a web site of my own, can I take advantage of this via eBay Stores. I am custom building this store to look just like a web site (not just an eBay store) and will eventually work on SEO and key word analysis to push traffic from outside eBay directly into the eBay store (Janelle teaches all this).
Again, I admire all your hard work and was hoping you could share some of these experiences with me so that I can avoid some pitfalls and perhaps speed up the process a bit. As you’ve stated on your site, procrastination can be a big stumbling block.
First of all thank you for your email. You’re absolutely right – the most professional store with slickest design will be a useless toy without products to sell.
Now to the question about Worldwide Brands drop-ship suppliers: “My concern is that much of their pricing is not going to allow me to enjoy decent profit margins.” Beside wholesale pricing, a lot of factors are going into the play when determining profitability of a certain product, how much money you’re going to make depends on your sales strategy, level of competition, selling platform, wholesale prices etc… So, by leveraging those factors better than your competitor you can make more money even both of you had the same drop ship source and initial wholesale price. Prices from different suppliers within Worldwide Brands directory vary depending on your purchase volume (drop ship, light bulk, large volume) and selected niche. Drop shipping is one of the first steps in establishing relationship with supplier and of course you’re not going to get the lowest wholesale price possible. In my experience with WWB drop ship directory their prices were better than any other product sourcing solution (for products and niches I have selected).
I was able to make fair amount of money by leveraging other pieces of eCommerce puzzle like sales strategy and market research using tools like TeraPeak and HammerTap. By using those I was able to boost my average sales price 25% on average. I have used both HammerTap and TeraPeak for market and competitor research and so far I prefer TeraPeak as they have more useful features and I like TeraPeak interfaces as it is more intuitive and easy to understand. Also TeraPeak have features like “Hot Research” which shows you top searches, categories, products etc. Another handy feature of TeraPeak is Trends – quite helpful to see a big picture of what’s going on in your market. You mentioned “Terapeak also has this $67 book out that tells you step-by-step how to find profitable products to sell.” I did not have a chance to read this eBook, so I could not advise you on that.
Now to the question about affiliate marketing. I am heavily involved in affiliate marketing and it brings me the major part of my online income. I will try to explain why I switched from eCommerce to affiliate marketing and why I think internet marketing is a better choice to start making serious income online. Don’t get me wrong – I think, it is entirely possible to make very good living selling physical products online. But I think with affiliate marketing it is easier, less risky and faster.
So these are my concerns with eCommerce:
- Selling physical products online puts a lot of task on you: product sourcing, establishing relationship with supplier, packaging, shipping, product returns, broken items, customer service etc.
- When selling items from drop-shippers on eBay you’re the one who gets to suffer if something goes wrong. Most of the time the process goes smoothly but it happens that supplier runs out of stock for particular item you just sold, or sends a wrong model, delayed delivery… You have to pay ALL of the auction fees and suffer with the negative feedback! If you want to avoid that, you have to keep certain quantity of products you’re selling at home and that means investing. Usually people that are just starting out don’t have a lot of money to pay upfront for the products.
- To be a successful store owner you have to learn internet marketing, SEO, traffic generation, PPC, email marketing, web design unless you have a lot of money to outsource those tasks. 99% of people who decide to make money selling hard goods online don’t have a clue about those things.
So after analyzing those things I thought for myself: “If I have to learn Internet Marketing anyway, why wouldn’t I make some money during the process?” With affiliate marketing you don’t have to worry about things mentioned above:
- You can make money 24/7 anywhere in the world.
- It does not require a sizeable investment to start; I started my online business with $100 in my pocket.
- As an affiliate you don’t have to worry about customer support, book keeping, and e-commerce related headaches since the merchant handles it all.
- You can make money much faster since you don’t have to build online store or establish good feedback on eBay.
- Affiliate marketing business requires much less money upfront because you don’t have to pay for storefront, shopping cart, customer support software. Being affiliate marketer you can have professional website for free using with open source blog software like WordPress. Joining affiliate programs is also free.
So, now you probably understand why I think that affiliate marketing is faster, less risky and easier way to start making living online. I think if you’re looking for ways to make money from home, it is better to start with affiliate marketing and when you establish a steady flow of affiliate commissions and revenue you can grow and expand your business by doing eCommerce without risking loosing everything.
So, my suggestion would be to check out Wealthy Affiliate here: http://www.powerofcomparison.com/wealthy-affiliate-review/ to learn more about affiliate marketing. Wealthy Affiliate is what got me started in affiliate marketing and in my own personal opinion – is the best place out there to learn it.