Home – New Forums Selling online So many things! How do I start?

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  • #996723
    emmaX3
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    Hello to the lovely flying solo community! I am super new here and literally became a member few seconds ago.

    So my mum and I are thinking about starting our own little online business selling authentic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English tea sets (cups, saucers, pots). As well as Turkish, Vietnamese, and French coffee sets (cups, saucers, pots, drips). We also plan on selling some accessories and other things related to tea and coffee too (e.g filters, coasters, scoops, tea figurines). However, we won’t be selling tea leafs or coffee beans as we still need to do more research on sourcing these products. All of this is still an idea. We are both on a tight budget so we can only start small and hopefully can expand little by little. Both my mum and I are tea and coffee enthusiasts and want to be our own bosses.

    As we’ve never done anything like this before, the two of us are so overwhelmed by all the information on starting a small ecommerce business snd were hoping we could get some ideas to point us in the right direction.

    We’re both Australians but we’ve been overseas for 14 years, and have no idea what the tea sets and coffee sets are like in the Australian market, if they are on demand, or if they are over popular. We have lost contact with our Aussie friends, and have no one to ask. So basically, we’re lost.

    We both plan on moving back to Melbourne next year (hopefully), and so our starting costs for the business will be reduced even more because of the moving cost from overseas back to Australia. We were looking for the cheapest but the most reliable and safest option to get started.

    Hope you guys could give us some tips, as we’re not very confident about our plan yet.

    Cheers!
    Emma

    #1208753
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    Welcome aboard Emma! Thanks for introducing yourself so openly. :)

    If you’re starting an ecommerce store then I guess some online research of your market will be possible? Check out the large department stores online? Start by selling the tea sets you love that you can’t get easily in Aust.

    Great to have you here!
    Dave

    #1208754
    emmaX3
    Member
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    Dave – FS Concierge, post: 248777, member: 49676 wrote:
    Welcome aboard Emma! Thanks for introducing yourself so openly. :)

    If you’re starting an ecommerce store then I guess some online research of your market will be possible? Check out the large department stores online? Start by selling the tea sets you love that you can’t get easily in Aust.

    Great to have you here!
    Dave

    Hi Dave! Thanks for the tip :)

    So I’ve done a little bit of searching, and there seem to be more English tea sets being sold online in big and small stores. But no so much for the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tea sets. However, there are stores like Zanui that sell the kind of tea sets that I am interested in selling, but at a much cheaper price.

    Because I plan on directly buying handmade and special products from China, Korea, Japan, and hopefully a variety of Western countries, my prices will definitely be more expensive. Products that have a “made in China” mark on them also don’t have the best reputation. But I’m not too sure how to gain the trust of the customers about the quality of the products?

    If I can’t beat the prices, how else can I attract customers?

    #1208755
    Trent Tran
    Participant
    • Total posts: 166
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    Hi Emma
    To find out if there is any interest, you can go on eBay and Amazon to have a quick look. Generally, you would have a good idea of demand and price
    Physically, you can also search on meetup, for example

    https://www.meetup.com/BrisbaneTeaMeetup/events/239661301/ (one Melbourne tea speaker come to Brisbane and talk)
    or Melbourne one
    https://www.meetup.com/MelbourneTeaMeetup/

    555 tea lovers, you can join them too and find out.
    Tea2 have a good collection of Chinese Gong Fu tea set, I have seen many and they are at premium price point ($120 +++)

    The main issue with teaware is Shipping and Logistics. They are extremely fragile and the shipping cost will be huge. I sell ceramic item and the brokeage rate is 10% (you can’t insure them either)

    I believe you have a good knowledge about this niche. The lowest cost and safest is to write blog to improve your ranking in Google. ” How to” is a classic way to start.
    With many ecommerce platform (shopify for example) to start with and their wonderful third party app, SEO is very affordable (a fraction of rate), $20 per month and it works beautifully. You only need to write good content. The app will do the rest for you.
    It will take time, long time but eventually your hard work and passion will pay off.
    Once you have a decent of visitors, you can install Facebook Pixel (it is a tracking code from facebook and it fires for special event such as Addtocart, visiting a speicific page…..), buy a third party app to retarget visitors who visit your website (retargeting). it probably cost you $2.5 a day but the return is great. No bragging, but for me, $5 facebook retargeting ad only and it brings $600+++ (some spends $800 for ROI of $15,000) The app will automate and optmise facebook retargeting ad for you. Your job is to bring visitor or write high quality content to attract them. This method works wonder, it takes time. It suits someone with low budget
    At the beginning, it seems you will not go anywhere but as long as you website is visible or high-ranked in some speicific keyword, you will have a great chance. In additonal, attend those physical meetup will help greatly.

    Good luck

    #1208756
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    emmaX3, post: 248782, member: 99035 wrote:
    But I’m not too sure how to gain the trust of the customers about the quality of the products?

    If I can’t beat the prices, how else can I attract customers?

    Tell the story of how/where they are made and by whom and why it matters and why unique.

    You only have to compete on price when you are selling the same thing (or when people can’t tell the difference). Personally I’d probably position them as gifts – we often spend more on a gift that’s unique/authentic than we would buying for ourselves for everyday use.

    Dave

    #1208757
    Jason G.
    Participant
    • Total posts: 26
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    “If I can’t beat the prices, how else can I attract customers?”

    There are a heap of psychological switches I often use ( There are about 15 I use regularly)

    Lets look at selling a car, You can take the fear approach.

    Focus on how safe your makes the
    customers, this is how safe you make your family if you buy our brand of car.

    If I can’t beat the prices, how else can I attract customers

    There is the ‘significance ” switch.

    For example

    It makes no logical sense to own a Ferrari (I have multiple clients that own them and they all tell me the same thing) but you feel important, you WANT to own a Ferrari even knowing its a bad idea! Thats cool branding over a long time.

    Now back to you.. How do you turn this car crap good for you?

    “But I’m not too sure how to gain the trust of the customers about the quality of the products?

    If I can’t beat the prices, how else can I attract customers?”

    Firstly focus on your target ideal easiest to sell to customer.

    Tea drinkers, high income, has time for making fancy tea?
    people who drink brewed tea for the health benefits?

    Then you need an offer that appeals to your audience

    Would limited runs work well?
    Can you package things together?
    Free supply of tea samples with every pot?
    Free guide on the benefits of brewed tea.

    Once you have your offer you need have a landing page that gives them that offer in return for their email, then redirect them an offer to buy a special product at a special price in this limited time, this is a one time offer they cant miss, redirect to main site after that if they don’t buy.

    Once you have the email address you can automatically email them offers and deals, special news from your site and drive traffic on demand.

    Jason.

    Get More Media Exposure Today. Get In Touch PR Plus Australia 
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