Many people want to setup an ecommerce site using physical products but the problem for a part-time business run from home is inventory, stock and storage space.
One way you could get around this is by becoming an affiliate for an ecommerce company (such as Amazon) and sell their products for a commission.
We have covered this in Idea #2
There is an alternative, however, and this is called Dropshipping, and many eBay retailers use this as their business model
The basic setup ideas is:
- Someone orders a physical product from you
- They pay you
- You then place an order with the warehouse or manufacturer (supplier)
- They ship the product DIRECTLY to the customer
- You keep 100% of the profit
That means that you do not keep any stock and the supplier (be it a warehouse or the manufacturer) handles all the fulfilment
To me, if you want to sell physical products (unless you are making them yourself) then Dropshipping is a really good solution
And even if you do make your own physical products then you could include Dropshipping as an option for other products you might want to sell
For instance, let’s say you are an artist and want to sell your pictures online
You could sell your pictures online but you could also sell paint brushes, paints, easels, crayons, pencils or anything to do with art through a Dropshipping agreement with a wholesaler
It’s a win-win because your margins will be much greater than if you were acting as an affiliate
And you can work the business out of hours or at weekends
If you are interested in Dropshipping there are various online companies who can provide all the tools and information you need, one of which is called Salehoo (see banner below, and note that the below is an affiliate link which means I will get a commission if you join through the link below – see Idea #2).
Salehoo is really a worldwide directory of wholesalers which should give you access to any product across the world
(have you ever ordered a product in your country and find that it arrives from China? Chances are the company you ordered it from will be doing some sort of dropshipping)
Salehoo also has some excellent free training which it is well worth checking out
If you want to hook up with a service that can get you online as well (ie: provide resources to build your store) then I would consider Wholesale2b which has services to setup a shop as an Amazon or eBay retailer. It will also setup your own Dropship website, or a Dropship datafeed which you could incorporate into an existing website
(and yes, this is an affiliate link as well)
If pushed (and I was new to this) I would seriously look at the Wholesale2b option as it provides all the tools for setup on your platform of choice. It’s a bit more expensive though….
Both provide some excellent free training and background though – you just need to create a free account