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10 niche ecommerce sites making $100 each per day

is this a realistic business model?

     
5:45 pm on Jul 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys,

Looking for some insight from ecommerce pros from this trusted community.

I have been toying with the idea of starting an ecommerce business to try to get some income from and wondered if this is a realistic way to approach it:

Instead of relying on the income of one ecommerce site, I was thinking of trying to identify 10 products (physical for most of them) and splitting them over 10 different sites. These would be mainly aimed at B2C and be in any field I feel confident writing about (health, wellness, food, nutrition, sport etc...). I am thinking $20-80 cart per transaction and maybe a target of $100 pure profit from each website per day.

Is this realistic in a market that's smaller than the US (UK or France?). Time-wise, is there anything preventing me from physically being able to complete this in terms of packing and sending the products etc? Anything I should be aware of (pitfall, advantages) that is dead obvious to you (but not necessarily to me)
5:50 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In one hand you have the idea/concept and in the other hand the reality.
10 niche ecommerce sites making $100 each per day
is this a realistic business model?
Everything is possible, everything can happen .. is it going to work like that? only time can tell.

There are too many factors, niche, target audience, promotion method, concurrence, etc etc...
6:03 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This may be a deterrent but something that is always overlooked is the time and money that one can lose due to chargebacks. By chargebacks I mean Paypal claims that the product was not as described or that the card was used without the card owners authority.

Profiting from false claims is such a popular sport that our banks started charging fees for making such claims. Those fees made more profit for the banks of course, but they also dramatically reduced the number of false claims.

Unfortunately the suggestion that a card was used without authority is a winner. In my first year of online sales (20 years ago) I had 50% of all sales claimed that their card was used without their consent. Ever since then I have required their signature on our sales agreement. But some still try and the bank can be amused when the signature on their claim form matches that on my sales agreement... well that is when the bank employee can read properly, but then we are talking about the "dumber and dumber" thing again.

Losing money on software didn't hurt so much and lucky it wasn't hard goods. But each claim can cost half an hour or more.
6:09 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A few suggestions - before committing to anything, start by creating your business plan. A basic outline would include not only your goals but the steps and cost to accomplish those steps. This means investigating how you will be accepting payments and what shipping arrangements (and costs) fit your business plan/products. And - start at the beginning rather than the end goal because the beginning steps will very likely alter the later steps. Keep it on paper while you research each step. If nothing else, it will be a learning experience that will help you appreciate online merchants. ;)
6:51 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri, thank you for the message

@Kendo, I did think about chargbacks, and I feel that only 1 or 2 niches are at a high risk for this, I may investigate them if/once the revenue from the other areas are sufficient

@not2easy thanks, I will build a small business plan for each site to find out about running costs and fix charges (as well as some traffic estimation and revenue projection), thanks excellent suggestion
9:08 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Also, if you sell products (or services) to other countries than your, be sure to check the local laws and regulations, for not getting troubles. For example, if you deal with EU customers, even if you are not in the EU there are series of things you have to be compliant with , GDPR being the most famous,but there are plenty of other things too.

As said above, your biggest enemy can be customers too :), I ran a tiny e-comm site at the end of the 90's, and customers were such a pain , I guess it's worse nowadays :).

I am not trying to discourage you,

Good luck with your project.
9:33 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ten sites under one host, or Ten hosts with one site each? Costs may vary!

Note: the search engines will know which of the above applies and act accordingly.

Or One site with Ten Products?

Chargebacks are the killer, and always larger than planned for.

Payment processing has it's own kettle of worms (and regulations).

Banking/accounting/reporting are involved.

Expect the Taxman to be watching. (always!)

Set your income goal ... then expect 1/10th of that for the first year (or perhaps longer) ... and a plan to make it through that time period.

Have reasonable expectations, use reasonable estimates of desired outcomes.

Know your product, market, and customers. Fail any of those and success will be very difficult, if not impossible.

Customer service/satisfaction must be Rule Number One. The customer is always right, even when horribly wrong.

Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance if you undertake any kind of sales that deal with health, potential injury, or death.

If you have any kind of physical inventory, you will want insurance against loss, theft, or failure. (This can get quite expensive).

If selling internationally, know the laws of each country you do business with. What is okay in one country might break laws in a different country!

Be prepared for long hours at start up, followed by unending repetition and boredom doing the same thing over and over. The adventure is in the start up, but the real work is the daily grind that follows (and where so many startups fail).

Have enough money at startup to pay for everything for at least one full year EVEN IF YOU NEVER MAKE A SALE. Else lack of cash will kill your business before it even has a chance to get started.

There are no guarantees the web will even find you. You will have to tell the web you are there ... that means advertising, either on-line, but better yet in print media, radio, and tv. Skywriting also works! Celebrity endorsement has its value, if you cna get it. These costs MUST BE INCLUDED in your initial plan. (and the one year bankroll mentioned above)

Other than that, this stuff is easy peasy! :)
9:48 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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any field I feel confident writing about (health, wellness, food, nutrition, sport etc...)

You are certainly aware that these topics are now overcrowded, and that Google is cutting through them...

Also, if you are selling this kind of products, there might be special requirements and authorizations, and remember that you might be liable for the consequences of using them. Just saying.
10:20 pm on July 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The cost of hosting your site would be way down the list. You had asked about a business selling tangible products:
Time-wise, is there anything preventing me from physically being able to complete this in terms of packing and sending the products etc?
so the business plan should start with reliable suppliers, physical space for inventory and the shipping supplies to enable you to fill orders. You would want an account with your shipper. You may well want to accept your own payments - that means talking with your bank (and they may want to be certain that your business plan complies with their policies). The website is far down the list after you can determine that all the parts can be expected to function together as planned. Starting with goals before establishing viability can lead to disappointing surprises. Whatever product you decide you would like to specialize in, do the research to be sure it isn't an over-saturated field with thousands of competitors selling those identical products.

One example: the many MLM businesses that convince people that it is easy to sell products online and once they have bought inventory, they begin to find out that it is nowhere near as "fast and easy" to recover the investment as that presentation made it seem.
7:38 am on July 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri, I would be based and selling products to either France or the UK, so, yes, GDPR is on my radar and yes I am aware of the market saturation for some of these products ... I am looking at small niches withing those though, so hopefully not as saturated.

@tangor, thank you for the very detailed list, the warnings and the "plan to not have any sales" the first year. I was planning 10 sites on 1 host, although the products and domains would be totally unrelated and not interlink (although their link profile might have some similarity).

@not2easy, thank you for your insight into the business planning, I guess I need to read up a bit more about this, as my role / experience has always been from the website point of view, not the "running the business" one.
11:50 am on July 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There are no guarantees the web will even find you. You will have to tell the web you are there ... that means advertising, either on-line, but better yet in print media, radio, and tv. Skywriting also works! Celebrity endorsement has its value, if you cna get it. These costs MUST BE INCLUDED in your initial plan. (and the one year bankroll mentioned above)

If you are selling niche products then there is likely to be niche media which you need to engage with, both with paid ads and press releases and maybe even sending out review copies.

To take a slightly off topic example, if, say, I want to know what folk or jazz gigs are running in my area I look at a specialist folk or jazz magazine or website, I don't rely on Google.
12:33 pm on July 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@piatkow, thanks. The marketing side I am not too worried about, it's more the running of an ecommerce shop I don't have experience with.
8:19 pm on July 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It is realistic and achievable.

What you first need to do is take some time to really find out your hard costs.

That is, website, hosting, domains, email, inventory, holding costs, shipping costs, packaging, CC processing fees, and ANY other cost related to taking and fulfilling orders.

Then determine what margin/markup the market will bear and set your selling price. Determine your profit margin.. eg for every $100s worth of widgets sold and shipped what are you left with after all hard costs are covered?

Once you have that number you will know how many units you need to move per day to profit $100. Picking products, niches, etc should all consider that final number. You want to pick products that make you the most money, and try to volume those. Some products you will make < $1 profit off, some you will make $10. That is the difference between needing to sell 100 units a day to make your goal or 10 units a day to make your goal.

This is for sure something you can do. I wouldn't start with 10 sites, I would start with 1, work on it until it makes your goal, then repeat the same steps with your 2nd, 3rd sites and grow incrementally. That way you can tweak your model on 1 product line and get it right before expanding it to 10.
2:38 pm on July 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Demaestro, thanks for the input, very valuable - I was thinking of doing it like you said: get one site to $100 profit per day and start a new one.
6:50 pm on July 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm I ran a site sold $500 to one buyer ($30 each) it was to a shop so no worries their.... Emailed me when they received it, then did a charge back and won it.

Ive always found selling 'spares' the easy of moves. Spare parts for anything, cars, bikes, plumbing etc you have no problem with colour or size and to an extent price - need it now!
9:18 pm on July 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Absolutely! I have 3 that are info-marketing based. Iím selling information so there is no overhead except for hosting and my time. No inventory so no sales tax. If you know something thatís valuable to the world, it takes just a week to throw it on Woocommerce.

The trickiest part is... and those of you who know me know where Iím about to go...

Google. They are hard on new domains and new sites (from my experience). Even if you throw a ton of valuable useful content on the site, they want your money and are banking (pardon the pun) that you will jump start it with ads. Donít buy their ads since we all know 60+% of it is illegal fake bots clicking and wasting your money.

Itís like planting a tree. You might not see anything organic for the first 9 months but keep feeding the site and eventually you will get some organic traffic.

Bing does much better w startups just not a lot of volume there but there is quality. Too bad we canít advertise on Reddit for specific groups as that seems like a no brainer for startups. From what Iím seeing Reddit strictly uses G for now for income making it very difficult.. pay a crook to get displayed on an honest site? that should be illegal.