The Problems With Running Your Own Ecommerce Store


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I have talked a bunch about how well my online store at spypen.net is doing, but as with most things it is not all rainbows and butterflies. Unlike running minisites or affiliate stores, there are many new responsibilities that come along with a true online store. From my ebay selling experience I knew about most of the issues I would run across but not all of them.

Customer Service - This is something that with an affiliate store you do not have to worry about at all because it is handled by someone else. Thankfully I have had no major problems with customers a few people wanting to change a shipping address or add something to their order after paying but still no refunds or complaints of a product not working. I think the main reason for that is that I personally test every spy pen that I send out to make sure it works. So many customer service issues can be avoided by preparation.

Shipping - I have not had any real issues with shipping. I use USPS and they have been great picking stuff up from my house and they also have free shipping supplies. They have really good rates for international postage.

Inventory - If you know about many drop shippers in china there have been many issues with sites. I have been frauded out of one order thankfully it was only for a sample order of 5 pens. Make sure you look around for reviews online and do your research.

The day never ends - Unlike a real store or minisite you are open 24 /7 365 days a year. Orders and emails come in at all times of the day, holidays, trips, ect. You have to be ready to ship out items and keep your store running all of the time because it does require time unlike other development options.

What I need to do better

I need to do a better job of reaching out to my customers and getting the word out. I have not done any mail lists or things like that besides a little twitter here and there so in the next few months, that is my goal to build the brand and hopefully sales too! I am already putting it into action and will talk more about that in another post!

But with all of that being said I love running my own online store and it has been a great learning experience. The financial earnings of the site are much better that I would have thought before I opened the store and I keep having to order new inventory and am adding new products. So if you have a nice name for a store go for it and build it out!

 

Related posts:

  1. Update on My Store SpyPen.net
  2. Domaining is Like Running, You have to Put the Time In
  3. SpyPen.net My First Online Store Goes Live

Comments

2 Responses to “The Problems With Running Your Own Ecommerce Store”

  1. HED.CO
    May 9th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

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    I want to congrat you on having a ecommerce site because it’s not easy as some people think to make return on investment and make a living when you don’t have a name like amazon and else…

    That’s the reasons most internet marketers do affiliate sites and claim that they are making huge income without the hard work, no hassle!

    If you read Marc Ostrofsky book “Get Rich Click” (amazon best seller)he talks about affiliate program and how to make money from it for less effort.

    I’ve visit your site and saw lockpick set, I was like ohhhh.

    I just have a question for you, how great is to have a .net as online business, was it difficult to promote? Do visitors trust it?
    Also you might subscribe to a secure seal site like BBB, there are a lot if you search. This gives your site a trusted seal as a real business. I’m saying this becasue I see some silmilar sites that are just affiliate program.

    Dropshipping V.S Wholesale.
    Not sure if I did understand what you wrote.
    Do you use a dropshipping company or you buy wholesale from china and test pens then ship from USA?

    Because dropshipping have no inventories so I guess you are working with a wholesaller.

    eCommerce have always been internet enterpreneurs dream but many don’t do it for reasons I talk above. I’ve also read a famous domainer blog (forgot who) that was investing on online business but will never do shipping stuff. He likes better to do web based business might be digital products.

    So I wish you all the best because you are courageous and I give you a thumb up :)

  2. Scott
    August 6th, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

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    There are many options available now for setting up and running an e-commerce site. You actually can practically outsource all the “operations” end pretty easily. Whether on-line or off, it’s always better to be working “on” your business rather than “in” it. I try to delegate as much as possible. My basic rule is the “give my job away” as soon as it makes sense time-wise and financially.

    Thanks for your insights on having been there and done that.

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