Ryan from Love Inventions left a comment a few days ago asking how my online shop is coming along. I haven't spoke about it in a while and Ryan's comment reminded me that I haven't updated all you guys.
E-Commerce is Flaming Nuts
Myself and my friend Eddie started working on our ecommerce site at the start of the year. The name of our site is FlamingNuts.com. We picked a generic non product specific domain name so that we didn't limit the type of products we sell in the future.
We decided to sell ipod accessories at first, the reason being that the value of the stock does not drop much over time so we don't need to worry about the logistics of selling within a certain timescale. Long term I was keen to sell electrical devices like portable laptops and UMPC's because I'm interested in them but of course, the value of that type of thing drops very quickly and you have a short window to sell them in.
We got our stock in February however we quickly realised how saturated the market is. Our initial plan was to sell on ebay for a few months until sales picked up on the main site however there are people selling the same products as us for less than what it cost us to ship it from China. The problem is, all of these sellers are shipping direct from China so we highlighted this in our sales and told potential customers that we can do next day delivery. Unfortunately it seems that most ebayers are happy to wait 2-3 weeks for their ipod case if it means they save 3 or 4 pounds.
We did of course realise that this was a competitive niche however we didn't realise just how much.
Does this mean we are giving up? No, well, not just yet. We are looking to sell off the stock we bought and we are still getting a few trade magazines delivered so we are keeping tabs on what we could sell and how we market it. We have also started working on a few other projects. Eddie is trying to get more involved with online work and as well as landing a blogging job with a real estate site, he is working with me on our new humour blog.
Long term, I'm not sure if ecommerce is for me. I do sell things on ebay from time to time and selling is essentially a very easy thing to do – I mean it isn't hard to box something up and ship it to someone. However, a successful ecommerce site would make a big difference in my lifestyle as I currently have a great amount of flexibility with the hours I work and can work more one day so that I can can go away the next. Although I want to make much more money, I do not want to sacrifice quality of life.
I'll let you know what we decide to do with the site but one things for sure, I don't regret starting the site as it's good to try out new ways to make money online :)