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  1. #1
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    My E-Commerce Challenge!

    Hello, I have been a fan of online e-commerce stores for some time now. The great thing about them is they are cheap to start and can potentially earn you a lot of cash!!!!

    In my experiment I am going to see if its possible to generate $5000 in sales a month, starting with only $150.

    Now, first thing is first I need to chose a niche to go in. From what I have learned in the past, anything that women buy, will do pretty good in the web simply because Women love buying stuff. I thought that fragrances would be a great niche to start in.

    I started off heading to godaddy.com and trying to get the best domain I could (not much in the fragrance niche) and ended up finding www.cologneandperfumez.com - I thought this was a good domain because it has my two main keywords in it, "cologne" and "perfume".

    Next I needed to find a good e-commerce platform to hold the structure of my store. I have used many e-commerce solutions from aspdotnetstorefront to oscommerce. One that I havent tried was volusion so I headed to www.volusion.com and chose a plan. Now, their prices are a little high for only a $150 investment, but I thought I could start out small and maybe expand if I needed to. I ended up buying the bronze package which allows 100 products (good start). The bronze package was $90. So that puts me at $60 left in my budget.

    Now that I have my store, I need products! I found a great wholesaler of designer fragrances and got the top 50 mens products and top 50 womens products. I easily downloaded the products and imported them into my store. Since this wholesaler was so good, the prices were amazingly low. I was able to add 20% to the cost and still have the lowest prices out of all my competitors.

    Most people know that without traffic there are no sales so i need a way to get some decent traffic to my site to start making some cash!! I headed to yahoo products and set up an account for my store. I put $50 in the yahoo account to see if I could get some good qaulity traffic from that. So $90-$50= $30 left in my budget (getting low!).

    The rest of the $30 was used for adwords advertising which as you can see from the screenshots below didnt really do crap. This is probably my fault because I am not to good with adwords advertising.

    It has been about 2 weeks since I started getting some traffic from yahoo and here are some stats for my store. I have easily already made the $50 back from advertising along with a couple hundred more.

    Here is a recent screenshot of my sales.



    Here is a screenshot of the stats from yahoo search marketing (yahoo products) sales. Not bad conversion ratio!



    Here is a general look at my ROI tracking.



    As you can see I have done some craigslist marketing (didnt seem to work or be effective. I also wrote a couple of articles about buying cologne and perfume and some reviews of cologne and perfume. So far these have not been effective but I will keep writing articles to gain some SEO for my site.

    I will be updating this thread periodically and updating you on my challenge and whether I can do it or not.

  2. #2
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    Ok, I think its time for an update on my ecomerce store Cologne and Perfume.

    I have completed my challenge and just passed the $1000 mark today. Below is a screenshot of my orders for feburary and you can see my sales reached $1004 or so. I am happy to break my challenege and have set a new challenge of $2000 in sales a month.

    Since my last post I have upgraded my store to hold 1000 products. The sales have been lower than before when I had the top 100 products sold by my wholesaler. I dont think this is why my sales are low because I ran all the products from the wholesaler through the amazon api and grabbed the top 1000 selling products from amazon.com.

    I have also funded my yahoo products account more money to keep gaining sales from them since my conversion rate has been so well with them...why change it!

    In the future I plan on adding more sources of traffic like shopping.com, pricegrabber.com, etc.

    Here is the screenshot of my orders for feb.




    Here is a screenshot of the analytics for the site.


  3. #3
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    Volusion is good for small business. Also you are a lucky man.
    Ecommerce web hosting all-in-one ecommerce solution
    Free shopping cart for small online retailers

  4. #4
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    glad you found it good info. Alizasa, its not luck bud!

  5. #5
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    Great post, enjoyed the insight. I have always wanted to get into ecommerce being an Internet Marketer, but I always struggle with how to source products!

    Have you got any advice on finding wholesalers etc.???? Do you have to have products in stock or are you dropshipping??

    The product sourcing side of it is my hurdle, how do you source products?

    Any advice, greatly Appreciated!

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Enjoyed reading. What is your best suggestion to advertise for women products and get fast results?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast simmo_13's Avatar
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    Yes I'd be interested to find out some more about wholesalers. I've found that's probably one of the most difficult things to research when assessing e-commerce opportunities.

  8. #8
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    Tytyguy, am I right to assume your wholesaler is drop shipping for you?

  9. #9
    winter is around the corner Tomer's Avatar
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    Very nice job. I did pretty much the same thing. Only worked a bit harder and took me a few good months and much more money to get the site running [custom design, custom cart, merchant account] and after around $30,000 in sales [6 month period] I saw that it wasn't working.

    I just couldn't cut a profit, sales were easy, but the advertising costs are too high. Yahoo Products! is known as one of the cheapest you can get. When you start using Shopzilla.com and those big ones, the advertising budget is drained very fast [$100+ a day easily!]

    Anyways I concluded that I couldn't but a profit by dropshipping the items. I needed to be buying them wholesale and ship them myself for a decent profit. It looks like those dropshippers are offering you a cheap price, but they aren't.

    I ended up selling the business, which the buyer lost interest and killed.

    If you're interested:
    http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/37524

    Anyways dude, give FragNet a run for their money!

    Let me know if you need any help!
    - Tom

  10. #10
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    No one can challenge with E-Commerce because in E-Commerce all the thing should from internet like you can buy or sell anything on the computer, i think it was never came on anyones challenge..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by infomercialscams View Post
    No one can challenge with E-Commerce because in E-Commerce all the thing should from internet like you can buy or sell anything on the computer, i think it was never came on anyones challenge..
    What?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast simmo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DimeSoftJohn View Post
    What?
    At a guess probably a sig spammer or such like. I too was overwhelmed by the concise and insightful post.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast loko's Avatar
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    tytyguy how did you get the money for the purchase of products?

    Congratulate for you!

  14. #14
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    yes, this site is still up and running better than ever at Smellocity

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict Avactis's Avatar
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    Very interesting to read. Thank you for sharing!
    Avactis Shopping Cart & CMS - Easy integration into existing
    site design. Ecommerce Hosting with Free support.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Avactis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tytyguy View Post
    I started off heading to godaddy.com and trying to get the best domain I could (not much in the fragrance niche) and ended up finding www.cologneandperfumez.com - I thought this was a good domain because it has my two main keywords in it, "cologne" and "perfume".
    I just opened your site http://www.cologneandperfumez.com/ and saw this error: Fatal error: Call to a member function add_current_page() on a non-object in /public_html/cologneandperfumez.com/includes/application_top.php on line 312

    I think you should contact your shopping cart & hosting support to resolve this issue asap.
    Avactis Shopping Cart & CMS - Easy integration into existing
    site design. Ecommerce Hosting with Free support.

  17. #17
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    Really great information. I am wishing you all the best. Just remember "content is king" and you have to solve problems. Please do keep us posted and you should do fine

    I will you all the best!

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict Miraculix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avactis View Post
    I just opened your site http://www.cologneandperfumez.com/ and saw this error: Fatal error: Call to a member function add_current_page() on a non-object in /public_html/cologneandperfumez.com/includes/application_top.php on line 312

    I think you should contact your shopping cart & hosting support to resolve this issue asap.

    I see a default osCommerce store there ... Change of heart?


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