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  • #984493
    jahuynh
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    Hi,
    I’ve recently wanted to start up selling me own items, just small quantities first.

    I’ve advertised just on groups on social media, I’ve had a couple of inquiries that are interested in the product. However, I’m afraid I won’t be able to get my stock in quickly enough resulting in unsatisfied customers that won’t bother purchasing through my business.

    I’m purchasing products from China, and processing time and delivery takes at least a month. I don’t want to purchase large stock of different products because I’m not 100% how things will sell, thats why I’ve started off with a very small quantity.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep my customers interested and any advice? Should I be buying more stock so customers aren’t waiting for their products for a month, etc…

    I don’t have an extremely large budget, so I don’t want to be throwing lots of money in and resulting in overstock that no one wants to buy.

    Please give me some advice or solutions to what I might be able to do.

    Thanks so much!!

    #1147879
    MatthewKeath
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    Kogan took orders before he actually ordered the stock so he could get a great price.

    Many start ups pre-sell products before ordering it themselves.

    The important thing is telling your potential customers what is happening, and what your product is.

    #1147880
    LucasArthur
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    Howdy,

    Most certainly second Matthews comments about keeping your clients informed… What ever road you take, ensure your client is kept up to date.. be upfront on the listing or sales page and advise of wait time..

    The one thing i am unsure of though, is your product… A lot of your decisions and outcomes will come from the product you are offering.. example, if you are selling small $$ value items that are readily available from almost everywhere, pre selling items may be rather difficult as most consumers on low end products want immediate gratification…

    However, if your items are say expensive electrical items at 30-60% off market price comparatively, you may get significant pre orders from people who want to capitalise on the savings.. although can open another can of worms if dealing with technology, due to items being made redundant before being delivered (eg ipad cases changing every model etc etc)

    One other thing to consider is… if pre-selling, this tends to work best when the order is already placed with the supplier so you are selling stock that is already under way.. this will reduce wait times, allow you to manage stock as well as earn profits etc…

    If you are pre-selling in light of trying to establish what items to buy.. this can be dangerous as it can be skewed from order to order depending on who is buying thus causing you to invest in stock that may not sell…

    Also, this is the negative hat on, if you pre sell items.. you must be aware that you have received payment (potentially unless only taking deposits) that have not been fulfilled and if anything in the delivery chain falls over you may be obliged to offer a refund on money you may have already spent… just need to note this…

    Really, it will greatly depend on your product offering and your competition… As well as how you will fulfill the orders and get them to australia.. if you have MOQ’s on ordering etc etc…. Personally, stock on hand is always the best for instant gratification and goes miles in customer service if you can do this… Although there is a cost.. but if you have a sound business model and researched your products and know what you want to offer, you should have a fair understanding of what ‘basic’ lines you may need to sell… Because if you stock nothing, some people may perceive you as a drop shipper or middle man.. which can have negative connotations..

    Oh boy, longer reply than expected sorry.. i gotta learn to grab a coffee before i start to reply to FS posts..

    Keep us informed and good luck on your journey

    Jason ;)

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1147881
    MatthewKeath
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    Great post by Jason.

    For an example of a very successful pre order, check out http://www.thetileapp.com/

    This worked well because it was a unique product with a great marketing campaign which included crowd funding.

    #1147882
    jahuynh
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    Thanks for the prompt reply guys, I have a deadline today to notify customers what exactly is going on with my product.

    I’m trying to re-sell makeup brushes and just tools like that on social media first. I’m not exactly how much in demand this is, but I’m bit scared just taking orders without actually checking the quality myself first. I’m only purchasing from the supplier based on reviews.

    Pre-ordering sounds like a good idea, but I think time is just the main issue, and I with many drug stores like Target, Kmart, etc, they’re all also selling brushes for a good price, so I have trouble finding a reasonable price to offer to customers as well.

    Will the fact that I get orders then have customers wait for a month or more be off putting for my business?

    I really want to get results and perhaps continue in maintaining my own small business, but there’s a lot of competition out there for online fashion outlets.

    What approach should I be use when telling customers about pre order and shipping time?

    Thanks so much again for your inputs, helps me get my thoughts together!

    #1147883
    LucasArthur
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    Howdy,

    Excuse me for being a tad to the point although if you have not got a product that is DIFFERENT, i believe you may need to review your business plan on stock and items to sell as i do not believe people will be happy to wait for a product that they can easily acquire locally for instant gratification.

    Your POINT OF DIFFERENCE will be the breaking point, and if you dont have one this will be your biggest hurdle.

    What is your plan to overcome postage rates? will cost of goods plus postage make you more expensive?

    May i also ask, why would you sell something without seeing the product first? especially if its a small item such as make up brush that you could have placed a small order to sample the goods firstly?

    Sounds like a plan is a must.. before selling you should really understand how you plan on fulfilling the order, or you will find your sales spiel will suffer as will your customer service.. how can you quote a time frame, if you dont know how or when you are ordering the product? just curious.. also, if ordering from China… if they quote you 20-30 days, expect it to be more like 30-45 days… and if your orders are smallish, they tend to service their big clients firstly and foremost..

    Please read between the lines, i am not discouraging you although i feel a little more research into the items you want to sell and the competitiveness is required before you start offering a product you are unsure of..

    Correct me if i have misinterpreted this, as i tend to do that sometimes, but a business plan will enable you to plan to succeed and to me it sounds like this has not been done yet and you are more flying by the seat of your pants (which some great successes come from so i am not saying this negatively) and hoping for the best..

    Let us know if i am off the mark

    Cheers
    Jason ;)

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1147884
    Shipporter
    Member
    • Total posts: 22
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    A couple of great posts from Jason with some excellent advice.

    We move a lot of goods from USA and China direct to the customers in Australia, with a 3 to 5 week lead time. (3 for China & 5 for USA).
    This is the individual websites business model however one thing in common is the understanding from the customer of the transit time. Most goods we move are;
    – heavy 20-2000 kilos,
    – Unique & not available here,
    – Available here but cheaper OS.
    – or not suitable for AIR.
    I am just making the point that not holding stock & transit time itself is not a reason for someone to not purchase your product. If you go down the NO STOCK business model you just need to have the right products.
    good luck.

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