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How I accidentally discovered a profitable ecommerce niche
gabby




msg:3557460
 3:16 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am always on the lookout for good niches that will make money online, but sometimes you find gold when you least expect it.

The other day I was walking into the post office when I noticed a guy wheeling a cart up to the front door. I only had a couple of small items, so I held the door open for him. The guy went ahead of me while I was taking care of a shipping label, and I wound up in line right behind him.

After a minute I realized he had about 40 packages to ship Ė great I thought, Iíll be here a while.

Thatís when I noticed he had all sorts of packages to ship, some flat packages, some small boxes, and some bigger boxes.

I noticed several packages had customs labels affixed for international shipping.

My curiosity aroused, I eased a little closer, and read the return address off the shipping label.

I recognized the address as a local business complex, but I had never heard of the business.

When I returned to the office a quick Google search revealed the guy was operating an ecommerce website for what I would have thought was a fairly obscure niche.

Intrigued, I visited the business only to realize it was a warehouse operation with no storefront Ė however, it was in a complex that has a pretty good market rate on the rent, and is located on a major thoroughfare.

Based on the packages I witnessed being shipped, along with the obvious overhead they are covering, it looks like this business is doing pretty good.

I guess Iíll pay closer attention next time I go to the post office.

 

philbish




msg:3557524
 5:02 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

You're a sneaky, undercover spy :)

jsinger




msg:3557606
 7:30 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Love that story.

But if his business is so good wouldn't he have UPS or Fed Ex pick them up daily at his place?

-----------------

Our UPS driver stops at an online florist before he hits our dock. We can tell how their business is by how full the truck is with plants and flowers.

The truck looks like the Brazilian rain forest right before many holidays. But it's pretty empty most other times.

gabby




msg:3557999
 5:53 pm on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

But if his business is so good wouldn't he have UPS or Fed Ex pick them up daily at his place?

No doubt that UPS or FedEx would be a shipping option. However, most of these items were smallish, lightweight and easy to mail -- and international shipping is pretty simple with USPS.

All I know is that the volume of packages was pretty substantial, as was the average price of items on his site.

For all I know, UPS picks up his larger parcels, and he mails the smaller ones.

derekwong28




msg:3558357
 1:48 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gabby, we had more than 40 orders per day to ship at one stage, all of them international. It does not mean that our business was that profitable: it wasn't. You have to do much more research before making any decision.

Essex_boy




msg:3558668
 2:56 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Spy! Well done.

BananaFish




msg:3558692
 3:34 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

So what are you going to do? Copy their web site and business because it shipped 40 orders one day. Make sure to include that in your business plan.

gabby




msg:3558726
 4:21 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

So what are you going to do? Copy their web site and business because it shipped 40 orders one day. Make sure to include that in your business plan.

No, his niche doesn't really interest me -- besides I know nothing about it. I just like to observe companies that are successful in selling over the web. It gives me ideas that I can apply to my own business.

jsinger




msg:3558735
 4:37 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Really ALMOST worthless. There are tons of profitable niches. In just about any field, someone is making good money. Some sellers are publicly owned; their books are available in great detail to anyone. Copying Amazon or Blue Niles "ain't" so easy.

Still, undiscovered tiny niches do exist. Had a buddy who sold a very odd product on eBay and did very well, but on a small scale. He was one of a very few people in the U.S. who had access to the imported niche product.

He was successful because 1) there was very little demand for his product; 2; there was even less supply.

I just like to observe companies that are successful in selling over the web. It gives me ideas that I can apply to my own business.

Same here.

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