T Nation

Anyone Else Run Internet Businesses


#1

I am interested in swapping tips, strategy with other internet marketers. Not webmasters, newletter writers, etc but those who sell a physical product either B2B or B2C.

Yeah, this is a weird place to look for this, but I check this site every day anyway.......

We currently run 6 sites and generate 1 mill + / year, looking to double that in the next three years.


#2

I dont run an internet business, but after reading that you turnover >$1mill per year maybe I should think about it.

Good work.

Sorry I cant help with your question though.


#3

My dad does, but he doesnt frequent this site :slight_smile:


#4

my parents do, and my dad has been on my ass for years to start my own one. man I am a slacker.


#5

A girlfriend just started one in Beijing, can you give us any info.
Fluffy


#6

What is she selling?


#7

Can you give us some info on, your sites and what you sell?.


#8

If that was meant for me and not Fluffy:

Industrial cleaning equipment, the kind you might use as a part of the manufacturing process, printed circuit board mfg & inspection equipment, forensic equipment (think CSI), some small consumer electronics.

Sites are set up for specific markets, and promoted accordingly. Interestingly, some of the nicest orders come from the sites with the least traffic. Typical ticket is $100 - $2500. Minimum order is 25.00, largest ever received straight off of the net was 26,500. Yeah, had to read that email a couple times :slightly_smiling:
Largest # of orders is for consumer items, so lots of small tickets.

2005 sales just over 1,000,018.00 on the net plus another 28k in commissions. This translates into low six figures, plus free car and 100% medical, dental, optical.

Nice perk: As a corporation, we have a policy that all employees get a health benefit to promote wellness. This covers wife's gym membership, chiropractic, supplements, Lifecycle, whatever else I can think of. Only rule, if you do it for one employee, you have to do it for all. Nothing like buying your supps with those pre-tax dollars. Also paid for "company gym" with power rack, etc etc.

Just me and my sweetie helps out a few hours per month.

Single largest customer: US Gov't - Although a lot of times, you can't tell who is really ordering something. No matter, it's all to get the bad guys.

We take all the major cards, PayPal, purchase orders, checks, echecks, money orders, and if someone offered me a chicken in barter, I might consider that as well.

First site designed by my oldest when he was 15. Incredibly, it made money from day one. Now up to 7 with two more coming on line in late spring.

If anyone reading this is thinking about an internet business, go for it. Beats having a job!

Just don't fall for the pitches you see on TV. Start small. Make it pay for itself from day one, and don't quit your day job.


#9

Thanks for the info, im thinking of selling Aftermarket wheels online, as a hobby on the side, just something i will enjoy doing.

Do you actually have the warehouse with the product, or you out source?.

Also what advertising techniques do you use?.

Good luck in the future, cheers.


#10

Do you have sales consultants that can give person to person contact, and upsell the bajeezus out of the consumers? The old-"If you're using these you are damn sure gonna need this..."
Or the ability to set up an auto fill order for a monthly, quarterly, or bi annual supply orders? Or maybe a calculator feature on the site so that they can determine how much of an item or items they use, and the savings they will realize if they order volume?


#11

Hi Hankr
She is selling handbags and wallets and stuff like that.
I am trying to help her out as job prospects are not that great in Beijing.
Fluffy


#12

I have a great idea for a business. It's going to revolutionize the fitness world. The secret: bodyweight exercises. Everybody's using barbells and dumbells, but what they don't know is that the best fitness tools they have are that barrel ass and sausage tits.

Yeah.


#13

Thanks for the info, im thinking of selling Aftermarket wheels online, as a hobby on the side, just something I will enjoy doing.

Do you actually have the warehouse with the product, or you out source?.

Also what advertising techniques do you use?.

Good luck in the future, cheers.[/quote]

This is actually a growing market. Ricers love this kind of thing, and are the "internet generation" so they don't mind forking over cash on line.

Usually on larger items we do not take posession, but have the manufacturer ship direct. It depends on the market, the item, and whether you have to do something to the item before shipping.
We carry a lot of inventory, though.

Advertising techniques vary by product and target market. We do SEO for all the sites, and PPC for some of them. Some items are even on eBay. We do not do blogs, or advert in forums, etc. I might explore this for the consumer end of the business, but don't have the time.

Get "eBay Strategies" by Scott Wingo. It has a case study of a kid that started out selling car seats on ebay, then branched out to other car mod items, a Yahoo store, and so on. His current site is something to see.

Hop this helps.


#14

The only thing we do out of the above is sell the different quantities on soem items at differnet prices. We do not upsell or use any pressure techniques whatsoever. My philosophy is that if you go into a transaction with the idea of making money, you will not. Instead, we proceed from the point that the goal is to help the other person if you can, and refer them elsewhere if you can't. This results in a fair amount of free consulting, but it also results in some very happy customers and good word of mouth.

On the calculator issue, we just show the quantities and prices, and it is apparent what the volume savings are.


#15

First she needs to define something special about what she is offering. Even if it is something conceptual, and not physical - hand crafted by local artisans, etc. Then she absolutely has to work out a way to sell in the US. I would recommend eBay as a starting point, and that she establish either a fedex or UPS account, or figure out another secure shipping method to the US. You would be surprised how much people will pay to ship something, just so they can have the "only one".

Here is the URL:
http://www.ebay.com.cn/

Worth a look - trippy looking site.


#16

I think this will work. The key is to convince them that the lighter and more fit you get, the better high reps and light weights are. Throw in a referral contract with a plastic surgeon to get rid of the extra skin, and you are in business!


#17

Thanks I will let her know.
Fluffy


#18

Thanks for your Help, Greatly appreciated.