Happy New Year to you!
I can’t believe it’s 13 years since my lightbulb moment on New Years Day 2005. The day I took action and started planning my very first ecommerce enterprise.
There’s been a whole lot of water under the bridge since then for me, and in fact 13 years’ worth of learning, tweaking, getting things right, getting things wrong, eBay reinventions – not once but twice – Amazon highs and lows, researching, writing, recording, mentoring and of course the highlight – meeting some of you, my loyal eletter followers – particularly those who have been with me for the last 13 years!
Back to basics
So, today at the start of this brand new year I’d like to go back to basics. I’ve reminisced about my own ecommerce journey a lot over the past few months and I’ve recalled all the interactions I’ve had with you over the years and I’ve come to the conclusion that the most important question for small business owners who are selling online – and the one that I still get asked the most often – is: “What do I sell and where do I find the products?”
The Internet is an amazing marketplace which offers massive opportunities for start-ups. Lots of people start small and sell part time online, then go on to earn very impressive full time incomes. However, for every one of the truly successful, there are also a large percentage of people who run into issues they don’t understand and can’t see how to resolve and then give up because they simply don’t have the information they need to run an ecommerce business and remain competitive. Many of these issues stem from the research and sourcing process.
If your dream is to own a really successful online business then that dream can become a reality. However, there are some vital things you need to get your head around – and proper product sourcing is one of them!
Selling online is almost always going to be price-driven because you will almost always have competitors. There’s no beating about the bush with this. You can offer free gifts, you can offer great customer service, you can offer free delivery and returns – all of these things and more are vital when it comes to perceived value and remaining a cut-above your competitors BUT you must be competitive on price too as part of the whole package – and if you’re not sourcing products correctly you’ll find that there are other sellers who offer the same products as you, but at lower prices and that’s when you can’t compete.
Those sellers you see who are offering lower prices than you are making a profit (unless it’s a loss leader which is another story for another time). The difference is that those sellers are simply paying less for their products because they totally understand how to source products correctly.
So, you might be thinking, well what does product sourcing even mean? It’s simple really – it’s finding products at wholesale prices and selling them online for a profit.
Although I like to look at it a different way:
Product sourcing is the cornerstone of a successful seller’s business.
Ok, so how do successful sellers find these products?
Product Sourcing Research.
‘Product Sourcing’ is finding the ‘source’ of a product and then investigating that source extensively to ensure you are looking at a legitimate supplier – and of course this can be extremely time consuming.
This is one of the reasons why I started The Source Report – my members only 24/7 resource dedicated to providing you with current hot product suggestions for ecommerce, along with supplier sources and example profit calculations – so that you don’t need to do any of this time- consuming research. I’ve spent 13 years researching and sourcing products from the UK and China and so what is probably a fear of the unknown to you, of course comes as second nature to me. That’s why I’m happy to do it for you until you are comfortable and confident enough to research and source for yourself.
I wrote earlier that I want to go back to basics, and I believe that the most basic but actually the most important piece of knowledge you need to create a successful ecommerce business is to understand what to sell and where to get it from.
It doesn’t matter if you sell or intend to sell on Amazon, on eBay, Etsy, Facebook or from your own website. The crux of this is researching and sourcing the products and securing them at the absolute best price to your doorstep.
And I’ll help you with this.
I’m planning some new and exciting things for 2018 that will allow you to take your ecommerce business up a gear because put simply, if you can get your product sourcing right then the ecommerce world is your oyster.
Look out for next Friday’s eletter as I’ll be sharing my product sourcing ‘must do’s’ with you.